Yes, Our Cause In Vietnam Was Noble

by: - T.L. Foster, Peoria, Illinois.


  Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan has been drawing fire from certain quarters for his recent affirmation that America fought for noble motives in Vietnam.


  Specifically, Reagan told the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Chicago the “Vietnam Syndrome”had made Americans timid and apologetic for their opposition to communist aggression.


  “Well, it’s time we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause.  We dishonor the memory of 58,000 young Americans who died in that cause and over a quarter of a million wounded when we give way to feelings of guilt as if we were doing something shameful.” Reagan said.


  Reagan’s image of the contemporary American fighting man is somewhat removed from the currently approved Hollywood stereotype of a drug-crazed zombie or neo-fascist psychopath in G.I. fatigues. But Reagan is absolutely right.  As individuals and as a nation, we generally fought for noble motives in Vietnam.


  To say that is not to say the war was being fought wisely by any means. But then the soldiers in the front lines did not know that the politicians of the U.S.A. were using them to fight and die in a war that the U.S. government had no intention of winning or even tying such as in Korea.


   But those such as George McGovern, Ted Kennedy, Frank Church and Jimmy Carter who supported the war while it was going on under Democratic leadership, but ultimately called it “racist,” bear a heavy burden when they go beyond questioning the wisdom or practicality of our effort in Southeast Asia to condemning our motives.


   Perhaps the strongest answer to that is to look at what followed our withdrawal from Southeast Asia.  Nothing produced more scorn among ardent anti-war liberals than the “domino theory.” The idea that if North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam it would also conquer Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Generally speaking the rest of Southeast Asia would also fall if South Vietnam did.  Well, we left and North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam, took Laos and Cambodia and is currently probing Thailand.


   The left wingers also laughed at the idea that victory by North Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge would be followed by repression and mass executions. But all Vietnam today is a prison, with tens of thousands in concentration camps and tens of thousands of pathetic “boat people” fleeing their doomed homeland.


In Cambodia, the communist Pol Pot regime practiced genocide on a scale proportionately greater than even Hitler with the Jews.  Where was our human rights President during this holocaust ?


 The young Americans who shouldered arms during the long Vietnam struggle may have shared some of the popular misgivings about the war, but they did their duty as fully as any of their forefathers and they did carry the extra burden of scorn from many in their homeland.  It is a burden that they are long since entitled to put down.  For most of them, there was nothing at all ignoble about their performance !


From: “The Peoria Journal Star” newspaper

               Peoria, IllinoisSeptember 6,  1980..