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The Vietnam-Watergate Backlash

Commentary by Greg Lewis / TheRant.US
June 10, 2005

In the past year, thanks first to John F. Kerry and now to Mark Felt, Democrats and the liberal media have obliged normal American citizens to relive two connected events, the Vietnam War and the Watergate "scandal." Although Dems' motives were obviously to discredit Republicans and conservatives, their monotonous rehashing of irrelevant history has done just the opposite. It has actually allowed us to take a look at those events without the corrupting filter through which they were presented by journalists covering them contemporaneously.

I can still recall the derision with which liberals greeted the idea of the "silent majority," a term Richard M. Nixon invoked to describe his constituency. But in fact, a majority of Americans expressed support for the Vietnam War right to the end. And we need to recall that it was Richard Nixon who ended the war, although its end was not the one we could have attained had not we been slammed with borderline treasonously skewed "reportage" by Walter Cronkite and others of his ilk.

Let me cite a few examples.

While lapping up Kerry's false witness about American atrocities after he (Kerry) had returned from his few months in Vietnam, American journalists all but ignored the Hue massacre committed by the North Vietnamese against the South. The massacre of more than 3,500 Vietnamese civilians, you'll recall — wait, you probably won't recall, because Walter Cronkite et al. hushed it up — was perpetrated when the battle for the town of Hue turned against the Vietcong, who proceeded to slaughter the men, women, and children of several villages surrounding that besieged city after discovering that South Vietnamese support for their cause was less than expected. After the Hue massacre it was understood among the South Vietnamese that, as local provincial chief Le Van Than said at the time, "the Vietcong would kill them, regardless of their political belief."

America never suffered a military defeat in Vietnam. The infamous 1968 Tet Offensive resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of enemy troops (for those of you who don't remember, "enemy" refers to North Vietnamese troops and not, as Kerry and the media of the time tried to convince us, American troops). No less a personage than North Vietnamese Commander General Vo Nguyen Giap told a French television interviewer that "his most important guerrilla ally during the war was the American press."

In addition to ending the Vietnam War, Nixon was the President who ushered in a new era of diplomatic and cultural relations with China. Again the Left heaped derision on his efforts, labeling them "ping-pong diplomacy." Nixon also initiated an era of nuclear arms reduction treaties, and — although you'll never get a lib to cop to this — it was during his Presidency that the Environmental Protection Agency was born.

And so, while lefty journalists continue the parrot talk about the Watergate scandal, Mark Felt's shameful admission has also become the occasion for other news and commentary outlets to present a more balanced and accurate picture of the Nixon administration. It is to be anticipated that, like the support of so many Hollywood celebrities, Dems' insistence on shoving a recapitulation of first Vietnam and now Watergate will have a backlash which liberals, given where they have their heads most of the time, are in no position to see coming.

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