Saturday, November 18, 2006

President Candide

George W. Bush finally goes to Vietnam and, as usual, misses the point.

Back in Washington, John McCain, who was there when it counted, is agonizing publicly over the possibility of our having to leave Iraq with the humiliating scene of our people being air-lifted from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon "multiplied a thousandfold."

Like Candide, seeing only that "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds," Bush in Vietnam is preaching an Iraq homily that "We'll succeed unless we quit."

Somebody, perhaps Vice-President Pangloss, should tell Bush we lost in Vietnam and that the progress he was gushing over there came after we were thrown out.

He should also be reminded that Nixon, who got elected in 1968 with the promise of a "secret plan" to get out of Vietnam, stalled for half a dozen years before giving up, and even Bush must know what finally happened to him.

If the new Congress has a mandate, it is to get out of Iraq as quickly and decently as we can. Quitting and succeeding are beside the point.

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