May 19, 2013
Hillary Clinton Celebrates Kissinger While White House Repeats His Mistakes
Posted on Sep 28, 2010
By Fred Branfman, AlterNet
The $700 million in military aid voted by Congress "is apparently running at twice that of Chinese and Soviet military aid to North Vietnam," according to the New York Times on March 27, 1975. The CIA estimated that U.S. military aid of $1.7 billion to Thieu in 1974 was four times the $400 million it estimated the North Vietnamese received from the Soviet Union and China. All told, official figures show the U.S. spent $141 billion in Vietnam from 1961-‘75, compared with $7.5-$8 billion in Soviet and Chinese aid to North Vietnam during the same period (Congressional Record, May 14, 1975).
Sorley’s contention that the failure of the North Vietnamese 1972 offensive proved the Thieu army could stand on its own is particularly absurd. Sorley himself quotes General Creighton Abrams, the head of U.S. forces in South Vietnam, as saying "on this question of the B-52s and the tac air it’s very clear to me that this (the Thieu) government would now have fallen, and this country would now be gone, and we wouldn’t be meeting here today, if it hadn’t been for the (U.S.) B-52s and the tac air. There’s absolutely no question about it."
Neil Sheehan reported in his biography of U.S. adviser John Paul Vann, who directed U.S. and Vietnamese military forces in Region III in the spring of 1972 that "Vann did not see the fallacy in his victory. He did not see that in having to assume total control at the moment of crisis, he had proved the Saigon regime had no will of its own to survive."
Conclusion: Repeating History
We all have a natural tendency to want to forget an unpleasant past. Even many of us whose lives were deeply affected by the Indochina war often prefer to put those years of anguish, divisiveness and anger behind us.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Those who cannot remember the past are indeed condemned to repeat it.
Future historians will marvel at how U.S. leaders so thoroughly failed to learn from their horrific mistakes and crimes in Indochina, and have instead repeated many of them today in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is clear to all but the most blind or brainwashed that the basic lesson of Indochina is that the United States cannot create democratic and stable governments out of corrupt, brutal, autocratic and unpopular warlords who can neither direct nor motivate their own people.
Secretary Clinton is not only insulting history and betraying her own past by giving a platform to Henry Kissinger to continue distorting history; she is betraying America today, foolishly perpetuating policies toward the Muslim world that can only end in even greater losses for the U.S.
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