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Posted: 1/11/2006 7:46:04 PM EDT
from:http://www.postchronicle.com/commentary/article_2123238.shtml


The Left's Vietnam Syndrome
by Cinnamon Stillwell
Jan 11, 2006



Comparisons to the Vietnam War have been hovering over the conflict in Iraq since day one. The anti-war movement apparently decided that the war in Iraq would be a "quagmire" before it even began and naturally, they hearkened back to the glory days of Vietnam for inspiration.
The truth is, the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam was a great victory for the anti-war movement. They were able to undermine a war in which America never lost a major battle simply by sapping the nation's will to fight.

In 1968, when former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite surveyed the carnage after the Tet Offensive and declared on television that the U.S. was "mired in a stalemate," he literally made it so. Despite the fact that the Viet Cong suffered the greatest casualties and that U.S. and South Vietnamese forces triumphed, Cronkite's words won the day. Thus was born a generation of journalists who believed that it was their moral duty to hold themselves in opposition to the U.S. government and, by extension, the U.S. military, no matter what.

ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran admitted as much in a radio interview last year when he said that many of today's journalists are victims of what's been labeled the "Vietnam Syndrome." He described "a deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong. I think that that is a hangover from Vietnam, and I think it's very dangerous."

When the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam in 1973, it was a vindication for the anti-war movement. Isolated incidents such as the My Lai Massacre were expanded to paint all American soldiers with the "atrocities" brush. Hence, returning soldiers and veterans were treated more as criminals than heroes. In the wake of Watergate, the presidency was exposed as corrupt and morally lacking. In short, it was a confirmation of everything the Left believed about America.

The after effects of U.S. troop withdrawal on Southeast Asia were none too pretty either. Millions were slaughtered in the Cambodian genocide and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fell prey to summary executions and re-education camps. Thousands of South Vietnamese, desperate to flee a hostile and totalitarian regime, became "boat people" in order to reach freedom in the United States. When Congress cut funding to the South Vietnamese in 1975, they were left at the mercy of their enemies.

Contrary to those who dismiss the "Domino Theory," the Soviet Union, who backed the North Vietnamese, was emboldened to pursue an expansive foreign policy agenda in the years following U.S. withdrawal. The long-term effects of communism in Vietnam produced a country mired in poverty. To the extent that progress has occurred, it's where capitalism has been able to take hold more recently.

Yet to this day, the anti-war movement refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. During an appearance on the O'Reilly Factor last year to promote his "exit strategy" from Iraq, 1960s anti-war activist Tom Hayden wouldn't address the subject of Vietnam at all. When host Bill O'Reilly asked him what he thought about the millions of Cambodians and thousands of Vietnamese that were killed in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, Hayden simply said, "I'm not here to talk about that." Perhaps Hayden didn't want to reveal the true legacy of the anti-war movement of the 1960s. Giving aid and comfort to the enemy.


A favorite pastime of anti-war celebrities, including Tom Hayden, was to rally North Vietnamese troops by visiting prisons where American POW's were being held. There they fraternized with prison guards while subjecting American POWs to their unwanted company. Although they were tortured regularly, American POWs were forced to tell these visitors that they were being treated kindly. Dupes such as actress Jane Fonda then dutifully reported such falsehoods to American audiences as fact. North Vietnamese footage of folksinger Joan Baez playing guitar and singing alongside Viet Cong prison guards as emaciated American POWs were forced to stand and listen appears in the documentary Stolen Honor .

Much maligned by today's anti-war movement, this important film was seen by few of its critics. Instead they turned to a timehonored tradition of smearing Vietnam veterans. Those who took the time to engage with the facts presented in the film came away understanding just how much damage John Kerry and his cohorts did to the morale (and the mortality) of American POWs. Not to mention a generation of veterans who were forever stained by the patently false picture Kerry presented to the American public when he declared them all war criminals before the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.

Vietnamese communists certainly have not been stingy about expressing their gratitude. A photo of John Kerry meeting with Comrade Do Muoi, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, hangs in the "American war protesters" section of the War Remnants Museum in a Ho Chi Minh City. Over at the Women's Museum, a photo of Jane Fonda meeting with Nguyen Thi Dinh, deputy commander of the Viet Cong, is still on display.

In 2004, during the 29th anniversary celebration of the fall of Saigon, North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap thanked the anti-war movement for helping to force out the U.S. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin credited the anti-war movement with being "essential to our strategy." The visits of Kerry, Fonda, and others to Hanoi, "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses, " he added. Col. Tin summed up the North Vietnamese victory thusly, "Through dissent and protest [America] lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."

Now the anti-war movement is trying to duplicate its success with the Vietnam War in Iraq. But the situation couldn't be more different. If anything, the war has more in common with WWII. Then too, isolationists were opposed to fighting fascism. Yet the post-war occupation of Japan and Germany (the latter of which included the Werewolves, a Nazi guerilla insurgency) ended with the transformation of two former enemies into peaceful, democratic allies.

Although global in nature, the battle against Islamic fascism is being waged fiercely in Iraq because the terrorists know that their fate hangs in the balance. Were the U.S. to withdraw troops prematurely and leave the Iraqis alone to defend themselves, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Baathist allies would be triumphant. Terrorist supporting regimes such as Syria and Iran would also reap the benefit of the chaos that would likely ensue in our wake.

Although it's been popular among the anti-war crowd to claim that we're losing this war or that it's simply not winnable, nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. military is still the most powerful and advanced fighting force in the world. With a volunteer force of citizen soldiers, the U.S. military also provides a skilled army of nation builders. Against such a foe a group of terrorists, no matter how fanatical, cannot triumph. That's why they've taken to targeting Iraqi civilians, a strategy that has backfired greatly as Iraqis come face to face with the brutal alternative presented by the "insurgency."

The Iraqi people have shown themselves capable of great bravery and accomplishment. The December 15th election in which over 70% of the people voted, including the previously uninvolved Sunnis, was the culmination of a series of democratic advances made by the Iraqis during the U.S. occupation. With our military, civic, structural, and monetary help, the Iraqis have continued to make headway, even as a ruthless enemy attempts to slaughter them into submission.

Contrary to what critics of the war like to claim, it is not the U.S. military that is the primary killer of Iraqi people, but rather the terrorists that prey unmercifully upon them. They are the murderers of innocents; the butchers that attack groups of children waiting for candy and toys from American soldiers; crowds of people worshipping at mosques; funerals for the fallen; markets, schools, and anywhere else that regular people try to live their lives. It is against such an enemy that the Iraqis have shown themselves willing to stand up, over and over again.

Why is it then that the anti-war movement cannot acknowledge this reality? While crying crocodile tears over the victims of war, they insist on trying to perpetuate the very policies that would leave the Iraqis most vulnerable. The repeated calls to withdraw from Iraq with no regard for the situation on the ground is not only evidence of great cowardice, but also of a pernicious desire to see the U.S. lose. To them, the Vietnam template must be resurrected at all costs. Even if it means snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The only way the U.S. can lose this war is if the anti-war movement succeeds in sapping the will of the American people to fight. And it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon. Progress is being made, and despite all the cleverly worded polls in the world, the majority of both Americans and Iraqis stand firmly behind our success in Iraq.

Maybe someday the anti-war movement will join them.

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:51:44 PM EDT
Man, this is spot on. It describes those assholes, especially the ones 30+ years ago exactly.

As noted, we never lost a battle and the VC basically ceased to exist after Tet in '68. This really exposes Fonda, Hayden, Kerry, et al as the traitors they really are.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:00:41 PM EDT
The whole thing is pretty sickening, some Baby Boomers from the 60's era definately need to be charged with treason and/or stripped of Citizenship and deported to Vietnam
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:04:36 AM EDT
How hard is it to use the hot link button?

Article
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:08:03 AM EDT
Vietnam killed the Democratic Party. They've never been the same since.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:18:16 AM EDT
Cinnamon Stillwell just put one in the X-Ring.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:32:32 AM EDT
Brilliant article. He only missed one thing. The anti-war movenment today either consists of those that protested against Vietnam who are trying to relive old glories, or young people who were taught about the Vietnam anti-war glories by their ex-hippy parents and professors and want some of that too. It sickend me when a big-name anti-Vietnam war protestor said that he was disgusted with todays young people because they didn't get out and protest like they did
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:41:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:
Brilliant article. He only missed one thing. The anti-war movenment today either consists of those that protested against Vietnam who are trying to relive old glories, or young people who were taught about the Vietnam anti-war glories by their ex-hippy parents and professors and want some of that too. It sickend me when a big-name anti-Vietnam war protestor said that he was disgusted with todays young people because they didn't get out and protest like they did



I can hear his lecture now: You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves! When i was your age, I blew up an ROTC building in Madison, Wisconsin AND tore up the Dean's office!
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 3:53:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merlin:
How hard is it to use the hot link button?

Article


Good ARFCOM ettiquette is to never 'hot-link' any article.

Especially when you are cutting and pasting the entire article anyway.

Ask me how I know.

Eric The(Prolific)Hun
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 4:09:39 AM EDT
how do you know?
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