Bush made his speech just as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, a distinguished socialist and humanitarian, visited Baghdad and embraced some Iraqi and Kurdish freedom fighters, such as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the leader of a party that is a member of the Socialist International. It takes a special kind of political and moral idiocy to choose such a moment to wax nostalgic for the US' inheritance of a moribund French colonialism in Indochina. If one question is rightly settled in the US and, indeed, the international memory, it is that the Vietnam War was at best a titanic blunder and at worst a campaign of atrocity and aggression.
But not all the ironies are at Bush's expense. Change only the name of the analogous country and it becomes fairly clear that in Iraq we are fighting not the Vietcong, but the Khmer Rouge, as the Vietcong eventually had to do on our behalf. The logic of history is pitiless and Bush is not the only one who will find this out.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Read the whole thing from Christopher Hitchens, but here a key excerpt: