Texas Congressman Tells CPAC Vietnam was Winnable

James Bovard, March 14, 2013

CPAC is off to its usual mellow start. TalkingPointsMemo reports:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), speaking at conservative gathering CPAC, declared that “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”

“If you go to war you better mean it,” Gohmert added, blaming America’s failure to go to war with Iran over the capture of its embassy in 1979 for more recent attacks on embassies and consulates.

Gohmert was part of a panel entitled “Too Many American Wars? Should We Fight Anywhere And Can We Afford It?”

Rep. Gohmert was not basing his conclusion on Vietnam on his own combat record, which I could not discover via Google searches. Gohmert was born in 1953 but somehow missed the chance to fight in the jungles of ‘Nam. He did spent a few years as an Army lawyer in the late 1970s/early 1980s. But writing memos isn’t quite the same as engaging in an artillery duel with a North Vietnamese regiment.

Didn’t enough Texans come back in coffins from that damn war?

Here’s a link to Glen Campbell’s wonderful low-key anti-Vietnam war ballad, Galveston

vietnam war image




32 Responses to “Texas Congressman Tells CPAC Vietnam was Winnable”

  1. War is the extension of politics…. Politics is getting someone to believe things should be done your way, and you must pay tribute through regulation and taxation…

    Some can see the bullshit coming(in the form of tanks and bombs), and never buy your schtick Gohmert… You LOSE…..

  2. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), speaking at conservative gathering CPAC, declared that “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”

    “If you go to war you better mean it,” Gohmert added, blaming America’s failure to go to war with Iran over the capture of its embassy in 1979 for more recent attacks on embassies and consulates.

    Gohmert seems hell-bent on perpetuating the stereotype of Texas Congresscreatures, all of whom, save for one very prominent and obvious exception, have been belligerent, blithering morons.

  3. America wasn't in any wars during 1978-1982 when he served in the Army with the JAG Corps at Ft. Benning. The only thing we did was bomb Libya in 1981. I doubt they let Army lawyers fly the bombers.

  4. The title of the panel should give one pause. “Too Many American Wars? Should We Fight Anywhere And Can We Afford It?” It's no wonder one with Gohmert's bloodlust would be on the panel.

    It's not about human life, it's about ledger entries; a mere cost/benefit analysis. Cold, calculating, inhumane…just like the ledgers at Auschwitz. And that's just viewing AMERICAN casualties…the Vietnamese aren't even worth considering.

    Americans, and Texans in particular, should be ashamed and appalled that Gohmert can hold elected office with such ghoulish attitudes.

  5. what else could he talk about. Go all Ron Paul on them? it would be like jazzy jeff at uncle phill's house.

  6. I wonder if he supported Rick Perry's retarded idea of invading Mexico.

  7. Rep. Gohmert is one of the bigger shabbos goys in Congress feeding at the AIPAC trough, not far behind such luminaries as Lindsey Graham.

  8. Americans, and Texans in particular, should be ashamed and appalled that Gohmert can hold elected office with such ghoulish attitudes.

  9. If they did I would not be suprised. During my own service I saw things as goofy as that.

  10. Vietnam was winnable? Only if all Vietnamese were killed. Hmmm I think that's entering Godwin territory.

  11. I'll chip in a few dollars towards buying him an AK47 and one-way ticket so he can try his theories out in Iraq or ,even better, home of 'real small gubmint', Somalia.

  12. Well post-Tet Offensive things were looking better for the USA & allies…but the question is at what cost did they want to 'win'?

    As is the war cost:
    -3-4 million Vietnamese lives, massive displacement and brutal civil war
    -more bombs dropped on Laos than were dropped on Japan & German combined in defiance of both Congress and the Geneva peace accords – including cluster bomblets than continue maiming hundred of Laotians a year
    -the rise of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia who killed 1-3 million and enjoyed the military support of the West well into the 1990s because they hated the Vietnamese Communists
    -massive inflation in the USA leading to the drop of the Gold Standard & a 'perpetual war' economy
    -50,000 US troops killed leading to a forced drafting of soldiers
    -massive civil unrest in the USA leading to the 'culture wars' that continue to define America's political landscape, including the quasi-fascist 'stab in the back' and 'didn't let us win' myths

    So yes the USA can 'win' any war but what is left for the victors claim?

  13. Wouldn't it be great if we could petition our government to have certain warmongers voted into combat? Get, let's say, 100,000 signatures to Whitehouse.gov and then they get shipped out to Somalia or Afghanistan or some other hellhole where we have worn out our welcome with the locals? See if they could kill enough to achieve victory before reality set in and erased their existence. It would also help thin the murders our of our gene pool.

  14. Well Mr. Gomert. Did you know how many bombs were dropped on the Vietnamese. Just a little more would have done the jobe>

  15. Truth is sometimes fn brutal and in the case of Viet War the idea that we could of militarily won, is such a truth.
    The biggest lie of Viet Era was that ,told even up to today, it was stopped by “liberals and college students.”
    MILITARY AND POLITICAL POWERS found scapegoats in draft protestors and civil protestors but they pulled out as a strategic international move. Death toll would of been between 10 to 15 million Viets,

  16. sounds like McArthur, don’t go to war unless we intend to win. Johnson should have taken Goldwater’s advice, declair victory and get out in 1968.
    2 time medal of honor winner Marine, Smedley Butler, had even better idea. Keep navy, army, marines within 100 miles of our border.
    Ike and Mcarthur both felt ground war in Asia would be a disaster for US.
    Intelligence has not been a strong point of Presidents since Ike

  17. 'If you go to war, you better mean it…' Yes, we only killed 3 million Vietnamese. Why couldn't we at least have killed 10 million ? That would have demonstrated our determination to win at any cost. And once you get to 10 million why stop there ? The path was open to WWIII if only we'd have taken it. Nothing means war like a war that ends all life on earth forever. But no, the sissies in Washington blinked and our best chance at destroying all life on earth slipped away.

  18. He could be right, the Vietnam War might have been winnable. However, the question becomes 'at what cost?' We could have escalated into an all out war, but guess what- The Chinese certainly would have intervened as well as the Soviet Union. So we would have caused something akin to a WW III and the likely use of nuclear weapons. Would we have come out on top? Quite possibly. Of course, this would have meant hundreds of millions of deaths and world destruction at level never witnessed before. It simply was not worth it, so quite wisely, we eventually drew down and backed out.

  19. Haha great Roger. What would we have won? Anything? Would our relationship look any different? The US played England and France off each other after the revolution in an attempt to not be dominated by either. Vietnam did the same thing with the US and China. Brilliant. Much wiser political leaders than in the US.

  20. [...] Click here to read the article. [...]

  21. John Foster Dulles offered two nuclear bombs to France for use against North Vietnam in the 1950s but the French refused. Nixon's 'mad dog' tactics saw him threaten North Vietnam with nuclear strike on 13 occasions.

    But unable to get the French to do their dirty work or cow the NVA with nuclear bullying, the US decided to do what they would later do Afghanistan in 2001-2 – drop the conventional ordnance equivalent of nuclear bombs instead.

  22. More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than were dropped on everybody in the last 'successful' war. The fact that soldiers were still being killed up to the very last minute of both, indicates that bombing – even bombing somebody back into the middle ages – isn't, by itself, a war winner.

    As always, taking and holding ground defines a win or a loss. The NVA challenged the holdings of the Americans and their ally. The allies did the same but outside urban areas they gave their winnings back. The NVA then took, and held, all of South Vietnam, they still do.

    In our latter-day wars the 'good guys' take and hold bases. They're effective out to limit of sight. Even with the finest imaging systems, the effect is much-reduced beyond what can be seen. And all the holdings are challenged regularly. Patrolling is a temporary expedient and western forces, still can't survive in Afghaistan with the resources they could carry with them. The Taliban can.

    As in Vietnam, the enemy were simply tougher and more determined to win.

  23. One wonders why a wingnut like Louie Gohmert didn't put his money where his mouth was and sign up to fight in "the big muddy"- oh I forgot- it's al hell of a lot easier to whine "we wuz robbed" rather than strap on a pair of combat boots. Amazing how the most bloodthirsty of pundits are those who have NEVER seen combat or even military service( pace Rush Limbaugh. George W.Bush, Dick Cheney and other chickenhawks and what would "victory in Vietnam" have meant???

  24. Oh yes, we could have won it, if only Louie Gohmert had signed up in time. He was just the right age for a prime combat infantryman who could have turned things right around.

  25. We had 500,000 troops in that little country at one time, so I think we went all out. The problem with the Vietnam war is that we were fighting the very people we were supposed to be saving. (Viet Cong were SOUTH Vietnamese guerrillas.) And what was the point? How did we suffer in the least after we left?

    Gohmert, Michele Bachmann and Steve King are the three stooges of Congress.

  26. We never should have invaded Vietnam and made war on the Vietnamese. We should have simply have let them have their civil war. That was their business, not ours. Instead we caused an enormous amount of death and destruction and at great cost to our own economy and harm to our own soldiers. And today we have good relations and trade with a united Vietnam. Some Vietnamese professionals even come to the U.S. now. When I was hospitalized a couple of years ago one of my nurses was from Vietnam and had received her training there. She was very competent and professional. We have even had a small number of Vietnamese military train at Lackland Air Force Base in the Instructor Development Branch. (I am retired from DLI and years ago taught lots of Vietnamese military there during the U.S. war on Vietnam.) … The only benefit of these wars of aggression the U.S. causes, I suppose, is to war profiteers, i.e. the arms industry, that Eisenhower warned us about. But what a cost to others. They and the politicians who send young people off to these wars of aggression seldom send their own children off to war, finding ways to obtain deferments for them if possible.

  27. Well said, Luther, vey well said.

  28. Vietnam was a false flag war! Here is MacNamara admitting it on youtube: "Gulf of Tonkin: McNamara admits It didn't happen." ………… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HODxnUrFX6k

    The Iraq war was started with lies and forgeries, but war with Iraq had been a top priority of the Bush Administration. Bush insider Paul O'Neil says that the Bush Administration had drawn up a list of Iraqi oil fields and was "seeking interested parties" for them. The interview was buried…………………….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inyCkCvqRO0

    That leaves Afghanistan, Try this: http://www.prisonplanet.com/911-commission-deceiv

  29. One other thing, O'Neil says that Bush wanted a war on Iraq, and kept saying… "Find a way…Find a way …. find a way…

  30. Very well put. Remember also that Texas has given America 3 presidents, all in recent memory, and all a disaster. Can America afford another Texan in the White House?

  31. [...] cannot learn from history anyway since in many was this was a repeat of Vietnam and as Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas told us, we could have won that war if Washington has not given up. I wonder if he would mind defining [...]

  32. NOT so – as an invading army in the wrong war at the wrong time against the wrong people, we'd NEVER have won the Vietnam War. It was all a LIE by Johnson and McNamara.

    The Vietnam War for the US was much like the Revolutionary War was for the British – both won most of the battles fought and both LOST their wars – both failed to win the hearts and minds of the people; neither was accustomed to guerrilla warfare; both were invaders in a foreign land.

    Our CIA was running drugs out of the S/E 'Golden Triangle' long before the US was involved in that stupid war.

    The Vietnamese have moved past that war – Americans have NOT.