5 Oct 2005

Iraq in danger of becoming another Vietnam, says American Samoa congressman

4:41 pm on 5 October 2005

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says the war in Iraq is in danger of becoming another Vietnam for the US.

A seventh American Samoan soldier has died in Iraq, leaving the territory with the highest per capita casualty rate in the US.

Faleomavaega admits public opinion in the territory, like in mainland US, is increasingly against a military presence in Iraq.

He says everyone wants to see their troops return home but adds that the US must fulfill its commitments in rebuilding Iraq with a solid democratic government.

But Faleomavaega says the situation in Iraq is proving a lot more difficult than first envisaged and that the poor planning by the US is partly to blame.

"We just don't want another Vietnam. It took us ten years to finally decide to cut and run and that was probably one of the most embarrassing situations for our government, and the fact that we've lost the war in Vietnam. And those of us that served in Vietnam would never want to see this happen again."

American Samoa's delegate to the US congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin