A well-executed Communist twin offensive has spectacularly shattered the pride of American military power in Asia. First North Koreans hijacked U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo on the high seas. Then the Viet Cong launched a series of stunning, ferocious attacks throughout South Vietnam that caught Allied forces by surprise. Even more surprising still, has been the reaction by officials to these grave events.
WHAT WE have warned for years has happened. U.S. fortunes have taken a sudden turn for the worse in Asia. The nation has won its last war. The American public had been told over the past several months that the war in Vietnam was clearly turning in U.S. favor. In November, Gen. William Westmoreland, U.S. Commander in Vietnam, expressed the personal belief that American servicemen could even be gradually phased out of an increasingly pacified Vietnam in about two years. Then, suddenly, in the space of one week, everything went wrong.
Two Crises at Once
On January 23, elements of the tiny North Korean navy seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Pueblo and its 83-man crew in international waters off Wonson, North Korea. The Pueblo, an electronic marvel complete with the most sophisticated "snooping" gear, had been left unprotected and virtually unarmed at the time of the hijacking. Before help could come, Pueblo was in Wonson harbor. With U.S. attention swept temporarily to the heated-up Korean situation, the Communist war strategists in Hanoi made final plans for the greatest Red offensive to date in South Vietnam. It came one week after the Korean flare-up and it was carried out with such ferocity that Allied forces — even though suspecting something — were simply caught off guard. Viet Cong insurgents smashed their way into 25 provincial capitals. They attacked U.S. military installations throughout Vietnam; even attacked and held part of the U.S. embassy in Saigon for a brief period. Saigon is now a wreck, with sections of the metropolitan area nothing but bombed-out ruins.
Communist Defeat? — Or Victory?
American military advisors to the President were quick to assert, after the initial Viet Cong attacks subsided, that the Communist offensive was a "complete military failure." The President himself felt compelled to address the nation. He denied the Reds had achieved a psychological victory. "Impressive" statistics were given — 24,000 Communists lay dead after the first nine days of the uprising, versus a tiny fraction of that number of American dead. South Vietnamese casualties were put near 4,000. But other statistics tell a different story. President Johnson admitted on February 2 that the VC had destroyed 38 American planes and helicopters. They also damaged — how seriously was not told — another "100-odd" aircraft — all of which will have to be replaced. The most obvious outcome of all this is: The Communists have a will to win. America does not. The Reds are on the offensive. They are pushing and driving toward definite goals. Communist suicide squads are willing to sacrifice their lives to achieve key objectives. The U.S. is fighting a halfway war, with total victory not even intended. Seeing this, the Communists — whether in Vietnam or Korea — simply no longer fear the United States will fully use its immense military might.
Power — but No Pride
In his State of the Union Message, President Johnson analyzed the problem correctly when he said: "It is our will that is being tried and not our strength." NATIONAL PRIDE AND PRESTIGE IS AT STAKE! Yet, recently, one presidential hopeful stated most emphatically that America's prestige was not at stake in the Pueblo incident. Nothing could be further from the truth! Other top congressional "leaders" have tried to play down the seriousness of the Asian situation. One shamefully suggested the U.S. give a false admission that the Pueblo was seized in North Korean waters, rather than resort to force to regain the pirated ship and its crew. Another leading senator again asked the U.S. to seek an "honorable compromise" in Vietnam, rather than victory. Where is America's pride of power? It has vanished — just as Bible prophecy said it would! Look at Leviticus 26:19. This prophecy applies to America at this end time in history: "And I will break the PRIDE of your power." The U.S. still possesses immense power but is afraid to use it. God has stripped away from us the PRIDE in that power. Without pride, without direction, without will, military power — however great — is useless. America has won its last war!