Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Vietnam: The Fog of War or the Smoke of Propaganda?
NewsMax ^ | 5/3/05 | Carlton Sherwood

Posted on 05/02/2005 5:51:21 PM PDT by wagglebee

Thirty years ago, Americans were transfixed by the chaotic images flickering across their TV screens. Hordes of frantic South Vietnamese men, women and children desperately clinging to the U.S. Embassy fence in Saigon, pleading for escape. Chinook helicopters teetering precariously on the Embassy roof, evacuating the last Americans even as North Vietnamese Communist Army tanks rolled into the outskirts of the city. Huey gunships, the very symbol of American combat power in Vietnam, commandeered by fleeing South Vietnamese Army pilots, either ditched into the sea or pushed overboard from the decks of crowded American aircraft carriers.

If the film footage wasn't compelling enough to make the point, all three television networks, the only sources of broadcast news in the last days of April 1975, made certain their audience got the message. This undignified, ignominious retreat, they reported, marked the end of the Vietnam War, a shameful chapter in U.S. military history, "the first war America lost." Even today, that same theme is echoed by one of those network news anchors, CBS's Walter Cronkite. "We knew we had lost in Vietnam before we saw that final day," he said in a recent interview marking the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon. "It taught the military a very important lesson that I think it has begun to forget in some ways, that it could not fight an unpopular war. We were clearly not omnipotent. We shouldn't be arrogant about our power and the use of our power."

You could almost hear Cronkite's familiar sign-off, "And that's the way it is."

But was it, really? Did the U.S. military lose the Vietnam War? If not, who was responsible? And what about the Cronkite's remark: "It taught the military a very important lesson that I think it has begun to forget in some ways, that it could not fight an unpopular war." Unpopular with whom, the dominant leftist media?

Perhaps a more important question: Is it the fog of war or the dense smoke of over three decades of political, anti-military propaganda that continues to confuse and divide Americans about the true history of Vietnam?

Certainly, Vietnam is used routinely today to accuse the U.S. military in Iraq and to question America's Global War on Terrorism. But is that rhetoric based on fact or on so much 1960s anti-war revisionist bunkum, more the stuff of Hollywood fantasies than the real, documented history of those who served in Vietnam?

Now, thanks to a distinguished group of Vietnam combat veterans, the American public is beginning to hear different, far more factual answers to those questions and many others. This time, they will get it straight from those who know Vietnam best, former POWs, American pilots held in North Vietnam prison camps for years, in places like the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where they were brutally tortured, beaten, starved and sometimes murdered by their Communists captors.

Earlier this year, the former POWs created the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation (VVLF), a non-profit educational organization designed, in part, to "separate truth from fiction, to expose the myths about Vietnam and those who perpetrate them and, to do so, factually and accurately."

The chairman of the VVLF is Col. George E. "Bud" Day, a Medal of Honor recipient and Air Force pilot who was held prisoner by the North Vietnamese Communists for six years. Other VVLF Board Directors include POWs Col. Kenneth Cordier, CMDR. Paul Galanti and Marine pilot James Warner. Mary Jane McManus, the wife of former POW Kevin McManus, is also on the board, along with Army combat veterans Robert A. McMahon and Wallace Nunn, who also serves as Chairman of the Medal of Honor Foundation.

Last week, the VVLF launched its new Web site, www.vietnamlegacy.org, which contains full bios of each Board member and several links to other informational Web pages and references for scholarly works on Vietnam history.

If the names of Col. Day and others on the VVLF Board seem familiar, they should be. Last year, they were among the handful of Vietnam combat veterans who publicly denounced Sen. John Kerry for his post-Vietnam activities, for his "slander and betrayal of all those who served in Vietnam."

First in Swift Boat TV ads and later in the documentary "Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal," the VVLF Board members excoriated Kerry for his 1971 testimony before the U.S. Senate, where he accused the POWs and other Vietnam combat veterans of genocide, deliberately "murdering" and "torturing" hundreds of thousands of innocent Vietnamese civilians.

At the time of Kerry's Senate testimony, all of the VVLF POWs were still being held in North Vietnam prison camps under constant threat of execution as "war criminals." In "Stolen Honor" they vividly recall the reaction of their Communist captors to Kerry's accusations and the demoralizing effects of propaganda by such anti-war activists as Jane Fonda.

"Stolen Honor" was scheduled for airing in early October 2004 on 62 Sinclair Broadcast network stations. However, the Kerry Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, 18 U.S. Democrat senators and several "Old Media" national news organizations launched an all-out, concerted effort to have the documentary censored from the airwaves and banned from being shown even in privately owned theaters.

Eventually, however, "Stolen Honor" was seen by millions of Americans in the closing days of the election, when it was made available for free on the Web site www.stolenhonor.com.

Editor's Note: NewsMax also paid for the film to be shown the weekend before the election on the PAX-TV network and on numerous local stations across the nation, including ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.

Frustrated by the political Left's determination to silence them and concerned about the public's lack of understanding about Vietnam history and those who fought in that war (most Americans alive today were not born before 1972), the POWs hope to provide a counter-balance to the propaganda that still permeates the media and public education today.

For example, contrary to the assertions of Cronkite and others in the mainstream press, the American military had nothing to do with the fall of Saigon, much less losing the war. The last American combat unit left Vietnam in August 1972, nearly three years before the 1975 Communist invasion. The U.S. military remained undefeated in battle throughout the Vietnam War.

Instead, it was Congress – more specifically, the nearly 2-to-1 Democrat majority in the Senate (61 to 37) and the House (291 to 144) in 1975 – that voted to cut off all military funding to the Saigon government that was directly responsible for the defeat of South Vietnam.

Congressional Democrats literally abandoned our South Vietnamese allies and it was they, not the U.S. military, who were responsible for the carnage that followed, the slaughter, imprisonment and forced "re-education" of millions of innocent civilians throughout Southeast Asia by an avenging North Vietnamese Army.

There's another little-known fact.

Several months after the last U.S. ground combat forces left Vietnam in 1972, the North Vietnamese Communists and the Viet Cong signed the Paris Peace Accords, promising, among other things, to cease all hostilities and to NOT invade South Vietnam, much less conquer it, as they did in 1975.

Then and now, 30 years later, rarely is there ever a mention of this diplomatic treachery. Broken treaties, even ones for which the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, apparently aren't worthy of mention in the evening news, certainly not in history textbooks, at least not when it comes to Vietnam.

As for the popularity of the war, among Walter Cronkite's friends and colleagues in the "Old Media" and the anti-war community, the war became "unpopular" in 1968, immediately after Democrat President Johnson announced he would not seek a second term and Republican Richard Nixon, who vowed to "bring peace with honor" to Vietnam, was elected.

For his efforts to withdraw American troops, eliminating the draft in the process, Nixon was rewarded with a landslide re-election victory in 1972 (521 to 17 electoral votes), burying his liberal Democrat opponent, Sen. George McGovern, who advocated a "cut and run" policy, a complete and immediate withdrawal from Vietnam.

If the only accurate polls are those taken in the voting booth, Nixon's lopsided re-election victory (46 million to 28 million votes) clearly demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of Americans still supported the war in Vietnam at least through 1972, probably much longer.

Media polls taken prior to the November 1972 election somehow missed tens of millions of Americans who supported the Nixon administration's war policies – the so-called "Silent Majority" – much as last year's media exit polls apparently failed to count a majority of Americans who had just voted to re-elect President Bush.

Those are but a few Vietnam myths spawned by political propagandists and the mainstream media, ones the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation hopes to dispel.

While protecting and preserving the "honor and reputations" of those who served in Vietnam is paramount for the VVLF, their "mission" today is to prevent an inaccurate history of Vietnam to erode U.S. national security. They do not want history to repeat itself, provide "terrorists" a political victory in the halls of Congress or on the streets of America that they could not possibly achieve on the battlefield, much like the Communists did in Vietnam three decades ago.

Nor do they believe that the media, academics and show business entertainers should be allowed to go unchallenged when they regurgitate enemy propaganda and advocate the wholesale defeat of the U.S., as John Kerry, Jane Fonda and numerous other Leftists did while Americans were still fighting and dying on Vietnam battlefields and in Communist prison camps.

"The false history of Vietnam has been used to endanger and demoralize our troops in combat, undermine the public's confidence in U.S. foreign policy and weaken our national security," Foundation chairman Col. Day said. "Radical leftists such as Sen. Kerry and Jane Fonda lied about the war 35 years ago and are lying about it today. The goal of the VVLF is to continue the work of countering more than three decades of misinformation and propaganda, and set the record straight."

Carlton Sherwood is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, a thrice-wounded, decorated Marine Vietnam combat veteran and producer of the documentary "Stolen Honor."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: johnkerry; mediabias; propoganda; stolenhonor; vietnam; vietnamvets; vietnamwar
Instead, it was Congress – more specifically, the nearly 2-to-1 Democrat majority in the Senate (61 to 37) and the House (291 to 144) in 1975 – that voted to cut off all military funding to the Saigon government that was directly responsible for the defeat of South Vietnam.

Congressional Democrats literally abandoned our South Vietnamese allies and it was they, not the U.S. military, who were responsible for the carnage that followed, the slaughter, imprisonment and forced "re-education" of millions of innocent civilians throughout Southeast Asia by an avenging North Vietnamese Army.

There's another little-known fact.

Several months after the last U.S. ground combat forces left Vietnam in 1972, the North Vietnamese Communists and the Viet Cong signed the Paris Peace Accords, promising, among other things, to cease all hostilities and to NOT invade South Vietnam, much less conquer it, as they did in 1975.

Then and now, 30 years later, rarely is there ever a mention of this diplomatic treachery. Broken treaties, even ones for which the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, apparently aren't worthy of mention in the evening news, certainly not in history textbooks, at least not when it comes to Vietnam.

The 'Rats betrayal of South Vietnam and America was one of the darkest moments in American history.

1 posted on 05/02/2005 5:51:45 PM PDT by wagglebee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
"It taught the military a very important lesson that I think it has begun to forget in some ways, that it could not fight an unpopular war.

The military doesn't decide which wars to fight in, Uncle Dumbass.

It's a good thing CBS and Cronkite weren't around during The Revolutionary War. That war wasn't very popular either.

2 posted on 05/02/2005 5:57:34 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Leftists would have no standards at all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Texas Eagle
It's a good thing CBS and Cronkite weren't around during The Revolutionary War. That war wasn't very popular either.

The Civil War was by far the most unpopular wars in our history, imagine if the leftist media had been around then; for that matter, World War I wasn't popular either.

3 posted on 05/02/2005 5:59:41 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
Congressional Democrats literally abandoned our South Vietnamese allies and it was they, not the U.S. military, who were responsible for the carnage that followed

To me this is the worst of the worst of the worst. Shame on Kerry and Kennedy, the disgusting so-called Catholic twosome from Massachussetts who led the charge to cut off funding.

God's blessings on the continuing efforts of the VVLF.

4 posted on 05/02/2005 6:01:52 PM PDT by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: wagglebee

If Cronkite believes 'we lost' the war he should pat himself on the back because he did everything in his power to make
that happen...he abused his status as 'the most trusted man in America' to out right lie to mom and pop as they sat with their families watching CBS nightly leftist propaganda disguised as 'the truth'

Cronkite did his worst to turn the middle class and middle aged against our war efforts and then afterwards did his best to have Americans blame Vietnam veterans for the loss...

He is a disgusting bass turd and a liar...one of ten thousand
of his ilk who should have been tarred and feathered and run back to Hanoi,Moscow,Bejing, or Paris where he, like his soul brother John Kerry, both belong

imo


6 posted on 05/02/2005 6:06:15 PM PDT by joesnuffy (The generation that survived the depression and won WW2 proved poverty does not cause crime)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

It wasn't much of a war. But it was the only one we had.


7 posted on 05/02/2005 6:07:04 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: joesnuffy

8 posted on 05/02/2005 6:07:37 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

Cronkite's a moron.


9 posted on 05/02/2005 6:11:28 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Leftists would have no standards at all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cummingsga
America lost slightly less than 60,000 men in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese lost well over one million, had we fought another couple of years the North would not have had any more able-bodied men left to fight.

The left will continue to say that we "lost" the war, to which I have but one question:
Please cite for me which specific battle we lost that resulted in our defeat? Specifically, which battle was our "Yorktown", "Appomattox" or "Waterloo"?
(I have never received an answer to that question.)

10 posted on 05/02/2005 6:18:57 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Texas Eagle

No less an authority than Jimmah Cahtah himself said the Revolutionary War was a silly exercise.


11 posted on 05/02/2005 6:22:08 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Texas Eagle

Anybody know of any "popular" wars? Only a senile old moron like Wally Crankcase would think there is something called a "popular war." I know there is no one who has served in the military who can give you the name of a "popular" war. ALL wars are "unpopular" with those who have to fight them.


12 posted on 05/02/2005 6:23:33 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
Little remembered facts..
1) Vietnam was a war started by democrats.. finished by republicans..
2) Korea was a war started by democrats.. finished by republicans..

But that was when republicans had a spine.. but
Democrats have always been morons even in WWII.. and WWI..

13 posted on 05/02/2005 6:35:30 PM PDT by hosepipe (This Propaganda has been edited to include not a small amount of Hyperbole..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe
For what it's worth, I believe that WWII was also won by Republicans.


14 posted on 05/02/2005 6:43:33 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

from June 69- Jan.77 we knew that the Beltway bunch had
lied and were our most clear and present danger.Today a
letter from a soldier in Iraq sounds an awaful lot like
we did. He says they know they were lied to- and he thinks the war is immoral. But he also says he is there by choice-- and they have done some good. And have made some positive changes. I am convinced America cannot win nor be
honest to those sent until/ unless we withdraw from the
enemies camp (The United Nations) So long as our leaders serve a foreign entity we cannot win.


15 posted on 05/02/2005 7:24:53 PM PDT by StonyBurk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
Thanks for the article. I know as a Vietnam vet we (the military) did not lose the war.


The North Viets and the liberals may think they won it. But there were a million of those little bastards that didn't get to march in the victory parade.
16 posted on 05/02/2005 8:47:44 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howlin; eddie willers; cajungirl; wirestripper; Southflanknorthpawsis; Peach; prairiebreeze; ...

Ping for a great article by Carlton Sherwood, producer of the Stolen Honor documentary.


17 posted on 05/03/2005 9:39:34 AM PDT by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

Thanks for the ping!

""The false history of Vietnam has been used to endanger and demoralize our troops in combat, undermine the public's confidence in U.S. foreign policy and weaken our national security," Foundation chairman Col. Day said. "Radical leftists such as Sen. Kerry and Jane Fonda lied about the war 35 years ago and are lying about it today. The goal of the VVLF is to continue the work of countering more than three decades of misinformation and propaganda, and set the record straight."

The 3+ decades of lying about Viet Nam are the basic foundation of the Hate America Wing of the Lunatic Lefties.

They will never admit that they lied about Viet Nam, and the reality that we weren't defeated on the battle grounds. We were stabbed in the back by left wing congressits using the lies of the MSM as weapons.


18 posted on 05/03/2005 9:54:14 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (The MSM has been a WMD, Weapon of Mass Disinformation for the Rats for at least 5 decades.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

BTTT!!!!!!


19 posted on 05/03/2005 10:00:55 AM PDT by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

Thanks for the ping!


20 posted on 05/03/2005 10:07:17 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
Excellent article, and you certainly extracted the key passage for reiteration, wagglebee. In fact I'll repeat a portion thereof myself:
Instead, it was Congress – more specifically, the nearly 2-to-1 Democrat majority in the Senate (61 to 37) and the House (291 to 144) in 1975 – that voted to cut off all military funding to the Saigon government that was directly responsible for the defeat of South Vietnam.

Congressional Democrats literally abandoned our South Vietnamese allies and it was they, not the U.S. military, who were responsible for the carnage that followed, the slaughter, imprisonment and forced "re-education" of millions of innocent civilians throughout Southeast Asia by an avenging North Vietnamese Army.

This was, IMHO, among the most invidious betrayals in America's otherwise proud history. It should also serve as a reminder never to trust the left, even it's more moderate elements. Although it was tacit rather than explicit, and excluded the most radical leftists who openly wanted the communists to triumph, there was effectively a "bargain" struck between hawks and doves with and after the election of Nixon. It's terms were that the hawks, and the Nixon administration, would extricate American forces from Vietnam, that is they would "bring the troops home," and in exchange the doves would agree to continued support for America's allies in Indochina and necessary enforcement of peace treaties.

Nixon and the hawks kept their side of the bargain, and the left, including the "moderate" left, reneged, slashing aid again and again and again -- viciously, vindictively, gratuitously -- far beyond anything explainable by mere political expediency. The South Vietnamese army, for instance, was forced to heavily ration artillery shells during the last year of their struggle, and at the end their forces literally ran out of bullets. For Cambodia the situation was even worse. Aid had been cut off entirely, and even reconnaissance flights over the country were prohibited by Congress.

Nixon almost managed to salvage a 'Rat debacle in South Vietnam (and even President Ford courageously continued to demand reasonable and necessary levels of aid for South Vietnam, even when there was no chance of Congressional acquiescence). Nixon fought far more effectively than LBJ even with a small fraction of the forces that the 'Rats had committed (in large part simply by doing the bleeding obvious -- bombing the hell out of the North and attacking North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia and Laos) and consequently achieved a peace agreement that the liberals, doves and radicals had all declared impossible.

It's almost as though the 'Rats were determined that the war be lost, and actively and energetically sabotaged both aid and treaty enforcement to acheive the end. We know that the radical left and much of the "peace" movement's leadership desired this, but what is truly shocking, and should be a caution to Americans even today, is the extent to which the behavior of moderate leftists and liberals coincided with the goal of America being shamed and defeated (no matter what the cost in lives to the Indochinese people).

21 posted on 05/03/2005 10:29:18 AM PDT by Stultis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Stultis

I became a Republican while still in high school during the Kennedy vs Nixon campaign. I oppose almost everything the liberal Democrats have stood for since then. However, I think my dislike for everything Democrat is deeply rooted in their betrayal of the United States military in Vietnam. It was because of Democrat duplicity in conducting that war that I lost many friends. The government's attempt to micromanage the war hamstrung the military and eventually cost us many lives and eventually the war. Had the military leaders been allowed to conduct the war with victory as the goal it would not have lasted half as long as it did.


22 posted on 05/03/2005 10:40:20 AM PDT by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
We were stabbed in the back by left wing congressits using the lies of the MSM as weapons.

We, and our allies in Indochina and, through discrediting our trustworthiness, America's allies everywhere on the globe. In the case of many I think both this program and its effects were entirely intentional. They managed to seriously undermine American effectiveness and credibility. Thank God Reagan came along when he did to repair much of the damage.

23 posted on 05/03/2005 10:44:26 AM PDT by Stultis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Stultis

I have no doubts that the lies about Vietnam were intentional and probably funded by those who hated America at that time. Most of those lunatic lefty leaders are now dead.

Those my age, the 60 somethings are still living this big lie. Their entire adult lives have been wrapped around the Hate America because of Nam lie. Fortunately many have left the earth and many in large numbers are leaving the power positions they have obtained in the media, governments, universities and in politics. Unfortunately, many like the Clintons and Carters are still around spreading their hate America bs as healthy political interchange.

Maybe the most dangerous of this group are the mid 40 to 50 something lunatic lefties who have positions of power in the MSM, local media, Follywood, national and local politics, and in our universities. They have honed the Hate America from Nam to everything our side stands for and tries to do. Think of Perky Katie, vile Follywooders, the Ward Churchills and the congressits like most from California. These lefties are often intelligent, well educated and use their power positions to weaken America 24/7/365. They have added the religions of the left abortion and political correctness to the Nam lie.

Their weakest demographic group is the 30 something to early 40 something. They are often poorly educated and can only mouth the mantras of the older hate America loonies. 9/11 woke up many who were in this group. The left is losing ground in this critical group daily.


24 posted on 05/03/2005 11:53:00 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (The MSM has been a WMD, Weapon of Mass Disinformation for the Rats for at least 5 decades.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: joesnuffy

I inlude Cronkite with Kerry and Hanoi Jane.


25 posted on 05/03/2005 1:36:23 PM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

BTTT


26 posted on 05/03/2005 1:38:02 PM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

bttt!


27 posted on 05/03/2005 6:41:50 PM PDT by bitt ("There are troubling signs Bush doesn't care about winning a third term." (JH2))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times
If the only accurate polls are those taken in the voting booth, Nixon's lopsided re-election victory (46 million to 28 million votes) clearly demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of Americans still supported the war in Vietnam at least through 1972, probably much longer

That was the only poll that really mattered and the MSM spun it so that even then the dems won.

Regards,

TS

28 posted on 05/03/2005 7:32:07 PM PDT by The Shrew (www.swiftvets.com & www.wintersoldier.com - The Truth Shall Set YOU Free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Interesting Times

YES ! I thought I would never see this in print:

"contrary to the assertions of Cronkite and others in the mainstream press, the American military had nothing to do with the fall of Saigon, much less losing the war. The last American combat unit left Vietnam in August 1972, nearly three years before the 1975 Communist invasion. The U.S. military remained undefeated in battle throughout the Vietnam War.

Instead, it was Congress – more specifically, the nearly 2-to-1 Democrat majority in the Senate (61 to 37) and the House (291 to 144) in 1975 – that voted to cut off all military funding to the Saigon government that was directly responsible for the defeat of South Vietnam.

Congressional Democrats literally abandoned our South Vietnamese allies and it was they, not the U.S. military, who were responsible for the carnage that followed, the slaughter, imprisonment and forced "re-education" of millions of innocent civilians throughout Southeast Asia by an avenging North Vietnamese Army. "


29 posted on 05/03/2005 8:09:40 PM PDT by zot (GWB -- four more years!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: zot
Yes, Carlton did a great job.

I'm told that this article will also be on FrontPagemag.com tomorrow.

30 posted on 05/03/2005 8:18:19 PM PDT by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

"It wasn't much of a war. But it was the only one we had.

For those of us who were there, it was more than "not much of a war."

Have you ever had troops on the ground shooting rifle fire at you as you were taking off or firing mortars or rockets at you while you were trying to get a few hours of sleep?

Not much of a war? There has never been such a war.


31 posted on 05/04/2005 9:09:26 AM PDT by Chu Gary (USN Intel guy 1967 - 1970)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Chu Gary

I was there, too. And I first heard that line from a company commander.

Let's put it this way: America sure as heck didn't think it was much of a war.


32 posted on 05/04/2005 12:56:26 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave

I attended the "Vietnam and the Iraq War" presentation given at the University of Chicago Law School by Professor Geoffrey Stone 20 January 2005. As a veteran of the Vietnam War from August of 1969 to January of 1971, serving as an infantry squad leader in a mechanized infantry company, and with another unit as a tank commander on an M48A3 tank; I was keenly interested in the form that the lecture might take. After a cursory reading of Professor Stone's curriculum vitae, I suspected that Professor Stone's take on the South East Asian conflict might indicate a general disapproval of the United States war effort. My suspicions were proven correct. The lecture was an attempt to paint the American war effort in Vietnam as misguided at best and an imperialistic effort to establish SE Asian capitalistic hegemony at worst. The antiwar left was portrayed as being noble and idealistic rather than populated by a hard core that actively hoped and worked for a US defeat, the US government as destructive of basic civil liberties in its attempt to monitor their activities, and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong as nationalists who wished to preserve their unique culture against an imperialistic onslaught. He described the South Vietnamese government in terms that were heedless of the South Vietnamese government’s struggle to survive a relentlessly ruthless Communist assault while he stated the South Vietnamese government was engaged in an unwarranted assault on human rights. He neglected to mention ANY of the numerous genocidal atrocities of the Vietcong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA). He described the Tet Offensive as a surprise for the United States in which 1100 American soldiers died and 2300 ARVN soldiers, and not much more about it.

I challenged Professor Stone on the following. The reason that the United States opposed nationwide elections that were to be held in accordance with the 1954 Geneva accords was due to the murder and intimidation campaigns carried out by Ho Chi Minh. This fact is in Professor R. J. Runnel's book Death by Government, in which he cites a low estimate of 15,000 and a high figure of 500,000 people in the “murder by quota” campaign directed by the North Vietnamese Communist Party Politburo that would have made the election a corrupt mockery. This campaign stipulated that 5% of the people living in each village and hamlet had to be liquidated, preferably those identified as members of the "ruling class." All told says Runnel, between 1953 and 1956 it is likely that the Communists killed 195,000 to 865,000 North Vietnamese. These were non combatant men, women, and children, and hardly represent evidence of the moral high ground claimed by many in the antiwar movement. In 1956, high Communist official Nguyen Manh Tuong admitted that "while destroying the landowning class, we condemned numberless old people and children to a horrible death." The same genocidal pattern became the Communists’ standard operating procedure in the South too. This was unequivocally demonstrated by the Hue Massacre, which the press did a great deal to downplay in its reporting of the Tet Offensive of 1968.

I pointed out that the National Liberation Front was the creation of the North Vietnamese Third Party Congress of September 1960, completely directed from North Vietnam. I pointed out that the Tet Offensive of 1968 was a disastrous military defeat for the North Vietnamese and that the VC were almost wiped out by the fighting, and that it took the NVA until 1971 to reestablish a presence using North Vietnamese troops as local guerrillas. I pointed out how the North Vietnam military senior commanders repeatedly said that they counted on the U.S. antiwar movement to give them the confidence to persevere in the face of their staggering battlefield personnel losses and defeats. I pointed out the antiwar movement prevented the feckless President Lyndon Johnson from granting General Westmoreland's request to enter Laos and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail or end his policies of publicly announced gradualist escalation. The North Vietnamese knew cutting this trail would severely damage their ability to prosecute the war. Since the North Vietnamese could continue to use the Ho Chi Minh Trail lifeline, the war was needlessly prolonged for the U.S. and contributed significantly to the collapse of South Vietnam. The casualties sustained by the NVA and VC were horrendous, (1.5 million dead) and accorded well with Gen. Ngyuen Giap’s publicly professed disdain for the lives of individuals sacrificed for the greater cause of Communist victory. To this day the anti-war movement as a whole refuses to acknowledge its part in the deaths of millions in Laos and Cambodia and in the subsequent exodus from South East Asia as people fled Communism, nor the imprisonment of thousands in Communist re-education camps and gulags.

When he tried to say that United States should have known it could not put down a local popular insurgency, I pointed out that the final victorious North Vietnamese offensive was a multidivisional, combined arms effort lavishly equipped with Soviet and Chinese supplied tanks, self-propelled artillery, and aircraft. I pointed out to him that it was the type of blitzkrieg that German Panzer General Heinz Guederian would have easily recognized. I said how I didn't recall seeing any barefoot, pajama-clad guerrillas jumping out of those tanks in the newsreel footage that showed them crashing through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon. This spectacle was prompted by the pusillanimous withdrawal of Congressional support for the South Vietnamese government in the wake of the Watergate scandal, which particularly undermined this aspect of President Nixon’s foreign policy. It should be noted that a similar Communist offensive in the spring of 1972 was smashed, largely by US air power; with relatively few US ground troops in place.

There were legions of half-truths and omissions that this professor spoke to in his extremely biased lecture. When I asked him why he left out so much that was favorable to the American effort in Vietnam, he airily dismissed my argument as being just another perspective, but tellingly he did not disagree with the essential truth of what I said.

Professor Stone struck me as just another liberal masquerading as an enlightened academic.

He was totally unable to relate how the situation in Iraq is comparable to the situation in Vietnam, so I volunteered a comparison for him. A seditious near traitorous core of anti-war protesters is trying to undermine U.S. efforts there with half-truths, lies, and distortions. I said that in that respect, the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam are very similar. A significant difference is that thus far the current anti-war movement has not succeeded in manifesting contempt for the American military on the part of the general U.S. public as it did in the Vietnam era.
When I was in Vietnam, I recall many discussions with my fellow soldiers about the course of the war in Vietnam and their feelings about it. Many, if not most felt that "We Gotta Get Outta this Place," to cite a popular song of the time by Eric Burden and the Animals, but for the most part they felt we should do it by fighting the war in a manner calculated to win it. I do not recall anyone ever saying that they felt the North Vietnamese could possibly defeat us on the battlefield, but to a man they were mystified by the U.S. Government’s refusal to fight in a manner that would assure military victory. Even though there was much resentment for the antiwar movement, and some (resentment) toward career professional soldiers, I never saw anyone who did not do his basic duty and many did FAR MORE THAN THAT as a soldier. Nineteen of my friends have their names on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington DC. They deserve to have the full truth told about the effort for which they gave their young lives. The U.S. public is not well served by half-truths and lies by omission about such a significant period in our history, particularly with their relevance toward our present fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.


33 posted on 05/04/2005 7:11:10 PM PDT by DMZFrank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson