Pat. Johnson: Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time
By Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson
It was a televised speech and Richard M. Nixon had all the props right in front of him. He stood before the map and pointed to the country west of Vietnam, while explaining to his TV audience that the United States had invaded Cambodia. This speech took place on April 30, 1970.
Nixon went on to explain to his audience “We take this action not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam and winning the just peace we all desire.” http://vietnam.vassar.edu/doc15.html
“Winning the just peace” – The Vietnam conflict began August 5, 1964 and it was May 15, 1975 before the last military member left Southeast Asia. During this 11-year period of time America lost 58,209 members of our military and another 303,635 soldiers were wounded [150,332 did not require hospitalization for their wounds].
Vietnam was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong country. It's been over thirty years now since that war ended. The same people who support Bush in the war in Iraq still think the only thing wrong with the war in Vietnam is the United States didn't win it.
Nixon was elected in 1968 because Johnson had not won the war in Vietnam, and five years later the war was still going on. In the meantime, Nixon started another war in Cambodia and won reelection in 1972 because his opponent, McGovern, wanted to get out of Vietnam.
People still think of Vietnam as the Johnson war even though Nixon was in office from 1969 until he resigned in disgrace because of Watergate in 1974, as the war continued to drag on.
How did the war end? The United States got out of Vietnam.
The Bush war in Iraq continues because to withdraw means Bush and his party, the Republicans, will get blamed for it, as they rightly should, having started it. They know this will cost them dearly in future elections. That's what all the huffing and puffing is about--stay the course, change the tactics, etc. The idea is to stay in Iraq until Bush is out of office.
Nixon's speech ended - “Whether my party gains in November is nothing compared to the lives of 400,000 brave Americans fighting for our country and for the cause of peace and freedom in Vietnam.” http://vietnam.vassar.edu/doc15.html
It's strange how similar that is to President George W. Bush's Action Principle shown on the American Success Institute website http://www.success.org/AP/others/585.shtml which includes the following: “If this generation of Americans is ready, we accept the burden of leadership, we act in the cause of peace and freedom. And in that cause, we will prevail.
We lost 58,209 members of our military in Vietnam and we've already lost 3,077 members of our military in Operation Iraqi Freedom [2,832] and Operation Enduring Freedom , as of November 6, 2006.
When you go to the bargaining table using bombs and bullets, instead of negotiation skills, peace becomes very elusive, while the body count continues to climb.
There is no difference between Iraq and Vietnam. They are both the wrong wars, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.