Why Vietnam Truth Matters

PhillipJennings – July 27, 2010

“Inmy rush to finish my statement in five minutes, I may have left out the factthat Vietnamis one nation today.” So spoke Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on July 16,regarding her 5 Minute Special Order on July 15, givenon the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Jackson serves on theCommittee on Foreign Affairs and had recently visited North Afghanistan (or wasit West Afghanistan) to help her conclude that we must set a date certain forwithdrawal of our troops from wherever the hell they are by next June or July.If two stupid statements make a smart statement, Rep Lee probably seemsbrilliant to her liberal cohorts and followers.

“Inmy review of the play performed so brilliantly at Ford’s Theater lastevening, I may have left out the fact that President Lincoln was shot.”

RepLee further demonstrated her grasp of military strategy by going on to suggestthat the methodology for leaving Afghanistan is to “demand that thecentral government of Afghanistan provide” a laundry list of essentialservices that governments are obviously supposed to provide—without whichthey are not really governments. She then perhaps in an epiphany ofCongressional fact finding wisdom blurted out what should rightly become theJackson Lee Strategy—declare victory! Wow. Not since reading NorthVietnamese Genius General Giap’s strategy—“hit the enemywhere he is weak or relatively weak or even where he isstrong”—have I felt the military equivalent of ‘Eureka’quite so strongly.

Apparently,if I am following her military history lesson, America waited too long to declareVictory in Vietnamand therefore…..well, I kind of lost her train of thought at this point.But evidently she has discovered that we are at that magic ‘declareVictory and come home’ point in Afghanistan if only we demand thatthe Afghan government shape up and act like a stable and efficient government.

Inher July 16, statement she also chastised the U.S. government (one of thosegovernments between 1963 and 1975 one would assume) for not (and I’m notmaking this up) working “with Vietnam toward being a democraticstate.” The Congresswoman then closes the statement with a sentenceneatly tying things up—“I believe my special order yesterday [theone with two current Vietnams]was very clear.” Had she said, “I was clearly drunk,” I wouldhave respected her more.

Okay,for the record one more time—There was South Vietnam(a struggling democracy) and North Vietnam (a brutal communist government). Wewere allies with the South as they fought off the North trying to take themover. We beat the North in 1973. They signed a Peace Treaty. America camehome. The communists launched a new attack and the U.S. Democrat controlledCongress abrogated the treaty and our obligations. North Vietnam overran South Vietnamso it became ONE communist, brutally ruled country to the death and miserabledetriment of hundreds of thousands of our former allies.
Those of you who cannot see the folly and danger of using ignorance of thetruth in Vietnamas a platform for our current and future foreign policy (and military strategy)are quite hopeless. This Congresswoman graduated from Yale and UVA law school.To not learn the facts about the Vietnam War with that educational backgroundis because (a) you are blinded by a liberal anti-American bias or (b) theeducation system in the U.S.is as bad as we suspect it is. I suspect that Rep Lee learned her Vietnam Warhistory from rabidly liberal old hippies.

Ofa more serious and related nature, I heard Dr. David Kilcullen, current leadingguru on counterinsurgency and former advisor to Generals Patraeus andMcChrystal, speak at the World Affairs Council last Thursday evening. One pointhe made should resonate with all those who are NOT ignorant of the facts of theVietnam War. And it should give us pause. Kilcullen said that the role of the U.S. militaryin Afghanistanis to prepare the U.S.for a negotiated settlement by putting us in the best possible position a vis our enemies there.  We should remember thatis exactly what the U.S.military gave us in Vietnamwhen we forced the North Vietnamese to the peace table. The military and Nixonhad beaten the communists thoroughly on the battlefield and psychologically bybombing around Hanoiat will. The U.S.media and liberal congress then did their best to obviate completely thatadvantage gained with so much blood and tears by constantly undermining Nixonand Kissinger, passing resolutions cutting off military alternatives, anddemanding settlement at any cost.

Wecannot allow this to happen in Afghanistan.

P.S. I haveextended my prayers for my Marine son in Afghanistan to include the hopethat he didn’t hear Congresswoman Lee.

Phil Jenningsis the author to the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War.

Phillip Jennings served in Vietnam withthe United StatesMarine Corps, flying helicopters, and in Laos as a pilot for Air America. He isthe author of the critically acclaimed comic novels “Nam-A-Rama“and “Goodbye Mexico“,and won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society first prize for fiction with hisshort story, “Train Wreck in a Small Town.” A successfulentrepreneur, he is currently CEO of Molecular Resonance Corporation, which isdeveloping technology to detect and disarm Improvised Explosive Devices. Helives with his family near Seattle, Washington


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