Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Wisdom Of George Santayana


  The following is an exchange between myself and a British Facebook Friend that deserves more exposure. He was taking me to task for a post regarding Obama's perceived apology tour. As hard as it is to believe there are far too many people around the world, and in this country, of the mentality that helped to bring WW2 on in the first place. The mentality of appeasement. George Santayana is famous for his quote Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. I also like one of his other quotes that is not so well known, "A child educated only at school is an uneducated child".

FB Friend:

As someone who states regularly that you served in the forces for your country, I find these posts retarded. For a start pearl harbour , whilst a surprise attack, it was an attack by military forces which presented the opposite side (yourselves) an opportunity to return fire. Dropping an A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an attack on a civilian city with no warning or possibility to return fire. Pearl harbour occurred in 1941 (if I remember correctly) you have remembrance, survivors, and in some cases of the history...glory. Nagasaki and Hiroshima had 2 CIVILIAN cities wasted to the ground with repercussions of that event still existing today in the form of mutations and various other things. Your own president at the time iirc said he wished he'd never given the order after seeing the devastation left in the bombs wake. The fact of the matter is, Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never have happened, they were the results of desperate men at desperate times and hopefully that mistake will never again be done! "I know that Japan is a terribly cruel and uncivilized nation in warfare but I can't bring myself to believe that, because they are beasts, we should ourselves act in the same manner.

"For myself, I certainly regret the necessity of wiping out whole populations because of the 'pigheadedness' of the leaders of a nation and, for your information, I am not going to do it until it is absolutely necessary...

"My object is to save as many American lives as possible but I also have a humane feeling for the women and children in Japan." (Barton Bernstein, Understanding the Atomic Bomb and the Japanese Surrender: Missed Opportunities, Little-Known Near Disasters, and Modern Memory, Diplomatic History, Spring 1995, material quoted from pg. 267-268).

My response to him: I have edited it some.

You could use a little more study on the subject. "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."

("Public Papers of the Presidents: Harry S Truman, 1945", pg. 197).

On Aug. 9, after Nagasaki was a-bombed, Truman made another public statement on why the atomic bombs were used:

"Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans." 

("Public Papers of the Presidents: Harry S Truman, 1945", pg. 212). 

The A- Bombs saved at least one millian American lives and it also saved millions of Japanese lives. The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death. Study the casualties rates of the Island hopping campaigns leading up to the dropping of the atomic bombs. Because of indoctrination the civilian population was also prepared to fight to the death. Even after the bombs were dropped the Japanese military did not want to surrender. It was Hirohito that made the decision to surrender only because he knew that if he didn't there would be no Japan left to surrender. The Russians were invading from the north. America was temporarily out of nukes but we had the capability to build more. The Japanese didn't know this however. The fire bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, by thousands of American B-29 bombers, killed as many Japanese as the A-bombs did. The Americans in Europe tried to save civilians lives by using daylight pin point bombing, using the Norden bomb sight. We suffered tremendous casualties in doing this. The British on the other hand led by Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris bombed at night when it was safer for his air crews. He bombed German cities indiscriminately, causing tremendous casualties. The Americans made the mistake of joining the British in the fire bombing of Dresden in a vain effort at ending the European war quicker. This raid produced nearly as many casualties as the Hiroshima bomb. The Americans under General Curtis Lemay tried to use pinpoint bombing in Japan early on. This was an attempt to put Japanese industry out of action and to limit civilian casualties. Lemay had to revert to fire bombing because of the crosswinds over Japan. These winds made our bombing very ineffective. We had to change our tactics to low level incendiary bombing out of necessity. The incendiary bombs easily set the Japanese paper and wood structures on fire which caused firestorms as happened in Dresden. It is because I am a military man, and that I worked at NORAD at the height of the Cold War, I understand that peace comes through strength. The only reason that America and the Soviet Union never went to war was because of MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction. In addition we were always a step ahead of the Russians. America forced Russia to pull it's missiles out of Cuba in 1962 because we had a 16 to 1 nuclear superiority over them. Contrary to what Obama was sanctimoniously preaching in Hiroshima. The best way to achieve peace is to be prepared for war. Reagan brought down the Soviet Union by pursuing this strategy.It was British and French appeasement of Hitler in the 1930's and America's unpreparedness for war before Pearl Harbor that led to WW2. The worst war in world history. It is estimated that anywhere from 60 to 80 million people died in that war because of our unwillingness to stop the Germans and the Japanese when we had the chance to minimize casualties. Because of Obama, America's military is the weakest that it has been since before WW2. If it were up to him he would totally do away with our nuclear capability. I love you brother but you would be wise to remove your head from the sand.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Great Moment In American History - Grant Moves South

Grant moves south
Ulysses S. Grant was lucky to be the commander of all Union forces on May 7th 1864. This was the day that the fighting had ended in the battle of the Wilderness. He had traversed a long and rocky road in his life to arrive at this time and place. Grant had been forced from the army on charges of drunkenness in 1854. He was lucky that the Civil War gave him the opportunity to redeem himself. It had also saved him from a life of poverty and obscurity. There were only three things that Grant was good at. He was a exceptional family man, a master horseman, and an great general. Beyond that he was a failure at everything that he ever tried. Including the presidency of the United States. Grant nearly failed at being a general. After his great victory at Ft. Donelson in February 1862 and the subsequent fall of Nashville, Grant allowed himself to be surprised at Shiloh. He barely escaped disaster. If he had been defeated I believe Grant's career would have been over right then and there. Grant nearly left the army after Shiloh because "Old Brains" Halleck, in essence, had relieved him and took over the day to day operations of the Army of the Tennessee. Grant's career was only saved because of Lincoln's confidence in him. Shiloh was a transforming experience for Grant. After Ft. Donelson Grant believed that one more defeat might force the South to surrender.. After Shiloh, he came realize that it would take the complete annihilation of the Southern army as a fighting force and the subjugation of it's people. It would be a long bloody war of attrition. Until May 7th 1864 Shiloh had been the bloodiest battle that Grant had ever witnessed. However the carnage of the last two days, beginning on May 5th had surpassed anything he had seen to that point. He said that ‘more desperate fighting has not been witnessed on this continent than that of the 5th and 6th of May.’ Grant had opened the Overland Campaign on May 5th. Lee was outnumbered more than two to one. He realized that Grants numbers would mean nothing in the heavy forests of the Wilderness near Chancellorsville. Lee ambushed Grant's army after he entered the Wilderness and it was two days of absolute horror. Wounded men, unable to crawl away from the flames, would burn to death in wild fires created by gunfire. Grant lost 17,500 men as opposed to Lee's 10,500. Lee had won a tactical victory over Grant. Faced with strong Confederate earthworks Grant decided to end the battle. The Army of the Potomac had suffered through commanders like McDowell, McClellan, Pope, McClellan again, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade. Everyone of these commanders had been defeated by Lee, with the exception of McDowell, and Meade. McDowell had been defeated at 1st Bull Run by P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph Johnston. McClellan had been defeated by Lee during the Seven Days battles but had won a strategic victory over Lee at Antietam. Only in the sense that he had stopped Lee's raid into Maryland and had forced him to retreat back into Virginia. Meade defeated Lee at Gettysburg, but like McClellan at Antietam, both had allowed Lee to escape destruction by not following up their victories. The Army of the Potomac had suffered defeat at the hands of Lee during the Seven Days, 2nd Bull Run, Fredricksburg, and Chancellorsville. Each time the Army of the Potomac would languish in unhealthy camps, licking their wounds, until the next incompetent commander came along. To lead them to either a bloody defeat, or an inconclusive victory. In the minds of the soldiers, Grant until this moment was no different than his predecessors. He had been defeated by Bobby Lee in the Wilderness, just like all the rest. All day long the wagon trains had been moving north and to the rear. The men foresaw another inglorious retreat. Author James McPherson, in his book Battle Cry of Freedom, described what came next, this way. (But instead of heading north, they turned south. A mental sunburst brightened their minds. It was not another "Chancellorsville ... another skedaddle" after all. "Our spirits rose," recalled one veteran who remembered this moment as a turning point in the war. Despite the terrors of the past three days and those to come, "we marched free. The men began to sing." For the first time in a Virginia campaign the Army of the Potomac stayed on the offensive after its initial battle). By using his superior numbers, Grant's advance turned a tactical defeat into a strategic victory. The war was now a war of attrition. Grant would be defeated at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. There would be fighting unlike anything witnessed in the Civil War until that point. Grant would lose more men in one month than Lee had in his whole army. He would be called "Butcher" Grant. However it was Lee that was the butcher. Grant could sustain the heavy casualties but Lee couldn't. After Grant laid siege to Petersburg it was just a matter of time.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Transgender Issue And Karl Marx

Christine Jorgensen in 1953

  Have you ever noticed that the left thrives on crisis? Most of the time there is no crisis, but by the time they get through dealing with the fake crisis we are left with a real crisis. Take the transgender issue regarding our public restrooms. The left is acting as if this is a gigantic problem in America. According to the Williams institute 0.3 % of the American population identify as transgender. This works out to be about 700,000 people in a country of around 320 million. The Williams Institute acknowledge that this is a rough estimate since many people are afraid to come out of the closet on this issue. In those states where the laws are more favorable to transgenders, a higher percentage identify as transgender, but not that much higher. Even if the real percentage was 0.5 or as high as 1%, that would not be justification for changing our laws. This would ignore the wishes of a vast percentage of the American people. It could also pose a danger to women and small children. This is the real crisis that will be created in order to address a non-existent crisis. Recently I saw Montel Williams on a Fox News program. He was basically saying that those of us who are opposed to transgender bathroom laws are self righteous and hypocritical. He held up two pictures. One was what appeared to be a very manly looking biker dude. The other was a pretty blonde haired woman. Of course the biker dude was a woman and the pretty blonde was a man. If I had been interviewing Montel I would have responded that his examples are not the real issue here. How many of us, if we saw the pretty blonde transgender or the manly biker dude enter the wrong restroom, would even say anything? First of all we probably wouldn't even know that they were transgender. Secondly, even if I knew, I probably wouldn't say anything. As a mall cop I see things that a lot of people don't see on a daily basis. Third, how many of us even know someone who is transgender? There is a transgender boy that comes into the mall all the time. In order to protect his identity I will not give any details other than to say that it is obvious that he is a boy. He looks absolutely ridiculous but he never causes a problem. If he wants to look ridiculous that is his right as an American. We have had a large percentage of transgender shoplifters over the six years that I have been in mall security. I am convinced that a few of these people use the female identity more as a disguise than anything else.  One thing that most people to not realize about me is that it is not right vs. left that matters. It is Right vs. wrong and I hate bullies. We have more than our share of homosexual employees in our mall. I get along well with all of them. We treat each other with the utmost courtesy and respect. There is one homosexual man in particular that is very effeminate.  One day he was taking a break and I noticed some teenagers making fun of him. I read them the riot act and told them that I would throw everyone of them off mall property if they didn't stop. The left pushes an anti-bullying agenda but they are the biggest bullies in the world. Obama is the biggest bully of them all and he has bullied the rest of us over this bathroom bill, illegal immigration, our naturally cautious attitude toward radical Islam, same sex marriage, religious liberty and on so many issues. If a transgender bathroom bill is passed and it is considered a hate crime to enforce gender identity in bathrooms it will make my job impossible. How can I stop a pervert from going into a woman's restroom? Sex crimes can also happen in men's restrooms but it is probably more likely to happen to women and small children. Since I am the father of a child, that has been sexually molested, this issue is close to my heart. One day a lady came to me and reported that a man was in the Food Court women's restroom. She told me that he said that it was okay because he was a homosexual. The man was coming out of the restroom when I confronted him. I asked him why he was in the women's restroom. He said that he had gone in by mistake. I gave him my dirtiest look and in a firm voice I told him not to make that mistake again. If we had a transgender bathroom bill then, all the man would have had to say was that he was transgender. Worse yet, I probably couldn't have even questioned him without being charged with a hate crime. If no law is passed, but it becomes politically incorrect to question someones sexual identity, it will become harder to prevent a sex crime. In addition I believe that consensual sexual activity would increase in public places. As it is, we have caught men and women having sex in the restrooms. Especially in our one holer and family restrooms. This does not make for a family friendly environment in a mall. We know that political correctness is hazardous to our health. A TSA agent allowed Mohammad Atta on American Flight 11, that was flown into the twin towers on September 11th. This was in spite of the fact that his gut was telling him that Atta was a terrorist. He was afraid to say anything.  The TSA agent didn't want to be accused of profiling. Of course we remember the neighbors of the San Bernardino terrorists who were afraid to say anything for fear of being accused of Islamophobia. We can thank the left for creating this destructive atmosphere in America. Our mall is no different from any mall in America. We are constantly posting pictures of sexual predators who have approached women and children in the mall. I am proud of the fact that I was personally helped in the arrest of one of these people. 

  It is my belief that a large percentage, if not most of our Democratic politicians, are Marxists. I know that Obama is. I was reading a very interesting article written by Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale college, entitled Property Rights and Religious Liberty. In the article he was writing about Marx views on private property in the Communist Manifesto. He writes, "that overthrowing the age old institution of property will involve as well the most radical rupture with traditional ideas". This is exactly what I see going on in America today. Traditional ideas are under constant assault. Christmas, prayer in school, military traditions, such as placing women in combat units, Patriotism and the pledge of allegiance. Then he goes on to say, "If private property is going to be abolished everything will have to be abolished. Marriage and religion are two prominent examples in Marx writings. Today, the institution of marriage is becoming more and more passe. Christianity is on the decline. Atheism and agnosticism are on the rise. The following is from an earlier article that I wrote called the History of Political Correctness.  When World War I began many Marxists believed that the war would be the thing that would unite the working class. The proletariat in Germany for example, had more in common with the proletariat in France and England than they had with the ruling classes in their own countries. They believed that the proletariat would refuse to fight. When the proletariat marched off to fight for their individual countries in a great surge of patriotism the Marxists were thoroughly disappointed. They blamed Western culture. The Marxists established "think tanks". Sounds familiar? These think tanks determined that the only way that economic Marxism could succeed was if western culture was destroyed. So they created cultural Marxism. This is the purpose of political correctness. The United States is being fundamentally changed and a big part of that change is the destruction of our value system. Our education system on both the secondary and higher educational level has been taken over by these people. They realize if they can indoctrinate our youth that will go a long way toward destroying western culture. Multiculturalism and identity politics are dividing the people into warring classes. We are seeing the deconstruction of western society. Most people are logical and political correctness is not logical. What political correctness does is attempt to end logical and reasonable debate. That is exactly what is going on here. Transgender bathroom violates everything that is logical. We are presently being bullied into silence. As for me I refuse to be bullied.  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Vietnam - Mistakes By The Number

Mistake # 1

  People have asked me over the years, where did we go wrong in Vietnam? Historians share a variety of opinions but for me I believe that the long chain of American mistakes started with Woodrow Wilson. China was the traditional enemy of the Vietnamese for at least a thousand years. The Vietnamese had close cultural ties with China. However they were like the big brother that was a bully. In 1858 the French began military actions in Vietnam that were primarily designed to protect the Catholic faith in a predominately Buddhist country. This was also a colonialist expansion aimed at exploiting the natural resources of Vietnam. The country that came to be called French Indochina was formed in October 1887. They also wanted the Vietnamese to speak French and adopt to their culture. By the 1920's the French were encouraging the the Vietnamese Mandarin, who were the upper class, to be educated in French universities. This would qualify them to work in the lower levels of French civil service jobs. Many of these Vietnamese even converted to Catholicism and would later dominate the South Vietnamese government such as Ngo Dinh Diem, who became the leader of the future South Vietnamese government. The French on the other hand alienated many of these mandarin class. They were very nationalistic. In addition the French were arrogant, imposing oppressive economic and political policies on the Vietnamese people. The majority of the Vietnamese people were poor peasants. Ho Chi Minh was a Mandarin that hated the French. He was studying in France while negotiations were going on between the Big Four in Paris at the Versailles conference ending WW1. Ho was always a friend of the United States and wrote the Wilson administration asking for Vietnam to be included in the drive for self-determination of nation states. 

Letter to Secretary of State Robert Lansing in Paris, June 18, 1919 - We take the liberty of setting fourth the claims of the Annamite people on the occasion of the Allied victory. We count on your great kindness to honor our appeal by your support... Since the victory of the Allies, all subject peoples are frantic with hope at the prospect of an era of right and justice which should begin for them... in the struggle of civilization against barbarism.

It soon became evident that the racist Wilson was only interested in the self-determination of European states. This pushed Ho into the welcoming arms of Leninist socialism. Just before the outbreak of WW2 the Japanese drove the Vichy French out Indochina in September 1940. Their brutality made the French look like Boy Scouts and Ho Chi Minh became an O.S.I. agent, which was the forerunner of the C.I.A. He sided with us in order to defeat the Japanese.
Ho Chi Minh at Versailles

Mistake #2

  Although I have mixed emotions about Franklin Roosevelt, to his credit he was anti-colonialist. Roosevelt died early in his fourth term and was succeeded by Harry S. Truman, who is one of my favorite presidents. Truman was not as anti-colonialist as Roosevelt. The French had every intention of reclaiming their colony in Indochina. Ho Chi Minh wrote a letter to Truman on February 16, 1946, asking him to block the French in their efforts to reclaim their former colony. The letter was never answered and was declassified in 1972.


Our VIETNAM people, as early as 1941, stood by the Allies' side and fought against the Japanese and their associates, the French colonialists.

From 1941 to 1945 we fought bitterly, sustained by the patriotism, of our fellow-countrymen and by the promises made by the Allies at YALTA, SAN FRANCISCO and POTSDAM.

When the Japanese were defeated in August 1945, the whole Vietnam territory was united under a Provisional Republican Government, which immediately set out to work. In five months, peace and order were restored, a democratic republic was established on legal bases, and adequate help was given to the Allies in the carrying out of their disarmament mission.

But the French Colonialists, who betrayed in wartime both the Allies and the Vietnamese, have come back, and are waging on us a murderous and pitiless war in order reestablish their domination. Their invasion has extended to South Vietnam and is menacing us in North Vietnam. It would take volumes to give even an abbreviated report of the crisis and assassinations they are committing everyday in this fighting area.

This aggression is contrary to all principles of international law and the pledge made by the Allies during World War II. It is a challenge to the noble attitude shown before, during, and after the war by the United States Government and People. It violently contrasts with the firm stand you have taken in your twelve point declaration, and with the idealistic loftiness and generosity expressed by your delegates to the United Nations Assembly, MM. BYRNES, STETTINIUS, AND J.F. DULLES.

The French aggression on a peace-loving people is a direct menace to world security. It implies the complicity, or at least the connivance of the Great Democracies. The United Nations ought to keep their words. They ought to interfere to stop this unjust war, and to show that they mean to carry out in peacetime the principles for which they fought in wartime.

Our Vietnamese people, after so many years of spoliation and devastation, is just beginning its building-up work. It needs security and freedom, first to achieve internal prosperity and welfare, and later to bring its small contribution to world-reconstruction.

These security and freedom can only be guaranteed by our independence from any colonial power, and our free cooperation with all other powers. It is with this firm conviction that we request of the United Sates as guardians and champions of World Justice to take a decisive step in support of our independence.

What we ask has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the UNITED STATES. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.

I am Dear Mr. PRESIDENT,

Respectfully Yours,

(Signed) Ho Chi Minh

 Truman sided with the French since we had been allies in the war and Ho Chi Minh was a communist. Truman was anti-communist. When I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's most Americans had a monolithic view of communism. It was better to be dead than Red. To this day I hate communism but I have come to realize that communism in North Korea is a different animal than communism in China, the old Soviet Union, and Cuba for example. Communism under Mao in China and Stalin in the Soviet Union was much harsher than it is today in China and it was even under Khrushchev, or Brezhnev in the old Soviet Union. Then there was Khmer rouge in Cambodia that was off the charts evil. Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist first, and a communist second in my opinion. In theory Marxist-Leninist ideology stressed the unity of the worldwide proletariat and de-emphasized nationalism.  Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks were officially opposed to nationalism as being reactionary, a bourgeois creation, and contrary to the interests of proletarian class struggle and communist revolution. Lenin separated patriotism into what he defined as proletarian, socialist patriotism from bourgeois nationalism. However Stalin had to unite the Russians against the German invasion by appealing to their nationalism. Stalin used terms like the Great Patriotic War.  Tito of Yugoslavia, was a nationalist that stood up to the Soviets, but he realized that his country fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. Ho Chi Minh was a communist more for pragmatic reasons. He was in a fight to reunite his country and the communists would give him the material support he needed in weapons and supplies. Ho aligned himself more with the Soviet Union than China. I believe that if Truman had honored Ho's wishes and worked to keep the French out of Indochina, Vietnam would have proved to be a loyal and worthy ally and would have moved into our political orbit. The Truman and Eisenhower administration supplied the French with logistics and military aid until the French suffered their Waterloo at a place called Dien Bien Phu in 1954. During the 1950's Eisenhower talked about the (Domino Theory). Most Americans believed in this theory. It was believed that if Vietnam fell to communism, it's neighbors would soon follow suit. Since the end of the Vietnam War this has not proven true. Vietnam has not threatened it's neighbors or tried to spread communism in the region. Cambodia was a monarchy before American involvement in Vietnam. Because of the war, the murderous Khmer rouge would take over Cambodia and kill half the population. It would be the Vietnamese that would eventually overthrow the Khmer rouge and end the killing. In fairness to Truman I don't know if he could have helped Ho Chi Minh keep the French out of Indochina. By 1946 the Republicans were accusing Truman of being soft on Communism and would win back the congress that year. Because of Stalin's ruthlessness and hostility toward American foreign policy American's were becoming more and more anti communist. The following is from a speech that Ho Chi Minh gave in Hanoi on September 2, 1945 declaring the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The first lines of his speech repeated verbatim the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence.

All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free. The Declaration of the French Revolution made in 1791 on the Rights of Man and the Citizen also states: “All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights.” Those are undeniable truths.

Mistake # 3

  The 1954 Geneva Accords established North and South Vietnam at the 17th parallel. This was a temporary arrangement until a national election  could be held by July of 1956 to determine what form of government that the Vietnamese preferred. The northern sector was controlled by the Viet Minh headed up by Ho Chi Minh and the southern sector was the State of Vietnam headed by former Emperor Bảo Đại. When the Geneva Convention began in April 1954 the French were fighting at Dien Bien Phu. The French were defeated on May 8, and by October they were leaving Indochina for good. A year later Ngo Dinh Diem deposed Bảo Đại and established the first Republic of Vietnam. Diem was also a Mandarin but he was pro French and a Catholic. The promised referendum of July 1956 never took place. This was a mistake in my opinion. The United States should have insisted on the referendum promised by the Geneva Accords. In 1955 Eisenhower committed the first American advisers to South Vietnam. To his credit as a soldier he realized that the logistics of fighting a war in Vietnam would be and kept our involvement to a minimum. By 1957 a low level insurgency began in South Vietnam after it became evident that Diem would never allow an election to be held. Two Americans would be the first KIA's in 1959 after an attack on Bien Hoa A.F.B. Kennedy would escalate our involvement in Vietnam after his election and by 1963 we would have 21,000 troops in Vietnam, which were mostly support troops and advisers. I have read many books on Kennedy and I am convinced that Kennedy had arrived at the decision not to escalate the war in Vietnam. Evidence of this was a an interview that he did with Walter Cronkite on September 2, 1963, just a few weeks before he was assassinated.

Walter Cronkite: Mr. President, the only hot war we've got running at the moment is of course the one in Viet-Nam, and we have our difficulties there, quite obviously.

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the Government to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Viet-Nam, against the Communists.

We are prepared to continue to assist them, but I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort and, in my opinion, in the last 2 months, the government has gotten out of touch with the people.

The United States should have used it's power and influence to fulfill the provisions of the Geneva Accords and helped to make sure that 1956 referendum was carried out. 

Mistake # 4

 The assassination of John Kennedy was the worst disaster that ever happened to this country. Not because Kennedy was an exceptionally great president. In my view he was a good president that had the potential for greatness. His mafia connections and sexual addiction robbed him of greatness. The disaster was this. Kennedy's death opened the door for Lyndon Johnson. Obama has fundamentally changed this country but Lyndon Johnson created the cultural and political environment that would allow a radical leftist like Barack Obama to even be elected. Johnson fought two wars during the 1960's. The War on Poverty, aka the Great Society and the war in Vietnam. Much of the entitlement mentality that we have today was created by the war on poverty and helped to destroy the modern family structure in America by expanding Aid to dependent children. The war in Vietnam spurred the counterculture movement and the Hippie movement. Hippies popularized the use of drugs, free love and open relationships that would work to undermine our families and culture. Many of our radical politicians would come from the counterculture and anti-war movement. Johnson's favorite war was the war on poverty and he would come to hate the war in Vietnam. He was heard to say “That bitch of a war killed the lady I really loved -- the Great Society.” Because Johnson was prosecuting both wars he tried to hide his escalation of the war in Vietnam. Eisenhower's emphasis had been on the development of our nuclear forces in order to save money. Nuclear forces are cheaper than conventional forces. Kennedy on the other hand built up our conventional army and created the special forces like the Navy Seals and Green Berets. His intention was to prepare an army to fight war's of counterinsurgency. As a result Johnson had a ready made army to fight in Vietnam. He didn't have to call up National Guard or Reserve units like in WW1, WW2, Korea and both Gulf Wars. In order to protect his wars he didn't want to raise taxes and he was determined to hold down inflation. When egg prices rose in the Spring of 1966 Johnson ordered the surgeon general to issue an alert that eggs were high in cholesterol. This was really damaging to the egg industry and worked to hold down inflation. He also worked to avoid a draft as long as he could in order to divert attention from the gradual escalation of the war. In the Spring of 1964 the Johnson administration was planning major attacks on North Vietnam. His advisors didn't believe that the American people would support a major escalation of the war. On August 2, 1964 North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the destroyer U.S.S. Maddox. Two days later the Maddox and another destroyer were supposedly attacked but it has since been determined that this second attack did not happen. However it was a pretext for escalating the war in Vietnam. The first attack was retaliation for a South Vietnamese gunboat attack on the North Vietnamese coast. Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution would be passed, which was the equivalent of a declaration of war. It proposed “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska voted against it. Morse warned his fellow senators that Johnson couldn't be trusted and they should not rush into anything. In March 1965 Johnson would escalate the war even further by sending in the Marines. By the end of 1965 there would be 180,000 troops on the ground in Vietnam and by 1968 there would be over 500,000.
Attack by North Vietnamese gunboats on the U.S.S. Maddox, August 2, 1964

Mistake # 5

When America commits it's men and resources to war, regardless of the reasons, it should do everything necessary to win that war. America owes this to the men and women that it sends off to experience the horrors of war. There is no such thing as a war that is unwinnable. Any war is winnable when the right strategy is employed and the people have the will to win. Unfortunately America did not employ the best strategy in Vietnam. The war was micromanaged from the White House and there were many mistakes that I wont go into here. Even though these mistakes prolonged the war it became evident that like the American Army fighting against the British Army in the revolution the North Vietnamese Army could not defeat the Americans in a head to head match-up. Their best strategy, like Washington in the American revolution was not lose. The Communists would infiltrate the American anti-war movement in America. Ultimately America did not lose the war on the battlefield. It lost it on the streets of America and in the halls of Congress. Over time the American military was actually hurting the Viet Cong. Until the Tet Offensive of 1968 the Viet Cong shouldered the brunt of the fighting in South Vietnam. General Westmoreland had been saying that our forces were making progress. From 1965 until February of 1968 when the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive they had fought a guerilla war consisting of small unit hit and run tactics. Because we were putting the hurt on them they gambled on an all out conventional attack on South Vietnamese cities that played right into Americans hands. Conventional war is what we excel in. For the first 48 hours we took a butt kicking. In much the same way that Allied forces did at the battle of the Bulge in 1944. Once commanders on the ground adjusted to the situation we inflicted a crushing defeat on the Viet Cong. The American and Allied response was overwhelming. The Viet Cong lost ten thousand men in the first few days. This was opposed to 249 Americans dead along with five hundred South Vietnamese. During the months-long battle, the Viet Cong would ultimately lose forty-eight thousand men. The Communist failed in a big way. One point to make here was that the North Vietnamese were hoping for a popular uprising of the people of South Vietnam in favor of the communists but it never happened. In addition the North Vietnamese slaughtered thousands of civilians in the ancient city of Hue. For the remainder of the war the North Vietnamese regular army would shoulder the brunt of the fighting in Vietnam. The American press on the other hand did what they do best. They reported that Tet was a resounding defeat for American forces rather than the huge victory that it was. Walter Cronkite of CBS News went to Vietnam to look at the situation first hand. At a critical moment of the war, the prospects of victory never looked brighter. Cronkite on the other hand, the most trusted man in America, concluded that the war was a stalemate and probably unwinnable. Not until years later did I come to realize just how left wing that Cronkite really was. Peter Braestrup said in his 1977 book, Big Story. "Rarely, has contemporary crisis-journalism turned out, in retrospect, to have veered so widely from reality." To have such a defeat for the enemy portrayed also as a major defeat for America, cannot be counted as a triumph for American journalism." The media, the communist inspired anti-war movement, and the Democratic Party helped to push America toward defeatism. On March 31, 1968 President Johnson declared that he would not run for reelection and that he was declaring a bombing halt on North Vietnam.

Air Force Security Policemen fighting during Tet
VC attack on the American Embassy in Saigan during TET

Walter Cronkite reporting from vietnam

Mistake # 6

Richard Nixon was a lot like Trump in one sense. He promised that he had a plan to get us out of Vietnam and we would have peace with honor. Of course he never divulged the specifics of the plan. Ultimately he put in place Vietnamization which was a plan to expand, equip, and train South Vietnam's forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, while at the same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops. Which in reality was a return to the original plan of John Kennedy. The only problem with this plan was that it nearly destroyed the American Army as an effective fighting force. Once Nixon began pulling troops out of Vietnam in 1969 our remaining troops realized that America was no longer interested in winning the war. Troop morale hit bottom. No one wanted to die in a losing effort. Drug use radically increased and troops were refusing to obey orders. Unpopular officers were being fragged. It is estimated that as many as half of the men who left Vietnam in those last years were addicted to hard drugs such as heroin. I believe that this factor led to the large number of homeless Vietnam veterans that we have seen on our streets over the years. By 1972 our troop levels had decreased dramatically and the South Vietnamese were now the primary fighting force against the North Vietnamese. General  Vo Nguyen Giap had banked on the idea in the 1968 Tet Offensive that there would be a popular uprising against the south Vietnamese government but it never materialized. Now, four years later he was banking on the fact that with fewer American troops in country and the anti-war movement in America that he could defeat South Vietnam in an another all out attack. The chance that the United States would reenter the war in a big way was slim. This time the attack would be led by the North Vietnamese Regular Army.  On March 30, 1972, three North Vietnamese divisions crossed the DMZ into the northern part of South Vietnam, to be joined, by the end of April, by an additional three divisions. This was the beginning of the Eastertide offensive. The fighting would rage throughout South Vietnam until the middle of July 1972. South Vietnamese and American forces fought effectively and bravely. American Air and Naval forces decimated the North Vietnamese in effective air strikes. The B-52 strikes were especially effective. Targets in North Vietnam were bombed and Haiphong harbor was mined. The Easter Offensive cost the North Vietnamese 40,000 killed and 60,000 wounded and missing. South Vietnamese and American losses were estimated at 10,000 killed, 33,000 wounded, and 3,500 missing. The offensive was defeated, but North Vietnamese forces occupied about ten percent of South Vietnam when the battle was over. Both sides would soften their stance during the Paris peace talks and were willing to make concessions during negotiations. Nixon would order a massive bombing campaign from December 18, until December 29, 1972 consisting mainly of B-52,s called Linebacker II. Ostensibly to force the North Vietnamese back to the peace table. On January 27, 1973 a peace agreement was signed in Paris and the war was over. President Nguyen Van Thieu  of South Vietnam had major reservations. He did not like the fact that so many North Vietnamese troops were still in the South. Thieu wasn't sure that he could count on the continued support of the Americans. It had been American air power that had made the difference during the Eastertide offensive. Nixon assured him that the United States would continue economic aid and would use it's air power to help the South Vietnamese to repel any future North Vietnamese threats. There was only one problem with this promise. Nixon was sinking deeper and deeper into the Watergate scandal. By August 1974 Nixon would be forced to resign as president and would be succeeded by Gerald Ford. In the Spring of 1975 the North Vietnamese took advantage of the chaotic political situation in the United States and launched an all out offensive. Ford's hands were tied because of the Watergate scandal and the Democratic Congress drastically cut funding to the South Vietnamese. No one was willing to make good on Nixon's promises of air power. South Vietnamese forces collapsed quicker than even the military experts imagined. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975 and it was all over. In my view the major mistake here was letting down our troops who served so honorably in Vietnam. They had sacrificed their lives, their bodies, and their minds for their country. There is no way that the North Vietnamese could beat us militarily. We won every major engagement on the battlefield. Our men and women deserved a victory in Vietnam. The same could be said about the soldiers who fought in Korea. We won the war in Iraq and Obama allowed ISIS to occupy areas that had been paid for so dearly by American bravery and blood. He completely pulled out of Iraq in 2011. Warriors have suffered from PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after every war that we have ever fought. However I have to believe that the pain of losing intensifies the pain even further. The veterans of Korea can at least take pride in the fact that they saved South Korea from the hellish fate of the North Korean people. South Korea is now a democracy and one of the most prosperous nations in the world. What is left of Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein and Sunni rule. Although we lost in Vietnam it is my understanding that even with all the bad blood between Vietnam and America they seem to have no ill will toward us. In my mind the only positive accomplishment of the Clinton administration was establishing diplomatic relations with Vietnam on July 11, 1995. In conclusion Vietnam was one of the most avoidable wars in American history. Once we committed to the fight however there was no substitute for victory.