WASHINGTON - Humbled by elections at home, President Bush is heading into talks with leaders in Asia and Europe who will be watching for signs of weakness, uncertainty or retrenchment.Not exactly similar. And the change happened over twenty years ago. It's probably a change that Bush would have remembered if he'd actually been in Vietnam rather than snorting coke in Alabama...
Bush's plan to arrive in Hanoi with a new pact normalizing trade with Vietnam hit a
bump when the lame-duck GOP-controlled House failed to approve the measure on an initial vote Monday. Its Republican sponsors were hoping to use another strategy to get the bill passed later in the week, but the rejection was an embarrassing setback as the president set out on his first post election overseas trip.
Before his departure, a graphic on the White House Web site for Bush's Asia trip displayed a picture of the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam - South Vietnam - instead of the current actual flag of Vietnam.
I'm sure that it wasn't Bush himself that put the flags on the White House's website so his personal stupidity can't be the reason for the mistake. Engage in baseless speculation? Don't mind if I do!
The Bush II White House just can't get past ideology and live in the real world. This 'mistake' is about fighting the Reds - a holdover from back when being 'Red' was bad. Bush has to go to a Communist nation that defeated successfully threw out the American military, ending their efforts to maintain a Democratic and Capitalistic nation.
BushCo. can't just sit there and take that kind of embarrassment. They're all about saving face. So some low-level tech guy (with proper 'Movement Conservative' credentials) goes to his boss and says, "wouldn't it be funny if we put the old South Vietnam flag up on the website instead of the Communist flag!" Low-mid-level manager probably kicks this up to the upper-mid-level Republican Pu Bah (who is only thinking about ideology and not how such a harmless little prank might affect real, live trade negotiations) who says, "sure. Nobody's gonna notice."
And now here I am writing a post on the Bush Administration's inability to properly identify the current flag of a nation with which they are about to normalize trade relations.
It's not like this is some South-Asian version of Andorra. This is Vietnam - a nation every America old enough to drive a car has heard of (even if they can't locate it on a map.)
Presidential Administrations, regardless of party, will always make mistakes. It's impossible to run an operation for four years without slipping up some times. If this happened to any other Administration, I'd be ready to admit thatsome body's dog might have been up all night puking and the first flag they came across on Wikipedia made it onto the website by accident. But this is BushCo. Everything they touch breaks out in a rash of mistakes.
It's times like this that I wish we had a parliamentary system. Then we could just hold a vote of no confidence and get rid of this pack of fools and scoundrels.
UPDATE: 11:11am - Apparently there's a movement under way to officially recognize the old flag, but not the new one. Eight states, in an effort to somehow feel like they got the last laugh on Vietnam, have already passed legislation recognizing the flag of the now defunct Republic of Vietnam instead of the current flag of Vietnam.
These are your tax dollars at work...
Bush Administration Vietnam Flag Trade