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Friday, May 1, 2015

America's Dark Day: The Fall of Saigon

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese communists.  Here's a good summary of that dark day:  The Fall of Saigon

Bob Turner of the University of Virginia has made it his life's work explaining to Americans what actually happened in Vietnam.  See:  Still Echoes Today  James Webb also has contributed a lot to this over the years.

Bob points out the many myths about the war, among them that LBJ duped Congress on the Gulf of Tonkin attack, which led to the war's escalation.  The attack happened.   Other things that people need to know:
  • Our conterinsurgency strategy was succeeding.  See Lew Sorley's "A Better War."
  • The domestic protests ended once Nixon ended the draft. 
  • North Vietnam broke the terms of the Paris Peace Accords when it invaded South Vietnam.
  •  There was a domino effect:  in the end, South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were all lost to communism. 
We certainly made a lot of bad mistakes in the war.   Perhaps the worst was tacitly supporting the coup that overthrew and murdered President Diem in 1963. 

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