Kommentar

Daniel Ellsberg, mannen som lekket the Pentagon Papers, er intervjuet om WikiLeaks. Lekkasjen er ikke på samme nivå. Dette er rapporter fra felten, mens PP var fra høyeste nivå. En annen ting, som krigsmotstanderne ugjerne snakker om: det finnes ingen tegn til at moralen er synkende. Hæren mangler ikke frivillige. Krigsmotstanden hjemme kan heller ikke sammenlignes med Vietnam.

On the War Logs vs. Pentagon Papers comparison:

The Pentagon Papers dealt with more years. From 1944—World War II—through 1968. You had a vast time span. It was an archive of much of the war itself. It was for most of the war and covered the French-IndoChina war. The Pentagon Papers’ revelations were of the highest level of decision-making. Decision-making by the president, the secretary of state, secretaries of defense, heads of the CIA, commanding generals. The highest level—and those were the most exciting revelations—the extent to which the government had deliberately deceived the American public about events in Vietnam or deluded themselves.

They came at the end of a long war that divided this country more than any war since the Civil War. This is coming during a war that’s an unpopular war, but the revelations aren’t at that level. As far as I can make out, the WikiLeaks logs cover a number of years. But it’s nitty-gritty stuff. Low-level stuff.

Om de militære da og nå?

The American Army in this war is totally different than the Army in Vietnam. The American Army in Afghanistan is an army of volunteers. They’re young men and women who’ve signed up for the military because they think they’ll survive, they’ll be able to get a college education, or they really wanted to be a soldier or Marine.

That wasn’t true in Vietnam. They were drafted or volunteers, and even the volunteers figured they’d eventually get drafted and thought, «I should just get it over with.» They weren’t really volunteers. When they saw how senseless the war was, many of them turned against it.

None of that seems to exist in Afghanistan. The Army and the Marines don’t seem to lack for volunteers. Young men and women are signing up knowing what they’re facing. They accept the danger. They sign up thinking they’ll live through it.

The U.S. Army was destroyed in Vietnam. Fifty-eight thousand Americans died in Vietnam. That’s a hell of a lot of people. I don’t know the exact figure in Afghanistan, but it’s nowhere near that.

Hva forteller disse forskjellene oss? At krigsmotstanderne neppe kommer til å lykkes med å piske opp en ny Vietnam-motstand. Betingelsene er for forskjellige. Opinionen forstår at Taliban er en del av noe mye større, det var ikke FNL på samme måte.

USA har dessuten historien og hukommelsen med seg. Amerikanerne driver aktiv kulegraving av sin historie, og skriver den om og om igjen. Man faller ikke for fristelsen til lettvinte sammenligninger slik 68-generasjonen i Europa gjør. For den er alt Vietnam om igjen. Det betyr at USA er langt sterkere mentalt enn det Europa er. Det er Europa som har de største problemene, ikke USA.

Pentagon Papers Reporter: What the WikiLeaks ‘War Logs’ Tell Us

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