Bush Acknowledges Tet
I presume that many commenters on the Left are elated that Bush finally sees the light that our actions in Iraq have become a quagmire just like Viet Nam. This is a sad misinterpretation. Iraq's similarity to Viet Nam is not of the quagmire variety. The similarity is that American Leftists have not changed stripes in over 40 years.
The following is a recycled post that I wrote back in June:
The Legacy of Walter Cronkite
"The one great similarity between Vietnam and Iraq is that our enemies, despairing of victory on the battlefield, sought to win with a propaganda campaign.
In Vietnam, this strategy succeeded. If it fails in Iraq, it will be chiefly because of the emergence of the new media.
The turning point in Vietnam was the Tet Offensive of February, 1968. It was a crushing defeat for the Viet Cong.
"Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise," said North Vietnamese Army Col. Bui Tin in a 1995 interview. "Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out. It took until 1971 to re-establish our presence."
"The Tet Offensive proved catastrophic to our plans," said Truong Nhu Tang, minister of justice in the Viet Cong's provisional government, in a 1982 interview. "Our losses were so immense we were unable to replace them with new recruits."
The news media reported this overwhelming American victory as a catastrophic defeat.
"Donning helmet, Mr. Cronkite declared the war lost," recounted UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave. "It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Lyndon Johnson...not to run for re-election."
Shaken by Tet, he planned to seek terms for a conditional surrender, the North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, wrote in his memoirs. But our news media's complete misrepresentation of what had actually happened "convinced him America's resolve was weakening and complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp," Mr. de Borchgrave said."1
Facts such as these cause one to remember the wisdom of the ancients. The Latin root for our present word 'sinister' means 'on the left'.
Still grits my gall bladder.
There are other facts that I failed to mention in this post. The Vietnamese 'insurgents' lost 60,000 troops within a two month period after the initiation of the Tet offensive. More importantly, they failed to win the support of the South Vietnamese people on which they had counted.
When the North Vietnamese regulars first captured Hue, they slaughtered 4,000 or more civilians.
And this infamous photo by Eddie Adams:
If a picture tells a thousand words, this one was surely misquoted and taken out of context. The shooter is the Saigon police supervisor, the shootee, a Viet Cong who had just slaughtered an entire family. According the The History Channel, Adams apologized to the cop for taking and publishing the photo.
Yes, the war in Iraq is like Viet Nam after the Tet Offensive. At least, to the Walter Cronkite clones who are invested in American defeat.