We must remember the words of the enemy. We must listen to what they say. Bin Laden has declared that "the war [in Iraq] is for you or us to win. If we win it, it means your disgrace and defeat forever." Iraq is one of several fronts in the war on terror — but it's the central front — it's the central front for the enemy that attacked us and wants to attack us again. And it's the central front for the United States and to withdraw without getting the job done would be devastating.
If we were to abandon the Iraqi people, the terrorists would be emboldened, and use their victory to gain new recruits. As we saw on September the 11th, a terrorist safe haven on the other side of the world can bring death and destruction to the streets of our own cities. Unlike in Vietnam, if we withdraw before the job is done, this enemy will follow us home. And that is why, for the security of the United States of America, we must defeat them overseas so we do not face them in the United States of America.
~ President Bush this morning, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention.
"Invoking the tragedy of Vietnam to defend the failed policy in Iraq is as irresponsible as it is ignorant of the realities of both of those wars,” said Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate.
But hasn't Kerry's fellow Senator from Massachussetts made the Iraq/Vietnam comparison before? From 2004: In an impassioned speech, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., declared Iraq "George Bush's Vietnam."
Senator James Webb has drawn parallels between Iraq and Vietnam.
As a matter of fact, Kerry himself made the Iraq/Vietnam comparison... just last month!
"Vietnam was based on misleading the American people and so is this," Kerry says. "Vietnam was based on a kind of cultural arrogance and ignorance and so is this. And the same capacity for self-deception that led to prolonging the war in Vietnam is leading to some of the self-deception and wishful thinking that is prolonging this war."
Vietnam was a civil war that required a political solution, he says, and Iraq also requires a political solution.
Washington is rife with hypocrisy... as usual.
Update: Newsweek flips out on Bush's Iraq/Vietnam war analogy.