Why We Lost the War in Vietnam

Constant reader (and friend) Bernard Wishnia sends me a few dozen emails a month, most with photos of a naked woman with a request asking me if I see the waterfall or the beach behind the woman. The expected response of course is, "What beach, what waterfall?"

Among the emails are many urban legends because Bernard Wishnia expects me to check out their validity. The story he sent me is both true and false. Before I explain, here's the email:

General Vo Nguyen Giap

General VoNguyen Giap.

General Giap was a brilliant, highly respected leader of the North Vietnam military. The following quote is from his memoirs currently found in the Vietnam war memorial in Hanoi:

"What we still don't understand is why you Americans
stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the
ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder,
just for another day or two, we were ready
to surrender! It was the same at the
battle of TET. You defeated us!
We knew it, and we thought
you knew it.

"But we were elated to notice your media was
helping us. They were causing more disruption in
America than we could in the battlefields. We
were ready to surrender. You had won!"

General Giap has published his memoirs and confirmed
what most Americans knew. The Vietnam war was not
lost in Vietnam — it was lost at home. The
same slippery slope, sponsored by the U.S. media,
is currently underway. It exposes the
enormous power of a Biased Media to
cut out the heart and will of
the American public.

A truism worthy of note: . . . Do not fear the enemy,
for they can take only your life.
Fear the media,
for they will destroy your honor.

*** End of Email ***

Now most of my readers, including Bernard Wishnia, know that Snopes will usually have the answer regarding Internet hoaxes, and they do have an answer to this one, it's false. That is to say, the General never said or wrote the words in the email.

But reader Bernard Wishnia doesn't just want a true or false, he expects me to put my own spin on the matter. And the truth here is that although the General never made the statements attributed to him, the sentiments expressed are indeed true. For example, George Washington never said, "Energy equals mass times velocity squared," nevertheless, the statement is still absolutely true.

So now I ask my readers to consider this Wall Street Journal interview (published in 1995) with Bui Tin, a former colonel who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army:

Q: How did Hanoi intend to defeat the Americans?

A: By fighting a long war which would break their will to help South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh said, "We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out."

Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?

A: It was essential to our strategy. Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?

A: Keenly

Q: Why?

A: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.

Q: What else?

A: We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect.

Is that in any way different than the sentiments expressed by General Giap? Don't bother answering.

The same thing happened with our war in Iraq. If Liberal cowards and appeasers in Congress had only kept their weaselly traps shut, our military would have been able to end the troubles in that country years sooner and with fewer lives lost. Our enemies see that we are weak and Democrats are to blame for the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

How long will we in this country put up with these traitors who aid and abet our enemies?

### End of my article ###

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