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The V word

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%3Ca%20href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay//"> | 09:55 UK time, Thursday, 23 August 2007

It's the comparison George Bush avoided making at all costs. The Iraq war and Vietnam. %3Ca%20href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6959710.stm">His critics have been drawing comparisons for sometime now, but Bush himself used Vietnam as an example of why US troops shouldn't leave Iraq - because it could trigger the kind of upheaval seen after US forces left Vietnam:

Many argued that if we pulled out, there would be no consequences for the Vietnamese people. The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. 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...

I had plenty of time on my extended tube journey this morning to read in The Times newspaper about %3Ca%20href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2309408.ece">whether the comparison stands up. %3Ca%20href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/bronwen_maddox/article2310618.ece">One journalist calls it "an imprudent comparison that undermines the American case" and goes on to call it a "desperate move" by Bush.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Shall we have a look at the legacy of Vietnam and other conflicts? %3Ca%20href="http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=7160&&&edition=2&ttl=20070823104830">Would you just like to give us your reaction?


Violence in the UK
Here in Britain, an 11 year old boy was %3Ca%20href="%3Ca%20href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/6959761.stm">shot dead on his way home from playing football. A 14 year old and 18 year old have been arrested in connection with the murder.
It happened in Liverpool, an area called Croxteth, where Premiership footballer %3Ca%20href="http://www.waynerooney.com/">Wayne Rooney and my step-father grew up. He was also a %3Ca%20href="http://www.justcatnaps.com/collection/teamsmancity.html">footballer, and one of the reasons he told me he made it to the top was because it was a way out of the area. And he practiced so much because there was nothing else to do and it kept him out of trouble. I've not heard his reaction yet, but World Service reporter Rob Broomby is in Croxteth so I'd be interested to hear some young people tell us about life in the area now. Is it typical for teenagers to be carrying guns in the area?

And as I type, news has just broken of a stabbing of a teenager in Newcastle. He is stable in hospital after recieving five puncture wounds to his back. Plenty of people asking what's going on with young people in this country. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

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