I can't help but refute the notion that the soldiers of the RVN or of the U.S. were the ones who lost the war. That certainly is not the way by which the ideals of those who fought and died is viewed from this perspective.
How do you lose something that was unwinnable? How do you lose something when the war was sustained by actions beyond your own controls? Cases in point:
1. The RVN government was inept, corrupt, arrogant and insensitive 2. The RVN government never were in touch with the majority of the people nor was it able to serve the aspirations of social justice. This played into the hands of the communists. 3. The RVN government did not have: a. the courage nor conviction to stand up against U.S. political agenda and allowed Vietnam to be toyed by the superpowers. b. the vision nor commitment to create a just society.
How do you help a power entity that does not help itself? How do you help one such entity when its actions and policies perpetuate social injustices and thus fueled the determination of the opposition? How do you stop a war that the major players (North and South Vietnam) did not care to stop? How do you cover all the bases of responsibilities by irresponsible Vietnamese leaderships?
It was not a military nor a political war. It was a battle of the wills. The will to resist will only gather strength when social justices exist and persist. One can exterminate thousands of men and women of the enemy, but one can't abolish the will to fight by bullets. By justice, by social integration,by visionary and responsible leadership, yes! By bullets, no!
My salute and thanks to the veterans who have fought. In you, there are no futile losses, just awe-inspiring ideals within you and unconscienable sacrifices asked of you. These are the legacy you left behind for which I am eternally grateful. Sometimes, the aim of your best intentions is destroyed by the worst in others. Perhaps, for any future conflict, we will demand much more of our own sacrifices and those of others. Perhaps, before the next bullet is sent out of the muzzle, we will ask if and how it will solve anything.