Friday, June 17, 2011

Channelling George Washington: Don't Let Afghanistan Turn Into Another South Vietnam

Noted historian and novelist Thomas Fleming offers another piece in his series of "interviews" with the late George Washington.

With Thomas' vast knowledge of our first, and in my view, our greatest, president, he imagines what Washington would think of current and historical events.

The clever and insightful series appears on George Mason University's History News Network.

In his latest piece, Washington warns against abandoning Afghanistan after so much American sacrifice, which is what we did in Vietnam in the 1970s.

Washington tells us about the rarely reported brutal aftermath of the Communist victory and how harshly the South Vietnamese were treated by the North Vietnamese.

I played a minor role in the Vietnam War, having served as a teenage sailor on the USS Kitty Hawk in 1970 and 1971 as the aircraft carrier performed combat operations on "Yankee Station" off the coast of Vietnam.

(Check out my look back at the USS Kitty Hawk in the Vietnam War at

I, like most Vietnam veterans, and most Americans, was outraged when the Democratic Congress cut off funds to support the South Vietnamese government and allowed the Communist North Vietnamese to invade and capture the South after the United States withdrew combat troops.

(For the record, the North Vietnamese defeated the South Vietnamese troops, not U.S. troops. There were no U.S. combat troops in South Vietnam in 1975, only support troops. The North Vietnamese never won a battle over company strenth during the entire Vietnam War). 

This was a dark day in American history.

I truly hope that we do not do abandon Afghanistan like we did South Vietnam.

You can read General George Washington's view of the subject via the below link:

In the DoD photo above by Pfc. Justin A. Young, U.S. Army Spc. Joseph Wilhelm of HHC Scouts, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, patrols through a grape vineyard during Operation Mountain Cougar, Char Shaka, Afghanistan, April 28, 2011. Operation Mountain Cougar is intended to disrupt and reduce Taliban activity.

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