Josh Marshall mentions reports that Bush is going to make a speech today comparing Vietnam with Iraq. Gee, I remember back in the day when only Bush-hating America-bashers would make these kinds of comparisons. I guess things have gotten so bad that a Vietnam analogy is now considered a plus for the Bushies. I almost feel bad for them...almost.
Apparently, Bush is going to argue that withdrawing from Vietnam "emboldened" the terrorists because Bin Laden says it does, and I guess this means that we shouldn't further embolden them by leaving Iraq. And while that might be true, the full lesson is that you shouldn't start fights that you can't finish. That's what Vietnam taught us. The problem wasn't that we left, but that we were ever there in the first place. Apparently, Bush learned that too late and now doesn't think we can ever finish this fight. Jesus christ, where the hell was he back when the rest of us learned this the first time? (Oh yeah!)
And as Josh Marshall points out, while our leaving Vietnam was a short-term catastrophe, it was hardly the blow to Southeast Asia that war proponents insisted it would be. As I've posted before, Dick Nixon himself insisted in 1954 that were the communists to take over Vietnam, we'd quickly lose Malaya, Thailand, and Indonesia; thus reducing Japan to an economic satellite of the Soviet Union; which was the Soviets' true intention in all this...or so Dick imagined.
And that's how we got wrapped into Vietnam. A fight that we were destined to lose, and which apparently has encouraged modern day terrorists to keep fighting us in Iraq. So this is all Nixon's fault! I knew it! That crooked bastard continues to haunt me from beyond the grave. I knew I should have impeached his ass when I had the chance. I guess that's the kind of rookie mistake you make when you're only three years old. Never again.
But back to the point: As we all know, the Communists were emboldened after Vietnam and we quickly lost all of Southeast Asia, before they dominoed up through Central America, into Mexico, and now control everything west of the Mississippi. If only we had listened to the anti-communists who did everything in their power to force America's enemies into the arms of the Soviets...
As we've all learned, it's always best to lump all your enemies into one evil group and to assume that any potential enemy is identical to your worst enemy. Brilliant strategy. It's good to see Bush continue in this fine tradition.
But let's face it, this isn't Bush's speech. He didn't write it. I'm sure the speech's theme wasn't his idea. Hell, it's possible he doesn't even want to give the damn thing. I know I wouldn't. So why are we picking on him? That's like blaming Jon Voight every time he agrees to be in a bad movie (or should that be Jim Varney, if Varney had Cheney as his writer (Ernest Goes to Damascus, anyone?)). Or blaming the lead singer of a band for lyrics he didn't write or have any control over. The best you can do is critique their performance, but blame for the material should go to the writer.
Sure, Bush is the frontman, but he doesn't know what's going on. He wouldn't even know where to begin to find out what's going. Sure, he makes decisions. But only based on bad information given to him by other people who are themselves only vaguely aware of what's going on and refuse to acknowledge any of it anyway. You know, people who think that having Bush compare Iraq to Vietnam is a good idea.
The only blame that can really be saddled on Bush is for muddling the message Cheney, Rove, and others are trying to get him to say. And I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. Imagine if it had been a charmer like Romney who was the puppet for these fools. (I think I just vomited) So we should be glad that we got such a boob to be Cheney's puppet. The Republicans won't allow anyone in charge who could write their own material, which is why their current presidential front-runners are a soulless flip-flopping suit, an egotistical ex-mayor without any real credentials, and a tall actor. And all three of them would have done the job better than Bush; and now, thanks to Bush's sorry performance, it doesn't look like any of them are likely to get the chance.
So I really don't think we should complain too much. It could have been a lot worse. So when you hear Bush's embarrassing speech that would have gotten you branded a traitor had you said similar things four years ago, just remember that...ah shit, you won't remember anything. You'll just be thinking about what a horrible speaker Bush is and how he's embarrassing everyone with a speech he wouldn't care less about if he wasn't the poor sap who had to deliver it. But maybe afterwards you can remember that I told you so. Because I'm sure I did.