Friday, November 17, 2006

History's lessons, neocon edition

I just read this in the Wall Street Journal:

President Bush said Friday that the U.S.'s unsuccessful war in Vietnam three decades ago offered lessons for the American-led struggle in Iraq. "We'll succeed unless we quit," Mr. Bush said shortly after arriving in Hanoi. |WSJ|(sub'n)
In what alternate universe is that true?

It's charming that from his vantage point in the Texas Air National Guard, Dubya was able to determine that 10 years of warfare and 50,000 American lives were just the beginning of bringing the fight to the enemy in Vietnam.

With that sort of blind optimism, is it any wonder that Bush got us stuck in a quagmire? Bush is obviously deluded, but that's not a surprise.

What's more disappointing is the the mendacity of his sycophantic advisors. Juan Cole points the irony inherent in the brutal honesty of the CIA director's assessment of Iraq for Congress:

[I]t is ironic that the supposedly public and straightforward politicians and cabinet members, such as Cheney and Rice, mostly retail fairy tales to the US public. But the chief of the country's clandestine intelligence agency? He's telling it like it is. He revealed that daily attacks in Iraq are up from 70 in January to 100 last spring after the Samarra bombing, and then to 180 a day last month. He also said that there were only 1300 foreign al-Qaeda volunteers fighting in Iraq, whereas the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement was "in the low tens of thousands" strong. If there are 40,000 guerrillas, then "al-Qaeda" is only 3.25 percent of the "insurgency." That is why Dick Cheney's and other's Chicken Little talk about al-Qaeda taking over Sunni Arab Iraq is overblown, at least at the moment. |Informed Comment|

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