Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vi... (
You are absolutely correct about America not losing the Vietnam War. We did not lose! We left!
As a MACV Advisor to an ARVN Combat Ordnance Battalion I saw the war from a different point of view than most folks. I spent a lot of TDY time in country in 1967-1968, including I Corps (MR1) and a full tour in 1969. Based outside DaNang with operations from DaLat to the DMZ. I spent time in Hue and also in the 121st Evac Hospital in DaNang. Think the TV program MASH. Wasn't too far off the mark in those days.
The reason most guys don't talk about the war is because it causes them to relive events they have long tried to put away. Talking to another combat vet who can relate is usually easier than talking to a civilian. BTW, some of the bravest people in the war were the Dust Off pilots and their crews. The Jolly Greens weren't far behind. Talk about balls of steel -- those guys qualified and they saved a lot of lives. For those of you who don't know about Dust Off missions here are a couple of YouTube video links to give you a little insight as to what it was like: https://www.onepoliticalplaza.com/b-209646-e-2013
The first rule of battle is to "know thy enemy." In Vietnam, the US command structure did not know the enemy. Even worse, the command structure did not understand nor respect the enemy's strategies and tactics. The Viet Cong and the NVA used strategies and tactic like the Swamp Fox. Hide, Hit and Run. The command structure tried to overlay land mass army strategies and sandbox tactics onto a guerilla war. Doesn't work.
Also, the US military leadership and the politicians were completely ignorant regarding who their opposition leaders were. My counterparts and I hated the VC and the NVA, but we did respect their tenacity and ability. When Uncle Ho was replaced by the Chinese, things changed. Uncle Ho's war of reunification became something much different. The Chinese wanted and needed the bread basket of Southeast Asia. They got it.
In 1969, the US had 469,000 troops in country, plus the allied forces. The South Vietnamese had about 1.5 million troops available. The combined total of armed forces on our side was over 2 million folks. We were fully armed and supplied with everything we needed to move north and take Hanoi. We had just defeated North Vietnam in Tet of '68. Yes, they were demoralized and nearly at the point of surrender.
There was nothing in the way to stop us from taking Hanoi and putting an end to the war.
But, what was in our way were the US politicians, the war protesters, and the US media (well fed with Hanoi propaganda). Kissinger, Nixon, and all their incompetent pals were hell bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The US Congress cut all funding and support for South Vietnam, while the Chinese made sure that North Vietnam had lots of new stuff. The US command structure never sought nor listened to those of us who were on the ground and had a first hand view of what was going on. The only thing they seemed to care about was "body count."
My counterpart was a battalion commander. He hated the communists more than you can imagine. He lost several members of his family during the war. When Nixon announced the "Vietnamization" of the war, all of us on the ground knew the US was getting ready to cut and run. Rule number two of combat: Don't stick your nose into somebody else's war if you don't intend to win.
What the Vietnam War protesters, Hanoi Jane, the media and the politicians never talk about is what happened after our pullout in 1975. By some estimates the North Vietnamese killed more than 2 million people starting in 1976-1979. They killed anyone who was known to be in the South Vietnamese armed forces who resisted the takeover and wouldn't become a communist. They killed anyone who worked for or supported the US and allied forces, including cooks, interpreters, drivers, etc. They either killed them, and often their families, by direct execution, through re-education camps (think starvation and exposure to the elements) or through slave labor death. They executed my counterpart.
Ken Burns and his leftist friends will never make a movie about what really happened in Vietnam. They don't have the courage. The Hollywood gutless wonders and those on the Left cannot handle the truth, which is probably another reason why Vietnam vets don't talk about the Vietnam War. It's like talking to a wall.