The press, stringers, and American defeat in Vietnam

Mackubin Thomas Owens reviews a new book of revisionist history on Vietnam, Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965, by Mark Moyar in the Weekly Standard. The revisionist school holds that the Vietnam War was far from un-winnable, but that victory was denied thanks to bad decisions, in many instances influenced by journalists and their coverage. The entire review, and probably the entire book, deserves to be read. But one salient aspect of the undoing of victory echoes loudly today in Iraq (and Lebanon and Gaza, for that matter): the role of a local stringer who was an enemy agent, and who deeply influenced media coverage, and through journalists, influenced US policy.The stringer in question was Pham Xuan An, a communist agent. Ed Lasky wrote about Pham twice for American Thinker (here  and here). Diem, who was deposed and assassinated with US approval, was on his way to victory over the Viet Cong, according to the revisionists. They back up this claim with evidence from...(Read Full Post)