Thursday, August 23, 2007

Those Who Cannot Remember The Past Are Condemned To Make It Up

Regular reader(s) of this blog probably had some sort of trauma in their childhood that they're mean have probably noticed that from time to time we like to poke good hearted fun at our current potentate, president dissimulation and his merry band of feckless claqueurs.

But not today, for we have found something we have in common with the bandersnatch in chief: neither one of us paid attention in history class. Although in our defense, we have to say that given how things turned out, our lack of historical recall has only resulted in our occasional embarrassment when trying to keep up with contestants on Jeopardy which we would argue has done far less damage to the planet than, say, blowing up a country and killing its residents. Not to mention over 3000 of the citizens of the country you were sworn to protect and serve.

But we digress. Experts say that president Bush may be misrepresenting history when he drew a parallel between the bloody wars Americans fought in East Asia to the current US "war on brown terror" to back his case for maintaining US troops in Iraq. "We say 'may' because we're not sure the president even remembers Viet Nam and we're pretty sure he thinks Korea was the backdrop for a TV show starring Alan Alda," said a spokesperson for the group of historians.

Bush likened the "terrorists" who wage war in Iraq to the communist forces in Korea and Vietnam and imperial Japanese army. "Now, technically the people we fought in those wars were yellow and not brown," said White house Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "But that's OK because we're just going for the non-white motif here."

"Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush told a group of dozing American war veterans in Kansas City, Missouri. "But I don't know anything about that so I"m going to come up with my own reasons.

"My understanding of the history of the Vietnam war and the lessons of that differs rather dramatically from Mr Bush's," Robert Hathaway, an Asian expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. "Of course that could be because I didn't spend those years drunk and high."

Hathaway said that despite the eight-year US military involvement and its heavy casualties in Vietnam, Washington was still unable to create popular support in the south for a government that was widely considered to be corrupt and unpopular. "Sort of like Iraq now."

"So one of the lessons, at least for me, is the American tragedy in Vietnam is that military force by an outside power -- a power that many people in Vietnam viewed as an occupying force -- was not sufficient to create the political conditions for genuinely popular government in South Vietnam nor the political will to fight for that government," Hathaway said. "Again, sort of like Iraq. Hmm...maybe the president does have a point."

"We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn't work our will," he told the Los Angeles Times "What is Bush suggesting? That we didn't fight hard enough, stay long enough?"

"OF course not," replied Snowjob. "The president is making the point that we have to stay in Iraq at least 10 years."

No comments: