Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bush's Vietnam lesson: stay in Iraq

CRITICS of the Iraq war who compare the conflict to Vietnam have the analogy backwards, according to the US President, George Bush.

In what the White House billed as a major foreign policy address, Mr Bush was due to say yesterday that the lessons of Vietnam taught that America should stay in Iraq and not withdraw.

Terrorists cited Vietnam to predict the United States would run from the Iraq war, he was to say.

The address comes after Mr Bush offered only tepid endorsements of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, on Tuesday in comments suggesting a new distancing from the beleaguered Shiite political leader. Exerpts of the Vietnam speech - released early in an unusual move by the White House - show Mr Bush will say that the US withdrawal from Vietnam had dire consequences for the people in its region, and so would a withdrawal from Iraq.

"Here at home some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility - but the terrorists see things differently," the speech says. "Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left.

"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,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields'."

In the past, Mr Bush has tended to steer clear of analogies with Vietnam, which critics increasingly have compared with the Iraq war.

But White House counsellor Ed Gillespie said the speech would be the first of two designed to lay the rhetorical groundwork for a progress report to Congress in mid-September as part of the debate over the continued funding of military operations in Iraq.

"As we face challenges in Iraq today, we do so knowing we have done this kind of transformative work before and the benefits to America made the sacrifices worthwhile," Mr Gillespie said in a statement explaining the early release of the speech excerpts.

Yesterday's speech would stress how US "perseverance in Asia led to a freer, more stable and more prosperous continent," Mr Gillespie said.

At a summit in Quebec, Canada on Tuesday, Mr Bush said Mr Maliki's future was in the hands of the Iraqi people.

"Clearly, the Iraqi Government has got to do more through its parliament to help heal the wounds of years of having [lived] under a tyrant," Mr Bush said.

"People at the grass roots are sick and tired of the violence, sick and tired of the radicalism. They want a better life and they're beginning to reject the extremists," he said, adding in a direct warning to Mr Maliki: "The fundamental question is: Will the Government respond to the demands of the people?" If it does not, he said, Iraqis "will replace the Government".

In Baghdad, the US ambassador, Ryan Crocker, was downbeat in his assessment of Mr Maliki's ability to end sectarian warfare between Shiite and Sunni Arabs. He called progress towards national reconciliation extremely disappointing.

"We do expect results, as do the Iraqi people, and our support is not a blank cheque," Mr Crocker told journalists in the Iraqi capital. "We need to see results."

The comments were markedly harsher than past official US Government assessments of Mr Maliki, whose leadership is expected to figure prominently in a progress report that Mr Crocker will deliver to the US Congress by September 15.

Los Angeles Times

Link To story

Well in View of the Testimony given by soldiers I think Bush may be wrong in his assessment.

Take the time to read the following. Then think about what Bush is saying. Obviously he is not really considering what really happened in Vietnam.

Winter Soldier

Testimony given in Detroit, Michigan, on January 31, 1971, February 1 and 2, 1971

Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.

Table of Contents

· Need for Investigation. Remarks by the Hon. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon In the Senate of the United States, Monday, April 5, 1971.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

MGH psychiatrist's work stirs debate

Backlash on bipolar diagnoses in children

MGH psychiatrist's work stirs debate

No one has done more to convince Americans that even small children can suffer the dangerous mood swings of bipolar disorder than Dr. Joseph Biederman of Massachusetts General Hospital.

From his perch as one of the world's most influential child psychiatrists, Biederman has spread far and wide his conviction that the emotional roller coaster of bipolar disorder can start "from the moment the child opened his eyes" at birth. Psychiatrists used to regard bipolar disorder as a disease that begins in young adulthood, but now some diagnose it in children scarcely out of diapers, treating them with powerful antipsychotic medications based on Biederman's work.

Misguided standards of care

AS A doctor, I did the nearly unthinkable at a recent conference on bipoloar disorder in children. I charged another doctor with moral responsibility in the death last December of Rebecca Riley, a 4 -year-old girl from Hull. Naming names in medicine is just not done very often -- and I knew the personal and professional risks I was taking. Yet I felt compelled to name Joseph Biederman, head of the Massachusetts General Hospital's Pediatric Psychopharmacology clinic, as morally culpable in providing the "science" that allowed Rebecca to die.