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And by ‘consensus,’ I mean ‘almost zero,’ OK?


More squirrel bait regarding the American war in Vietnam, today from Peter Rodman, whose ongoing devotion to Henry Kissinger — his first boss — is touching if nothing else:

Military historians seem to be converging on a consensus that by the end of 1972, the balance of forces in Vietnam had improved considerably, increasing the prospects for South Vietnam’s survival. That balance of forces was reflected in the Paris Agreement of January 1973, and the (Democratic) Congress then proceeded to pull the props out from under that balance of forces over the next 2 1/2 years — abandoning all of Indochina to a bloodbath.

This is Rob’s terrain more than mine, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that the number of military historians who comprise this “consensus” is roughly equivalent to the number who believe that tens of thousands of enslaved people fought on behalf of the Confederacy.

In all seriousness, though, Rodman clearly has in mind the work of Mark Moyar (about whom I wrote here). Moyar’s claim to fame among rightward-thinking types rests almost solely on his insistence that the US was (in 1972) capable of winning the war in Vietnam; this perceptive analysis comes, I should add, from the same fellow who seriously believes Ngo Dinh Diem was an effective leader whom the US (per tradition) abandoned in his hour of need. Moyar’s status as a conservative genius-martyr is enhanced, apparently, by the fact that he hasn’t been offered a “prestigious” academic job. Rodman has evidently decided that as a substitute, Moyar’s thesis will be granted the status of “academic consensus.”

Among other things, Rodman’s directive will surely rouse the commentariat at Neocon, where I’ve apparently been declared an enemy of the people — meriting “death or banishment” — for suggesting that the conservative narrative about the Vietnam War is . . . like . . . stupid? (And no, I haven’t overlooked the irony of people howling about liberal complicity in the Cambodian genocide while warning liberals of grim days to come . . .)

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