The Vietnam War Was Lost by Liberal, Post-Nixon Congress
Ken Burns participates in the "The Vietnam War" panel during the PBS portion of the 2017 Summer TCA's at the Beverly
Hilton Hotel on Sunday, July 30, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Tuesday, 17 Oct 2017 02:00 PM
The excellent documentary "The Vietnam War," produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, takes us through a painful history and in the process, we learn about events and forces that brought us here.
My only criticism of this otherwise extraordinary film is that it glosses over a certain aspect of the final stage of the war, an aspect that puts liberalism in a bad light. That aspect is simply that America won the war and that liberals in Congress sold out that victory and in the process turned victory into a disgraceful defeat that
cost upwards of millions of innocent lives.
By late 1972, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were virtually defeated, American troops had been mostly withdrawn, and the war was winding down. America had at that point bombed North Vietnam into submission with B-52’s, with the mining Haiphong Harbor and by disabling the Ho Chi Minh Trail along with incursions into Cambodia. Indications were that South Vietnam was stepping up to the task of defending itself, was addressing its problems of corruption and was beginning to prosper.
The Paris Peace
Accords were signed January 27, 1973, officially ending hostilities between North and South Vietnam and leaving the cease fire border at the same DMZ that was originally established by the 1954 Geneva Agreement. North Vietnam had failed in its goal of conquering South Vietnam which was, in turn, guaranteed sovereign rights by the agreement. North Vietnam proceeded to withdraw and return American POW’s. The United States signed several separate side agreements with South Vietnam that insured American training, military, and material support and economic assistance. The war was over, the shooting had stopped, South Vietnam was free.
Two months later, President Richard M. Nixon became embroiled in the Watergate scandal that consumed his presidency over the next year and a half leading to his resignation on August 8, 1974. This was followed two months later by the November 1974 mid-term election which resulted in a resounding victory for the Democrats who consolidated control over both the Senate and the House. Many left-wing Senators and congressmen were elected that year including Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Joe Biden of Delaware. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts emerged as the liberal Democratic ring-leader.
In a complete betrayal of the letter and the spirit of the Paris Peace Accord, the most liberal congress in a generation proceeded to cut off virtually all military assistance to South Vietnam and Cambodia in March 1975. Historian Louis Fanning stated: It was not the Hanoi communists who won the war, but rather the American Congress that lost it. Within weeks of this infamous and disgraceful betrayal, North Vietnam, with the full military support of the Soviet Union and Communist China, launched a full-scale invasion of the south.
Standing alone against the brutal onslaught, South Vietnam was forced to surrender, April 29, 1975. The result was the type of wholesale slaughter of the innocent that often accompanies a communist takeover. Simultaneously, Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge headed by Marxist doctrinaire leader Pol Pot. The subsequent Cambodian genocide resulted in an estimated million-plus dead. Hundreds of thousands of fleeing Vietnamese men, women, and children got on rickety boats in shark infested waters to escape from Ho Chi Minh’s left-wing progressive paradise.
We will never fully know of the extant of the death, poverty, disease and suffering the people of Southeast Asia would have to endure under the jack-boots of these so-called progressive regimes. America does, indeed, require some soul searching regarding our support of South Vietnam facing communist aggression but that such an honest reckoning might point in another direction than the one we are fed by the liberal establishment.
Chuck Morse is a radio host who broadcasts live Thursday's at 10 a.m. ET at WMFO-Tufts. Chuck hosts the podcast "Chuck Morse Speaks" on iTunes and Stitcher and his books are available on Amazon.com. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.