Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
Home Up Pledge of Allegiance Different LtColRichmon Napa Valley Register Semper Fidelis


From the Opinion Page of the Napa Valley Register, 11/22/99


Commentary: Don't believe the 'pinkies'; Vietnam stopped communism

I don't believe the majority were opposed, but there certainly were the many vocal few who fit that statement.

I believe that the biggest problem is that most people still today do not understand the realities. At best, some pay lip service such as, "While it was in our interest to oppose the communist threat to America, it did not benefit Americans to ..." (E. A. Locke, commentary, Nov. 11).

I hope the following historical discussion will help to ease a bit of the pain of the Vietnam veterans and the families of those who did not return -- and don't be afraid to stand up and explain the realities to the misinformed.

It is appalling the view that most people today have about the Vietnam War -- the reason it was fought and what it accomplished.

These people obviously have never heard of, much less read, the "Communist Manifesto." This was a book published years ago written by the leaders of the communist movement. It clearly outlined the absolute and unqualified goal of communism which can be summed up in the phrase "the conquest of the world."

In the '50s and '60s, it was commonly discussed in the U.S. and other "free" countries that communist expansion must be stopped. Today, the existence of that view has been forgotten. It is common belief that communism "fell under its own weight," that the Berlin Wall fell down from old age. Not true. Communism means dictatorship, and to continue to exist, it must slaughter its own people as needed and expand to conquer other countries. When communism is finally contained, it stagnates and falls apart.

Vietnam was a crucial battle in the stopping of that spread of communism. It demonstrated to the world communist leaders that the free world was ready to make tremendous sacrifices to stop that spread and ready, able, and willing to meet communism on foreign lands if necessary. Except for a few subsequent localized excursions, the spread of communism was stopped.

Others gave critical help. The Ghanians deposed Nkrumah and evicted the Russians who were building a large airport in the far north. I was there. The whole of West Africa would have come under communist domination. Communist expansion in all of Africa was greatly hindered. Later, the Ghanian navy played their role.

The Chileans terminated Allende and the Russian communists in their country. The Russians were building a large airport in the north. The communists were taking over private enterprises one by one. They were evicting farmers from their land acre by acre. They had almost reached the sea and a turkey farm was next. I was there.

Much has been made about human rights abuses in Chile -- generally blamed on General Pinochet. But let us not forget, the majority of the imprisoned people, citizens and foreigners were communists bent on overthrowing the non-communist government, and bringing back communism and the Russians. The Chileans helped turn the tide against communism in South America. The English have already forgotten this in their threat to cater to Spain and extradite Pinochet.

The Cubans were harassed and hindered from open military invasions into South and Central America by the U.S.A. and others. They were reduced to limited terrorist tactics and training communist revolutionaries for Africa and South America.

Cambodia was a terrible event, but it certainly convinced countries on the edge to go in another direction. It did not spread to neighboring countries and marked a geographical boundary for communism.

Unfortunately, there were many prominent "pink" celebrities including Jane Fonda and others who became forcibly vocal during this period. They had became enamored with the fallacious theories of communism. They could not see that total dictatorship is an absolute and necessary component of communism. It is hard to believe that they did not realize they themselves would be the first to be physically terminated if the communists were to come to power in the U.S. Communism cannot tolerate the existence of popular leaders with a large following of common "workers."

The press, led by the "pinkies" among them, sold the American public a bill of goods on Vietnam, and continue to naively preach this line today. Unfortunately, many people are easily mislead.

The Vietnam War was the biggest and costliest battle, in terms of U.S. lives, to halt communism. The Vietnam soldiers can be proud of what they accomplished. Those who died did not die in vain. We owe them much. They put the biggest clamp on the goals outlined in the Communist Manifesto. Without a winnable war to turn to, Russian communism stagnated -- and collapsed.

Perhaps we could have conducted the military effort in some other way to accomplish the same goal with less loss of lives, but our military leaders were not allowed to win. They could not do an end run into Hanoi or otherwise interdict the supply lines from China and Russia. They could not bomb communist cities and ships. As in Korea, the enemy had sanctuaries. All we could do was contain those sanctuaries.

(Dr. Schultz lives in Napa).