Afghanistan: Vietnam all over again.
today at 11:52 am
Another American betrayal in the works.
“Oh, when will they ever learn.” — Lyrics from Pete Seeger’s antiwar song “Where have all the flowers gone,” sung by Peter, Paul & Mary to protest the Vietnam War.
As if we learned nothing from America’s betrayal of South Vietnam. Nor from the human rights violations that ensued when we effectively helped turn the country over to the repressive, communist regime in North Vietnam.
Now, we’re repeating that betrayal as we withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
It will be the end of Afghanistan as an American ally. It will open up the country for the nurturing of terrorist groups that have America in their deadly sights. It will make meaningless the two-decade sacrifice of American lives and treasure. It will be the end of kite flying.
And, it will be yet another betrayal of a country to which America had made promises of protection as an ally in our war against terror.
Just like in Vietnam.
When America negotiated a “peace” and an end to the Vietnam War, we heard the same kind of talk. The provisions included an international peacekeeping force and South Vietnam self-determination.
Oh sure. This is what eventually followed:
In early March the North Vietnamese launched the first phase of what was expected to be a two-year offensive to secure South Vietnam. As it happened, the South’s government and army collapsed in less than two months. Thousands of ARVN troops retreated in disorder, first from the central highlands and then from Hue and Da Nang.
Gerald R. Ford, who had succeeded Nixon as U.S. president, pleaded in vain with Congress for additional military aid that might at least raise Saigon’s morale. But members of Congress, like most of their constituents, were ready to wash their hands of a long and futile war.
On April 21 Thieu resigned and flew to Taiwan. On April 30 what remained of the South Vietnamese government surrendered unconditionally, and NVA tank columns occupied Saigon without a struggle. The remaining Americans escaped in a series of frantic air- and sealifts with Vietnamese friends and coworkers. A military government was instituted, and on July 2, 1976, the country was officially united as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam with its capital in Hanoi. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The 30-year struggle for control over Vietnam was over.
Among those betrayed were the Montagnards, the central highlights people who fought valiantly on the American side. Their fate:
In battle, the Montagnards were indefatigable. “They were never defeated,” said George Clark, a 5th Special Forces Group Green Beret who served with MIKE Force between 1967 and 1970. “They may have been overrun, but they always took it back. We had full faith in the Montagnards.”
Although roughly 61,000 Montagnards aided the US by the Vietnam War’s end, once the US military pulled out, support for them evaporated. “When we pulled out of Vietnam,” Clark said, “those villages were screwed, and we knew it.”
The Montagnards, some 12,000 total, fled the jungles of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, and from 1975 to 1992, formed the Front de Liberation des Hauts-Plateaux Montagnard (FLHPM) to fight against the communist government of Vietnam. They were targeted and pursued through military action, killed by tigers and snakebites, and died of disease and starvation. Only 600 are believed to have survived.
This is not a partisan issue. The scheduled withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan began under ex-President Donald Trump and accelerated by President Joe Biden. They’re responding to the growing isolationist sentiment among Americans.
Just like in Vietnam, the Afghan government and military resistance is collapsing. Reported CBS, “But the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. The Taliban retook the northern region overnight, sending more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers fleeing into neighboring Tajikistan.”
The thousands of interpreters who assisted American forces now are begging for their lives. Said one, ” “We are right now at the final stage. They are going to slaughter us anyway.” Why there’s any question whether every last one should be granted asylum in America is beyond me. Especially when tens, no hundreds, of thousands of illegal immigrants are being allowed into the United States to seek asylum without being in the same live-threatening danger.
The wisdom and morality of both wars can be argued forever, but one fact is indisputable: Many, many people will suffer, some will die, because of our sellout.
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