A Vietnam Veteran Responds to Today's Propaganda Wars
Terry Harris passed along this story today and a response from his Vietnam veteran brother…
Jack Kelly, who served in both the U.S. Army Special Forces and the United States Marine Corps, wrote a brilliant piece today posted at Real Clear Politics about the propaganda war being fought right now for the future of Iraq with the Left again cheering for our defeat:
Journalists are repeating in Iraq the errors (or worse) they made in Vietnam. Earlier this month, the Army sponsored a conference for retired general officers at Fort Carson, Colorado. They were addressed by recent returnees from Iraq, including Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
“All returnees agreed we are clearly winning the fight against the insurgents but are losing the public relations battle,” said a retired admiral in an email to friends…
…TIME magazine had a reporter and a photographer embedded with the 3rd ACR. When the battle was over, they filed a lengthy story and nearly 100 photographs.
“When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of the reporter’s story and none of the photographs he submitted were used,” said the admiral, quoting Col. McMaster. “When the reporter questioned why his story was eviscerated, his editors…responded that the story and pictures were ‘too heroic.'”
…The relentless drumbeat of negativity has had its effect on support for the war in Iraq. But it’s been nothing like the change in public opinion brought about by the massive media mendacity that followed Tet. That’s because in those days journalists could lie with impunity. This is no longer the case.
No one knows that better than Dan Rather. He was undone because a Web logger noticed the memoranda on which he was relying had been typed on a computer, which did not exist at the time they allegedly were written.
Later, Terry’s brother Jerry chimed in…
Jerry served in Viet Nam 1969-70. He turned 20 over there in October of 1969. Below is Jerry’s response….sent to you with his permission.
Hey Bud – thanks for the article. I lived thru this. Tet took place in Jan/Feb 1968 and the VC had been terribly beaten. The NVA was trying to fill in due to the VC’s losses.
Our military was NEVER defeated in any engagement of significance — only by the press. Of course, we were also severely hamstrung by the Johnson administration and, even though Nixon was better, we were never turned loose. North Vietnam was on the verge of surrender after the 1972 Christmas bombing (by B52’s) but we gave that away too.
This country’s leadership and it’s elite has not well served it’s brave citizens. When I came home from the war, I was very, very angry about it and it doesn’t seem that our elite has learned its lesson. I am however glad that our soldiers are being treated better than we were upon our return. They’re outstanding people and HEROES and deserve everything we can possibly do for them.
It’s sad to say but I’m not the least bit surprised by our press and how they’re handling things.
Thank you Jerry for your service and thanks Terry for passing this along!