Saturday, February 05, 2005

Vietnam, Infinite Redux

The following posting by John Moore on Roger Simon's blog was so good I thought it worth preserving.
This is a bit tangential, but the Viet Cong didn't succeed. In fact, after the three offensives of 1968, they were wiped out. Furthermore, they were never an internal revolutionary movement, but rather a fifth column put in place by the North Vietnamese in the '50s. They were encouraged to marry into Southern families to link into the indigenous people. Most importantly, the only enemy in Vietnam that the US faced was the North Vietnamese, either actual NVA units, or VC who were totally controlled by and supplied by the North. Note that the war was won by a foreign power (the North Vietnamese) in a massive combined arms invasion that had more tanks than George Patton ever commanded. This only happened because the backer of the South, us, reneged on our obligations as a result of a loss of will.

The Vietnamese were ready to sue for peace after the Tet '68 fiasco, until they realized that the press and opportunistic activists and politicians treated it like a defeat for the US, when in fact it was a catastrophic defeat for the VC (destroying 50% of their total force, and showing that the people of the South were unwilling to rise up in "liberated" areas and joine the VC in the fight).

See here for a history of that war.

Contrast that with Iran. They don't have a safe haven like the Vietnamese Communists did. We would have to provide that (or Iraq or Afghanistan), and also weapons. The VC/NVA was a huge operation, and took many years to get the VC ready for battle (about 5 years). In five years if not stopped, Iran will be a nuclear power with ICBM's. In fact, in a lot less than five years.

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