By Jacob Hornberger
Do you remember what U.S. national-security state officials were saying when millions of Americans were demanding that the U.S. government withdraw its troops from Vietnam and bring them home?
They were saying that “national security” was at stake — i.e., the very survival of the United States. If the U.S. government withdrew from Vietnam, they said, the dominoes would start falling to the communists, first in Southeast Asia and ultimately all over the world, with the United States being the final big domino. Vietnam was our line of defense against the entire world going red.
It was all false. As I point in my new ebook The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State (which just hit #5 in Amazon’s top 100 bestselling ebooks in Political Freedom), in actuality it didn’t make a whit of difference whether Vietnam and other countries in the world went red, at least not insofar as the United States was concerned. That is, the existence of the United States was never threatened by the fact that other countries had communist regimes.
How do we know that this is true?
Because Vietnam did fall to the communists, and nothing happened to the United States. In fact, so did North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union. And Cuba. And Guatemala. And Chile. And Nicaragua. And Venezuela.
What difference did it make, insofar as the United States was concerned?
Not one whit of difference. Those 58,000 plus U.S. soldiers who were sacrificed in Vietnam died for nothing.
It’s no different today with respect to ISIS, the terrorists, the Muslims, or, yes, even the communists. It doesn’t matter one whit whether ISIS takes control over Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, or wherever. Even if they do, they’re not coming to get you, cart you away, and force you to study the Koran, any more than the communists came to get you and forced you to study Das Kapital.
That’s not to say, of course, that it would be in the interests of people living in those countries to live under an ISIS regime, any more than it is in the interests of the North Korean, Vietnamese, Cuban, and Chinese people to be living under communist regimes.
But the fact is that people’s suffering under foreign tyranny is no business of the U.S. government. It’s certainly no legal business, given that the Constitution does not grant the power of regime change and foreign intervention to the federal government. But it’s also no moral business of the U.S. government, especially given that when the U.S. government intervenes against foreign regimes with the aim of effecting regime change, it just makes things worse for the people living in those societies. After all, just look at the death, destruction, misery, and suffering that the U.S. government’s interventions and regime-change operations have brought to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the rest of the Middle East.
The problem is that U.S. officials just don’t want to get out because they’re afraid of “losing face,” which was the same fear that Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had about withdrawing the troops from Vietnam.
Thus, if the American people want to restore a normally functioning society to our land, the responsibility lies with them to accomplish this. They need to do what Americans did with the Vietnam War. They need to start demanding, with mass protests if necessary, that the president — whoever he or she is — bring the troops home now, without any further delay. No more killing and no more destruction on the part of the U.S. government. Just leave the people of the Middle East alone to work out their own problems.
Thank goodness millions of American people began demanding that the troops be brought home from Vietnam. If they hadn’t, they might well still be over there today fighting to prevent the dominoes from falling and America from going red. If only the American people had demanded a withdrawal from Vietnam much sooner than they did. Think how many more Americans would not have died for nothing.
Today, the news media is announcing that another American soldier has just been killed in Iraq. Yes, believe it or not, U.S. troops are back in Iraq. Americans need to do what they did to get us out of the Vietnam War before more U.S. soldiers die for nothing. It’s the only way to restore a society of freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony to our land.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.