Bush: Iraq's just like Vietnam!

I'm not sure if this is the smartest rhetorical tack for the preznit to take:


President Bush, on his first visit to a country where America lost a two-decade-long fight against communism, said Friday the Vietnam War's lesson for today's confounding Iraq conflict is that freedom takes time to trump hatred.
Uh hunh. Freedom®, indeed. Does he even know we lost that war? Does he know Vietnam is still a (nominally) communist country?
A baby boomer who came of age during the turbulent Vietnam era and spent the war stateside as a member of the Texas Air National Guard, the president called himself amazed by the sights of the one-time war capital.
What's that old joke? The difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that Bush sure had an exit strategy for Vietnam [rimshot].
… his critics see parallels with Vietnam - a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support - that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Yeah.

Meanwhile …
Iraq's coalition of the willing is becoming an increasingly exclusive club.
Twenty-three countries remain in the U.S.-led coalition and the United Nations' mission serving in and around Iraq, down from a high of 42 that joined the United States in the invasion or the postwar occupation of Iraq. More than half of those contributors have fewer than 150 troops, engineers or military trainers in the Iraq theater.
Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands and Ukraine were among the countries that pulled out of Iraq in 2005. This year, Japan announced it was withdrawing its noncombat troops from Iraq. Italy, one of the largest contributors to the multinational force, plans to have all its 1,785 soldiers home by the end of the year.
Poland, which was given overall command of Iraq's south-central region, has cut its forces from 2,400 to about 900.
Yes, 900 Polish troops have "overall command" of South-Central Iraq. Somewhere, a member of some Shiite militia is having a good 'ole belly laugh about that one.
Smaller parties in Poland's governing coalition are pressing for a quick withdrawal of the remaining troops. The government of President Lech Kaczynski has sent conflicting signals on how long the deployment will last.
When he takes over next year, Gordon Brown's going to have a hell of a time trying to keep the Brits in Iraq, as he recently said he would.

One country that seems to be holding fast is Australia, even though 60 percent of Aussies oppose the deployment.

They need to get rid of John Howard, who this week lunched with Bush in Vietnam and said: "We need to remember what is at stake here, not only for Iraq and the Middle East, but also for American power and prestige around the world." That's an Australian PM blatantly fellating U.S. power. Call Bart Simpson -- someone needs a good booting.

Here's the money-quote from this piece:

Romanian President Traian Basescu told the Associated Press last week that his country's 600 noncombat troops will stay, despite pleas from the families with relatives serving there. "Romania's honor is greater than its feelings," he said.

Indeed.

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