A Man With Real Experience

Yes. When it comes to war and peace we need to heed the words of a man with real experience. Al Gore.

Gore said in 1988 that his experience in Vietnam:
"...didn't change my conclusions about the war being a terrible mistake, but it struck me that opponents to the war, including myself, really did not take into account the fact that there were an awful lot of South Vietnamese who desperately wanted to hang on to what they called freedom. Coming face to face with those sentiments expressed by people who did the laundry and ran the restaurants and worked in the fields was something I was naively unprepared for."
So the war was a mistake. OK. I don't buy that. But Al and I agree that the bigger mistake was abandoning the freedom lovers in South Viet Nam. A mistake the Democrats are intent on repeating in Iraq. How stupid do you have to be to repeat a mistake with truly terrible consequences a second time?

I believe you don't have to be stupid to do that. You have to be a Democrat.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 04.03.08 at 06:26 AM


What does he mean, "what they called freedom"? Does a plutocrat like Al think that anyone who works for a living is enslaved by the normal (and character-building - he should try it sometime) need to support oneself and one's family? What a tool. I do wish there was some way to make him shut up.

Carol   ·  April 3, 2008 8:14 AM

Carol, I agree, but I think Al was doing the usual politician thing of bringing disagreement gently. He shows his liberal bona fides first, stating he was against the war and nodding to the claim that their freedom isn't the same as ours. Only then does he bring the news liberals didn't want to hear - that they had overlooked how the people themselves saw the problem.

There is an enormous problem with this approach. It is a social nicety used to preserve relations with the person you are disagreeing with. It is excellent for use with families, friends, and colleagues. It is a dyadic and small-group strategy. As a persuasive strategy with large groups it is much less effective. The people listening to you agree that you have a point and that you're a wise a good person, but the balancing act you just went through undermines the impact of your claim, and memory of it erodes.

Come to think of it, that's a good strategy for a politician, though. Hmm, I feel a post of my own coming on, unless someone beats me to it.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  April 3, 2008 8:27 AM

Remember, hindsight is not always 20/20.

Veeshir   ·  April 3, 2008 11:56 AM


Very good. Leave a link when you put it up.


M. Simon   ·  April 3, 2008 11:57 AM


So true. However, it can inform us on what the best choices may be for the future.

M. Simon   ·  April 3, 2008 12:31 PM

"I agree that the bigger mistake was abandoning the freedom lovers in South Viet Nam."

This is known as betraying an ally. I've been much amused by the pontification from the left that we should submit to the views of our allies--France is usually meant--at the same time they wish to repeat the Vietnam betrayal in Iraq. They wish the United States to be an unreliable ally (and those you fight with are the real allies, not the holdovers from World War II in the U.N.), and then loftily inform us that their policies will garner the world's good opinion.

Brett   ·  April 3, 2008 1:16 PM

Spot on, Brett. That is because they take "allies" to mean their allies - the international Arts & Humanities Tribe - not America's allies.

It's so easy when you know the language.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  April 3, 2008 1:23 PM

Carol, you are absolutely correct. Putting it that way is both condescending and disbelieving.

Bleepless   ·  April 3, 2008 9:46 PM

The post is finally up, the second of three connected posts about social subtleties: http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2008/04/part-ii-classical-values.html

I'll email you also.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  April 6, 2008 10:16 PM

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