Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Lessons Unlearned

There is an opinion piece in the NYT today authored by three Viet Nam War vets, two of whom served honorably in it, which purports to display the lessons we have learned from that war. I don't think so. There's more wisdom in the fiction of Game of Thrones last Sunday when a father tells his son: Do not seek out a fight but if you have to fight, win.

That's the lesson we need to learn from Viet Nam. If you have to fight, fight to win. Fight to destroy and occupy the capital city of the enemy, like we did to Germany and Japan. That's a long lasting peace bringer. Anything short of that all too often brings a second conflict. I'll give some examples.

WWI: There was an armistice before Allied troops ever entered Germany or Austro-Hungary or Turkey. So there was WWII with many of the same combatants 21 years later.

Viet Nam: Despite having first defeated the Viet Cong in 1968 and then fought the NVA to a standstill when it invaded South Viet Nam in 1973, and despite our concluding a peace treaty that year, the war ended only when the Communist North violated the treaty before the ink was really dry (and the Democrats in America betrayed our former allies by denying them any weapons, munitions or air support from us). The North invaded and then occupied Saigon and there has been no further conflict there. They knew how to end a way properly.

Gulf War I: There was an armistice before we occupied much of Iraq, certainly got nowhere near Baghdad. So there was the Gulf War II in 2003.

These are real lessons. The opinion piece is almost all blather.

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