Blog Gerald Ford: Biden Was ‘Incredibly Shortsighted’ on Vietnam ‘Cut and Run’ Disaster

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Gerald Ford: Biden Was ‘Incredibly Shortsighted’ on Vietnam ‘Cut and Run’ Disaster

Joe Biden’s response to Afghanistan is not new. It’s a repeat of Vietnam.

Somewhere the late President Gerald Ford is shaking his head.

It was Gerald Ford, famously President Richard Nixon’s number two, who took over the presidency when Watergate forced Nixon’s resignation. Which in turn put Ford in charge of winding down the Vietnam War, building on a negotiated settlement that Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger had reached with the North Vietnamese. The Paris Peace accords were signed in January of 1973, ending all U.S. combat activities.

But eventually, with U.S. combat troops departed, the war resumed. And Democrats were determined to shoot down all funding for the South Vietnamese — period.

In a highly unusual move, the Democrats who ran the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded a meeting with Ford at the White House. The last time a president had a formal meeting with the Committee was in 1919, a full 56 years earlier, when President Woodrow Wilson met with the Committee to push his post-World War One League of Nations proposal.

The April, 1975 meeting with Ford and the Committee was, Ford writes in his memoirs A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford, “extremely tense.” Ford quite specifically mentions the presence of the freshman Senator from Delaware — Joe Biden. The discussion became focused on getting out not only the remaining Americans in the country, but the Vietnamese who had been such loyal help to the Americans. Joe Biden would have none of the latter.

“I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out,” Ford writes of Biden’s words. But “I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”

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