Bush on Vietnam: “History Has a Long March to It”

By David Chalian

Nov 17, 2006 6:33am

ABC News’ Karen Travers Reports: President Bush was only in Vietnam for a few hours today before he was asked about the war here over three decades ago and the comparisons to the war in Iraq today.

"We’ll succeed unless we quit," Bush said of Iraq. He stressed that the war there is part of a greater struggle and it will be long.

"[T]the task in Iraq is going to take a while. I would make it beyond just Iraq. I think the great struggle we’re going to have is between radicals and extremists and people who want to live in peace. And that Iraq is part of the struggle," Bush said. "It’s going to take a long time for the ideology that is hopeful and that is an ideology of freedom to overcome an ideology of hate. The world that we live in today is one where they want things to happen immediately. Its hard work in Iraq."

Bush was asked about his impressions of being in Vietnam: "[H]istory has a long march to it. And that societies changed and relationships can constantly be altered for good," he said.

The President said one of the most poignant moments for him and the First Lady on their drive into Hanoi was passing by Truc Bach Lake, where Sen. John McCain’s plane was shot down in 1967.

"He’s a friend of ours, he suffered a lot as a result of his imprisonment and yet we passed the place where he was literally saved in one way by the people pulling him out," Bush said.

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