Skip to comments.Not Nixon's War - Something Else (John Kerry's Killing Fields)
Posted on 01/27/2004 3:09:12 PM PST by Nix 2
Not Nixon's War - Something Else
Bruce Walker, 01/27/04
The day after the Iowa caucus, I wrote an article entitled "Is John Kerry a Good Democrat? Is John Kerry a Good Man?" It took me only one day to answer both question. In his victory speech after the Iowa triumphant, Kerry spoke of "Richard Nixon's War." That, sadly, answered every question about this particular incarnation of Leftist evil.
Richard Nixon's War? Kerry served in Vietnam when Lyndon Baines Johnson was president not when Richard Nixon was president. The Vietnam War had been a big political issue, but that issue was first presented to the American people in 1964, not 1968.
Lyndon Johnson and his crooked flacks within the Democrat Party smeared one of the most decent and noble men in American politics, Barry Goldwater, by pretending that Goldwater would do just what Johnson had planned to do: fight a war in Vietnam.
What was the difference? The same difference that divides Kerry from President Bush today, and which has always divided Republicans from Democrats. Republicans are reluctant to begin wars, but if we are in a war, the Republican strategy is that America decisively win.
Goldwater did not lie to the American people like Johnson did in 1964. Barry Goldwater correctly observed that America was headed toward a land war in Asia and the way to win the Vietnam War was to win the Vietnam War. We could win the war through the unrestricted use of air and naval power.
No one in 1964 needed to guess whether a communist sponsored insurgency could be contained effectively in Southeast Asia. Britain had just done precisely that in Malaya. The Philippines, with American help, had done so in that complex archipelago. Soon the people of Indonesia would remove the communist-leaning leader of that enormous archipelago as well
South Vietnam never fell to communist insurgents. It fell to panzer divisions coming out of a very well supplied North Vietnam, which was essentially all of the military power in this so-called "Civil War." The key was to stop the totalitarian thugs of Hanoi from waging a conventional war behind the safe haven of the borders of North Vietnam.
Goldwater explained how. Mine Haiphong Harbor, the point of entrance for nearly all the indispensable supplies that the communists received to prosecute their war. Attack with overwhelming air power the air defenses of North Vietnam and then the infrastructure of North Vietnam.
This was similar to how tactical and operational air power was able to largely win the war against a very good and well equipped German Army in the Second World War. Air power broke the Berlin Blockade in 1948. It was how President Reagan was able to drive Qadafi into pacificist.
The use of air power by military men who knew how to use it was also how American defeated the fourth largest and most battle tested army in the world in Desert Storm. It is how Afghanistan was liberated without America even having forces in contiguous nations. The mere threat of air power being used with devastating effect was how America ousted the Baathist butchers with few casualties.
Although air power involved the risk of some casualties, the loss of life was one hundred times smaller than land forces. The use of naval power involved almost no risk of American casualties at all. American battleships could shell most of the coastal strip that is North Vietnam with virtual impunity, and the mining of Haiphong Harbor could probably have been accomplished with no loss of American life at all.
Johnson was, of course, a coward. He was a dishonest coward as well. The micro-management of the Vietnam War from Washington was a mistake of unthinkable proportions. American soldiers fight best when given initiative. Our fighting men and their officers were hamstrung by Leftists afraid of offending our allies (sound familiar?) and alienating those who were already our enemies.
Nixon inherited the Democrats' War. A few days before the November 1968 Election, Johnson launched the only clear "October Surprise" when he suddenly decided that it would be a good thing to stop bombing North Vietnam at all, and unilaterally stopped. This gave Hubert Humphrey a bounce, which was what was intended, and thousands of America's sons died or were injured because of that.
Nixon also, of course, negotiated a peace treaty (some "Nixon War, huh?) This peace may well have worked, except for one problem: Leftist Democrats blocked Nixon at every turn in fighting this war inherited from two Democrat presidents. After Nixon resigned, Kerry and other Leftists did something even more awful. They prevented South Korea from getting military aid (not troops or pilots) which had been solemnly promised to them.
So the panzer divisions entered Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, and all the non-communist nations of Southeast Asia which had been involved in this long war fell to communism. Then communists did exactly what Barry Goldwater and countless other conservatives warned. The communists began a bloodbath.
Worst hit was what happened in Cambodia under Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan. The communists began one of the most brutal holocausts in human history, but with a spin. The Holocaust of Jews and Gentiles by the Nazis was unavoidable; we did all we could just to defeat this grave threat. The Gulag and the Tibetan holocausts were impossible to prevent without a potential world war.
The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, by contrast, were a tenth rate military power with a long coastline. America could have defeated them in a few weeks, and saved millions of Cambodian men, women and children for a sadistic and long genocide. We did not exactly because John Kerry and other Leftist used their enormous clout in Congress to hamstring our nation.
No, Senator Kerry, it was not "Richard Nixon's War," it was Lyndon Johnson's War. But the blood and agony of millions of Cambodians was the handiwork of you and your friends. Not "Richard Nixon's War" but rather "John Kerry's Killing Fields."
If you had come back from Vietnam determined to stop communism, then millions of innocents would have been spared, but you went for the opposing Nixon - How bold! How brave! No one who was anyone was opposing Nixon...wait...I have that backwards: anyone who was anything was opposing Nixon.
You were brave, once, and only in the sense of physical courage, never moral courage. Senator Kerry, you have share bravery under fire with some pretty important people: Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung and Attila the Hun.
War heroes are good for a nation, all other things being equal. But all things are not equal when John Kerry, the richest man in the Senate, can look at Americans whose fathers, sons, brothers and husbands died in a noble cause can pretend that this was Richard Nixons War. No, Senator Kerry. You are a liar. It was not Richard Nixons War. It was John Kerrys Killing Fields.
Mother warned me not to feed to board trolls. She also warned me not to write two long posts trying to make a point to people who don't want a point to be made. My considered position (not "librul feeeeeelings" as you would have it) is illustrated in post 38, both on Vietnam and Somalia.
The old "hide behind mommy" trick. Okay.
I don't think 7.5% of voters constitutes the average American. Even so, those ignorant enough to believe that the Vietnam war was immoral, stupid, and wasteful, believe it because of lies told by Kerry and others. Those who know the truth are not so easily fooled.
Where did I say I wanted to send in the Marines? It's a fact that that CNN's coverage of the human suffering and the resultant public pressure virtually forced the Bush administration to act quickly. He used the military.
Guess I'm going to have to go googling to find those "CNN made him do it" articles. If necessary. :)
Given the size of the protest movement at the end of the war and the general opposition of most of the population, I don't think that it's a case of the many being led by the few.
Also, look at pop culture: "Forrest Gump", "Platoon", "We Were Soldiers", "First Blood(Rambo)", The Things They Carried etc. The prevailing attitude is that the war was hell for all involved and we would have been better off if we'd never have gone.
I want to. Googling is the only exercise I get. :^)
The CNN factor was the conventional assumption that "emotive TV coverage of the humanitarian disaster in Somalia in late summer and early fall 1992 was pivotal in forcing President Bush to approve a U.S. involvement." But not everyone agreed.
"Humanitarian Crises and U.S. Foreign Policy: Somalia and the CNN Effect Reconsidered," by Steve Livingston and Todd Eachus, Political Communication, Vol. 12 (1995): pp. 413 -- 429. See also "The CNN Effect: How Much Influence Does the 24-Hour News Network Really Have on Foreign Policy," by Warren P. Strobel, American Journalism Review, May 1996, pp. 32 -- 37. Strobel confirms Gowing's finding (see note 4) and details what he calls the "five myths" of the CNN effect and its claimed impact on the making of foreign policy.
I never blamed the troops and consider them to be as much victims of bad policy as anyone else involved. Neither am I what you would call soft on communism. The troops were stuck between a rock an a hard place, the corruption of LBJ/Nixon on one side, and the craven AVRN and Air Marshal Ky on the other. They wern't being asked to fight for freedom, they were being asked to fight for a junta led by an incompetant. By the end of the war, almost everyone opposed it, even Johnny Cash was strumming out anti-war tunes. There were morons who spat on troops after the war, thinking that every GI was a Lt. Rusty Calley, but not everyone did, and the guys in VVAW probably less than most.
Nah, I don't take orders too well.
I am saying that I believe it was perhaps the most important factor, yes. That is my belief. At the time it seemed so simple. The military sets up the relief effort ASAP, bring in civilians (UN?) to run it, and get the military out by Feb., 1993. Then came Them!
"Kennedy was humiliated at a meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna the following June  as the Soviet tyrant berated him on his bungling at the Bay of Pigs. James Reston, Associate Editor of the New York Times, reported that as a result of this meeting, Khrushchev felt ready to 'put offensive missiles into Cuba.' Reston, in an article published in the N.Y.Times, Jan. 18, 1966, stated that Kennedy told him after the Vienna conference, that in order to make American power 'credible' after the Bay of Pigs, he would intensify the war in Vietnam 'not because the situation on the ground demanded it in Vietnam,' but because he 'wanted to prove a diplomatic point, not a military point.' This diplomatic point cost America almost 60,000 lives and another defeat."
See also, Scotty: James B. Reston and The Rise and Fall of American Journalism, By John F. Stacks Little, Brown and Company 384 pp. To wit,
"In June 1961 John F. Kennedy attended two summit meetings in Vienna. The first offered a blustery encounter with the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, eager to establish his mastery over the young American president. At length, a visibly shaken Kennedy muttered, 'It will be a cold winter.' Ten minutes after leaving Khrushchev, JFK had his second high-level encounter in the Austrian capital, this one conducted behind drawn curtains in the American Embassy.
"'How was it?' asked James 'Scotty' Reston, columnist and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times.
"'Worst thing in my life,' said Kennedy. 'He savaged me.' As Reston jotted notes ('Not the usual bullshit. There is a look a man has when he has to tell the truth.') the president vowed stiffer resistance to Communist encroachment in Berlin and South Vietnam." [end excerpt]
Kennedy had to prove that in fact he was "tough." He felt that he had no choice after being savaged by the leader of the Soviet Union in front of the world.
You don't know Jack, Jack! I guess that whole "great silent moral majority" thing slipped right past you, didn't it?!
Vietnam was probably one of the most morally justified wars we ever engaged in. The problem was the Dem. Pols that were "running" the war, not the cause.
No, it was a necessary response to Communist dominance of Asia. Too many people view that war as to how it affected them "personally" rather than seeing a bigger picture, as if they are the center of the universe. Thank God the WWII generation was not this self-obsessed.
Now there's a trustworthy medium...
"We Were Soldiers"
"WWS" was not anti-Vietnam; it was a movie that showed the betrayal of Col. Harold Moore and his men at the hands of LBJ, exactly what several of us here have been stating. Read the book. Listen to Moore himself.