Tet, Ah Tet

Despite the overwhelming tactical losses suffered by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive, the months of attacks they mounted on South Vietnam in early 1968 are considered by many historians to be the point where many people began to realize the US and the government they backed weren’t going to win. President Lyndon Johnson announced his decision not to seek re-election in March, during the middle of primary operations.

The attacks began during the Lunar New Year — on 30 January 1968 — some 1,274 days after Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing military retaliation for two attacks (one of which didn’t actually occur) on American destroyers providing intelligence to the South Vietnamese government.

As Daily Kos diarist occams hatchet pointed out at length last week, “Iraq is NOT Vietnam”, but if it was Vietnam, today would be the day that Tet started: day 1,274 since the invasion of Iraq began.