As it turned out, South Vietnam was ultimately defeated because Congress turned its back on it - not pretty or necessarily honorable but effective.Yes, yes, great Caesar's ghost --- yes.
For years I felt like I was just one little cricket in the cow field about this basic truth. Some called me a clueless wingnut - deluded about the unwinable war.
Well --- when someone like Richard Cohen of the Washington-frick'n-Post starts putting that truth out - well - as always, the truth will show itself.
I do note that he does not mention which political party was in charge of Congress - but that is OK; I will. Democrats.
Credit for this though goes mostly in this case to Sorley and his book, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam. It is sitting on my desk right now on top of Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam [National Security Advisor under Kennedy & Johnson]. I have nibbled at both - but still need to finish the books I am already reading.
I think Richard Cohen also read Sorley's Op-Ed in the NYT last week. It is a very good article discussing those parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan. He ends with this.
Maintain political support at home: All that was accomplished on the battlefield in the latter years of Vietnam was lost when Congress, having tired of the whole endeavor, drastically cut support for South Vietnam. Neither Lyndon Johnson nor Richard Nixon was able to rally public and press support for the war.Yes, yes, yes. Bring them all to the light.
President Obama has said that Afghanistan is a war of necessity. If so, he must put his political capital behind it. As he and his advisers plan the new course for the war, he must also come up with a new approach for selling it to Congress and the American people.
Maybe one day this nation and specifically those who smeared them through the '60's, '70s, and '80s will apologize to those who served in Vietnam. Again, they did not lose that war - the Democrat Congress did. Full stop.