Anyone interested in viewing the Swift Boat Ads click the link.
OPEN LETTER TO ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS
As a Prisoner Of War in North Vietnam for over seven years, I had to not only resist the efforts of the Communists to exploit me for military information and for propaganda, but also keep faith in our mission in South Vietnam in the face of near constant communist propaganda, the most effective of which was actually drawn from our own media . We heard the details of every anti-war riot and demonstration, every anti-war statement by opportunistic politicians and Hollywood celebrities--the same statements we were taking torture to not make.
In spite of that depressing input--or perhaps because of it--each passing day my convictions were strengthened that we were right to be there and that our cause was just. Experiencing Communism up-close-and-personal allowed me to know it as the evil it is; an ideology and political system based upon lies, slander, and deceit--not to mention the tens of thousands of lives terminated in North Vietnam alone just to impose it. I realized the people on the outside of the prison walls there in downtown Hanoi were no better off than I was on the inside.
The Communist officers and interrogators doted on the anti-war news from America, and considered the anti-war protesters as their allies, hence Jane Fonda's queenly reception there. They would often say to us, "Even if we are not able to win this war in the jungles of the South, we will win it in the streets of America." Ironically, that was the only truth they ever spoke.
This hoped for victory on the propaganda front contributed significantly to the tenacity and longevity of their military effort in South Vietnam, even in the face of horrendous defeats--most notably the 1968 "Tet Offensive" which was hastily hailed by our media as a watershed victory for the Communists. The longer war resulted in more casualties on both sides, no matter the outcome. This strategy was validated in the post-war memoirs of North Vietnam's highest leaders.
Fast forward to Iraq and the present. We are again fighting an evil, despotic regime based upon lies, slander and deceit, and which also owes it's survival to the elimination of tens of thousands of lives. But in this case, the justness of our cause is even more clear. International terrorists--Al Qaeda or otherwise--have been standing in line for a Saddam Hussein produced chemical or biological WMD for use against more innocent Americans; an attack that would be devoid of Saddam's fingerprints. So much for "containment". Every day that Saddam Hussein has been allowed to remain in power has been another day this could actually happen. And again--as futile as in this case it may be--Saddam and his War Council are depending upon the anti-war movement in America and around the world for their salvation. After his interview with Dan Rather, Saddam expressed to Rather his deep interest in the effectiveness of the American anti-war movement. Even while losing, you can be sure he will fight harder and more tenaciously to prolong the war unit his own propaganda and his "allies" in the streets of the world can have their effect.
So all you protesters out there, whatever your individual or collective motivation, I have no problem with your right to protest peacefully, thereby not diverting law enforcement from the more critical priority of real security. But just keep one thing foremost in your mind. Regardless of your naive pronouncements about wanting to "save the lives of innocent Iraqis and to bring American soldiers home", just as in Vietnam, you are encouraging our enemy to fight harder and longer, and more people will die. Get it? MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE!
Our strategy in the earlier gulf war--"Desert Storm" and our projected strategy for this war--"Iraqi Freedom"--proves our political and military leaders learned "the lessons of Vietnam". It's just a shame that you didn't.
Captain, US Navy (Ret.)