President Bush gave a great speech at the VFW national convention earlier this week, linking our actions in Iraq and the wider War on Terror with what we had done as a nation in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
He made the point that when Congress, through the Case-Church Amendment in 1973, cut off all funding to South Vietnam, Southeast Asia fell, and millions suffered at the hands of the communists as a result. Among the many outrages and tragedies of this devastating turn of events was that only the previous year our South Vietnamese allies had successfully fought off a major offensive from the communist north using its ground troops backed by our air power.
President Bush gave a great speech, long overdue, well received by the war veterans, and certainly laid out the future for Iraq and us if we again turn our backs on a developing ally and let chaos reign.
My only disappointment with the speech was when the president started listing the numbers who had died at the hands of the communists country-by-country. In South Vietnam it was in the tens of thousands in the concentration camps - which the communists in Congress and the media still refer to as re-education camps as though they were some kind of adult education facilities.
That number is OK is guess. I have been told by people who should know that approximately 60,000 died in those camps from executions, starvation, and forced labor including clearing land mines from old battle areas.
But there also were an estimated 1,000,000 Vietnamese boat people who fled the communists, taking to the South China Sea in anything that would float, at least for a little while. I have seen estimates that of that one million people, some 300,000 never landed on safe ground.
Bush also said in his speech that "hundreds of thousands" of Cambodians were killed by the Khmer Rouge communists when Phnom Penh fell soon after Saigon was lost. But that number is the one the Associated Press was using in the early 90s, and it was constantly being whittled down as though somehow reducing the raw numbers would mitigate the carnage caused by the rampaging, rabid communists.
That strategy, to minimize the atrocities committed by the communists, continued until a research team from Yale University went to Cambodia and reported back that the number of civilians slaughtered by the communists was much closer to 3 million, based on the number of mass graves found and the number of remains found in each grave.
Since the President earned his undergraduate degree at Yale, why would he not use the figure that researchers from his Alma Mater had determined was a far more accurate description of the carnage the communists had waged on that country?
(American communists and collaborators like John Kerry and his latter-day supporters from the defunct Vietnam Veterans Against the War claim that this was not a bloodbath. But, based on five quarts of blood in the average human body, and a bathtub that holds, let's say 60 gallons, then if you kill 60 people and drain four quarts of blood from each you have enough for a bloodbath. Since millions were slaughtered by the communists, I'd have to say that there were hundreds of thousands of bloodbaths.)
Kerry changed his comments recently to say there was no "massive" bloodbath, but I think millions of gallons of blood equate to "massive" no matter who you are. I suppose Kerry is wracked with guilt over his complicity in the carnage that swept southeast Asia, and along with his other collaborators like Kennedy, John Murtha and others who are on the Choose to Loose bandwagon is trying to compensate for his inadequacies.
I guess he and his buddies can't face the reality that their actions directly caused the death of millions and misery for millions of others, so now they are in denial and try to cover up their part in this tragedy by pointing accusing fingers at others who attempted to prevent it. It isn't working.
I should point out that President Bush isn't the only one who uses a watered-down version of the tragedy in Southeast Asia when speaking of our involvement there. Yesterday afternoon, on the Rush Limbaugh show, I heard a caller who backs our troops and our efforts in Iraq, make the statement, without contradiction from Rush, that in Vietnam we had fought to a military "stalemate" and that the communists had secretly been seeking a "ceasefire."
Wrong on both counts, but I don't blame the caller or Rush Limbaugh. These inaccuracies are the inevitable result of more than three decades of misinformation on the Vietnam War and fall of Southeast Asia, straight from the American Terrorist Media and the communist sympathizers and collaborators in our government who caused the debacle there.
The truth is that the North Vietnamese Army admits to losing an estimated 1.4 million troops killed in action! That is more than twice the size of the communist army at the start of the war.
That is not a military stalemate. That is an overwhelming military victory by the US and our allies and a defeat of monumental proportions for the communists.
The communist losses also extended to the Viet Cong, whose guerrilla force of some 70,000 troops was wiped out, while its political cadre was devastated by American and South Vietnamese counter-insurgency forces.
Faced with such devastating losses, the North Vietnamese feared that the US would launch an invasion across the DMZ, wiping them out entirely, and wanted a surrender on terms that would allow them to continue ruling the north. This situation occurred in 1969 after the second Tet Offensive, and a year of devastating battlefield losses.
It reoccurred in 1972 after the ill-fated Easter Invasion of the south by a communist force of some 250,000 troops including armor and artillery. According to American estimates at least 75,000 of the communist invaders were killed, although information from Russian secret police archives say the actual communist losses were more in the range of 150,000 killed in action in addition to the loss of fully half of all their artillery and armor.
This crushing defeat for the communists resulted in Jane Fonda's highly publicized treasonous trip to North Vietnam. In my belief Fonda betrayed her country and all humankind not because of her career, but because she had long been a very public communist supporter and she wanted to reassure the communists that if they hung on a while longer, they would win in the US Congress what they couldn't win on the battlefield.
Fonda and her cohorts, like John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy, had the US Congress sewn up and proved it within a year when the Case-Church Amendment passed by a veto proof margin. John Murtha joined them in 1974, after the amendment passed, but he was sitting in Congress when Saigon, and then Cambodia and Laos fell.
Thus despite victory after victory by the US and its allies, the government of the United States, in the person of Henry Kissinger and associated collaborators in Congress and the State Department, rolled over and handed the communists everything they asked for, and couldn't get by force. In the end, millions died, millions were displaced, and millions lived lives of abject misery under the grinding boots of communist totalitarianism.
Why is this scenario not discussed at the highest levels of our government when the goal apparently is to keep the American public supportive of the War on Terror which is under fire by the very same people whose treasonous actions caused the fall of Southeast Asia and set the stage for the war we are now fighting?
I believe it is because the devastation in Southeast Asia was caused by collaboration on the part of the communists who had infiltrated the Democratic Party, and rule it to this day, and their weak-kneed Republican counterparts who either were collaborating or didn't have the wherewithal to stand up for America's military and our allies.
If anyone in Congress had simply done an objective review of the battlefield situation in mid-1969 and again in mid-1972, instead of relying on communist sympathizers in the US media like Walter Cronkite, who lied through his teeth about our efforts in Vietnam, they would have seen that victory had been steadily in our grasp since the end of Tet 1968.
If there had been any kind of effort to offset the misinformation campaign, the Big Lie that Kerry and his supporters were pushing, if we had continued to fund the South Vietnamese even if we didn't actually have troops there, millions would have survived.
I have to laugh when I hear that some in the US Congress didn't want to support the South Vietnamese because their government was corrupt.
Do you see the hypocrisy here? The US Congress calling someone else's government corrupt? Oh, man, stop it will you? I'm laughing so hard my sides ache. Calling someone else corrupt? The US Congress? Oh brother that one is a hoot! Can you say PORK BARREL? Can you say EARMARKS? Can you say STACKS OF CASH IN THE FREEZER?
Rush's caller also made the mistake of saying the South Vietnamese had a series of puppet presidents starting with the overthrow of the Ngo Dinh Diem government in 1963 when John Kennedy was in power. This is just wrong. They did have a couple of interim presidents, but Nguyen Van Thieu came to power in 1967 and stayed there until the collapse in 1975.
That was hardly a revolving door government, anymore than the US presidency. And if you want to determine for yourself whether Thieu was a "puppet" check on his outrage at the concessions Henry Kissinger gave to the communists at the Paris peace talks.
Then if you really want to be educated on the duplicity of the US government in the 70s, check on Kissinger's involvement in leaving behind hundreds of US pilots who had been shot down over Laos and taken prisoner by the murderous communist Pathet Lao forces.
Although our military and the CIA knew that hundreds were alive and in captivity, that issue has not been resolved, and to this day there are families who have never been given an honest accounting of what happened to the men they sent off to war to fight for the likes of Henry Kissinger, John Kerry, John Murtha, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Carl Levin, and on, and on, and on.
Frankly, I think it is time for President Bush to start righting the wrongs of the 70s. He is on the right road to be sure, but there is far more to be done.
Why has he not made an accounting of the POWs shot down over Laos a priority? I realize that his father was part of the government then, as were Bush family friends, and some of the responsibility must fall on them as well as communist collaborators like Kerry and Fonda. And I realize that we must hammer out a new reality with Vietnam so we can regain use of the ports like Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay to offset the resurgent Chinese and Russian military efforts in that region.
But history will not judge George W. Bush based on his family connections. It will judge him based on performance and successes and whether in the final analysis he did what is right for America and for humanity.
Perhaps I am being too critical and too direct here. Maybe President Bush is showing by his steadfast refusal to knuckle under to the resurgent communist and pro-terrorism sympathizers in Congress that he is doing the right thing for America, and the world.
Maybe his approach is better than mine and as long as we win this war, support a developing ally until Iraq can stand on its own as South Vietnam once did, then the ends will justify the means.
But somewhere in America there are families who deserve to know the truth about the men they sent to a long ago war, who never came home. And all across America there are Vietnam veterans who don't for a second believe there is an "honest debate" over whether we should have gone to Vietnam in the first place.
We stuck up for an ally, we gave other countries in the region time to stand against the communist juggernaut, and we started the ball rolling that ended with the bankruptcy of the Soviet Union. For 15 years we gave the people of that region a taste of freedom, and the only reason that some don't have it to this day is because the United States Congress showed once again that the sworn word of an American politician is worthless when circumstances change.
So the president can do it his way, to a huge audience, and I'll do it my way, to a minuscule audience, and only time will tell which was the best approach.
But I bet we'd agree on one overriding issue.
If America is to thrive, and America's military is to continue to successfully defend our country, then Americans have to know without reservation that the decisions to go to war are sound, and that collaborators who have the blood of millions of innocent victims on their hands will never again be allowed to undermine and undo the successes of core Americans who understand by personal experience the reality of giving in to terror.
Thursday, August 23, 2007