Order preserved

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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Mark Steyn on varied perceptions of withdrawal from Vietnam:

To The New York Times and the people it goes to dinner parties with, it had “few negative repercussions.” And it’s hardly surprising its journalists should think like that when its publisher, Pinch Sulzberger, in a commencement address last year that’s almost a parody of parochial boomer narcissism, was still bragging and preening about his generation’s role in ending the war three decades later.

Joseph Nye, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (which is apparently some sort of elite institution for which people pay many thousands of dollars to receive instruction from authoritative scholars such as Professor Nye), told NPR last week: “After we got out of Vietnam, the people who took over were the North Vietnamese. And that was a government which preserved order.” If by “preserved order,” you mean “drove a vast human tide to take to the oceans on small rickety rafts and flee for their lives.”

You wonder how the likes of Professor Nye would have enjoyed life under the “order” of communist North Vietnamese.

Posted by Tim B. on 08/29/2007 at 10:24 AM
    1. And the trains run on time.
      That is, if they had any trains. And they ran to the “re-education” camps.
Posted by Merlin on 2007 08 29 at 10:30 AM • permalink


    1. I figured this one out when researching George Bernard Shaw’s politics: there is no limit to the number of bloody corpses a REAL progressive is willing to sweep under the skirts of its monstrous heroes…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 08 29 at 10:33 AM • permalink


    1. Professor Nye assumes that he would be among those ‘preserving order’ rather than having his order preserved in a communist re-education camp.

      Evidently re-education would not be necessary for him.

      Posted by lyle on 2007 08 29 at 10:36 AM • permalink


    1. Just 100 million more people and socalism will work…..

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 08 29 at 10:43 AM • permalink


    1. In other words: Order at any cost!

      No, wait, it’s supposed to be the evil, statist, authoritarian conservatives making such statements, isn’t it. My bad.

      Posted by Nicholas on 2007 08 29 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. The US Congress elected in 1974 will be remembered by historians as having been responsible for a genocide involving hundreds of thousands in Viet Nam and millions in Cambodia.  Not enough time has passed yet for this to be genarally accepted: Too many are still alive who were responsible, and they are busy trying to deny, revise, and sweep under the carpet that nasty bit of business.  Thankfully, they can’t live forever.

      Posted by Hucbald on 2007 08 29 at 10:46 AM • permalink


    1. There’s this troll over at Jules’ place who argues much the same way:  “Our retreat from ‘Nam was a good thing!  No one died.  Huh?  Boat people?  What about them?”

      Bloody handed socialists.  Too bad exile is out of style…..we could air drop the lot into North Korea for some real enlightenment, not this pansy, Westernized version.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 08 29 at 11:00 AM • permalink


    1. As someone who has lived and worked in many different countries, I would have to say that VN is one of the best places in the world and a hell of a lot less socialist than Canada.

      If I was not falling asleep, I would go into VN history over the past 2000 years.

      Hai Ba Trung, Ly Tuong Kiet and all those other fun folks of the past.

      G’night from HCMC

      (BTW, I get 5 footy games per weekend on TV here. On Sunday I will get to see on my TV the ultimate Weagles humiliation.

      Life doesn’t get much better.

      Carna mighty Bombers!

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 08 29 at 11:02 AM • permalink


    1. BTW (2) I am certain that all of Asia and the rest of the world is a hell of a lot better place as a result of the American intervention in VN after the cowardly french pulled out.

      Also interesting that Americans and Ausralians are far more liked and respected here than the French, Japanese and Chinese (who between them occupied the country for over a thousand years).

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 08 29 at 11:07 AM • permalink


    1. #3 Lyle

      Professor Nye assumes that he would be among those ‘preserving order’ rather than having his order preserved in a communist re-education camp.

      Evidently re-education would not be necessary for him.

      Of course not. He and his fellow academic wordsmiths have spaces reserved for them in the new Politburo once the Revolution comes. We rabble, especially those of us who’ve been at all successful, will then be made to pay for our insolence…

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 08 29 at 11:17 AM • permalink


    1. Crap. I thought for certain I’d put another break in there…

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 08 29 at 11:18 AM • permalink


    1. Yeah, sure, there were deaths in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.  Millions of them.  But those deaths involved brown people.  Just like the Iraqis and Afghans.  And the Cubans for that matter.  What are the deaths of brown people worth to the effetes at the NY Times and academia?  Not much evidently.

      Posted by wronwright on 2007 08 29 at 11:47 AM • permalink


    1. “And that was a government which preserved order.”

      Nye is plagiarizing Himmler, and should give credit.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2007 08 29 at 11:50 AM • permalink


    1. Joseph Nye-meet Adriane Carr your new soulmate for the ages.

      Instead of NK I would drop them in Iran which seems to be the tip of the spear in terms of new order preserving techniques.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 29 at 12:31 PM • permalink


    1. Or possibly to Iraq.  They coiuld as the nearest AQ’er for a smoke.  That would solve a great many problems.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 29 at 12:35 PM • permalink


    1. #13 Plagarism.  That’s serious.  Genocide, not so much.

      Posted by MarkD on 2007 08 29 at 12:42 PM • permalink


    1. Sulzberger and his dinner companions can paint the debacle in Vietnam in pretty colors because they are effectively insulated from any repercussions.  Does they know any Vietnamese?  Do they know any soldiers, for that matter?  Do they even bother to pay more than cursory attention to what really goes on around the world?  They live in a rarified, money-swaddled world that consists of Manhattan and the Hamptons, with occasional forays outside for sunlight and air, and what goes on among the little people is no real concern of theirs.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 08 29 at 12:52 PM • permalink


    1. And I don’t say “does they know” very often.  I’d preview, but I… hmm, what was I saying?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 08 29 at 12:53 PM • permalink


    1. Ok

      #15 should read “could” and “ask” As for preview, what RebeccaH was or wasn’t saying when she was or wasn’t saying it.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 08 29 at 01:08 PM • permalink


    1. #8 Jack
      too bad you are falling asleep.  My father was the historian under Westmoreland in VN.  We could have compared notes.

      Posted by missred on 2007 08 29 at 01:44 PM • permalink


    1. You wonder how the likes of Professor Nye would have enjoyed life under the “order” of communist North Vietnamese.

      The NV are still in charge over there.  Let’s send Prof Nye, et al., over and find out.

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2007 08 29 at 04:43 PM • permalink


    1. Written by a certain Timblairista (who shall remain unnamed) in the visitors book at the Army Museum in Hanoi:

      “We still won in the end.”

      Posted by Young and Free on 2007 08 29 at 05:14 PM • permalink


    1. One of the first actions of the NVA, on orders from the NVG was to round up and slaughter the VC remnants.

      Useful idiots are always the first on the chopping block in commie rat bastard takeovers. That’s one of the universal elements of revolutionary doctrine.

      Those who demonstrated a propensity to cause problems for the previous rulers will be rounded up and slaughtered by the new rulers.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 08 29 at 05:48 PM • permalink


    1. After reading this, I am convinced that failing to withdraw can have tragic consequences.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 08 29 at 07:11 PM • permalink


    1. Jack, aren’t you pretty much proving Steyn’s point? “Oh, look, they have Visa cards and Holiday Inns now: how bad could that whole boat people/killing fields thing REALLY have been?”

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 08 29 at 08:00 PM • permalink


    1. #23, Grimmy,

      Have you got any links for that?  The only thing I can find is this post at Free Republic.

      I’ve heard from reputable sources that following the Fall of Saigon and the flight of Thieu, that the remaining Viet Cong were rounded up, disarmed and sent to reeducation camps along with the rest of the general population in SVN. The Lao Dong party ordered the NVA to neutralize the VC as a preventative measure stifling dissent, armed dissent.

      Posted by Janice on 2007 08 29 at 08:09 PM • permalink


    1. #2 For those who aren’t familiar with British Labour Party history, the BLP was formed by a coalition of intellectuals a la George Bernard Shaw, and trade unions.

      The former flattered the latter that they were intellectuals; the latter flattered the former that they were part of the suffering masses.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 08 29 at 08:53 PM • permalink


    1. I understand that the North Vietnamese also can’t be all bad because they like dogs.  Not like the Koreans like dogs, the way Hitler liked dogs.

      Man, I could get a job at the NYT!!!

      Posted by Razor on 2007 08 29 at 10:44 PM • permalink


    1. Oh Mark, you’ve done it again. Delivered laser-like insight with wit and common sense.
      Tim, you’re great at this kind of thing too. That’s why I regularly read but rarely comment here. You guys say it all, and give me a chuckle at the same time. THANK YOU!

      Posted by Brian on 2007 08 29 at 11:37 PM • permalink


    1. #12 Wronwright, you’re only half right. The Left cares a great deal about the deaths of brown people – but only if they’ve been killed by white people.

      Posted by squawkbox on 2007 08 30 at 01:40 AM • permalink


    1. What happened in Vietnam is what happens after any long and bloody siege. A lot of long term frustrations got worked out, and a lot of damage was done as a result. The only way to avoid this is to not have the siege.

      Compare Vietnam to Germany in World War II as an example.

      Posted by mythusmage on 2007 08 30 at 03:46 AM • permalink


  1. Vietnam could be/should be like today’s South Korea, contributing to its own development potential and reflecting the worth of the nation’s best and brightest in all fields of endeavour; with a much higher per capita income and the right to demonstrate.

    Instead it plods along subsisting on its pretentious tranquility as a large vegetable garden and tourist destination.

    And if some fuckard tells me that the Vietnamese are very happy being the way they are I’ll will phlegm. Grate.

    Posted by mehaul on 2007 08 30 at 05:43 AM • permalink