Dan Froomkin collected some of the responses to Bush’s speech. (And found a great title!)
After one of the few other times Bush used a Vietnam analogy — during his official visit to Vietnam last November — Robert Scheer wrote in The Nation: “The lesson of Vietnam is not to keep pouring lives and treasure down a dark and poisonous well, but to patiently use a pragmatic mix of diplomacy and trade with even our ideological competitors.
“The United States dropped more bombs on tiny Vietnam than it unloaded on all of Europe in World War II, only hardening Vietnamese nationalist resolve. Hundreds of thousands of troops, massive defoliation of the countryside, ‘free fire zones,’ South Vietnamese allies, bombing the harbors . . . none of it worked. Yet, never admitting that our blundering military presence fueled the native nationalist militancy we supposedly sought to eradicate, three US Presidents — two of them Democrats — lied themselves into believing victory was around some mythical corner.
“While difficult for inveterate hawks to admit, the victory for normalcy in Vietnam, celebrated by Bush last week, came about not despite the US withdrawal but because of it.”
And that from Bush’s previous use of the analogy. More evidence that he does not learn.