Iraq and Yemen: Watch how we label the enemy or we risk making the same mistakes in that we did in Vietnam.
Yemen, Iraq, and more infamously the Vietnam War all have seen U.S. foreign policy stumble badly because of faulty logic in the facile application of highly abstract labels to describe the participants. For example, in Vietnam, at the height of the Cold War, Ho Chi Minh and his followers were given the most highly charged label of that time period: “communists.” It implied a threatening enemy of the United States, a tool of the Chinese Communists, and, to use an even more confusingly abstract term, the “free world.” All of the “free world” knew (or more precisely thought they knew), about the inevitable militant class conflict that Communist theoreticians Karl Marx and Vladimir Illyich Lenin predicted. War with the communists therefore was inevitable. From the right-wing came the book by Cleon Skouson, “The Naked Communist,” which posited that communists, like Aldous Huxley’s “Big-Brother” were in the process of creating “Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters.” The communists were aided, he...Read More