Matthew Rothschild: Bush Rewrites History of Vietnam WarRoundup: Talking About History
But instead of recognizing it for what it was—a reckless imperial overreach, just like his own Iraq War—Bush twists the history of the Vietnam War to try to buttress the one he’s got us in now.
Check this out: He says we should have stayed in Vietnam longer.
“The price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens,” he told the Veterans of Foreign Wars. By the way, he’s counting the victims of the Khmer Rouge, who came to power only after the U.S. ruined Cambodia.
And he’s not counting the three million people the U.S. killed in Southeast Asia during that war....
It is, of course, amazing that Bush is even bringing up Vietnam.
Back on April 13, 2004 he was asked about the Vietnam analogy at a press conference.
But Bush did not want to hear anything about it. "The analogy is false," he said, without explaining why.
He did, however, suggest that it was almost treasonous to raise the specter of Vietnam. "That analogy sends the wrong message to our troops and to the enemy," he said.
Now he sends the message himself.
And what, by the way, does Bush suggest we should have done in Vietnam?
The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were overrunning Saigon; the U.S. embassy personnel barely got away in helicopters off the roof.
And despite more bombs tossed on the Vietnamese than all the bombs during World War II, the U.S couldn’t prevail there.
Short of committing wholesale genocide.
Bush has previously implied that the United States didn’t kill enough people in Vietnam.
Here are his words from his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 2000: "A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world . . . the victory must be overwhelming."
The prospect of overwhelming victory never existed in Vietnam. Nor does it exist in Iraq today.
Bush is rewriting history—never his best subject.
comments powered by Disqus
Barry DeCicco - 8/29/2007
IRRC, the VFW is where the real whack-jobs go, in general.
And the fact that they are still supporting him, long after it's clear what he's done, condemns them.
Michael Green - 8/24/2007
Bush's assault on history and logic is sad. It may be even sadder that it was at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, and that veterans applauded him when they, of all people, should know that we should not take wars so lightly. But they should be ashamed that they have been so supportive of the moral equivalent of a draft dodger, except that he lacked the guts to risk prosecution or to have any true beliefs.
- Voting opens soon for the leaders of the OAH in 2017
- A team of science historians are attempting to re-create recipes from sixteenth-century alchemy texts
- David Kennedy recalls his dinners with President Obama
- When Kellie Jones Wanted To Study Black Art History, The Field Didn’t Exist. So She Created It Herself.
- Michael Honey: The 60’s activist turned historian