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APRIL 29, 1975: VIETNAM WAR INFAMY

 

By Attorney Rees Lloyd
April 30, 2013
NewsWithViews.com

The philosopher George Santayana, famously wrote, in his book The Life of Reason: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

It is apt to remember Santayana's wise observation in contemplation of April 29, 1975, for what happened on that date in the Vietnam War should be remembered as a day of infamy, in order to prevent its ever being repeated.

I note on this April 29, 2013, that my youngest daughter will be in her sophomore high school class in a government school today. There, her liberal progressive politically-correct, cultural-relativist government NEA mis-educators will make no mention of the significance of April 29, 1975, or the Vietnam War.

Or, if they do, it will be to condemn it.

They will, as per progressive-liberal self-righteous perversity, also condemn the American veterans sent to fight it, even though those veterans were told and believed they had been sent to war for a noble cause: To defend freedom and prevent the spread of totalitarian communism in Southeast Asia -- Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

The lies of liberal progressives about what American military men and women did in Vietnam, spouted most prominently by such despicable self-promoting political liars as John Kerry and Jane Fonda, have lingered and lived longer than the truth of how those Vietnam veterans factually ought, and why they fought.

For those still caught-up on a John Kerry-Jane Fonda propaganda time warp, one curative memoir describing the ignored humanitarian acts of American troops in the Vietnam war is Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady's "Dead Men Flying—The Legend of Dust Off: America's Battlefield Anngels," recently published in a new edition by WND Books. (www.WND.com.)

For my daughter's generation, then, the Vietnam War is as remote a historical war than was the First World War for my generation; maybe as remote for her generation as the Civil War.

Her overwhelmingly liberal progressive government teachers in this the era of Progressive Liberal Obamaism, are also overwhelmingly composed of Americans who never served a day in defense of their country.

They will, therefore, justify their non-service in that war, Iraq, or Obama's present war in Afghanistan, by following the liberal progressive John Kerry-Jane Fonda-Barack Obama line that the Vietnam War was a shameful war, a stain on America's greatness.

They will condemn it not because it was not fought to win it, which was shameful, but because it was fought at all.

They will also fail to teach the nation's children what was particularly shameful about April 29, 1975, an infamy which should never repeated.

It is with a heavy heart that I report on April 29, 1975, because I am a patriot and I love my country; and I did serve when called, though I was never deployed to Vietnam. It is painful to write of it of April 29, 1975. Therefore, with thanks to William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb, I report it in their words as written in their very valuable "The American Patriot's Almanac:"

"The events unfolded half a world away, but the last days of April 1975 were dark ones in American history. The United States had withdrawn its forces from Southeast Asia, leaving the Communist North Vietnamese army to overrun South Vietnam. On April 29, as North Vietnamese troops encircled Saigon, American officials began a helicopter evacuation to get thousands of U.S. citizens, South Vietnamese allies, and others out of the capital city. On April 30, South Vietnam surrendered.

"Just days earlier, a similar though smaller-scale evacuation had taken place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as forces of the Communist Khmer Rouge moved in on that capital. As U.S. officials fled the country, the American ambassador asked Prince Sirik Matak if he would like to leave. Matak's response is difficult for Americans to read:

"'I thank you very sincerely for your letter and your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it. You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we are all born and must die. I have only committed this mistake of believing in you.'"

"When the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh, they shot Matak in the stomach. Unattended, it took him three days to die. During the Khmer Rouge's four-year reign of terror, some 1.5 million peopled died from execution, starvation, and forced labor."

I weep for my country that the words of Prince Sirik Matak ever had to be spoken by one who believed in us, and was betrayed by us; who died for loving freedom over life, and died because he trusted us Americans. I hear the echo of Matak's words in the word's of the late Gen. Norman Swarzkopf who led our troops in the later Desert Storm, the first war against terrorism in Iraq: "There are some things worth living for. There are some things worth dying for. One of those things is freedom."

I pray that Americans will never again have to feel the shame evoked when the words of Matak are remembered. After all these years, I feel my own sense of shame in reading Matak's words, in that, while I served when called in the Vietnam-era, I was never deployed; and though I could have volunteered to go to Vietnam where others were sent to fight and 58,000 to die, I didn't volunteer, and others died in my place in Vietnam defending liberty, there, and here.

It must be recognized in regard to that infamy exposed in Matak's words that it was not the American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women, and coast guard who caused that infamy, and "lost the War in Vietnam," as is so often wrongfully written.

It was the government that caused that infamy, influenced by such miscreant liars as John Kerry, Jane Fonda, and their liberal clones who vociferously opposed the war in Vietnam -- slandering and libeling the Americans who fought it with righteous indignation until then-President Richard Nixon ended the draft, and thereby took the hot air out of the utterly hypocritical liberal "Peace Movement" (sic), which was not only effectively ended but which did nothing when the atrocities, the war crimes of the communists they supported, brought death to millions in Vietnam, Laos, and the "killing fields" of Cambodia.

That infamy in Vietnam was caused by the government in Washington, which withdrew American forces from Vietnam and turned the defense of freedom entirely over to the Vietnamese themselves—but then withdrew the funding which was absolutely necessary for the Vietnamese to defend themselves against totalitarian communism and sealed their doom, and the doom of freedom.

If there is any doubt as to that reality, the truth of it is passionately and devastatingly detailed by one of America's greatest living military heroes, Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton (USN, ret), seven years and seven months a prisoner of war in Vietnam, in the epilogue in the new edition of his classic book, "When Hell Was In Session." (WND.books.)

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Thus, on this anniversary date of the infamy in Vietnam beginning on April 29, 1975, I pray that my daughter's generation and her descendents will learn, know, and remember the words of Matak when Americans broke trust and abandoned the cause of liberty, so that my daughter and those following generations will not be "condemned to repeat" that infamy as George Santyana warned.

May they be taught and remember, too, the simply stated but profound truth expressed by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in this era's war against terrorism: "There are some things worth living for. There are some things worth dying for. One of those things is freedom."

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO TYRANNY—NEVER!

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Rees Lloyd, a one time ACLU staff attorney, is the co-founder and director of the Defense of Veterans Memorial Project of the American Legion Dept. of California, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.

A longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.

He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*

[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]

E-Mail: ReesLloydLaw@gmail.com


 

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It is with a heavy heart that I report on April 29, 1975, because I am a patriot and I love my country; and I did serve when called, though I was never deployed to Vietnam.