El hombre de la historia

Al Presidente George W. Bush no se le conoce precisamente por su sólido dominio de la historia, pero eso no le ha impedido utilizarla para justificar sus políticas. Recientemente, durante un discurso dirigido a veteranos de guerra en Kansas City, Bush defendió su objetivo de “mantener el rumbo” en Iraq señalando las consecuencias del retiro estadounidense de la guerra de Vietnam. También menciono la ocupación de Japón posterior a 1945 y la guerra de Corea como episodios exitosos de los esfuerzos estadounidenses por llevar la libertad a Asia y, por extensión, al mundo.

Rápidamente, historiadores, demócratas y otros críticos de Bush denunciaron su discurso, en especial su referencia sobre Vietnam, como interesado, deshonesto e impreciso.

Sin embargo, al menos esta vez, Bush realmente hizo una analogía histórica acertada. Por supuesto, la guerra de Vietnam fue diferente a la guerra de Iraq en casi todos los aspectos. Ho Chi Minh no era Saddam Hussein. En Vietnam, Estados Unidos no estaba invadiendo un país sino defendiendo a un aliado autoritario corrupto en contra de un régimen comunista agresivo. Pero lo que Bush realmente dijo es que el retiro estadounidense de Indochina fue seguido de una carnicería en Camboya y de una opresión brutal en Vietnam. Bush dio a entender que la retirada de Iraq daría como resultado un baño de sangre similar o peor.

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