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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why Bush Compared Iraq to Vietnam

Most of America - and the world - is shaking its collective head in pure disbelief.

What was George W. Bush thinking when he spoke to the VFW and compared Iraq to Vietnam, despite years of pretending the parallels did not exist, and despite the fact that he was AWOL in Alabama during that time?

To this bloggista, it seems the Preznit is still following the Rovian playbook by both playing to his base, and re-writing history to ensure his legacy. This time, he is trying to appease the neocons, who are still mainly behind his Iraq strategy, but some of whom are getting a bit frustrated with what they perceive as Bush's incompetence in prosecuting the war. With this Vietnam analogy, Bush hopes to bring them back into the fold in order to perpetuate and legitimize the Bush/neocon doctrines of pre-emptive war and American exceptionalism.

As difficult as it is for sane people to believe, the neoconservatives feel that Vietnam could have been won, if only the American people and the media had been willing to give it another 400 Friedman Units or so. Take this article from David Gelernter of the American Enterprise Institute:

The United States must finish the job in Iraq and demonstrate that it will never again abandon its soldiers and its friends.

Not long ago, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post wrote a column about Iraq headlined “As in Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty All over Again.” The Vietnam analogy has been part of the Iraq war story since the fighting started (in fact, since before it started). The Bush administration often deals with its critics by ignoring them. This time it can’t. Too much rides on the president looking these critics in the eye and telling them: Damned right this is Vietnam all over again. Only this time we will not get scared and walk out in the middle. This time we will stand fast and repair a piece of the American psyche that has been damaged and hurting ever since we ran from Vietnam in disgrace way back in April 1975.
It is well worth noting that as a rule, none of these delusional fuckwads ever served in Vietnam. And they also have a history of stating that those who were truly psychically wounded - the Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder - were exaggerating or not actually sick at all.

But I digress. Let's go back to the poor widdu conservative in the corner, sucking his thumb and whining because liberals and war protesters dared to suggest that Daddy U.S.A. wasn't perfect:

American character is on the line. For the sake of this nation--of its good name, its big heart, the sacrifices of its many brave defenders, the genius of its creators, of its greatness, in short--conservatives had better not lose this fight.

The administration was wrong to let Americans get the idea that Iraq would be easy. But it was right to fight. And because Iraq is exactly Vietnam all over again, our eventual victory will not only be good for Iraq, the Middle East, and peace on earth. It will repair American self-respect. And it will turn the Friends of Cowardice, the U.S. Mothers for Despair, and all their allied groups back into the peripheral players they always used to be in this country--until Vietnam.
This is where it's all coming from. This is what it's all about. The warmongering, the hysteria and hatred and calls of treason towards the majority of Americans who want peace, prosperity and a better life for themselves and their families; it's all because of Vietnam. The neocons just can't deal with the fact that we FUCKING LOST VIETNAM, so they simply have to recreate it over and over again until we win.

Worst. Groundhog Day. EVER.

Well, I happen to disagree most violently with Mr. Gelernter and his fellow neoconservatives. I am heartily sick of this pathetic, mindless, puerile form of patriotism being used as an excuse to steal our treasury, rape our Constitution and kill hundreds of thousands of people. It is the likes of the American Enterprise Institute, the Project for the New American Century, and the Bush Administration who will soon be relegated to their proper place on the periphery of this country.

The neocons are on their last dying breath. Unfortunately, this makes them more dangerous. And if they see victory as possible in Iraq, it's small wonder they're pushing so hard for bombing Iran. After all, we can't possibly lose Vietnam THREE times, right?

1 comment:

zoe said...

excelllent analysis. I am thoroughly enjoying your posts....