You cannot negotiate with terrorists
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
I chose to spend part of my Memorial Day viewing a three-part series called “Vietnam in HD”. Having served in that war, having lived through those turbulent times, and having over 40 years to dwell on the why’s, what’s, and how’s of those of us who experienced the 60’s and 70’s has rekindled memories, many which are painful to recall.
The message I have for Congress, the White House,the Pentagon, and any and all who control the lives of American men and women who serve this nation in the military is to study your history. The old saying, “If you continue to do the same things, you will always achieve the same results,” applies here. We cannot and must not continue to put our children and grandchildren in harm’s way without a clear objective. It applied in Korea, Vietnam, and applies today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and it seems that some in Congress want it to happen again in Syria. Stop the nonsense before another American dies without cause.
We sacrificed 54,229 men and women in Korea and nothing was settled. The countries are still in conflict today, some 60 years later. We sacrificed 58,272 men and women in Vietnam and the country was abandoned by our politicians, not because we ever lost a major battle, but because we had no objective. “Hamburger Hill” was an example of our policies. For 10 days in May of 1969, our troops battled on Hill 937 losing 72 men, wounding 371, and killing 630 enemy troops. Our troops ran out of water and ammunition before being re-supplied and after it was all over, 12 days later, we abandoned the hill back to the North Vietnamese. This was over a year after the Tet Offensive of 1968, but not even at the height of our participation as U.S. involvement reached 550,000 troops later that year. Meanwhile, supposed “peace talks” were going on in Paris where they spent more time arguing over the shape of the table than discussing a peace treaty.
General William Westmoreland was replaced by General Abrams as head of U. S. forces in June of 1968 after the March, 1968, announcement of President Johnson that he would not seek another term. He was replaced by President Nixon who promised and did end the war in 1975. However, from the time Johnson announced until we pulled out, another 27,000 American men and women were sacrificed. During these times, our nation here at home was torn asunder with protests against the war and the horrible treatment our returning veterans had to endure, a wound that will never heal in some.
Today we have another leader in the White House whose campaign promises were to end the war in Iraq and history will probably say he did. However, we just seem to move from one conflict to another, using the same old worn-out rhetoric, the same old worn out strategies, and achieve the same results. As of May 21, 2013, we have sacrificed 2,091 American lives in Afghanistan. Obama wants to negotiate with terrorists which is akin to the ludicrous “peace talks” in Paris. Surrender is the only option and surrender is only rendered because of strength and objective.
It is time to bring troops home, secure our borders and realize that negotiation is not an option. It is akin to arguing with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. It is time we stop most foreign aid, oust diplomats who are here in our country only as spies and enemies, withdraw from NATO, the United Nations and any other organizations that do not put the priorities of the United States first. It is time to become the “parent” and bring the unruly “children” into line. We have coddled them long enough. It is time to stand up America and discipline those in Washington who are not serving us, but only themselves.
Remember the Alamo, but also remember “Hamburger Hill.”
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