Friday, January 05, 2007

Dubya misunderstands the lessons of Vietnam

The Lesson George W. Didn’t Learn

John Berthelsen
01 January 2007
The American President seems keen to repeat his country’s mistakes

Last November 17, as George W Bush visited Hanoi for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the US president had some philosophical thoughts to deliver about the lessons he said the United States had learned from the Vietnam War, the longest conflict in US history.

"We'll succeed unless we quit," Bush told reporters. "We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take awhile.”

It is questionable what lessons the president took away from Vietnam, where nearly 58,000 American soldiers died and more than 300,000 were wounded in more than 14 years of hot and cold conflict before the Americans gave up. But if history is any yardstick, he probably ought to take careful consideration of ordering a surge in American troops in Iraq.

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