Yesterday, President Bush said New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman “could be right” that the current spike of violence in Iraq is “jihadist equivalent” of the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. The event was “widely credited with eroding support for President Johnson” and turning the American public against that war.
President Bush has flatly rejected comparing Vietnam and Iraq as recently as June 2006. In 2004, Bush said such an analogy “sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.” Watch it:
Q: Do you see, as some of your critics do, a parallel between what’s going on in Iraq now and Vietnam?
THE PRESIDENT: No. [6/14/06]
Q: Mr. President, April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy. [4/13/04]