"My first reaction is history has a long march to it, and societies change and relationships can constantly be altered to the good," Bush said after speeding past signs of both poverty and the commerce produced by Asia's fastest-growing economy.
The president said there was much to be learned from the divisive Vietnam War _ the longest conflict in U.S. history _ as his administration contemplates new strategies for the increasingly difficult war in Iraq, now in its fourth year. But his critics see parallels with Vietnam _ a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support _ that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.
"It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful _ and that is an ideology of freedom _ to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, whose country has been one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.
"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."