is making attempts to form an Iraqi legitimate state contrary to a background of insurgency, resulting in American death tolls and slight approval at home" (Grigg 12).
"In Vietnam, we were making attempts to support the government that possessed too little legitimacy. But in Iraq, we're making attempts to form a government as well as back it up in such a way that it can advance legitimacy. And the things are utterly difficult to fulfill," explained W. Andrew Terrill (29).
American policymakers have turned down ideas that Iraq, currently a major American battle-front front against terrorism, represents a Vietnam-like morass for 135,000 American troops that are inside the country. Though, for example, Terrill and Record consider there are very few war similarities between Iraq and Vietnam, when Communist armed forces supported by the U.S.S.R. and China defeated 500,000 U American troops (20).
Despite this facts and ideas the authors of the report called Iraq and Vietnam: Differences, Similarities and Insights caution against dreadful after-effects in the case when the Vietnamese political lessons leave unnoticed. "Reiteration of those Iraqi debacles might result in pernicious after-effects for the American foreign policy," they add (57).
The Vietnam War took the lives of not only 58,000 Americans but of 3,000,000 Vietnamese as well. Undoubtedly neither the U.S.A. nor the Iraqi people nor the rest of the world wants to see such horror events once again.
Some experts consider that resemblance between Iraq and Vietnam is shallow but at the same time deep. This shallow resemblance is fully understandable and must serve just to attract our attention. Though the deeper resemblance must form policy and compel to choose alternatives that should appeal to our fears if they can result in the outcome possibly even more disastrous than during the Vietnam War (Hanson 33).
America's involvement in Vietnam has, as a result, attracted much critical scrutiny, frequently addressed to the question, "Who was guilty" - "Who led the United States into this tragedy" A more enlightening question, it seems, is "How and why did this tragedy occur" The study of Vietnam should be a search for explanation and understanding, rather than for scapegoats.
Focusing on one important period in this long and complicated story-the brief but critical months from November 1964 to July 1965, when America crossed the threshold from limited to large-scale war in Vietnam - helps to answer that question. For the crucial decisions of this period resulted from the interplay of longstanding ideological attitudes, diplomatic assumptions, and political pressures with decisive contemporaneous events in America and Vietnam (Powell 73).
Victory in World War II produced a sea change in America's perception of its role in world affairs. Political leaders of both parties embraced a sweepingly new vision of the