Iraq = Vietnam, According to White House

Aug 22 2007 Published by under Uncategorized

In yet another moment guaranteed to make you wonder if there's been a mass defection of writers from the Daily Show to the White House, President Bush is expected to argue later today that the war in Iraq is, in fact, very similar to the war in Vietnam. Before you drop to the ground in shock, I should probably add that this does not appear to indicate in any way, shape, or form that the White House has suddenly discovered the appeal of reality. The comparison with Vietnam is apt, according to White House-released excerpts from a speech that the president will deliver later, because we shouldn't have pulled out of Vietnam, and we shouldn't pull out of Iraq, either:

The president will also make the argument that withdrawing from Vietnam emboldened today's terrorists by compromising U.S. credibility, citing a quote from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that the American people would rise against the Iraq war the same way they rose against the war in Vietnam, according to the excerpts.

"Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility, but the terrorists see things differently," Bush will say.

You know what? The man's got a point. If we don't continue to hold our hand in a blender for no good reason now, why on earth would our enemies believe that we'll hold our hand in a blender for no good reason sometime in the future? We'd better make sure that we don't pull away from the spinning blades, because we want the bad guys to know that they will never, ever be able to get us to pull our hand out until we want to pull our hand out. That is absolutely a good enough reason for shoving the bloody stump farther and farther into the blades.

6 responses so far

  • blf says:

    Nuts! I cannot find it now, but quite some time ago (as I recall) one of the many excellent blogs here at SciBlogs excerpted a report (of a conversation in the White House?) along the lines that "'strong' leadership does not change its plan when things go wrong, look at Vietnam, had the USA not changed and left, yadda yadda yadda&hellip"--very similar (as I now recall) to what is now being argued, albeit I don't recall the "emboldening terrorists" bullshite. Anyways, allowing for my flaky memory, this type of garbagethought thus seems to be a constant for, or at least consistently reappearing from, that clique of muttonheads.

  • bigTom says:

    Many have predicted this. Vietnam, an experience we are guaranteed to repeat. Just think how this mentality makes us vulnerable to those who would hurt us.
    (1) Create a new blender. (2) Invite in US. (3) Turn on. (4) Watch the US tear itself apart over the issue of withdrawing.
    Repeat as necessary.

  • eewolf says:

    So, an administration full of people who avoided serving in Vietnam is now saying that that war was a "good" war.
    A war that cost more than 50,000 American lives and 3,000,000 Vietnamese lives just wasn't long enough? How many more lives, how much more suffering, how much more destruction would have "won" that conflict?
    These people should not be allowed within a mile of the Vietnam Memorial. I had friends whose names are now written there. They are being degraded by these shitheads for political and monetary gain.
    I can't wait for the "pale afternoon" to arrive.

  • Metro says:

    Hey, hey, hey ... waitasecond ... they've been saying all along that the Quagmire War ... sorry, Gulf War II, sorry ... the Glorious War of Emancipation in Iraq is not at all like Vietnam, all this time.
    And since they're all actually participating in this one, I've tended to believe them.
    But ... but ... if they were wrong on this, then maybe they were wrong about other things too! I wonder what sort of things those could be?
    Feh ... I used to be disgusted, now I just laugh hollowly and await the chimpeachment.

  • KeithB says:

    I wish we could put Tuchman's _March of Folly_ on GWB's nightstand.
    I believe she characterized this kind of thinking as "woodenheadedness"

  • blf says:

    The new Caesar has finally completely lost all his screws and, according to The Guardian, made this batshite eccentric argument. The leader (op-ed) commenting on the speech is a minor classic (emphasis added):

    It is surely a sign of desperation in the White House that President Bush yesterday cited the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975 as a reason for not withdrawing from Iraq any time soon. ...
    In effect, Mr Bush was urging Americans to be patient about Iraq on the grounds that unpopular conflicts elsewhere have come good in the end (or would have done eventually in the case of Vietnam if Congress been less obstructive). Far from stiffening the public's resolve, though, this may do little more than raise questions about the president's eccentric view of history and the conclusions he draws from it - including his attempt in yesterday's speech to equate Japan in the 1940s with al-Qaida today.
    His view of the US withdrawal from Vietnam ... is bizarre too. It was not withdrawal but intervention in neighbouring Cambodia that led to the killing fields. Anger at American bombing ... brought down the Cambodian government and triggered the Khmer Rouge's brutal revolution.
    Comparisons between Japan in 1945 and Iraq today are also unhelpful and misleading. The US occupation of Japan, which lasted until 1952, followed a war - not an invasion launched under false pretences - and Emperor Hirohito was allowed to remain as head of a unified country, untroubled by the divisive conflicts now raging in Iraq.
    ...
    "To withdraw without getting the job done would be devastating," the president warned. But how, exactly, can the job be done? All Mr Bush could offer yesterday was the blithe observation that pessimists had been proved wrong about Japan - and so, presumably, the dwindling number of optimists about Iraq will eventually be proved right, somehow.

    Also, the USA recognised the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government of Cambodia, and continued to do so once the killing fields became publicly known--because otherwise they would have had to admit North Vietnam's invasion may have had some merit.