Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fifty Years Ago

The Tet Offensive was underway.

It was a flawed plan from the start. The North Vietnamese leadership had convinced itself that, if they could fight in the cities, that the people would rise up with them and overthrow the South Vietnamese government. the SVN government was corrupt, brutal and it was run by Catholics in a majority Buddhist country. But the urban dissatisfaction was not enough for an uprising.

The NVA and the VC took the city of Hue, which immediately set themselves up for a mini-Stalingrad, in that they had no sustainable means of being reinforced or resupplied. It took a month to recapture the city, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Where NVN succeeded was in exposing the lies of the Johnson White House, the Pentagon and the generals running MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam). They all had been telling the American people, for years, that the corner had been turned, that the US and SVN were winning, that there was "light at the end of the tunnel." Clearly, there was no such thing. It was a war of attrition in support of a corrupt dictatorship, a fact that was becoming apparent to the American people. What was also coming apparent was the fact that the war couldn't be won, something that was known (or suspected) by most of those running the war and had been known for quite some time.

Tet also gave the South Vietnamese people a taste of what might happen if the North won. The NVA and VC summarily executed thousands of people at Hue. The massacres likely gave rise to the exodus of the boat people. A better government in the south might have exploited that and rallied the people behind it. But that wasn't the government that the South had.

It would take another five years and about 30,000 more American KIAs to end America's involvement in Vietnam.

2 comments:

Mike R said...

Had a front row seat for that piece of history. Fuck and LBJ and double fuck Richard Nixon.

Anonymous said...

Same. And I say triple fuck Nixon. He should have been made to see it up close and personal.