Never Again

Jack Kelly knows psyops when he sees it.

The one great similarity between Vietnam and Iraq is that our enemies, despairing of victory on the battlefield, sought to win with a propaganda campaign. In Vietnam, this strategy succeeded. If it fails in Iraq, it will be chiefly because of the emergence of the new media.

The turning point in Vietnam was the Tet Offensive of February, 1968. It was a crushing defeat for the Viet Cong.

“Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise,” said North Vietnamese Army Col. Bui Tin in a 1995 interview. “Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out. It took until 1971 to re-establish our presence.”

“The Tet Offensive proved catastrophic to our plans,” said Truong Nhu Tang, minister of justice in the Viet Cong’s provisional government, in a 1982 interview. “Our losses were so immense we were unable to replace them with new recruits.”

The news media reported this overwhelming American victory as a catastrophic defeat.

“Donning helmet, Mr. Cronkite declared the war lost,” recounted UPI’s Arnaud de Borchgrave. “It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Lyndon Johnson…not to run for re-election.”

Shaken by Tet, he planned to seek terms for a conditional surrender, the North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, wrote in his memoirs. But our news media’s complete misrepresentation of what had actually happened “convinced him America’s resolve was weakening and complete victory was within Hanoi’s grasp,” Mr. de Borchgrave said.

The relentless drumbeat of negativity has had its effect on support for the war in Iraq. But it’s been nothing like the change in public opinion brought about by the massive media mendacity that followed Tet. That’s because in those days journalists could lie with impunity. This is no longer the case.

The MSM and the Jihadis are in it together.  One needs bleeding and leading, the other needs publicity.  This mutualism makes the American MSM a willing purveyor of Jihadi propaganda and Democrat defeatism.  They are protected from prosecution because the Bush Administration and the Gonzales Justice Department chooses not to expend the political capital and endure the pain to fight that battle.  But they are not protected from us.

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