How Vietnam War-era protests fortified the enemy |

How Vietnam War-era protests fortified the enemy

Regarding Slater Bootenhoff’s March 13 letter: Indeed, learning from history is too often based on point of view. Let me, therefore, give you some facts to enlighten your point of view of peace protest helping end the Vietnam War:

In an interview published last year in the Wall Street Journal, former Col. Bui Tin who served on the general staff of the Army of North Vietnam (NVA) and who was honored to receive the unconditional surrender of the government of South Vietnam, confirmed the Tet Offensive of 1968 as an “American Victory.”

He stated, “Our (North Vietnam) losses were staggering and a complete surprise. Giap (the commanding general and chief strategist of the NVA) told me that Tet had been a military defeat S Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out, it took us until 1971 to reestablish our presence. Support from the American rear (ie: the U.S. public), however was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news to follow the growth of the anti-war movement. Ramsey Clark and ministers, as well gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda visited and expressed her shame in America.”

Had the North not “held on” through severe losses, the war may well have ended at the peace table in 1968 or 1969 thus saving the lives of tens of thousands of Vietnamese who died in the ensuing seven years of war.

So the point of view of the North Vietnamese was apparently that the peace movement actually prolonged the conflict – and cost lives.

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