Chickenhawk Bush Has the Gall to Lecture Americans on Vietnam

When you hear the sound bites from George W. Bush’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today in which he compares his botched war in Iraq to the Vietnam war, think about what he was doing while thousands of U.S. soldiers were wounded and killed in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Bush is in effect saying that Vietnam could have been won if only we’d stayed there longer — that winning would have only required a few tens of thousand more lives lost — other than his own, of course.

As is well known, Bush’s elite status entitled him to a cushy berth in a “champagne unit” of the Texas Air National Guard. Associates from that era remember young Bush as being preoccupied with doing drugs, driving drunk and chasing women. There are rumors he seriously damaged a fighter jet while taxiing it on a runway while hungover. And there is strong circumstantial evidence he was discharged less than honorably after failing to show up for a series of Pentagon-mandated drug tests.

With that in mind, here is how Bush today, rewriting and politicizing the war he sat out:

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…

In 1972, one antiwar senator put it this way: “What earthly difference does it make to nomadic tribes or uneducated subsistence farmers in Vietnam or Cambodia or Laos, whether they have a military dictator, a royal prince or a socialist commissar in some distant capital that they’ve never seen and may never heard of?” A columnist for The New York Times wrote in a similar vein in 1975, just as Cambodia and Vietnam were falling to the communists: “It’s difficult to imagine,” he said, “how their lives could be anything but better with the Americans gone.” A headline on that story, date Phnom Penh, summed up the argument: “Indochina without Americans: For Most a Better Life.”

The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution. In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousands perished. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country on rickety boats, many of them going to their graves in the South China Sea.

Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left. There’s no debate in my mind that the veterans from Vietnam deserve the high praise of the United States of America. (Applause.) 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.”

There was another price to our withdrawal from Vietnam, and we can hear it in the words of the enemy we face in today’s struggle — those who came to our soil and killed thousands of citizens on September the 11th, 2001. In an interview with a Pakistani newspaper after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden declared that “the American people had risen against their government’s war in Vietnam. And they must do the same today.”

In effect, Bush is saying that Vietnam would have turned out better if only we’d stayed longer. But how much longer, Mr. Bush? Over 50,000 U.S. troops died in Vietnam. How many more lives — other than your own, of course — were worth sacrificing for a lost cause?

Unsurprisingly, Bush takes no responsibility for the fact that it was his decision, and his alone, to invade Iraq, or that it is his fault that our options there today range from awful to horrendous.

Bush wants to share the blame for this misbegotten war, particularly with Democratic senators who voted for the authorization that he demanded. But this is his war, and the horrors that may come after we leave Iraq, whenever it happens, were set in motion by George W. Bush when he decided to drive the United States into another Vietnam-like quagmire.


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  • Jeremy
    August 22, 2007 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I just don’t follow the implied argument you seem to make here. The lead information I believe is there to set a tone that Bush is not qualified to utter the word Vietnam. Then you provide a speech blurb that really doesn’t tie into the introductory information followed by a conclusion you’re asking me to leap to but unfortunately dont give a clear path to. On top of that, I agree with you on the misbegotten aspect of the conflict, but I’m pretty sure Bush was not alone in going to war – as both sides of the aisle voted for it. All in all – the spirit is easy to understand here, you just haven’t given a lot of meat to the argument. Challenge me with something other than the usual bashing and name calling.

  • Bobby
    August 22, 2007 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Typical Liberal BS. Of course, you cannot and do not even attempt to refute any of Bush’s factual comparisons of what happened after the US pulled out of Vietnam and what will happen when we pull out of Iraq. But then again why would you when you don’t give two shits about anyone but yourself.

  • Steve
    August 22, 2007 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Poor poor Bobby. I feel sorry for you, all roped in by that liberal vs conservative crap. You probably don’t even know what the words mean. Truth is you don’t have to be either to see what a F-up GWB is. Anybody standing up for GWB must be an intellectual dwarf or a religous nut job.

  • Madison
    August 22, 2007 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    If everyone who opposes the war is a left-winger, that means the country is about 70% liberal.

  • August 22, 2007 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Bobby has forgotten about what happened in the war in Vietnam. Troop withdrawals began in 1968 and took five years to complete. There was no “rush to leave.”

    Bush’s reference to the Khmer Rouge defies history as well. Without the ongoing occupation of Vietnam by US troops there would never have been a government in Cambodia controlled by the Khmer.

    Incidentally, it was the Vietnamese army that overthrew the Khmer and put an end to the “killing fields,” over US protests in the UN that the Khmer was “legitimate.”

    Also, Bush has forgotten that the 19 years the US was in Vietnam saw the deaths of about 10% of the population of the country, 58,000 US troop deaths and 300,000 wounded.

    Still further, the corrupt and dictatorial South Vietnamese regime was one of the absolute worst governments ever propped up by the US. Mass killings of prisoners and civilians, torture, other war crimes, summary executions of suspects, sectarian violence and the like were regular occurrences.

    It is indeed ironic that Bush, who used every resource at his command to avoid service in Vietnam during the war, is now using it to bolster his failed stay the course policy in Iraq.

  • jarjarbush
    August 22, 2007 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Excerpt from Il Duchbag’s speech to the VFW 8/22/07 “The argument that America’s presence in Indochina was dangerous had a long pedigree. In 1955, long before the United States had entered the war, Graham Greene wrote a novel called, “The Quiet American.” It was set in Saigon, and the main character was a young government agent named Alden Pyle. He was a symbol of American purpose and patriotism — and dangerous naivete. Another character describes Alden this way: “I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.”
    That young government agent was obviously a character model for Gee Dubya.

    He went on to say…”Unlike in Vietnam, if we withdraw before the job is done, this enemy will follow us home. And that is why, for the security of the United States of America, we must defeat them overseas so we do not face them in the United States of America”
    Now, unlike the official White House transcript above, Gee Dubya actually opened his sentence with “And like” not the “Unlike” in the transcript.
    Now, what I recall after our withdrawl from Vietnam is that many did indeed follow us home. Some were women married to or knocked up by our servicemen fortunate enough to have survived the moosefuck that was the Vietnam War. Others were students, teachers, technicians, medical professionals and others who sought to rid themselves and their families from the horrors wrought by American intervention. Yea George, they followed us the fuck home.
    If we leave this new neocon moosefuck that is operation enduring oil, or enduring propaganda, or enduring profits or whatever they choose to call it, they will not follow us home. They may follow YOU home George,to Crawford or your hideway in South America, and blow it all to kingdom come and most quiet,purposeful,thoughtful and patriotic Americans would stand up and cheer and yell Hallelulia! And praise for instant karma!

  • ghost rider
    August 22, 2007 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    As a mere lad all of 22 years of age I spent one horrific year of my life in a place called Vietnam! After graduating from flight school I was presented my warrant officer bars, and wings and sent to that god awful place where I served with the 1st cav (air mobile) 229 air assault battalion taking troops into battle and extracting them while this moronic president was sitting on his ass….I have nothing but contempt for this war loving puke!

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  • MysteryBoy
    August 22, 2007 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Out of all the BoyKing’s atrocities, this one really stands out. What a hypocrite, what a bum — slime on two feet, his lies dripping like blood from a vampire’s lips…

  • Vic Anderson
    August 22, 2007 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

    What a Bush dong-toker who should be IMPEACHED for de-escalating on himself!

  • Spitfire546
    August 22, 2007 - 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Bush needs to say *something* to muddy the waters and keep his desperate ball rolling. Lately, every speech is a hail mary pass, the foreign policy equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”

    At this point, all Bush is trying to do is stall the blame for the Iraq disaster long enough to get out of town, run off to Crawford, and emerge down the road as baseball commissioner or some kind of corporate fund manager.

    Bush knows he screwed the pooch in Iraq but wants desperately to convince as many people as possible that he didn’t. As long as he has nutjobs like Michelle Malkin and Melanie Morgan ready to froth at the mouth in his defense, he’s got hope he can get out of town without having the blame for Iraq pinned squarely on him.

    That’s the audience for his speeches. And those people don’t need accurate analogies or truthful evaluations of Iraq to keep going. All they need is some evidence that Bush wants to fight, so they can continue to fight.

    To 70+% of the American people, Bush’s speeches are nothing more than stomuch gas. But to the people he’s talking to, they are their lifeblood. If Bush fights, they can fight. So Bush has to look like he’s still fighting, even if everything he has to say is total bombast and shite. His few remaining supporters demand it. Without them, he has no chance of escaping Washington without taking the full blame for the bloody, unstable, and disasterous mess he’s created.

    It’s his fault. He just doesn’t want to own it……

  • August 23, 2007 - 4:26 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see him bring up Vietnam. The official line tends to be “they’re completely different wars!” Now it’s a new tactic perhaps in trying to convince the American people that it’s all going well in Iraq. Seems to be a rather desperate tactic, but desperate times call for desperate measures and all that.

  • XXT
    August 23, 2007 - 4:29 am | Permalink

    Let this lying, traitorous, war criminal keep running his lying mouth. The more he does, the deeper hole he digs and the more of the 24% of Idiots who still like him get persuaded otherwise. Take a local phukup (couldn’t make money with an oil company…IN TEXAS!) and Make him President… and you have phuckup on a World Wide basis. One thing about it…if You are going to be a the Biggest one in the history of this Great Country. Way to go shrub…what an honor!

  • Scott
    August 23, 2007 - 5:06 am | Permalink

    Everyone that I have met that is pro-war is a non-warrior! How about you, little bobby boy? Have any combat experience? I didn’t think so. I do, you wouldn’t like war once you were actually in it, trust me. Have you ever smelled death? It stinks, just like the smell all over GWB, a cowards coward.

    Listen to Ozzy Osbourne’s (Black Sabbath) album-War Pigs is the name of the song. Then pull your head out of your fanny and quit watching FAUX News. Read a book or two, weenie!

  • Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 - 5:09 am | Permalink

    Bush has a Logical argument..if your an idiot.
    Speculation what nots and what ifs. Fine.

    But what if there was no Vietnam war?
    What if there was no Iraqi war?
    Cause and effect are applicable to everything in life.
    What if Bush was never born? Or overdosed on Coke?
    Speculation is NEVER and justification for an ARGUMENT unless your trying to treat people like idiots!

  • Sunru
    August 23, 2007 - 5:17 am | Permalink

    But i could’ve bought stocks in Apple or IBM back in the 70’s. But because I didnt then, I should now?

    “So I’m justified in bombing a country for what we did or did not do..or what might or might not have happened..after we did or didn’t leave or..invade..later. when I could’ve done it or what I am for those reasons..or not.”

    And now they have a 15m “freedom’s watch” budget that will use propaganda is this VERY CONTEXT.
    Welcome to the end of your mind!

  • August 23, 2007 - 7:12 am | Permalink

    The mind-boggling aspect of his speech to the Veterans of Foreign War is how can a group of bona fide war veterans sit and listen to a superannuated frat boy pontificate about a war he avoided.

    The VFW has less credibility than “Boy George.”

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  • indigo
    August 23, 2007 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    what i dont understand is why bush wasnt hanged at the vfw,,,all you guys took an oath to protect the constitution from all enemies ,foriegn or ‘domestic’the oath does not say protect the country, the president the govenment or anything else but the constitution,bush should be hung by the neak until dead or shot against a wall,,hopefuly they will torture him on tv..this is from a combat infantry vet,,if you dont like it , go fuck youeself,,sincerly

  • Rich
    August 23, 2007 - 7:25 am | Permalink

    It does not matter. Israel will never give Bush orders to leave Iraq. Israel will never give orders that Bush not lose another war in Iran.

    The song and dance blather means less than nothing. We know all the real plans long in advance. Why waste people’s time pretending their are any options on the table.

    The Wars for Israel continue until America is destroyed and turned into a 3rd world dumping ground of an American Union, with all its infrastructure sold off to the highest foreign bidder.

    Israel gives the orders. Bush obeys.

    If we want out of Iraq, send ambassadors to Israel and ask for them to call it off.

  • f
    August 23, 2007 - 7:47 am | Permalink

    Viet Nam shoulda lasted longer.
    Just long enuf to take jr. over there
    in handcuffs, dump him in the jungle, and have a tiger eat him.

  • Karl Shultz
    August 23, 2007 - 7:54 am | Permalink

    What good will listening to Black Sabbath’s War Pigs do? G.W. even told Ozzy that “Mom loves your tunes” at a whitehouse dinner. The song is supposedly shining a light on the reality – but it sure hasn’t prevented any wars now, has it?

  • August 23, 2007 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    It is slick the way he can talk like that and evade the responsibility for getting the US into a much worse defeat than Vietnam by doing a comparison between Iraq and Vietnam. Very slick indeed.

    As usual Bush’s grasp of history is nil. I have seen this guy’s academic transcript. He majored in history at Yale, and got a C- average and it certainly shows.

    Vietnam was managed by the US gvt better than people understand. Through use of the “covert” methods the US position in the world was maintained, and it was not an outright military defeat. Not so with this one.

    I sat cussing reading Sun Tzu Art of War when he went in to Iraq. I knew what would happen. He violated all five of Sun Tzu’s requirements. The defeat will be spectacular no matter what they do now.

  • Brian
    August 23, 2007 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    In an interview with a Pakistani newspaper after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden declared that “the American people had risen against their government’s war in Vietnam. And they must do the same today.”

    Is that the same interview in which Osama professed his innocence? You know, the interview we here in the USA never once saw in our MSM! Instead we were treated to the fat phoney Bin Laden video tape!

  • Mike Mason
    August 23, 2007 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Where have the Booths or Oswalds been when you really need them? Jesus Christ this human turd product of anal sex 61 yrs ago when ms daddy stupidly didnt pull out in time from mr mommys asshole and the first true miraculous conception occured between his wimp sperm and her turd that farted out this spoiled rotten brat later drunken cokehead fratrat cheerleader who cut and run from playing football to keep from getting hurt or dirty the story of his worthless waste of space on this planet that he has tried in vain to destroy whill killing or maiming millions of innocents so non-chalantly living like a king on his toilet throne.

    Yea lets play retro tyrant revisionist and revisit Nam the war he was chickenshit to enter and where 65,000 Americans died and millions wounded needlessly and pretend we could still be there with 100s of 1000s more dead or wounded GIs that would not be him or any Bush for that matter all for the sake of trying to rationalize the horrific blunder due eing a shit for brains fuckup all his life so he can salvage his selected presidency that Daddy continues to cry for since bubba Jeb will never be in the WH.

    Selfishness know no bounds with all these Bush elite slimewad murdering war crimninals …

  • G.Owen
    August 23, 2007 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I was an M.P. in Saigon in 1968.I saw it for what it was—monumental stupidity facedown in its own puke.As bad as it was,it was like Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign when compared to the indescribable idiocy of this Iraq debacle.Words fail. In ‘Nam the vaunted most powerful military machine in the world got it’s ass handed to it by a bunch of peasants armed with A.K.’s and RPG’s.In Iraq an even more supposedly powerful military machine is getting its ass handed to it again by a bunch of rag-tag militias armed with A.K.’s,RPG’s and some C-4.Why?Simple–the American political(corporate) establishment is too bloody stupid to stay home and mind it’s own business.

  • The Conservative Deflator
    August 23, 2007 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’m sure George informed these brave veterans of how he was able to use his family connections to avoid going to Viet Nam by getting admitted to the Texas Air National Guard, despite scoring only 25 out of 100 on the aptitude test (that represents the lowest 5 percentile, by the way). I’m sure he also came clean about why he deserted his unit in Texas in 1972, when mandatory drug testing was put in place.

    I hear next week Dick Cheney is going to speak at the National MADD convention and discuss his two drunk driving convictions.

  • injunzilla
    August 23, 2007 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    George the Chickenhearted should
    use a proper reference…such as
    the holy christian crusades in the
    Middle East…where god’s warriors
    murdered all peoples of the Semitic

    And the beat goes on…….

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