Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The End of the Viet Nam War

I am offended. Very offended.

A whole series of articles and TV reports described what was happening then (April 30) as commemorating the "end of the Viet Nam war" in 1975 (see PowerLine, for example, for one of the less objectionable items). But this is a case in which some improved definition is required.

The Viet Nam war ended — supposedly — in January of 1973not 1975 — with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. The last U.S. combat troops left the country less than two months later, in March of 1973. (See the timeline from PBS here.)

After the Paris Accords were signed, and after the end of the war, there were two major, critical violations of its terms.

  • The Communists continued their conquest of South Viet Nam as if there were no agreement and no cease-fire.
  • The U.S. Congress abdicated its responsibility, cut off the agreed aide to the Saigon government, and abandoned it to the Communist aggressors.

So what's really being celebrated is the success of the North Vietnamese violation of the accords (treaty) they had agreed to in January 1973. That violation, and its success, resulted in (for example) the classic final evacuation picture as the Americans ran a last-ditch effort to protect people targeted by the Communist North Vietnamese. That violation also produced the tragedies of the boat people and the re-education camps, with the millions of casualties those entailed.

I am offended that the Media characterize this as the "end of the Viet Nam war." It was not the end of the the war or the end of American involvement. It was the "end of the Viet Nam war" only from the standpoint of the Communist North Vietnamese.

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