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Jon Stewart: Bush's message is 'that Iraq is just like Vietnam, but in a good way'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday August 24, 2007


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On Thursday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart commented on President Bush's speech the previous day in defense of his Iraq War policies, beginning with clips of Bush saying on many past occasions, "This is a different kind of war."

"Obviously, we invaded Iraq initially because this war is historically unprecedented," Stewart observed. "That's why we had to do a preemptive invasion. And yesterday, the president explained to us why we must stay in Iraq -- historical precedent."

"There is a precedent for the hard and necessary work we're doing," said Bush. He then referred to "a time when thousands of Americans were murdered in a surprise attack," before adding that "what I have described is the war machine of imperial Japan in the 1940's."

"And that's why in 1941, America invaded China," noted Stewart.

"With the pivotal Petraeus surge report just weeks away," Stewart continued, "Bush began his surge to gain support for the Iraq War the only way left: by talking up a bunch of other wars."

A montage of clips from the speech followed, with Bush citing "World War II ... Korean War ... Soviets and Chinese Communists ... militaristic Japan ... Nazis ..."

"At least we know one place the president is not going to go," said Stewart, playing a clip of Bush saying in 2004, "I think the [Vietnam] analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops. It sends the wrong message to the enemy"

"You know what's next," said Stewart. "In what is perhaps the strangest turn in the president's effort to rally support, he agreed that Iraq is just like Vietnam, but in a good way -- and that our only mistake was not starting that war, but ending it."

Stewart then turned to Aasif Mandvi, who suggested that "the message of today's speech was, clearly, we should have stayed in Vietnam for that 13th or 14th year, if only to send a powerful message about our will to a teenaged Osama bin Laden -- that's when they're most impressionable."

The following video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast on August 23.