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In “Destructive Generation,” disillusioned leftists’ David Horowitz and Peter Collier’s blistering attack on their onetime allies among the Vietnam-era anti-war movement, they wrote that their erstwhile comrades didn’t want the Vietnam War to end, for it gave them an excuse for excess and destruction.

But not only did the Vietnam War end, the manner in which it ended validated American supporters of the war.

From President Harry Truman to President Richard Nixon, the hawks warned that if the United States ever pulled the plug on military aid to the beleaguered South Vietnam, the North would invade and create a blood-soaked totalitarian regime, according to Cold War historian Steven Hayward.

Essentially this happened in 1975, when the last American helicopter left the city of Saigon in South Vietnam.

Afterwards, North Vietnam imprisoned and tortured 150,000 South Vietnamese. Horrified, in 1979, according to The New York Times, former anti-war activist Joan Baez paid for advertisements in five major American newspapers — including The Times — asking the communist Vietnamese government to stop the torture.

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Meanwhile Pol Pot, the Cambodian communist leader of the Khmer Rouge, took over Cambodia, and created a police state that murdered more than 2 million Cambodians, according to

Since then, the Vietnam government did not implode as did the Soviet Union in 1989. Along with North Korea, it has remained a Communist dictatorship.

And its military it is becoming much stronger.

According to Global Firepower, a website that provides “its unique analytical display of data concerning over 135 modern military powers,” Vietnam’s military ranks 20th on the list.

Much of this power derives from the communist nation forcing males from 18 to 25 years old into the military.

Check out a Military Channel video that shows what the Vietnamese military is capable of these days.

As with many communist regimes, the army is used as much for crushing dissent as it is in “protecting” the country from invasion.

But once upon a time the Vietnam military wasn’t quite so powerful.

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Unmentioned in politically correct history books about the Vietnam War was that the North was actually losing on the battlefield. Indeed, had American aid continued past 1975, the war could have been won, according to some historians like Steven Hayward.

But, aware of the protesters and “useful idiots” like Jane Fonda, the North knew they could win the war “in the American streets.”

Although not yet a global superpower, Vietnam’s growing military strength may signal that try as they might, the United States cannot completely exorcise the ghosts of Vietnam.

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