President Nixon deserves nomination for a Nobel Prize. In January 1969 he entered the White House knowing LBJ left him with almost 540,000 troops in Vietnam.
By the end of 1972 all of our combat troops and POWs were either home or on their way home. This was a remarkable feat. The class of 1973 would be the first in decades not subject to the draft- which was ended. The Class of 1973 would be the first in twelve years to graduate at a time when we were not at war in Vietnam.
There is a popular slander in media and some academia that we could have gotten the same deal in 1968 or 1969 that we got in 1972. This idea does not hold up to the most basic level of scrutiny. Negotiator Winston Lord pointed out that the NVA did not back down from long held demands until after heavy bombings in late 1972.
Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey called President Nixon to tell him that his own boss – LBJ- could never have gotten the deal Nixon got.
Our ally- South Vietnam – was weary. President Kennedy sat by while President Diem was executed. LBJ floated the fantasy idea of potential peace talks in 1968 but when President Thieu found out HE was on the menu like President Diem had been- he wanted no part in any talks.
By 1969 our long term reputation around the world was on the line. Cut and run was never an option. There was no talk of a secret plan- that was media fiction. Peace with honor was the plan from day one.
Shortly after taking office, President Nixon lowered the troop ceiling. In response to the NVA violating the neutrality of Cambodia- the President took action there to save American lives and repel communist aggression.
Had Nixon still been in office when the NVA broke the peace deal he said he would have kept our agreement to help our ally and bomb the North back to Hanoi. He said impeachment be damned.
Sadly, the feckless congress refused to act and keep our agreements. Millions died and some dominos fell.
This Nobel is for you Mr. President. You earned it.