It is a shame â€” and it is embarrassing to us all â€” when President Bush travels 8,000 miles, only to wind up avoiding reality, again.
And it is pathetic to listen to the leader of the free world, talk so unrealistically about Vietnam, when it was he who permitted the “Swift-Boating” of not one but two American heroes of that war, in consecutive Presidential campaigns.
But most importantly â€” important, beyond measure â€” his avoidance of reality is going to wind up killing more Americans.
And that is indefensible â€” and fatal.
Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were â€” and he immediately proved he had no clue what they were.
“One lesson is,” he said, “that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.”
“We’ll succeed,” the President concluded, “unless we quit.”
If that’s the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor. Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.
Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but “we’ll succeed unless we quit” is not one of them.