Those Warmongering Democrats

Who says Republicans are the only ones who start foolish wars?

The Associated Press archly tells us:

Even when President Barack Obama sent U.S. troops back to Iraq and ordered the military to stay in Afghanistan, he insisted Syria would remain off limits for American ground forces. Now he's crossed his own red line.

Obama's announcement Friday that he was deploying up to 50 U.S. special operations troops into northern Syria to assist in the fight against the Islamic State group is the kind of incremental move that has defined his second-term Mideast strategy.

The U.S. military footprint in the region is growing. But each step is on a small scale, so as to reassure Americans that Obama isn't plunging their country into another large, open-ended conflict.

It's no secret how badly degraded modern America's standards of teaching American history have become, but the ignorance behind this statement seems pretty extreme even for journalists.  If there's one thing modern public schools hammer on, it's all the bad evil violent things the United States has done over the years.  Usually the Vietnam War features prominently in this parade of American horribles.

How is it possible that even Low-Information Voters fail to recognize that what Mr. Obama is doing in Syria is, in fact, almost exactly how the Vietnam War started?

That's right: in May 1961, Democratic President John F. Kennedy sent 400 Green Berets to Vietnam as "advisers" even though Republican President Eisenhower had investigated and decided that nothing constructive could be accomplished there.  JFK stated firmly that of course, the Green Berets weren't supposed to engage in actual combat, oh no!  They were simply there to teach the South Vietnamese how to do the job.

Mr. Obama is too young to remember the Vietnam War personally, but both his current and former Secretaries of State - Hillary Clinton and John Kerry - spent their formative years of political activism in protest against the war.  It's inconceivable that they don't know exactly what happened and how the war tore America apart in a way we've never really recovered from.

Maybe they don't mind that so much - after all, they follow the sentiment "Never let a crisis go to waste!"  But surely the sad fate of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson should be a sobering reminder that wars can take down Democratic administrations as well as Republicans.

Mr. Johnson was so beset upon by the antiwar protesters that the Secret Service told him it was unsafe for him to attend his own Democratic Party national convention in Chicago in 1968.  Given that this entire convention was conducted in surroundings approaching a war zone between protesters and police, they may have had a point.  He decided not even to attempt to run for re-election, leaving it to his Vice President Hubert Humphrey to be crushed by Richard Nixon.

All this was not entirely LBJ's fault: after all, his predecessor JFK stuck our collective mitts into the tar baby that Vietnam turned out to be.  LBJ was simply left holding the bag and couldn't figure a way out.

Maybe that's what Mr. Obama is planning with this foolish waste of our soldiers' lives: leave the next President with a problem that can't be solved and promises that can't be kept.  Whether that president is Mr. Trump, Hillary, or someone else, Mr. Obama will spend his entire retirement in uproariously cackling laughter, Dr. Evil-style.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
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