Gohmert tells CPAC: We could've won Vietnam

"People in Washington" decided the U.S. couldn't win the war, Gohmert said

By Jillian Rayfield

Published March 14, 2013 2:58PM (EDT)

In a speech that spanned several decades of U.S. foreign policy, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, tied together the Vietnam War, the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and mostly blamed it all on Jimmy Carter.

Gohmert was speaking on a panel called "Too Many American Wars? Should We Fight Anywhere and Can We Afford It?", and began by stating that "Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we should not win it." He added that the "lesson" of Vietnam is that "you don't send American men and women into harm's way unless you're gonna give them what they need" to win.

Gohmert blamed Jimmy Carter for many of America's current foreign policy problems, referring to the Iranian hostage crisis, and pointing to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: "I still believe today that we have Americans dying for their country because we did not send a message in 1979 that you do not attack Atcmerican soil."

The rest of the members of the panel agreed, including Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who pointed to America's "tendancy to end wars indecisively," and "America's political leadership being too sophisticated and focusing on things like exit strategies, as opposed to victory strategies."

Dr. Ivan Eland, a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, noted that "we've shown the people how to beat us."

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Afghanistan Cpac Iraq Jimmy Carter Louie Gohmert Republicans Vietnam War