Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Bush: Determined To Divide The Nation
Vietnam is an ugly piece of history which brings very negative connotations to the debate. Prior to todays speech by the President it was the anti war side which most often brought up the spectre of Vietnam, not the administration. There are many apt comparisons and the President seems to embrace them rather than want to debunk them. In fact with the Vietnam comparisons being so consistent from the left, maybe the President is using the tried and true Rovian tactic of turning a weakness into a supposed strength...
As the permutations and rationalizations tumbled through my mind I was left more and more perplexed. Then I was hit with an epiphany. There is a significant minority at the extreme of the Republican party who think that Vietnam was a good thing. They believe it was a noble cause and if they had their druthers we would still be there today, despite the thousands of dead Americans extending our presence there would have resulted in.
President Bush is drawing a comparison between Vietnam and Iraq to bolster the support of his right wing conservative base, knowing full well that the analogy will not be well recieved by the rest of the nation. This is a case where the President is willing to divide the nation, knowing full well that strong majorities consider Vietnam a mistake from the beginning, which once started should have ended sooner. He is drawing an analogy which to most folks is a decided negative in order to appeal to those who still support his Iraq blunder.
By recalling the Vietnam war in such strange terms, the President is also clearly calling the people who disagreed with that war wrong. The President hearkens to the days of social upheaval surrounding the Vietnam war and marks his sympathies with the hawks. It is a flashback to his days as a young hawk while the debate raged at the time, and the President avoided fighting the commies over there so we wouldn't have to fight them over here. By recalling those days and siding against those who thought Vietnam was a mistake the President further divides us amongst ourselves.
Frankly Iraq war critics should welcome the Vietnam comparison by Bush. The nation has been with the left on Vietnam for decades now. I think wavering Congressional Democrats who are being bombarded by the pro war media surge should be made confront the analogy which Bush now embraces. Do these Congressional Democrats believe Iraq is like Vietnam? Do they support continuing this Presidents Vietnam?
There are lessons which echo through the decades between Vietnam and Iraq. But the lessons are not how we end each war, but how we ought not have started either.
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