Vietnam Comparisons Obsolete?

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Neo-cons get upset when progressives like me liken the Iraq War to Vietnam.  "They’re not the same," the neo-cons cry.  "The Vietnam War was in Southeast Asia, and was in the 1960’s mostly.  This is totally different!"  And then they compare the Iraq War to WWII.

But seriously, maybe they’re right.  Vietnam was also a more popular war for most of the 1960’s.  So says this Gallup poll analysis:

The latest quarterly average for Iraq shows that 50% say it was a mistake to send troops (the most recent single measure on this indicator, from an Aug. 5-7 Gallup Poll, shows 54% saying the war was a mistake).

In the comparable quarter for the Vietnam War (the third quarter of the war’s third year — that is, the third quarter of 1967), Gallup found 41% saying the conflict was a mistake. It was not until the third quarter of the fourth year of the Vietnam War (August-September 1968) that a majority of Americans said the war was a mistake. In short, it took longer for a majority of Americans to view the Vietnam War as a mistake than has been the case for Iraq.