Fall of Saigon: The Deadly Peace of 1975

killer hippies

April 28, 2014

“The peace in Southeast Asia which demonstrators demanded and our 94th Congress enacted caused millions of deaths. More were killed in just the first year of peace than during the preceding decade of war.”

Bruce Herschensohn from An American Amnesia p. 63

killer hippiesEvery new generation of Americans needs to learn the truth about the the Vietnam War; a war lost to Communists not through military failure, but by the toxic anti-Americanism that saturated the Press, Marxist revolutionaries, and Communist-sympathizer politicians in the highest offices of our government. April 29 marks the 39th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. It is an opportunity to remember that Vietnam was a war fought by military heroes and lost by political cowards.

This is the back painting of what will be a decade-long effort on my part; to write a series of books for children titled “The Heroes of the Vietnam War.” My motivations for writing the first ever historical non-fiction books for young children about the Vietnam War are twofold: first is my objective to open the door of awareness to both parents and children about an era in the near past that has been all but blotted from the collective American memory.  Second is the necessity to absolve the men who served in the armed forces during that era of any responsibility for the treacherous loss of the war.  The Vietnam War was a military victory, and a devastating and shameful political failure.

The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 negotiated by the North Vietnamese government, its South Vietnamese surrogate the Viet Cong, the United States, and the South Vietnamese government, was widely hailed as the end of American involvement in the conflicts of Southeast Asia.  The terms of the Peace Accords gave South Vietnam the right  to decide its own future government through free and democratic elections.  The Viet Cong, which represented the Communist faction in South Vietnam, also agreed to the terms of the Accords. Despite proclamations that “The Vietnam War is over!” the Soviet Union continued to supply the Communists in North Vietnam and the Viet Cong with troops and equipment beyond the levels agreed upon in the Paris Peace Accords.  Communist attacks in South Vietnam continued and penetrated into Cambodia and Laos. Despite the invalidation of the Peace Accords by the Communists, the 93th Congress moved to stop the United States Military from giving any aid to the beleaguered South Vietnamese government. This was counter to the agreement in the Peace Accords that the U.S. would provide proportional support to the anti-Communist South Vietnamese so their government might have some means to fight the Communist insurgency themselves.

The Democrat majority in Congress asserted that since American forces had withdrawn under the terms of the Paris Peace Accords, that they had no obligation to aid the South Vietnamese, despite the fact that the Communists had violated the most important terms of the pact. The elections of 1974 handed immense victories to the Democrats, and the 94th Congress would dig in their anti-war heels even deeper.  President Ford pleaded in behalf of the South Vietnamese and Cambodians for relatively modest supplies and military support to aid their besieged nations.  The 94th Congress asserted that American intervention in Southeast Asia would serve only to prolong the war and the suffering of the people.  With the refusal to fund the war effort the American Military was forced to withdraw.  It’s final task would be to evacuate any remaining Prisoners of War, American civilians and Embassy personnel, and as many South Vietnamese allies as could be rescued in the final, dark days of April, 1975.

Years of anti-war protests, campus revolutions, and pro-Communist sentiment had saturated the minds of the majority party in Congress.  The American Media had become a propaganda arm for the North Vietnamese, broadcasting the horrors of the war supposedly caused by American involvement, and simultaneously whitewashing the barbarities of the Communist regimes. The American Left, lead by the Media, the Democrats in the 94th Congress, and outspoken anti-war protesters, many of whom had Communist ties, succeeding in terminating American aid to the anti-Communist factions in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.  And the Vietnam War was effectively ended for Americans. But for our allies in Southeast Asia, a savage war against humanity perpetrated by the Communist North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, the Khmer Rouge, and the Pathet Lao would continue unchallenged and unabated for years, costing millions of innocent lives. One of the greatest injustices of that era was the disdain flaunted by the 94th Congress for our allies in Southeast Asia; governments who depended upon our help, people who had trusted that we would protect them from the Communists, civilians and warriors alike whose only hope was in the sheltering presence of the American Military.

I was a young girl when my family was drawn into the national trauma of the Vietnam War.  In1970 my oldest brother, a Swift Boat machine gunner, was killed during a firefight with the Viet Cong on the Dam Doi River.  I remember how the American psyche had been so battered by the personal losses of the war, and the relentless, horrific depictions by the Press of our military efforts.  Even patriotic people like me and my family, who knew that fighting the Communists was the right thing to do, suffered sheer outrage and heartbreak at the coverage of the war.  The anti-war protesters, the Press, and the 94th Congress, with their unctuous assertion that “the best thing America could do for the people of Southeast Asia is to leave,” broke the American spirit.  When proclamations that “the war is ended” blasted over airwaves and television sets, most Americans felt a sense of relief, not because we had decisively freed millions of people from the terror and death of Communism, but because the disgusting, warped, and cruel depictions of our Military by the American Press would finally come to an end.

After America washed her hands of the Vietnam War, she also left behind countless stories of valor and goodness. The American Military served well in Indochina, with some of the most heroic tales coming at the end of the Vietnam War.  These stories are held in the hearts of Vietnam Veterans and, support personnel, and others who served with them.  They are chronicled in the pages of memoirs, and are available on  Internet  web pages of organizations that collect and preserve these invaluable histories.  But, save for those who were personally connected to the Vietnam War in some way, the stories of that era have been glossed over or ignored in history texts, and are virtually extinct in the orbit of children’s literature.

My series of children’s books, “The Heroes of the Vietnam War,” is designed to correct, in a small way, the omission of stories of the courage, virtue, and compassion of American servicemen who fought in Vietnam.  The 37th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War approaches, and if decades after the fall of Saigon, Operation Frequent Wind, and Operation Babylift, I can bring these stories to light in the minds of post-Vietnam War generations of children, then perhaps some of the injustices heaped by the Press, politicians, and anti-war protesters upon our servicemen, will be replaced with the truths of their good works, sacrifice, and heroism during that era.  My hope is that every Vietnam Veteran in the country who wants to teach his friends, children, and grand children that America is good, America has always been good, and fighting for America was the right thing to do during the Vietnam War, will have one of my story books. I am writing these books so that Vietnam Veterans can set their grand children on their knees and open the pages to an era, not of shame or failure, but of heroism, goodness, and military valor and victory, during the Vietnam War.  

By Marjorie Haun  4/28/14

  1. Ginni Selby

    Marjorie, so glad to see you writing this. My ex is a ‘Nam vet who is very bitter about everything that happened. People need to know what really happened over there because everything has been so whitewashed it’s pathetic. My current husband had an online argument a couple of years ago with someone who had been totally convinced that everything was rosy when the peace accord was signed. The guy refused to believe that people were airlifted out of Saigon and other places like they were, or about the overloaded boats that sunk with people trying to get out of ‘Nam. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Ginni. Get one of the kids to give him a copy, especially if he has grandchildren. I want these books, more than anything, to be a tribute to our Vietnam Veterans. I want them to know that they are appreciated, and we know that they were unjustly treated. If these books can stitch up one heart just a little, it is all worth it. Book one, “Little Bird Dog and the Big Ship” is on sale at and barnes&

  2. I Am A Marine Vietnam Vteran 10/67-9/68 1st Bn/1st Marines/1st Marine Div./Delta Co./2nd Pl Then 2nd C.A.G. Hill 65.9 Search & Destroys,Con Thien,Hue-Tet 68

    I Have A Lot To Tell & Can Back It Up!

  3. Mary Spencer

    It’s about time their contribution is recognized. We have a Viet Nam war vet who has not only lived disabled, but bears the lingering shame associated with these heroes.

    • That is one key reason I’m writing my series, ” Heroes of the Vietnam War.” It’s time we honored our Vietnam Veterans by telling the truth about their service. It’s time we gave this history to generations.who have been lied to about Vietnam.It’s time we acknowledge that fighting the Communists was the right thing to do. It’s time we expose the fact tba many in our entertainment and media of the time supported the North Vietnamese Communists while they treated our heroes like dirt.

  4. Dave D.

    I think the vast majority of people don’t realize we had that war won militarily. It was a political loss, a decision to leave early! I think it is a great thing Majorie is doing, recognizing and focusing attention on this subject again, shedding light on the real truth. I am not a veteran. I don’t even know too many vets, but I would like say, Thank you men for your service! Some of us do know the real truths!

    • Thank you. That is one of the primary reasons I’m writing this book series. The truth about the Vietnam War was warped by the media and no one wants to address that phase of American history. But there are thousands of accounts of heroism and compassion that were the rule for our servicemen, not the exception. These stories must be told or 20th Century history will never be portrayed honestly.

  5. Damian Nash

    Pulling out of Vietnam undeniably saved many American lives. As you know I participated in several anti-war demonstrations in Boulder before the age of ten, often wearing a wet bandanna to reduce the stinging effects of tear gas. So I grew up around some peace-loving hippies, and admired their willingness to speak out against injustice and the tragic death, mutilation and POW trauma of so many young Americans in a cause that my family saw as unjust. However, as you mention here and explain in greater detail in your article about Hanoi Jane, the US withdrawal was a major factor leading up to the extermination of two million Cambodians by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

    That atrocity was the second largest genocide of the 20th century, after Hitler’s holocaust. Yet we in America hear and learn nothing about it. Why? Because the US entered the second world war as heroes, and eventually stopped the systematic genocide of the Germans. So there are hundreds of movies about it. But there is only one Hollywood film I know of that was done about the Khmer Rouge, “The Killing Fields,” which barely links the horror with the conflict in neighboring Vietnam.

    Why do we choose to forget? Possibly because the culture of Cambodia is much more foreign to the American mind than the plight of Jews in a “civilized” European country like Germany. Possibly because of the significant Jewish influence in Hollywood, that maintains our national pride in stopping a horror that we will never forget. Or possibly, as you point out in this article, because the social activism of the 1960s, that saved some American lives by getting the US out of Vietnam, was misguided from the perspective of the larger global theater. The link between the US withdrawal and the two million people slaughtered in the killing fields of Cambodia is not something that we can talk about proudly. Our compromised spirit to fight and win the Vietnam War helped spawn the greatest social evil and largest human tragedy since the Nazis.

    I appreciate and admire that you are taking a leadership role to reclaim the pride and dignity of Americans who fought for the cause of freedom. Yes, the war was messy, and some events and tactics (like agent orange and land mines) might remain inexcusable. But what a shame that we have culturally forgotten the brave and noble men and women who chose to fight a just war against the kind of political enslavement and spiritual darkness that still lives on in places like North Korea.

    Thank you for helping us remember the many acts of kindness, goodness and compassion that Americans did in Vietnam, representing our truest intentions as a people: To fight for a better world for all. I hope that many tens of thousands of Vietnam vets will find renewed dignity in their lives as they read these heartwarming stories to their grandchildren.

  6. Laurence4liberty

    This is an accurate account of how the Democrat congress broke the word of the USA to keep the South Vietnamese Army armed and supplied until its first election could be held. I appreciate your effort to honor the veterans of Vietnam

    • Thank you so much. This is the point at which the American Press choose to ignore the carnage perpetrated by the Communists. The MSM would have us believe the only evil forces in Vietnam were our guys. That’s a false and treacherous narrative and unfortunately few have stepped forward to correct the deceitful legacy of Walter Cronkite and his ilk.


  8. Your books are helping the younger generations will have a better understanding of why all of us Vietnam Veterans where there. We for them so they can enjoy the freedoms they have now. Just as the WWI, WWII, and Korean Veterans did. We all sacrifice for our children and grand children so they will have a better life. Thank you Majorie! Don’t stop writing! 🙂

    • Thar did not come out right! I really don’t know what happened when I submitted this, but I will try it again!

      Your books are helping the younger generations to have a better understanding of why all of us Vietnam Veterans where there. We were there for them so they can enjoy the freedoms they have now. Just as the WWI, WWII, and Korean Veterans did. We all sacrifice for our children and grandchildren so they to will have a better life. Thank you Marjorie! Don’t stop writing! 🙂

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