One More Observation on the News Conference

I was about to work on a post about the President’s news conference tonight when I saw that the Trunk had already done one; I can’t improve on it. I would add one minor note–an observation on the historical literacy of the White House press corps. Near the end of the press conference, the following question was asked:
“Mr. President, millions of Americans can recall a time when leaders from both parties set this country on a mission of regime change in Vietnam. Fifty-thousand Americans died. The regime is still there in Hanoi and it hasn’t harmed or threatened a single American in 30 years since the war ended.
“What can you say tonight, sir, to the sons and the daughters of the Americans who served in Vietnam to assure them that you will not lead this country down a similar path in Iraq?”
Two observations about this: first, the persistence of the Vietnam paradigm in the minds of certain liberals who just can’t let go, regardless of how utterly different today’s case may be. Second, the factual absurdity of the question: Vietnam was not a “mission of regime change.” On the contrary, our effort was to preserve the free government of South Vietnam from Communist takeover. And while it is certainly true that “the regime is still there in Hanoi,” the proof of the failure of the war is that that regime now rules the South as well as the North. And note, too, the smug insensitivity of the observation that Vietnam “hasn’t harmed or threatened a single American in the 30 years since the war ended.” The reporter’s lack of concern about the millions of South Vietnamese who have been subjected to Communist tyranny mirrors the indifference of liberals to the suffering of the Iraqi people.


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