I happened to catch the opening of President Bush’s Saturday Radio Address as I was driving my car:
Good morning. This week I traveled to Kansas City to address the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I spoke about the ideological struggle that our Nation faces in the 21st century, and the lessons we can draw from the advance of freedom in Asia in the 20th century. America’s enduring presence and perseverance on that continent aided the rise of democracy, helped transform American enemies into American allies, and made our country safer.
Let me apologize to my fellow LA motorists for my near overreaction to this claim that our involvement in the Vietnam War led to a flourishing of democracy in Asia. Does Bush really think we won that war? How drunk was he as he was ducking real service in a military uniform?
The ridiculous spin is a complete 180 from the ridiculous spin that Kevin Drum highlighted a few days ago:
Are we really going to be forced to seriously debate George Bush’s Rambo-esque notion that we could have won in Vietnam if only we’d stuck it out a little longer?
Kevin complained that the left did not react to Bush’s earlier claim that we lost Vietnam only because of some protests from the Americans who realized how utterly stupid our involvement in Vietnam was. But how many times do we have to point that the Dominos did not fall. Ho Chi Minh was not trying to spread Stalinism across Asia. He was simply trying to rid his nation from the foreign dominations of first the Japanese during World War II, the French after that, and alas our misguided attempts to prop up some pathetic South Vietnamese dictatorship.
ILSM reminds us of a Walter Cronkite report in early 1968. President Johnson likely realized after the Tet Offensive that we were not going to defeat Ho Chi Minh and that it was time for a political settlement. Despite all of Nixon’s “peace with honor” BS during the 1968 campaign, he likely realized that propping up the South Vietnamese dictatorship was a losing cause. Yet, Nixon dragged out this disaster for another four years before striking a deal with the North Vietnamese.
Anyone with any sense of the history of Indochina knows that the premise that we were spreading democracy at the point of a gun is completely backwards. Anyone who followed what happened in the 1960’s and the 1970’s realizes that despite the best efforts of our soldiers, we were going to lose as we were seen as foreign invaders. So with all history and reality contradicting this we could have won BS, the President’s advisors decided that he should tell us yesterday morning that we actually did win? They do lie about everything – don’t they?