Vision, Mission, and Strategy


Hillbilly Politics

President Bush’s speech comparing the Iraq War not only with the Vietnam War but World War II and the Korean War sent ripples through the political landscape. Those ripples prompted one newspaper to dedicate a whole web page to a comparison of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party which has long looked at Vietnam as their exclusive territory for their anti-war policies. The page is a compilation of articles written over time and well worth spending an entire day reading. However, there is part of one I’d like to highlight here (emphases mine):

Timeline of Defeat

Here’s a pop quiz about Vietnam. When the 94th United States Congress finally pulled the plug on American support, how many of our GIs were still fighting in Vietnam? The question was posed to us the other evening by Secretary of State Kissinger, full of sagacity and wisdom 30 years after the events in question. We guessed somewhere on the order of 100,000, down from the more than half a million American military personnel who had been in Vietnam at the height of the fighting. But Mr. Kissinger had us.

It turns out that when the Congress pulled the plug on Vietnam, the number of our U.S. troops in Vietnam was zero. When, in the 1974 elections, the Democrats widened their majority in the Congress and then, in the spring of 1975, finally defied President Ford and ended support for the free Vietnamese government in the South, the number of GIs was something on the order of two or three dozen, mostly embassy guards.

This is something to think about as the Democrats maneuver against a war-time president over funding for our GIs and our ally in a free Iraq. It turns out that when one looks at the time-line of the betrayal of South Vietnam, one of the lessons is that, in the end, it was not about our GIs and the loss of American lives, great though that treasure was. Our GIs had long since been drawn down, as President Nixon fulfilled his campaign promise of Vietnamization of the war.

By the time the Congress forsook free Vietnam, there was no prospect of more American combat deaths at places like Hamburger Hill and the Ashau Valley. On October 26, two weeks before the 1972 election, Mr. Kissinger, then national security adviser, appeared at a press conference and gave his famous “peace is at hand” remark. Nor was it without reason. After our bombings of North Vietnam in December 1972, a cease-fire among all the parties to the war was signed shortly thereafter, in January of 1973. The last of our combat soldiers left in March of 1973.

On June 19, the Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment that forbade what Vietnamresearch.com, which issued one of the many timelines on the Web, called “any further U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, effective August 15, 1973.” The law led to an end to American bombing and the de-mining of North Vietnam’s harbors. The majority was veto proof, Vietnamresearch.com reminded us. It characterized the amendment as one that paved “the way for North Vietnam to wage yet another invasion of the South, this time without fear of U.S. bombing.”

In January 1974, according to a timeline at PBS.org, the North Vietnamese were then “still too weak to launch a full-scale offensive,” but had “rebuilt their divisions in the South” and “captured key areas.” Watergate was gathering, and on August 9, 1974, President Nixon resigned. At this point, there was only a doughty little government in South Vietnam that was standing alone against the combined might of the Soviet Union and the Communist Chinese. And it was prepared to fight on for another generation.

The Congress, however, wasn’t prepared to stake them, despite the fact that South Vietnam was our ally in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. In October 1974, the 93rd Congress voted to end foreign aid to Vietnam. President Ford vetoed the measure. Congress, after an election that expanded the Democratic majority by 48 seats in the House and five in the Senate, overrode the veto. In the Spring, the 94th Congress blocked military appropriations for the South Vietnamese. It was not about our GIs. They had long since gone. A country of 50 million individuals who had sided with America and yearned for freedom was cast into the dark night of communist tyranny.

Is it any wonder, then, that the terrorist we fight are praying for a Democratic victory in Washington? Is it any wonder they also invoke memories of Vietnam to demoralize American soldiers?

I’d like to revisit the president’s speech. Granted he gave us a great reminders of history and looking back into history to not repeat the same mistakes but he also said some things I believe is just as important for us to remember, as well as those Democrats who seek to order humanity to their liking:

The American military graveyards across Europe attest to the terrible human cost in the fight against Nazism. They also attest to the triumph of a continent that today is whole, free, and at peace. The advance of freedom in these lands should give us confidence that the hard work we are doing in the Middle East can have the same results we’ve seen in Asia and elsewhere — if we show the same perseverance and the same sense of purpose.

In a world where the terrorists are willing to act on their twisted beliefs with sickening acts of barbarism, we must put faith in the timeless truths about human nature that have made us free.

I highly recommend reading the compilation of articles at the NYSun.

August 2007
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  


    


Copyright © 2012 Hillbilly Politics. All Rights Reserved.