George Bush On Bad Killing Vs. Good Killing

August 22, 2007

On my way to work today I had a chance to listen to Rush Limbaugh’s repeated “Right On!, Right On!” reaction to the multiple soundbites from Bush’s “Iraq will be like Vietnam if we leave” speech.  I gotta tell ya, when you listen to George Bush speak, it’s hard to think “Right On!” even if he said that the government would be eliminating taxes, simply because the guy sounds like a buffoon whenever he says anything.  Listening to Rush say it to another one of Bush’s attempts to justify the unending war and perpetual mission creep in Cheney’s “quagmire” just might induce one to vomit.

I’m not going to make a big deal out of the fact that Bush is now comparing Vietnam to Iraq, even though he’s rejected the comparison in the past.  My comment is concerning a couple of specific sound bites I heard on on the radio:

Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left. There’s no debate in my mind that the veterans from Vietnam deserve the high praise of the United States of America. (Applause.) Whatever your position is on that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like “boat people,” “re-education camps,” and “killing fields.”

Of course the analogy here is the familiar “if we leave Iraq, there will be genocide” theme.  But then, a bit later…

In Iraq, our troops are taking the fight to the extremists and radicals and murderers all throughout the country. Our troops have killed or captured an average of more than 1,500 al Qaeda terrorists and other extremists every month since January of this year. (Applause.) We’re in the fight. Today our troops are carrying out a surge that is helping bring former Sunni insurgents into the fight against the extremists and radicals, into the fight against al Qaeda, into the fight against the enemy that would do us harm. They’re clearing out the terrorists out of population centers, they’re giving families in liberated Iraqi cities a look at a decent and hopeful life.

First off, I thought it was a bit odd to put forth the notion that many people would lose their lives if we leave, and then turn around and boast about how many people we’re killing while we’re there. And 1.500 a month is quite a number.

The devil is in the details here. Who are we killing?  The majority of the “other extremists” that Bush is referring to are undoubtedly Iraqis. Iraqis that would have never been a threat to us here at home if we hadn’t invaded, and are unlikely to be so if we leave. Of course, Bush doesn’t give any specifics on the percentages of “al Qaeda” vs. “other”, but I’d be willing to bet that the actual numbers are heavily on the side of the latter.

Anyone else find Bush’s invoking of the term “killing fields” a bit ironic? 


  1. I’m not a fan of trying to bring morality into warfare. The fact remains that the stability of Iraq comes in about 20 shades of gray.Nothing is black and white. The issue facing the world and I mean the world not just the US or Iraq is which shade of gray is best .
    Soundbites and slogans can be many things but they’re not necessarily policy.
    Basra and the south of Iraq will soon give a clear picture to my comments. From there who knows ?
    AQ is a presence in Iraq. Other insurgents and extremists are not fighting for freedom,they’re fighting for their foothold in post US Iraq. They too are left guessing what that’ll be.
    I’m not getting any irony here.

  2. You can compare Iraq to Vietnam. Let’s remember that Vietnam began after World War II with Eisenhower and the Geneva Accords just as Iraq got started in the late 1980s with true combat coming 15 years or later in both. Let’s compare the Gulf of Tonkin to Axis of evil. Both excuses to start combat. I don’t think it was a bad idea to try and free the Iraqi people from Hussein. I think it was a bad idea that we let Rumsfield and Cheney run the war just as we let McNamara and the others run Vietnam. We did not learn that if we are going to start a war, we need to FULLY understand the enemies culture. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was a nationailst, he just wanted a unified country (he even used our constitution for the basis of his own)…. Forget about China, we thought China was a player in this (Eisenhowers communist Domino theory). If we would have done our homework, we would have realized that the Vietnamese and the Chinese hated each other. China occupied them for nearly a thousand years at one point in history. We also, as usual, would not intervene on the behalf of Ho because we did not want to disappoint the French, so Eisenhower just started paying for the French’s occupation. I have nothing against the French, but they ARE one of the reasons we had Vietnam. I say, let’s get our troops out of Iraq. Genocide will happen one way or the other, becasue we have to understand the fanatic religious backgrounds here. Since that is the case, it is now time for the Iraqi citizens to step up and protect themselves. I don’t want our people killed. I don’t want anyone killed, but the Iraqis have to take ownership. Besides, if we don’t like the new leaders that take over, send in a smart bomb and kill them. After all…. this is war! We have to stop being so politically correct. I also can’t stand to hear the ‘atrocities’ that our troops are committing. I have studied a lot of history on Vietnam. We need to understand that in combat, there is no nice guys. It is killed or be killed, back to the very start of human existence. I am proud to be an American and support our troops!

  3. Than you for a well spoken article.

  4. I appreciate every word that you have said. I could not have said it better. Ragon Steele

  5. Casual concurrence

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  6. Absolutely with you it agree. It seems to me it is good idea. I agree with you.

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