Bush Compares Iraq and Vietnam
Didn’t he used to say they were nothing alike?
Just got done reading this story at C&L about Bush’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Disgusting.
He opens with a series of remarks about how his administration is so concerned with veterans and veteran care that he has authorized more pro veteran programs and more dollars than ever in history. We all know how supportive of veterans he really is. He and the rest of the neocons could give a shit.
Then he goes through a litany of our 20th century wars trying to show how he is handling this one properly so we don’t suffer the mistakes of the past. Is he for real? He tries to draw a parallel between pulling out of Vietnam and Cambodia (?) and what would happen if we pull out of Iraq. Watch the video but a couple of comments.
Before I go any further, I have to make this point. We did not pull out of Vietnam. We were kicked out of Vietnam by a force that we had tried and failed to suppress for a decade. They won, we lost. The mad chaos on the roof of the embassy on that fateful day was not a pullout. It was an escape.
It also should be said that we know Bush is a liar so there is no good reason to believe anything he is going to say at events like this. He would never get away with this speech in front of a random crowd of Americans which is why he never makes speeches in front of random crowds of Americans.
Anyway, as John points out, how could we pull out of Cambodia when we weren’t even there? Aside from our secret bombing runs along the supply routes and insurgent strike teams, we didn’t even have a presence in Cambodia at that time. But Bush tries to paint a picture showing how an American pullout from Cambodia was responsible for the Khmer Rouge genocide. Ridiculous.
America did not cause that horror nor did we do anything to stop it. It was the Communist Vietnamese government who, after we had left, went into Cambodia and finally stopped the Khmer Rouge in 1978. Had we stayed in Vietnam, the Cambodian genocide would have gone on longer.
Next, Bush does not address the millions of dead, wounded, destroyed families, amputees etc that were a direct result of our involvement during the war. Nor does he mention how many more would have become casualties had we stayed and continued to fight. Instead, he talks only about those Vietnamese that died or went to the camps after we left. Rick Perstein makes the excellent point that had we stayed, many more would have been killed and wounded than those who suffered after we left and many of those would have been Americans.
I will add, and of course Nixon and Kissinger realized at the time, that staying would only have caused more casualties. It would not have changed the outcome of the war. Ultimately, the Vietnamese would have won. It was their country. They were willing to die rather than be colonized by an outside power. As are the Iraqis.
The rest of his speech is just the same old crap. One point he often returns to is that Iraq is the center for the fight against terrorism. Many experts agree that, when you follow the money, it becomes obvious that Saudi Arabia is the hub of terrorism, not Iraq. But the royal family are buddies with Bush so he can’t say that. Just another one of his lies.
Transcript of the speech is here.