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Bush Right, Kerry Wrong On Vietnam Figures

From The Hill:

Democrats blast Bush’s Vietnam comparison

By Klaus Marre
August 22, 2007

Democrats Wednesday strongly rejected President Bush’s comparison of the Vietnam War to the conflict in Iraq, saying that drawing parallels is inaccurate and irresponsible.

Bush, in a speech to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, used the example of the Vietnam War to show the possible consequences of withdrawing troops from Iraq. The president said that millions of people “paid the price” when the U.S. left Vietnam.

But Democratic leaders insisted that was a false comparison. “Invoking the tragedy of Vietnam to defend the failed policy in Iraq is as irresponsible as it is ignorant of the realities of both of those wars,” said Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate…

And the media today is replete with other quotes where John Kerry lambastes President Bush for his ignorance about the Vietnam War.

And yet, it was the self-same Vietnam expert John Kerry who on July 19, 2007 said this in response to a CSPAN caller:

KERRY: Let me just say to the first part of your question with respect to boat people and killing, everybody predicted a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. There was not a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. There were reeducation camps, and they weren’t pretty and, you know, nobody, you know, likes that kind of outcome. But on the other hand, I’ve met lot of people today who were in those education camps, who are thriving in the Vietnam of today.

No, not everyone predicted a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. For, as we have pointed out previously, Mr. Kerry assured the US Senate in April 1972 that there would be no such thing.

From Mr. Kerry’s historic testimony:

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS RELATING TO THE WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1971

UNITED STATES SENATE;
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
Washington, D.C.

Mr. KERRY.  …The number two man at the Saigon talks to Ambassador Lam was asked by the Concerned Laymen, who visited with them in Paris last month, how long they felt they could survive if the United States would pull out and his answer was 1 week. So I think clearly we do have to face this question. But I think, having done what we have done to that country, we have an obligation to offer sanctuary to the perhaps 2,000, 3,000 people who might face, and obviously they would, we understand that, might face political assassination or something else. But my feeling is that those 3,000 who may have to leave that country

So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America

Of course it turned out that Mr. Kerry was no better at predicting the future than he is now at remembering the past.

For even today’s edition of the vaunted New York Times admits that Mr. Bush was accurate with his characterization of the aftermath of Vietnam, and even in his numbers:

Historians Question Bush’s Reading of Lessons of Vietnam War for Iraq

By THOM SHANKER
Published: August 23, 2007

…The record of death and dislocation after the American withdrawal from Vietnam ranks high among the tragedies of the last century, with an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians, about one-fifth of the population, dying under the rule of Pol Pot, and an estimated 1.5 million Vietnamese and other Indochinese becoming refugees. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese who were sent to prison camps after the war have ranged widely, from 50,000 to more than 400,000, and some accounts have said that tens of thousands perished, a figure that Mr. Bush cited in his speech, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars….

But Mr. Kerry has always been a pathological liar where Vietnam is concerned.

And, in fact, where most things are concerned.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, August 23rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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