Bush plays the Vietnam card

President George W. Bush on Wednesday warned that a hasty withdrawal from Iraq would trigger a bloodbath like the one in Southeast Asia after the US defeat and retreat from Vietnam.

“Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left,” Bush said in an effort to turn on its head the analogy by critics who liken the Iraq war to the Vietnam quagmire.

“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,’ ‘reeducation camps,’ and ‘killing fields,'” he added.

Bush, speaking to US veterans of 20th century conflicts in Asia, also likened nation-building and military operations in Iraq to democracy-fostering efforts in Japan and the decision to defend South Korea, respectively.

“Even the most optimistic among you probably would not have foreseen that the Japanese would transform themselves into one of America’s strongest and most steadfast allies, or that the South Koreans would recover from enemy invasion to raise up one of the world’s most powerful economies,” he said.

The US president, pleading for patience with his unpopular war-fighting strategy, said those efforts held an important lesson and amounted to a valuable precedent.

“A free Iraq is not going to transform the Middle East overnight, but a free Iraq will be a massive defeat for Al-Qaeda. It will be an example that provides hope for millions throughout the Middle East. It’ll be a friend of the United States. And it’s going to be an important ally” against terrorism, he said.

Less than a month ahead of a key US report on progress in the Iraq war, Bush sought in his address to answer critics calling for a US withdrawal and also to reaffirm his support for embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

“Prime Minister Maliki’s a good guy, good man, with a difficult job, and I support him,” said Bush, seeking to dispel any sense that Washington has been distancing itself from the beleaguered government in Baghdad.

“Many are frustrated by the pace of progress in Baghdad, and I can understand this,” he said. “A free Iraq’s not going to be perfect. A free Iraq will not make decisions as quickly as the country did under the dictatorship.”

Leading Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was one who urged the Iraqi parliament to get rid of Maliki.

She spoke after a top Democratic senator, Carl Levin, hinted after a two-day visit to Iraq that Maliki should go.

“I share Senator Levin’s hope that the Iraqi parliament will replace Prime Minister Maliki with a less divisive and more unifying figure when it returns in a few weeks,” Clinton said in a statement.

In his historical analysis Bush glossed over key differences, such as the fact that Japan, unlike Iraq, was not in the throes of sectarian violence that some have called civil war when Washington tried to plant democracy in the ruins of empire there.

“The important thing on this one is that the president was putting war into historical context,” said a US official, asking to remain anonymous.

“And the important thing for us to remember here is that our relations with Japan, our relations with South Korea and our relations with Vietnam have never been better.”

But Democrats quickly fired back, with Bush’s 2004 rival for the White House, Senator John Kerry, saying it was “not surprising that he (Bush) would oversimplify the differences and overlook the tragic similarities.”

“If the president wants to heed the lessons of Vietnam, he should change course and change course now,” said Kerry.

Bush also drew broad parallels between the global war on terrorism and conflicts in Asia, likening Japan’s 1941 strike on the US Pearl Harbor base to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.

Meanwhile in Iraq, the death toll continued to rise.

Fourteen US troops were killed when their helicopter crashed and a US soldier was killed in Baghdad, bringing the US military death toll since the 2003 invasion to 3,720.

The Iraqi security forces say they have lost at least 12,000 members, while Iraqi civilian death estimates range from 70,000 to 655,000.

In a television interview Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that his country would fall apart and regional wars would break out if US-led coalition forces were suddenly to withdraw.

“The sudden withdrawal of American troops in Iraq would cause the collapse of Iraq and will lead to the disintegration of and division within Iraq,” he told US-funded Alhurra Television in an interview.

“Sudden withdrawal would also mean regional interventions and conflicts.”

43 Responses to "Bush plays the Vietnam card"

  1. gene  August 23, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    WE ALL WOULD!!!

  2. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    But I was really…

    …saving up for nice engagement present for her little Kkkarl Intern of a fiance –

    …decisions decisions –

    …another glass –

    LFTL

  3. SEAL  August 23, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Such an eroneous and deliberately distorted version of our history coming out of the mouth of this spoiled self centered ignorant little coward brings forth a flood of emotion I thought myself incapable off. I lived through all of that history he completely misdescribed. I even made some of it while he was snorting coke behind a National Guard hanger due to his daddy’s connections providing him a way to avoid what other americans had the courage and responsibility to face.

    Such tripe from a little piss ant that could not even handle the responsibility of learning to fly an obsolete trainer plane and dissapeared for about 6 months > AWOL. How the hell does this person wind up being the commander in chief of the armed forces?

    I have lost all respect for the people of this country during the past 7 years.

  4. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Seal – you really need to…

    …learn to not hold it in –

    …how do you REALLY feel about Dumbass The 43rd? –

    LFTL

  5. bryan mcclellan  August 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Now you’ve gone and made the Piss Ants mad Seal.I’m still gnashing about these insulting remarks so badly that I was thrown out of the VFW.Told them all to wake the f#*k up.It’s like everyone has undergone shock therapy but me..

  6. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    I couldn’t believe…

    …the speech – or something trying to pass as one – The Chimp In Charge gave to the VFW convention – could h-e h-a-v-e s-p-o-k-e-n a-n-y-m-o-r-e d-e-l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e-l-y?

    …listening to parts of it on NPR on my way to the office on Thursday had me just shaking my head –

    LFTL

  7. Helen Rainier  August 24, 2007 at 4:20 am

    Bryan,

    You were in the VFW? One thing I still can’t understand is why they continue to invite this little dungbeetle to their conventions to address them.

    He has shown absolutely no respect for the military in any way, shape, or form — hell, couldn’t even hack a one-weekend a month tour in the TANG.

  8. SEAL  August 24, 2007 at 4:30 am

    Well…… What the hell is the matter with people? He was addressing the VFW. Those are veterans and eye witnesses of everyone of those wars and political histories he was incorrectly describing. They have to know damn well what he said was bullshit. If they do not know that, what does that mean to this nation? If the people who actually lived it, participated in it, and laid their lives on the line for it don’t know what happened, anyone who wishes can come along and use them for any purpose. Obviously, that is exactly what has happened and that is why we are in the condition we are in. Therefore, it is not Bush but the people of this country who have caused the condition.

    If Bush actually believed what he said he is too stupid to be president of this country. If he deliberately twisted it for nefarious purposes, he should not be president. Everyone knows Bush is a liar. Everyone knows Bush has violated his oath of office and deliberately broken the law. He has admitted breaking the law. The result of all of his dishonesty has been the death of more than a million people.

    Why is he still president?

    It isn’t his fault. It is the american people’s fault! They >WE< should have removed him from office years ago. Why haven’t we done that?

  9. bryan mcclellan  August 24, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Helen it may be their prescriptions they get from the VA. I’m flabbergasted too,certainly they must have gotten their fill of war?

  10. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 24, 2007 at 7:28 am

    I called up my representative, Anna Eshoo of Santa Clara
    County, California, as to when she will be hosting a public town hall style meeting, I have not gotten a response. Never the less, we all need to call up our own congressional representatives to find out when they are having public forums. What ever avenue of public forum is availible should be exploited to yell at our
    so called representatives in full public view.

    I know the Nemo man is a strong proponent of calling our reps on the phone, and public forums, to to try to influence our politicans so we need to
    keep trying.

    Seal, I am exasperated about the apathy of this nation, but lets try to do what we can to counter the Neo-Con Echo Machine. Universe Speed to you Seal & Everyone.

  11. gene  August 24, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Seal I have been literally “screaming” this since I started ranting here at CHB. The people I see almost everday in the general public are truely “brain f**king dead zombies”.

    Many are disgustingly FAT, self-indulgent, morons who probably could not put a decent sentence together. One out of every three highschool student in the state of Texa will drop out and not graduate.

    Bush can pretty much do what ever the hell he wants when what he is president of is totally unaware and doesn’t have the brains to care or understand.

    Only a fractual part of this nation is aware, angry and ready for a revolt. Unfortuneately that also eliminates congress for the most part. Another unique group of worthless human garbage.

  12. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 24, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Ditto Gene.

  13. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 25, 2007 at 1:31 am

    DITTO GENE?

    …that’s a scary thought! –

    …more of him? –

    ..okay!

    LFTL

  14. Steve Horn  August 23, 2007 at 9:52 am

    “Bush also drew broad parallels between the global war on terrorism and conflicts in Asia, likening Japan’s 1941 strike on the US Pearl Harbor base to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.”

    Balderdash.

    In December 1941 we were attacked by another nation. On 9/11 we were attacked by a group that has no national identity, that has no government or structure in the traditional sense of the word and which is not associated with any specific territory, government, language or heritage. In 1941 we declared war on a nation, not a philosophy.

    There is not even a tangential association between Al-Qaeda and Iraq (within the historical perspective of the 9/11 attacks) and the connection between Al-Qaeda and the government of Afghanistan was one of convenience at best (that the Taliban tollerated the Al-Qaeda training camps was an artifact of the Mujahadeem presence and assistance in outsting the Russians from Afghanistan).

    Sorry Mr. President, you cannot create historical connections where they never existed, no matter how convenient they may be to you. This is just another example of the current administrations attempt to revise history to meet their current needs.

    In like fashion, we were not supporting democratic systems in Korea or Vietnam – when we began our involvement both of those nations were under dictatorships.

    When we withdrew from Vietnam there was a blood bath in our wake. Had we heeded the advice of the French and not involved ourselves in that conflict it stands to reason that those killed for assisting the US would not have suffered that fate. That blood is on our hands as well (with responsibility for the conflict spanning multiple administrations).

    Our involvement in Korea resulted in the long term military occupation of South Korea and decades of starvation and self imposed isolation for the people and nation of North Korea.

    These are not examples of a proud heritage but of a myopic view of the world from a Western perspective which refuses to attempt to understand and comprehend a situation before taking agressive actions.

    Perhaps Mr. Bush should try to revisit and understand rather than revise history. Were he to have done so perhaps we wouldn’t be in the two military quagmires we’re now struggling to extract ourselves from.

    Peace

    Steve

  15. ekaton  August 23, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Thank you for an excellent summation, Steve. If only there was a way to get this kind of information out to the 99% who are still asleep. Are you in the 19th district? Maybe we could have a chat with Todd Platts.

    Kent Shaw

  16. VietnamVet  August 23, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Of course, one of the things he failed to mention is that Vietnam was a trumped up war just like this one in Iraq! Remember the Tokin Gulf trumped up incident in Vietnam? And those elusive WMD’s in Iraq? Nor, did he mention that “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Nor, if Vietnam falls, so will the rest of SE Asia, that old “domino” theory. Those were the drum beats to justify staying in Vietnam and the same ones, warmed over, being used to stay the course in Iraq. Guess what: we left Vietnam and not a single one of the Viet Cong followed us home. Nor, did the rest of SE Asia fall like so many dominos. For Bush to use Vietnam as a comparison to Iraq is nothing short of a disgrace! The man is living in another world, one of lies, deceit, misleading comparisons, and so on. The real reason for being in Iraq is OIL and anyone with a grain of sense can see that.

    One of our ‘stanch’ supporters, Australia, has now admitted that oil was an issue in determing to support Mr. Bush’s war:

    “Published on 5 Jul 2007 by The Age.

    Nelson: Oil a factor in Australia’s Iraq deployment
    by AAP

    The Howard Government has today admitted that securing oil supplies is a factor in Australia’s continued military involvement in Iraq.

    Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said today oil was a factor in Australia’s contribution to the unpopular war, as “energy security” and stability in the Middle East would be crucial to the nation’s future.”

    See more at:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/31700.html

    And you can google Australia and support for Iraq war for more.

    I doubt we will see the same admission from THIS administration, given the continuous lies that have been heaped on the American people.

  17. gene  August 23, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks (Vietnam Vet) for the additional insite. Had no ideal of Australia exposing the real reason this murdereous, criminal feasco was started in the first place.

  18. Sonorous Pest  August 23, 2007 at 10:31 am

    This happens when you or your speech writer doesn’t know the facts of history. Most of what the toad said was not the truth. To linger on this subject is wasting time and so is Bush. The American people know the truth and Bush should read more about history if he wants to speak about it.

  19. Steve Horn  August 23, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Bush was a History major at Yale, was he not? Perhaps he never got past ancient Greek studies …

  20. Paul Cawthorne  August 23, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Paul Cawthorne It nettles me when people set up straw men for argument’s sake. Bush “improves” his argument by answering those who say that our “precipitous” departure from Iraq will stop the killing. Who says that? I haven’t heard any commentator who expresses that opinion. Iraqis will continue to die when and if we leave Iraq. Everybody knows that. The cogent argument, to my mind, is that OUR troops and civilian contractors will no longer die. The President of the United States’ first obligation is to protect his fellow countrymen, and surely, nobody with a grain of sense, after four and a half years of slaughter, expects our troops to continue a policy that benefits neither us nor the unhappy land we attempt to occupy.
    “Leave, and leave soon” should be the policy decision that a prudent president and advisors ought to make–if we happened to have such, and which we won’t have, sadly, until January 20, 2009.

  21. Steve Horn  August 24, 2007 at 9:04 am

    “The President of the United States’ first obligation is to protect his fellow countrymen” – Paul, you’re assuming that the President in question gives a shit about his duties under the constitution – “W” does not. Look at the Katrina response – how many of the poor who were made homeless in the wake of the flooding are still essentially homeless? Sure – they’re living in toxic trailers in isolated FEMA trailer parks (if they’re among the lucky ones who received the housing) – but their lives are shattered. The suicide rate in the US for soldiers is at an all time high. This President couldn’t care less.

    So long as the stock market is up and the investment bankers are happy all is well in the USofA. Obviously that’s not MY personal view, but my presumption regarding the view of our “leaders”.

    And the beat goes on –

    Steve

  22. Cailleach  August 23, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    THERE WAS NO BLOODBATH AFTER WE LEFT VIETNAM! I live with a woman who travels there every other year. She knows many of the veterans personally. She knows survivors of the war. The boat people left because they were starving. They were starving because agent orange destroyed their agricultural land.

    Yes, there were some reprisals, but far from millions, far from a bloodbath. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER BUSH LIE! The Vietnamese are Buddhists. They forgive. The country is a Southeast Asia success story and is thriving. I have no doubt that there will be mass killings in Iraq, but perhaps not. When Iraqis are left alone to face each other, without us stirring them up and acting as a buffer, there is the chance they will gradually get their act together and come to some sort of detante. At least our young (and not so young) people will no longer have to die for the biggest mistake in our history.

  23. hillbilly  August 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Screw this administration…

    My being a draftee of the VN Era…How dare ‘W’ or ‘Dick’ make any comparisons to something they know NOTHING about…

    THEY WERE AWOL THEN…AS THEY ARE NOW!!!!

  24. Sonorous Pest  August 23, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Hillbilly, you are absolutely on the money with your remarks.

  25. bryan mcclellan  August 23, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Go Hillbilly: I said the same yesterday,smirk has tarnished what little dignity that I had left from that stinking lie of a war.He called myself and all who served in that time a pack of losers.He has besmirched the Wall,Arlington and,every M.I.A with his foul mouth. As it is today in Iraq and Afganistan, we were not given the tools nor the direction to defeat the enemy.This gutless pig of an AWOL has no right to stand before Veterans groups and spew his putrid lies.He was a history major? What did he study, how many grams are in an ounce and how many cc’s of coke will kill you.Go to HELL Mr president you bastard, and don’t ever dare to call far better men than you could ever wish to be, Losers, again…..

  26. ekaton  August 23, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    For anyone in the 19th Congressional District in south central Pennsylvania:

    I just listened to a voice mail message from a group called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq which is hosting a town hall meeting on Iraq at the Yorktowne Hotel at 48 E. Market St. in York, PA, on Tuesday, 10/28. There will be “community leaders” and Iraq war veterans there as well as rank and file citizens and U.S. Congressman Todd Platts. Please come. Look for me. I’ll be the old fat bald guy in the “sunburst” orange and yellow tie dye t-shirt. I will also be identifying myself as Douglas Shaw if I have an opportunity to ask a question. It will be a chance to speak truth to power.

    Kent Shaw aka ekaton aka Douglas Shaw (using “Kent” here on CHB to avoid confusion with the “real Doug”, Mr. Thompson).

    PS — Steve Horn, even if you are not in the 19th you should go as you are articulate and organized. We need all the help we can get.

  27. gene  August 23, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    My compliments to Steve, well thought out and simple to comprehend. Of course most individuals in this nation are not paying attention, unless its time to eat.

    By the way…what time is it?….just kidding!!

  28. Steve Horn  August 23, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Geeze … I’m starting to blush! I’ll try to make it to the function in York on the 28th –

    Peace

    Steve

  29. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    What time is it?…

    …time for your next dose! –

    LFTL

  30. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    ACTUALLY the town hall meeting…

    …is AUGUST 28th – NEXT Tuesday – from 7:00-8:30pm –

    …one of the reps from “Americans Against Escalation in Iraq” trying to get the word out on this attended last evening’s Drinking Liberally meeting –

    …the venue you’ve listed is correct – just the date isn’t quite RIGHT! –

    LFTL

  31. gene  August 23, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    I should have seen that one coming. I’m sure (LFTL) your just concerned about my sanity….mabe?

    Not to worry, I lost it years ago and really don’t want it back, at least not in this world.

  32. ekaton  August 23, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    THANK YOU LFTL!!!

    FOLKS THAT IS AUGUST 28 AND NOT OCTOBER 28.

    (LFTL are you in the 19th in PA?)

    Kent Shaw of the addled brain

  33. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Guilty as charged…

    …yes – and I drive past Toad’s office every evening –

    LFTL

  34. gene  August 23, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I agree (Sonorous Pest)…weird log in name? Anyway I continue to place the blame on this sorry congress, both houses for not impeaching these bastards. Theirs enough evidence to send them to hell three times over.

  35. VietnamVet  August 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Deleted by poster; duplicate post.

  36. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Posted this one late Wednesday evening…

    …geek – greek – what’s the dif? –

    http://www.geekculture.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000015;p=

    LFTL

  37. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 23, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Millions of Vietnamese died as a result of the United States pulling out of Vietnam Bush Baby! Did you forget the 2 million Vietnamese that died through the time the U.S. was there and the 58,000 service people who paid for being in that conflict as well.

    Now Mr. Chimp, you get your lovely daughters Jenna and
    Barbara and get them to the recruting station and get their pink keesters off to Iraq. We know you can afford flak jackets for them, and don’t forget to give them iPods to whittle the time away when they aren’t in a fire fight of course. We know your daughters will do their patriotic duty for Homeland Security.

    (PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO SEND THE CHIMPS DAUGHTERS TO IRAQ).

  38. bryan mcclellan  August 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I would damn sure contribute to that Klaus !!

  39. gene  August 23, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    OK Bryan, thats it….a dozen ativan are in the mail.

  40. bryan mcclellan  August 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Gene: thanks but I better pass, as Captain Kirk said ,I need my pain and anger,dealing with it makes me human,without it I’m a drone,or something like that.That and a few Heinekens for me will suffice and a little fruit of the vine,eh LFTL…

  41. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 23, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    OH most definitely –

    …Syrah from the Sierra Foothills this evening –

    …something has to make the pain go away –

    …btw, is the primary next week? –

    LFTL

  42. Helen Rainier  August 24, 2007 at 4:12 am

    Bryan,

    Don’t you DARE let these chickens*its rob you of your dignity. Bushie blundered BIG TIME in making this comparison especially in light of the fact that he is nothing but a yellow-bellied coward.

    It is the men like you, and all the others in this forum who didn’t turn tail and run the other way as Bushie et al did who ARE the real Americans and the real patriots. It is the men like you who were there when your country said they needed you.

    No matter what the circumstances were, you should ALWAYS be proud of the fact that you did what your country asked you to do and you did it as a man would.

    I have nothing but the UTMOST RESPECT for each and every one of you here who are combat veterans. I am a vet, but not a combat vet, but Vietnam Era, and I am proud of my service and YOU SHOULD BE TOO.

    The people who understand what this country is TRULY about know that Bushie is a worthless piece of crap — along with all of his henchmen.

    Stand tall and be proud and remember we still have to protect the Constitution from all enemies — foreign and domestic — especially from the Bushies.

    FWIW, Bush isn’t worthy enough to wipe your butt and there will be a special place in HELL for him.

  43. gene  August 24, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Right on Helen!!!… I could not agree more. Just please remind me not to “piss” you and Bryan off at the same time. I would probably have to go into hiding for a while.

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