Thursday, December 01, 2005

Penalties for Early Withdrawal 

Based on Tim Grieve's recent item at Salon's War Room, we suspect that lawyers for the Richard M. Nixon estate will be going over Mr. Bush's "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" with a fine-toothed comb. The evidence for plagiarism is compelling:
Nixon in 1969: "The precipitate withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam would be a disaster not only for South Vietnam but for the United States and for the cause of peace."

Bush yesterday: "Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America."

Nixon: "An announcement of a fixed timetable for our withdrawal would completely remove any incentive for the enemy to negotiate an agreement. They would simply wait until our forces had withdrawn and then move in."

Bush: "Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends."

Nixon: "If necessary ... we will withdraw all our forces from Vietnam on a schedule in accordance with our program, as the South Vietnamese become strong enough to defend their own freedom."

Bush: "And as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down -- and when our mission of defeating the terrorists in Iraq is complete, our troops will return home to a proud nation."

Nixon delivered his Vietnamization speech in November 1969, but the last U.S. ground troops didn't leave Vietnam until March 1973. More than 8,000 American soldiers died in the meantime.

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