Immigration is about laws, not compassion Mona Charen’s opinion piece “Immigration compassion” by was very troubling (Commentary, Wednesday). Illegal immigration should have nothing to do with compassion, but should be about honoring the rule of law. Mrs. Charen states that she feels well disposed toward those who wish to become Americans, especially Catholics from Latin America.
Our forefathers must be turning over in their graves from that remark. In reality, our founding fathers welcomed all legal immigrants equally. Most of the immigrants who came to our nation were people who desired to assimilate, and who had skills so as not to be a drain on our society.
Today, most Americans feel that open border advocates, a government with a low regard for its workers and individuals with compassion for criminals don’t make for a country with a promising future.
Rochester Hills, Mich.
Consequences of withdrawal
In her July 13 article, “Leaving won’t be easy” (Commentary, Friday) Georgie Anne Geyer ridicules analyses done by the CIA in the 1960’s suggesting that failure in Vietnam would have significant negative consequences for the region and for the United States. She writes, “After the Americans withdrew, in momentary humiliation, from the coasts of Vietnam by ship and helicopter, there were few regional consequences of the foolhardy war.”
This claim could hardly be further from the truth. Between 1975 and 1979, far more Southeast Asians met violent deaths than had been killed during the previous ten years, a period spanning from the arrival of U.S. ground troops to the fall of Saigon. The new communist regime executed tens of thousand of South Vietnamese and imprisoned hundreds of thousands more, some for decades. Hundreds of thousands of “boat people” drowned while trying to escape to freedom. The Hanoi-supported Khmer Rouge slaughtered at least 1.7 million Cambodians — nearly 20 percent of the country’s population.
Nor was the damage limited to Southeast Asia. Emboldened by America’s desertion of its South Vietnamese allies, the Soviet Union moved aggressively into the vacuum, supporting Marxist revolutionary governments in Central America and in the Third World, stationing combat troops in Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mozambique, Yemen, Libya Somalia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Grenada and Cuba. Soviet expansion continued until 1983, when Ronald Reagan opted to ignore the “lessons of Vietnam” and used military force to overturn the Cuban-backed takeover of Grenada.
The pessimistic assessments of the likely consequences of American failure in Vietnam were correct. Revisionist attempts to whitewash those consequences are wrong.