Always face the curtain with a bow.

Sami Ramadani in this morning’s Guardian compares the “propaganda about Iraq’s elections” to the vote held in South Vietnam in 1967. It is a theme you might have read or heard elsewhere in the past few days.

By coincidence, Christopher Hitchens has an article in Slate today on the very same subject and argues that there is no reasonable parallel of any sort between Iraq and Vietnam.

Having made a series of points about the many, many differences between Iraq and Vietnam (and in particular between the Vietcong and the Jihadi-Ba’athist alliance) Hitchens concludes:

I suppose it’s obvious that I was not a supporter of the Vietnam War. Indeed, the principles of the antiwar movement of that epoch still mean a good deal to me. That’s why I retch every time I hear these principles recycled, by narrow minds or in a shallow manner, in order to pass off third-rate excuses for Baathism or jihadism.

But one must also be capable of being offended objectively. The Vietnam/Iraq babble is, from any point of view, a busted flush. It’s no good. It’s a stiff. It’s passed on. It has ceased to be. It’s joined the choir invisible. It’s turned up its toes. It’s gone. It’s an ex-analogy.

It won’t stop the analogy from being flogged around for a few more days yet though.

As for the Monty Python theme:

Life’s a piece of shit,
When you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show.
Keep ’em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.