On April 19, political commentator, former assistant to President Nixon, and 1992 Republican senatorial candidate Bruce Herschensohn comes to the Nixon Library to discuss his new book American Amnesia, which presents his thesis that had Congress been prepared to support Presidents Nixon and Ford when they asked for military aid to South Vietnam after North Vietnamese violations of the 1973 peace accords, then Hanoi’s forces would not have been able to defeat that nation in 1975. The theme of his book has particular relevance as American forces prepare to depart from Iraq, a nation whose future may be determined by the whims of its eastern neighbor Iran unless the United States is ready to ensure otherwise. In today’s Victorville (California) Daily Press, Herschensohn discusses his book:

On January 27, 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed by the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the Viet Cong. North Vietnam agreed to an immediate cease fire, and South Vietnam was promised the same sort of freedoms guaranteed Americans under the First Amendment.

Officially, the war was over.

But, Herschensohn says, the U.S. wasn’t so naive as to believe there would be no more hostilities by North Vietnam after American troops went home. So, the accords promised piece-for-piece replacement of any military assets South Vietnam used to defend itself after the Americans left.

“We didn’t do it,” Herschensohn said flatly. “Congress saw a way that we could lose (the war) by not appropriating funds in the piece-for-piece provision.”