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January 22, 2007

The Vietnam History You Haven't Heard But Need To Know Before You Swallow The Dems' Analogy To Iraq

Americans are increasingly being told by agenda-driven Democrats and the left wing agenda-driven media that Iraq is another Vietnam, "usually by those accusing the Bush administration of miring the United States in a hopeless war."

But what many think they know about the Vietnam war, and what the Democrats and the left want you to think about the Vietnam war, was handed down by works of three journalists . The first two, David Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest" (1972) and Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam: A History," (1983) each sold more than 1 million copies, while the third, Neil Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie" (1988), received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The versons of the three authors were then endlessly repeated by "commentators" until the versions were "accepted as fact."

[...] Halberstam, Sheehan, and Karnow would play crucial roles in events that fomented the coup that removed Diem on Nov. 1, 1963. Their anti-Diem information, much of it from ill-informed or agenda-driven sources, gave Diem's opponents in the US government the reasons they needed to remove what they considered to be an ineffective allied government. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge accepted their reports, spurring him to incite the coup.

[...] By taking a few pieces of evidence out of context, they asserted that the South Vietnamese war effort had been wrecked before Diem's death rather than after it, something that they had not claimed at the time. They were thus able to convince the American people that Diem had ruined the country and that the press had been right in denouncing him.

A multitude of previously untapped American and Vietnamese Communist sources show that the South Vietnamese war effort actually was thriving until the very end of Diem's life.

... One reason for the durability of their version is that the endless repetition by other commentators produced the impression that it had to be right.

The only little problem is that they were wrong!

So, what part of this doesn't sound excruciatingly familiar? Think Iraq, where the term 'agenda-driven reporting' has been taken to a whole new dimension.

Posted by Richard at January 22, 2007 12:25 PM

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