Q: How do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
BUSH: "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."
Really? I think President Lyndon Johnson probaby had a better handle on American democracy:
"But in these last days there have been questions about what we are doing in Vietnam, and these questions have been answered loudly and clearly for every citizen to see and to hear.
The strength of America can never be sapped by discussion, and we have no better nor stronger tradition than open debate, free debate, in hours of danger.
So also we are united in our determination that no foe anywhere should ever mistake our arguments for indecision, nor our debates for weakness."
The Vietnam/Iraq comparison:
President Bush last night on troop strength (Now at 135,000):
"I'm constantly asking him (General Abizaid) does he have what he needs, whether it be in troop strength or in equipment...and if he makes the recommendation, he'll get it."
President Johnson on troop strength in 1966 (then at 200,000):
"And when he (General Westmoreland)asks for more Americans to help the men that he has, his requests will be immediately studied, and, as I promised the Nation last July, his needs will be immediately met.
"America's armed forces are performing brilliantly, with all the skill and honor we expect of them. We're constantly reviewing their needs. Troop strength now and in the future is determined by the situation on the ground. If additional forces are needed, I will send them. If additional resources are needed, we will provide them."
"Tonight in Vietnam more than 200,000 of your young Americans stand there fighting for your freedom. Tonight our people are determined that these men shall have whatever help they need, and that their cause, which is our cause, shall be sustained."
"We're not an imperial power, as nations such as Japan and Germany can attest. We're a liberating power, as nations in Europe and Asia can attest as well.
America's objective in Iraq is limited, and it is firm. We seek an independent, free and secure Iraq."
"Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest; it is not empire; it is not foreign bases; it is not domination.It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam.
Second, some people ask if we are caught in a blind escalation of force that is pulling us headlong toward a wider war that no one wants. The answer, again, is a simple "no." We are using that force and only that force that is necessary to stop this aggression."
"We will not permit the spread of chaos and violence. I have directed our military commanders to make every preparation to use decisive force if necessary to maintain order and to protect our troops."
"The high hopes of the aggressor have been dimmed and the tide of the battle has been turned, and our measured use of force will and must be continued.
But this is prudent firmness under what I believe is careful control. There is not, and there will not be, a mindless escalation."
Well, you get the idea.
Lyndon Johnson speech Feb. 23. 1966
Bush press conference April 13, 2004
Posted by bushmeister0
at 2:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 April 2004 2:12 PM EDT