Thursday, March 08, 2007

The liberal myths about Vietnam

Jonah Goldberg points out the shocking ignorance by Democrats of the reality of the horrors that befell SE Asia after we pulled out:
Massachusetts' Sen. Edward Kennedy ridicules the notion that a withdrawal from Iraq would have grave humanitarian costs.

"I heard the same kinds of suggestions at the time of the end of the Vietnam War," Kennedy told NBC's Tim Russert, mocking the notion that we'd have a "great bloodbath" with more than 100,000 dead. "And for those of us that were strongly opposed to the war, (we) heard those same kinds of arguments."

Yes, but those arguments were right. Our withdrawal from Vietnam did contribute to a great bloodbath. More than a half-million Vietnamese died at sea fleeing the grand peace Kennedy and his colleagues orchestrated. And more than 1.2 million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, thanks to the power vacuum created by our "humanitarian" withdrawal. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a presidential candidate, insists that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq can't make things any worse. In 1975 he took a similar line: "The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now." Someone rent Dodd a DVD of The Killing Fields.

This willful ignorance by liberals of the horrific cost of their actions is not unusual. With regard to the aftermath of Vietnam, it has been pointed out before most often by David Horowitz.

I want to focus on two other huge liberal myths about Vietnam that haven't gotten as much attention. The first myth, championed by fools like David Halberstam, is the one which says that the war was simply the Vietnamese people rising up in revolution against the colonial power that the US had become in replacing the French. We can understand why Halberstam believed this during the early 60s. He was getting all his information from a North Vietnamese agent who served him as an undercover guide during his time in Saigon. What is not understandable is why Halberstam continues to believe this nonsense long after it became obviously false. The communists from the North based their Tet offensive on this falsehood. They thought that the populace in the South would rise up and join them. When it didn't happen, the Viet Cong was wiped out and the NV suffered horrible losses.

Which leads us to the second myth, one that I have rarely ever seen mentioned. That myth contends that Tet showed us that the war was lost. Since it couldn't be won, we had no choice but to leave. Note, I'm not focusing here on the bogus claims of the liberal MSM that Tet was a great loss for the US. I'm concerned with what happened after 1968. Liberals claimed we had to get out because it couldn't be won. Yet, somehow, even after we withdrew the vast majority of our forces, Saigon didn't fall. Why is it that the South didn't fall until April 30, 1975? In fact, it didn't fall until the Democrats reneged on our promises of military aid and left the South without the arms needed to defend themselves.

Most of our casualties died while while Johnson was president. After Nixon took office, the numbers began a dramatic decline as we withdrew more and more of our troops. Yet, the South held. The military dropped the insane policies developed by McNamara's Defense Department and adopted smarter ones. The US Army did much less fighting and effectively trained and armed the South to defend itself. It was working.

The biggest of all the myths that the liberals cling to is the one that Vietnam was doomed, that the war couldn't be one.

Why did the Democrats renege on our promises? Some, as committed left-wingers, probably wanted the communists to win. But what of the rest? If the GOP president showed that the South could be defended without the horrible loss of US troops that fell under Johnson, what would that mean? Better to make sure it failed so that the myth could survive. See, the war was just not winnable from the very beginning.


Post a Comment

<< Home