[Note: This is a subpost linked to by Vietnam, Israel and the Left’s Delusional Narratives. Feel free to comment but the post might not make much sense without the parent post’s context.]
Delusion: The deafening silence about the nature of the communist regimes that were on the other side of the conflict.
Reality: This delusion is not something the “peace” movement said but something it didn’t say. Throughout the conflict and even in the leftists’ histories today, one thing is glaringly absent: There was never any serious examination, nor even serious mention, of the brutal nature of the superpower communist regimes, of North Vietnam or of the ideology and intentions of the Khmer Rouge.
You can read entire leftwing books about the conflict, such as Neil Sheehan’s “A Bright and Shining Lie“, without ever reading more than a couple of paragraphs about the nature of the regimes we were fighting. Instead, the left’s histories focus conclusively on the corruption of our non-communist allies and America’s failings. This creates a distorted and unbalanced appreciation of the actions of the non-communists. Of course their actions look irrational and unreasonable when removed from the context of being counteractions to communist aggression.
As I said before:
The Left’s description of the War in Vietnam is like watching a Kung Fu movie where the bad guys have all been digitally edited out. The hero thrashes about punching air, breaking things and hurling through walls for no apparent reason.
Imagine if every book you ever read on WWII made no mention of the internal nature or actions of the Third Reich. Imagine that you only knew of morally questionable actions by the allies but not those carried out by the Axis. Imagine that the histories spent dozens of pages each detailing the crimes of Stalin and damning America and Britain for allying with him. Suppose mostly what you knew about WWII combat was the results of the city bombing campaigns. Imagine that, while WWII was actually being fought, academics, the media and activists had hammered that lopsided view of the conflict into the public awareness.
Needless to say, your attitudes about the morality and necessity of WWII would be much different than the one you hold now. That is exactly the kind of lopsided, delusional view of the Vietnam conflict, and of the Cold War in general, held by the “peace” movement both then and now.