Peace through victory - the American way.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Real Meaning Of President Bush In Vietnam.

Much is being made of the President's visit to Vietnam. Apparently, Ted Koppel joked recently about Bush joining the National Guard to avoid Vietnam but now going there. Ha, ha, that is so funny, Ted. What a laugh riot. And what irony. What a shallow point of view.

The real significance of Bush's trip to Vietnam is much darker and not funny at all. Three decades ago America abandoned Vietnam and stood by while it was overrun by the Communists from North Vietnam. Today, America is once again poised to abandon a fight and leave allies to their fate. The Dims and the media are finally getting their Vietnam in Iraq.


Technorati: , , , .

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

You make good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being usedby our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

8:07 AM

Anonymous VetDude said...

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Book reminds us of price they paid

Orange County Register columnist

This month will mark the 30th anniversary of a shameful chapter in our
nation's history. Thirty years ago we abandoned a longtime ally, the
Republic of (South) Vietnam.

And with it, along with millions of others, we abandoned Quang X. Pham's

Quang is an old friend of mine, a 40-year-old Mission Viejo businessman who
came to the U.S. as a boy refugee from Vietnam and later served as a U.S.
Marine helicopter pilot in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. His father, Pham Van
Hoa, now deceased, was a U.S.-trained South Vietnamese Air Force pilot who
spent 12 years in a communist "re-education" camp because he refused to
leave his country when the North Vietnamese army swept through South Vietnam in
April 1975 - this while America, after investing 58,000 of its own sons'
lives, stood by and washed its hands of the entire bloody and tragic affair.

And even though he became an American who loved his country and served it
courageously in uniform, for many years that abandonment rankled Quang's
heart. It rankled mine, too.

Quang has written a new book about his father, and about his own experiences
as a refugee who became an American Marine. It's called "A Sense of Duty: My
Father, My American Journey," published by Ballantine Books (you can get
more information at, and I highly recommend it for anyone
who wants to understand what the Vietnam War meant to some of the people who
suffered the most because of it - that is, the people of South Vietnam. It's
powerful, and moving, and in it Quang tries to dispel a myth about Vietnam
that still persists.

The myth is that guys like his dad didn't fight for their country.

"I just want to see South Vietnamese (military men) like my father
acknowledged," Quang told me. "Not made into heroes or anything, but just
acknowledged for what they did. I wanted to set the record straight."

Certainly the casualty numbers tell a story that's far different from the
myth. The South Vietnamese armed forces lost a total of about 250,000 men
killed in the war - a number that, as a percentage of national population,
was about 50 times greater than American deaths.

And the numbers of the maimed were even greater. Ten years ago, as a
reporter for the Register, I went back to Vietnam to cover the 20th anniversary of
the end of the war, and everywhere I went I would meet aging former ARVN (Army
of the Republic of Vietnam) soldiers who were missing arms or legs or eyes,
many of them reduced to beggary because the communist government offered no
pensions or even menial jobs for former ARVNs. When they found out I'd been
an American soldier in the war they would often break out yellowed,
crumbling, long-hidden South Vietnamese military ID cards and tell me, "I
was with you, I was with you."

And they were.

Now, I know some of my fellow American Vietnam veterans will disagree with
me on this subject. They'll call me up and tell me bitter tales about "Marvin
the ARVN," about South Vietnamese M-16s that were in perfect condition
because "they'd never been fired, and were only dropped once," about South
Vietnamese corruption and incompetence and cowardice. Certainly there was no
shortage of such things, particularly in the ARVN's politicized upper ranks.

But don't tell me - or Quang X. Pham - that 250,000 guys died with no brave
men among them. Don't try to tell guys who got their arms or legs blown off
that they didn't fight hard enough. Don't think that a lot of guys like
Quang's father didn't have a sense of duty and honor, even as they lost
their war, and their country, and languished in brutal communist prison camps for
years and years and years.

In the coming weeks you'll probably see and hear a lot of retrospectives
about the Vietnam War, some of them truthful, many of them media myths
perpetuated by people who were never even there - the same sort of myths
that even now are being created about the Iraq war and the Americans who've been
fighting it. More on that in a future column.

But if you think that the Vietnam War was strictly an American war, if you
think that the people of South Vietnam weren't worth fighting for, or with,
then I have a suggestion.

Talk to a guy like Quang X. Pham.

And ask him about his dad.

9:03 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home