December 31st, 2007

Petraeus=Creighton Abrams?

The book A Better War by Lewis Sorley has just gone on my all-too-lengthy must-read list (to find the book review, scroll down a bit after you click on the link).

Yes, more “Vietnam revisionist” history. Dismissed by those who are convinced the Vietnam war was hopeless, it interests me because it focuses on what I’ve called the second act in Vietnam, the Nixon/Vietnamization years.

Based on a quick survey I’ve done among my boomer peers, it seems that, although the majority remember the events of the 60s in Vietnam rather well, the 70s are mostly a blur to this group who lived through them. Forget the controversy over what it all means and whether the war was winnable; only the few who’ve devoted themselves to a study of history even get most of the basic facts right, including how many US fighting forces were in Vietnam for the couple of years before we pulled the financial plug (answer: none).

The press and events in Vietnam caught our attention in the 60s, as did the draft. By the 70s when public opinion had turned and solidified against it all, our direct involvement and casualties were in fact far fewer, and the focus was on Congressional efforts to stop a war that the overwhelming majority of people were united in agreeing was a useless, hopeless, expensive (and perhaps immoral) waste.

Sorley’s book focuses on this second act and its designated hero (tragic hero, in this case), General Creighton Abrams. Here’s a summary excerpt from the book review:

Sorley reminds us that Abrams assumed command in 1968 when 500,000 American military were in Vietnam, yet the Vietnamese countryside remained dangerous–a testament to the bankruptcy of the strategy of attrition. Four years later, when Abrams departed MACV to become Army Chief of Staff, only 50,000 Americans remained in country, but well over 90 percent of the countryside was secure. Pacification had worked, and although South Vietnam’s imperfect democracy and military forces had vulnerabilities, Hanoi’s go-for-broke 1972 Easter Offensive had failed, North Vietnam’s army was in disarray, and it was our war to lose from that point forward.

….That we actually came closer to victory than most thought is Sorley’s message, delivered with a powerful broadside aimed at the anti-war movement’s love affair with their romanticized image of the Vietnamese communists, and punctuated by a well-aimed volley directed at the anti-war movement’s allies in the US Congress.

But while Sorley’s persuasive thesis holds together and comports with what this reviewer experienced on the ground in Vietnam, it also reminds us of an important lesson-learned (or, more accurately, not so well-learned). Namely, that from 1964 to 1968, because of America’s ignorance of Vietnamese geography, history, culture, and language, the US military consistently underestimated its adversary, underestimated (and later overestimated) its ally, and, in so doing, squandered the support for the war that had existed in the media, in the Congress, and among the American people. As a result, when Creighton Abrams took the helm and teamed up with Ambassador Bunker and the South Vietnamese to wage an integrated political, military, economic, and psychological campaign, it was too late.

Sound familiar? Does Petraeus not resemble Abrams? And the “surge” and its related counterinsurgency approach apply some of the lessons learned way back when in Vietnam, as well as new information and experience.

The big difference so far is this Congress and this President. Bush may not be popular, and some diehards may even consider him to have been unelected, but he has hung tough on this issue and is a far cry from the truly unelected Gerald Ford who presided over the final Vietnam ignominy. But we shouldn’t blame Ford overly, either, because he was dealt a veto-proof Congress so firmly antiwar (and not just the majority Democrats, but many of the Republicans as well) that there was no stopping the tidal wave of restrictions and abandonment that had preceded Ford and achieved their final goal during his presidency.

That’s what the last paragraph of my quote from the book review is all about. Public and Congressional opinion had gone way too far by the mid-70s for any news to counter it, and the press was not interested in conveying that sort of news, anyway. Lately there’s been a rash of books such as Sorley’s trying to correct the record. Not surprisingly, historians of the other side (and yes, historians do take sides) disagree.

Iraq and Vietnam are very different. But they also bear some similarities, particularly in the crucial arena of US public opinion. Both began—as wars so often do—with costly errors that turned public opinion against them. Both received promising mid-course corrections, the success of which remains somewhat controversial. Both faced Congressional opposition in their later years.

The extraordinary emotional valence of the Iraq war resonates with the long-lived emotional intensity of the Vietnam years. In a strange irony, it was by only by a margin of about 100,000 votes in Ohio in the 2004 election that the country missed being led in the Iraq “second act” by one of the most controversial figures of the Vietnam antiwar movement, John Kerry.

But history’s like that; it doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. “Abrams” and “Petraeus” may not literally rhyme, but they do have a certain symmetry. Fortunately—at least so far—the rest of the story isn’t following the rhyme scheme.

26 Responses to “Petraeus=Creighton Abrams?”

  1. steve Says:

    One fundamental error among many – any public support for the war was not squandered because on an underestimation of the ‘enemy’ – it was squandered because of the clearly – not ‘possibly’ immoral nature of ‘seek and destroy’ which was largely about killing civilians through those missions and air power.

    I know war is war and all the rest of it for you people – but most balanced folks see large scale destruction of civilian infrastructure and life as repugnant.

  2. Trimegistus Says:

    Hey, Steve:

    That’s the most grotesquely counterfactual statement I’ve seen in a long time. Public support wasn’t “squandered” at all — it was systematically smashed by a relentless public-relations campaign waged by the North Vietnamese and their American supporters.

    As to the “immorality” of the S&D missions — you seem curiously unconcerned about the morality of the wholesale massacres committed by the VC and NVA. If American tactics made our participation in the war immoral and unjustified, surely the much greater atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese invaders made their war that much more immoral and unjustified. Which means that by helping the South Vietnamese fight against them, we were in the right after all.

    But “you people” are mysteriously blind to evils committed by our enemies. To “you people” they are always blameless lambs. There’s a word for “you people” — evil.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    “steve” may in fact be our old friend and troll “stevie,” he of the shifting IP numbers. We’ll see.

  4. Jimmy J. Says:

    Thanks for another lucid and worthwhile post on Vietnam.

    As a veteran of that war, I have rather strong opinions about it and am always tempted to pontificate. Ah heck, I’m easily tempted, so, here goes.

    I was involved in the bombing of the North. We were never allowed to attack important targets such as Haiphong Harbor, the irrigation dams on the Red River, and Hanoi itself. In addition, the weapons selection and tactics used were designed to minimize “collateral damage” at greatly increased risk to the pilots delivering the weapons. Add frequent bombing pauses, which allowed the NVNs time to recover and rearm, and you have a formula for failure.

    I never talked with another pilot who didn’t believe that what we were doing was insanity; if our intent was to win the war. We were going up against the most fierce and deadly anti-aircraft defenses since the days of American Air Force raids on Germany. And for what, for what? To twist old Uncle Ho’s arm?

    When I finished my tour, I was assigned to recruit Navy pilots on the College campuses of Northern California. That was where I met our other enemy, the Communist Party, USA and their acolytes in the form of students egged on by many professors. It took several years but eventually the media started parroting the anti-American line being chanted on college campuses. That line eventually compromised the national will needed to see the war through.

    I found myself shaking with rage when, a few years after the war ended, I read accounts of President Johnson saying he only wanted to pressure Uncle Ho enough for him to come to the table for negotiations. His attempt to pressure Ho resulted in many useless deaths; six of my friends among them. IMO there is nothing more immoral than waging limited war with limited goals. If war is necessary it should be fought all out with only one goal……….unconditional victory.

    But that is my opinion and, obviously, no one listens to me. It now seems that we are not allowed to wage all out war. All military attacks must be carefully calibrated to eliminate or minimize collateral damage. Unconditional victory is just too…………well, barbaric sounding.

    Additionally, the media are no longer down with the idea of victory for our side because …….. well, we left Vietnam, and Lebanon, and Somalia and nothing “bad” happened to us. ( Of course they don’t mention what happened to the Vietnamese, Lebanese, or Somalis. Also 9/11 was some kind of weird aberration, no?) And, of course, the right pols have to be in charge here in the USA or it wouldn’t be………right! None of the today’s dems would repeat wicked old LBJ’s mistake, right?

    End of rant.

  5. Gray Says:

    it was squandered because of the clearly – not ‘possibly’ immoral nature of ’seek and destroy’ which was largely about killing civilians through those missions and air power.

    Simply not true.

    The Search and Destroy Missions–”Search”‘– is the word you were looking for–were to search out and destroy Viet Cong caches of food, weapons ammo and materiel.

    It’s the old leftist ‘blood libel’ against the military; as vicious, pernicious and untrue as the original Blood Libel against the Jews–and for the same purpose!

    Destroying enemy material and support is never immoral. The US has never targeted civilians, soldiers are prosecuted if they do.

    Good post Neo.

    I gotta read it again and ponder it, but it looks true on the surface–with extra counterintuitive historical facts added!

  6. Tim P Says:

    Neo,
    I’ll add my kudos to a very good post. I also hope that you & yours will be enjoying a happy New Years.

    As for ‘Steve’, let’s just ignore tha little asshole.

    Regarding your post, I just want to add emphasis on how close we came to embracing disaster by electing ‘Johnny Nuance’ in 2004. He was a McClelland for our times. Today’s left/democrats are the copperheads of our times. I’d love to go on, but our New Year’s food & drink and marathon family monopoly game beckons. Oh and happy New Years to your readers and commenters.

  7. amr Says:

    I get angry when I hear that we lost the Vietnam War; lost as if we were defeated in combat. For almost two years we had no combat troops in Vietnam and the last helicopter leaving the embassy was not evaluating American fighting men, but those who had staked their lives on our promises. We abandoned an ally after promising economic and military aid, including air support if the NVA attacked in force. Congress did this and among the many involved was then and now Senator Ted Kennedy. And he is trying his old tricks against President Bush, but this time we have a President who won’t allow an ally to be abandoned so that millions can die at the hands of our enemies.

    Those like Senator Kennedy never seem to learn from history, or maybe they just don’t care what happens to those we pledge to protect; since Senator Kennedy’s word seems to mean nothing, why should our country’s.

  8. Denis Eugene Sullivan Says:

    Greetings:

    I was a (light weapons) infantryman in RVN from Jan 69 to Jan 70. My unit worked in Tay Ninh Province north of Saigon and bordering on Cambodia.

    When I arrived, our basic mission was reconaissance-in-force which meant our company of 80 or so searched the jungle hoping to find the NVA (for there were only NVA in the area) before they found us. We would be in the bush for 30-40 days and be resupplied by helicopter daily. This method of operation was attributed to General Westmoreland.

    After General Abrams’ ascendency, we began to operate in platoon size units and were resupplied every three days. This basically tripled the amount of ground we could cover, made it harder for the NVA to find us and somewhat increased our exposure to being over-run.

    It was bad new for the bad guys. General Abrams knew what needed to be done. Unfortunately, the politicians never got the old infantry axiom “Lead, follow or stand out of the way.”

  9. Truth Says:

    “It is better to let them do it themselves imperfectly, than do it yourself perfectly. It is their country, their way and our time is short.”

    T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)

  10. Dan Says:

    The author of the Boston Globe article–written in 2005–lives in Hanoi. Need we ask where his loyalties lie?

  11. steve Says:

    “Squandered” was used by neo-neojewcon – which is what I was refering to….

    Hi Neo baby!

    [NOTE from neo: As I already said, it's our old friend "stevie," who seems to have little to do with himself but revisit old haunts in a new guise. I'm sometimes torn between removing his posts and letting one or two of them remain as a lesson in the sort of people and arguments that the Left can sometimes harbor. "steve" is not one of whom they can be proud. So the above comment stands, for now.]

  12. Jeff Weimer Says:

    And they say Anti-semitism is the province of the right wing.

    Way to argue your point Steve-o. Bring up the facts and respectfully give your opinion backed up by it. Oh, wait, all you said was that a couple people here are joos – and by definition can’t be trusted.

    So now for my ad-hominem attack on you. You, my friend, are a TOOL.

    GAZE

  13. David Wollstadt Says:

    Enjoyed your post, Neoneocon, and I agree with almost all of it. However, when you say that “public opinion” turned against the Vietnam war, I think it’s more accurate to say that liberal/media elite opinion turned against the war. Remember that “hardhat” became a political term in the late 60s and early 70s because of the difference in the political outlook of those elites and hourly-paid working people. If public opinion, as opposed to elite opinion, had been against the war, there’s no way that Richard Nixon would have won his landslide victory in 1972.

  14. David Wollstadt Says:

    McGovern was the anti-war candidate in the 1972 election. Nixon promised to bring the troops home “with honor”–i.e., without surrendering on the battlefield and without abandoning the South Vietnamese. Nixon succeeded in bringing the troops home, but Watergate resulted in Nixon’s resignation and the election of a Congress that was unwilling to fulfill the commitments that the U.S. made to South Vietnam in the Paris peace negotiations.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    To the veterans who’ve posted here, thank you again for your service. It’s too bad the society you were serving was not worthy of your sacrifices.

    As to the “other,” who shall not be named, I recall the oath of office reference to defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We’re doing a lot better job on one group than on the other.

  16. Vanderleun Says:

    Buh-bye, Steve.

  17. Americaneocon Says:

    Excellent post. I like this part:

    “Pacification had worked, and although South Vietnam’s imperfect democracy and military forces had vulnerabilities, Hanoi’s go-for-broke 1972 Easter Offensive had failed, North Vietnam’s army was in disarray, and it was our war to lose from that point forward.”

    It’s still on my “to read” list, but you might check Mark Moyar’s, “Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Triumph-Forsaken-Vietnam-War-1954-1965/dp/0521869110

    Wishing you a great New Year as well!

  18. Ymarsakar Says:

    The stevedore is a good example of what is called a wolf in the triangle of sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. Course I might just be insulting wolves. He’s definitely not a sheep, since sheep don’t intentionally try to hurt other people. So a sheep-wolf hybrid?

    My post here cuts through most of the shells used in the shell game

    The sheep have no idea of how to use violence to protect oneself. And neither does the wolf for the wolf uses violence to get rid of prey, not to protect wolves.

    Given that reality and genjutsu, does it really matter what they say about search and destroy missions?

    Twenty-eight years ago Saigon fell to the Communists. Although American troops had withdrawn years before, this is credited as the first real American defeat. It traumatized the nation for generations.

    South Vietnam actually had managed to hold on by itself for quite a while after being abandoned — relying on the U.S. primarily for fuel and ammunition. So American Leftists in Congress, exploiting administration weakness after Watergate, set up the coup de grace. They cut off even that limited aid. No more fuel; no more bullets. The North Vietnamese Army launched a general offensive. There was no doubt about the eventual outcome.

    As the end neared, I holed up in my apartment, staring at the television screen in horror. Weeping. Raging. Swearing vengeance. Calling the South Vietnamese Consulate to volunteer. And listening to Elgar’s First Symphony — over and over until the record would no longer play. The great prologue in the first movement became, in my mind, an American Recessional. It was years before I could hear the piece again.

    South Vietnamese tanks soon ran out of fuel and stopped. Soldiers dug in and fought where they stood. Then ammunition ran short. They retreated. Then, without hope, broke and ran. It became a rout as desperate soldiers, no longer able to fight, ran home to save their families.

    And in America, land of the free and home of the brave, the journalists and politicians who had done this to our former comrades-in-arms — who had first abandoned them and then effectively disarmed them — scoffed. Pointed at the horrible spectacle and chortled. “Look at those worthless people run away! They can’t even defend themselves! They deserve to lose! They were never worthy of our help!”

    I was ashamed.

    I recalled something I had seen six years earlier while fighting in that war. My ship was stationed off North Vietnam. We did shore bombardment and dueled with enemy shore batteries. One night we saw tracers quite close to the coastline — evidence of a pitched battle there. We went in to suppress the enemy fire. In the morning a boat approached us. Our Captain ordered all hands below decks and all portholes closed. This was top secret.

    I peeked. The occupants of the boat were South Vietnamese commandos. They had tried to land up North, but were spotted and taken under fire by the shore batteries. The boat was now sinking. The rising water was pink with the blood of the dead and wounded. We offered to take them all aboard. No, they answered. Could we just lend them a pump and some medical supplies? The last I saw them they were heading back in. I never learned what happened to them.

    Now, as I watched all unravel, it no longer mattered. I hated with a savage, abiding fury the cackling fools and Leftist quislings who had deprived me of the America I loved. The love was tarnished now; she had been unfaithful. And they had made her so.

    I spent over a year after the fall of Saigon resettling Vietnamese refugees. I resettled soldiers who fled to save their families, having no bullets left to shoot. Some had found their families. Some came out alone. We spent hours, days calling refugee camps and other resettlement agencies trying to locate the missing. The bad news trickled in over the grapevine. A daughter left behind, here. A wife and children, there. A State Department bus had never arrived to collect somebody’s brother.

    I met huge, extended families of fishermen and farmers at the bus station in Jersey City, New Jersey. They came directly from the nearest refugee camp, still dressed as when they fled their villages in South Vietnam. These were the men, women and children who abandoned their livelihoods and risked their lives in small boats to escape the Communists — only to be labeled “the wrong Vietnamese” by that great American patriot, Senator Edward Kennedy.

    If you want to read more, he links are here.

    link

  19. Ymarsakar Says:

    Much of the resources invested into Iraq is for, now if not before, removing the stain on American tradition and on America’s treatment of past heroes, soldiers, and allies.

    Such things always require atonement. And that is the tone in which things are best communicated. People will admire a person that seeks to re-dress a wrong they or their family or their ancestors committed far more than they would ever admire someone fighting for money or status or power.

    Carthage lost three wars, and thus was destroyed. America lost Vietnam and if America wants to continue existing as a sovereign nation, America better get some victories in her pocket. That requires facing the challenges of Vietnam over again and winning to absolute victory where before you got crippled and defeated.

    This is the fate of Carthage.

    In the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), the Romans under Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus destroyed the city of Carthage. In a final gesture of contempt, the Romans spread salt over the ruins. The victors thus fulfilled the wish of the Roman statesman Cato the Elder.

    Occupancy of the site was forbidden for 25 years. In 122 BC a new city, Colonia Junonia, was founded; it lasted only 30 years. In 46 BC Julius Caesar visited the site and proclaimed that a city should be built there. His wishes were fulfilled by the Roman emperor Augustus, in 29 BC, when a city called Colonia Julia Carthago was founded. This new city flourished until, according to some historians, it was second only to Rome in prosperity and administrative importance.

    Carthage was fortified against barbarian attack in 425. In 439 the Vandal king Gaiseric subjugated the city. It remained the Vandal capital until 533, when the Byzantine general Belisarius captured the city, renaming it Colonia Justiniana Carthago in honor of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Between 697 and 705 the city was captured by the Arabs.

    In 698 it was again destroyed. A great deal of archaeological activity was carried on at the site, particularly in the late 19th century, uncovering early Punic artifacts and Roman, Byzantine, and Vandal buildings. Today Carthage is a wealthy suburb of Tunis.

    Try and avoid defeat, if you can.

    This while a city named Rome on the Italian peninsula still exists for the Pope. That is the result of losing and winning wars. Rome lost many battles, but their tenacity allowed them to turn bad situations into victorious wars. Rome didn’t give up. And when they did, they lost.

    For more details about Carthage and Rome and how that applies to us today, check this out.

    Link

  20. Occam's Beard Says:

    The stevedore is a good example of what is called a wolf in the triangle of sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves.

    I’m thinking more like a jackal. Opportunistic, self-serving, and cowardly.

  21. gcotharn Says:

    cool, a new definition for me to learn:

    valence
    4. (Psychology) The degree of attraction or aversion that an individual feels toward a specific object or event.
    (American Heritage Dictionary)

    Been reading Atlas Shrugged over the holidays. I first read it 20 years ago, and now it’s like reading a different book! “Reading” is a loose description, as some of this book must be traversed at supersonic speed, lest one spend months attempting to finish it.

    Aaaanyway, Jimmy J’s description of LBJ’s “limited war”, and of how horrifying “unconditional victory” sounds, is resonant of the immorality Rand railed against for over 1000 paperback pages.

    Rand would have pointed out an anti-war movement can only induce leadership to feel guilty if that leadership consents to do so. To feel guilty, leadership must ignore their own moral choice to attempt to stop the secessionists, the communists, or the Jihadists. Leadership must let themselves feel guilt over their earlier failure to make an immoral choice — to, for instance, allow the secessionists, the communists, or the Jihadists to expand freely – w/o worrying about being opposed by the U.S. Military.

    Abraham Lincoln had the moral confidence to stop the secessionists. LBJ did not have the moral confidence to stop the communists in Vietnam. GWB (so far) has displayed the moral confidence to stop the Jihadists in Iraq.

    All these Presidents: Lincoln, LBJ, GWB, experienced the agony of sending men to their deaths. Such is a barely imaginable pain. Yet, it was and is their duty to not let personal pain cloud moral judgement. They experienced pain, yet they need not have chosen to experience guilt.

  22. Richard Aubrey Says:

    The bit of crap from the bit of crap (“steve”) is an example of how one can lie in half a sentence and the refutations take paragraphs. Thus, the liar wins, the liars win, by repetition.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Liars have to be alive to win.

    Which is why the Left no longer talks about Europe turning against us because of Bush, or that Bush isn’t listening to his generals that called for more troops, or any number of other things they used to fool individuals.

    If liars keep talking about stuff that is obviously not true, then the liars will no longer be alive. In one way or another.

  24. Truth Says:

    قلت له، ليس سرا انا احب بترايوس لانه قال لي بالحرف، انا ديفيد العراقي الان، وقد كنت قبل ذلك ديفيد المصلاوي، وقال لي انا احب العراق واريده خاليا من القاعدة، وانا اعرف بانه لا يكذب، فبترايوس اذكى من ان يكذب، وخطة فرض القانون عهد بينه وبين المالكي، وانا اصدق الرجلين، فلا المالكي مجرم، ولا ديفيد سفاح والاثنان يريدان تحقيق الهدف ذاته، وهو عراق قوي امن موحد، لا مصلحة لي في ان اقول كل هذا عن المالكي، ولا عن ديفيد بترايوس، فلا هذا ساقبل منه عملا، ولا ذاك ساعمل ضمن قواته.فرض القانون؟ لم اكن متشائمة ابدا ولن اكون.

    بالامس، كنت كلما جاء ذكر العراق، خيل لي نفق مسدود النهاية، الا ان شعلة الامل اليوم “غير”

    اما بالنسبة لفرص نجاحها، اعتقد بانها فرص عالية جدا فالعشائر قرفت وجه البعث المقيت ووجه القاعدة النتن الذي لا يراعي لا ذمة ولا ضمير.

    وها صحوة العشائر تلوح في الافق. اما العراق ونفطنا، فتلك قصة اخرى، اتريدون سماعها..

    طيب.. تلك هي قصة ابريق الزيت..

    كان ياما كان، في قديم الزمان ..ابريق زيت

    و…

    نسيت باقي الحكاية

    ميادة العسكري

    Mayada Al-Askari was born into a powerful Iraqi family. When Saddam Hussein seized power, Mayada little imagined the devastation this would wreak upon her life.

  25. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    Please keep up the Vietnam discussion, Neo — the country needs to learn the lesson.
    The choice in war:
    fight, or lose.
    Keep fighting, or stop fighting the enemy which has not stopped fighting — losing to that enemy.

    No one side can choose “to win”. One side can, at best, choose to make continued fighting so painful to the other side, that the other side chooses to lose.

    It took 2 a-bombs against the Japanese. My grandmother, and I, wanted the US to mine Haifong Harbor, and to nuke Hanoi. When comparing that level of violence, and probable victory, to the violence of the boat people and Killing Fields after the Dem Party decided to lose, I claim the world would have been better off had we fought more to “win” — to cause so much pain to the other society that they choose to lose.

    However, it must also be said that S. Viet boot-lickers and corrupt, cowardly, and incompetent gov’t (much like the Dems? and too many Reps?) was not perfect. The imperfections of the “good” side need more acceptance.

    I wish some Rep would really re-open the Dem Party choice to lose the Vietnam Peace (after Paris had been won by the US military). The main lesson: since the US doesn’t want to be colonizing/ ruling in Iraq, the best we can do is support the people we think are best among those able to contend for leadership roles. Support with money, arms, but also advice and tough love withdrawal when they fail too much.

    There is also the issue of supporting competence AND corruption vs. honesty but incompetence. It’s not clear in history that honest incompetence by gov’t is better.

    On corruption, there is too little talk about internet based full-transparency of gov’t decisions. It’s really too bad Paul Bremer didn’t implement it in Iraq to begin with.

  26. Old Jarhead Says:

    Abrams would be grinning from ear to ear if he knew about Petraeus’ use of his strategy in Iraq. As General Abrams noted: the South Vietnamese were worth it.

    General Giap was demoted as a failed general following his 1972 offensive, loosing over 100,000 soldiers and half of his tanks and large artillery (and no, it was not due to the B-52s you pro-communist propagandists). The South Vietnamese had won the war!!!

    Earlier, I used to ride over twenty miles on a motor scooter to Baldy support base from Da Nang in 1971. Secure folks. Viet Cong? done. gone. dead…

    Ahh, but then there was the pro-communist propaganda and civil war in the US. I am still struck by the pervasive Vietnam Vet perverted stereotyping, as Nazi-nigger and related deep hatred when I got back…lasted 40 years…why?? Just a civil war in the US, conducted by Marxist communist insurgent/propagandists such as Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, Bernadine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Donald Sutherland, and traitors like John Kerry, and career opportunists like Walter Cronkite, Morley Safer, and the Hollywood elitist hoards—ahh, the hypocracy….

    In the end, the South Vietnamese fought successfully for their country, but were abandoned by an opportunistic Congress dominating over a weakened Presidency, and the seflish boomers, who never ‘really’ gave a shit about anyone but number one….IYKWIM……

    Iraq, and Afghanistan today ?? Abrams is vindicated. To win, you must adopt General Abrams winning strategies….large force, secure and hold, AND ALSO to protect the people and train them, and literally live amongst them; so pathetically obvious if you served in S. Vietnam in 1971….BTW, our CAP marines were outstanding, living with and protecting the villagers from the damned murderous communists-who actually were like the Nazis…..

    BTW, look up Bernadine Dohrn, she has a website; she is CURRENTLY bragging about destroying the US capitalist menace, and is still calling for armed revolution for a peaceful world order!!!! Yes, a real ‘perverted hero’ of the Vietnam communist war…someone the boomers will always be able to look up to…………

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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