The Ball has dropped

I recently wrote a piece entitled Someone dropped the ball and would like to clarify my viewpoint. I think the wise course would be for the United States to get out of Cuba. It is over forget it.

These errors of judgment are easy to make. Gen. Christian de Castries did it at Dien bien Phu, Bush did it in Iraq, and so forth.
Its been proven that there is nothing to gain. Are the Cuban Libraries really Libraries?

A neutral country like Sweden should take this on because this property (Cuba) is condemned!


I know this is very specific but I'm not sure too many military historians or tacticians would say that Battle of Dien bien Phu and the War in Iraq are comparable from their perspectives. If I recall, Dien bien Phu was a resounding military defeat with over 16,000 French troops captured(something like 70% died in captivity) and 8,500 French troops killed/wounded/missing. It addition, it was a major political defeat which lead to the French leaving Indo-China. Militarily speaking, Iraq is not a military defeat. You can argue all you want about the wisdom of going in to Iraq and whether or not it is a political defeat; however, it can hardly be called a military defeat.

I do understand your initial point about errors in judgment; however, I do think the examples are like comparing apples and asparagus.

Its all about underestimating your enemy. The French thought that those skinny Vietnamese men and boys were a pushover. However they didn't realize that those people can live for 2 weeks on a bowl of rice and sleep in the rain. I believe it was Pierre Schoendorfer who remarked on this in the preface to a wonderfully illustrated work about Indo Chine whose title escapes me at present. Similarily, the American government completely dismissed a possible insurgency using unheard of guerilla tactics, ex. IED's

There was a fine piece of reporting on I believe CNN where an insurgent from Jordan was interviewed. He relates that he had been in Iraq several times to kill Americans. He said it was fun and very easy. All you had to do was wait in an apartment until a patrol comes by, then push the curtain aside, point your gun and kill the first American riding in a Humvee you see.

I still don't get it. The French suffered a resounding military defeat for a variety of reasons and they incurred a large amount of casualties. In Iraq the insurgents have not militarily accomplished that much other than blowing up a lot of civilians and some American troops. Although the number of US casualties are a major concern, militarily they have are not that large. From what I have read, US forces have adapted reasonably well to insurgent tactics. I have an old college roomate that is a major in the USMC and that seems to be his take on the situation on the ground.

As I said, reasonable minds can disagree politically over Iraq but I still don't get the military comparison.

I don't watch cable news so I didn't see the interview. I wasn't aware that American causalties were the result of snipers, perhaps a bit of bravado on the part of the young man.

Well maybe if we knew what we're trying to gain, that would be a start. Anytime 1 person dies for an unknown cause, that's a burden you and I have to carry.

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