Citing America's war experience in Asia, and even Vietnam, President Bush on Wednesday made the case for staying the course in Iraq and reiterated his support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the president compared the war in Iraq to U.S. involvement's in Asia that lost popular backing but which he argued eventually proved its worth and led to lasting peace.
"We are still in the early hours of the current ideological struggle, but we know how the others ended, and that knowledge helps guide our efforts today," the president said.
Bush's blindness to history reveals itself again. Vietnam was essentially a civil war, and one which was extended far beyond what should have been it's end by the insertion of foreign troops into the conflict. But it did not change the outcome of the war, and only caused the number of dead to climb to over a million Vietnamese and fifty thousand Americans.
But it was not the war which made Vietnam great, it was the END of the war. It was only then that the nation stabilized and order was restored. As long as the war continued, the most basic functions of government and society were put aside so that the killing could continue. But when it ended, business began anew, the people returned to their normal lives and now, in spite of all the dire warnings of our political leaders of the day, Vietnam is one of the most advanced nations of the region.
It will certainly be terrible when the US withdraws from Iraq. That was ordained from the moment we invaded. But continuing a senseless war only drags the killing out and prevents the Iraqi people from beginning the process of putting their lives back in order. Continuing the war only makes an entire nation a killing field and the best possible training ground for terrorists. Continuing the war gives legitimacy to the very people we claim to be our enemies.
But such common sense is lost on people like George Bush. Whether purposefully to give benefits to his friends in the defense business, or accidentally because he fell for the terrible myths of the NeoCons, once he made up his mind, there's no chance of him changing it no matter the facts.
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