Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Is the Media the Fourth Estate or a Fifth Column?
Whether the one-sided reporting of the war in Vietnam was a factor in the American defeat there used to be a matter of controversy. But, in recent years, high officials of the Communist government of Vietnam have themselves admitted that they lost the war on the battlefields but won it in the U.S. media and on the streets of America, where political pressures from the anti-war movement threw away the victory for which thousands of American lives had been sacrificed.

Too many in the media today regard the reporting of the Vietnam war as one of their greatest triumphs. It certainly showed the power of the media -- but also its irresponsibility. Some in the media today seem determined to recapture those glory days by the way they report on events in the Iraq war.

Geoff, sometimes I think you're obsessed with this war. I see your point, but I was wondering while I read it, was the war really worth it? I know communist dictatorships were bad and cost lives, but was it worth the loss of all those American soliders, and more if we continued on to win? Maybe those news reports reflected the way the majority of people began to feel after a few years. So maybe it was good that we left. To win that war would have been exceedingly difficult even with the media on the governments side. American was ill prepared to fight a guerrilla war and still is to some extent. --Chris J.
The Vietnam War was well worth fighting, even knowing going in we were going to lose. The dominoe theory, know with access to archives of now-fallen governments, has been vindicated. I suggest getting Michael Medved's tape series on the Vietnam War in this regards.

Also, the Paris peace accords would have left South Vietnam free, if we only backed our part of the deal. In 1973, liberals in Congress (remember that the two parties were more ideologically mixed back then) like Ted Kennedy passed legislation killing support for South Vietnam. This lovely and not widely reported event tied our hands when North Vietnam broke their side of the Paris accords, which obligated us to help. Without Congressional help for North Vietnam, the war could have ended up a lot more like Korea than the ignoble defeat that it was.

Not to mention that it is now understood that much of the anti-war protesting was initially organized by Soviet agents. Knowledge of which came through after the Cold War. Granted, these were initial protests. Much of the protesting was definitely a honest dislike of the war and to the draft.

Given the information available at the time, I would probably have been anti-war as well. I may have not supported Congressional shame of 1973, but I would have been anti-war. I would just hope I would have the courage to renounce old anti-war views, which is my hope for aging hippies.
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