George Bush On Bad Killing Vs. Good KillingAugust 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?