Georgie Bush Jr, Google & News: Vietnam +/-Iraq +/-War -- Yet Again.

[Updated 2007.Aug.26.Sun.13h09.ICT - "Find" that timestamp below.]

This has to be one of Georgie Junior's biggest PR screw-ups to date. Keep the troops in Iraq to avoid another "Vietnam", he told the world. The world Press has pounced on this one like a pack of starving dogs. (See Google search stats below.) If Bush Jr's Admin' weren't on their way out, you'd almost think some in their clique must be clinically mad.

US president George Bush during a speech  to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
US president George Bush during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters
From Guardian Unlimited, 22.Aug.2007,
"Bush gambles with Vietnam reference over Iraq"

Skimming the hundreds of titles listed yesterday from some thirty news feeds via Google Reader, it started to seem almost grossly negligent to continue ignoring Bush Jr's breach of his own Admin's PR taboo on comparing the USA's Iraq war to it's Vietnam debacle just three, four decades earlier.

US personnel & friendlies escaping from Embassy rooftop, Saigon, April 1975, from
TimesOnline UK, 23.Aug.2007, "Bush invokes Vietnam to justify Iraq commitment"

Some four years ago, searching Google for "Vietnam" became increasingly tedious as more and more comparisons between the USA's Iraq and Vietnam wars started marching in step with preparations for the Iraq invasion and Bush Jr's denials of any relationship between the two misguided and ultimately regrettable conflicts.

Eventually, it wasn't worth searching for "Vietnam" unless "Iraq" was excluded, along with the old exclusion for "war" that had always been needed. A year or two later, the Iraq exclusion could be dropped as the US Admin's PR strategists succeeded in pushing such invidious comparisons out of the memory and interests both the USA's media and public.

But, yesterday, those same old comparisons came rushing back online, this time promoted by the very Admin' that had worked so hard to suppress any such comparisons, just a few years earlier.

Take a look at the Google stats from roughly 2007.Aug.24.Fri.14h00.ICT -- and note, we screwed up something in an earlier version of this post <sigh/> and have since revised the time above and numbers below. The specific period has to be mentioned because the numbers below were rapidly rising with each page refresh ("|" means "OR"; "-word" means exclude "word"; "word1-word2" means find the exact phrase "word1 word2"):
Take your own snapshot now. Clicking on the link for each page-count above takes you to the latest Google search results -- providing new numbers, not the ones above. Note: To keep the numbers comparable, the underlying URLs turn "Safe-search" off (only for these searches) and they only use "Google home", google.com, not, for example, google.com.vn or other.

We might do an update or two ourselves, later on. For now, a couple pieces from "America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry", Editor & Publisher, might be worth a read:

Update, AD.2007.Aug.26.Sun.13h09.ICT:

The Google web and news hit numbers above were just updated. The revised results follow.

The most obvious results were, first, that firing from the hip with a shotgun caught less interesting changes than hoped for and, second, that over only two days hits were down significantly for all searches except for those limited to "vietnam" or its main cities plus "iraq" and "war" with or without "bush".

Only the last three searches showed significant increases in hits, most significant for news about "vietnam iraq war bush".
It seems all that can be readily said is that George Jr got the attention he sought from the Vietnam-Iraq analogy, deservedly or not, to his own chagrin or not.

One valued spin-off from this whole deluded exercise was finding this unnerving, eye-opening discussion that includes a few illuminating comments on the current situation in Iraq, post Bush-Vietnam-Iraq analogy:
Robert D. Kaplan's "Rereading Vietnam", TheAtlantic.com, 2007.Aug.24

No comments: