If you remember Vietnam, then you may ask a simple question: Where did 50 years go? Better than that, you may look around today and see a lot of international conflicts, like we did after our embarrassing departure from Saigon.
It was 50 years ago this week that U.S. troops left Vietnam. It ended a war that began when President Kennedy sent some advisers, then was later escalated under President Johnson to 500,000 troops, and finally was ended by President Nixon. As you know, the parties signed a ceasefire in January 1973. It followed the “famous Christmas bombing” when President Nixon forced the communists to sign the agreement. We called it “Operation Linebacker” and it was effective. The bombing missions were so good that the communists were shortly begging for a paper to sign. Where do I sign Mr. Kissinger?
Twenty-seven months later, or on May 1, 1975, the North walked into Saigon, and we’ve known it as Ho Chi Minh City ever since. Did it have to turn out that way? No, it did not.