The fall of Saigon has provided some valuable lessons in how to defeat America for our enemies. Our enemies, specifically Iran, study the Vietnam War to learn the lessons of how to defeat us. They know they can’t defeat us in traditional conflict. They’ve learned that they can defeat us by turning the public against the military. They do this through a number of methods, but the internet is their weapon of choice in the War of Terror waged against the West by Islamic terrorists.

I am old enough to remember that war well. I certainly remember the aftermath of American leaving Vietnam. The thing is, I happened to be living in the Orient at the time. I was living there in 1975 and the result of America abandoning Vietnam was felt throughout that part of the world.

I personally felt it. I was a blond in a world of people with black hair, so I stuck out like a sore thumb. People would ask me if I was Spanish (apparently I looked a little Spanish), when I told them I was American their treatment of me changed. Before we abandoned Vietnam they were deferential, afterward they were hostile.

I was flying between Taipei, Taiwan and Bangkok, Thailand the week Saigon fell. Not a wise thing for me to be doing at the time, but I was young and stupid and didn’t have a clue. Things in Thailand got very hostile, to the point that even I realized it wasn’t safe for me to be there. Instead of staying the planned 2 weeks I left to go back to Taiwan after 2 days.

Prior to the fall of Vietnam, Americans were protected. People knew that the strength of America was behind its citizens traveling abroad. American Embassies were a place of refuge and safety. After the fall of Vietnam, we were on our own. American Embassies became impotent. The people there were very angry with Americans.

The people of that area felt we had betrayed them because we had betrayed them.

I watched a show a while back about the aftermath of our leaving Vietnam that brought that back to me. I have had vague thoughts over the last few years of how, in my view, our conduct in leaving Vietnam has contributed to where we are today with the islamic world. Watching that show, the dynamic between what happened then and what is happening now became very clear to me.

What struck me the most were the interviews with Vietnamese people who were left behind. To a person they said they knew the Americans were going to help them. To a person they said they never believed that America would leave them behind. They did as they were told. They packed their bags and went to pick-up points and waited for the Americans to come and transport them out of the country. They knew the Americans would come for them.

The Americans never showed up.

They felt betrayed. They had put their very lives and the lives of their families on the line with the sure knowledge that they had the backing of the all-powerful American government. Hannibal was at the gate and they knew – they KNEW – the Americans would not let them down.

As they began to realized they had been left, they started making their ways to their homes and preparing for what was coming into the city. South Vietnamese Soldiers began shedding their uniforms, leaving them on the streets and trying to blend into the population. A pathetic few South Vietnamese Soldiers continued to try to build blockades to keep the Viet Cong out of the city. They eventually abandoned their task. It was hopeless.

They couldn’t believe America would leave them. You see, before that, America wouldn’t have left them. America was the great country. America could be depended upon.

That episode is one of the most shameful episodes in American history.

The fall of Saigon was the first chink in the armor of American might.

From that point on the world knew that America could be defeated.

They also knew we couldn’t be trusted.

They can’t beat us on the battlefield. It wasn’t the American Soldiers that lost the Vietnam War. They were fierce warriors who took on a deadly and vicious enemy in dense jungles. They would have continued to fight. They would have won if they had been given the tools to do so. It was the people at home that were defeated. It was the American people that defeated us in that war.

The same people of the same generation that are doing the same things now. A democratic Congress cut funding for the Vietnam War forcing our retreat and a democratic Congress keeps threatening to cut funding for the Global War on Terrorism.

When the Iraqi people look at us in distrust and hedge their bets – just look at what we did in Vietnam to understand why. Our Soldiers are having to deal with the legacy left them by a greatly weakened American image. Thanks to our loss in Vietnam.

A generation later the islamofascists are counting on using the same weakness against us. They have learned the lessons of our history. I wonder if we have.

Where have all our young men gone? Gone for Soldiers every one.
When will we ever learn … When will we ever learn?