Magazine | January 24, 2011, Issue

Letters

Defeats that Weren’t

I would like to thank Mackubin Thomas Owens and James S. Robbins — the former for reviewing This Time We Win (“The Tet Myth,” December 20) and the latter for writing it. When certain of my friends discuss the Vietnam War, two items that are always brought up are the Tet Offensive and the siege of Khe Sanh.

To hear these liberals tell it, both battles were major American defeats. But in the case of Tet, the people didn’t rise up for the Communists, and when it was over, the Viet Cong had been so badly reduced that they never posed a serious threat for the remainder of America’s involvement in Vietnam; the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army managed to hold no territory for longer than a couple of weeks. In the case of Khe Sanh, when two under-strength Marine battalions hold — and then, with the help of the Navy and Air Force, break — two North Vietnamese divisions, it is not a defeat but a victory. What turned these victories into “defeats” was the bleating of media pundits who had no combat experience themselves.

In the movie Heartbreak Ridge, Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway summed up the situation very well when he observed that we may have lost the Vietnam War, but we won all of the battles. America lost Vietnam because it lacked a military objective and had no political will to win, not because it was defeated by the enemy’s military force. I worry a similar process may unfold in Afghanistan today, and fear for our soldiers there.

Roy Jaruk

Patterson, N.Y.

Incoming

Kevin D. Williamson’s “Welcome to the Machine” is an updated and way cool version of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. If a December 31 edition of NR could be wrapped around a rock and tossed through the window of every regulator’s office, the broken-window fallacy might be refuted.

Robert Olds

St. Augustine, Fla.

Kevin D. Williamson replies: Aim for their heads.

Lincolnomics

I have just read with great pleasure Allen C. Guelzo’s article “Mr. Lincoln’s Economics Primer” in the December 20 issue of National Review. What wonderful insight Mr. Guezlo brings about our 16th president’s free-market beliefs. I have long considered this aspect of Honest Abe’s career neglected. Congratulations to Mr. Guelzo on a job well done.

Donald R. Fields

Via e-mail

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Advantage: Obama

The overhyped political story of the moment is President Obama’s supposed comeback. That story notes that just weeks after his midterm “shellacking” he won congressional approval for a deal on ...
Politics & Policy

Budget War

The 2010 midterm election was a decisive victory for Republicans. From where they now sit — with a strong majority in the House and a much-improved position in the Senate ...
Politics & Policy

What the Whigs Knew

Eva Moskowitz is a traditional, down-the-line Democrat in almost every respect. She’s a Jewish New Yorker from a family of FDR liberals. “My grandmother would turn over in her grave ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Socialism Is Back

‘Socialism” is a word that has vexed thoughtful conservatives since 2008, along with the related terms “Marxist,” “radical,” and the whole nomenclature of leftish extremism. In his painstakingly documented book ...

Books, Arts & Manners

The Straggler

Shovel Ready

One of our township’s very few claims to fame, perhaps the only one, arises from its cesspools. The Wikipedia article headed “cesspool” devotes an entire paragraph to Huntington. In numbers ...
Politics & Policy

Top Down

The ideology of the American ruling class has done great harm to those classes which do not have the privilege of ruling, and few people are better equipped to analyze ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Operation Rewind

While we like a good party now and again, the fact that House Republicans held no official gala to celebrate their accession to the majority in the new Congress reflects ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Defeats that Weren’t I would like to thank Mackubin Thomas Owens and James S. Robbins — the former for reviewing This Time We Win (“The Tet Myth,” December 20) and the ...
The Long View

Federal Health Care Act

Form 17Ai: End of Life/Authorized Life Termination/Difficult Next of Kin Reimbursement Procedures Federal Guidelines for the Health Care Reform Act–authorized “End of Life Counseling” [ELC] procedures: ELC sessions are now fully reimbursable ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

A C.S. LEWIS BODICE-RIPPER, FROM AFRICA In making books there is no end, And little merit. You have read Of world on world that has no friend, In volumes equally as dead; And if I ...
Athwart

Mojo Myth

The president attended church in Hawaii, but he went the day after Christmas, so as not to distract from the other guy’s limelight. Decent of him; the babe only gets ...

Most Popular

U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More