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I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
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Saturday, October 21, 2006
Hearing the echoes of Vietnam. I wrote two posts for Biased BBC about the BBC's reporting of President Bush's "admission" that there were parallels between the present situation and Iraq and the Tet Offensive. The BBC, of course, is neither the only nor by any means the worst offender among the media organisations that have seized on this.
Those who think that a clueless idiot can get and keep the office of President of the United States may well be good children or pleasant neighbours but there is no need to take anything they say about politics seriously. Whatever criticisms one might justly make of Bush, one thing he cannot be is a simpleton. For all that there is a kind of truth behind it: Bush is a simple man. As I wrote here, precisely because he is a child of privilege "in important respects his values are more normal than is normal in his milieu." Poor guy. Of course he had thought about the similarities to the Tet Offensive. Like some prince letting slip that there might be something to this Copernican system in front of his less enlightened bishops, he just forgot for a moment to keep one of the taboos that it is safer to observe when so many of the intermediaries between him and the populace are either ignoramuses or hostile.
He forgot that so many of them rejoice that the American media managed to turn that offensive, which General Giap viewed as a failure, into "proof" that the war could not be won. He forgot that so many of them view the conquest of Vietnam by a regime so detested by its own people that thousands of Boat People preferred the mercies of the open sea to enduring it any longer, and the deliverance of Cambodia into the hands of the democidal Khmer Rouge, to be their finest hour.
You know, thinking about it, his moment of forgetfulness might make a few people remember these things. It may not do him such harm after all.
(Cross posted to Samizdata.)