Must watch video: The truth about the Vietnam War

It is said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And here we are.

Contrary to what you were most likely taught, the U.S. did indeed win the Vietnam War. We simply did not keep the peace.

What happened in Vietnam is happening in Iraq, and will most likely happen in Afghanistan. The terrifying fall of Saigon is being replayed with the fall of Mosul and perhaps Baghdad.

This excellent short video from Dennis Prager’s eponymous university is well-worth your time, because it has so much relevance to what is happening today, as Congress loses its will to protect any gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Nixon had taken the fight into the heart of the North Vietnamese and used superior firepower to crush their will. He brought all parties to the table with the Paris Peace Accords. However, as part of the accords promises were made to the South Vietnamese — promises which the U.S. did not keep.

After Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal, in November 1974 the Democrats took a heavy majority control of the House and Senate. The Democrats defunded the support promised to the South Vietnamese and the rest they say is history – a very brutal history.

This is not about long-term occupations but about keeping your enemies defeated and not allowing their resuscitation. It requires leadership, not partisan ideology, to secure peace and it takes a willing determination to provide a deterrent to aggressive adversarial forces.

We need to structure our military to be capable of immediate strike operations and maintain our regional commitments to our allies — not the “pivot away from the Middle East” strategy from the current administration. However, these folks are either the same Vietnam protest gang or their descendants. When you leave a vacuum, someone will fill it and often, not your friend. So it was in Vietnam, so it is in Iraq, and so it is becoming in Eastern Europe.

I don’t advocate for war, as I wrote here. But I do recognize there are bad guys, and bad guys salivate at the sight of weakness and withdrawal. The number one responsibility of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense” — in other words to protect the American people.

I agree we must control the defense budget and ensure we are building weapon systems needed by our war fighters, not building the defense industry. But when we fall into the pattern of falsely believing we are living in a time of “tranquility in the global environment,” the military ends up being the bill payer for redistributive socialist domestic policies and programs.

Economic building at home requires nothing more than pro-growth tax, regulatory, government, and monetary reforms and policies that promote free market innovation, ingenuity, and investment — that which we currently do not have.

A lack of strategic vision and will resulted in millions of deaths in Vietnam on the “killing fields of Pol Pot.” We are beginning to see the same with the rise of the Islamic State. I’m tired of seeing our country steal defeat from the jaws of victory — eventually it will catch up to us.

Vietnam today is moving away economically from the communist ideology, but it is still threatened in the Pacific Rim by China. While still embracing a collective ideology, China’s growing free market capitalist economy is paying for a modern military force.

Folks, when you bring the enemy to the table, it’s a good thing. Nothing to be ashamed of. But we should be ashamed when all of that good is squandered for political gain.

23 COMMENTS

    • I’m sure both LBJ and Robert McNamara will appreciate your so completely absolving them. Maybe they will send you a nice thank-you card from Hell.

  1. Thank you Allen for sharing. The Lefists in Ameica took over our educational system and in fact have gone through a sort of re-education camp at home in the U.S. as well!

  2. Colonel West, having been to and currently doing business in Vietnam, I can tell you that we won that war. As a child raised in the 60’s I remember the war was fought to stop the spread of Communism. Today the country is extremely capitalistic. You see people owning their homes, and businesses. You see the citizens have things. And in all my travels the only time I have seen armed soldiers is at the Communist Party headquarters and at the Military bases in Bien Hoa. Quite honestly I feel safer in Saigon than in Detroit and Chicago. Vietnamese from both the north and the south are endeared to Americans.

    • Thanks for confirming what I hoped our effort had accomplished – it planted the seed. It gives meaning to my combat experience and I really appreciate that. My interaction with the South Vietnamese was somewhat limited, but I was greatly impressed by them: a great culture, a lovely society. It is a sad commentary that you feel safer there than in places here but I am not surprised after experiencing the Vietnamese culture. Remember however that, yes we have pockets of crime in this country, the US is a big country that is mostly one of the most wonderful places in the world to raise a family and live a good life.

      • aGrimm, Firstly, thank you for your service to our nation. It is a thank you that may be 40 years too late, but a heartfelt thanks non the less. I am a born and bred rural southerner and thankfully I have live in a place that still has community values and is a great place to live and raise a family. However we wouldn’t have such places in this great nation without the sacrifices you, your comrades in arms, and the men and women like Col. West have made for this nation. I cannot begin to explain the reception I receive by the Vietnamese people. when you see the city of Saigon, and you close your eyes, and supplant the Vietnamese faces with those of Americans, you would think you are on Canal Street in New Orleans. No matter what the let says, what revisional history says, or those in the main stream media says, men like you that sacrificed their youth, lives, and well being can see the fruits of out blood and sacrifice in Vietnam. Yes, we won that war.

  3. Revisionist BULLSH#T

    Our withdrawal under the Vietnamization plan years earlier was the beginning of us giving up the South.

    The North Vietnamese were planning their invasion of the South for a long time.
    It had nothing to do with the Democrat congress in 1974.

    You want to blame someone for our failure in Vietnam?
    Blame Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who ran the military like a business, and fought a war of attrition against the North Vietnamese, instead of taking the fight to the enemy.

    Mr West…. did you forget everything you ever learned in the Army?
    You can not defeat the enemy if you allow the enemy to hold their ground.
    The pencil pushers and politicians (Democrat and Republican) were so concerned about losing lives that we never simply rolled into North Vietnam and took it.
    It would have cost thousands of lives… but it would have ended the war.
    Instead, we fought on the defensive for a decade and lost nearly 60,000 troops.

    Johnson and Nixon were both afraid to go on the offensive and defeat the NVA.
    Both chose to lose American lives in Vietnam, rather than political points back home.

    The clown in this video is Bruce Herschensohn, a friend and speech writer for Nixon, who appears to be trying to rewrite history to remove all blame from his old friend.

  4. LTC West, you really need to educate yourself more about the Vietnam War. Here’s a start.

    “The [Vietnam] war was only made possible through lies and deceptions aimed at the American public, Congress, and members of Lyndon Johnson’s own administration. Contrary to Robert McNamara’s claims of ignorance and overconfidence during the period 1963-1965, the record proves that he and others were men who not only should have known better, but who did know better. These men and the decisions they made during those crucial months mired the United States in a costly war that could not be
    won at a cost acceptable to the American public”

    – H.R. McMaster, author of “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.” graduated from West Point in 1984. He has taught at West Point and received his Ph.D. in military history from the University of North Carolina in 1996 and is now a 2 star general in the United States Army, I belive..

    • And by “educate yourself” you mean “read this debunked propaganda that is by default correct because of the virtue that it contradicts your position”.

    • Feralcat: you do realize we had a pact with South Vietnam, don’t you? Of course we had a choice – help them fight the communist North or renege on the pact. Obama would surely renege on the pact today, but Kennedy had a wee bit more honor and sent in “advisors”. Johnson escalated the war big time and, though I have some issues with the way he did it, probably rightly. Unfortunately he had some real idiots advising him – notably MacNamara. The rules of engagement imposed on we soldiers were ridiculous and the result of stupid political decisions, not military decisions. If you want to know how a war is going, ask the soldiers on the ground. I was there at the tail end of the war, and I will categorically say that we had it well in hand and could have ended it quickly if the military’s hands weren’t tied.
      The South Vietnamese were, and are, a wonderful and industrious society with a beautifully rich culture. They are moving towards a more capitalistic society and I hope a part of that movement is the influence we had during my time there. I wish them luck in getting there, but it will be quite awhile. It would have been a lot quicker if our politicians had been a little smarter.

    • The history books, as we see clearly today get rewritten, as do the intentions of the deed…i like your extensive research, but your blind understanding of revisionist history is lacking. ..

  5. “as Congress loses its will to protect any gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    What gains? You tell me what has been gained in Iraqiscrap and Afcrapistan that is remotely worth several thousand American lives and probably about as many limbs and into the trillions of dollars that we don’t have? Operation Enduring Insanity/Trillion Dollar Bridge To Nowhere/COIN/”Winning Muslim [dark]Hearts and [small}Minds” makes ObamaCare look cost efficient and productive by contrast..

  6. “will most likely happen in Afghanistan”

    Human sacrifice 21st Century American style.

    The witless “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and their witless Generals are now very much like the Aztec High Priests of many centuries ago. The main difference, and it’s a relatively small one, is that instead of continually sacrificing what they regarded as their excess and disposable human property to the Sun God to try to gain benevolence and avoid wrath, they keep trying to sacrifice America’s Constitution and Western Civilization, and do sacrifice more and more of the lives and limbs of America’s troops, whom they regard as their excess and disposable human property, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars of America’s rapidly shrinking treasure, which although itself is of much lesser importance is still no small matter, to the gods they reverently call “The Prophet Mohammad”, “The Holy Qur’an” and “The Noble People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture” to try to gain benevolence and avoid wrath, and maybe even get an extra TV appearance for the “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and an extra star and another few assorted colorful baubles for which to adorn themselves for their generals.

    Is our military fighting for anything most Americans would regard as at all decent in Afghanistan? Certainly not our Army, nor our Marines. The “Mohammedan Nation
    Builders” and their Generals have repeatedly ordered them to respect the
    gods they call “The Prophet Mohammad”, “The Holy Qur’an” and “The Noble
    People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture” and if American
    troops get shot to death by what the “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and
    their Generals call their Partners in Peace, then the “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and Generals conclude that America’s derelict and sacrilegious troops must not have respected the gods they call “The Prophet Mohammad”, “The Holy Qur’an” and “The Noble People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture” nearly enough and order them to take still more religious and cultural “sensitivity” training so they can better respect the Noble Muslim Culture of the Noble People of
    Afghanistan, maybe even enough where they can start joining in the practicing of that Noble Muslim Culture themselves, which would no doubt delight the “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and their Generals to no end.

    There of course is never any “sensitivity” training ever even recommended for
    what the “Islamic Nation Builders” and their Generals call “The Noble People Of Afghanistan” so they might better understand and appreciate Western and American culture, the great superiority of which should be self-evident. But then as the “Mohammedan Nation Builders” and their Generals clearly must regard the Noble Muslim Culture of the Noble People of Afghanistan as being far superior to Western and American culture, they would surely regard any such thing as, well, absolutely unthinkable, and blasphemous, and upon hearing any such suggestion would no doubt order even more “sensitivity” training.

    * Mainstream Noble People of Afghanistan Muslim Culture includes child rape of both young girls and young boys, torturing dogs including puppies, total enslavement of women, stoning women to death for being raped, and death to apostates, which itself covers a whole lot, just to very briefly mention a few of the highlights.

  7. I fought in Nam at the tale end of the war, ’70-’71. No question we had it won militarily and can give you anecdotal stories that demonstrate it. Everyone of us during my time knew we had it won and knew that if the politicians would have let us, we could have thoroughly defeated the North in as little as six months. The shame of our politicians became the shame of we soldiers – wrongfully so.
    The military made mistakes initially not recognizing that this was more akin to an asymmetric war than the symmetric war our generals were used to. However the military wised up quickly and started using different tactics that employed both conventional and unconventional tactics. The outgrowth of this has been the increased use of smaller forces (Seals, Rangers, Recon, et cetera) in the later asymmetrical wars we have been in.

  8. We lost Vietnam for the same reasons we have lost in Iraq and are going to lose in Afghanistan. We backed a corrupt government that the people hate. I generally agree with the views here, but this one has me questioning the intelligence of the analyst.

  9. Mr. West, I hope that someday you can reconsider what happened in Taji in 2003.

    After reading the redacted testimony from you and your men, it seems clear that you were tricked into torturing Officer Hamoodi. Specifically, it’s my contention that a terrorist operative gave disinformation to U.S. forces about a demonstrably innocent police officer so as to 1) discredit U.S. forces by evoking an emotional response, and 2) create chaos amongst the local population by targeting local police forces. The later is an Al Qaeda tactic that has been used time and again (Stanford University open resources on terrorism).

    In your own words, an unknown informant showed up at the FOB with the exact date, place, time, and purpose of an imminent attack against your convoy. At the time, the majority of the Iraqi population didn’t support Al Qaeda. How could that informant have known such intimate information about an operation by one of the most secretive terror organizations in the world? Why when he come back later, after the information was proven accurate, did no one question how he received such information?

    The attack happened exactly as the informant said it would. The same informant showed back up and gave you disinformation in the form of three names, one of which (Officer Hamoodi) was so obviously innocent that the Army let him go.

    The question you need to answer, that the world deserves to know, is do you know who the other two men were? What happened to them? And given your vast expertise with and education about war, what are the chances that someone could randomly have come upon those two pieces of information that, when they occurred simultaneously, resulted in complete distrust of U.S. forces?

    For your edification about the consequences of your actions, please consider Major Douglas Pryer’s award winning essay, “At What Cost, Intelligence?”, wherein he specifically discuses how your actions compromised the safety of soldiers in the field, by confusing the country and active soldiers about the permissibility of torture.
    I know you are making a living out of being a politician, but for the safety of soldiers serving today, please reconsider the series of events that resulted in you torturing that man 11 years ago.

  10. “in November 1974 the Democrats took a heavy majority control of the House and Senate.”

    Except that both houses were already under Democratic control for years.

    Oh wait that narrative doesn’t fit in with your ‘blame the Democrats and absolve Republicans/Nixon of equal blame’ revisionism.

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