Last week I had the opportunity to hear Congressman Sam Johnson and his wife, Shirley, talk about their experience during the Vietnam War when Sam was held as a POW for seven years. They have since returned to Vietnam, and they were able to see some of the places where Congressman Johnson had been during the war. Vietnam is of course a corrupt communist country, thanks to the U.S. withdrawal after the war.
According to Congressman Johnson, our American forces were on the verge of actually winning the war in Vietnam against communist North Vietnamese at the time we finally gave in to the American protesters and the liberal anti-war politicians. The North Vietnamese were weakening. What happened then? Americans lost their will to win.
Congressman Johnson, a bona fide war hero, said during his remarks that he feels like the Iraq war is Vietnam happening all over again. America has the ability to win, but Americans are losing the will to win. In light of the speech given by Senator John McCain last week in which he said that the Democrats actually cheered during the vote to withdraw our troops, it seems as if we should listen to these two men. Senator McCain is another war hero and former POW, and like Congressman Johnson, they believe we should stay the course in Iraq. Senator McCain asked, “What are they cheering? Surrender? Defeat?” Well, that seems to be exactly what the Democrats are cheering.
We abandoned our friends in South Vietnam. Remember the images of South Vietnamese citizens hanging on to American helicopters as they took off? Do we really want to abandon our allies in Iraq? According to sources, Muqtada al-Sadr has fled to Iran. President Bush’s troop buildup has not yet been completed. There are signs of progress. Car bombs will continue to go off, just as suicide bombers in Israel will continue to strike, but does that mean we should announce to the terrorists that American troops will be gone on a certain, specific date? That is insanity. One difference between Baghdad and Saigon is that Baghdad has oil revenues, which if confiscated by terrorists, would buy many weapons.
The bottom line is that we have two former POWs from the Vietnam War who feel that we should stay the course in Iraq. They have been through hell and back, and yet they believe that our troops should continue to fight the global war on terror. They are appalled at the Democrats and their call for withdrawal and surrender. Perhaps we should listen. Theirs are the voices of experience.