Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, November 14, 2004
A sense of history helps us understand the way the left rationalises US victories into disasters, as reader JW observes in this long, but valuable, observation on Auntie's coverage of the liberation of Falluja.
The attached PDF is just to avoid any stealth editing on the part of the ABC, the Transcript of their Nov 12th report on Fallujah on The World Today is at:

My iniitial beef was because the story twice asserted that the Battle of Hue ollowing the Tet offensive involved the deaths of "thousands" of US troops, when the actual figure is 142.

But this factual error (which would have taken 1 minute and Google to clear up), is revealing - whilst you can almost hear the little cogs in Alison Caldwells brain clicking into place as she comes to the conclusion that the dumb Marine officer reminding his troops of Hue fails to appreciate his unintentional irony, it is in fact Ms Caldwell who has her history backwards, except in one crucial respect.

Hue, like the Tet offensive in it's entirety, constitute a massive American and AVRN military victory, as well as a significant feat of arms which the Marine officer was right to remind his men of.

Hue in particular, where the NVA had had time to hunker down for almost 2 months ahead of the US response, in highly defensible positions , and moreover benefiting from a US and ARVN policy that sought to minimise damage to the historic city, thus limiting the air power that could be deployed, nevertheless resulted in a comprehensive defeat of the NVA and VC forces that was , given their advantages, incredibly lopsided.

In addition the discovery that thousands of Hue's residents had been massacred during the communist occupation should have also resulted in a severe political setback for the North, and it's pretense of a national war of liberation.

I say should have, because then, as now, the results on the battlefield were largely nullified by the objective allies of the enemy amongst the media of the west. So Tet was portrayed as an American debacle, Hue the locale of many an antiwar movie set to illustrate the futile slaughter of US soldiers, and the eventual result of the media's efforts a very real, and disastrous change in US policy that snatched ultimate defeat from the jaws of victory.The disastrous results for all of Indochina is something that the left has never taken one jot of responsibility for.

Thus it is today, the stakes are even higher, and objectively much of the media are the allies of thugs, indiscriminate killers, torturers, thieves and religious zealots utterly opposed to even the most basic of our freedoms, and who moreover , unlike the NVA, have exported and will continue to export their violence to our shores. They have succeeded before in completely distorting to the point of reversing reality, and unless stopped they may succeed again.