Tet, 40 years later

Consortiumnews.com has published an article noting the 40th anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, written by Don North, “who spent three years as a reporter in Vietnam for ABC and NBC News, has continued investigating the details of this historic battle over the past 40 years.” He was outside the U.S. embassy in Saigon when the attack began.

The editors' intro puts North's piece in context:

On Jan. 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and more than 100 other targets throughout South Vietnam. The assault was dubbed the Tet Offensive, named after the Vietnamese celebration of the Lunar New Year.

When the bloody fighting finally ended 24 days later, the communist troops had been driven from all major South Vietnamese cities and senior U.S. military officers declared victory. But there was little doubt, too, that the North Vietnamese and Vietcong had scored a stunning psychological success.

Because U.S. politicians and commanders had oversold progress in the war as a way to quiet domestic dissent, the savage Tet fighting shocked millions of Americans and widened Washington