Citing Vietnam, Bush Warns of Carnage if U.S. Leaves Iraq
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 22 — With a tough battle with Congress over the future of the war expected to come in September, President Bush offered a rousing defense of his Iraq policy today, declaring that he envisions an American victory there and asserting that a hasty withdrawal by the United States would unleash a bloodbath reminiscent of the Vietnam War era.
Mr. Bush accused the Congress of planning to “pull the rug out from under” American troops. He said the American pullout from Vietnam more than 32 years ago was to blame for millions of deaths in Cambodia and Vietnam, and for putting a dent in American credibility that lasts to this day.
“Then, as now, people argued that the real problem was America’s presence, and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end,” Mr. Bush told an audience at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here today. “The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be.”
Well, it might be a mistake to bring up Vietnam to a VFW audience, as this entire administration ducked out of that war. But when you can’t get applause anywhere else, go to the vets. Even so, I wish he’d stop using non-words like misimpressions.
It’s an amazing assertion that, having blundered and evaded and mis-planned and totally screwed up the Iraq war, it is now too screwed up to leave.
Bush is right that there will be chaos when we pull out. He has fathered a situation where we have a choice between quick chaos or the long-term (and perhaps more brutal) chaos of continuing to get it wrong.
The choice of no good choices is his legacy and the world, as well as his native America, will be slow to forget.