U.S. President George W. Bush took on the ghosts of Vietnam in defending his policy to keep a strong troop presence in Iraq. Speaking to a group of U.S. war veterans, Bush warned against the “allure of retreat” from Iraq, saying that massacres and upheaval took place after the U.S. pullout from Vietnam .
An analysis from the McClatchy newspapers says Bush is putting himself in a stronger position when Congress returns next month to address Iraq funding and other related issues. It says “reports of limited military progress in Iraq have stiffened Republicans’ support for Bush’s policy while putting Democrats on the defensive.”
The New York Times blog outlines the mixed press coverage of Bush’s speech. It says sources from the left seized on the Vietnam comparison as a “much better example of why the United States should be getting out of Iraq, not staying there.”
The conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt responded by focusing attention on Bush’s comments that the United States has killed or captured 1,500 terrorists linked to al-Qaeda since January.