Local opinion columnists

Big lies about Iraq and Vietnam

By From page A8 | July 07, 2014

Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s successful minister of propaganda, said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.  .  . truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”

It is sad that Americans, unlike those of 1787, are so academically lazy as to believe propaganda without verifying its accuracy. As an example, a local school teacher recently wrote that it was not a violation of the Constitution for President Obama to change Obamacare legislated requirements.

A recent columnist’s words provide several examples of “big lies” being used to justify political decisions:

  •   “Need to invade Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction .  . .”

The Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002,” approved by a majority of both parties, did not mention WMD in the majority of 23 justifications identified. However, was it a lie by either Congress or President George W. Bush to include the WMD issue when the intelligence services of United States, Britain, France, Germany, Jordan and Israel each conclude Iraq was producing WMD?

To top this, al-Qaeda has now reported finding a poison gas manufacturing plant.

  •  “ .  . politicians who supported invasion of Iraq in 2003, now acknowledge their disastrous error.”

This big lie overlooks the truth that in 2008, the battles had been won. Terrorist attacks were rare and American casualties were nearly eliminated. All that remained was a stabilizing occupying force, as is needed to successfully terminate any war.

Why did President Franklin D. Roosevelt keep our Army in Germany and Japan for years after World War II stopped? He knew the Hitler youth and SS troops in Germany and the kamikazes in Japan would fight unless suppressed for an extended period. Those who know war history have known that since our troops were prematurely pulled from Iraq, the current fall of Iraq was only a question of when. For anybody who believes the Iraqis would not sign a Status of Forces Agreement, I will sell you my Brooklyn Bridge.

  • “After losing the (Vietnam) war .  .”

This is a continual and painful lie to the thousands who were there in 1968 and know better. The lie begins with the 1968 Tet Offensive. The cleanup totally destroyed the Viet Cong guerilla force and forced the NVN army survivors to retreat home. Pathetically, the American media steadily reported it as a South Vietnam defeat. The NVA attacked again in 1972 and was beaten by the South Vietnam army with little participation by the United States Army.

As reported to the Wall Street Journal by Colonel Bui Tin of the NVA general staff, “visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.”

Neither Presidents Johnson nor Nixon possessed the leadership to overcome the rantings of the peaceniks and Congress prevented any assistance of the south against the 1975 attack, so the north took control in April.

Summary: Americans never lost a battle in the entire war; American death loss by 1968, when we had effectively won the war, was 38,000 and after seven years of peace negotiations it became 58,000.

The cost to  the residents: 65,000 South Vietnamese executed for cooperating with Americans, unknown South Vietnam military dead, 2 million Cambodians dead, unknown thousands of Vietnamese dead by  starvation, disease, suicide and “disappeared,” 2 million escaped by boat, and 1 million held for extended periods in “education camps” and jails.

Are you embarrassed?

Earl Heal is a Vacaville resident and member of The Right Stuff Committee, a committee of the Solano County Republican Party. Reach him at [email protected]


Earl Heal

Earl Heal


Discussion | 22 comments

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  • rlw895July 07, 2014 - 5:35 am

    What's with the quotes without context or citation except "recent columnists' words?" It is a HUGE lie that the erroneous belief that Saddam had WMDs and the intention and ability to deliver the to the U.S. was not behind the Iraq war resolution. Many members of congress have said they regretted that vote, with the noteworthy exception of John Kerry when he was running to unseat GWBush.

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  • rlw895July 07, 2014 - 5:45 am

    Bringing up the Vietnam War illustrates how that event colors our national politics even today. Conservatives are still trying to win that war over "liberals" at home who opposed it, not realizing, apparently, that liberals born the year the war ended are now nearing 40.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 6:14 am

    Earl's article would have been more interesting if he had actually refuted any of the so called "big lies." I'm just glad to that we finally found all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, that politicians who supported the invasion feel better about their disasterous error, and that we finally won in Vietnam. It's about time. Wow, what a joke. It will be interesting to read all the high praise for Earl from all the historians on the right.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 6:20 am

    My favorite part is how Franklin Roosevelt kept the military in Germany and Japan for so long after the war. He died before we won. At least Earl got the title right, "Big lies about Iraq and Vietnam,"

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  • rlw895July 07, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Good catch Mike. I missed that one. It's a lesson on how easy it is to miss misinformation when it's said with such conviction. The historical differences between post WWII Germany and Japan and present-day Iraq are much more instructive than the similarities. Does anybody want to explore the subject in depth?

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  • DanielJuly 07, 2014 - 8:38 am

    RW and Mike again, so the mustard gas Saddam used to kill Kurds wasn't a WMD and the U.N. inspectors weren't in Iraq suspecting Saddam of hiding WMDs? Then your argument wasn't with Bush, it was obviously with Clinton and an all Demo congress including Pelosi, Boxer and Reid whom in 1998 certified that Saddam had WMDs and voted to forcibly remove him. Of course assuming that you're not just stooge hypocritical hacks, you did condemn Clinton and the all Demo congress, correct? Can you site so examples of your consistent non political hack outrage?

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 8:57 am

    Congress and a big part of the American public believed what the Bush administration told us. Many didn't suspect they were lying, but many did. How, exactly, is Clinton involved?

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  • rlw895July 07, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Daniel: You must not realize you're agreeing with me. “Need to invade Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction . . .” Earl calls a "big lie." It's not, and it's a HUGE lie to say it is. I'm causing Earl of lying, not Bush, Clinton, or anybody else.

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  • rlw895July 07, 2014 - 10:31 am


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  • DanielJuly 07, 2014 - 11:07 am

    Mike you are do obsessed with anti -GOPism that you makes you ignore history, do a goggle on the act HR 4655 The Free Iraq law signed by an all Demo controlled congress by vote counts of 360-38 and a uninanimous Senate, Bill Clinton signed into law to forcibly remove Saddam from power for having and using WMDs. Clinton even sited the specific amount that Saddam had in his arsenal. Did you and the rest of the lame stream pound the daily drum that Clinton and congress lied like you did with Bush?

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  • patrickJuly 07, 2014 - 11:25 am

    Daniel Shortly after we pulled out of Iraq and left Saddam in charge again. he used poison gas (WMD) against the Kurds in northern Iraq. This story--- along with video was carried by all major news media. It seems some people have a selective memory.

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  • patrickJuly 07, 2014 - 11:46 am

    DANIEL--- Your dealing with flat earth people here.

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  • Salty DogJuly 07, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    Daniel After this information i do not think that Mike or row will have much to say about this but they might try to answer with a question.

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  • SalJuly 07, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    What about the big fat lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and the money and lives wasted on that lie? The republicans don't get their panties in a bunch viz that lie. Guess they go commando.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    Once again, i am not reporting an abusive comment. The buttons remain too close together. Anywho, i just wanted to say that your big find, Clinton's HR 4655, didn't send a hundred thousand people to their deaths, it was non military.. Three things you should look up before you go on: who sold the chemical weapons to Saddam, when, and what is the half life?

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    I am amazed this guy opens his column with “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." That has been the Republican mantra since Obama declared his intentions to run for president. Good grief you folks are impossible.

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  • mike kirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    CD, at least Earl was truthful in his title. He did give us all fair warning that this article was going to contain some "Big lies about Iraq and Vietnam." I've never seen a rightwinger be so honest. Kudos, Earl. And aren't you glad that we finally won in Vietnam? That should be on page one.

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  • BJJuly 07, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    These folks are the very kind who would have followed Hilter, ironically.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    BJ, you are absolutely correct! These Republicans will follow anybody they think can win an election. Then when they can't, they turn on 'em like dogs. The GOP is full of fools.

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  • Mike KirchubelJuly 07, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Where, oh where is the right wing follow-through on this article? Wherefore art thou, oh clear-headed, truth-telling teapartiers? Isn't anybody going to step up and defend Earl's travesty of truth? Does it simply die on this page? Very, very sad. Extreme right reasoning does not exist in reality, only in the imagination and empty rhetoric of a few. Also sadly, that's enough to befuddle the low information voters who want any reason, real or not, to vote in favor of their own prejudices and selfishness. Congrats, guys and dolls, you've defined yourselves exquisitely. Now, back to the A's and Giants game.

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  • Dave ShreeveJuly 07, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    Fact: U.S. participation in Vietnam ended early in 1973 after the peace protocols were signed in Paris ending the war on January 30, 1973. Fact: Congress cut off all funding for any continuation actions in 1974 (maybe earlier, but the timing of events is correct). Fact: Saigon fell to the communists in April of 1975. How can you possibly loose a war that you are not even a combatant in?

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  • Mr. SmithJuly 07, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Seems like a decently written column to me. And, as such it can stand on its own merits. Why is it you and rlw feel it is incumbent upon the rest of us to comment on every conservative column or post that makes you...irritable? Would have used the "c" word, but I don't want to re-post this.

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