A simple statement

If I see the word “Quagmire” being used to refer to Iraq by one more supposed “journalist,” I will reign down hellfire and DESTROY ALL GRAVITY AS WE KNOW IT.

Vietnam was a quagmire. Vietnam lasted a decade. We lost more troops than one can even grasp at, and it scarred an entire generation.

We’ve been in Iraq all of 5 months, and because we’ve got some armed resistance and (regrettably) lost a few (volunteer) troops, it’s a quagmire.

Sorry, but hell fucking no.

Every fucking journalist who calls the state of affairs in Iraq a quagmire is spitting in the face and on the graves of every soldier who went through that hell.

It’s disgusting, it’s exploitational, and it shouldn’t be stood for. Left, right, middle, up, or down, I don’t fucking care where you stand - There’s no justification for such things.

Or am I just off my rocker, as per usual?

(edited for clarity)

Wait, I can’t follow you - are you saying that Iraq is a quagmire?

We’ve been in Iraq all of 5 months, and because we’ve got some armed resistance and (regrettably) lost a few (volunteer) troops, it’s a quagmire.

Sorry, but hell fucking no.

I think it’s used because there’s no end in sight. Can we really expect Iraq to be stable enough for us to withdraw in the next couple of years? Probably not. Can we really expect the anti-US attacks to stop? Probably not.

We went in, overthrew the government, destabilized the region, and now we’re finding that there’s no easy way to get out. Essentially, we’re stuck.

In a quagmire?

Seriously though, I’m afraid the Middle East situation won’t resolve itself in a manner that we the Western countries would like. Hundreds of years of colonialism put a considerable dent in the development of a democratically-inclined psyche in the majority of the population, continuing violence by external forces doesn’t help, I don’t think. So it’s a difficult situation (most obvious point of the day).

The fact that the region has become the primary battleground for groups looking to violently oppose western influences has also considerably stunted any group. Much like Africa, it’s a region that’s been so constantly and destructively meddled in by outside influences that the odds of it dragging itself into the modern era are pretty slim. Not impossible, just unlikely. I tend to view these regions in the same way I’d look at the victim of systemic child abuse. Their development was badly fucked up at a critical stage.

Machfive, you make it sound like the Vietnam War has the trademark for the word ‘quagmire’. It’s just a word.
The current situation in Iraq does seem to be bogged down. At the moment US/British forces are providing security rather than actively fighting a known enemy. The best bet for improving the situation is to improve the living standards of the general population rather than by any military means. This is going to take a long time and for the duration Iraq is going to attract every wannabe martyr hoping to take out a few imperialists.

Using the word ‘quagmire’ isn’t insulting to Vietnam vets. It’s an apt word though it is also a cliche. Bitch about the lack of imagination of some journalists but don’t get all patriotic on behalf of the vets.
Why?
Because you pointed out that the current troop casualties were ‘(volunteers)’. And you obviously know that the life of a volunteer is worth so much less than the life of a conscript. You fucking sanctimonious hypocrite, beating your breast about how the use of a word demeans the dead of one war whilst you dismiss the casualties of the current.

And I really hope that ‘reign down hellfire and destroy all gravity as we know it’ was meant to be a cleverly constructed attempt at poor spelling and hyperbole.

Gravity sucks, anyway.

Peter done stole most of my thunder, but from your post, what you’re saying is that the word “quagmire” should be sacredly reserved for Vietnam. The next time there’s a football or soccer game in a driving rainstorm and knee-deep mud, if the announcers dare call it a “quagmire”, they’ll be spitting in the faces of all those Vietnam Vets…
What, are you Walter Sobchak from BIG LEBOWSKI, now?

Dumb thread based on a flawed premise.

Well, I agree that it’s too early (what, 12-14 weeks since the end of the “major” war?) to call this a quagmire. That term was used for the war in Afghanistan in the first 4 weeks also. I think it’s a term journalist like to use specifically because it raises thought of Vietnam. Could it turn into one? Sure. If conditions a few months from now are no better, I’ll agree. I am curious as to how this should be handled at this point. Our military is not a good police force; it isn’t how they are trained and organized. They are the best in the world at accomplishing pure military goals, as shown in wars in Afghanistan and both Gulf Wars. But standing around and being security guards is not their expertise. Unfortunately, it’s not the U.N.'s either. The “best” solution obviously is for Iraq to take charge of their own security - but how you get from here to there is beyond me.

For comparision, here’s the Vietnam casualties by month; we were losing 5 to 20 soldiers a day, compared to 1 a day in Iraq. Then again, we also had a half-million soldiers in Vietnam, compared to 150k or so in Iraq.

I’m seeing more and more information suggesting that while the death rate is low, the casuality rate is high. About 10 a day. Pretty high when you consider that we only have 150k or so in Iraq…

Here’s a good piece from the Washington Post.

With no fanfare and almost no public notice, giant C-17 transport jets arrive virtually every night at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, on medical evacuation missions. Since the war began, more than 6,000 service members have been flown back to the United States. The number includes the 1,124 wounded in action, 301 who received non-hostile injuries in vehicle accidents and other mishaps, and thousands who became physically or mentally ill.

That puts us somewhere on the order of 4% since the war started…

Wow, a C-47 every night for 10 people? That’s expensive, and probably a tad exaggerated.

And they’re doing it on the sly, probably under cover of darkness, with the silent running engines and no landing lights!

Painted black, no less, and with helicopter blades on, for some unfathomable reason.

With all the rain we’ve had this summer, I’ve got a QUAGMIRE in the backyard.

Not to mention that WW2 surplus aircraft must be hard to maintain.