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"we are handing their heads to them on a platter"
Email | 4/11/04 | Mike in Iraq

Posted on 04/12/2004 4:55:01 AM PDT by W04Man

Dad, I don't know if you still have it, but if you remember an email that I sent back in late January/early February time frame. I specifically stated that we (the military) knew that within a couple of months, that the insurgents were going to try their version of TET here in Iraq. Especially after we intercepted one of Musab Zarqouwi's letters. Again, he stated that they(insurgency) were being defeated by the U.S. military forces and that time was running out for the insurgency to achieve any victory. What we are seeing now is their last push to influence the 30 June hand over and the will of the coalition (Japanese/Korean hostages). As stated in Zarqouwi's letter, if this does not work, they are done. The article below is right on the money, the only way that we are going to be beat is by bias media reporting, and an uneducated/emotional American population. Even though we are taking some casualties (war?) and the news is reporting mass chaos in Iraq right now, I can assure you that the reality on the ground is that we are handing their heads to them on a platter. The insurgents know it and the guys we capture admit it, hopefully the media stops sensationalizing and start being more objective about the big picture.

Mike

forwarded by: grobinson9@earthlink.net


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; military; personalaccount; war; waronterror
STAY THE COURSE, WE WILL WIN AND THIS WILL NOT BE ANOTHER TET.
1 posted on 04/12/2004 4:55:02 AM PDT by W04Man
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To: W04Man
ARTICLE REFERRED TO:

Analysis: A mini-Tet offensive in Iraq?

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor at Large
Published 4/6/2004 4:12 PM

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Any seasoned reporter covering the Tet offensive in Vietnam 36 years ago is well over 60 and presumably retired or teaching journalism is one of America's 4,200 colleges and universities. Before plunging into an orgy of erroneous and invidious historical parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, a reminder about what led to the U.S. defeat in Southeast Asia is timely.

Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968. The surprise attack was designed to overwhelm some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously. By breaking a previously agreed truce for Tet festivities, master strategist Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap in Hanoi calculated that South Vietnamese troops would be caught with defenses down.

After the first few hours of panic, the South Vietnamese troops reacted fiercely. They did the bulk of the fighting and took some 6,000 casualties. Vietcong units not only did not reach a single one of their objectives -- except when they arrived by taxi at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, blew their way through the wall into the compound and guns blazing made it into the lobby before they were wiped out by U.S. Marines -- but they lost some 50,000 killed and at least that many wounded. Giap had thrown some 70,000 troops into a strategic gamble that was also designed to overwhelm 13 of the 16 provincial capitals and trigger a popular uprising. But Tet was an unmitigated military disaster for Hanoi and its Vietcong troops in South Vietnam. Yet that was not the way it was reported in U.S. and other media around the world. It was television's first war. And some 50 million Americans at home saw the carnage of dead bodies in the rubble, and dazed Americans running around.

As the late veteran war reporter Peter Braestrup documented in "Big Story" -- a massive, two-volume study of how Tet was covered by American reporters -- the Vietcong offensive was depicted as a military disaster for the United States. By the time the facts emerged a week or two later from RAND Corp. interrogations of prisoners and defectors, the damage had been done. Conventional media wisdom had been set in concrete. Public opinion perceptions in the United States changed accordingly.

RAND made copies of these POW interrogations available. But few reporters seemed interested. In fact, the room where they were on display was almost always empty. Many Vietnamese civilians who were fence sitters or leaning toward the Vietcong, especially in the region around Hue City, joined government ranks after they witnessed Vietcong atrocities. Several mass graves were found with some 4,000 unarmed civil servants and other civilians, stabbed or with skulls smashed by clubs. The number of communist defectors, known as "chieu hoi," increased fourfold. And the "popular uprising" anticipated by Giap, failed to materialize. The Tet offensive also neutralized much of the clandestine communist infrastructure.

As South Vietnamese troops fought Vietcong remnants in Cholon, the predominantly Chinese twin city of Saigon, reporters, sipping drinks in the rooftop bar of the Caravelle Hotel, watched the fireworks 2 miles away. America's most trusted newsman, CBS' Walter Cronkite, appeared for a standup piece with distant fires as a backdrop. Donning helmet, Cronkite declared the war lost. It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Johnson six weeks later, on March 31, not to run. His ratings had plummeted from 80 percent when he assumed the presidency upon Kennedy's death to 30 percent after Tet. His handling of the war dropped to 20 percent, his credibility shot to pieces.

Until Tet, a majority of Americans agreed with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson that failure was not an option. It was Kennedy who changed the status of U.S. military personnel from advisers to South Vietnamese troops to full-fledged fighting men. By the time of Kennedy's assassination in Nov. 22, 1963, 16,500 U.S. troops had been committed to the war. Johnson escalated all the way to 542,000. But defeat became an option when Johnson decided the war was unwinnable and that he would lose his bid for the presidency in November 1968. Hanoi thus turned military defeat into a priceless geopolitical victory.

With the Vietcong wiped out in the Tet offensive, North Vietnamese regulars moved south down the Ho Chi Minh trails through Laos and Cambodia to continue the war. Even Giap admitted in his memoirs that news media reporting of the war and the anti-war demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Instead of negotiating what he called a conditional surrender, Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp.

Hanoi's Easter offensive in March 1972 was another disaster for the communists. Some 70,000 North Vietnamese troops were wiped out -- by the South Vietnamese who did all the fighting. The last American soldier left Vietnam in March 1973. And the chances of the South Vietnamese army being able to hack it on its own were reasonably good. With one proviso: Continued U.S. military assistance with weapons and hardware, including helicopters. But Congress balked, first by cutting off military assistance to Cambodia, which enabled Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge communists to take over, which, in turn, was followed by a similar Congressional rug pulling from under the South Vietnamese, that led to rapid collapse of morale in Saigon.

The unraveling, with Congress pulling the string, was so rapid that even Giap was caught by surprise. As he recounts in his memoirs, Hanoi had to improvise a general offensive -- and then rolled into Saigon two years before they had reckoned it might become possible.

That is the real lesson for the U.S. commitment to Iraq. Whatever one thought about the advisability of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States is there with 100,000 troops and a solid commitment to endow Iraq with a democratic system of government. While failure is not an option for Bush, it clearly is for Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who called Iraq the president's Vietnam. It is, of course, no such animal. But it could become so if Congressional resolve dissolves.

Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, he made clear the anti-war movement in the United States, which led to the collapse of political will in Washington, was "essential to our strategy."

Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and various church ministers "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

America lost the war, concluded Bui Tin, "because of its democracy. Through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win." Kennedy should remember that Vietnam was the war of his brother who saw the conflict in the larger framework of the Cold War and Nikita Khrushchev's threats against West Berlin. It would behoove Kennedy to see Iraq in the larger context of the struggle to bring democracy, not only to Iraq, but the entire Middle East.

(Arnaud de Borchgrave covered Tet as Newsweek's chief foreign correspondent and had seven tours in Vietnam between 1951 under the French and 1972.)

2 posted on 04/12/2004 4:57:50 AM PDT by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign visit W-04.com for FREE STICKERS)
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To: W04Man
While failure is not an option for Bush, it clearly is for Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who called Iraq the president's Vietnam.

Good article. Kennedy should be censured for his irresponsible remarks.

3 posted on 04/12/2004 4:59:53 AM PDT by livius
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To: W04Man
I guess we know now where the Democrats got their talking points from.

(steely)

4 posted on 04/12/2004 5:01:22 AM PDT by Steely Tom
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To: livius
I say, give him more rope.

Kennedy and Kerry are joined at the hip, and anytime they are associated with eachother, it's a free campaign poster for our side.
5 posted on 04/12/2004 5:04:11 AM PDT by leadpenny
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To: W04Man; ASA.Ranger; Grampa Dave
The surprise attack

That is the only part of the article which is wrong.
Unit commanders who listened and believed were ready and handed the VC a crushing defeat.
Our commanders who said "REMF's can't know," lost men needlessly.

6 posted on 04/12/2004 5:14:44 AM PDT by ASA Vet (I've run out of tagline ideas. Hopefully the blockage is temporary.)
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To: W04Man
BTTT for the truth!
7 posted on 04/12/2004 5:23:09 AM PDT by SW6906
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To: W04Man; Ragtime Cowgirl
Thanks for the informative "on the ground" email!
8 posted on 04/12/2004 5:29:38 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: W04Man
God bless Mike and all the troops.
9 posted on 04/12/2004 5:38:15 AM PDT by Sabatier
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God Speed our brave soldiers! - bump -
10 posted on 04/12/2004 5:43:53 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: W04Man
>> Donning helmet, Cronkite declared the war lost.

A needed reminder that Walter Cronkite is the heir to New York Times reporters Walter Duranty, who lied and lied and lied for Stalin, and Herbert Matthews, who pimped for Fidel Castro.

Whenever some monstrous foreign dictator could profit from good publicity, you can count on slimy leftist American reporters to rush out and kiss their buttocks. Dan Rather is perhaps the current leader, having sucked up to Castro and Saddam Hussein, among others. But there are plenty of other ardent toe suckers standing in line to debase themselves and their country.

11 posted on 04/12/2004 5:47:18 AM PDT by T'wit (The only difference between Communists, Fascists, Nazis and reporters is the color of their shirt.)
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To: W04Man
bttt!
12 posted on 04/12/2004 6:00:25 AM PDT by brbethke
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To: W04Man
I just received this email from a Vietnam Vet:

I was serving in Viet Nam just after the Tet Offensive and can tell you that what is said in these two e-mails was true in the area I was serving in. When I returned from Viet Nam in 1969, I was spit on and called a "baby killer" by "hippies" in the terminal when we entered the U.S. All of this despite the fact that I was a corpsman serving with the 3rd Marine Division and never fired a shot at an enemy and was risking my life to serve my country. The NVA didn't defeat us in Viet Nam, it was the politicians and public opinion based on the biased reporting by the media. We should not let the media sway us in our resolve to help bring democracy to the Middle East. Our troops need and deserve our support in this fight for democracy. I know first hand how demoralizing it can be to hear that your fellow countrymen are believing all of the lies being spread by the media and no longer supporting what you are doing.
Terry Wheeler



http://W-04.com

13 posted on 04/12/2004 6:13:42 AM PDT by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign visit W-04.com for FREE STICKERS)
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To: W04Man
Bump
14 posted on 04/12/2004 6:21:29 AM PDT by Gun142 (Where Will You Be When You Get Where You're Going? -- Jerry Clower)
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To: W04Man
The thing accomplished by TET ....The VC were broken
15 posted on 04/12/2004 6:22:35 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: third try; Hiskid
Ping
16 posted on 04/12/2004 6:38:33 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: ASA Vet
This latest Iraqi situation is nothing more than TET II scripted/produced by our mediots and their Islamonazi buddies.

What was the saying of the ancient Egyptian Army leader that went something like "Prior Knowledge is worth 100 divisions"?

During the eight years of the Clintoons all "Prior Knowledge" was not listened to. As a result our assets and personnel were attacked with no problems during that administration.
17 posted on 04/12/2004 7:02:34 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Freeploading is a liberal social disease. A $5/month donation to Free Republic is an instant cure!)
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To: livius
I continue to be amazed, though, at the number of Americans who believe every word out of the mouth of these lying dems (Kerry/Kennedy)...even people who should know better. Clinton made things worse by trying to re-invent the Camelot sentiment, as if the dems are the trueblood ruling party here, having been unfairly outed by the republicans. They only get more steam to put out more of this ridiculous claptrap because no one of importance takes them to task. I mean really takes them to task...more than a moan of unfairness.

We need to write our senators/Congresspeople to censure him and others. That is their job, and they only respond to the public when there is a concerted outcry. And if they thought that their seat might be in jeopardy if they didn't act, they might do something. Let's not let the Noam chomskys and the leftist academics and their student pawns turn this into another Vietnam, and THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF KENNEDY's SPEECH. He knows exactly what he's doing. We must counter it.
18 posted on 04/12/2004 7:39:19 AM PDT by Shery (S. H. in APOland)
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To: W04Man
This deserves a HUGE bump.

WO4, I've sent this on by email so that others can learn the truth. And thank you.
19 posted on 04/12/2004 7:47:13 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: W04Man
So when Teddy Kennedy calls this "Bush's VietNam", he's expressing his hopes for (and doing his best to try to create) a similar American defeat.

What a great American. How dare we question his patriotism. /s>

What a shame he won't share in his brothers' legacy.

20 posted on 04/12/2004 8:01:51 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: W04Man
Very important email and article. I hope conservative talk radio is the first to start telling the American people about what is really happening.
21 posted on 04/12/2004 8:09:53 AM PDT by truthandlife ("Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7))
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To: W04Man
There has got to be something we can do about our lying media. There is absolutely NO reason why we have to put up with this. Surely there is more than one man (Murdock) who has the money and the will to open newspapers, magazines and buy out a network.

Our country can not survive if we continue to be exposed to the kind of people who are currently in control of the media.

22 posted on 04/12/2004 8:15:59 AM PDT by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing.)
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To: W04Man
Anyone know where I may find a printable copy of the `Koran' on the net? One that has been written in English. Thankyou in advance.
23 posted on 04/12/2004 8:20:14 AM PDT by Nurse Ratched (does this mean I'm no longer a lurker?)
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