Sunday, December 12, 2004

No More Vietnams - Six

CHAPTER SIX - Third World War


This is not just WWIII but also war in the Third World. Nixon begins by admitting that the US defeat in the Vietnam War was the Soviet Union’s greatest victory. Nixon then catalogs our losses during the Carter administration and credits Reagan with ending the losing streak. Nixon warns of the dangers of the "New Isolationism". He discusses the various types of wars and US success and failure in each. Nixon gives evidence that diplomacy and economics are not enough. He gives warning of the dangers of unconventional war and points out the disastrous and long term effects of Carter’s failure in Iran. Nixon then sets forth his own "Nixon" Doctrine and four supporting points. 1) Veitnamization (training for our allies) first.
2) Allowing allies to fight in the best way to meet threats. 3) Not requiring allies to be perfect, just better than our enemies. 4) not ignoring the sources of insurgency. Nixon explains why we failed in Hungry and Cuba and how Reagan succeeded in Granada. He warns that over and under confidence are both to be avoided. Nixon presents conditions for going to war, foreshadowing the "Powell" doctrine and defines what "national" interests are. Nixon speaks prophetically of the growing danger of terrorism; describing its threat and recommending a defense. Nixon explains how international action and not UN resolutions will counter terrorism. Next, Nixon explains the role Congress should play in the Third World war; referencing the disastrous effects of Congressional meddling in Vietnam and since. He calls for covert war and the need to restore legitimate Presidential power. Nixon explains why Communism will fail, (he was right!) and how the Third World war will need to be fought economically as well as militarily. The US and its allies must give economic support to third world nations because Capitalism and freedom do work. Nixon defends multinational economics and calls for bipartisan support of foreign economic policy. Nixon warns of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Nixon also calls on future Presidents to articulate the "great causes" by which they call the people of America to fight. He ends his book by warning the we will need to fight wars again but we need to win them. In the authors note Nixon gives the over arching reason for his book, countering the lies of biased media and academics.


1. "Saigon’s fall . . . was the Soviet Union’s greatest victory in one of the key battles of the Third World war." (Pg 212)

2. "Since President Reagan took office in 1981, America’s first international losing streak has been halted. . . . We must purge ourselves of the paralyzing sickness of the Vietnam syndrome if we are to avoid other defeats in the battles of the Third World war." (Pg 212)

3. ". . . the new isolationists contend that the united States has no strategic interests in the Third World that would justify the use of our military power, . . . We must be concerned because it would be the height of immorality to stand by and allow millions of people to suffer the fate of the people of Vietnam and other Third World countries that have had repressive totalitarian regimes imposed upon them. . . . Except for Afghanistan, where they are attempting to suppress a counterrevolution against a Soviet puppet regime, Moscow has gained domination over nine Third World countries since 1974 without committing any troops to combat." (Pgs 213 and 214)

4. ". . . superior conventional forces will not prevail against an enemy who wages unconventional war. Helping a government stop a violent revolution militarily without helping it deal with the economic conditions. . . buy only short-lived victory." (Pg 215)

5. "At another extreme are those who say that poverty is the problem, and that instead of providing military aid to ensure security, we should provide economic aid to promote progress. . . . when President Truman asked for military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey to meet the threat of Soviet-supported Communist guerrillas in Greece. Along with other congressmen, my office was flooded with hundreds of postcards reading, "Send food, not arms." We resisted the pressure and voted for the Truman program. If we had sent food only and not arms, Greece would be Communist today. . . there can be no progress without security." (Pg 216)

6. "Diplomacy cannot succeed without military power to back it up. For example, when President Carter ruled out the use of force at the outset of the Iranian hostage crisis, he weakened the effectiveness of diplomacy to resolve it.. . . " (Pg 216)

7. "I formulated the Nixon Doctrine. It states that in the future, unless a major power intervened in the Third World conflict, the U.S. should not commit its combat forces. [four points clarify]" (pg 218)

8. "[1] The policy of "Vitenamization" should have been imitated at the beginning of the war..." (Pg 218)

9. "[2] Armies should be equipped and trained to meet the threat they are facing.

10. "[3] . . . our choice is usually not between our allies and someone better by between our allies and something far worse." (Pg 218)
10a. "[ 4] . . . we must not make the mistake of helping our allies fight the insurgency and ignoring the source of the insurgency." (Pgs 219)

11. "The record is clear. Cubans are worse off under Castro than under Batista. The Vietnamese are worse off under the Communist Le Duan than under Thieu. Cambodians were worse off under Pol Pot than under Lon Nol. . . . We must never take a course of action that results in the fall o f a government that permits some freedom and the victory of one that permits none." (Pgs 218-219)

12. "We must not make the tragic mistakes we made in Hungary in 1956 and at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, where we encouraged revolutions against Communist regimes and then failed to support our friends when they came under attack from superior forces.. . . The freedom fighters in Afghanistan also deserve support, especially because this is the only leverage we have on the Soviets to mitigate their repression in that country." (Pg 219)

13. "In Nicaragua we should help the contras as long as the Sandinistas continue to support the guerillas in El Salvador, . . . we will be justified in continuing aid to the contras only if we are prepared to see it through in the event that they come under attack from superior forces." (Pg 219)

14. "The successful operation in Grenada served three important purposes: It rescued Americans whose lives were in danger; it removed the possibility of another Soviet base being constructed in the Caribbean; and most important, it erased some of the felling of impotence we developed after the fall of Saigon." (Pgs 219-220)

15. "But while it would be dangerous to assume that Graenada proved we could do every thing, it is even more dangerous to assume that because we failed in Vietnam, we will fail everywhere." (Pg 220)

16. "[for military involvement] conditions are met; ... [1] vital to our national interests;. . . commit forces only as a last resort; . . . [2] winnable in that we have the means to achieve our goal of victory; [3] and we must have assurance of support by Congress and the public." (Pg 220)

17. "Our vital interests are affected by what happens in other parts of the world as well. . . . If we define our vital interests too narrowly solely out of fear of getting involved in another Vietnam we run the risk of abandoning millions of people to totalitarianism and eventually, of losing the Third World war." (Pgs 220-221)

18. "The same principle applies to international terrorism. Some urge restraint in retaliation against terrorism because of the admittedly significant risk of casualties among civilians, hostages, and our military personnel. But while we cannot act in every instance of terrorism, we should always act decisively when we know who is responsible and where they are. Otherwise we give carte blanche to these international outlaws to strike again. If one group of terrorists succeeds in intimidating the United States, others will be encouraged to try, and more lives will undoubtedly be lost as a result. Swift, timely retaliation, even if there is some risk to innocent people, will mean that other terrorists will be less likely to threaten and kill innocent people in the future. Repeated threats to retaliate that are not followed by action are counterproductive. A president of the United States should warn only once. Terrorism, whether undertaken by states, political groups, or individuals, is one of the most insidious and deadly aspects of the Third World war. . . . If the United States wants to continue to play a role in the Third World, it must attack terrorism at its source." (Pgs 221-222)

19. "Terrorism is a way to divide and conquer – but only if its victims allow themselves to be divided. When terrorists act against one nation, other nations should respond as if it is an attack on them all – because, in essence, it is." (Pg 223)

20. "Terrorists will not be deterred by UN resolutions or expressions of outrage by leaders and legislatures. But they may be deterred once they realize that by using terror they will spark the wrath of all nations that do not want to exist in a world riven by a tiny minority who have resorted to violence in pursuit of their objectives." (Pg 223)

21. "Wars cannot be waged without the support of the Congress and the people. But there are times when the Congress and the people may not recognize our vital interests in Third World conflicts. Leaders should lead and not just follow uninformed public opinion. It is their responsibility to educate the people and the Congress about where our vital interests are and then gain support for whatever military actions may be necessary to protect them. Leaders who do only what opinion polls indicate uninformed voters will support are not true leaders, and if America follows them, it will cease to be a great nation."

22. "A president must not be faced with the option of either waging total war or accepting total defeat. . . .Congress has tried to force Presidents to make exactly that choice by passing measures that drastically curtail their ability to use limited and unconventional military power. The War Powers Act makes it impossible for a President to act swiftly and secretly in a crisis and permits Congress to pull our troops out simply by doing nothing – by failing to pass either resolutions for or against the President’s action. The Foreign Assistance Act Limits aid to governments that do not have squeaky-clean human rights records. . . . The Clark Amendment of 1976, which forbade covert aid to the freedom fighters in Angola, gave Cuba and the Soviet Union the green light . . . The Boland Amendment of 1982 paved the way for the disastrous decision by Congress to cut off all covert aid to the contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua." (Pg 225)

23. ". . . we must face up to the reality that covert war is a fact of life in the Third World.." (Pg 226)

24. "Congressional leadership means leadership by consensus, and consensus leadership is not leadership. . . A president, however, must look, think, and then act decisively. The War Powers Act and the other measures that limit a President’s latitude are lingering symptoms of the Vietnam syndrome, manifestations of the fear of our own strength that swept American following our failure in Indochina." (Pg 226)

25. "Ironically, in the long run the Communists lose when they win in the Third World, because Soviet socialism does not work." (Pg 227)

26. "Communism no longer has appeal to the masses. It promises peace and produces war. It promises liberation and produces tyranny. It promises justice and produces gulags. It promises progress and produces poverty. . . . The major geopolitical development since the end of World War II has been that the Communists have lost the ideological battle in the world." (Pg 227)

27. "Tinhorn dictators skimmed off billions of dollars in graft to feather their nests. Demagogues . . . built monuments to themselves rather than leaving a legacy of progress for their people." (Pg 227)

28. "We have left the impression that we become actively involved in the Third World only when our interests are threatened by Communist aggression. We must now develop polices that address their interests." (Pg 229)

29. "We and our allies must be as bold and generous in helping Third World countries down the road to economic progress as the U.S. was in helping Europe and Japan recover after World War II." (Pg 229)

30. ". . . big business has already done a great deal to spur economic development in the "Third World. It should be encouraged to do more." (Pg 232)

31. "Bipartisanship in foreign policy was one of the major casualties of the Vietnam War. It is crucially important that our Third World initiative begin as a bipartisan effort and stay that way. . . . Unless we decide at the outset that our effort to win the Third World war will not be a political football, there will always be the danger that it the future a President or the Congress, eyeing the next election, will punt and give the ball back to the other side." (Pg 233)

32. "While the Soviets want the world, they do not want war. . . . And as a major nuclear power, the Soviets are concerned abut the proliferation of nuclear weapons, just as we are, and about the possibility that an international outlaw like Qaddafi might acquire such weapons." (Pg 235)

33. "But America is a great nation . Great nations must be mature enough to accept the fact that you do not win all the time. Defeat is never fatal unless you give up, and American must never give up. We must not turn away from our responsibilities in the world. If we refuse to play a major role, the rest of the free world will be at the mercy of totalitarian aggressors.. . . Where freedom is destroyed anywhere, it is threatened in ‘America." (Pg 236)

34. ". . . Woodrow Wilson’s greatest contributions . . . "a war to end wars", a war "to make the world safe for democracy". . . . Roosevelt and Churchill inspired . . . the Four Freedoms and eventually a new world organization that would initiate an era of peace. . . . Thomas Jefferson said, "We act not for ourselves alone but for the whole human race. " Lincoln proclaimed, "We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth." . . . Appeals to our highest ideals have never failed to move Americans to support great causes. To make the world safe not only for ourselves but for others is a great cause." (Pg 237)

35. "In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. "No more Vietnams" can mean that we will not try again. It should mean that we will not fail again." (Pg 237)

36. [FROM THE AUTHOR’S NOTE] "This book was not written to preempt historians. It was written because both during and after the war, as President and private citizen, I found that televison and newspaper coverage of the Vietnam War described a different war from the one I knew, and that the resulting misimpressions formed in the public’s mind were continuing to haunt our foreign policy."


Layton Lancer said...

Richard Nixon is a wise man. I'm glad that you've gone thorough his book with us Lysis. May we all be better people for it. How did you like it by the way? Do you recommend anyone to read the book for themselves?

Lysis said...

Thank you Layton-Lancer. I also want to thank Dannyboy one more time for telling me about this book. I think Nixon did a great job with this book, I have always held him to be one of the greatest men every to lead our country, and I am saddened by the why he suffered in office and in life. I hope history will be more kind - more truthful. As for the book - everything we need to know in order to win the war on Terror is clearly presented in this book. I hope you will all read it. I have ordered five more copies off e-bay and hope to share with all who will listen. I have started sending e-mails to news/talk programs etc. in the hopes that these ideas can come forth at this time when they are needed. Sometimes I feel like a very small “fly” trying to sting a very large “horse”. Thank you for reading my synopsis of Nixon’s book. Please share it with everyone you can.

Dan Simpson said...

Lysis, out of curiousity, how do you see the big downfall of Nixon. I have to say (sheepishly) that I don't really know much about the Watergate scandal, but it seems to me like Nixon really did screw up big time. From what I know it seems like Nixon originally didn't know about what was going on, then found out and covered it up. It also seems like if he would have not tried to cover anything up, it would have faded away into a minor scandal.

Your thoughts Lysis?

Gindy said...

Very interesting post. I don't think I have seen anyone assemble a post like that before.

Lysis said...

Dannyboy - In my opinion the Watergate affair was a media mugging of President Nixon. The media hated Nixon as they did Reagan and do Bush. Yes, Nixon did wrong in that as you said, when he know the truth of the break-in he tried to cover it up. In the process he directed people to lie to Congress and he deceived the American people. He did not order the breaking at the Watergate and did not know about it until after it was done. If he would have admitted that his campaign was involved in this petty crime, would he have been forgiven? We will never know, but he was crucified for little more. It amazed me that during the Clinton scandal - the same Media rushed to Clinton’s defense and vilified those who questioned his position. Niether responses had anything to do with truth nor justice. Nixon should not have lied NOR should he
have been forced out of office. The media tried the same tactic against Reagan over Iran/Contra and tried to stretch those same accusations against Bush the 1st. Carter, on the other hand, got a free pass for all of his failures and Clinton was defended by the media for far worse crimes against the truth and law than those of Nixon. The media destroyed our nations efforts in the Vietnam War and they destroyed President Nixon. Their power is indeed daunting!

Medicine said...

Nixon warns of the dangers of the "New Isolationism".