THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 8/08/2017
Elusive victory; elite failure
The first mention of the winning of the war in Vietnam, in Lewis Sorley's "A Better War--The unexamined victories and final tragedy of America's last years in Vietnam," came in Chapter 13 titled simply "Victory." Remember that had America and South Vietnam, at any point and through any tactics or strategy, secured that nation's freedom from the aggressive, violent military subjugation of North Vietnam, it would have had numerous cascading positive repercussions.
For Southeast Asia in general, and South Vietnam in particular, the vicious and abominable tide of communist and totalitarian slaughter would have been stemmed, even eradicated. The subsequent economy of South Vietnam, hobbled under communism's socialistic restrictions (as are all such economies), would have likely resembled the relatively thriving free markets of non-communist South Korea or Eastern Europe post-U.S.S.R. Capitalism works wherever it's tried and provided political freedom, as some African nations have learned.
While the left in America and worldwide would never have admitted it, our nation's sense of pride over having presided over a genuinely good military outcome would have provided subsequent generations of Americans and American leaders with an example to be emulated. If a similar case of naked communist aggression were to call for military intervention, as happened in Grenada and Nicaragua under President Reagan, Americans would have approved.
Grenada was a success because Reagan boldly acted with Americans' support; Nicaragua's communist dictatorship under Noriega would not have been the same rallying point for Democrats and leftists to oppose and obstruct Reagan's attempts to liberate that country. I believe that the Iraq war would not have been so opposed and President Bush not have been so vilified had success in Vietnam been etched into our 20th century history. Failure, like victory, casts a long shadow.
Sorley writes: "There came a time when the war was won. The fighting wasn't over, but the war was won. This achievement can probably best be dated in late 1970, after the Cambodian incursion in the spring of the year. By then the South Vietnamese countryside had been widely pacified, so much so that the term 'pacification' was no longer even used. Four million members of the People's Self-Defense Force, armed with some 600,000 weapons, represented no threat to the government that armed them; instead they constituted an overt commitment to that government in opposition to the enemy.
"South Vietnam's armed forces, greatly expanded and impressively equipped, were substantially more capable than even a couple of years earlier. Their most impressive gains were in the ranks of the territorial forces--the Regional Forces and the Popular Forces--providing close-in security for the people in the countryside. The successful pacification program, one repeatedly cited in enemy communications as a threat that had to be countered, was extending not only security but also elected government, trained hamlet and village officials, and economic gains to most of the population." The rest of his book, alas, documents the "final tragedy" that followed.
All weather is not idyllic in the Rocky Mountain region; the smoke from what seem to be perennial wildfires turns the otherwise pristine air of Yellowstone Park and Idaho into haze and smoke you can smell, giving the sunlight a copper tint and the setting sun a fiery red glow. Forecasts and news for Red Bluff and Central Oregon show me there's no relief from the smoke of summer fires. The afternoon thunderstorms are a mixed blessing: they can clear and restore the air but lightning often creates more wild fires. At least the highs are 80, not 90 or 100.
Improved Internet let me find a pithy but devastating take down of the governing/cultural/media elites by Army veteran and blogger Kurt Schlichter: "You elitists think you're elite? Start proving it. Scratch that. You had your chance, and you failed." He recounts the disasters given regular Americans by the elites: Obamacare, housing/financial crisis, slow/no growth economy, out-of-control immigration, sub par public schools, etc.
"Yeah, legal immigration might get you gated-community dwellers cheaper nannies and gardeners, but it's regular people who get murdered by MS-13, whose daughters get raped by the dozen-times deported scumbag the sanctuary city sheriff set free, and whose children get run over by drunks who shouldn't even be in this country. It's the regular people who have to pay for the welfare these people take--and don't tell me they don't get government benefits. Even you elitists can't really think we're that stupid.
"This is about whether all American citizens have an equal say in their own governance. That can only be true when we enforce the law. You either abide by the law, or there is no law. And if there is no law, then there's only power. Since you elitists probably never stooped to serving in the military, and since you almost certainly are neither armed nor proficient in weapons like we are--which makes us extremely dangerous to aspiring oppressors--you may want to rethink the whole 'rule of power' thing.
"But of course you won't--instead, you're doubling down by trying to nullify the results of the election because you don't like the fact that you've been rejected and that you're out of power. Except we're not going to simply shrug and go back to letting you dictate how we live. Donald Trump is a warning. Trump is the best case scenario. If you somehow depose him via your smarmy shenanigans, what comes along next is really going to upset you. You need to understand something. Trump is not our last chance He's your last chance."
Read the rest: "Democrats Don't Actually Believe in Democracy" by Kurt Schlichter.