35 years ago today the Vietnam war ended with the collapse of the South Vietnam regime in the face of troops from the North Vietnam Army entering the South's capital, the infamous "fall of Saigon".
Oddly, Nixon won the 1968 election on a pledge that he has a "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam. Unfortunately he didn't mention to the electorate that is "peace" was to be gained seven years later by abandoning the south in a confused "rush for the exits".
As you can tell from the following video, the US planned the evacuation of Saigon like it planned the rest of the war in South Vietnam... poorly:
The US electorate never held the Republican party responsible for lying about a "secret plan" to end the war. They didn't hold any political party responsible for 58,159 dead; 1,724 missing; 303,635 wounded Americans and 220,357 dead; 1,170,000 wounded South Vietnamese troops, and 1,176,000 dead/missing; 600,000+ wounded North Vietnamese (from Wikipedia).
Death, destruction, waste of resources, waste of money... I guess today is an anniversary to reflect on the foolishness of governments and political parties unwilling to tell their people the truth. Sad.
I can't help thinking if all that had been invested in building factories and infrastructure, educating people, supplying medical care. Today would be a better world. But people are more willing to expend resources to destroy, even in a futile war, than to put in the effort and dedication to build a better future. A tragedy.