Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vietnam, again

I'm flabbergasted by Bush's speech today to the VFW comparing Iraq to Vietnam. Isn't that what we've been saying all along? Didn't they all call us crazy?

Of course, our perception of Vietnam is different than George's. After all, he was there...ummm, sorry, NOT! At any rate, those of us who were against the war in Vietnam, and are now against the war in Iraq, see it quite differently still.

Finally, there's Vietnam. This is a complex and painful subject for many Americans. The tragedy of Vietnam is too large to be contained in one speech. So I'm going to limit myself to one argument that has particular significance today. Then as now, people argued the real problem was America's presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end.
...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-education camps," and "killing fields."

And then, this:
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're ideological struggles.

Nobody expected the killing would end. But it would be the people who cared about Vietnam killing each other, and it wouldn't last long. And didn't.
'Killing Fields'? That was Cambodia. And, there are plenty of Iraqis, and Iraqi refugees, suffering now.
And last, ideology. We were in that war for ideological reasons, but were the Vietnamese? I don't think so. They were in it to save their country, and unite it if possible. And if we were in this new war for ideology, wouldn't we be concentrating on Afghanistan?

But then, that's how we were divided back then. Still are. Some comments: Pensito Review; Talking Points Memo; Think Progress; AmericaBlog...

Here's Tribune's The Swamp, on Bush's bizarre citing of Graham Greene's scathing novel on 'The Quiet American' in Vietnam:
But Greene wrote his book about the way American bumbled into Vietnam, not how it left it.
By reminding people of Greene's book, Bush was inviting listeners to recall the mistakes his administration made in entering and prosecuting the Iraq War. Did he really want to do that?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home