Date registered: Jan 2005
Vehicle: 1992 W126 300 SE
Location: Head in the clouds
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Echoes of Vietnam
Has Shrub finally had a double espresso instead of a double JD ?
Times Online October 19, 2006
Bush acknowledges Iraq comparison with Vietnam War
By Devika Bhat and agencies
George Bush has for the first time conceded that there may be parallels between the raging violence in Iraq and the Vietnam War.
Asked in an interview last night if he agreed with a New York Times columnist’s comparison of the strife in Iraq with the Tet Offensive, considered a key turning point in the US war in Vietnam, the President responded: "He could be right. There’s certainly a stepped-up level of violence."
The Tet Offensive, a campaign launched by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese armies in early 1968, was a major psychological blow for the US. Even though it failed as a military assault, the scope of the attack shocked Americans and helped turn public opinion against the war.
In a rare one-to-one interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Mr Bush said that insurgents were trying "to inflict enough damage that we’d leave."
"First of all, Al-Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal. They are trying to not only kill American troops, but they’re trying to foment sectarian violence," he said. "They believe that if they can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and will cause (the) government to withdraw."
Mr Bush insisted he could not forsee any circumstances under which all US troops would be withdrawn from Iraq before the end of his presidency. "You mean every single troop out? No," he told Mr Stephanopoulos, adding that pulling out forces would be the equivalent of surrender.
"If we were to leave before the job is done, in my judgment, the al Qaeda would find a safe haven from which to attack," he said.
The White House later sought to put the comparison of Iraq with the Vietnam War in context. "The full context was that the comparison was about the propaganda waged in the Tet Offensive ... and the president was reiterating something he’s said before -- that the enemy is trying to shake our will," Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for Mr Bush, said in a statement.
"They know that we’re a caring and compassionate people and that we’re deeply affected by gross violence," she said. "The president also believes the American people understand the importance of beating our enemy who is determined to kill innocent freedom-loving people."
The comments came amidst a sharp rise in US fatalities in Iraq, including 10 killed in a single day on Wednesday and the announcement today of two further deaths, bringing the total number of American fatalities in Iraq this month to 69. But the US administration said the surge in casualties would not lead to a reassessment of US policy.
In the television interview, Mr Bush also expressed support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki but warned that his patience was not infinite. "In my judgment, Maliki has got what it takes to lead a unity government," he said.
"I’m patient. I’m not patient forever. And I’m not patient with dawdling. But I recognise the degree of difficulty of the task, and therefore, say to the American people, we won’t cut and run."
Last edited by deathrattle; 10-19-2006 at 04:02 AM.