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1. bob couttie <email@example.com> 2. firstname.lastname@example.org -----Message from: bob couttie <email@example.com>----- Philippines: Vicente Lucban, of Samar fame, took Bicol with an army largely armed with rolled up mats made to look like cannon. The Philippine government ship Filipinas armed with bits of boilerpipe to look like guns. One must include the turning of a Filipino courier and forged documents and disguise in the Funston capture of Aguinaldo. Bob Couttie (Balangiga Research Group) bob couttie <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: email@example.com----- Prof. Kuehn has quite correctly mentioned two interpretations of the meaning to Tet and the 1968 Christmas surprise. Even so,I must add a couple of thoughts about the conclusions reached. This idea, Gen Westmoreland 'took the bait', to allow a strategic victory despite an operational US victory is a bit far fetched. At that time, the US Congress was badly divided over US continued presence in Vietnam and the war. MACV certainly did give or offer assurance, the Communist were not able to mount a serious assault on S. Vietnam; but differences in interpretations by parties on the US side, 'saw' the outcome of that assault in very different lights. Opponents asserted this attack proved the US was underestimating the capabilities of both the US and the Communists. Whose judgment was more correct is the debate, both politically at that time and historically. Prof. Kuehn is quite correct is pointing out Khe Sanh was a major effort to create the sort of political/military atmosphere that exist for France over Dien Bien Phu, as an American reality. In this, they failed, due to the valiant Marine and US forces stand. At the same time, it was, more or less, a part of overall Communist strategy; 1, to draw forces away from other areas to be attacked and 2, to offer a dual pronged offensive against the US. Both prongs were defeated militarily, yet the political objectives, anticipated or not, caused such reaction in the American government and Capitol, this war was effectively won, politically, just as Dien Bien Phu had done to the French. Westmoreland was not 'taken'. Rather, the American people had been lulled by past success into believing the threat did not exist and when it happened, they were forced to re evaluate what and how the war was being conducted towards what goals. Judgment came down on the side of this war being 'unwinnable' in any political/military sense worth continuing US involvement. Gen. Giap had intended such an outcome, but not in the manner it came about. Must agree with Prof. Kuehn, surprise was mutual; the Communists lost militarily, but achieved their political goal, long term, of knocking the US out of the war. The US was surprised, again, because the Communist showed themselves no respecter of the informal pattern to truces that had come to be in the war and Vietnam, thereby making all bets off as to any limitation of war efforts.....ie, attacking at Christmas time, etc. This was a major deception. Wyatt Reader UCLA___Whittier College Calif. Community Colleges//private[Instructor] firstname.lastname@example.org ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----