Monday, May 4, 2015

40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon

4 Perspectives on the fall of Saigon 40 years ago.

WSJ -- William McGurn -- When America Loses a War

The real lesson is that bad things happen when the U.S. loses or walks away from a war.

In the 40 Aprils that have come and gone since, Vietnam has become shorthand for a political orthodoxy built on the idea that American military intervention overseas creates more problems than it solves. This thinking feeds an entire industry pumping out tedious lectures about “The Lessons of Vietnam.”

Still, the most obvious lesson of Vietnam is the one hardly ever acknowledged: the terrible price paid—human as well as strategic—when America loses a war.

Foreign Affairs Winter (1991/92 issue) -- George C. Herring
America and Vietnam: The Unending War

“Why did the United States invest so much blood and treasure in an area so remote as Vietnam and of so little apparent significance? Why, despite its vast power, did the United States fail to achieve its objectives? What were the consequences of the war for Americans-and for Vietnamese?”

Foreign Affairs -- Nov/Dec 2012 -- Fredrik Logevall
What Really Happened in Vietnam

“The Saigon government, meanwhile, was crippled from the outset by three principal shortcomings that no amount of U.S. intervention could overcome: professional military inferiority, endemic corruption, and insufficient popular support.”

Quartz -- Matt Phillips
Vietnam, ruled by communists for 40 years, is now the No. 1 fan of capitalism on the planet

Much like China, Vietnam remains an authoritarian country today. And it’s communist, too, but in name only. Things have changed a lot over the last 40 years. According to a recent Pew Research survey, Vietnam today has the single most positive views on capitalism of any country, with an enthusiasm that is even more widespread than in Germany, India, or the United States.