Bush doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word consistency .. or integrity. He'll say anything to sell his failed Iraq policy, talking nonsense and stalling so he can pass his colossal mess on to a Democrat -- who will get us out of it and then the GOP will blame the Democrats for losing Bush's war. Karl Rove designed this strategy of fraud and deception, I just know he did.
Reporter's question in 2004: How do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy. Look, this is hard work. It's hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation's interest. [Press Conference by the President, 4/13/04]
From the Washington Post, 2007: "President Bush defended his ongoing military commitment in Iraq by linking the conflict there to the Vietnam War, arguing Wednesday that withdrawing U.S. troops would lead to widespread death and suffering as it did in Southeast Asia three decades ago."
Bush delivered this speech to the VFW convention. Again -- polite applause, no standing ovation on his strongest arguments. You might be able to fool the guys who depend on Rush Limbaugh for all their news, but you can't fool the vets anymore.
Yep, Iraq isn't like Vietnam, until it suits the preznit .. and just when you think he couldn't possibly come up with a more asinine statement, he tops himself. It's amazing and frightening at the same time.
See, this Iraq-is-like-Vietnam flip-flop serves more than one purpose -- to make the case for the war now and to prepare the way for the politics of what happens after withdrawal. The Righties will say, "See what you traitors have done! Poor Iraq is another Vietnam, and it's all your fault, you made us lose!"
They'll re-write history and spin Iraq six ways to Sunday .. because they'll sink to any low to avoid taking any responsibility for what they have done.
Bush is using the wrong history lesson. Is he saying that we should NOT have withdrawn from Vietnam, that the war should have gone on? That Vietnam was not a failure because it was a terrible war, but because it wasn't waged effectively? That the US withdrew too soon, because liberals and peaceniks and other traitors kicked up a fuss and got their way?
So the Iraq war isn't really a failure at all .. it just looks that way? And victory, whatever that means, is right around the corner? Just give it a chance to succeed .. even now, five years after it started.
Historians are going to have a ball with this.
Historian Robert Dallek (who has written about the comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam) accused Bush of twisting history.
“It just boggles my mind, the distortions I feel are perpetrated here by the president,” he said in a telephone interview.
“We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn’t work our will,” he said.
“What is Bush suggesting? That we didn’t fight hard enough, stay long enough? That’s nonsense. It’s a distortion,” he continued. “We’ve been in Iraq longer than we fought in World War II. It’s a disaster, and this is a political attempt to lay the blame for the disaster on his opponents. But the disaster is the consequence of going in, not getting out."
Another historian said Vietnam was not a bunch of sectarian groups fighting each other .. that in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge toppled a US-backed government.
Bush speaks of the violence in the wake of American withdrawal from Vietnam. Maybe this happened because the US left too late, not too early. Expanding the war opened the door to Pol Pot and the genocide of the Khmer Rouge.
The longer you stay the worse it gets. That's the lesson Bush needs to learn from the Vietnam war.
Yes, thousands of Vietnamese were killed after we left, and hundreds of thousands were exiled to “re-education” camps. But, by the early 1970s, at the worst of the American bombing, we were killing hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese .. and millions were being exiled from their homes.
The 30-percenters call war opponents patchouli-smellin' hippies .. and I'll just bet ol' Bush and Cheney wish the military had let them go fight in Vietnam, because they would have won that war for us.
Seriously folks, leaving a conflict will always result in more death and destruction.
After we leave, Iraq will overthrow their puppet government (although it might happen any day now) and install a Sunni strongman to rule the country.
In other words, nothing will change.