Theodore's World: You had us on the ropes and you left ~ General Giap, North Vietnam

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August 23, 2007

You had us on the ropes and you left ~ General Giap, North Vietnam

The first major battle of the Vietnam War and a test of the concept of airborne assault using the new Huey UH-1 helicopter. Led by Lt-Gen Hal Moore the 7th Air Cavalry set down in LZ X-Ray with the intent to engage the enemy, they were immediately surrounded by 3 battalions of the Vietcong. They fought against these almost overwhelming odds for 3 days before claiming victory.

Track 1 - Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love
Track 2 - Joseph Kilna MacKenzie - SGT. MacKenzie


"What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battles of TET. You defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it. But we were elated to notice your media were definitely helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!" - General Giap, North Vietnam (memoirs)


The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973.

The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification.

The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States.

As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander.

Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.

credit and research go to:
Capt. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N.R (Ret.)
Capt. Scott Beaton, Statistical Source

Wild Thing's comment........

President Bush brought up Vietnam in his speech yesterday.

I was reading this the other day by Capt. Marshal Hanson, and thinking about the Democrats, Reid, Murtha, Pelosi and the rest of their ilk that are dong their best to turn this war into another Vietnam. Meaning politicians running the war and NOT the military, not wanting to wait for General Petraeus.

Thirty-two years ago, in 1975, after America and the Republic of Vietnam had fought and won a ten-year war to save South Vietnam from the predations of the communist north, a Democrat Congress voted to terminate life support for South Vietnam in the face of another North Vietnamese invasion, backed by the USSR.

A Democrat Congress voted to "pull the plug," and condemned millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotions to death, torture, imprisonment, and re-education camps, and condemned others to flee their homes and countries as refugees.

Now, another Democrat Congress is poised to repeat that act of infamy, and abandon the people of Iraq to the conflagration that will almost certainly follow if the United States withdraws its forces prematurely.

Another Democrat Congress declares to the world that America is a fair weather friend, that America cannot be relied upon, that America cannot be trusted to stand by its promises when the going gets tough, that America no longer has the will to lead the world toward a future of freedom.

Another Democrat Congress declares that America, having liberated the Iraqi people from the bloody tyranny of Saddam Hussein, has grown tired of the messy business of liberation and will now wash its hands of the whole affair, and abandon the Iraqi people to the bloody tyranny of the Jihad.

Read the words of General Gaip. Once the North Vietnamise saw what our media was doing, they said hang on one more day, one week, one more month. Their Army was defeated but the media still gave the enemy resolve. Now, let's look at the resolve of Reid and other demortic leaders.

Our Troops are not fighting to lose. The Democrats need some resolve and they need to support the mission. Back then there was Cronkite and Hanoi Jane, today we have the oldies from back then as well as the new ones added to the list, the terrorist lovers like Reid and others.

We see America's Congressional Democrats becoming the American Judas, betraying America, and Iraq, for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.

When have we ever heard this from a Democrat in this war against the terrorists........

"we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival of liberty"? Said by JFK.

I didn't vote for him, I never voted for a Democrat, but that quote is inspiring, and the Democrats of today could well learn a lesson in how NOT to be traitors from this.

Don't let the media and politicians in Congress effect the execution of this war and we will win it.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 23, 2007 12:47 AM


... tell Dubya the Greatest Generation used flamethrowers, hand grenades, BAR's and bazookas, and incendiary bombs on the Krauts and Japs/Nips and Spaghetti Benders in three and a half years, along with a few A-Bombs, to achieve VICTORY and UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDERS!!!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at August 23, 2007 03:55 AM

It's really sad that we vote in these people with such defeatist attitudes.
What happened to winning the BiG one and just one more for the Gipper?
Seems like the children of those who served in WW2 decided that daddy and mommy were wrong and that it's okay to defeat yourself and that we can't win anymore. That we "HAVE" to be punished because we are such "BAD" people.
Where in the heck did they get this stupid idea?
The Liberals, that's where.
It's taught in schools and we see it on the news every day.
History books are one sided, slanted to the left.
That Vietnam was the wrong thing to do.
What's wrong with winning once in awhile?

Posted by: Lynn at August 23, 2007 06:29 AM

I came home from Vietnam in late March '68. I left Vietnam thinking we had just won the war after Tet68. We had really kicked ass. The big indicator though was that the communists expected the South Vietnamese populace to rise up and support them. Just the opposite happened. The populace overall detested the communists and resisted the VC and NVA.

I was harrassed by demonstraters as I left Oakland Army Terminal and again at San Francisco airport. The first newspaper I saw was gloating over LBJ ending the bombing of the North(Rolling Thunder) and pursuing more dialoge with Hanoi.

Huh?? WTF?? I was in a state of shock. We just won. But there was a defeatest attitude in America and the talk was about the communists surprise victory with their Tet offensive. That first day or so back in America was a very shocking experience. It took me a few more months to realize that there was a significant group of fellow Americans who did not want us to win. These traitors were in the government, in the mass media and also included Hollywood types. Later attending college I found out that academia was almost all against our efforts in Vietnam. In fact academia embraced communism.

This same group is now active against America being successful in the MidEast, or anywhere. They were against us driving communism out of Central America and against our arms race with Russia. Not too surprising though they were very mute about Clinton's(a Democrap) little war in Bosnia.

I still do not understand why this Leftist bunch wants us to lose in our battles for freedom and security for America and Western democracy. These people are at the top of the pile, enjoy the most wealth and have the most to lose.

I often think and wonder about the South Vietnamese I knew. The unit my advisory team worked with, the 21st ARVN Division was a hard charging unit. I remember civilians bringing us Americans food when our mess hall was damaged during Tet68, even though a lot of the town itself was damaged and destroyed. We had known incidents of civilians picking up weapons from fallen VC or ARVNS and firing at VC or turning weapons over to friendly forces so the VC could not use them.

Gen Giap is more honest than most of the American leftist media. We won at Tet68 and we won in '72 with Operation Linebacker, the B52 bombing of Hanoi/Haiphong. Our own leftists defeated us.

Now they are actively attempting to repeat their performance in the War with Islam.

Posted by: TomR at August 23, 2007 08:21 AM

It's hard to fight an enemy when their biggest allies are right here in America; Liberals and the Media.

Militarily, we beat the North Vietnamese to a pulp but our political leaders wouldn't allow us to finish the job.

Posted by: BobF at August 23, 2007 08:29 AM

And the democrats had the nerve to run Hanoi John Kerry for President ... that was the biggest slap in the face since we left Vietnam.

And they taout him as a War-Hero... and he says, "reporting for duty"

This people are nothing but low life scumbags.

We knew we were winning overthere, we knew it and so did the communists here in this country.

Posted by: Mark at August 23, 2007 10:42 AM

The American fighting man DID win in Vietnam, our politicians GAVE it away though...

Fast forward to today, Iraq, we WON, no doubt in anyone's mind, then Bush blew it all to hell and back, he wanted to be a PC peacemaker, but the fight wasn't over, he thought it was, he was told it wasn't but he couldn't accept the fact that since Saddam was gone there would still be a fight, he believed Saddam was the cause of it ALL..

Well, he wasn't, and the only reason we don't have a KFC, Taco bell and Baskin Robbins on every street corner of Baghdad today is because Bush tied the hands of our troops and turned them into something they're not, policemen...

You can't fight a PC war, you have to actually KILL your enemy, in great numbers if you expect to win, you can't be 'the nice guy', you're going to piss people off, get over it...

If Bush would turn our guys loose and let them do the job right, Iraq would be a nice quiet place by Christmas...

How long does it take for the U.S. military to completely pacify a nation the size of Texas??

With George W. Bush as President, a LONG damn time...

Posted by: TexasFred at August 23, 2007 11:53 AM

I wasn't going to comment but this is a sore issue with me, Tom fired up a lot of bad memories about how we were treated. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of the horrors of Tet'68, I was called in april of '68 and assigned between Quang Tri and Dong Ha, we immediately pulled missions into the DMZ in support of the Marines and Army units there. The base at Khe Sanh was being torn down when I arrived. We had won the war and the battles and were cleaning up and reassigning major combat units to other areas.They were still digging up the bodies of some 2,300 persons executed in and around Hue by the invading NVA and VC. The Bombing of the North was halted for the 'peace talks' then all hell broke loose. We took daily shelling from the North that reached Dong Ha from across the DMZ , my fellow Marines and Army troops took a pounding at the Rock Pile, The Razorback, LZ Stud, Cam Lo, Cua Viet and Con Thien. That lapse in bombing told the enemy that we didn't have the resolve, that and the subsequent pissing contest over square or round tables and that miserable SOB Kissinger cost a lot of American's their lives. We pulled out of Quang Tri and went to Chu Lai to support the troops there, leaving one platoon behind at to serve in the Ashau Valley. The stench of death was palpable in some areas, this is what Communism means to me, wholesale slaughter of those who don't comply or fit their ideolog. Are you listening Hillary!!! I apply the same to Mohammedism and it's followers, the difference I see is the Communist have the will to kill but the will to survive also, the Muzzies have only the will to kill preferring to die in the process. We won in Vietnam but lost it to a bunch of pusillanimous politicians. The same which are still doing the same with our troops, by sending them into harms way, then undermining their efforts at tremendous costs to our military. For my fellow Vietnam veterans, and all veterans, welcome home, it's too late for me to accept any phony platitudes from those sorry son's of bitches that abandoned us and our efforts so long ago.

Posted by: Jack at August 23, 2007 12:55 PM

Oh Jack, great points I wasn't going to go there, but you brought up a real sore subject.

When I came home in July 67, the protests were just beginning in force, we were met at the airport by a group of Student scumbags from the University of Buffalo, but there was enough of us we shoved back and a riot damn near broke out but the cops got us out before it could. They were taunting and spitting at all the soldiers getting off the plane.

The only people we didn't have a problem with were the Hari Krishna's, they must have been all doped up I don't know.

But what I found amazing, which I didn't connect until much later was the coordination between the Commie students and the NVA were the timing of the protest.

On Thanksgiving of 67 there was a huge protest in Washington, the theme was, 'Bring the Troops home, and no more dead soldiers'. This of course was a month before TET started.

After we kicked their asses in TET, there was another protest. The theme, this time was totally anti-military and anti-American.

General Giap I can respect, to a point now, but it was the low life commie bastards here in our own country that really sold us out and I will never forgive what they did.

The Kerry's the kennedys and every other meely mouthed commie symp. Especially those two.

Posted by: Mark at August 23, 2007 03:20 PM

I came home in Nov of '67, after a two month voluntary extension for early out. I couldn't spend the rest of my time riding on an APC at Fort Meade...where I had orders to report, after a year at Cu Chi and environs. I'd had enough, and lots of guys had it worse.

What I'd had enough of was the US Army, and the ROE's and uniform shit that were taking shape even in the Summer and Fall of '67. The command that came with the division was going home, and the newbies were all strak and gig line until Tet, so a couple months of formations and other crap seemed normal to them even in the I Tri.

Maybe I came home too early; I didn't run into any protests at Oakland, just a few students taking a poll of some kind at SF Airport. All that came later, including my own losses because of what I had become.

I can only add this. We were led by an idiot, Westmoreland...I've said this elsewhere and don't apologize...he was no better than MacNamara. MacNamara decided in '67 that the war was lost and sent us into that shitstorm believing it...Westmoreland was fighting a war of attrition. How many American boys could be ripped up in that slaughterhouse until the VC and NVA and their backers gave up..that was his strategy.

What happened afterwards made it even worse for me, even until this day. What you lose in a place like VN, when you haven't lost a piece of yourself like some of the men here, is the inability to respect any man who hasn't paid that price, or walked that terrain. You can be polite, you can even find a friend or two, but my place is never with them. I'm not sure I like it that way, but another guy here, Mark, understands this. I've never seen him, but I know him from lots of blogs. His tour was worse than mine, no doubt. We've touched on it from time to time.

They made us lose the war, but didn't make us lose each other. Sorry for the sentiment, but I could never have found this meaning and knowledge any other way. Maybe, for now, that's enough for me.

Posted by: Rhod at August 23, 2007 06:11 PM

Correction. You lose the ABILITY, not the INABILITY.....

Posted by: Rhod at August 23, 2007 06:14 PM

Just this to each one of you. I love you all!

I am one of those weird people that do not say I love you to just anyone, just ask some of my relatives. I have to mean it and I do love you all so much.

Thank you for being in my life.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 23, 2007 06:24 PM

Rhod - your thoughts mirror mine.

Posted by: TomR at August 23, 2007 08:00 PM

Thank you, Tom. We're not victims. I'm not saying that. The Left thinks we're alienated and dysfunctional, maybe because they want to think of us that way.

Posted by: Rhod at August 23, 2007 08:41 PM

Here's an interesting link for Vietnam vets. It hurts a bit, but it gives some perspective on the war we fought, compared to the current one.

Posted by: Rhod at August 23, 2007 08:45 PM

I think a lot of folks have forgoten what I am
about to post...It came from the recrutement
page of the region 5 Smokejumpers in redding ca.

Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result ... the worst of all fears is the fear of living." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at August 23, 2007 11:02 PM

hello my comrads,i was in the 69 tet counter offense at lz bronco near duc-pho village in I core LBJ said this was a police action conflick,i was a M.P. and all my friends in the 23rd. (amercial division)infantrey were the front of the swourd,thank god for you guys.

Posted by: vowens at September 1, 2007 12:59 PM