Friday, September 4, 2009

Vietnam v2.0

Why is there no large scale public opposition to the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq? Some think it has to do with the US Military's handling of the media. When the Iraq war started people thought that "embedded" reporters were a great leap forward for war correspondence and we were going to get the deep insight to the way our military fights wars. The truth is that the military did this as a way to more tightly control what was being reported. So much so that when a picture of a mortally wounded US Serviceman appears it causes a furor among military and political circles.

This got me thinking. I've seen hundreds of gun camera videos and pictures of insurgents being wiped out but I've seen a handful of pictures of wounded or dead Americans. The only video of wounded US soldiers that comes to mind was one that I saw from a foreign media outlet. I'm not saying that I WANT to see that or that it is fit for public consumption but it was those kind of images that caused massive public outcries against the Vietnam War. Of course it's debatable how much effect public opinion had on ending the Vietnam war compared to the reality of the situation tactically. But that situation could just as easily end up happening in Afghanistan....the Russians were there for ten years and made little progress.

In May of 2010 the current war in Afghanistan (2001-Present) will officially pass up Vietnam (1964-1973) as this country's longest war.

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