It was many years ago that North Vietnamese marched into Saigon in the spring of 1975. Their victory was followed by concentration camps, political prisons and the death of thousands of pro-US supporters.
In other words, we let them down. We walked away and let a superior North Vietnamese army overrun our friends.
Pres. Nixon wrote a wonderful book in '85 called "No more Vietnams". It was a review of the war and the mistakes made along the way. It should be read by everyone, specially the left that looked the other way when the communists murdered thousands in Vietnam and Cambodia.
It did not have to happen.
The South Vietnamese army fought valiantly but it could not overcome a reality of war: the guy with bigger weapons usually defeats the fellow with a smaller army.
South Vietnam was turned over to communist thugs because the US was weak.
In Jan '73, Pres. Nixon forced Hanoi to sign a treaty that recognized both countries.
Pres. Nixon inherited a mess from Pres. Johnson. There were 500,000 troops in '69. We were winning battles but we did not have a policy.
The antiwar left in the US made a lot of noise. They created lots of traffic jams and broke a lot of windows. Yet, they were an electoral failure.
In '68, the left could not nominate an antiwar candidate. Humphrey, Nixon and Wallace supported the war.
In '70-72, Pres. Nixon had majorities supporting his policies in Vietnam. In '72, Nixon won the ultimate referendum on Vietnam----he carried 49 states and 62% of the popular vote!
Again, the antiwar left made a lot of noise, it broke a lot windows, it created a lot of traffic jams, it yelled a lot of obscenities, but it did not elect anyone to office.
By '72, Pres. Nixon had reduced the military presence to less than 20,000. He withdrew troops under a very successful program called "Vietnamization".
Pres. Nixon used massive air power to make his point.
In Dec '72, Pres. Nixon forced Hanoi to sit down and sign a treaty.
The treaty was respected for much of '73 and into '74. Why? Because the North Vietnamese understood that Pres. Nixon would send the B-52s to enforce it.
In fact, the Soviets and Chinese did not think that the North would ever win.
Stephen J. Morris wrote in The New York Times:
"Even Hanoi's main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely.Unfortunately, we walked away from the people of South Vietnam in '75. The liberals tied Pres. Ford's hands and we turned over an entire nation to communist criminals!
Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed.
Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support. The former Soviet chargÃ© d'affaires in Hanoi during the 1970's told me in Moscow in late 1993 that if one looked at the balance of forces, one could not predict that the South would be defeated.Until 1975, Moscow was not only impressed by American military power and political will, it also clearly had no desire to go to war with the United States over Vietnam. But after 1975, Soviet fear of the United States dissipated."
We should have supported them. We didn't.
It was 1975 or many years ago. It still hurts. It hurts that American liberals did not have the courage to support people who were fighting for their freedom.