It has not been uncommon over the last several words to hear allusions to the “v word” – Vietnam. Supporters of the war have squashed any analogy with our Asian adventure, often claiming that Iraq is a very different place and that any historical analogies fail. Today, Mr. Bush reversed tactics, trying to co-opt the “lessons” of Vietnam to provide support for his continued bungling in Iraq.
What lessons are we supposed to take from Vietnam? According to Mr. Bush, we are supposed to see that “failure” in Vietnam was a result of loss of will; that withdrawal of our troops led to carnage; and that our country’s image was damaged not because of our inept involvment in Asia but because we left.
While those close to Mr. Bush claim he is actually an intelligent man with an inquisitive mind a good grasp of history, his public face rarely supports these rumors. Today’s speech is no less an example of why the President’s intelligence is often questioned. Mr. Bush is trying to turn the lessons of Vietnam on their heads. His comments show either a complete lack of understanding or a blatant disregard for the truth. He either does not understand history, or he is willfully distorting the past and essentially lying to the American public. Of course, those who would look to a partying frat boy who ditched out on his national guard service as an appropriate source to learn history probably should have their own intelligence questioned.
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