President Bush, speaking to the VFW this week:
I won't argue the contention that the vaccuum left when we withdrew from Vietnam (and by the way, it was not a precipitous withdrawal by any means!) may have contributed to the sad events that followed in that region and that our retreat does offer a hell of a talking point for Al Quaeda.
"...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," "reeducation camps," and "killing fields."
There's 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.
The number two man, Zawahiri, has also invoked Vietnam. In a letter to Al Qaida's chief of operations in Iraq, Zawahari pointed, quote, "to the aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam and how they ran and left their agents," end quote.
Zawahiri later returned to this theme, declaring that Americans, quote, "know better than others that there is no hope in victory. The Vietnam specter is closing every outlet."
Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price for American credibility. But the terrorists see it differently. We must listen to the words of the enemy. We must listen to what they say.
Bin Laden has declared that the war in Iraq is for you or us to win; if we win it, it means your disgrace and defeat forever. "
But the only conclusion I can draw from Bush's statement is that he believes we should have not left Vietnam, at least not when and how we did.
So I would like to hear the Commander in Chief's further thoughts on what he believes we should have done with regard to the Viet Nam war from 1972 on. How long should we have stayed and how would we have won the war and avoided the tragedies that followed?
Also, one way we reacted to the chaos we contributed to in southeast Asia was by welcoming thousands, perhaps millions, of Vietnamese and other refugees to our country.
We broke Iraq, yet we will not admit her refugees. The pileup of refugees inside Iraq and in surrounding countries will cause untold misery and further destabilization of the region. I know what George is thinking: We'll fix Iraq and then all those folks will want to return.
It will be for the next president to welcome them. Sphere: Related Content