It is somewhat ironic that, on that same day, April 22, 1975, an official White House photograph captured the architects of the proposed troop surge. President Ford is seated behind his desk in the Oval Office. He is conferring with his chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld, and his deputy, Dick Cheney.
Fast-forward 32 years. We are hearing the same talk. We are hearing the same reasoning that more troops will help us get out of a war thousands of miles away.
We have just seen a new Congress sworn in. Many say voters spoke loudly last November against the status quo. In 1975, the 49 of us were called "Watergate babies," referring to the crimes that brought down the Nixon administration. Voters then were tired of being lied to, and wanted desperately to get our troops home from the war in Southeast Asia.
The architects of the waning days of the Vietnam War are many of the same planners who pushed our troops into the current war in Iraq. Apparently history has taught them nothing.
History, however, apparently was not lost on the American voters last November. I suspect it will likely not be lost on their representatives in the 110th Congress. I suspect those elected by the people will not approve spending any more tax dollars to extend another unpopular, ill-planned and shortsighted war.
Let's hope he is right. And how ironic - and sad- it is that Rumsfeld and Cheney were at the center of that mess three decades ago and are at the center of another foreign policy debacle today.