With regard to Iraq, there is one Vietnam analogy that does work–and it’s not the quagmire one.

Ann Coulter (since I seem to be writing about tough-minded women today) points out that, as in Vietnam, this is a war the media could lose for us:

“Abu Ghraib is the new Tet offensive,” writes Coulter. “By lying about the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War, the media managed to persuade Americans we were losing the war, which demoralized the nation and caused us to lose the war. And people say reporters are lazy.”

Coulter writes that negative reporting on the Tet offensive was probably a key factor in the decline of public support for the war: It fell to around 25 percent.

I’ve never been able to make up my mind about the Vietnam War–but I know that this one must be won. As Coulter points out, the enemy we faced in Vietnam wasn’t nearly as dangerous, or as unpredictable, as the one we face today.

The press is playing a dangerous game:

“The goalpost of success keeps shifting as we stack up a string of victories,” writes Coulter. “Before the war, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof warned that war with Iraq would be a nightmare: ‘[W]e won’t kill Saddam, trigger a coup or wipe out his Republican Guard forces.’ (Unless, he weaseled his way out, ‘we’re incredibly lucky.’)
“We’ve done all that! How incredibly lucky.
“Kristof continued: ‘We’ll have to hunt out Saddam on the ground — which may be just as hard as finding Osama in Afghanistan, and much bloodier.”
“We’ve captured Saddam! And it wasn’t bloody! Indeed, the most harrowing aspect of Saddam’s capture was that he hadn’t bathed or been de-liced for two months.
“Kristof also said: ‘Our last experience with street-to-street fighting was confronting untrained thugs in Mogadishu, Somalia. This time we’re taking on an army with possible bio- and chemical weapons, 400,000 regular army troops and supposedly 7 million more in Al Quds militia.’
“And yet, somehow, our boys defeated them in just six weeks! Incredibly lucky again! And just think: all of this accomplished without even having a ‘Plan.'”