Category Archives: Vietnam War

Mitt Romney: Fortunate Son

The memory hole has coughed up another Mitt Romney embarassment, this one the ultimate flippy-floppy. Not sure how I missed it when it first surfaced in January but for what it’s worth: in 1966 Mitt Romney was one of 150 conservative students at Stanford University picketing in favor of the Vietnam War draft.

He’s the guy on the far right holding the “Speak Out, Don’t Sit In” sign:

Pro-War, Pro-Draft

Well, I’m sure since young Mitt was such a supporter of the Vietnam War that took so many of his peers he didn’t skirt his patriotic duty, right? Since he’s out there holding a sign and everything supporting the draft? Aw, be serious:

[Romney], meanwhile, never served in south-east Asia because his status as a Mormon missionary exempted him from the draft.

The GOP hopeful spent just one year at Stanford before heading to France for 30 months of missionary work.

He had already met his future wife Ann in 1965 when he was 18 and she was 15. The couple married in 1969 and have five sons and 16 grandchildren.

Isn’t that special. Mitt Romney was happy to join a student counter-protest supporting the Vietnam War and the drafting of his fellow students, but he “served” in France trying to win converts to the Mormon church. Just another Republican chickenhawk, pushing for the little people to get drafted into a war that he refused to join himself.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, chickenhawks, Mitt Romney, Vietnam War

>Oh The Irony

>Communism means stability? That’s what corporate America thinks, according to this column in today’s WaPo:

Vietnam’s edge, it seems, is political. “Communism means more stability,” Laurence Shu, the chief financial officer of Shanghai-based Texhong, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cotton fabrics, told Bradsher. This view, Bradsher reports, is common among Asian executives and some American executives, too, though they have the presence of mind never to say so on the record. After all, Vietnam, like China, outlaws independent unions. Absent free speech and free elections, no radical shifts in the government’s economic policies are likely to be sprung upon unsuspecting American businesses.

Now, far be it from me to begrudge the Vietnamese their moment in the sun before global capital finds them too costly and moves on to Bangladesh and Somalia. But didn’t we fight a war to keep Vietnam from going communist? Something like 58,000 American deaths, right? And now American business actually prefers investing in communist Vietnam over, say, the more or less democratic Philippines? In all likelihood, it would prefer investing in communist Vietnam to investing in a more chaotic, less disciplined democratic Vietnam, if such existed.

Ah, yes. The old “stability” question. American businesses and the American government have always preferred dealing with totalitarian regimes, for the same reason: “stability.”

Remember this?

So why did we fight in Vietnam? Meyerson has a few ideas, but this one seems to make the most sense:

American business, backed by the American government, has realized that the problem with communism wasn’t that it was undemocratic but that it was anti-capitalist. And that once communism was integrated into a world capitalist system, its antipathy toward democracy not only wouldn’t be a bad thing but would actually be good.

Because when all is said and done, fighting to save capitalism has to be a good thing, right?

Which makes me wonder about why we’re in Iraq. Saddam had nationalized his oil companies, cutting out Western interests. What other “anti-capitalist” ideas was he harboring? In September 2000 Saddam announced he was switching to the euro frpm dollars for its oil currency. This article suggests Iraq is our first oil currency war:

Candidly stated, ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ was a war designed to install a pro-U.S. government in Iraq, establish multiple U.S military bases before the onset of global Peak Oil, and to reconvert Iraq back to petrodollars while hoping to thwart further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency (i.e. “petroeuro”).

Iraq switched back to petrodollars in June 2003–three months after the invasion. Pure coincidence? I don’t think so.

Vietnam will end up with the government it was always meant to have, whether we had invaded or not. So will Iraq.

Whether we’re there or not.

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Filed under Iraq War, Vietnam War