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White Flag over Congress? By: Michael Benge
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, September 27, 2007


President Bush’s use of the Vietnam-Iraq analogy in his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars last month was accurate but lacking. Most of his critics, including those in Congress, know little about the history of the Vietnamese communists, and they choose to blindly ignore what is glaringly known about the intentions of al Qaeda and the radical Muslim jihadists in the Middle East. Where the President fell short in his analogy is he forgot to mention that while the communists in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos did not announce their genocidal intentions at the onset of the war, al Qaeda and the Muslim jihadists have – as demonstrated by 9/11 attacks and by numerous other acts of barbarism, such as the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl.

George Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." Karl Marx wrote, "History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were tragedies, but if the defeatists in Congress get their way, the US withdrawal from Iraq will be both tragedy and farce.

Ho Chi Minh, cofounder of the French communist party, held a position of leadership in the international communist movement – the Comintern. Ho founded the Indo-China Communist Party in 1930, and was sent by the Comintern to Siam (Thailand), Malaya and Singapore to preside over the creation of communist parties in these countries. Moscow also put him in charge of creating communist parties in Cambodia and Laos. All were encouraged to contribute to the international proletarian revolution, and all of them reported to the Comintern’s Far Eastern Bureau headed by Ho.

After the Geneva Agreements in 1954, Ho Chi Minh saw to it that several hundred young Cambodians were taken north, indoctrinated in communism and given military training. They were later armed and sent back, where they became the basis of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia’s Eastern Zone. Knowing of Ho’s close ties to Moscow and his intent to emulate his hero, the butcher Joseph Stalin, by creating a Soviet-style Union of South East Asia, China began training and arming the Pol Pot faction of the Khmer Rouge as a counterbalance to Soviet influence. North Vietnam enabled the Khmer Rouge to take over Phnom Penh in 1975 by providing logistics, ammunition, artillery and backup by Vietnamese troops making them complicate in the genocide of at least one and one half million Cambodians.

Viewing the US as a paper tiger after its abandonment of South Vietnam, the Vietnamese communist party sent its mighty military force into Cambodia, not to liberate it from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, but to colonize that country to fulfill Ho Chi Minh’s dream of hegemony over Indochina. They never dreamed that the US would ally with communist China to drive them out. Unfortunately, the Hanoi’s Khmer Rouge remained intact and now controls Cambodia.

The Vietnamese communists continue their policy of neo-colonization, nibbling away at Cambodia by annexing sizable portions of its borders, coastlines, and islands through illegitimate treaties with their puppet regime in Phnom Penh. Their latest method is a “Development Triangle” scheme that involves flooding three northeastern provinces of Cambodia and the three southeastern provinces of Laos with Vietnamese settlers. The Vietnamese army has already established coffee, cashew and rubber plantations in the Laotian provinces -- the latter covering more than 7,000 hectares.

The similarity between the Vietnamese communists and the al Qaeda and the Muslim jihadists is that they are both fanatical true believers who see it as their divine right and destiny to establish hegemony over their respective regions, regardless of the cost in human life.

American involvement in Vietnam was justified in trying to prevent the “dominos” -- the Southeast Asian nations -- from falling victim to communism. Likewise, the US must stay involved in Iraq to keep radical Islam from spreading throughout the region, and to prevent the eventual take over of Iraq by Iran – another “domino effect.”

Another Vietnam-Iraq analogy is how the US treats its allies. Some observers thought that the Iraqis would welcome the Americans with garlands of flowers. However, the Shias viewed us as betrayers rather than liberators, because after arming and encouraging them to rebel against Saddam’s regime at the end of the First Gulf War, the coalition failed to enforce the Southern no-fly zone. This allowed Saddam’s forces to slaughter an estimated 100,000 Shia -- men, women and children -- with tanks, helicopter gunships and devastating artillery fire.

Now, about 10,000 Iraqis who worked for the US have been threatened by the terrorists who accuse them and their families of “collaborating” with the enemy – a death sentence. They have been referred by the United Nations for resettlement in the US, but even though many are translators who have already been vetted by the US armed forces, so far only about 100 have been admitted. One who called the US Embassy in Jordan for help was told, “You knew the risk when you helped the Army.” Recently, Ellen Sauerbrey, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and attempted to justify the snails pace of processing said that the problem is the “very thorough security checks” put in place after 9/11; however, only 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqis may be admitted this year.

During a trip to Hanoi last February, Sauerbrey told persecuted Montagnard ethnic minorities that they should stay in the Central Highlands rather than fleeing to Cambodia to seek sanctuary. This came after the repressive Vietnamese communist regime told her that the Montagnards were free to travel and take their grievances to the US Embassy or consulate. The reality, however, is that embassy and consulate are heavily guarded by communist police who won’t let the Montagnards enter. Loyal allies of America during the Vietnam War, the Montagnards lost approximately half of their adult male population fighting the communists. When the US withdrew from Vietnam, about 1.5 million Montagnards remained. Now the Vietnamese regime gives their population at around 750,000 – evidence of the regime’s brutal and long-standing policy of ethnic cleansing.

After 9/11, some Americans took pleasure in vilifying the French, ridiculing them as afraid to fight and prone to flee from the battlefield. Some even went as far as to describe the French national flag as a white sheet signifying surrender. But if the defeatists in our own Congress succeed in raising the white flag over the US Capitol, America will once again have abandoning its allies -- and once again, terror and slaughter will follow.


Michael Benge spent 11 years in Vietnam as a Foreign Service Officer, including five years as a Prisoner of war-- 1968-73 and is a student of South East Asian Politics. He is very active in advocating for human rights and religious freedom and has written extensively on these subjects.


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