Tag Archives: Vietnam

Our War

LtCol Forrest R. Lindsey USMC (ret), staff writer

I read through the New York Times this morning and since today is the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, they had several opinion pieces discussing the fallacy of America’s involvement in Vietnam, the terrible lessons of the misuse of American power, the atrocities “committed routinely” by us, etc.,etc..

May I throw the BS flag onto the field? We had an ally in trouble, we had the entire Communist Bloc supplying the Vietcong insurgents, we had the North Vietnamese Army in the south and whole world was watching to see what we’d do. If you peruse a map of the area, you’ll see that it was part of the world the Communists really wanted to control. The Straits of Malacca are close by and anyone controlling the ports in Vietnam would have the ability to choke off oil and other supplies to our other allies; Japan, South Korea, the Philippines. It wasn’t an insignificant area in geopolitics.

The young men who answered the call – or just served honorably when they were drafted – were some of the best young men we have ever fielded. We were well acquainted with the savagery of the enemy to the local villagers and it was emphasized to us over and over that the villagers were the focus of our war, the reason we were there. I distinctly remember what it was like to approach a new village that hadn’t dealt with Marines before. At first, nobody was visible and if we stopped there, eventually some kids would come out of hiding. We’d give them some of the hard tropical chocolate discs from our C-rations and maybe some other treats. Then the old people would come out and they’d see that we were playing with the kids and weren’t interested in killing their animals or taking anything from them.

The next time we’d go through that village, we’d be welcomed with smiles and sometimes even warned where the mines were. The Marine Corps even instituted a program called the Combined Action Program (CAP) where an incredibly brave squad of Marines and a Corpsman would actually live in those villages full time to train them to protect themselves.

I will always be proud of my time in Vietnam and of the men who served there with me. The war had vicious enemies to fight, nice people to protect and real reasons to be there. The New York Times writers can say what they want to, but if the United States hadn’t fought for South Vietnam for those eight long, hard years how would the world have looked at us? Sure, we lost but it was only after a long struggle that stalled and drained the Communist Bloc and in the end, there weren’t anymore “National Liberation Wars” and the Cold War came to an end soon after. We showed a steel in us that our adversaries didn’t think we had and in the end that was what the Communists saw in us when Reagan took office. Our sacrifices were not in vain. Our war was a good war, no matter what the New York Times wants to print.

“My Father the Spy.” Vietnam, the real story

by Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer

The jungles of Viet Nam were the reality for over 54,000 deaths of America’s soldiers, but the Nam war also may be the epitome of stupidity for politicians who turned a US victory into an agonizing defeat! An important book appearing on bookshelves of an American legion post details just what went wrong and it was written by the son of John H. Richardson, Sr., the senior CIA station chief in Saigon. Much maligned after news stories popped up in homeland newspapers, written by real fly-by reporters, the Saigon headquarters of the CIA chief became the boiling point for palace intrigues, coup plots and generalized political fury by new president John F. Kennedy who at first tried to prop up Viet Nam President Ngo Dinh Diem.

These reporters, flown in by anxious and self-promoting editors, lacked the background to put in perspective what Richardson and the CIA were both dealing with and trying to master. They then just buzzed around the periphery and filed stories that added to the mess. Without really trying to dig out the background on Diem, his controversial brother Nhu and the volatile sister-in-law Madam Nhu, these journos did way more harm than they did good. Did someone say Walter Cronkite ultimately called the shots in Viet Nam?

Diem survived two major power struggles on his own, early on, and perhaps, with a consistent US foreign policy, may have extracted a different direction for the war itself. Richardson details how Diem fought back the criminal gangs, rogue army generals, religious sects and a serious revolt by “hundreds of rebellious South Vietnamese paratroopers” (who) surrounded Diem’s palace to demand a new government. Richardson’s early on desire with Operation Switchback, (pg. 144), was his “desire for ‘intensive coordination’ with the military command,” perhaps, a lesson learned from the Bay of Pigs debacle.

The teamwork design, however, over the coming months somehow got tossed aside, especially when new ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge “arrived at the Saigon airport to take charge of the embassy.” (pg. 174). Lodge, “descended from several of America’s most prominent families,” was very confident and very used to getting his own way, regardless of what the CIA station chief suggested or what facts on the ground were revealing on an almost minute by minute timeline. The Pagoda Attacks, the insurgency brewing by some Vietnamese generals, the self-immolation of Buddhist monks just piled log upon log on the fiery inferno that seemed to ignite after “four of Kennedy’s top advisors–Averell Harriman, Roger Hilsman, George Ball, and Michael Forrestal” came up with the infamous CABLE of AUGUST 24, (1963).

The images of monks setting themselves on fire really flamed up the US editorialists who went into overdrive paroxysms. Their obvious cursory knowledge of what really was going on became the leading theme controlling the Viet Nam war itself. This war by reporter is the best justification yet for generals to keep war correspondents “safely” far behind the scenes!

“U.S. Government cannot tolerate situation in which power lies in Nhu’s hands,” (pg. 176) said the arrogant advisors and politicians far removed from the “street” in Saigon. The fly-by media got their headlines, and our military got their many dead soldiers for such hubris. Richardson and his CIA station in Saigon, therefore, had to “fully accept directives of policy makers.”

Richardson’s innate sense of caution and his efforts to discern “what the street says” were ignored, much to our misery, according to his son’s investigative memoir. The disgusting picture on television several years ago of President Lyndon B. Johnson moving parts of a mock Viet Nam battlefield around while his generals stood silently nearby was another prescient moment showing foolish politicians playing games with the lives of our Armed Services!

“Later, the real story came out,” the son and author says. Rebel soldiers snatched Diem and Nhu right out of church, pushed them in a truck, and ultimately shot them in the back of their heads. Lodge earlier was somehow non-committal when Diem allegedly asked him for helicopter support to escape. History keeps repeating itself a philosopher once said.

SOURCE: Richardson, John H. (Jr.) MY FATHER THE SPY, An Investigative Memoir. New York: Harper Perennial, 2005, The author can be E-mailed at johnrichardson.com

To Democrats the Military is nothing more than a political tool

by Jim Emerson,  staff writer

Former defense secretary Robert Gates harshly criticized the Obama Administration in his new book “Duty.” He exposes the “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president.” (1) He notes that the Obama administration is composed of control freaks regarding national security policy. He opines that Mr. Obama’s “White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost.” He warned the Pentagon “don’t give the White House staff and [national security staff] too much information on military options. They don’t understand it, and ‘experts’ like Samantha Power will decide when we should move militarily.”  The White House has been panning military options in Libya without input from the military. Anyone familiar with the Vietnam War will see that Obama is following Lyndon Johnson’s roadmap to failure. Obama hasty retreat will most likely allow Iraq to become an al Qaeda Islamic Republic. 

“He Had Breached Faith with Me”
Obama sought to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which lead to a few months of debates as to whether homosexuals should be permitted to openly serve in the military. Losing patience, Obama just decided to repeal the law without military input and before any details were worked out. The Obama White House cut defense spending without input from the Defense Secretary. Gates wrote “I felt that agreements with the Obama White House were good for only as long as they were politically convenient.” 

Other Democrat vindictive actions
Obama ordered the shutdown of the World War II monument as a sign of disrespect to the dwindling number of WWII veterans. The vindictive jackass wanted to make the sequester painful to gain the support of low (or NO) information voters. The Washington Mall was only open to illegal aliens, future Democrats, to attend pro-amnesty rallies. But for the brave souls who actually served this country only contempt was forthcoming from the public housing Kenyan and his enablers. The cut in military retirement and survivor benefits cost of living adjustment was most likely a political revenge on the vets who dared to tear down the barricades around the war memorials.

Mr. Obama and his democratic minions talk of honoring the troops, past and present, for their sacrifice and commitment to the country and yet they will march lock step to cut the defense and veteran’s budgets. Disdain for the armed forces is a rampant problem among democrats, including the vets in the democrat caucus. Talk is cheap and only actions reveal the truth. The left use the military as a back drop to impress uneducated, low information voters.

For the first time in modern history the American people are becoming the victims of sheer political vindictiveness, perpetrated by the Democratic Party.

Sources:

1.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/robert-gates-former-defense-secretary-offers-harsh-critique-of-obamas-leadership-in-duty/2014/01/07/6a6915b2-77cb-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_print.html
2.    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535513/Former-defense-secretary-says-Hillary-Obama-admitted-staking-Iraq-policy-2008-presidential-campaign-based-election-politics.html
   

Vietnam’s Communists are learning a lesson about how economies really work

By Derrick Hollenbeck, staff writer

Sometime what you are selling is so awful and useless you can’t even give it away. The Communists who run Vietnam are learning this simple truth up front and personally. 

They are trying to get young people interested in learning all about the wonderful Communist system they live under but they are just not interested. They are so disinterested in what Marx, Lenin and Barack Obama’s hero Ho Chi Minh had to say that they will not use their precious college years studying their works; even free of charge. 

Last month Nguyen Tan Dung the head Red decreed that students pursuing a four year degree in Marxist Leninist economic theory could henceforth attend the Ho Chi Minh City Social and Human Sciences University, a state-run school, free of charge.

The reasons the little Commies are saying thanks but no thanks to free degrees in this foolishness would make the paisley dress, elbow patch crowd on American college campuses jump up and run out of the room.

While these American “Intellectual” nitwits are teaching students empty courses in useless feel goodism, the young people in Vietnam are saying they want to study only majors whose courses have real world value. They don’t want degrees in “Feminist Studies Black History” or “The Oppression of Minorities by the White Man.”        

They want to earn degrees in “…communications, tourism, international relations and English…. because [they] believe “they will have better chances of employment and better pay when they graduate…”

In recognition that ideology doesn’t cure diseases, the Vietnamese have also decreed free tuition for those students studying to cure tuberculosis and leprosy. Those not studying any of these new “approved” courses must pay approximately $200.00 per year for their degrees.  

Although Vietnam adopted a free-market economy more than 25 years ago its college students are still required to take a minimum of three courses in Communism. 

Getting a good paying job rather than studying a failed economic/political system is far more important to its young people (who make up more than 60% of its population) than being good little Reds. They’d never make at 90% of American colleges, but obviously they don’t care.  A female student summed it up saying, “They [courses in Communism] are just not applicable to my daily life.”

Source:  http://www.timesunion.com/news/world/article/Vietnam-offers-free-Marxism-degrees-to-draw-takers-4733890.php

The sad state called Afghanistan

by Jim Emerson,  staff writer

This week the Taliban said the transfer of U.S. and NATO led security operations to Afghan security forces was similar to America’s retreat from Vietnam by the “declaring victory and run” strategy. The Taliban just needed to learn a little American history to know about the Vietnamization Strategy where the US would train the Afghans to fight their own battles and allow American and NATO to withdrawal with honor. Like the North Vietnamese, the Taliban can already declare victory. Who can blame them with this Administration too busy kowtowing to the Muslim Brotherhood and doing nothing to Iran? Taliban leadership believe that history and time are on their side. (1)

History

American now is repeating the same mistakes the Soviet Union made during their incursion into Afghanistan and, as with the Soviets, no matter the effort expended to modernize the tribal nation it will always fail. Unless the Afghans themselves embrace the West and a better way of life, any effort to improve their own by showing them a better way is a waste of time, money and lives. The initial invasion into Afghanistan was a necessity to eliminate al Qaeda and their Taliban host. Unfortunately, it evolved into a war of choice and nation building. History has proved time and time again it has never worked. (2)

Déjà vu

Former British ambassador to MoscowRodric Braithwaite wrote that the Soviets military “rebuilt and constructed hundreds of schools, technical colleges, over 30 hospitals and a similar number of nursery schools, some 400 apartment buildings and 35 mosques,” and built a modern infrastructure. They were guarding military and civilian installations. As long as the Afghan puppet government was getting support they remained in power. Sound familiar? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan no longer had any outside support. After a series of uprisings the Taliban rose to power and all improvements the Soviets provided went to waste. It won’t take the 1st Century thugs   long to dismantle remaining Western efforts to make their lives easier.

Just like U.S. and NATO forces the Soviet military never lost an engagement to the insurgents but without support from the Afghan population they lost the war. As soon as the Russians withdrew, the country reverted to its quasi-Stone Age existence. It’s a history the Taliban know well and this Administration is too supercilious to acknowledge.

  1. 1.       http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/taliban-likens-us-afghan-role-vietnam-war-18111096#.UOTD3IPnaUm
  2. 2.       http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/world/asia/us-war-in-afghanistan-has-echoes-of-soviet-experience.html?_r=0
  3. 3.