While on vacation in Crawford, Tex., Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush must have been drinking from the same well as Lyndon B. Johnson when LBJ got American boots stuck in Southeast Asia’s unforgiving swamps.
In April 1965, as he was secretly signing off on the Vietnam troop buildup that would eventually grow to more than 500,000 American soldiers, LBJ said, "Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Vietnam would bring an end to conflict."
Bush's assertion that our battered, overstretched combat troops in Iraq would "never retreat" was a major deja vu moment. And the similarities don't stop there. Both presidents got into deep doo-doo because they listened to their arrogant defense secretaries and an all-knowing coterie of civilian and uniformed go-along types running the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than some smart, straight-shooting field generals.
LBJ consequently lost his job and caused millions of American and Vietnamese casualties. Let's hope that GWB isn't leading us down another rocky road.
It's the wise commander who knows when to retreat. Let's hope this time around Bush bites the bullet and we don’t pay the price we did in Vietnam.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.