Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Deluded Bush Using Vietnam War To Prop Up Iraq War

Talk about twisting the past to perpetuate a twisted present…talk about having no capacity to draw from the lessons of history…talk about a clear cut case of crazy…

 In a speech yesterday at the VFW convention, President Bush used the Vietnem War as an example of why America shouldn’t withdraw from Iraq. I’ll try to disseminate.

“There are many differences between the wars we fought in the Far East and the war on terror we’re fighting today. But one important similarity is at their core — they are ideological struggles. The militarists of Japan and the communists in Korea and Vietnam were driven by a merciless vision for the proper ordering of humanity. They killed Americans because we stood in the way of their attempt to force their ideology on others. Today the names and places have changed, but the fundamental character of the struggle has not changed. Like our enemies in the past, the terrorists who wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places seek to spread a political vision of their own — a harsh plan for life that crushes freedom, tolerance and dissent.”

Uhhh, okay. So Japan killed Americans because we wanted to stop their ideological spread? Sorry, nope. Japan attacked the US because we were a barrier to their resource problems. We went back after them because they attacked us. Wrong analogy Georgie. And the Korean and Viettnam Wars were not wars targeting America until America went to those places. True, in the later two the ostensible cause was to stop the spread of communism, but there was never a danger of communists taking over America, just as today there is no danger of Islamic radicalism taking over America. And talk about crushing freedom, tolerance, and dissent? Can anyone say spying on Americans without a warrant, gay bashing, and White House manuals about how to marginalize or remove protestors from presidential events?

Another snip:

“Whatever your position is on that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens, whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like “boat people,” “re-educatio n camps” and “killing fields.”"

What Bush does not say though is that the wars in Indochina were already simmering before American involvement occurred. If anything, the injection of American troops in Korea, and especially Vietnam, increased the length of those conflicts and increased the number of casualities. That millions were killed after the US left those areas was not due to the US leaving, but rather to it’s having gone there in the first place. Had we never even gone, there would have been no “collaborato rs” for the new regimes to massacre. There would have been no influx of rebels in neighboring countries like Cambodia or Laos, or if there were, they might not have taken hold of those nations as they did, negating the massive killings there.

Then Bush goes on to say that if America had stayed in Vietnam longer, 9-11 may never have even occurred. HUH?!?

“There’s another price to our withdrawal from Vietnam, and we can hear it in the words of the enemy we face in today’s struggle — those who came to our soil and killed thousands of citizens on September the 11th, 2001.”

So what? Is Bush now saying it’s our own fault we were attacked on 9-11? That’s a bit of a departure from his usual story, no? Gee, you mean if we’d just stayed in Vietnam longer, al-Qaeda never would have been born? Islamist radicalism would have never taken root? Why? Would our continued destruction and death have scared the USSR away from Afghanistan, the birthing grounds of todays al-Qaeda? Give me a freaking break.

Then he trots out the old fear line again:

“Unlike in Vietnam, if we were to withdraw before the job was done, this enemy would follow us home. And that is why for the security of the United States of America, we must defeat them overseas so we do not face them in the United States of America”

Is anyone still buying this crap? If they want to fight us here, they can. We have few controls to stop terrorists from coming across our borders, despite the rhetoric from Washington. That we are in Iraq is of no consequence, except to provide one hell of a training ground for the bad guys. When they’re ready to come here again, they will. No number of US deaths in Iraq will change that fact.

Former government officials from the Vietnam era have disputed Bush’s remarks and their contextual relevance. An advisor to former presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, David Gergen, had this to say:

“He may well have stirred up a hornet’s nest among historians,” Gergen stated. “By invoking Vietnam, he raised the automatic question, ‘Well, if you’ve learned so much from history, Mr. President, how did you ever get us involved in another quagmire?”

And that’s the real question, isn’t it.

Bush, Iraq, Vietnam, David Gergen, idiot+Bush

Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • del.icio.us
  • De.lirio.us
  • digg
  • Fark
  • Reddit

5 Responses to “Deluded Bush Using Vietnam War To Prop Up Iraq War”

  1. Well, Ken, you saved me the labor of having to schlog through the text and beat me to the punch here. I got side tracked by work…what I find completely offensive from W’s Vietnam parallel and his complete and utter abuse of history by ignoring the full lessons of such example is the way he wrangles the heaping lump of blame on the GIs who were told to go to Vietnam for leaving:

    The question now before us comes down to this: Will today’s generation of Americans resist the deceptive allure of retreat and do in the Middle East what veterans in this room did in Asia?

    First, strategic withdrawal is not the same as retreat. What the exit strategy is, is truly a much more important question than the politically charged and blame laced question above. Second, who made the decision to pull the troops out of Vietnam was not made by the Veterans in the room yesterday. Vietnam Vets rightfully should be extremely pissed at this question raised by W. It was their civilian leaders who had a poor strategy to begin with - much like the current situation we are in.

    More importantly, Bush’s Vietnam parallel ignores all the completely different aspects of that war and the “war” in Iraq. and whether it was good for Vietnam is questionable  , but in the long run, Vietnam isn’t such a bad place for our leaving today, is it? I know there are people who have visited there recently and can attest to that better than I.

    So, it comes down to this. If the President is going to trot out Vietnam as an example, he can’t self select the only parallels and ignore the complete history. If we are better off for having left Vietnam alone as is Vietnam today, then who’s to say that the same thing wouldn’t happen if we did the same thing in Iraq?

    I’m not advocating immediate retreat, but a strategic redeployment and reassignment of mission may actually work to more effectively extinguish the terrorist threat than the current strategy, no? The answer to that question is maybe, but we won’t know until we try. At least at this point, the existing strategy of going forward only appears to be leading us over the waterfall the good ship America is sailing toward, with no one at the rudder to turn her around.

  2. Ken, you don’t know what you’re talking about:

    What Bush does not say though is that the wars in Indochina were already simmering before American involvement occurred. If anything, the injection of American troops in Korea, and especially Vietnam, increased the length of those conflicts and increased the number of casualities. That millions were killed after the US left those areas was not due to the US leaving, but rather to it’s having gone there in the first place. Had we never even gone, there would have been no “collabora to rs” for the new regimes to massacre.

    That’s utter rubbish. Stalin in the 1930s and Mao in the 1960s managed to murder tens of millions of their own people, all without the “benefit” of U.S. involvement.   Why? Because that is what Communists do; murder people, godammit!!! Haven’t you figured that out? That’s what the Communists would have done in Vietnam whether we were there or not, that’s what the Communists would have done in Cambodia whether we were there or not, that’s what the Communists have done in North Korea whether we were there or not. That’s what they did in Eastern Europe and we weren’t involved in those countries either. Because that is what Communists do; murder people!!!

    So Japan killed Americans because we wanted to stop their ideological spread? Sorry, nope. Japan attacked the US because we were a barrier to their resource problems. We went back after them because they attacked us. Wrong analogy Georgie.

    Nothing wrong with Georgie’s analysis, Kenny:

    The militarists of Japan and the communists in Korea and Vietnam were driven by a merciless vision for the proper ordering of humanity. They killed Americans because we stood in the way of their attempt to force their ideology on others.

    Who were in charge of Japan when they attacked us? That’s right, the militarists.   What were they doing? Conquering southeast Asia in order to garner all of the natural resources of those countries while forcing them to adhere to being servile to the Japanese Empire. They tried to knock us out because we were in the way (the U.S. was the only country that could stop them, provided we had the will; we did). Same as bin Laden; his goal is to re-create a caliphate, and he believes we are the only country that can stop him, provided we have the will; that question is up for debate as most of America does, but not the leftists in the media or the government).   And by the way, leftists have been bringing up Vietnam incessantly over the last 5 years, and bringing up the wrong conclusions.   About time we heard the right thing.

  3. Steve,

    Just because you say Ken doesn’t know what he’s talking about doesn’t mean that you are right and he is wrong.

    Here’s another insightful commentary on this unfortunate Vietnam Political Parlor Trick that the W, Rove and Co is trying to use as a wedge to win back support for their unpopular Iraq conflagratio n. Which, by the way, if you are going to use Vietnam as an example, you can select only the parts about it that you think are handy to make your point. In that respect, you didn’t hear the “right thing,” or to you mean right with a capital R?

    Unlike George W. Bush and 5-deferments Dick Cheney, I served in Vietnam (1966-67). I was there when 500,000 troops were in and around the combat zone. What do you do when you can’t get the job done with a half million troops? Send in another half million? President Johnson had all the forces he needed to weed out the VC and expel NVA troops. Until the Tet offensive in 1968, the American people were behind Johnson, too. We threw everything we had into the Vietnam War. Contrary to Republican mythology, no one knifed us in the back.

    One of our problems then was the weak and corrupt South Vietnam government and its army, also weak and corrupt. Another problem was our embrace of the so-called domino theory. The domino theory ignored over 1,000 years of tensions between the Chinese and the indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia. We assumed, incorrectly, that the Vietnamese would gladly accept Red Chinese domination. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that we realized how wrong we were about the domino theory. Now we are trading partners with Vietnam. Is Bush saying that is not a good outcome?

    Today, in Iraq, we have another weak government. Today, in our own country, we have a bunch of theorists— the neoconservat ives—who have tried to impose their seriously flawed ideological view of the world onto American foreign policy. In that sense, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War are similar.

    If we learned anything from our experience in Vietnam, we should begin an orderly redeployment so the Iraqis can get on with their lives. It is their country, not ours. It is their oil, not ours. If we are smart and work hard at it, we might even have a good relationship with the Iraqis for many years to come.

    We are not living in a Rambo movie. I don’t know who is advising Bush to use the Vietnam War as a wedge to get his way in Iraq, but it is not going to fly. Bush’s invocation of the Vietnam War is a loser’s argument.

  4. Windspike, that’s just more BS. You people don’t have a lock on using Vietnam for your own purposes, and have been loudly using it for years. If you don’t like those who are using the real lessons from Vietnam, too bad.

  5. Steve, you’re saying that a true Vietnam Vet that I quoted above is BS? Okay, I’m all ears. What are your tips that we should head as lessons from Vietnam?

Leave a Reply

Fish.Travel