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Monday, January 31, 2005 

An offensive like Tet

This weekend marked the 37th anniversary of the Tet Offensive. This campaign effectively crippled the underground Vietcong organization, accomplished not one of its strategic objectives, inflicted just over 1/10th as many US and comprador casualties as suffered by liberation forces, but managed to complete destabilize the Johnson regime and remind the American public en masse that decolonization was here to stay.

Living in a period when the American left lacks any semblance of a mass base, organized labor faces a looming crisis (from both the material conditions we face, and internal threats to rule or ruin the only national grouping currently available to working people), fascist dictatorship seems like a firm possibility, and national liberation movements worldwide lack the dynamism and direction so obviously present less than half a century ago, I find a strange sort of comfort in the experience of the 50,000 Vietnamese patriots that gave their lives fighting for freedom over those two months.

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