Bring the Troops Home Now/Support the Troops

DMS dmschanoes at
Thu Jul 24 05:49:22 MDT 2003

To LP's comments:

1. Yes, the NLF/NV said that.  But quite simply, the impact
of the Tet offensive is what turned the US population
toward the anti-war movement.  I think, in fact, your
remarks about Iraq prove the reverse of what you offer:
Anti-war sentiment was quite outspoken, PR or no PR, and
then died away, clearly, when the war started and the US
after some rocky moments,  took control.  Now the US is
losing control of the battlefield, and the anti-war sent-
iment is reborn.

2. Yes, the TET offensive was very costly to the NLF. As
I said it took several years for the provisional forces
to recover.  And yes, main force fighting fell to the NVA,
who equipped with their own armor and artillery, fielding
maneuver battalions were able to carry forth the battle or
retire from battle as circumstances dictated.  What was
the "cost" of Khe Sanh?  Two NVA divisions, I think.  When
the Marines were relieved by the 1st Air Cav, what was left.
Dust.  Walking on the moon.  What was the "cost" of Hue?
I think it was about a division. When the Marines were
reinforced and relieved, again by the 1st Air Cav and some
units of the 101, (101 and 1st Air Cav later combined, if I
recall this into 101 Air Assault, not airborne, as 101 had
lost jump status due to its deployment in VN) what was left?
The Perfume River.

But US ground combat failed to destroy the NVA main force
battalions, despite all the physical destruction inflicted
upon the troops and the countryside.  Nor was the US able
to press forward its military advantage after the destruction
of the provisional forces.

Tactically, some refer to TET as a blunder, since the NLF/PRG
anticipated an uprising throughout the country, concentrated
in the cities, and sacrificed its strongest units in the
close quarters fighting with the US military-- but control
of the battlefield was lost by the US.

3. Correct, no official US candidate said OUT NOW, but many
said, OUT as soon as practical, Bring the Troops Home Real Soon,
and the similarity was enough so that any number of the officials of recuperation, mayors, reps, wannabe reps, wannabe
senators, could blur the content of the struggle and channel the
movement back to the  political organizations of the

4. Agree 95% at the start of the struggle had no notion of
class-- but the start of the struggle wasn't 68 or 70 or
71.  The start of the struggle was at least as far back as
64, and we don't have to start over from the beginning every
time the movement expands.  Think of it as uneven and combined
development, where we have to make the transition, and
alleviate the "backwardness," through the power of that "class"
able to transform the mode of production.

5. I think the military history of the war after BTTHN says
a lot about the weakness of that program.

6. Yes we can make a difference, and to do that, we have to
be different, really make the difference.  We are not
"pro-military" but anti-war.  We are not about
saving "one American life" at the cost of one or a hundred
Iraqi lives.   As Richard Harris pointed out, Pat Buchanan
is saying support our troops, bring them home now.  He's
even talking about imperialism and imperialist overreach.
So let's make the difference, and use language that makes
it clear that Buchanan serves a ruling class, and a real
anti-war movement will not.


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