May 02, 2003

The Path to Victory

This article by James Webb, courtesy of the Braden Files, talks about the end of the Viet Nam war and the part played in it by the hard left and the entertainment industry. The history of that ending is perhaps the most ignominious chapter of American history, but not for the reasons most people think.

This so-called Watergate Congress rode into town with an overriding mission that had become the rallying point of the American Left: to end all American assistance in any form to the besieged government of South Vietnam. Make no mistake—this was not the cry of a few years earlier to stop young Americans from dying. It had been two years since the last American soldiers left Vietnam, and fully four years since the last serious American casualty calls there.

For reasons that escape historical justification, even after America’s military withdrawal the Left continued to try to bring down the incipient South Vietnamese democracy. Future White House aide Harold Ickes and others at "Project Pursestrings" ... worked to cut off all congressional funding intended to help the South Vietnamese defend themselves. The Indochina Peace Coalition, run by David Dellinger and headlined by Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, coordinated closely with Hanoi throughout 1973 and 1974, and barnstormed across America’s campuses, rallying students to the supposed evils of the South Vietnamese government. Congressional allies repeatedly added amendments to spending bills to end U.S. support of Vietnamese anti-Communists, precluding even air strikes to help South Vietnamese soldiers under attack by North Vietnamese units that were assisted by Soviet-bloc forces.

Then in early 1975 the Watergate Congress dealt non-Communist Indochina the final blow. The new Congress icily resisted President Gerald Ford’s January request for additional military aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. This appropriation would have provided the beleaguered Cambodian and South Vietnamese militaries with ammunition, spare parts, and tactical weapons needed to continue their own defense. Despite the fact that the 1973 Paris Peace Accords called specifically for "unlimited military replacement aid" for South Vietnam, by March the House Democratic Caucus voted overwhelmingly, 189-49, against any additional military assistance to Vietnam or Cambodia.

The campus radicals, then the students and now the professors, aligned with an internationalist media hostile to the very idea of America, were successful in persuading the Democratic Party, along with a few very right-wing Republicans, to stymie South Viet Nam's efforts at self defense. These very same people, and their ideological adherents (in academia, the media and the entertainment industry), were the loudest voices against American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, and likely will be the loudest voices against any future American moves overseas, either to defend ourselves or to bring freedom to an oppressed people. So were these people right then, and are they right now, and what should we do about it?

I read a biography of Creighton Abrams, the theater commander in Viet Nam from the late '60s into the early '70s. The biography discussed in some detail the ineffectiveness of large-scale maneuver warfare, and how Abrams changed the US methods, and in the process basically won the war. The new way of fighting was so effective that by 1971, Abrams was able to travel alone in a jeep, with only his sidearm, from near the border with North Viet Nam all the way to Saigon. He encountered no troubles along the way. And yet, at the point where we had beaten the VC completely, and held the NVA off so that they were unable to beat the ARVN troops in guerilla warfare, we simply withdrew. Not simply withdrew; we also reneged on all of our agreements to support the South in any way, as the Webb article states. In other words, there is not really a question as to whether or not we could have won the Viet Nam war; we did win it. Then we went home and watched from the sidelines as terror descended. That was our defeat: we simply refused to live up to agreements that would not have put a single American in danger. We gave away South Viet Nam and Cambodia rather than spend small amounts of money. We mooted the blood sacrifice of 59000 Americans and even larger numbers of Viet Namese over what amounts to the irate indignation of college students, reporters and movie stars!

Today, those who architected our defeat in Viet Nam want to repeat the performance. With Communism all but dead as an alternative to capitalist representative democracy, these idiots and fools want us instead to surrender to its pale cousins, transnational progressivism, moral relativism, postmodernism and multiculturalism. The hard left wants America to abandon the moral position that freedom is better than oppression, as they convinced us to abandon such a position in Viet Nam. By cheapening our patriotism, lessening our dedication to freedom, and bathing us in self-loathing, these "intellectuals" hope to make us powerless, as they are powerless. Are we better than the Islamic militants? Are we more authentic? Are we more pure? They want us to surrender, in the end, to them, to allow "our betters" to lead us as only they can, down the path of France into historical irrelevance. As long, that is, as they have tenure, a good story and our unconditional worship of them. If the price of that is dhimmitude, they are willing to have us pay it.

We must not surrender to these whispering (well, shouting, really) voices of defeat and despair. We can refuse, and here is how: we must cut off the indoctrination of future generations. (Reality will, over time, take care of the vast majority of those already indoctrinated, as long as they are unable to gain political power in the meantime.) We can do this by:

  • demanding that our media give us unbiased information, by choosing alternatives that do so. In other words, force the media to live more in the real world.
  • not allowing Federal or State funding for universities, except in the form of scholarships to students. This has the dual effect of making universities more responsive to students, and removing a layer of automatic support for whatever idiocy professors wish to spout. In other words, force the Universities to live more in the real world.
  • not listening to entertainers pronounce on subjects other than entertainment. At least, no more than we would any other random person.
  • home schooling our children, forcing districts to abandon the PC educational fads, or implementing school choice. Each of these measures increases the need for public schools to live in the real world.

The combined effect of these actions would be to reduce the influence of radicals, whose voice is magnified by their presence in media, educational establishments, and the entertainment industry. Over a generation, the reduction in that voice of despair would be rather dramatic, and I believe that such a change in our society would allow us to bring real peace to the world, by removing every single dictatorial government anywhere on Earth and replacing it with a representative government and free-market economy based on the ideals of the Enlightenment. No lesser goal is worthy of us, and indeed no lesser goal will remove the threat to freedom posed by unaccountable despots. Only by eliminating the voices of unreasonable doubt can we tackle such an ambitious goal.

Posted by Jeff at May 2, 2003 11:26 PM | Link Cosmos
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