Like Brett Dillingham (Dec. 1 letters to the editor), I too found strange (to say the least) Michael Heiman's Nov. 30 My Turn regarding how America's invasion of Iraq is comparable to its participation as an ally in World War II.
But Mr. Dillingham asks why Mr. Heiman was comparing World War II to the invasion of Iraq.
Why Mr. Heiman personally went to the trouble to write a piece for the Empire advancing such a historical absurdity I can't know. Perhaps Mr. Heiman is a Republican party supporter or even a party official. Perhaps he is just a dittohead repeating what he's heard Rush or Sean or Ann parroting on their broadcasts for the Republican Party.
But the genesis of the concept is simple and a matter of recent history.
The campaign Karl Rove cooked up to market an invasion of Iraq to the American people had several elements - deliberate spinning and lies about proscribed weapons, Iraqi support for terrorist groups and ties to the Sept. 11 attacks. The idea that freedom and democracy are the same as a pepperoni pizza, the United States of America is Dominos, and we'll deliver it in 30 minutes or less. And a historically nonsensical comparison of invading Iraq with fighting World War II, a marketing angle the Republicans played very prominently.
A corollary principle they used was an absurd comparison between Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler (the latter one of the 20th century's biggest monsters, the former a garden variety despot comparable to similar despots who run China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and too many other counties today).
Obviously, if one is going to market a war to the American people, the slogan, "It'll be just like Vietnam" is not the way to go.
Now that Bush, Cheney and the republicans have created an ungodly mess in Iraq, killed perhaps as many as 30,000 ordinary Iraqis and turned a stable if brutal country into a potential base of operations for terrorist groups, they are again trotting out the World War II comparisons as a distraction.
Mr. Heiman's advocacy for that nonsense may be purely a question of partisanship. But it says a lot that both in early 2003 and late 2005 many ordinary Americans were and are ill-informed enough to fall for it.
Donald R. Douglas