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I flew F-100s in Vietnam in ‘67 and ‘68 and was there during the Tet offensive. Although the initial stages of that offensive were a surprise (we had “stood down” in respect to the Vietnamese holiday), it took only a few days to gain a remarkable advantage over enemy forces that heretofore had remained dispersed and covert. We flew close air support for our and South Vietnamese forces that rounded up and wiped out formations of North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong. In what appeared to be a major miscalculation by the communists, the local populace did not rise up in their support. Many of my squadron mates and I thought that this was a major turning point in the war and that it would soon be over.
While I felt that the war was a correct response to communist aggression (and still do), it would be disingenuous of me to say that I supported the way that our political leaders and top military leaders conducted that war. The objective of something less than victory led to an acceptance of sanctuaries and a focus on body counts to assess progress. Regardless, the one memory that still gnaws at me is the conduct of the news media. In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the editorialists, TV news performers, and headline writers treated the Tet offensive as a victory for the communists. In spite of strategic and tactical miscalculation on the part of the North Vietnamese, the leadership of the news media treated the North Vietnamese as master warriors who would prevail in any conflict, feeding doubt to the portions of the American citizenry.p>Here we go again! The recent media focus on casualties, which remain low, and on the media’s own inference that our progress is less than planned, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand. In the run-up to the start of military operations in Iraq, the news media covered the so-called peace protests in ways that have ignored the odious nature of organizations, such as World Workers Party and ANSWER, that have been instrumental in coordinating these protests. It may be unfair and uncharitable to suspect the motives of our media elite, but the media elite occupy last place on my list of American political groups. They are not to be trusted. br> — Pat Birmingham br> Hilton Head Island, SC /p> p> What a great article. This is an extension of the loss of control of the news by the few and their complaining about it. Been happening since 1990 and will continue to erode their “mind control.” br> — Bruce Peek /p> p> All the home-bound journalists who complain about the embedded reporters speaking well of those who would keep them alive fail to realize those same military people are also keeping them alive, albeit a little later. br> — Allan Thompson br> Woburn, MA
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?