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Revisiting the Vietnam War: The Legacy of the Tet Offensive (burying a dangerous historical myth)
National Review ^ | 09/30/2010 | James S. Robbins

Posted on 09/30/2010 7:23:58 AM PDT by WebFocus

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1 posted on 09/30/2010 7:24:00 AM PDT by WebFocus
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To: WebFocus

FINALLY!


2 posted on 09/30/2010 7:30:40 AM PDT by Redleg Duke (RAT Hunting Season started the evening of March 21st, 2010!)
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To: WebFocus

As Ronald Reagan said in 1965, “It’s silly talking about how many years we will have to stay in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas.”

A-stan wouldn’t even have tree stumps to block the pavers.


3 posted on 09/30/2010 7:30:44 AM PDT by jessduntno (9/24/10, FBI raids home of appropriately named AAAN leader Hatem Abudayyeh, a friend of Obama.)
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To: WebFocus

A lot of people think the Tet offensive was won by the North Vietnamese. In truth, it was a dismal failure for them and the US wiped out most of their conventional forces. They had to resort to a guerrilla was after that.


4 posted on 09/30/2010 7:31:09 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: WebFocus

“....making North Vietnam off-limits to ground operations,..”

I served with a guy who went in with a team to N Vietnam...the Navy took them up there on a submarine...then they paddled in on a rubber boat...the purpose was to inspect a beach to see if it was fit for amphibious landings...the Marines like to know everything about a beach when they make invasion plans...and they were tasked to develop a plan for an amphibious assault into N. Vietnam.


5 posted on 09/30/2010 7:31:58 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: WebFocus
There is a big difference between trying to win and trying not to lose.

AMEN and Amen!

The truth is that Tet 68 brought to fruition a long held objective of the U.S. military in Viet Nam in that the Viet Cong were well and truly destroyed as a fighting force. In other words, the "news" media in this country turned what was in reality a major victory into a defeat and I will forever HATE them for doing so!

6 posted on 09/30/2010 7:33:09 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: WebFocus
Unfortunately, LBJ simply did not understand the Communist worldview.

Liberals never do.

7 posted on 09/30/2010 7:35:50 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: mbynack; All

There’s a more important conflict to be won here before we commit any more blood or treasure overseas.


8 posted on 09/30/2010 7:38:00 AM PDT by tired1 (Federalize the Fed)
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To: WebFocus

Vietnam facts I compiled.

http://blogonator.com/Blog-O-Nator/Vietnam_Myths.html

It’s my webpage, but I don’t make any money or anything (no ads or stuff like that).


9 posted on 09/30/2010 7:43:58 AM PDT by Noamie
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To: WebFocus

This is why I hope Walter Cronkite rots in hell.


10 posted on 09/30/2010 7:47:45 AM PDT by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: WebFocus

The US never lost a single battle in Viet Nam and never suffered casualties that were more than a fraction of what the North lost in any engagement. Yet because of LBJ’s insistence on not bombing NV, not calling out Ho Chi Mihn and not cutting off the Ho Chi Mihn Trail we wound up losing the war. Unforgiveable. Even worse...Nixon managed to pull out most of the US troops and train the ARVN to the point where, with adequate US air support they were kicking the North’s ass pretty durn good. After Nixon’s resignation the democrap Congress completely turned off all funding for the effort and just handed VN over to the commies...letting all of our war dead lie dead for a wasted effort. I’ll never forgive the democrats for what they did. I’ll never forgive the media either. They consciously lied about what was happening in the war and deliberately mislead the people in an effort to allow a win for their idealogical soul mates. Damn them all.


11 posted on 09/30/2010 7:50:40 AM PDT by pgkdan (Protect and Defend America! End the practice of islam on our shores before it's too late!)
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To: mbynack

That is entirely correct. The commanding NVA general (his name slips my mind) said, in papers published years later, that the North Vietnamese Army after Tet could not wage an effective division-sized campaign for at least six months. Their “victory” had crippled them. If we had struck with everything we had, Ho Chi Minh City would today be known as Westmoreland.


12 posted on 09/30/2010 7:51:19 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: ishabibble

I second that!


13 posted on 09/30/2010 7:51:35 AM PDT by pgkdan (Protect and Defend America! End the practice of islam on our shores before it's too late!)
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To: Noamie
Great information. I am bookmarking and will provide to my 2 high school kids for when this comes up.
14 posted on 09/30/2010 7:53:12 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Add some short, faux intellectual phrase here:)
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To: Noamie

Excellent work! I would only add that the ARVN lost after U.S. Forces pulled out ONLY because the United States Congress (under long democrat control at the time) cut off their funding! It is VERY hard to fight a war without resources!


15 posted on 09/30/2010 7:54:20 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: pgkdan

Spot on!

Great post!


16 posted on 09/30/2010 7:56:26 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: WebFocus

Whether or not we ultimately win the Vietnam War will be a function of winning or losing the War On Terror.


17 posted on 09/30/2010 7:58:17 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: IronJack

Good to “see” you my FRiend!


18 posted on 09/30/2010 7:58:57 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: mbynack
A lot of people think the Tet offensive was won by the North Vietnamese. In truth, it was a dismal failure for them and the US wiped out most of their conventional forces

Well, that is somewhat beside the point. George Washington lost most of his battles too as did the commies who were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The important victories in war, especially guerrilla war, are ones of perception and the ability to keep the war going by the enemy. And in this sense Tet was a NVA victory. It showed that U.S. forces could be attacked anywhere and everywhere and that the war could be endless. In this sense, it dealt a gigantic psychological blow which ultimately led to LBJ's bombing halt and Nixon's Vietnamization.

19 posted on 09/30/2010 8:00:06 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: WebFocus

Another canard the left loves to throw out is that Ho Chi Minh asked for our help against the French, and only became a Communist after we refused him.

The fact is, he was a full-fledged member of the Comintern ever since the 1920s, and was never going to be a friend of the US whether we sided with him against the French, or not.


20 posted on 09/30/2010 8:02:40 AM PDT by dfwgator (Texas Rangers - AL West Champions)
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To: Bigun
There is a big difference between trying to win and trying not to lose.

"Trying not to loose" seems to be the strategy in Afghanistan. We give the Taliban three months notice when we're going to attach an area and allow them to leave unopposed. We allow the poppy farmers to grow and harvest the crop that provides the Taliban with their war chest. We should wipe out the poppy fields before they're harvested. If we know that the Taliban are in an area, we should go after them. If they hide in the hills, bomb the hills. We should be fighting to win. It will cost a lot less in terms of money and lives in the long run.

21 posted on 09/30/2010 8:03:46 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: pgkdan
'The US never lost a single battle in Viet Nam '

This is about myths of the Vietnam War, and you continue to spread one.

The US lost many battles, that is a fact of war[military conflict].

22 posted on 09/30/2010 8:06:52 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: WebFocus

The thing was the President Johnson was deathly afraid that if he pushed too hard in Vietnam that the Russians would push back by taking over the rest of Berlin. Then what? World War III?


23 posted on 09/30/2010 8:07:04 AM PDT by AceMineral (Clam down!)
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To: WebFocus

Bump


24 posted on 09/30/2010 8:07:59 AM PDT by Ditto (Nov 2, 2010 -- Time to Clean House.)
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To: Captain Kirk
Well, that is somewhat beside the point. George Washington lost most of his battles too as did the commies who were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The important victories in war, especially guerrilla war, are ones of perception and the ability to keep the war going by the enemy. And in this sense Tet was a NVA victory. It showed that U.S. forces could be attacked anywhere and everywhere and that the war could be endless. In this sense, it dealt a gigantic psychological blow which ultimately led to LBJ's bombing halt and Nixon's Vietnamization.

You are just plain full of CRAP! What it showed was that the media in this country was furthering the interests of our enemies instead of our own!

25 posted on 09/30/2010 8:09:21 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: mbynack
"Trying not to loose" seems to be the strategy in Afghanistan.

I couldn't agree with you more! It appears that some will NEVER learn!

26 posted on 09/30/2010 8:11:47 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: WebFocus

The USA could have achieved a peace very similar to Korea, where the South would have quickly become prosperous, while the North became a brutally poor buffer state for China.

We would likely have to have remained committed to our South Vietnamese allies until 1976 or 1978. The death of Mao and the purging of the hard-left in China would eventually have changed Chinese and world communist support for North Vietnam.


27 posted on 09/30/2010 8:12:22 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: PGR88
where the South would have quickly become prosperous, while the North became a brutally poor buffer state for China.

North Vietnam was aligned with the Soviet Union, and had cool relations with the ChiComs, in fact they fought a small war in 1979.

28 posted on 09/30/2010 8:13:49 AM PDT by dfwgator (Texas Rangers - AL West Champions)
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To: Bigun
You are just plain full of CRAP

Interesting counterargument. Could you be more specific on how my examples were wrong? Facts please. Please knock me for a loop with your debate skills.

29 posted on 09/30/2010 8:14:24 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: PGR88
We would likely have to have remained committed to our South Vietnamese allies until 1976 or 1978

The American people don't have patience for a long foreign war like that. That is reality, at least under a democracy. It was certainly the reality during the Vietnam Era.

30 posted on 09/30/2010 8:17:08 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Bigun
In this sense, it dealt a gigantic psychological blow which ultimately led to LBJ's bombing halt and Nixon's Vietnamization.

Only because pukes like Walter Cronkite and his butt boy Dan Rather made it so! What do you suppose the result would have been had they simply reported the actual FACTS as to what happened during the period in question?

31 posted on 09/30/2010 8:19:24 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: mbynack
"Trying not to loose" seems to be the strategy in Afghanistan.

Just as Obama ... was (is) paralyzed by indecision and received conflicting suggestions from his advisers

32 posted on 09/30/2010 8:21:21 AM PDT by fml
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To: Captain Kirk

Post #31 should have been addressed to you.


33 posted on 09/30/2010 8:22:09 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: WebFocus

everybody knew it but LBJ. Even his advisors knew it. They just had a different agenda as does the president today.


34 posted on 09/30/2010 8:24:17 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: PGR88

RE: The death of Mao and the purging of the hard-left in China would eventually have changed Chinese and world communist support for North Vietnam.


Speaking of North Korea, I expect the Dear Leader not to last very soon. Let’s hope and pray that whoever succeeds him gets to realize that Communism and belligerence doesn’t work.


35 posted on 09/30/2010 8:24:32 AM PDT by WebFocus
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To: Bigun

Add to that the North waited until after Nixon resigned for its final offensive to the South. This was an offensive with conventional mechanized forces. It the North did so before Nixon resigned, Nixon would have turned the skies over Hanoi and Haiphong dark with B-52’s, using treaty violation as the reason. Linebacker would have been a nuisance raid in comparison.


36 posted on 09/30/2010 8:29:42 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO! I salute you with the soles of my shoes!)
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To: Fred Hayek

No doubt that is true!


37 posted on 09/30/2010 8:35:27 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: WebFocus

Johnson/Carter/Clinton/Obozo = haters of America pretending to be Presidents.


38 posted on 09/30/2010 8:35:56 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: ASA Vet

Maybe you could share what you can about the reality of Tet with those of us who weren’t there.


39 posted on 09/30/2010 8:37:51 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: Palter
The US lost many battles, that is a fact of war[military conflict].

I believe in "On Strategy" it was described as having never lost any "major" battles, not "battles" which, while some people may sloppily slip into using that, (as people do), would be unrealistic. Even in Iraq, we lost "battles".

40 posted on 09/30/2010 8:40:04 AM PDT by ansel12 ([fear of Islam.] Once you are paralyzed by fear of Mohammedanism...you have lost the battle.)
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To: Grampa Dave

Add John Kennedy to your list, Mr. “call off the air support” and “send the troops to Vietnam”, he was the incompetent liberal boob that started all this.

Man does that guy get good historical whitewashing though.


41 posted on 09/30/2010 8:43:17 AM PDT by ansel12 ([fear of Islam.] Once you are paralyzed by fear of Mohammedanism...you have lost the battle.)
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To: IronJack
Giáp. The general is still alive in a nursing home in Hà Nội. He is 100 years this year. One of my VN buddies is now an English teacher in a Hà Nội middle school. He has been angling for an appointment to visit the old man and has been given a tentative date in November. Art has introduced baseball to the school system in Hà Nội and several schools have teams. By the end of the last century Việt Nam was the only country that had had a major American Military presence that did not have baseball as a major sport after the US left. Art says he is working to fix that. He says the parents and the officials love it.
42 posted on 09/30/2010 8:50:22 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di tray hoi den La Vang)
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To: Bigun

Ditto that, good buddy!


43 posted on 09/30/2010 8:50:27 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Interesting Times; zot; Nick Danger
Absolutely. The Vietnam War was lost by choice.

PING to a great interview.

TS

44 posted on 09/30/2010 8:51:26 AM PDT by The Shrew (www.wintersoldier.com; www.tstrs.com; The Truth Shall Set You Free!)
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To: mbynack

To be really precise, the Tet offensive was waged primarily by the Viet Cong. As a result they were nearly wiped out as an effective fighting force. It was after Tet that NVA regulars began doing the brunt of the fighting in the south.


45 posted on 09/30/2010 9:11:38 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
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To: WebFocus

The damage done to the South Vietnamese people by the left in this country cannot be calculated. Our military won every battle and won the war. The story being told by “historians” in this country is a lie. What WAS lost was the “peace” when the congressional democrats broke every promise made to the So. Vietnamese people between 1973 and 1975. They HANDED the south to the communists-something I suspected they wanted to do all along.

I was relatively young when this all happened, and it was here that I began to hate the demonRATs and the left. And I still do.


46 posted on 09/30/2010 9:18:01 AM PDT by 13Sisters76 ("It is amazing how many people mistake a certain hip snideness for sophistication. " Thos. Sowell)
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To: WebFocus

I will add one fact I doubt many of you ever heard.

During the build up to the Tet Offensive we were collecting all levels of Chinese and N Vietnamese Regulars in the areas around Saigon, Da Nang, Hue and all the other important sites in Nam. When they started hitting the cities it was only the press and the politicians that had no clue what was going on.

But - The most important thing that happened was that at the end of the Tet Offensive, the N. Vietnamese offered Ho Chi Min to us if we would stop the bombing.

So President Johnson did the same thing as he did earlier when we had bombed the north into submission - he stopped and waited for them to show up at the talks in Paris.

They waited how long?

3-4 months as I recall. In the mean time they rebuilt and rearmed through China and Russia.

Each time Johnson patiently had his negotiators waited in Paris - twiddling their thumbs while our men continued dieing.

If Johnson had of done what Westmorland and Abrams suggested, the North would be told to get to Paris anyway they could and when a treaty or truce was signed, then and only then would we stop bombing them. Instead, we cleared the airspace and allowed any and all flights out of Hanoi in the hopes that they were going to Paris.

I know these facts because I was the only one who saw and handled the messages given directly to Generals Westmorland & Abrams. I took the online encrypted messages to offline encryption and then directly to General Westmorland’s Adjutant who then handed it directly to General Westmorland (in my presence).

I then waited for further instructions and reversed the process of encryption to transmit their response to Washington.

Only I, the Adjutant and the two Generals knew what was in those messages (well - and the Senate Arms Limitation Committee and I suppose Pres Johnson). When I left the service I was specifically told not to disclose any information I gathered in my duties while in this Top Secret position.

I have told others of this in the past as I am telling you this now. I will continue to do so until my dying day in hopes that the story will be written correctly and not the way the press wrote it.

I also did some things which helped our cause during the Tet Offensive. I delayed messages (Officially) reaching Westmorland and Abrams until they could take specific action to prevent the Viet Cong, Chinese and N Vietnamese Regulars from getting their equipment back into the DMZ on their exit and TET Failure.

- But that is an entirely other story.


47 posted on 09/30/2010 9:21:32 AM PDT by jongaltsr (It)
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To: IronJack

“(his name slips my mind)”

General Giap


48 posted on 09/30/2010 9:26:58 AM PDT by Forty-Niner ( Give Babs Boxer a pink slip just so we can call her ma'am again I believe she's earned it.")
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To: STONEWALLS

Johnson/Macnamera had no intention of letting us effectively fight the war.

If we “Invaded” the North we would be as bad as they were - therefore we let them beat the shit out of us at their leisure.


49 posted on 09/30/2010 9:32:27 AM PDT by jongaltsr (It)
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To: Bigun

Pukes? Aren’t you late for school?


50 posted on 09/30/2010 9:34:02 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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