The Cost of Bias
by Michael Dickey
A point I have emphasized much recently is the fact that the US military evacuation
from South East Asia area directly contributed to the mass murder of more than
3 million people. We have all heard large numbers and statistics like these,
and the sheer enormity of the values of dead make it difficult for us to comprehend.
We, as citizens in a democratic government, generally view government as a beneficial
and positive thing. And rightfully so, in a democracy most things a government
does generally are good, while some things are stupid, some could be done better
or more efficiently, most is good, and this is a normal conception to us. It
is difficult for us to imagine a government being capable of mass murder.
Never has a democratic nation slaughtered any significant portion of its citizenry. The numbers for non-democratic despotic nations are staggering however, estimated to be around 170 million this century. Libertarians and liberals and many academic intellectual elites frequently promote a policy of military non-intervention. But intervention can even be in the best interest of the interveners, as the unabated expansion of an aggressive oppressor state will eventually affect every country, even the passive ones. In fact, a passive nation actually rewards aggressive behavior. Intervention can certainly be in the best interest of the resident of that country being intervened upon as well, introducing such often criticized 'western' ideals as equality and freedom, and objectively raising the overall standard of living for every inhabitant of that country.
Unfortunately, idealism often transcends empirical edification. During the height of the Vietnam conflict, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were present in South Vietnam fighting side by side with soldiers from the south, defending that nation, a mercantile market based nation against the North Vietnamese attempts at invasion. The North Vietnamese were being supplied weapons and resources by the communist Soviet Union to support the invasion and attempted expansion, at the height of the efforts, fully half of Soviet aide was directed toward North Vietnam. The United States, fearing communist aggression and the expansionist tendencies of communism, intervened in this conflict. The tide of public opinion supported the Vietnam excursion when Nixon was elected. Soon after, however, people such as Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda, John Lennon, people from various walks of life, celebrities, intellectual elites, pacifists, and extreme liberals began vehemently protesting the involvement in Vietnam, changing the tide of public opinion. Illustrating the current success of this revisionist history, the star of the recent Vietnam film 'We were soldiers' Mel Gibson, even went to far as to say 'We were invading them'. Nixon, well known for his taped conversations, specifically stated in these conversations in the late 60's that if we pulled out of this conflict and stopped supporting South Vietnam millions would be slaughtered. The tide of public opinion was continually being influenced by the media, through such blatant biased reporting as criticizing the bombing of communist atheists on Christmas as 'Christmas day bombings' while ignoring the massive offensive launched by North Vietnam on the biggest Vietnamese holiday of Tet. When Nixon mined the Russian supply lanes he was criticized for 'escalating the war' instead of being cheered for cutting off the supply lanes of an army, a very important military tactic. The bombing of the North Vietnamese supply lines through Cambodia were reported as 'attacking' Cambodia, even though that half of the nation was completely controlled by the North Vietnamese. The public under the barrage of biased media was not persuaded of the moral validity of the Vietnam involvement, and unfortunately for the people of southeast asia, Nixon turned out to be right.
A parallel must be drawn to the Korean war. The communist North Koreans, again supplied by the Soviet Union and also the Chinese, invaded the south with the intent on turning it into a communist utopia. The US was just out of the biggest conflict in the history of the world and was in the process of demilitarizing at the onset of the military campaign. Initially the effort in South Korea was poorly handled, with at its worst point the North controlling almost ¾ of South Korea. The US escalated the defense, and eventually fought back the invading North Korean Communists. Today the Korean war is considered a victory for freedom and democracy, the Korean War memorial celebrates the US soldier as 'traveling to a strange land and protecting people he didn't know' A very honorable and noble memorial. Yet a few minutes walk away is the Vietnam memorial, a large bleak wall listing every single American death in the Vietnam War, in chronological order. All told more than twice as many civilians were killed in the Korean war than in the Vietnam war, and in only four years 34,000 US troops were killed, while the Vietnam war was ten years with 57,000 killed. Yet in the media and the public's eye, Korea was a success, and Vietnam was an outright failure all along.
We are all familiar with the number of US casualties in the Vietnam
war but lost in the annals of revisionist history is the fact that more people
of South Vietnam were killed by the communist North Vietnamese in the six months
following the US withdrawal then in the entire ten year conflict. And this was
after the North had already "won" the war. When the Watergate 'scandal'
hit, (which Nixon was never proved to be involved in) all media attention was
focused on him, and criticisms and scrutiny increased exponentially, he lost
the ability to run the nation, and resigned. US troops were rapidly pulled out
of Vietnam and all supply to Cambodia and South Vietnam was cut off. The North
Vietnamese general leading the aggression, upon hearing of the resignation of
Nixon, stated on record that he knew they would now win the war. Soon South
Vietnam fell to the communist north invaders, 600,000 - 1 million South Vietnamese
residents took flight in make shift rafts into the South China Sea fearing the
communist invaders. Most of them drowned. An additional 1 million South Vietnamese
residents were executed. I would like to see these 1.6 million names added to
the Vietnam memorial. Neighboring Cambodia fared much worse
The Khmer rouge under the loose rule of Pol Pot took power with support from the North Vietnamese armies and supplies from the Soviet Union, easily defeating the pro western Lon Nol, who now had no support from the US thanks to the US congress decision to end aide in a bill submitted by and approved by the democraticly controlled congress, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn) said we should 'not intervene'. Cambodians "need peace, not guns" was the pacifist rallying cry. Unfortunately what they actually needed was guns. The Khmer Rouge proceeded to forcibly evacuate all cities in Cambodia, as they were symbols of capitalism. Patients were thrown from hospitals while undergoing surgery, the Doctors and medical staff were executed, anyone with money was executed, and anyone who could speak English or French was executed. The forcible evacuation marched millions of people into the peasant's lands, under Pol Pot's collectivization plan everyone was to be a peasant farmer. Witnesses (the ones who survived) reported that the marching lines stretched as far as the eye could see, the sick and the infirm crawled and dragged themselves. The population was forced to farm. If you showed affection for a loved one, expressed any affectionate sentiments, or even expressed sorrow at the loss of a child, you were executed, as this was a reflection of your criticism of the state. All told, the Khmer rouge executed 3.0 to 3.5 million of the Cambodian people, an event that was directly possible because of the liberal lead US's abandonment of the south east Asian region, an action directly linked to the biased liberal criticisms of US involvement.
Even today academic elites chastise the US for pushing its western values on communist people when the US 'still has problems' with racism and discrimination. Journals often place communist aggression in quotes, and the domino theory of communist expansion is referred to with disbelief and disdain. How one can associate a government that does such comparatively trivial things as not meet racial quotas in hiring with one that executes fully one third of its population is beyond me. Radical feminists chastise the US for pushing western values on the women in Afghanistan, stating that women are not treated fairly in the US (for example, the alleged wage gap). Lost on them is the fact that in Afghanistan under the Taliban women were not even ALLOWED to work, or get an education, or speak in public, let alone use a computer to write online articles to complain about their treatment, as the Taliban had also banned the internet. Is this comparable to the alleged wage gap? Hardly. Yet this post modern relativist critique persists today and grows in prevalence. You will be hard pressed to find sincere disdain for communists these days, but it will be easy to find criticisms of' evil corporations' and greedy capitalists.
The following article details the Cambodian Holocaust This account focuses on the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia, one of the most emotional and sobering articles I can ever remember reading. Please take the time to read it.
(c) 2002 Michael Dickey
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