August 24, 2007
President Bush invoked Vietnam in a speech Wednesday to the veterans of foreign wars. Vietnam is the liberals’ holy grail. It is the comparison they use for the futility of foreign adventures. But Vietnam is liberalism’s loss and the president was right to challenge them on their own ideological turf.
Vietnam was not lost because of the failure of American troops. Vietnam was lost because of the failure of American will. The communist Vietnamese said as much and Osama bin Laden and company believe they can repeat the defeat, not by overpowering American troops, but by again sapping America’s will.
The president noted the thousands who died or went to re-education camps after America withdrew from Vietnam. Did we have no responsibility for them?
The president called the effort to finish the job in Iraq a struggle for civilization that he will not quit while he is president.
One can argue whether we should have gone into Iraq in the first place and I have friends on both sides. But the consequences of not finishing the job are worse than Vietnam. Vietnamese are not coming after us. Islamic terrorists are.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.