I need a phrase more eternally damning than "jaw-droppingly clueless." First, there's Blogging Tory and "Steno Boy" Jonathan Strong:
Bush Invokes Vietnam in Speech to VFW
President Bush invoked Vietnam in his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today, a controversial move that every President since Vietnam has tried to avoid. Bush pointed to various criticisms during and after conflicts America was involved in on how democracy, human rights, or etc. could not work in various cultures because of traditions, norms, and customs. And yet, in Japan, in Korea, in Europe, democracy took hold and people accepted a Pax Americana.
The exception to this, was Vietnam, where America withdrew before it could win. Here's an excerpt from Bush's speech:
Finally, there's Vietnam. This is a complex and painful subject for many Americans. The tragedy of Vietnam is too large to be contained in one speech. So I'm going to limit myself to one argument that has particular significance today. Then as now, people argued the real problem was America's presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end.
The argument that America's presence in Indochina was dangerous had a long pedigree. In 1955, long before the United States had entered the war, Graham Greene wrote a novel called, "The Quiet American." It was set in Saigon, and the main character was a young government agent named Alden Pyle. He was a symbol of American purpose and patriotism -- and dangerous naivete. Another character describes Alden this way: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused."
That's right ... Commander Codpiece seriously invoked "Alden Pyle" in his speech. Go figure. And Jonathan didn't have a clue about the hilarious irony therein.