Memorial Day is meant to honor those who sacrificed life, limb, body, mind, and soul in the wars that the United States has waged. It is the right thing to do.
Many older Americans remember WWII and to a lesser extent the Korean War as evidence that if the United States brings a military response to a situation the war will be won by America. We are the nation with the most advanced military hardware and we have soldiers that are second to none is the supporting evidence to confirm these beliefs. When it came to Vietnam we saw our views shattered.
The reason is obvious to me. The wars we won were almost unanimously supported by the people we helped. They fought along with us to obtain victory.
Vietnam was different. We fought but many of the South Vietnamese did not support our vision. That opinion is shared by many who were there. Bill Plante, who was a CBS correspondent in Vietnam had this to say this morning on Face the Nation. From the transcript, I marked in bold the words that caught my attention.
BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: When I first went there, Bob, in 1964, there were American advisers. We knew that they were helping out and sometimes actually fighting, but we basically bought the notion that they were there to help South Vietnamese.
And by the time I came back a second time in 1967, it was pretty apparent that the Americans were doing all the fighting and the South Vietnamese not doing much.
And the other thing was that what we were seeing in the field didn`t match what the government of the United States was saying both in Saigon and in Washington. Lyndon Johnson was fighting a limited war and they had to sell it to the American public as such, but you could just go on any battlefield or out in the country and see that the facts didn`t match the story.
So, we got what they called the credibility gap. Our — and Morley Safer used to wear a badge that said “I was ambushed at Credibility Gap.”
That brings us to ISIS and the war in Syria and Iraq. Reports appearing on the news just this past day tell and show the Iraqi army that was not outnumbered but were shown driving their vehicles with all their solders away from the battle for control of the city of Ramadi.
So President Obama wants the people of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other Arab states to put their armies on the ground to do the fighting. This would not be fighting for a day or a week but for an extended time, perhaps years. After all it’s their nations that are at risk.
John McCain, Lindsay Graham, John Bolton, and others would have the United States permanently stationed in the Middle East to protect nations that as of now do not want to commit their own citizens to a fight with ISIS. Until they do, why should the United States?