RUSH: Boy, the president was on fire today at the VFW convention in Kansas City. By the way, for the Hollywood liberals out there, VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars, are soldiers — rapists, murderers, barbarians, in your eyes. He has ticked off the Democrats. We’re working on the sound bites of the speech even now, ladies and gentlemen. Even after the program has begun, we continue working for you, and, of course, ourselves. But he essentially said, ‘All right, you want to compare Iraq to Vietnam? Well, then let’s compare Iraq to Vietnam,’ and he went on a tear about the millions of people who lost their lives, innocent people, when we left Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. He quoted the New York Times columnists who were saying the problem with America in the world is America’s presence, particularly in Vietnam. It was a Vietnam-era column. He gave a history lesson. It was almost like this show. He went around the world. He described how the defeatists said the imperial Japanese government would never, ever be a democracy, we were silly to think that that could ever happen. He cited all the pessimists, he quoted them, and then he cited history and reality as it is today to show that they were all wrong. Soviet Union, South Korea, North Korea, you name it, he was just on fire.
Of course, it’s got ’em all upset out there on the left. The text of the speech was released in advance. He even went after Carl Levin, not by name. He said, (paraphrasing) ‘Look, the Iraqis are a functioning democracy. It’s up to them to decide who their leaders are, not a bunch of politicians in Washington.’ This is because Levin came back after he toured Iraq and said Maliki’s gotta go, the prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, gotta go, and Bush said screw you, bud. By the way, Maliki has said the same thing, which is also terrific. He lashed out at US criticism saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and his country can find friends elsewhere. Mr. Prime Minister, you don’t have any friends in the Democrat Party in this country. You have friends in certain Americans. You have friends in the White House. In the text of the president’s speech he links withdrawal from Vietnam to the rise of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and asserts that the American pullout caused pain and suffering for millions. He said, ‘Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like boat people, reeducation camps, and killing fields.’
Well, ‘Those assertions are already being criticized by Democrats, including the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and at least one historian, Robert Dallek, a biographer of presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Both said Mr. Bush was ignoring fundamental differences between the conflicts. Citing Cambodia in particular, Mr. Dallek said in an interview that the mayhem under the Khmer Rouge ‘was a consequence of our having gone into Cambodia and destabilized that country,” which is exactly what Bush said today, he said what they’re going to say, and they are saying it. When I had my meeting with him, he was on fire about this. I had a sense something was up. I just got a sense that the gloves were about to come off here, but I didn’t want to speculate on that because it was just a perception. But he took me around the world and gave me a current events lesson as to what’s happening in various capitals and countries. He told me he was meeting with some leaders at NATO or European Union people. He had a couple of them come up to him and say essentially here what Dallek is saying: The problem with the world is the US goes too many places, and our interventionism destabilizes all these places that otherwise would be full of peace and tranquility. And Bush told me, ‘I looked at him right in the eye and I said the American people and the United States government are the solution. We are not the problem.’ And that’s what he was saying today. That was the theme of this speech.
He also said that the Iraqi legislature’s passed 60 different pieces of legislation and the creation of a budgeting process that would distribute oil revenue despite the lack of an oil revenue sharing law, which is one of the key benchmarks that Congress had set for the Iraqi parliament to meet. Congress had set the benchmark. They set these benchmarks in a way that would be almost impossible, which gave them the cover to start running around now talking about the political process. But did you see the headline in The Washington Post today? ‘Democrats Refocus Message on Iraq After Military Gains. Criticism Shifts to Factional Unrest.’ A coordinated effort here between the Drive-Bys and the Democrats. Listen to this opening line — and you know this because I have told you this weeks ago before the Congress went on recess. ‘Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war. Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq’s diverse political factions.’
Folks, they have to stay invested in defeat right now for the sake of holding Congress. The kook base that they think determined the outcome of the ’06 election (it’s not the case, but that’s what they think) their kook fringe lunatic base is going to force them to continue this position. They’re going to try to recalibrate with the help of the Drive-Bys. They’re going to try to have it both ways so that they can be supportive and acknowledging of the success everybody admits is occurring on the military side. But it doesn’t matter in the end. We should still get out.
‘And now the Democrats, along with wavering Republicans, will face an advertising blitz from Bush supporters determined to remain on offense. A new pressure group, Freedom’s Watch, will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign today designed to shore up support for Bush’s policies before the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, lays out a White House assessment of the war’s progress. … The leading Democratic candidates for the White House have fallen into line with the campaign to praise military progress while excoriating Iraqi leaders for their unwillingness to reach political accommodations,’ that Democrats in Congress demand that they make. We need benchmarks for the US Congress, folks. They’re not doing anything, which is good. It’s great when they don’t get anything done, but they are little ankle biters. They’re out there harassing the president, trying to do all these investigations.
One more reference to the president’s speech, because they did release the text early. This was in the Los Angeles Times. ‘Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, criticized Bush’s speech, saying the president ‘continues to play the American people for fools. The only relevant analogy of Vietnam to Iraq is this: In Iraq, just as we did in Vietnam, we are clinging to a central government that does not and will not enjoy the support of the people.” The people elected them! ‘Unless the president acts on that lesson from history and works toward a federal solution in Iraq, there is no prospect that when we leave, we will leave anything stable behind.’ Then they quote this historian again, Robert Dallek. ‘It just boggles my mind, the distortions I feel are perpetrated here by the president. We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn’t work our will.’
What the Democrats don’t like, and what the left doesn’t like, is they want the Iraq-Vietnam comparison all to themselves. They want to be able to be in control of the narrative of that comparison, and they want to be able to say, ‘See, we lost in Vietnam because we had no business being there. We destabilized the region, and we have no business being in Iraq. The president lied to us and people have died because the president lied,’ blah, blah. So when the president gives a speech and says, ‘Okay, you want some comparisons? Here’s the one that counts.’ They just erupt and they have conniption fits.
RUSH: We have some President Bush sound bites ready to go here, and I really want to you hear these. I’ve asked Cookie to put together a couple of more from where he was quoting all the doomsayers, particularly in the media, during the Vietnam era. He cited a New York Times article or column. He didn’t name the reporter. I’m having her dig that up. It was a powerful moment. I want you also to hear some of the things he said about Japan and how, after World War II, people said, ‘You’re crazy! You’re not going to make them a democracy. It’s not going to happen. The Japanese don’t have it in ’em.’ His point was that the doom-and-gloom crowd is consistent, and they’ve been consistent throughout history, and they’ve been consistently wrong, and yet they are still considered the ‘experts.’ He kept throwing that word around, with little quote marks in his voice: ‘Experts.’ You could tell he clearly disdains the ‘experts’ that are cited by the other side. Here is one of his explanations of what happened after we left Vietnam and why we should not repeat it.
THE PRESIDENT: Many argued that if we pulled out, there would be no consequences for the Vietnamese people. The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution. In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousands perished. Three decades later there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left. There’s no debate in my mind that the veterans from Vietnam deserve the high praise of the United States of America. (applause)
RUSH: Right on. Right on. Right on. We cut the applause here in the interests of time, brevity being the soul of wit. Here’s bite number two.
THE PRESIDENT: There’s another price to our withdrawal from Vietnam, and we can hear it in the words of the enemy we face in today’s struggle, those who came to our soil and killed thousands of citizens on September the 11th, 2001. Osama bin Laden declared that the American people had risen against their government’s war in Vietnam, and they must do the same today. Bin Laden has declared that the war in Iraq ‘is for you or us to win. If we win it, it means your disgrace and defeat forever.’ Iraq is one of the several fronts in this war on terror. But it’s the central front. It’s a central front for the enemy that attacked us and wants to attack us again, and it’s the central front for the United States — and to withdraw without getting the job done would be devastating. (applause)
RUSH: Democrats are just out there fuming over this. They think they own the comparison to Iraq and Vietnam. By the way, I hasten to add that they’ve failed to make it. They’re out there having to backtrack. They’ve been outmaneuvered again. This Washington Post story: ‘Democrats Refocus Message on Iraq After Military Gains,’ they just opened the door right into their nose again before they had a chance to go in the doorway. So now they’re going to ‘recalibrate.’ They want this kind of flexibility, and the Drive-Bys give it to them. The Drive-Bys will never make them stick to a position. ‘Oh, oh, surge is doing well! Dingy Harry and Pelosi, you’ve gotta come up with something! Recalibrate, here, so you can have it both ways. We’ll help you out. We’ll keep your base for you, and you can get on board with this thing because reality is reality. You can’t sit there and deny that.’ But they’ve tried. Everything the Democrats and the Drive-Bys have done the past three and a half, four years, has been to create negative public opinion about the war. It’s turning around, and it’s gotta be disappointing to them that this has happened and it has failed, their efforts failed, now that they’re clearly seen on the side of defeat. We’re not going to let ’em. On this program, we’re not going to let ’em get back on this side, folks. They may try to ‘recalibrate,’ but it ain’t gonna work here. Our disgronificator will not let their calibration equipment succeed. It ain’t going to happen here.
These people own their position on this program and we are going to continually play you audio of what they said in the past four months, six months especially. Especially if you go back to April, March, when the whole surge idea was first floated, they have been opposing it. They have said it can’t win. They said it’s already defeated, blah, blah, blah. Just yesterday, the surge just finally hit full force, in terms of manpower. So they’re out there trying to recalibrate. One of the things they tried to do was to say that this administration’s the equivalent of Nixon and Watergate, with all this corruption and all this executive privilege and all these things going on that nobody knows about, like the immigration bill the Democrats were in charge of. Nobody knew about that, and when we found out about it, it was toast. They tried to say that the Iraq war is just Vietnam, a quagmire, we’re going nowhere — and, why? Because they want us to lose, and they were happy we lost in Vietnam. What they’ve forgotten is, after they succeeded in pulling off the loss in Vietnam by de-funding it, they nominated a guy like George McGovern who lost in a landslide to the — at the time, hated and despised — Richard Nixon. Yet they still go back to that era and look at it as an era of glory for them, and they seem hell-bent on emulating it. So, president comes along, destroys their comparison between Iraq and Vietnam, and puts it in his own words and now they’re running around fulminating and they’re getting all these historians to speak, too, saying that Bush is out of his mind, doesn’t know what he’s talking about, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Here’s a little bite giving an interesting idea here of how many terrorists we are killing.
THE PRESIDENT: Day after day, hour after hour, they keep the pressure on the enemy that would do our citizens harm. We’ve overthrown two of the most brutal tyrannies in the world and liberated more than 50 million citizens. (applause) In Iraq, our troops are taking the fight to the extremists and radicals and murderers all throughout the country. Our troops have killed or captured an average of more than 1,500 Al-Qaeda terrorists and other extremists every month since January of this year. (applause)
RUSH: How about that? How about that? You know, ever since Vietnam, we don’t get enemy casualty figures. You remember [General William] Westmoreland got sued over that because everybody said he was making them up. The Cronkites of the world were out there saying, ‘Ah, these battle figures and these enemy casualties, why, we don’t necessarily believe this.’ So for policy reasons, those figures, exact figures are not announced. Now, since he said this… He told me this when we had a little meeting before dinner, and he gave me the monthly stats for July. I’m not going to repeat those. I mean, it’s his province to do that, but he’s said 1500 average a month captured and killed. He didn’t give me the captured and kill total. He gave me the kill total. But that’s still his province to talk about. Anyway, quick time-out. We’ve got a few more of these, followed by a brilliant bite by John Kerry — who served in Vietnam, by the way — to put all this in perspective.
RUSH: Three more bites here to go, two of the president and one of John Kerry. This is the president reassuring the VFW members he’s not going to abandon Iraq or the surge.
THE PRESIDENT: Today our troops are carrying out a surge that is helping bring former Sunni insurgents into the fight against extremists and radicals, into the fight against Al-Qaeda, into the fight against the enemy that would do us harm. As they take the initiative from the enemy, they have a question: Will their elected leaders in Washington pull the rug out from under them just as they’re gaining momentum and changing the dynamic on the ground in Iraq? Here’s my answer: We’ll support our troops; we’ll support our commanders, and we will give them everything they need to succeed. (applause)
RUSH: Right on, right on, right on, right on, right on, right on, right on. Now, you know, Carl Levin came out yesterday and said (summarized), ‘Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has gotta step down. The guy’s incompetent. They’re not meeting the political benchmarks. Yeah, the surge is working, I saw it with my own eyes, but this guy’s gotta go,’ and Bush decided to reply to that in these remarks today.
THE PRESIDENT: Many are frustrated by the pace of progress in Baghdad, and I can understand this. As I noted yesterday, the Iraqi government is distributing oil revenues across its provinces, despite not having an oil revenue law on its books, but the parliament has passed about 60 pieces of legislation. Prime Minister Maliki’s a good guy, good man with a difficult job, and I support him — and it’s not up to the politicians in Washington DC to say whether he will remain in his position. That is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship! (wild applause)
RUSH: And they came to their feet in Kansas City with that remark! So with all this in perspective, the president laying out the genocidal scope of death in Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia after we left Vietnam. Unfinished business. Back on July 19th of this year, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal hosted Senator John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) and he got a caller from Lubbock, Texas, on the Democrat line. The caller said, ‘I remember the horrible killings after Vietnam and the boat people coming over here, and I’d really hate to go off and leave our allies over in Iraq and I’m concerned about that.’
KERRY: Let me just say to the first part of your question with respect to boat people and killing, everybody predicted a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. Uh, there was not a massive bloodbath in Vietnam. There were reeducation camps, and they weren’t pretty and, and, and, you know, uh, nobody, you know, likes that kind of outcome. But on the other hand, I’ve met lot of people today who were in those education camps, who are thriving in the Vietnam of today.
RUSH: Well, let’s come out for reeducation camps! I mean, if you’re thriving in Vietnam after a reeducation camp, let’s try ’em here! That may be what the Democrats can secure their future with is reeducation camps. If your kids, after 12 years of school and then college still don’t get how wonderful liberals are, just send them to reeducation camps. Those were communist-run reeducation camps! He never met a communist he didn’t want to defend. These people don’t criticize communists. Talking about these reeducation camps, ‘They weren’t pretty,’ he said. ‘You know, nobody likes that kind of outcome, but, on the other hand, I met a lot of people, they really went well through those things, and thriving well in Vietnam today.’ Everything is an either/or, BUT… There’s an ‘and’ or something. Yeah, nobody wants that, BUT… He just can’t come out and say what they did was wrong. You know what this guy was saying when he got back from Vietnam. We don’t have to go through that again. There wasn’t a massive bloodbath in Vietnam? (sigh) I don’t know. It’s revisionist history. I think these people try to revise history. In the process of reviving it they end up believing the lies they are using to revise the truth of history.
RUSH: This is Andrew in San Diego. Andrew, greetings sir, you’re on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Mr. Limbaugh, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve been listening to you for about 14 years, which puts me in seventh grade, I think, when I began.
RUSH: A Rush Baby.
CALLER: A Rush Baby, proud one. I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to teach high school a few years ago and you’ve also inspired me to join the military.
CALLER: So my point is, I guess, if there’s any…. My mother and I woke up this morning and were reading the newspaper and we saw The Washington Post’s article there on the Drudge Report. I said, ‘You know, mom, if there’s any question left about the Democrats’ patriotism and their willingness to play politics with my friends and, you know, your son eventually, when I go over to fight, there is no question left. They’re willing to do anything and everything to remain in power,’ and I said, ‘So if you call them ‘unpatriotic,’ mom, it’s okay.’ She said, ‘Well, but they’d get really offended at that,’ and I said, ‘Well, the truth is offensive most of the time to most of the people,’ but it’s just absolutely ridiculous to me to watch these people, because I live right outside of DC now. I’m just visiting my family in San Diego. But to watch these people play games with my friends’ lives and the lives, and the blood of the American people, I just don’t understand it anymore.
RUSH: Yeah you do. You understand it.
RUSH: You may not want to believe that it’s true, because it is so deeply disturbing and offensive. You understand it. You nailed it: They’re playing politics with the lives of American troops.
RUSH: They want to be able to ‘recalibrate their message.’ They want to be able to shift their message and have the media promote whatever the new calibration of the message suggests, so that they are able to stay on the offensive about this in whatever message they want. They’re not being held accountable. The Drive-Bys give ’em a pass on this. People like you notice it. This would not have happened 18, 20 years ago. People like you notice it, so do the guys that you’re going to serve with.
RUSH: They know all this is happening, and while this may not have demoralized the troops, it certainly has encouraged the enemy.
RUSH: That is also unconscionable. It’s also true that this bickering in Washington has led to some problems — a Democrat even admitted this — in the political solution moving forward.
RUSH: That’s right. There was no massive bloodbath in Vietnam, no massive bloodbath in Cambodia, no massive bloodbath in China, no massive bloodbath in Soviet Union, Cuba, Rwanda, you name it! The tolerance for bloodbaths in the Democratic Party is stunning. Of course, they love the people, folks! They love the people more than we do — because they tell us all the time, don’t they?