“Our objective is the independence of South Vietnam and its freedom from attack. We want nothing for ourselves—only that the people of South Vietnam be allowed to guide their own country in their own way.” President Lyndon Johnson, 1965
During the Vietnam era, over three million Americans fought to defend the government and people of South Vietnam from a Communist invasion. Fifty-eight thousand of them lost their lives. About three quarters of the men who fought and died were volunteers.
Instead of honoring the memory of the American heroes who fought and died in Vietnam, left-leaning historians tend to portray the GI’s as villains, and their mission as a waste and a fraud. A future Other Half of History column will describe the way college faculties slander Vietnam era soldiers. Today’s column is about the textbook misrepresentations of their mission.
“The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism” Karl Marx
During the Vietnam War, radical student groups like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) tried to undermine America’s troops and sabotage the war effort. The leaders of many of these groups were allied with the enemy, and the methods they used were often violent, but don’t expect to hear that in a mainstream history class today.
University faculties are overwhelmingly liberal, and no subject brings out that leftwing bias more flagrantly than the Vietnam War, and the ironically-named “peace movement” that opposed it. Most of the history textbooks being assigned to freshman history students portray the radicals of the sixties in a positive light, and single out SDS for special praise.
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” Karl Marx
If there is one subject that shows the bias of college campus liberals more than any other, it is the Vietnam War. Many university professors of today were radical anti-war students in the 1960’s, and the habit of condemning America’s role in Vietnam seems to only harden with age. It is perhaps not surprising that when a radical group of the sixties holds a reunion, they hold it on a college campus, and the attendees include lots of modern day university faculty members.
A modern-day student whose only knowledge of Vietnam comes from mainstream history books and classroom lectures will inevitably be led to share the perspective of the left wing radicals who write most of the books, and give most of the lectures. According to standard textbook portrayals, the people of North Vietnam were perfectly happy living under Communism in the fifties and sixties, and the folks trapped in anti-Communist South Vietnam envied their Northern neighbors. The Americans, according to this view, came in as aggressors, in violation of an international treaty, and killed and terrorized a lot of innocent people in an attempt to deny the Vietnamese people the form of government they craved.
The truth is very different.