Thursday, February 01, 2007

DNC Talking Points decapitated but nonetheless these anemic ideas need an infusion of Historical Accuracy

The Khmer Rouge came about because the Democratically Controlled Congress of President Gerald Ford's term betrayed its commitment to Vietnam after Nixon began the pullout out of a war started by and escalated by Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Oh but according to the Liberal Mind it was President Nixon's fault. You guys all sound the same. Here I bolster my position with one who is respected by all including the Left....Mark Steyn:

In this defeatist climate, it's a shock to remember three who changed the world
"It feels like August," wrote the National Review's editor, Rich Lowry, about eight months after 9/11. August 2001, that is: he meant America's war on terror seemed to have lost its urgency and the "sleeping giant" appeared to be resuming his slumbers. Five years on, it's worse than that: it feels like the seventies.
Now as then, America seems less a sleeping giant than a helpless one, ensnared by Lilliputians and longing for release. Some Republicans distance themselves from the President's "surge" in Iraq, others dutifully string along with it, but without any great confidence it will make a difference. Democrats, meanwhile, are all but urging on defeat. Explicitly threatening to cut off funds for "Bush's war," Senator Ted Kennedy trotted out the old Vietnam "quagmire" analogies but added a new charge, bizarrely formulated: "In Vietnam," he recalled, "the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy."

"Obsessed with victory"? In the history of warfare, most parties have been "obsessed with victory" to one degree or another, ever since Caveman Ug first clubbed Caveman Glug. If you're not "obsessed with victory," you probably shouldn't have got into the war in the first place. It would be more accurate to say that Kennedy and his multiplying ilk are obsessed with defeat, and they're prepared to do what's necessary to help inflict it. The famous photographs of the departing choppers lifting off from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon with pleading locals clinging to the undercarriage are images not just of defeat but also of the betrayals necessary to accomplish it. "In reality," writes John O'Sullivan in his splendid new book The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister, "the betrayal was truer than the defeat. America had not been defeated on the battlefield and South Vietnamese ground forces had themselves defeated a full-scale North Vietnamese invasion in 1972 when they still enjoyed U.S. air support. Not only did the United States withhold such support in 1975, but Congress also refused to supply even the ammunition and military supplies that it had promised when the American forces left. For some perverse psychological motive, the American establishment acted as if the United States would not be genuinely free of involvement in Vietnam until its allies were conquered and occupied."
To be sure, not everyone was abandoned. The U.S. ambassador sportingly offered asylum to a former Cambodian prime minister, Sirik Matak. "I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion," he replied. "I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty." As O'Sullivan adds: "It was worse than that. In the final hours, America switched sides." Sirik Matak stayed in Phnom Penh and was murdered by the Khmer Rouge, but so were another 1.7 million people, and in a pile of skulls that high it's hard to remember this or that individual. Still, it's startling, given the appalling slaughter that arose in the wake of "peace," to find vulgar braggarts like John Kerry and Pinch Sulzberger (the New York Times publisher) still preening and congratulating themselves for their stance three decades later....

Don't like Steyn's Journalistic credentials then try arguing with Fred Barnes:
The first step is, when the war goes poorly, public support falls and politicians dramatically increase their criticism. In Vietnam, this occurred after the Tet offensive in 1968. In Iraq, it occurred gradually at first, then rapidly once violence and chaos in Baghdad flared over the last year.
In 1970, the Cooper-Church amendment sought to bar funding for any American troops in Cambodia, a sanctuary for invading forces from North Vietnam. Today, Hillary Clinton would put a cap on the number of American soldiers in Iraq. Webb, echoing many others in Congress, said withdrawals should begin "in short order."

Step five is the last resort of war opponents: a fund cutoff over the protests of the president. In Vietnam, it came in 1974, after American combat troops had been withdrawn, but with the United States still supporting and funding the South Vietnamese government. What's striking is how much the congressional majority then resembles today's antiwar coalition, mostly Democrats but with more than a handful of Republicans. True, only a minority in Congress favors a cutoff today, but that bloc could grow.
Step six: the collapse. In Southeast Asia, it led to the deaths of more than two million people in Vietnam and Cambodia after the Communist triumph. The members of Congress whose actions prompted the collapse expressed no shame or embarrassment for having betrayed allies. And practically no one held them accountable. Their perfidy was greeted with silence.
In Vietnam, the slide down the slippery slope seemed inevitable.

Don't trust a Journalist like Fred Barnes how about Democratic Senator James Webb:
No one knows the tragic story of America in Vietnam better than Jim Webb, first as a Marine, then as a writer. So the newly elected Democratic senator from Virginia--a fierce opponent of the war in Iraq--wants to keep Vietnam out of the debate over Iraq. "As much as possible, we need to keep this debate away from Vietnam," Webb said last week. Iraq "is not a parallel situation." But Webb feared that many who supported the Vietnam war, and watched America abandon South Vietnam as it grew close to victory over the Communist forces of North Vietnam, might see similarities. Indeed, they might, for certain parallels between Iraq and Vietnam are uncanny. A new general, David Petraeus, is taking over in Iraq with a credible new strategy, counterinsurgency. Four decades ago, General Creighton Abrams became the American commander in Vietnam, also with a new strategy. It called for taking and holding the villages and hamlets of South Vietnam. In a word, it was counterinsurgency, and it worked. Now in Iraq, Petraeus has as good a chance of success, starting with the pacification of Baghdad, as Abrams had. And the painful lesson of Vietnam applies in Iraq: Don't give up when victory is at hand. Those in Congress who advocate retreat in Iraq refuse to acknowledge this lesson. And they may have their way, whatever Petraeus accomplishes. With their calls for troop withdrawals and fund cutoffs and their antiwar resolutions, they have put America on a slippery slope in Iraq. And we know
where it leads: to defeat while victory remains quite possible. This happened in six descending steps in Vietnam, and today's coalition in Congress of antiwar Democrats and vacillating Republicans has started pushing us down that dangerous slope.

James Webb: As for combat readiness, our country isn't good at that, we've never been good at it. We've always had this citizen-army approach, where all of a sudden we drop our plows, put on our uniforms, and go blow people away. You could do that in 1780. You can't do that any more. We're not conscious planners. We don't believe there is such a thing as evil in the world. We're always willing to be surprised. And usually we are.
Don't trust Democratic Senator Webb then read How We Won in Vietnam
By Vietnamese Refugee and American Citizen By Viet D. Dinh who comments on Webb and writes
What, exactly, was Hanoi fighting for?
Vietnam was not only about containment of the "red menace," but presented a test of the credibility of American commitment and resolve. The strategy was to encircle the communist bloc in a web of alliances secured by American promises of assistance, financial, military, and, if necessary, nuclear. John F. Kennedy inaugurated his presidency by announcing what came to be the Kennedy Doctrine: a promise to "pay any price, bear any burden, . . . support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty." Like any unenforceable promise, the value of the American commitment depended wholly on our delivering when called upon.
Vietnam was such a call. As Arthur R. Schlesinger Jr. recounts in A Thousand Days, Kennedy "undoubtedly felt" that "an American retreat in Asia might upset the whole world balance." That threat to the world balance comes not from a fanciful notion that Southeast Asia would become a breach in the fence through which communism would spread throughout the free world. Rather, the threat came from a fear that the entire fence (or significant parts of it say, Europe), woven together by American alliances and commitments, would unravel if the allies saw that America's commitments weren't worth the paper they were written on.
The argument that our involvement in Vietnam was a mistake rests ultimately on the assumption that the democratic alliance was unnecessary to defeat communism or that the alliance would not have unraveled had America not intervened in Vietnam, in other words, an assumption that the grand strategy itself was ill-conceived. But let us remember that the grand strategy ultimately worked. Vietnam, despite the military defeat, was a demonstration of U.S. credibility and resolve in the larger global struggle against communism. It was a demonstration that, in the final analysis, may have contributed to American success in the Cold War or, at the least, prevented our failure.
To be sure, U.S. withdrawal from and cessation of assistance to South Vietnam, which precipitated the communist victory in 1975, sorely tested the value of the American commitment and accordingly the strength of the Western alliance. Hanoi's victory in Southeast Asia led the American people and U.S. allies to question the United States' willingness or institutional political ability to "pay any price, bear any burden" to fight communism. These were uncertain times for those relying on the United States. But those who would look to the outcome of the war to argue that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was unnecessary bear the burden of showing, counter-factually, that a U.S. failure to respond to the situation in Vietnam as early as Kennedy's administration would have had no impact on the collective alliance against communism. At the time, Charles de Gaulle and other European leaders were openly questioning the value of guarantees from America to act against immediate self-interest by fighting communism in situations that did not pose a direct threat to American security. If 58,000 American lives, billions of dollars, and decades of domestic turmoil still did not erase doubts about the U.S. commitment, imagine how those doubts would have been expressed had the United States blithely ignored a call on its guarantee. And, let us not forget, the policy of appeasement prompted by war-weary malaise of the 1970s did not win the Cold War. Vigilance during the 1980s did, a point relevant to current United States-Vietnam policy to which I will return.
Recognizing that Vietnam was not an isolated defeat but rather part of an honorable and ultimately successful struggle for freedom and prosperity gives due credit to the contribution of our principal ally during this struggle, the Republic of Vietnam. It refutes the notion that South Vietnamese were mere pawns for or puppets of the United States (a charge frequently made by antiwar protesters in order to portray U.S. intervention as unjust. Nothing could be further from the truth. The South Vietnamese fought the war and sought U.S. help because they believed in the same principles of freedom and democracy for which America was the beacon. They included the hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese, my father's family among them, who constituted the one-way exodus from the north when the country was partitioned in 1954) driven from their homes by fears of communist rule and the hope of a good, free life. Those hopes led the South Vietnamese to fight for what remained of their homeland and, in the case of a quarter million of them, to give their lives to the cause.
More important from the U.S. perspective, this recognition also validates the sacrifices of American soldiers who fought, suffered, and died for the same cause. Such validation, nay, honor, is natural for any country that sends its young to war, but has long been withheld by people mired in antiwar ideology and confused by protest rhetoric. Former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, a combat marine in Vietnam and an expert chronicler of the soldier's experience, poignantly made the point in a Wall Street Journal essay on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the war's end:
History owes something to those who went to Vietnam, and to the judgment of those who believed the endeavor was worthwhile. We can still debate whether the war was worth its cost, but the evidence of the past 25 years clearly upholds the validity of our intentions. This proposition may sound simple, but to advance it is to confront the Gordian knot of the Vietnam era itself..
The evidence of the past 25 years to which Webb refers is indeed the best illustration that the United States, despite the military defeat, prevailed in the larger struggle for a future of peace and prosperity through democratic capitalism. Days after the fall of Saigon, Stanley Hoffman wrote in the May 3, 1975 issue of the New Republic: "In this respect Vietnam should teach us an important lesson. On the one hand Hanoi is one of several among the poorest nations in the world that have tried or will try to create a collectivist society, based on principles that are repugnant to us, yet likely to produce greater welfare and security for its people than any local alternative ever offered, at a cost in freedom that affects a small elite." Tell that to the millions of Cambodians who lost their lives in the killing fields as a sacrifice at the altar of one-step collectivism. Or to the hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese, my father among them, who were sent to "re-education camps" after the war, where many of them perished. Or to the families and relatives of South Vietnamese considered suspect by the Hanoi government and thus deprived of access to the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. Or tell it to the millions of Vietnamese, my family among them, who found communist persecution unbearable and took to the high seas in a diaspora of anything that floated.
Most relevantly, tell that to the people of Vietnam who lived under communist rule throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Instead of welfare and security, what they got was repression of all basic freedoms; dire poverty caused by central economic mismanagement and official corruption; and a government so bellicose that, during the early 1980s, it continued to build up its military even as its people suffered the most severe drought of the country's recorded history.
It would be wise for us to keep the brutality of the communist regime in mind as we confront Vietnam's wavering efforts at economic liberalization. For a casual apologist or a strict isolationist, the response would be easy, if misguided. But those who believe in change through constructive engagement must walk a tightrope to ensure that our efforts serve our ultimate goals — a free people and free market democracy governed by the rule of law, a Vietnam which enjoys the peace and prosperity we have helped to secure elsewhere in the world.

Don't care for Viet d. Dinh then try Foreign Affairs MELVIN R. LAIRD who was Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973, Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs from 1973 to 1974, and a member of the House of Representatives from 1952 to 1969. He currently serves as Senior Counselor for National and International Affairs at the Reader's Digest Association.
Summary: During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.
The truth about Vietnam that revisionist historians conveniently forget is that the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973. In fact, we grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory two years later when Congress cut off the funding for South Vietnam that had allowed it to continue to fight on its own. Over the four years of Nixon's first term, I had cautiously engineered the withdrawal of the majority of our forces while building up South Vietnam's ability to defend itself. My colleague and friend Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, had negotiated a viable agreement between North and South Vietnam, which was signed in January 1973. It allowed for the United States to withdraw completely its few remaining troops and for the United States and the Soviet Union to continue funding their respective allies in the war at a specified level. Each superpower was permitted to pay for replacement arms and equipment. Documents released from North Vietnamese historical files in recent years have proved that the Soviets violated the treaty from the moment the ink was dry, continuing to send more than $1 billion a year to Hanoi. The United States barely stuck to the allowed amount of military aid for two years, and that was a mere fraction of the Soviet contribution.
Yet during those two years, South Vietnam held its own courageously and respectably against a better-bankrolled enemy. Peace talks continued between the North and the South until the day in 1975 when Congress cut off U.S. funding. The Communists walked out of the talks and never returned. Without U.S. funding, South Vietnam was quickly overrun. We saved a mere $297 million a year and in the process doomed South Vietnam, which had been ably fighting the war without our troops since 1973.
I believed then and still believe today that given enough outside resources, South Vietnam was capable of defending itself, just as I believe Iraq can do the same now. From the Tet offensive in 1968 up to the fall of Saigon in 1975, South Vietnam never lost a major battle. The Tet offensive itself was a victory for South Vietnam and devastated the North Vietnamese army, which lost 289,000 men in 1968 alone. Yet the overriding media portrayal of the Tet offensive and the war thereafter was that of defeat for the United States and the Saigon government. Just so, the overriding media portrayal of the Iraq war is one of failure and futility.
Vietnam gave the United States the reputation for not supporting its allies. The shame of Vietnam is not that we were there in the first place, but that we betrayed our ally in the end. It was Congress that turned its back on the promises of the Paris accord. The president, the secretary of state, and the secretary of defense must share the blame. In the end, they did not stand up for the commitments our nation had made to South Vietnam. Any president or cabinet officer who is turned down by Congress when he asks for funding for a matter of national security or defense simply has not tried hard enough. There is no excuse for that failure. In my four years at the Pentagon, when public support for the Vietnam War was at its nadir, Congress never turned down any requests for the war effort or Defense Department programs. These were tense moments, but I got the votes and the appropriations. A defense secretary's relationship with Congress is second only to his relationship with the men and women in uniform. Both must be able to trust him, and both must know that he respects them. If not, Congress will not fund, and the soldiers, sailors, and air personnel will not follow

Now what about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge issue? see:
Between 1972 and 1975, America's Congress passed a series of pieces of legislation that strangled the Republic of South Vietnam of resources and blocked any hope of an American air campaign. While Mr. Rose himself acknowledges that "in June 1973, Congress ordered all American military operations in Indochina to cease by the end of the summer, and in November it passed the War Powers Act," he soft-peddles the ramifications of these moves — as well as neglecting other legislative restrictions on helping South Vietnam.
These included the Second Supplemental Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1973, which blocked funding to "support directly or indirectly combat activities in or over Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam or South Vietnam"; the Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1974, and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1973, which went so far as to prevent third-party countries from assisting the South Vietnamese so long as they received American aid.
The secretary of state at the time, Henry Kissinger, in his memoir, "Years of Upheaval," cites those legislative measures as imperiling not only South Vietnam but also Cambodia, where the Khmer Rouge, backed by Communist China, implemented a genocide.

Mark Moyar, author of "Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954 –1965," is part of a new wave of historians challenging the leftist version. Now at work on a book that tells the story of the second half of the war, Mr. Moyar insists that an Easter Offensive-style bombing campaign would have at least delayed the defeat of South Vietnam for a significant period of time and perhaps even put the North Vietnamese on their heels for a while.
During the final days of the South Vietnamese government, supplies and equipment were in short supply. Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Library's conference on " Vietnam and the Presidency" last March, Mr. Kissinger said "when you cut military assistance from $2.4 billion to $700 million, when you prohibit military action in the face of the most blatant violations, you are bound to lose." Mr. Moyar speaks of former Vietnamese commanders who told him about their being limited to firing one artillery shell a day.
There is a word for that, and that is betrayal. Without a doubt, Congress felt compelled to follow the public and leave South Vietnam defenseless in 1975. But with the hindsight of history, we know that measures existed that could have preserved the South Vietnamese government without full-scale American redeployment, namely the air war, money, and supplies. Attempts to absolve the 93rd and 94th Congresses and to shift the blame for the final fall of Saigon to Messrs Nixon and Kissinger only cloud today's current leadership from acting wisely as we are challenged by a new and equally savage enemy.

Anonymous I give you and A for refraining from the personal invective in your last comments. I rest my case as you are no match for my "Boob"-istic stable of enlightened and historical journalists and seasoned columnists and their intellectual firepower. Once the personal attacks fail DNC'ers resort to the Democratic Playbook. This move wilts when matched against the Intellect of the folks who have opened my mind and cured my myopia giving me a handle on the perils we face. Just remember President George W. Bush may have a higher IQ and got better grades than John D's Kerry and you sound like you are looking over John's shoulder from your tired Liberal dribble.
I would like to elaborate on your astute assessment of me as a "boob and radical extreme right wing nutcase thinking .....supposed christians."
  1. "Boob" I don't have neither one nor a pair as I am I guy in great shape with a nice set of Pectoralis Major and Minor Muscles.
  2. "Radical"-ly in love with Our Creator, my Savior, this Glorious World, my Amazing Country and all folks including Moderate Muslims.
  3. "Extreme Right Wing" Conservative and proud of the company I keep and learn from who have Intellectual Horse Power that is quite awesome.
  4. "Nut-Case" indeed I get Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts by the case load from Trader Joe's because they are high in Protein and good Brain Fuel for my Neurons.
  5. "Thinking" glad you noticed but only because I read articles from all these intellectually gifted, curious and independent thinkers stimulate my gray matter.
  6. "supposed christian" Definitely Christian with a capital C and have faith that the Holy Spirit will be the Neurosurgeon who performs the Radial Craniotomy we all need in order to find lasting peace. This is much preferred over the Jihadists who would love to perform a Brain Amputation using a rusty Mameluke or Muslim Sword similar to the one on the Marine Symbol dating back to the Barbary Pirate days of President Thomas Jefferson
    • Mameluke sword in commemoration of 1st Lt Presley O’Bannon’s assault on Derna, Tripoli.
      The distinctive sword traditionally awarded to officers of the U.S. Marine Corps represents one of the most historic events in the early history of this distinguished branch of our Armed Forces and is based on a form of Turkish saber associated with that event. The Marine sword has become known as a Mameluke sword. The name refers primarily to the shape of the hilt that is a form that originated in the Ottoman Empire in about the 17th century. The Islamic sabers of this form were typically mounted with deeply curved blades and are known in Arabic as either shamshir or kilic1 depending on certain features of the blade shape. While the term Mameluke, as we have noted, applies to the hilt, the term is seldom used for the Turkish form hilts in the terminology of arms study. The designation Ottoman hilt is preferred. The Mameluke2 term became affixed colloquially to Turkish sabers of this form not only by American forces, but also by those of England and France during their campaigns in Egypt at the beginning of the 19th century. The magnificent and colorful Mamluk warriors they encountered during these campaigns made a monumental impression on them, especially the beautiful, yet deadly sabers they used with devastating effect.

My dear Anonymous Reader and dissenter please start your own blog and footnote your points like a serious thinker does. The Playbook from the DNC which depicts Conservatives as the root of all evil in the World is so lame and tired. You claim to like Winston Churchill well then read once again his words regarding Radical Islam again and decapitate your fertile mind from the errors you've doodled my site with:
  • Islam or Mohammedanism as it was then called in The River War (1899):
    No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science . . . the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
In the opinion of Bass am Tibi, an academic of Syrian origins who lives in Germany, Europeans are facing a stark alternative: "Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized."
Well Anonymous, I rest my case on the shoulder of Giant Intellects compared to Me myaybe you but am not sure about the latter. I've gotta turn you lose for it is time fou you to leave and start your own blog little "Grasshopper for when you snatch the pebble from my blog and write tired DNC stuff it is time for you to go!" Like Rutger Hauer saids in Blade Runner "time for me to Go"
Anyways I got Patients to care for and stashes of Powder to shred...
Be good, God Bless and remember we are not enemies. Europe were my parents live is not the model I assure you, Sir. President Abraham Lincoln paraphrased the Ultimate Christan and said "A House divided against itself cannot stand!"
Anonymous said...
Double posting the same historically inaccurate material does not make it anymore true... its just an old right wing tactic of same the same lies over and over again in hopes someone will believe you. You are once again not accurate .. the Vietnam war ended during the Nixon years not Ford. The Jan 73' agreement Nixon made ended the war. Ford had nothing to do with the issue. The Khmer Rouge again were in Cambodia NOT Vietnam and they came to power AFTER the US installed their own puppet Lon Nol in Cambodia. The Majority of the Vietnamese people chose not to be a colony of the US and instead make their own way. If the US had let the will of the people happen the quagmire would never have occurred. Instead the US turned the already war torn area into another zone of death in a vain attempt to persuade the people to choose 'democracy', which in Vietnam was really corrupt ridden politicians who were basically puppets. The reality you do not wish to face is that Vietnam was more like 1776 America than a 20th century anti-communist struggle. The will of the people who own the country be damned I guess is your philosophy....

PS.. The IQ of Bush is obvious since he cannot pronounce 'nuclear' to save his life... how moronic can you be.
7:17 AM

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Blogger Powder Tracks and Fever said...

Rebuttal from my "Moronic" mind-you guys just can't help the insults can yopu? Predictable.
Not only did the United States withhold such support in 1975, but Congress also refused to supply even the ammunition and military supplies that it had promised when the American forces left. For some perverse psychological motive, the American establishment acted as if the United States would not be genuinely free of involvement in Vietnam until its allies were conquered and occupied."

To be sure, not everyone was abandoned. The U.S. ambassador sportingly offered asylum to a former Cambodian prime minister, Sirik Matak. "I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion," he replied. "I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty." As O'Sullivan adds: "It was worse than that. In the final hours, America switched sides." Sirik Matak stayed in Phnom Penh and was murdered by the Khmer Rouge, but so were another 1.7 million people, and in a pile of skulls that high it's hard to remember this or that individual.

11:24 AM, February 01, 2007  

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