24 August 2007

Bush Re-Defines Vietnam, Failure, and Leadership

This from the BBC:
President Bush is seeking to redeem the Vietnam War.

He has tried to turn conventional wisdom about that war (that it was a quagmire and a sideshow in strategic terms) on its head.

Having finally given up on stopping his critics from drawing parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, Bush has decided to it would be easier to re-define failure than it would be to change the course of events in Iraq. The statistics measuring "progress" in Iraq are damning for all but the delusional.

It is not just that the Iraqi war and occupation is now forecast to cost about $1 trillion. (Enough to give every working person in America a tax refund of $7,500.) 2,000 Iraqis are fleeing the country every day, and for good reason. In July alone, nearly 2,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. Each day, about 60 Iraqis are being killed - up from about 30 a day last year. (And given the difference in population, 60 a day is equivalent to about 1,000 Americans being killed each day!) About a million Iraqis have been killed since the occupation. American forces dropped five times as many bombs in Iraq in the first six months of 2007 than they did in the first six months of 2006.

Folks in Baghdad get only about 1 to 2 hours a day of electricity, in a country where average daytime temperatures are 110 to 120 degrees a day. 17 of Prime Minister Maliki's 37 ministers have walked out. (The equivalent of having every other cabinet member and his department (e.g., defense and education and environmental protection agency) separate from Bush's government.) $11 billion of Iraqi reconstruction funds are missing. About 30% of the equipment given to Iraqi troops by the Pentagon (including 110,000 AK-47 rifles) is also missing. The percentage of babies born underweight since the occupation has spiked to 11% (compared to 3% before the invasion).

If, as Bush claims, all this constitutes a success, then how could Vietnam be anything but a success. How could it not be? The fact that 5.1 million Vietnamese were killed during the war (4 million civilians) would do little to suggest it was ought but success. It cost us about $120 billion (back when a billion was real money) and 58,209 American lives. None of that mattered. What matters to George is that we failed to continue pounding our head against the wall. After dropping more bombs on Vietnam than we dropped on all of Europe during World War 2, we gave up too soon. A stunning conclusion to reach without the assistance of alcohol.

Once Bush has managed to redefine Vietnam and Iraq as successes (and what, one can't help but asking, would these wars have looked like had they been failures?), he plans to redefine space, time, and subprime mortgages. For you see, Bush is also redefining leadership. To put words in his mouth (given that there is no sock handy), "Leadership is shared delusion."

Sharing the outrage over Bush's defense of Vietnam:
Jim Hoagland at the San Diego Union-Tribune


Life Hiker said...

The best analogy I've heard about Bush's intrasigence about Iraq is the one that compares him to a compulsive gambler with a big bank account.

In this case, the bank account is the federal treasury - your money and mine.

Things go south, he doubles up. Things go south again, he doubles up again, hoping against hope that his luck will change.

It appears that the game is about over. Even republicans like John Warner know the odds have become too outrageous. But Warner only wants to pull a little money out of the game. I want it all out.

Let's not forget that the congress, republicans and democrats alike, gave him the OK to start this big game and continue squandering our money on it when it was obviouly a scam. I'd like to put them all away.

omniboomer said...

Whistleblowing In The Wind

I read the news today, oh boy…….

8.8 billion in Iraq reconstruction money missing. Those with info re: abuses discredited and in some cases imprisoned. Whistle blower suits filed but no suits joined by Bush’s Justice Dept. Surprise, surprise. How far down this crooked road will this administration be allowed to take us before the mandate of the public is heard. How long will the now gutless dems to whom we delivered that mandate kow-tow. ‘We The People’ spoke last November, but after the giddy, rah-rah wore off, the Bush machine went into spin-cycle. Out came the flat-world, swift-boat Rovians calling anyone opposed to Bush’s war treasonous and traitors. Warning!!! do not listen, do not take the bait, do not back away. The American majority is (was) on your side. Be a man (Hillary) and fight back. Do what you were elected to do. People are pissed. Do something!!!!!

Bryan said...

Where are you getting your "facts"? Drive by Media?
For instance... I did find an article online that mentioned Bagdad only getting 1 - 2 hrs of electricity per day, but you conveniently leave out... "Although a refusal by provincial governments to provide their full quotas to Baghdad could easily be seen as greedy when electricity is in such short supply, many citizens near the power plants regard the new reality as only fair; under Saddam Hussein, the capital enjoyed nearly 24 hours a day of power at the expense of the provinces that are now flush with electricity."
I suppose Bush some how caused this too?
If love is blind, then hate is totally biased.

Pull Up A Chair said...

I love the idiot Ditto-Head comment here... What a koolaid drinker...

Anyway - Bush and his selective historical accounts of the Vietnam era are defined by his service record during that same time period. He managed to hide out with and from the Texas Air National Guard- Don't you see??? If only the USA had stayed the course in the '70's freedom would have been on the march and other bumper sticker phrases.

We have a retarded dumbassmonkey running the country who, just today, informed Congress that he needs another 50B dollars to stay the course.