January 31, 2007

Revisionism

Anent a recent discussion here, I recommend a piece by Seth Gitell in the NY Sun, New Thesis on Vietnam Aimed at 2008 Election. He writes:

A new thesis about the end of the Vietnam war is making the rounds in the context of the debate over Iraq. It holds that President Nixon and Henry Kissinger — not the Democratic Congress and public opinion — were chiefly culpable in America's betrayal of South Vietnam...

I think the "new thesis" is hokum, as does Gitell. Here's a small something to mull on...

...A contrast of two military offensives conducted by the People's Army of North Vietnam highlights their error. In the first offensive, in March 1972, North Vietnam hurled 14 conventional divisions, including 1,200 tanks, into South Vietnam. Nixon authorized American B-52 Stratofortresses into action to help the South Vietnamese army, the primary ground force in Vietnam at the time, fend off the invasion. The enemy sustained more than 100,000 casualties. The offensive failed. In the second offensive, three years later, North Vietnam launched the Ho Chi Minh campaign. Columns of enemy armor, unimpeded by American airpower, sped south, ultimately taking Saigon. At the end of the war, enemy missiles were pulled by tractor-trailer trucks out of the jungle, just miles from Saigon. Messrs. Rose and Perlstein fail to account for how these two similar campaigns ended with tragically different results.

Between 1972 and 1975, America's Congress passed a series of pieces of legislation that strangled the Republic of South Vietnam of resources and blocked any hope of an American air campaign. While Mr. Rose himself acknowledges that "in June 1973, Congress ordered all American military operations in Indochina to cease by the end of the summer, and in November it passed the War Powers Act," he soft-peddles the ramifications of these moves — as well as neglecting other legislative restrictions on helping South Vietnam....

Actually, I think the appearance of this "new thesis" at this moment is evidence for my thesis, that a lot of the craziness on the Left right now derives from guilt, guilt at having flushed tens-of-millions of people down the communist toilet. And it is starting to surface now because they are proposing to do something similar to tens-of-millions of Moslems.

What particularly galls me is that the leftists don't think about the consequences. Do I know this for sure? Of course not, but still, I know some of these types, I'm "embedded" in Blue State America, and I have a hunch bordering on a certainty that this is so. I feel very confident that none of the "anti-war" protesters of the 60's worried about what would happen to the South Vietnamese. And I feel a similar confidence that none of the "anti-war" crowd today is worrying either. (If I'm wrong, show me the evidence!)

If you could be a fly on the wall at one of their meetings, I bet you would not hear anyone fretting about what might happen to the Kurds if the Ba'athists got their hands on them. (Nor would you hear the least bit of rejoicing that Iraqi Kurdistan is now enjoying peace and prosperity.) Or how many more Sh'ites would end up in mass graves if al Qaeda or the Sunnis were back in power. Nor would you hear them wanting the Iraqis to be able to continue to elect their leaders. In fact, what you would hear would be all about Bush, and Cheney, and how bad America is. Nothing would indicate that the ordinary Iraqi was human to them...

Also a bitter thing to me is that those North Vietnamese invasions of South Vietnam mentioned in the article—"14 conventional divisions, including 1,200 tanks..."—I don't recall that those massive attacks garnered any criticism from our "pacifists." That kind of war is just fine for the fake-pacifist, because it's anti-American, which is their real religion...

Posted by John Weidner at January 31, 2007 8:23 AM
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