Honesty, consistency and integrity have no meaning to George Bush. He’ll say anything to sell his failed Iraq policy. Today, as we’ve noted, he invoked Vietnam. But, as the Senate Democrats rightly point out, Bush was against that comparison before he was for it:
In 2004, Bush Opposed Comparison Between Iraq and Vietnam:
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy. Look, this is hard work. It’s hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation’s interest. [Press Conference by the President, 4/13/04]
In 2007, Bush Embraced Comparison Between Iraq and Vietnam:
“‘I want to remind you that after Vietnam, after we left, millions of people lost their life,’ Bush said here when an audience member asked about comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. ‘The Khmer Rouge, for example, in Cambodia. And my concern is there would be a parallel. . . . The same thing would happen. There would be the slaughter of a lot of innocent life. The difference, of course, is that this time around, the enemy wouldn’t just be content to stay in the Middle East; they’d follow us here.’” [Washington Post, 4/20/07]
Today, Bush Embraced Comparison Between Iraq and Vietnam. “Finally, there was Vietnam. This is a complex and painful subject for many Americans, and the tragedy of Vietnam is too large to be contained in one speech. So I will limit myself to one argument that has particular significance today. Then as now, people argued that the real problem was America’s presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end.” [President Bush Speech to VFW, 8/22/07]
After Bush’s Vietnam speech this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted him in that way Harry Reid does:
President Bush’s speech this morning missed the mark yet again. Instead of providing the country with a history lesson, the President should be reevaluating his flawed strategies that have led to one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation’s history. Today our soldiers remain caught in the middle of a civil war and the President’s strategy is still failing to deliver the political solution necessary for Iraq’s stability. A change of course in Iraq is long overdue, and Congress will continue to fight for that change in the coming weeks – a change that is essential for America’s national security.
Harry Reid said what most Americans are thinking. It’s really too bad Bush doesn’t listen to Harry Reid and the American people.