"One lesson is that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."
"We'll succeed, unless we quit."
At which Olbermann removed himself to behind the woodshed and proceeded with the beatdown:
The primary one — which should be as obvious to you as the latest opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with your tragic Iraq policy– is that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon Johnson.
The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: if you don't have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask South Vietnam's President Diem, or President Thieu.
The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: don't pretend it's something it's not. For decades we were warned that if we didn't stop "communist aggression" in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate and devour the small nations of the world, and make their insidious way, stealthily, to our doorstep.
This president has his fictitious Iraqi W-M-D, and his lies (disguised as subtle hints) linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence has, for at least three years, told us we needed to get as many of our kids out, as quickly as we could.
That president [Lyndon Johnson] had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted 88-to-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our trip into hell.
And then, my favorite passage:
The Domino Theory was nonsense, sir. Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one. Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world.
And most importantly — as President Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State Lawrence Korb said on this newscast Friday — we were only in a position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam.
We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into Afghanistan. And alienated their own people, and killed their own children, and bankrupted their own economy, and allowed us to win the Cold War.
This is basically an encapsulation of everything level-headed (read: non-neoconservatives) people have been claiming for years - the war in Iraq has distracted us from your beloved war on terror, and has in fact made the latter war almost impossible to win. As has been said, our presense in Iraq has done more to recruit would-be terrorists than anything Osama bin Laden could have said or done. The world is a more dangerous place, and it is because you fail to grasp the historical significance of what you have done to this nation. You may be weakened by your party's loss of Congress but you daily demonstrate just how dangerous you are to the world.
C&L has video and a full transcript.