Thoughts On The Book...
We Meant Well
Kelly ThomasSeptember 29 2011
Peter Van Buren’s book(Van Buren was a foreign service officer at the State Department for 23 years), “WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the War for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” is reminiscent of Vietnam in a sense. MAINLY IN BEING STUPID!
I heard Van Buren interviewed on NPR. I’m going to buy the book. Sounds like some good stories, telling us what we already know: We f__ked up bigtime in Iraq by involving ourselves, and once we realize we’ve f__ked up, we compound it by being stupid.
I always ask myself, “Why would a guy like Van Buren write such a book?” I surely can’t answer for him, but think it is out of frustration. He has witnessed all this stupidity and wants to record it and even has something to say in stopping it. Talk about “p___ing in the wind.” Forget it___.
And, the same sort of idiocy continues in Iraq and bigtime in Afghanistan even today. For Van Buren the “powers that be” didn’t appear to give a s__t as he admits that he fell in line too with being stupid.
As a “midget” in the great scheme of things, what is utterly discouraging to me is that “tell all” books like Van Buren’s, which should serve as some sort of “lessons learned” don’t matter for “s__t.” In Vietnam, we would take a piece of ground, give it up. Then we tried Vietnamization, “Win the hearts and minds of the people” (does that sound familiar). Then the “body count” in Nam, the 58,000 lives lost. The soldiers realized Vietnam was BS but kept on. Now, of course, we are still into two wars with less than dubious results-and this is saying it mildly-because we still continue to be stupid, stupid, stupid.
We Meant Well
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