Friday, November 17, 2006

The Idiots Who Rule Us

Read this, asshole.

Forty years too late, George W. Bush finally made it to Vietnam. If you know anything about George W. Bush, you won't be surprised to find out that he started spewing idiotic blather as soon as someone shoved a microphone in front of his slack jaw.
In his first day in the capital of a country that was America’s wartime enemy during his youth, President Bush said today that the American experience in Vietnam contained lessons for the war in Iraq. Chief among them, he said, was that “we’ll succeed unless we quit.”


“The Maliki government is going to make it unless the coalition leaves before they have a chance to make it,” he said of Iraq’s prime minister. “And that’s why I assured the prime minister we’ll get the job done.”

With emotional imagery to deal with on every side here, it is no surprise that Mr. Bush’s national security team has spent great effort drawing distinctions between the war that their generation grew up with, and the one that they ordered.


“Historical parallels of that kind are not very helpful, and I don’t think they happen to be right,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters the other day. “This is a different set of circumstances, with different stakes for the United States.”

Stephen J. Hadley, the president’s national security adviser, struck a similar note last week when he suggested that the “domino effect” that Americans worried about in the 1960’s and 70’s — the fear that neighboring countries would fall to Communism’s lures — was nothing compared to the problems today.

“There were discussions about dominoes, some which fell, some which didn’t fall,” he said. But, he added, “Most men and women in America believe that it is important that we not fail in Iraq; that the consequences of an Iraq that descended into chaos would be an Iraq that would be a safe haven for terrorists.”

Ultimately, he said, that “could result in 9/11-type attacks against the United States.”

In private, Mr. Bush says there is another big difference between then and now — the draft. There is little question that by signing up to be a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, the risk was low that he would end up in Vietnam as a 23-year-old. But according to an academic called into the White House recently, Mr. Bush said the administration could never have sustained this effort in Iraq, politically, without an all-volunteer force. He declined to be named because he was relaying a private conversation.
Just once, it would be nice not to have important foreign policy decisions left to morons like these.

If Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she'd be furiously writing another section of that book. Iraq is an exercise in pursuit of policy contrary to self-interest that makes Vietnam look like child's play.

This would be funny if it weren't for, you know, the dead and maimed.

UPDATE: Check out Keith Olbermann's lessons for Mr. Bush. Honestly, I had no idea that Keith Olbermann would turn into this generation's Edward R. Murrow. But here's the proof.

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