The news division of the Communist Broadcasting System, known in Amerika as CBS, ran an item out of Iraq the other day under a headline that said Vietnam veterans are seeking REDEMPTION by serving in Iraq.
CBS interviewed a former Marine and a former soldier, both now doing civilian work supporting the war effort, and in each case made it appear that they were in Iraq to atone for misdeeds in Vietnam. But neither the reporter, nor the interviewees ever say that they are working to help the War On Terror in Iraq because of something specific that they did decades ago in the jungles.
The Marine says helping the Iraqi people achieve democracy and stability may offset mistakes of the past in Vietnam, but that is a far cry from saying he is atoning for military errors and misdeeds. In fact, I got the distinct impression that if the Marine's full comments were broadcast it would show he was talking about the American Government abandoning the South Vietnamese people and setting the stage for the slaughter of more than 3 million residents of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
I haven't watched the propaganda CBS passes off as news in decades now, ever since Dan Rather bad-mouthed the Marines in Lebanon in 1983. But CBS got my cable provider to run the piece with the news videos they offer for view on the home page when I log on, where I saw it.
The reason there is a web page at this site, the reason why I write this blog column every other day, is to draw attention to the successes of the American military in Vietnam, and how America's servicemen and our allies in Southeast Asia were sold out by the US Congress, the State Department, and the media. Obviously I hope that people who read my columns will also buy my book, but if they don't, at least they know there is an alternative viewpoint out here.
I don't do this as an aging soldier reliving my glory days. I do this because we are involved in another war, against another enemy bent on world domination, and again we have people in the State Department and the US Congress attempting to subvert the war effort. In many cases they are the same people, pulling the same tactics, aided and abetted by the American Terrorist Media, of which CBS is a charter member.
The American media may not have been completely against the Vietnam War and the military early on, and certainly hadn't been the most important weapon in the communist arsenal. That changed in early 1968 when the US crushed the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese in the Tet Offensive in late January and February. The American media inaccurately portrayed the fighting as a major US defeat, but it soon became clear that the Viet Cong had suffered horribly and never achieved a single military objective.
In fact the Viet Cong, numbering about 70,000 fighters the day before the offensive was launched, lost about half that number, some 35,000, killed in action in a matter of a couple of weeks, most in the first 96 hours of fighting. The NVA lost an estimated 15,000 troops when they surrounded the Marine base at Khe Sanh and thousands more in fighting at Hue City and other battle sites. But the media focused on American casualties, which were a fraction of those suffered by the communists, and in Khe Sanh, the amount of incoming the Marines endured, rarely if ever talking about how much punishment Marine artillery, riflemen, and American air power were unleashing on the communists.
These days, reports on the Tet Offensive always say it was a military victory for the US, but a Public Relations Defeat! Well, you can't have a public relations victory unless you have a public relations agent working for you. Guess who was the number one public relations agent in Amerika working for the communists in 1968? Walter Freakin' Cronkite!
By April 1968 it was clear that the communists had suffered greatly, but rather than report this, Cronkite, the preeminent television reporter of the time, anchor man for CBS, went to Vietnam and did a report with artillery booming in the distance, in which he said the war was "unwinnable."
Unwinnable, after we had just won the most crushing, lopsided victory of the war!
For those of you who don't know about Cronkite, he was called "Uncle Walter" by his fan club in the American media, because he had "the look." He was fatherly, trustworthy, with a deep voice, the kind of guy who sits at your family table on Thanksgiving and always says a warm, heartfelt, all-encompassing Grace before the meal.
Uncle Walter. You could trust him, America believed.
Yet he went to Vietnam and lied through his teeth!
Oh sure, he couched his report as an editorial, saying it was his opinion. But at that time in America, Uncle Walter's opinion was far more bankable than anything that came out of the government.
What American didn't know, but was revealed after his retirement through speeches he gave in the public venue, was that Uncle Walter may not have been a card-carrying communist, but he sure was a far-left leaning communist sympathizer. As it turns out, Uncle Walter had far more in common with Uncle Ho (Chi Minh) than with Uncle Sam.
As a result of that report, President Johnson refused to run again, the Secretary of Defense was replaced, (a long overdue good move,) and ultimately Richard Nixon became president.
But while that was happening in America, our military was kicking ass in Viet Nam. I know, I was there. In the year following Tet '68 the remaining Viet Cong were decimated, as were the NVA, in a series of battles from the Delta to the DMZ. As was the case before Tet, and throughout the war, the American military never lost a single major engagement.
That doesn't mean the communists were pushovers, or that we didn't take our losses. We did. But there were no retreats, no defeats, no surrenders on our part. By early 1969 according to documents that were released after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, communist military leaders were imploring their political leaders to approach the US with an offer for a limited surrender.
The US troop strength finally matched the communists, they were afraid we were going to invade and take over North Vietnam, and they hoped to get out of the war with their half of the country still under communist domination. Then American politicians announced they were going to begin troop reductions and the communist politicians ordered their military to stay the course regardless of the cost.
Later in 1969 President Nixon announced the Vietnamization program which was intended to train and upgrade the South Vietnamese military until it could take over for allied troops. A little-known fact about the Vietnamization program is that it worked!
In what has become known as the Eastertide Invasion of 1972 North Vietnam launched a three-pronged armored invasion across the DMZ in the north, through the central highlands, and in the delta region, coming in from Cambodia.
The communists had 250,000 troops in the invasion. Originally it was thought they lost 75,000 killed in action, which in itself is a crushing defeat. Lately, more documents from the Soviet KGB have been circulating indicating the communists lost 150,000 troops, in addition to half their armor and half their artillery. Their top general, Vo Nguyen Giap, who is referred to by the American media as the "Architect of the American Defeat," was fired by his communist bosses for running such a complete screw up!
This was accomplished by South Vietnamese ground forces aided by US air strikes, but no American troops after the initial assault at the DMZ. The response by the US political structure in the next two years was to cut off all aid to South Vietnam, accede to communist demands at the peace talks in Paris, and announce to the communists that we would not help out if South Vietnam was invaded again.
In April 1975, taking their cue from America's politicians, the North again invaded. This time there was no air power, the South Vietnamese president fled to France, the government collapsed, the Army disintegrated, and millions of innocent people were murdered.
There is no way this has anything to do with the US military. Long afterward it was disclosed that in addition to annihilating the Viet Cong, the US and its allies killed 1.4 million northern communist troops, which is even more astounding when we consider that the standing northern army was about 600,000 in the mid-60s. Their army was wiped out twice over, and then some!
There is nothing for which American troops from that time must atone. But there is plenty for which American politicians should atone. Maybe some of them who are still sitting on their well upholstered butts in Congress undermining the War on Terror can go to Iraq and try to do some good for a change. Yeah, I know, fat chance.
I should point out that it isn't likely you'll ever see the information in this column on CBS, or even Fox News for that matter. There are too many people in government and the media who have had great careers after they shafted the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians. There are far too many of them who still exist almost entirely inside the Washington, D.C. beltway or on Manhattan Island.
It's not likely any of them will ever have the courage to face this information head on and make sure the mistakes of that time are not repeated this time. But there is one facet of this column that is inescapable.
It is true.
Sunday, September 03, 2006