The Next Vietnam

Saturday, July 1, 2006 · 11:33pm


I just heard a re-broadcast of a statement George W. Bush made at a press conference a few months back, that a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq would be a question for “future presidents”. Surely the president and his framers knew there would be some political backlash for making such a brazen statement of his insistence to stay in Iraq despite the large number of Americans who hold an unfavorable opinon of our presence there, to say nothing of the opinion of our allies abroad or the Iraqis themselves. It occurs to me now that the president and his framers were willing to risk any possible backlash because ultimately their aim is not to occupy Iraq indefinitely, but to put off withdrawal long enough so that a future president, likely a Democrat, will have to attempt the cleanup of this awful war.

Such a scenario brings to mind the politcal fallout for the Vietnam war. That war was largely a creation of the Democratic administrations of Kennedy and Johnson, but it was left to Nixon to finish the job and he ultimately bore the brunt of the blame for the inevitable failure there.

I’m wondering if Bush and his framers are ultimately hoping to hang such an albatross around the neck of the next president, whomever that may be. So the war in Iraq will ultimately serve to damage the Democratic party along with the unspeakable damage to the lives of the Iraqi people and the soldiers who were sent there.

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