The Vietnam War took place between 1959 and 1975. For all practical aspects the US involvement in that war took place within those years, but mostly after 1963. In all that time there were the following U.S. casualties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War_casualties):
1,947 missing in action
On average there were over 3,638 U.S. dead per year during the Vietnam Conflict. No that was not really how it worked out, there were much, MUCH, higher casualties in some years than in others, but that is the average over a 16 year conflict.
We have, as of today, been at war in Iraq for a total of five years. There have been less than 4,000 U.S. casualties resulting in death in that conflict. As per Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_war_casualties) there were also: "8,904 wounded requiring medical air transport. 20,416 wounded did not require medical air transport. Of all the wounded 13,109 were unable to return to duty within 72 hours." As for American deaths in Iraq that is an average of 800 lives lost per year of conflict in Iraq as compared to the average of over 3,638 in Vietnam! The war in Iraq could go on for 11 more years, and if the same casualty rate occurred, it would make the total U.S. deaths in Iraq be about 9,600, which would be nowhere nearly as high as the casualties suffered by the U.S. in Vietnam. So I am wondering how is it that the Iraq Conflict is George W. Bush's Vietnam. There is virtually no comparison in the context in which Kennedy made his claim.
By comparison to Vietnam, the war in Iraq is a classic example of how to fight a war and win with less casualties, and Vietnam is a classic example of how to and stuff a nation's military men into a meat grinder while considering them little more than expendable blobs of flesh.
No war is good, but there are certainly many good causes over which to go to war. We saw such a good reason in WWII. We saw another in Grenada. We saw another in Iraq the first time around. We thought we saw such a good reason in Iraq the second time too. It may be a fact that George W. Bush, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the CIA, Military Intelligence, and their counterparts in many of the nations who are our allies, were all bamboozled by Saddam Hussein into believing he had weapons of mass destruction; and therefore that we went to war in Iraq after having reached wrong conclusions about whether or not we should wage war. Yet there is a good reason/cause for which to remain at war in Iraq.
It is a fact that the Iraq Conflict has been, and remains, a magnet for Islamo Fascists and other terrorists. Many leftists try to get you to believe that this is a bad thing. I think they have missed the importance of this flocking of terrorists. They migrate there in large numbers to attack our forces, and our military men and woman (not boys and girls though many of them left home as little more than that), and while I do not want to see our military people lost in a lost cause, this is no lost cause as some democrats would have you believe. That terrorists congregate in Iraq in large numbers is all the reason necessary to stay there and fight the fight, to wage war on Global Terrorism, and try to wipe the terrorists out as best we can. At the same we are trying to restore some hope for the Iraqi people much as we are doing in Afghanistan. In doing so, I wish we could go at them harder than we are doing, to defeat them quicker, but maybe it is better to do it at a slower pace with some good thought put into how to accomplish our goals. You see, while we are fighting them there, we are defeating them there away from home, that is good. It is time consuming but by taking our time we are assuring protection of the lives of innocent Iraqis, and we are making sure that our own losses are kept to a minimum.
George W. Bush has not been wrong about how he has been doing this. The supporters of JFK and LBJ (almost all democrats) never thought Vietnam was too long until hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens protested. We don't see those protests today, and we likely will not see protests like that today - not even in our instant gratification gotta have it now world of cell phones, the Internet, microwave ovens, and 400 channels on cable television. Why not! Why will we not see protests like that. Well, because even some of the most left leaning wackadoos realize that Bush has it right. He is keeping most of the terrorism, and virtually all of the battles against terrorists, where they belong - on the shores of countries that breed terrorists. Because Bush has been, and is, doing it right our casualties have been kept as low as possible in such a large scale conflict.
So Senator Ted Kennedy -
For the rest of you out there, our casualties in Iraq are nothing to minimize, they are something to take to heart. Therefore I ask that each of you, who remain at home, do the right thing and show true support for our military personnel. Go to the right column on my page, and in the red shaded area, click on one of the links under Support our Troops - then join one of those groups and do what you can to support our troops.
All the best,