Dowd, On Iraq, Longs For Good Old Days Of Surrender to Communist Dictators Of Vietnam

November 25th, 2006 6:01 AM

Maureen Dowd: law-and-order fan? And here I thought liberals like to pose as champions of human rights . . .

But consider Dowd's idea of an Iraq solution: find brutal dictators to whom we can surrender and who will impose "law and order." Working model: the US capitulation to the Communist dicators of Hanoi.

The title of her subscription-required column of this morning, No One to Lose To, says it all. Dowd's biggest regret is, yes, that there's no obvious thug, or thugocracy, to whom to surrender. Dowd approvingly quotes Neil Sheehan, a former Times reporter in Vietnam who wrote “A Bright Shining Lie” as saying:

“In Vietnam, there were just two sides to the civil war. You had a government in Hanoi with a structure of command and an army and a guerrilla movement that would obey what they were told to do. So you had law and order in Saigon immediately after the war ended. In Iraq, there’s no one like that for us to lose to and then do business with.”

Lose to and "do business with"? That is certainly not the lesson of Vietnam. When the Communists took over in the wake of our withdrawal, their only "business" was subjecting the Vietnamese people to a dictatorship so brutal that 1-2 million people risked - and often lost -their lives to flee as boat people. Not to mention the millions slaughtered in the killing fields of Cambodia. The "domino effect," so derided as an illusion by the left, became a deadly reality.

So, Maureen longs for a dictator who will impose "law and order"? Wasn't she part of the same crowd condemning various administrations for doing just that with strong men from Batista to the Shah to Pinochet? But hey, a lady's always entitled to change her mind. Should we look for Dowd to pop up in Baghdad sometime soon, leading a "Bring Back Saddam" movement?

Finkelstein recently returned from a trip to Iraq. Contact him at