Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, November 17, 2006

President Bush visits Viet Nam; Hopes to Minimize Iraq Ties

In his visit to Viet Nam, the second of any U.S. President since the end of the Viet Nam War, President Bush was met with both waves and scornful gazes, according to CNN. Throughout his trip, President Bush will look to exude poise, demonstrating that he is comfortable with the situation in Viet Nam, as well as the considerable parallels that have been made between the ongoing conflict in Iraq and the Viet Nam War.

President Bush did not receive as warm a welcome as his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton, who stabilized relations with Viet Nam. Although it has been 31 years since the last helicopter left the country, the wounds of the conflict are still fresh, both for Americans and Vietnamese.

If anything, the Viet Nam War proved that the main factor in war is the will of the people; making parallels between the Viet Nam War and the Iraq War even easier to cast. While recognizing that there is much to be learned from the Iraq conflict, Bush stated that mission in Iraq cannot end until the country is able to remain stable on its own. However, similarities to the Viet Nam War such as a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support, beg the question as to the benefits of prolonging the war in Iraq.

Bush has a difficult task in his trip to the Asian nation, as he attempts to promote greater economic ties while also calling for democratic reforms.

The full article can be found here.


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