Monday, September 10, 2007

"There were no links between the Viet Cong and 9/11!!!"

"This war will be won or lost by the American citizens, not diplomats, politicians or soldiers."- Dr. Tony Kern, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
Former Director of Military History, USAF Academy

U.S. President Bush looks at a map of Iraq during a briefing upon his arrival at Al-Asad air base in Anbar Province, Iraq, September 3, 2007. Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq on Monday in a bid to seize the upper hand in a looming showdown with congressional war critics pressing him to begin a troop withdrawal.

REUTERS/Jason Reed

President Bush gave a speech recently, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention. Because of his referencing of Vietnam in the speech (and it was an excellent speech, at that), there has been much criticism- especially from those on the left of the issue, including all the obligatory Congressional Democratic "whatever-he's-for-we're-against-it" leaders.

The left has craved and made the comparison for the past 4 years, including Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid (who now says, post-VFW speech: "President Bush's attempt to compare the war in Iraq to past military conflicts in East Asia ignores the fundamental difference between the two.") and all the other usual suspects. Here are some examples:

John F. Kerry: The War in Vietnam and the War in Iraq are now converging in too many tragic respects.
OpEd, 5/6/2006, Kerry’s Senate Website

Hillary Clinton: Mr. President, no war since Vietnam has stirred the emotion to the extent of our people as this one. I hear it all the time as I travel from one end of New York to the other.
On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Remarks at HER Senate Website, June 21, 2006

John Edwards: This is deja vu all over again. We saw it in Vietnam and we saw it earlier this year. We don’t need any more non-binding resolutions or big statements; we need to end the war.
From his campaign site.

Jimmy Carter: The war has been unnecessary. And now I think we’ve reached a point in Iraq that it’s become a quagmire – very similar to what we experienced in Vietnam.
The Today Show, September 30, 2004

Ted Kennedy: “In Vietnam, the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy. The Department of Defense kept assuring us that each new escalation in Vietnam would be the last. Instead, each one led only to the next. There was no military solution to that war,” Kennedy said. “Echoes of that disaster are all around us today. Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam.”
ABC News, January 9, 2007

Also, read the letter sent to President Bush dated July 30, 2006 signed by 12 House and Senate leaders.

Yet it's only now that President Bush has made the comparison in a very powerful and effective speech, that there is this outrage?

Of course, what really has them stir-crazed into thinking they have a "gotcha" moment, is pointing out his seeming "flip-flop". (Note, that this isn't the first time or even the second time, that he's acknowledged comparative analysis between the Vietnam battle and the Iraq battle).

Iraqi is a lot different than Vietnam in many regards; of course it is. No two wars are ever the same. However, what President Bush was analogizing, is the consequences of our failure in supporting freedom. The manner in which the Vietnam War ended brought more suffering; not less. Nixon was driven from office, and unable to honor his written agreement to South Vietnam. President Ford pleaded with Congress, to no avail. When the nightmare came, Congress did nothing. Redact that: Congress did do something: They stood in the way of freedom and democracy against the real threat of communism.

From The Measure of a Nation, by Mark Silverberg:
Arnaud de Borchgrave noted that during the Vietnam War, General Giap relied on the American peace movement to weaken American resolve. That had the effect of turning an American military victory into a political defeat. Former North Vietnamese General Staff officer Bui Tin once said that the peace movement was "essential to our strategy." In America, the open support of Hanoi by Jane Fonda, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (now head of International ANSWER, which coordinates the largest protests) and others "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses," Bui Tin said. "Through dissent and protest," the US "lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."

As a result, the surprise 1968 Tet Offensive (which involved suicidal attacks by the Viet Cong in some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously) turned the political tide of the war against America and eventually led to the protest movement that (in turn) led to the American defeat in Vietnam. From a military perspective, it is important to note that the Tet Offensive was a singularly unmitigated disaster both for Hanoi and for its Viet Cong troops in South Vietnam. Not one of the objectives of the Viet Cong in that Offensive was achieved. Yet, it proved to be a major turning point in the war.

Being the first major "television war," Americans watched the carnage in horror and concluded (incorrectly) that it was a military disaster for America. One of America's most trusted newsmen, CBS's Walter Cronkite, even appeared for a standup piece with distant fires as a backdrop. Donning a helmet, Cronkite declared the war lost. Eugene McCarthy carried New Hampshire and Bobbie Kennedy stepped forward to challenge the policies of an already distraught President. Six weeks later, Lyndon Johnson, in the midst of national protest, announced that he would not seek re-election. His ratings had plummeted to 30 percent after Tet. Approval of his handling of the war had dropped to 20 percent. He had concluded that the war was unwinnable.

In the end, American support for the Vietnam War faded. Giap admitted in his memoirs that news media reporting of the war and the antiwar demonstrations that ensued in America surprised him. Instead of negotiating what he called a "conditional surrender," Giap said they would now go the limit because America's resolve was weakening and the possibility of complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp.

Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, he made clear that the antiwar movement in the United States (which led to the collapse of political will in Washington) was "essential to our strategy."

Finally, I rarely ever question anyone's patriotism, simply because you anti-war lefties (and anti-war righties) are standing on the wrong side of history and the interests of America (*wink*-*wink*- grow some humor!). It's your judgment I question. I come across it all the time, and I never get a response back to my question: When has President Bush ever attacked anyone's patriotism? He doesn't.

Also, note this observation by CJ:
I have been to many anti-war rallies and I have NEVER, EVER seen a booth that collected letters of support for the troops deployed. I’ve never seen money collected for care packages. I have seen all sorts of vendors selling all kinds of “Bush Lied, Americans Died” crap. They’re all about capitalism when it comes to protesting. They love to claim their support of our troops. Those claims are never backed up by hard evidence.

On the other hand, when I’ve been to pro-troop events, 95% of the time there at least one booth to link people up with programs that support the troops through letters, care packages, taking care of their families left behind, you name it. It’s no wonder which of these groups the majority of troops end up attaching themselves to.

It is disgusting to me, that CodePink and the Moveon.orgers would suggest General Petraeus has "betrayed us", simply because they refuse to listen to his testimony today, choosing to believe only in their own echo chamber. (Apparently, they got a 61% discount for their NYTimes ad).

There are those who will be watching today, and listening to the testimony, and what we decide to do next.

Among those paying close attention, will be al-Qaeda.

Final food for thought:
....What do the Japanese and the current US media and liberals have in common?
U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;

1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.

2 This war is illegal.

3 You cannot win the war.

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Blogger Karen said...

This is one fine post, Wordsmith. Good on you.

Monday, September 10, 2007 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Indigo Red said...

And in both wars, the bad guys often wore black.

Monday, September 10, 2007 8:44:00 PM  

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