Re: [sixties-l] Re: Vietnam

From: Jerry West (
Date: Thu Jun 15 2000 - 03:46:42 CUT

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    David Horowitz wrote:

    The information that has come from the Communist side since then clearly
    shows that the New Left prolonged the war which was lost by the
    Communists on the ground during the Tet Offensive of 1968 when the so
    called National Liberation Front was destroyed. Hanoi's calculation was
    that if they held out long enough (at a catastrophic human cost) America
    would eventually lose its will to fight.

    JW reply:

    Should one infer from this David that you are saying that the New Left
    gave the Communists the victory in Vietnam, and that if it had not been
    for anti-war activity Hanoi might have ended the war sooner?

    I would certainly like citations to the North Vietnamese/NLF sources
    that say if it wasn't for the anti-war movement we would have lost.

    >From my first hand experience and from subsequent studies I am of the
    view that we won almost every battle on the ground before and after the
    1968 Tet Offensive. So what? Beating the VC and NVA in the field
    consistently was not enough to destroy them or their ability to fight.
    It was also not enough to convince a large number of villagers in South
    Vietnam that the old system was better than the one that the Communists
    offered. It wasn't even enough to convince the ARVN to do much more
    than hide in their compounds and carry on black market activities, no
    doubt some of it with their relatives in the NLF.

    Winning battles on the ground is only part of winning a war. The more
    important part is to convince the enemy that it is over and get them to
    cease all forms of hostility. As far as I can tell they were never
    willing to do this and had we not thrown in the towel we might well
    still be there winning battles on the ground.

    We should have never let the French go back in 1945, that would have
    saved lives.

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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