Thursday, 29 July 2010

Tet!

Any AFPAK conversation with the feebleminded, easily discouraged or the outright "Defeat At Any Cost" Retreat Loser Lobby often mentions Viet Nam.

Doofus grande' at best or out right deceit at worst - truth is - AFPAK was never Vietnam and never will be.

At the height of the Vietnam War, there were 543,000 troops on the ground, or well over twice as many as are now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.


More than 58,000 soldiers had died in Vietnam by the time the war ended in 1975. Up to 1,000 GIs were dying every week in 1968, and the overall conflict claimed the lives of at least 3 million Vietnamese and well over half a million Cambodians and Laotians.

Most likely the thing that shapes ill concieved notions of AFPAK=Vietnam is the Mythology of Tet.

1968's Tet Offensive has been incorrectly portrayed as a magical event where NVA Regulars and invincible Viet Cong guerrillas double teamed Great Satan and handed her the worst defeat in military history - way worse than the Battle of Corregidor and Kasserine Pass -combined.

And it's all wrong.

Thankfully, Dr James S Robbins is unleashing "This Time We Win: Revisiting The Tet Offensive" and it is hot!

Literally hot 'cause it's at the printers today!!

Giving the lie to funk obsessed defeatists from the past - Dr R shows how Viet Cong fought to annihilation - never again able to mount anything even remotely insurgent - and how Americans hop scotched around Vietnam crushing communistic cadre, militant sympathizers and true believers

"...This Time We Win at last provides an antidote to the flawed Tet mythology that continues to shape the perceptions of American military conflicts against unconventional enemies and haunt our troops in combat. Indeed, America’s enemies recognize and find inspiration in the prevailing Tet narrative.

"...The result is an explosion of the conventional wisdom on this infamous battle, one that offers real lessons for today’s unconventional wars. Without a clear understanding of these lessons, we will find ourselves reliving the Tet Offensive again and again.

Another Offensive launched from GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD

2 comments:

TomR said...

We won the military war at Tet68. Walter cronkite, LBJ and their associates gave the victory away. Politics over reality. It cost us greatly and still effects the mindset of American policy during war.

tom said...

The VC/NLF were basically destroyed in Tet and replaced with NVA. When Nixon agreed to the accords that ALLOWED NVA to remain in the south with a cease-fire, he sealed the fate of the country because neither side was going to go for a separated VietNam.

By the same token, US misunderstanding of how tied to the land the VietNam villagers were and the strategic hamlet program and free fire zones made it where it was a Hobson's choice for the VietNam peasants. "Get killed for being on either side by the other side, sometimes both."

Friend of mine went back as a war reporter after serving a tour USMC and as his Viet gf said, "The VC come and steal our rice in the night and then the US and ARVN come and burn our village down because they stole our rice."

The war would have been winnable if we would have expanded the theater and most especially MINED HAIPHONG HARBOR. LBJ was afraid of the Chinese, Nixon was no better. So we were fighting to lose.

State Department rep who's name eludes me, was in country on tour and went into a hooch and they had portraits of both Ho and JFK on the wall. This was about '65 or '66.

Go figure that one.

The Viets were going to fight until the country was unified and the Saigon government was not well respected.

After about 65, we were playing a losing game, because the State Department and Executive Branch WOULD NOT CUT OFF SUPPLIES. Almost everything came in through Haiphong and we knew exactly where the Trails were...

A number of officers had a plan to mine Haiphong, hammer Hanoi, and go hard into Laos and Cambodia and also do an amphibious assault in the north and capture coastal areas and say "We aren't giving you your ports back until you get your troops out of the south."

Then Nixon goes and actually BREAKS BREAD WITH THE CHI-COMS...Lots of people felt stabbed in the back on that one.

As we did it, we basically gave away all of our negotiating points and it was because of weak executives.

How to win every major battle and lose a war...The last 25,000 US troops were killed for basically NOTHING, as it played out. Because the executive branch was already thinking of a "negotiated truce" rather than winning.