I must disagree, the term "madman" is quite pejorative and does not belong in an objective discussion of a legitimate military tactic; especially when it can be construed as a personal criticism of President Nixon. I do not see any way to differentiate between the use of the atomic bombs to get Japan to finally surrender and the use of the Christmas bombing to get Hanoi back to Paris to sign the Accords. Both were uses of maximum force to impel the opponent to take a desired action.
New in MiWSR
A review of Aaron B. O’Connell, ed., Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan, by William J. Astore, Pennsylvania College of Technology.
James P. Holoka, editor
"Madman" bombing was would suggest a deliberate tactic and message to say if you do not negotiate even more will be unleashed.
WW II would not be a proper comparative case.
While I agree that Prof. Moise has undervalued the impact of Tet, and most specifically Cronkite's NY broadcast, which really opened the spigot of "advocacy journalism", I have to question the use of the phrase "madman bombing" and the secondary wording of "North Vietnam refused to enter negotiations". Was the bombing of Germany and Japan that clearly contributed to, and in the case of Japan, clinched that war's end, "madman bombing"?
Prof. Moise's statement is quite inaccurate on the impact of Tet.
While it remains historically true the anti-war movement and questioning the war in Vietnam by members of Congress were in visible prominence by 1968, Tet's impact on the politico-military situation was most strongly felt in the Nation's Capitol by the Govt. at that time.
Arthur Cyr's review of Mark Bowden's book on Hue, like Bowden's book itself, exaggerates the impact of the Tet Offensive on American public opinion. Cyr writes, "American public support for the Vietnam War, long relatively strong, rapidly collapsed after Tet." In fact public support for the war had been declining for a long time before Tet. President Johnson said in October 1967, "We've almost lost the war . . . in the court of public opinion." The decline in public support for the war continued after Tet, but it did not accelerate dramatically.
The CERCLES team (University of Rouen, France) is pleased to announce its regular series of reviews of books on the Engli
Focus below is an excerpted portion of the Review. It tells the story of Tet abnd its after effects upon Vietnam war and American political-military views. This particular moment in history is set forth quite well; being in DC at that time as part of the US Govt., the overall shock of seeing how far from victory US forces were by the abilities demonstrated in this determined Communist assault upon all of So.