For an administration that micromanages its photo opportunities, going to Vietnam right now has to hurt:
Thirty-eight years later, at age 60, Mr. Bush finally arrived in Vietnam Friday morning. His motorcade sped into the city past roads that Americans once bombed, at the start of a 72-hour visit linked to an annual Asian summit meeting that the Communist government in Vietnam is playing host to for the first time.
In private, some White House officials concede it is spectacularly poor timing. Just as Lyndon B. Johnson did in 1968, Mr. Bush has ousted his longtime defense secretary and nominated a realist with “fresh eyes” to replace him. Just like President Johnson in 1968, he is conducting a broad rethinking of strategy, and is hearing options he does not like.
His aides argue that the analogies between these wars are mostly false. The comparisons will nonetheless be the unavoidable subtext of Mr. Bush’s every move as he travels in Hanoi and then stops in the city that in his youth was known as Saigon, and that became the scene of an American military debacle. And he will have to convince his allies, ordinary Americans, and perhaps himself, that Iraq will end differently.
Maybe they'll put up one of those repeating-word backdrops with "Iraq is not Vietnam" on it...