Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dogs Tail

I always remember the old story about the elderly woman who when she noticed that her friends’ dog had its tail cut off (docking its called) asked her friend how it was done. Well, the friend replied: the Vet just cut the tail off and stitched up the cut and that was it. My God, the woman opined, that was cruel to cut it all off at once, wouldn’t it have been kinder if they had done it a little at a time.

The story reminds me of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We assume that troop withdrawal a little at a time will be less painful then just docking. Yet all the evidence from Vietnam points the other way. There we just left and eventually the country was united and free and is now one of our friends and we trade with them. The soldiers who fought in the war go back and visit. Both old Saigon and Hanoi are tourist spots frequented by Americans and the rest of the world. Their shrimp is sold here by the tons at a price we can not match.

Freud had it figured out for his miraculous cures: you had to face the devils that haunt you and either overcome them or accept them. And it is still true today. The world has to face the fact that dreadful as it may have been, the way to Vietnams’ peace was to go through the horror of coming together. No one can pave the way for you; the facts must be faced squarely and accepted or else they lie in waiting to torment you forever.

We were wrong in Vietnam and we were and are wrong in Iraq and now even Afghanistan. Facing the Vietnam situation will allow us to accept the withdrawal from Iraq.

No comments:

Post a Comment