« August 2007 »


The most depressing thing about the Iraq debacle is how it never changes. We're always winning, the latest development is always good for the administration, and we just need to give it, and all the leftyblog readers can chant this in unison, SIX MORE MONTHS.

But every once in a while, one small facet of the debate shifts. And it never, ever shifts in a good direction. Which is awful for America, and awful for my blood pressure, but it's good for the column. Because I realize that every once in a while, I can still get angry. And incredulous. Like I was when I read about Curly McBigears' latest attempt to defend his clusterfuck. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"There was another price to our withdrawal from Vietnam, and we can hear it in the words of the enemy we face in today's struggle -- those who came to our soil and killed thousands of citizens on September the 11th, 2001. In an interview with a Pakistani newspaper after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden declared that 'the American people had risen against their government's war in Vietnam. And they must do the same today.'"

Add in some of his other context, and the conclusion is clear - President Bush believes, or wants us to believe, that we lost in Vietnam because we pulled out and showed the world we were weak.

Now, I wasn't terribly aware during the end of the Vietnam War. But I do know this. Whenever I've seen the subject come up in pop culture, the view that America could have won in Vietnam if we'd just stuck it out has been universally espoused by one, and only one, type of character. THE CRAZY MOTHERFUCKER. Hell, it's practically shorthand. If you want someone to seem like a crazy motherfucker, just have him say we should have stayed in Vietnam.

But here we have the President of the United States spouting known and avowed Crazy Motherfucker rhetoric. And he's doing so based on the advice of OSAMA BIN LADEN.

"Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility -- but the terrorists see it differently. We must remember the words of the enemy. We must listen to what they say.>

Yes, that's brilliant. When trying to decide on a foreign policy that's in our best interest, let's turn to Osama Bin Laden! He's never steered us wrong before! He told us to get out of Saudi Arabia, and we did, and things have been grand ever since, right?

I can only think of two reasons they're using Bin Laden as their own personal Ann Landers. Either they're completely insane, or he's the only guy they know that speaks Arabic since they fired all the translators for being gay.

It's bad enough that, after five years of "Iraq's not like Vietnam, it's nothing like Vietnam", all of a sudden Iraq's exactly like Vietnam, and that's why we need to STAY. And it's bad enough that he talked about our withdrawal from Vietnam causing the Cambodian "killing fields", when it was the North Vietnamese who took all the free time they suddenly had on their hands and used it to take down the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. These things are bad, but no longer unsurprising or special. George W. Bush, the logically inconsistent fuckwit who's willfully ignorant of history? We know him all too well.

But when Bush comes out as, essentially, Kevin Kline at the end of "A Fish Called Wanda", and using propaganda speeches from people he claims hate every iota of our beings just for existing in a nominally free society as the basis for his arguments, well, that's still just a smidge surprising and noteworthy to my jaded, cynical ears.

But at least I won't be surprised later, when he uses the same argument about getting out of Iran.