On Thursday night President Bush will address the nation on the situation in Iraq. Turning necessity into a virtue he will announce that he plans to withdraw up to 30,000 troops from Iraq sometime next summer.
That would return troop levels to precisely where they were in November 2006 when voters sent a clear message that they wanted all our troops the hell out of Iraq, now. So, in terms of US blood, sweat and tears, we are right back where we started before Bush's January surge of – coincidentally, 30,000 additional troops was announced.
But you know all that already. What I want to do today is prepare you for Bush's Thursday night address to the nation. Sorry if history bores you. But somehow I find it increasingly informative in this regard. So, if you want a preview of Bush's speech, here it is:
President Nixon's Speech on "Vietnamization," November 3, 1969.
Edited for Length
(Full version here)
Good evening, my fellow Americans:
Tonight I want to talk to you on a subject of deep concern to all Americans and to many people in all parts of the world the war in Vietnam.
I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division about Vietnam is that many Americans have lost confidence in what their Government has told them about our policy.
The American people cannot and should not be asked to support a policy which involves the overriding issues of war and peace unless they know the truth about that policy.
Tonight, therefore, I would like to answer some of the questions that I know are on the minds of many of you listening to me.
The war (has caused) deep division at home and criticism from many of our friends as well as our enemies abroad.
In view of these circumstances there were some who urged that I end the war at once by ordering the immediate withdrawal of all American forces.
But I had a greater obligation than to think only of the years of my administration and of the next election. I had to think of the effect of my decision on the next generation and on the future of peace and freedom in America and in the world.
Let us all understand that the question before us is not whether some Americans are for peace and some Americans are against peace. . . the question facing us today is: Now that we are in the war, what is the best way to end it?
I could only conclude that the precipitate withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam would be a disaster not only for South Vietnam but for the United States and for the cause of peace.
For the South Vietnamese, our precipitate withdrawal would inevitably allow the Communists to repeat the massacres which followed their takeover in the North 15 years before.
. . . With the sudden collapse of our support, these atrocities. . . would become the nightmare of the entire nation and particularly for the million and a half Catholic refugees who fled to South Vietnam when the Communists took over in the North.