In 1977, newly inaugurated U.S. President James Earl Carter ignites a storm of controversy when, in response to a reporter's question, he suggests that American troops should be withdrawn from Cuba and Vietnam.
Out of the Quagmire
by Eric Lipps"In both nations," he declares, "whatever threat to American security and American interests might have emanated from those nations is past. Maintaining a large troop presence indefinitely in both Cuba and Vietnam places an unnecessary burden upon this nation". He goes on to state that he plans to open negotiations aimed at arranging an orderly U.S. withdrawal, to be accompanied by "free and fair elections" which Carter will invite the United Nations to monitor.
Conservatives respond with fury, denouncing Carter's words as a "sellout to Communism". Zealous right-wing pundit Patrick Buchanan storms that Carter is opening the door for Fidel Castro, who has carried on a guerrilla resistance since his ouster in April 1961 by a Cuban insurgent force backed up by the U.S. military, to return to power. Buchanan also charges that if Carter's plan is carried out, the "ragtag remnants" of the Vietcong and the former North Vietnamese Army will be freed to "undo the progress of freedom in Southeast Asia purchased at the cost of so many American lives".
Many ordinary Americans, however, applaud Carter's words. At a time when there is supposedly a new "detente" between the U.S. and its Communist adversaries, the USSR and the People's Republic of China, the continuing stream of American casualties in two guerrilla wars against Marxist insurgencies in small, unimportant countries has come to seem increasingly pointless.
This article is part of the Cuba War thread.