I'm having a very difficult time comprehending the message that the President was trying to send to the people of Vietnam ...or to the world...or maybe just to the American people when he said, standing under a huge bust of Ho Chi Minh in the former palace of the French governor in Hanoi:
...that the American experience in Vietnam contained lessons for the war in Iraq. Chief among them, he said, was that “we’ll succeed unless we quit.”As someone pointed out on another blog, it sounds as though the President regrets that the US did not stay in the war longer and kill more Vietnamese. A strange statement to make when you are the guest of the current president of the country...
“We tend to want there to be instant success in the world,” Mr. Bush said after a lunch with Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, “and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.”
And in an even curiouser remark, Mr. Bush credited his hosts with saving veteran Sen. John McCain's life by pulling him out of the lake where his plane had crashed nearly 40 years ago ... never mind that they kept him prisoner for five years and tortured him as well.
War sure makes people do and say strange things.
On a more inspiring note: had a great conversation today with one of our Italian professors about Cesare Beccaria and his opposition to torture and to the death penalty.
We should be so advanced!