The Vietnam War: Amnesia or Deceit?
By Brian Dotzler (bio)
Other Articles by Brian Dotzler
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Has the Vietnam War been completely rewritten? It seems every time a politician mentions the war, the facts are either manipulated or
conveniently forgotten. Why we entered the war, how we fought it, and why we left are totally misrepresented by those who use the war for political capital.
One of the most astonishing facts of the Vietnam War (that many have never heard) is its outcome, that America accomplished its objective: to prevent the Communist takeover of South Vietnam by the North. In essence, America was victorious.
On January 27th, 1973, the United States, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement (Paris Accords), thus accomplishing the American objective established 10 years earlier by the Kennedy administration. By April of 1973, all of America's combat troops would be removed from Vietnam.
Unfortunately, when the North began to violate the cease-fire agreement in 1975 (two years after our soldiers had been removed) and invade the South, the United States found itself unable to respond. Thanks to the war protestors and a Democrat controlled Congress, the needed financial aid to South Vietnam that had originally been promised at the peace-talks would become unavailable.
America's military aid would certainly have been enough to prevent the North Vietnamese from overrunning the South, but such would not be the case. Saigon would ultimately fall and America would forever be labeled the loser of a war it actually won.
The misconceptions that surround the war are bad, but what's even worse is the blatant deception that is brought to the table when politics joins the fray.
For instance, how is it that John F. Kerry felt so convicted to protest the war he so valiantly fought? If his goal was to end the war and get the troops home, why didn't he simply check the war's status? In 1968, when Nixon was elected, there were approximately 580,000 troops in Vietnam (more then quadruple the amount of soldiers currently in Iraq). By 1971, when Kerry was throwing his ribbons and medals on the White House lawn, there were only 140,000 troops. It should have been obvious to everyone who cared so much about the war and its ending (especially to the politically savvy Kerry) that the United States and the Nixon administration were "bringing the boys home." After all, didn't Nixon run on a campaign pledge to end the
How is it possible that the Vietnam War protestors could have been so misinformed as to NOT know the status of the Vietnam War and yet be so willing to tie the hands of a president who was not only elected by promising to end the war but who actually brought the war to a close?
But then again, maybe it wasn't the war they were protesting. It's much more feasible that the Vietnam War protest was basically a protest of America and had nothing at all to do with Vietnam.
Keep in mind, the military aid promised to South Vietnam at the peace talks never included the use of American ground troops. It was strictly prohibited to air strikes on the North, the use of mines in the Haiphong Harbor, and financial aid to the South Vietnamese government/military. Because America reneged on its promise, South Vietnam was subject to a violent invasion which ultimately led to the mass exodus of 800,000 South Vietnamese ("Boat People") to the high-seas on anything that would float in an attempt to find sanctuary on foreign soil. Needless to say, many perished. The U.S. inaction also allowed the Khmer Rouge to torture and murder over 1.5 million Cambodian civilians (over 10% of the Cambodian population!). And some people think we had no business fighting this war?
Conveniently, the protestors take no responsibility for what occurred in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. But why should they? War protestors and leftists alike have never met a communist they didn't like, and what a deal they got in Vietnam: An American "defeat" and a communist "victory."
What's even more alarming is the fact that war protestors and leftists
conveniently distort the facts of the Vietnam War to gain political leverage with minorities and the middle class. Contrary to what Americans are typically told, only 25% of the total forces in Vietnam were draftees (as opposed to the 66% in World War II). Also, 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian as apposed to the 12.5% who were African-American. There is no doubt that many privileged Americans were able to avoid service due to their connections or family status, but how that makes Vietnam different from any other war is unclear. Furthermore, how can it be said
that the Vietnam War was an exploitation of the "Black Man" when Caucasian men did 86% of the dying?
It should be noted that 79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school diploma when they began their military service compared to the 63% of those who fought in Korea and 45% in World War II. Labeling Vietnam as a war fought exclusively by the "poor man" of a low social class while the "rich guy" stayed at home is to deny the fact that every war in the history of mankind has been fought by the "poor man."
Suffice it to say, the Vietnam War has been perhaps the most exploited event in American history. Every leftist, every elitist, every war protestor who has ever had a gripe about America is somehow able to trace a connection to the Vietnam War. Facts are continuously distorted if they're not deleted altogether. Thanks to the reporting of a media that despises both America's involvement in any war as well as the American soldier and the production of inaccurate Hollywood blockbusters, the American public's knowledge of Vietnam is grossly inaccurate to say least. Soldiers are typically portrayed as psychotics, rapists, and murders who are led by spineless, incompetent know-nothings. Due to revisionist history and the disgraceful depiction of the Vietnam Era by trusted "journalists," charlatans posing as politicians have been able to sell Americans a lie in exchange for their public trust, private money, and voter confidence.