Posted by R. Neal Judging from Bush's speech yesterday, it appears we are now entering the "Vietnamization" phase of the Iraq war. It's deja vu all over again: "My fellow Americans, I am sure you can recognize from what I have said that we really only have two choices open to us if we want to end this war. I can order an immediate, precipitate withdrawal of all Americans from Vietnam without regard to the effects of that action. Or we can persist in our search for a just peace through a negotiated settlement if possible, or through continued implementation of our plan for Vietnamization if necessary, a plan in which we will withdraw all our forces from Vietnam on a schedule in accordance with our program, as the South Vietnamese become strong enough to defend their own freedom. I have chosen this second course. It is not the easy way. It is the right way. It is a plan which will end the war and serve the cause of peace not just in Vietnam but in the Pacific and in the world. In speaking of the consequences of a precipitate withdrawal, I mentioned that our allies would lose confidence in America. Far more dangerous, we would lose confidence in ourselves. Oh, the immediate reaction would be a sense of relief that our men were coming home. But as we saw the consequences of what we had done, inevitable remorse and divisive recrimination would scar our spirit as a people." President Richard M. Nixon, November 3, 1969 (Ed. note: in the three years following this speech, nearly 10,000 more American soldiers died in Vietnam.) UPDATE: Apparently, I'm not the only one who noticed the similarity.
December 1, 2005