Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stuck in the Senate

[posted by Callimachus]

Sen. John Kerry said during a C-Span appearance that fears of a bloodbath after the US withdrawal from Vietnam never materialized. He says he’s met survivors of the “reeducation camps” who are thriving in modern Vietnam. An award-winning investigation by the Orange County Register concludes that at least 165,000 people perished in the camps.

Hat tip Don Surber, who has the reaction that suggested the title here.

But Kerry isn't stupid. He knows his history. So do many of those on the left who talk this way. They know, too, that history can be rewritten if you paint lies over facts often enough.

More and more, like I said before, I miss bloggers like Vietpundit to set my fellow Americans straight. Here, he translates the work of North Vietnamese writer Pham Thi Hoai:

The Vietnam war did not result in the collapse of the United States. Rather, it led to the disappearance of the southern Republic of Vietnam, a nation that once dominated half of the country and which was no less legitimate than its brother in the north.

After liberation, however, southern society was subjected to intense repression: prison, concentration camp, the seizure of property, discrimination against bi-racial children, the purge of intellectuals, the destruction and prohibition of southern culture, the complete erasure of numerous careers and many lives. These are not the actions of righteous winners. Nor are they evidence of the superiority of the new regime in relation to its recently vanquished enemy.

Thirty years after the war, the country has never once acknowledged the painful exodus of almost 1 million southern Vietnamese, the “boat people.” It is as if they are no longer Vietnamese and have been excommunicated from the unified nation. It is as if the country belongs to only a single group of Vietnamese but not to another. It is as if they believed that national feeling can grow naturally from out of a deep hole of division and hatred, like a rice plant growing out from a trench.

Or his friend, Minh Duc, who responded to this with:

I have forgotten too and was reminded of it by him. But unlike him, I am not ashame[d] - not at all. Who would want to remember such a thing. Who would want to remember the savegery, the barbarism, the humiliation, the dishonor, the shame, the fear, and the helplessness that befallen upon us. Who would want to remember that once we were so far from Heaven that Hell is not a metaphor but a living reality.

It is coming again. A second great shame for my country in my lifetime; a second great abandonment of allies and friends in the face of an enemy; a second great defeat by an enemy who never won, and held, a battlefield in the length of the war. A purely political defeat.

Who lost Iraq? We did. Me, you, all of us. The big nation-state has yet to learn how to win this new kind of war of elephants against fleas. Call it what you will: Fourth Generation warfare is one label:

"Fourth generation warfare uses all available networks-political, economic, social, and military-to convince the enemy's political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency."

You lose when you let them convince you the price you're paying is too high. You lose when you let them turn you against one another, instead of against them. You lose when they massacre a village (did they kill the babies first, or last?), and your reaction is to get angry at America.

Shouldn't the same people who argue we should react to terrorism by refusing to be terrorized, react to a 4GW fight by refusing to become demoralized?

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