Thursday, June 16, 2005

Were We Defeated in Vietnam?

Yesterday on NPR's Day to Day program, host Alex Chadwick's lead-in to a story about former Hmong fighters leaving Laos left my mouth agape and me sitting in stunned silence. I don't have the transcript (but you can hear the broadcast at the previous link), but what I heard was, "After our defeat in 1975...", referring, of course, to the fall of Saigon in the spring of that year. Whoever wrote that intro needs to review the history of the Vietnam war.

By 1975, US military forces were no longer in South Vietnam, yet the story lead-in clearly suggests that US forces were 'defeated' on the field of battle. For sure, the political objectives of the US in that war were not achieved, but to suggest that the many brave Americans who served in Vietnam were defeated at the hands of the Communists is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

The US military has never lost a war, though in Vietnam America lost her will to fight, but only after the concerted efforts of the Left and the media to misinform the public about the war and our chances for victory. It's no wonder that some would like to see NPR's programming more balanced.

I often wonder, hypothetically speaking, how the Vietnam war would have played out had the blogosphere been in existence then. What if ordinary folks like you and me had the opportunity to challenge the MSM people like Dan Rather, Eric Severide, and Walter Chronkite? We were told, before we understood the clear bias now admitted by many of these "objective" journalists, that the Tet Offensive was was major victory for the North Vietnamese, yet nowadays military historians say that Tet was a resounding victory for US forces.

How many millions in South Vietnam and Cambodia could have been saved had it not been for the mainstream media and the Left's unchallenged characterizations of the war and its progress? How much blood is on their hands?

Share your thoughts by posting a comment.

This post also appears on Blogger News Network.


Johannesrolf said...

you are really as dumb as a stick. your revisionism is laughable, reminiscent of the Nazis trying to argue away the German defeat in WW1 by claiming they were stabbed in the back. get over it, a great power can lose a small war, see present day Iraq. the Vietnam war was an exercise in hubris and in neo colonialism. Ignorance and wishful thinking abounded. I think it is important to point out that the architects oif that war have long ago thrown in the towel. one of your first sentences lays it right out there. according to Clausewitz a nation goes to war in order to achieve a favorable postwar outcome. whatever outcome was desired by the US did not happen ergo we lost. have you read ANY history of the Vietnam era at all? or are you just parroting some kind of right wing slogans. the US misjudged the situation in Vietnam from the beginning. Ho Chi Minh had been fighting the French, the Japanese and the Americans for practically 40 years, and he would have faught another 40 years if necessary. He was a
nationalist more than he was a communist. the US promised elections which they welshed on when it became obvious that the communists would win in a landslide. the US convinced itself that there were two countries North and South Vietnam fighting, when in reality it was acivil war between north and south and the insurgents were as likely from the south as from the north. this subject is far too big to cover in this format, let me just say that your ignorance is no shield. I imagine that if you had been old enough to fight this war which you so admire, you nevertheless declined to participate yourself. and so it is with the chicken hawks today, who clamor for war but are not willing to send their children or go themselves. just do us all a favor and spare us your crap.

James Z. Smith said...

Johannesrolf, thanks for your comments, though I think I am actually smarter than a stick. Possibly dumber than a tree, but definitely smarter than a stick.

You have apparently missed the whole point of my post. I have no illusions; Vietnam was a mistake, and while the political goal of the war was, indeed, lost, on the field of battle US forces were victorious. Once our troops were withdrawn the political victory was sealed for the north.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the situation in Vietnam, either, as yes, I actually have read histories of that war, and while too young to have participated, remember seeing the news reports nightly and newspaper accounts daily of the war.

You seem to be a rather angry sort, despite your obvious grasp of the history of Vietnam. That's too bad, as I prefer a dialog to name-calling.