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Austin Cline

Ann Coulter & Vietnam

By February 9, 2005

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Sometimes it seems as though one of the primary tactics of the Right is to rely on the ignorance of the masses - tell lies and falsehoods and assume that they won't be exposed or, if they are, few will learn about it. Ann Coulter is a good example of someone who sounds off utter nonsense on a regular basis without being called on it. At least, she was - then she went to Canada where they still know how to do real journalism.

AK quotes part of an exchange between Ann Coulter and CBC news host Bob McKeown:

Coulter: "Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends and vice-versa. I mean Canada sent troops to Vietnam - was Vietnam less containable and more of a threat than Saddam Hussein?"

McKeown interrupts: "Canada didn't send troops to Vietnam."

Coulter: "I don't think that's right."

McKeown: "Canada did not send troops to Vietnam."

Coulter (looking desperate): "Indochina?"

McKeown: "Uh no. Canada ...second World War of course. Korea. Yes. Vietnam No."

Coulter: "I think you're wrong."

McKeown: "No, took a pass on Vietnam."

Coulter: "I think you're wrong."

McKeown: "No, Australia was there, not Canada."

Coulter: "I think Canada sent troops."

McKeown: "No."

Coulter: "Well. I'll get back to you on that."

McKeown tags out in script:

"Coulter never got back to us -- but for the record, like Iraq, Canada sent no troops to Vietnam."

When was the last time you saw someone like Ann Coulter subjected to critical questioning like that in America? It's embarrassing that we need Canadians to do serious journalism on Americans like this. Then again, perhaps Coulter had no idea that McKeown was a serious journalist and, not knowing what the experience is like, showed up completely unprepared. It would be smart of her to avoid interviews with people like that in America — too many of her potential public would be exposed to what she is really like.

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Comments
June 15, 2006 at 7:02 pm
(1) James L Habermehl says:

While it’s true Canada did not send any Canadian armed forces to Vietnam, something like 50,000 Canadians voluntarily joined the U.S. military during the time of the Vietnam War and many served in Vietnam. Not the same thing, but I appreciate their contribution nonetheless.

December 4, 2007 at 10:35 pm
(2) Steve says:

Canada in fact sent troops to Vietnam in 1973. This is an easily verifiable fact. Coulter was 100%, irrefutably right. I will keep checking your site for the correction.

December 5, 2007 at 6:27 am
(3) Austin Cline says:

Canada in fact sent troops to Vietnam in 1973. This is an easily verifiable fact.

Then it should have been easy for you to provide a reference and evidence.

August 11, 2008 at 10:05 am
(4) Edward Norkess says:

Actually, SHE WAS RIGHT! Canada DID send troops to Vietnam. Certainly not at the scale that the U.S. did, but they did send troops in 1973. It was called “Operation Gallant”. They contributed 240 Canadian forces. In addition 10-40 thousand Canadians served voluntarily side by side with Americans. It is difficult to determine how many because some actually wore American uniforms, which further credits what Ms. Coulter was saying, Canada was our friend.
There is a memorial to their soldiers who served in Vietnam named The North Wall at Assumption Park in Windsor, Ontario. Is that enough reference for you?

August 21, 2008 at 9:28 pm
(5) Eikinkloster says:

Then it should have been easy for you to provide a reference and evidence.

You write an article bashing Coulter for her alleged mistake and fail to do a simple Google search to confirm it *even after someone points you to your error?

Here is a reference for you, from the Veterans Affairs Canada site:
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu/group06/icmvn

Your article would have felt a lot more serious if it had addressed this fact even if to dismiss it, plus the circa 30,000 Canadians who volunteered to fight under the US military.

August 22, 2008 at 6:29 am
(6) Austin Cline says:

You write an article bashing Coulter for her alleged mistake and fail to do a simple Google search to confirm it *even after someone points you to your error?

It’s not my job to do the research necessary to prove someone else right or wrong. That’s the job of the person making the claim.

Here is a reference for you, from the Veterans Affairs Canada site:

Thank you for helping prove Coulter wrong. If you go back and re-read the context, you’ll find that the conversation is about sending combat troops to assist America: World War II, Korea, and Iraq.

Canada sent a couple of hundred civilians and members of the military to monitor a cease fire. This clearly isn’t what Ann Coulter was talking about because Coulter was trying to get Canada to commit ground troops in Iraq in the same way Britain was. Coulter wasn’t looking for a couple of hundred UN peacekeepers.

Or to put it another way, Canada did not send troops to Vietname, to take part in the war America was conducting. That’s what Coulter was saying, not the more literal “Canda sent members of its military over the Veitnamese border.” By that literalist standard, should you choose to adopt it, then Coulter would have been “correct” had Canada send troops to fight on the side of North Vietnam — but somehow, I doubt you’d agree in such a context.

August 30, 2008 at 3:10 pm
(7) Eikinkloster says:

Coulter is not arguing about the Canadian government specifically either. She is arguing about Canada in general. And Canada in general added to the Vietnam war 30,000 troops for America, while all Canada seems to do now is to bitch about Iraq.

I disagree with her though, when she apparently (I didn’t see the whole interview) ignores the fact that Canada is fighting side by side with America in Afghanistan. I know of Canadians who think that’s a product of the conservative government and is inviting terrorism wrong, like in the 2006 Toronto Terrorism affair in which 12 people described as being indistinguishable from the general population (all of them Muslims) plotted to wreck havoc in Canada.

January 6, 2009 at 12:01 am
(8) Herstenburg says:

Coulter was right. This website stinks of poor journalism. Her point was clearly that Canada was a friend of the US moreso than it is now. The 30,000 Canadians who volunteered to fight in Vietnam is proof of that. You claim the poster above is arguing semantics, when that’s what you’re doing by ignoring the Canadians who fought. I don’t care how old this story is, your poor journalism still smells.

January 6, 2009 at 6:22 am
(9) Austin Cline says:

Coulter was right. This website stinks of poor journalism.

How is it “poor journalism” to point out the truth that both you and Coulter are wrong?

Her point was clearly that Canada was a friend of the US moreso than it is now.

So, if one’s “point” is correct, even if made through falsehoods, that’s OK? That’s the opposite of “poor journalism”?

You claim the poster above is arguing semantics,

Not at all. It’s not “semantics” to point out the extreme difference between “sending troops” and people volunteering to go on their own, or “sending troops” to deal with a threat and sending people to monitor a cease fire.

January 6, 2009 at 8:48 am
(10) Herstenburg says:

“Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends, and vice versa.”

That was her main statement. It was and is correct. The statement of Canada sending troops was only mentioned in support of that statement. Her phrasing was poor, which is excusable in an interview where things can move quickly. She should have used the words “Canadians went to Vietnam is support of the US in a way they don’t now”. Then, people like you couldn’t argue the semantics. The point is, Canadians went to vietnam in support of an ally. They went and they died. You shouldn’t be so quick to disregard that fact just to try to prove someone wrong whom you dislike. That is poor journalism.

“Not at all. It’s not “semantics” to point out the extreme difference between “sending troops” and people volunteering to go on their own, or “sending troops” to deal with a threat and sending people to monitor a cease fire. ”

Absolutely it is.

Semantics: The meaning or the interpretation of a word, phrase or sentence.

You’re arguing over what she meant. Since her main thrust was that Canada used to be a more loyal friend than it is now, the fact that Canadians fought and died in vietnam should be enough to support that. Your argument is on her wording, that “technically” Canada didn’t send troops, even though Canadians were there in a capacity as “loyal friends” just like she claimed. Nothing I can say will make you get it apparently. You’re bound by your dislike of the woman so you clearly won’t try to understand what she was saying, instead deciding to dissect each word to prove her wrong. Again, that’s poor journalism.

January 6, 2009 at 9:29 am
(11) Austin Cline says:

That was her main statement.  It was and is correct.  The statement of Canada sending troops was only mentioned in support of that statement.  

Her statement here was in reference to the Canadian government, not individual Canadians. The context was the failure of Canada (the Canadian government) to send troops to Iraq, not the failure of individual Canadians to volunteer to go to Iraq. Read the end of the above passage again: “for the record, like Iraq, Canada sent no troops to Vietnam.” That was a true statement which contrasts with Coulter’s false statement.

So, given the context of her comments, her phrasing was not poor. Instead, it was simply a falsehood.

The only one guilty of arguing “semantics” are those trying to argue that she meant something other than what context dictates. I’m just pointing out that the meaning is plain from the context.

The point is, Canadians went to vietnam in support of an ally. They went and they died.  You shouldn’t be so quick to disregard that fact just to try to prove someone wrong whom you dislike.

The fact that individual Canadians volunteered to go to Vietnam on their own isn’t relevant to the topic: namely Ann Coulter’s tenuous relationship with facts and reality. She made a false claim to someone who knew far more than she did and, rather than later admit the truth, she moved on without looking back.

If I am guilty of “poor journalism,” then so is Bob McKeown who caught Ann Coulter in her error. I’d rather be associated with the “poor journalism” of non-American reporters who dare to ask critical questions and keep pushing when they don’t get answers than with right-wing hacks like Ann Coulter who make a living on falsehoods or pseudo-journalistic sycophants in the American media who don’t know a critical, probing question from a hole in the ground.

And, frankly, I think that’s why Coulter’s supporters are so annoyed here with McKeown. He caught Coulter in a blatant error and wouldn’t let her get away with it. It’s something no American “journalist” has ever taken the time or trouble to do.

January 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm
(12) Herstenburg says:

I can understand why you hate Ann Coulter. She’s rude and sensationalist and creates controversy to get publicity and sell more books. But you shouldn’t let that subvert rational thought.

Her point was not whether the troops were government sanctioned. Her point was that a level of kinship existed between Canada and the US that has weakened. She said as much. But you’re so hung up on her choice of words and your hatred of her person that you can’t see it.

The next time you want to argue that Canada didn’t send troops to Vietnam, I suggest you visit the following link.

http://www.glanmore.org/cdncas/memorialair.html

Read the names. Then tell the families of these men and women that Canada sent no troops. You’ll understand what semantics means then. Canada DID send troops. Canada the nation supported the US effort in Vietnam. Canada the nation gave the lives of many of its sons for a cause. It’s as simple as that. A real journalist would be able to see that. Those men weren’t “just men”. They were Canadians.

January 7, 2009 at 3:43 am
(13) steven says:

anyone who claims coulter is right is a liar. Her claim that Canada sent troops to Vietnam was ment to say that the govt. sent troops to fight for America, clearly understood through her saying they were allies. Canadians choosing to go to America and fight does not constitute Canada sending troops. Canada sending troops to Vietnam in 1973 as a peacekeeping force as A U.N. nation in no way supports her point in the context she was talking about Canada did not send troops. Using Wikipedia as your sole source proves nothing.

January 7, 2009 at 6:28 am
(14) Austin Cline says:

Her point was not whether the troops were government sanctioned. Her point was that a level of kinship existed between Canada and the US that has weakened.

Sounds like you’re trying to excuse a falsehood by arguing that there was some larger “point” that was “true.” That’s shoddy and disingenuous.

The next time you want to argue that Canada didn’t send troops to Vietnam, I suggest you visit the following link.

Once again, you’re relying on an emotional appeal over the deaths of Canadians who personally chose to go to Vietnam to avoid the fact that Canada sent no troops to fight in Vietnam.

January 7, 2009 at 9:23 am
(15) Herstenburg says:

Men fought. Men died. Men from Canada. Anything else is arguing semantics. Period. You guys are just sad that you hate someone so much you’re willing to deny men and women their sacrifice just to prove someone wrong. Really sad.

January 7, 2009 at 10:26 am
(16) Austin Cline says:

Men fought. Men died. Men from Canada.  Anything else is arguing semantics.  Period.  

It’s more than “semantics” when the specific statement made by Coulter was false. She didn’t merely claim that Canadians went to Vietnam and she didn’t merely claim that Canadians died in Vietnam. Ergo, the question is not about whether or not any Canadians died in Vietnam.

Do note that I haven’t denied that Canadians died in Vietnam, but you refuse to admit that Bob McKeown was correct.

You guys are just sad that you hate someone so much you’re willing to deny men and women their sacrifice just to prove someone wrong.  

Once again, no one has denied that any Canadians died in Vietnam. Implying otherwise is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. Moreover, I object to their deaths being used to distract attention away from Ann Coulter’s false statement. It’s an insult to their deaths.

Yes, Canadians volunteered to go to Vietnam on their own and some died there.

No, Canada did not send an troops to fight in Vietnam alongside America as it did in Korea and World War II. What Ann Coulter said was false. At first this false statement might merely have been dismissed as a mistake or one more example of her deep historical ignorance, but her failure to admit it later is evidence of her overall dishonesty. Far worse is how her sycophants come along and try to make up excuses for her failings and use every means imaginable to distract us from the simple fact that what Coulter said was wrong. Serious adults would acknowledge her error and move on.

Really sad.

I have reached a similar assessment.

February 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm
(17) Anne says:

Just to clarify, the Canadian “government” did “not” send troops to serve _in_ the Vietnam War as Coulter stated. What Ms. Coulter tried to state ws that the Canadian Government sent Canadian Forces to the Ashau, to Khe Sanh, etc. Which Is in no way the case.

Canada sent troops, as people have mentioned, to supervise the ceasefire, but this not, as Coulter tried to bamboozle in, the same as serving “in” the Vietnam War – Not at all.

Personally, given the risks that Canadians who crossed the border and volunteered to service with United Forces (including possible treason charges for serving in a foreign army in a War that Canada was not involved with, is an insult to those who came home and certainly an insult to those Canadians who made the Ultimate Sacrifice while serving in United States Forces during the Vietnam War.

Coulter’s statement also completely mispresents Orders of Battle and Honors for Canadian Forces.

October 24, 2011 at 12:37 am
(18) Pericles says:

People keep trashing Ann for things she never said. Anne (not Ann) refers to

‘serving “in” the Vietnam War’

Ann does not use the word “in” – the quote is false . Ann says

“Canada sent troops to Vietnam”

i would b interested if any one can disprove the following statement:

“In 1973, the International Commission of Control and Supervision Vietnam (ICCS) was responsible for securing the armistice that lasted two years from 1973 to 1975, known as Operation Gallant. Canada, a member of the commission, contributed Canadian Forces whose role was to monitor the cease-fire in South Vietnam, according to the Paris Peace Conference, and to arrange the release and exchange of more than 32,000 prisoners of war.”

if the above statement is true, then Ann was right.

February 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm
(19) Anne says:

I’d also like to point out that this continued misrepresentation by Coulter (and those who carry it on) is just.. well, right now Canadians and US Forces (and others, but in terms of this issue) are fighting as allies is the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan. This is a Remembrance page for Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice in that theatre and support areas.

http://www.glanmore.org/CdaRemembrance.html

None of the Orders of Battles for the Princess Patricia’s the Regiments, reflect any service “in” the Vietnam War. And this continued misrepresentation by Coulter and afficionados, misrepresents them too. Which is appalling to me.

And all of this because Ann(e) Coulter does not, apparently, have the content of character to admit she was completely off-base in that CBC Interview.

No, I have no respect for Ann Coulter at “all”. She’s a troll who doesn’t care anything about the truth of service.

Jmo.

May 26, 2009 at 4:42 am
(20) jacob says:

interesting debates going on, what most people have stated are all true, it just seems that everyone keeps taking things out of context to defend themselves..whats sad, only because i hate anne coulter, is that she is technically correct when saying canada sent troops to vietnam, but you can tell in her context she used the example as to say canadians sent tens of thousands to help aid america. perhaps she just assumed the thousands of volunteers were sent by canadian gov. either way canada sent troops to vietnam..now,”Canada did not send an troops to fight in Vietnam” as austin says, which is true, but ann did not say this..she merely siad canda sent troops to vietnam.

August 27, 2009 at 5:48 am
(21) Chris says:

Mr. Austin, you are an Athiest, therefore an idiot, therefore your credibility is lowered, here’s the link to shwo you that Canada did send troops, theres no need to argue anymore…you’re wrong,just admit it, it wont hurt you…

August 27, 2009 at 6:20 am
(22) Austin Cline says:

Mr. Austin, you are an Athiest, therefore an idiot, therefore your credibility is lowered,

Funny you should talk about “credibility,” when the extreme level of your bigotry actually reduces your own credibility.

Then there is your inability to construct a substantive argument…

here’s the link to shwo you that Canada did send troops, theres no need to argue anymore…you’re wrong,just admit it, it wont hurt you…

You don’t provide any link and, what’s more, no number of links will change the fact that Canada sent no troops to Vietnam. Some individual Canadians went on their own and Canada sent observers to monitor a cease fire, but at no point were troops sent. Once again, go back and re-read the context: the conversation is about sending combat troops to assist America in World War II, Korea, and Iraq. Context matters and in this context Coulter was wrong.

Then again, has Coulter ever been right about anything?

April 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm
(23) Joe says:

You say the right tell lies. Ann Coulter made an error. That simple an error. Did you speak out the same way when Hillary Clinton did lie when she stated she was met with sniper fire in Bosnia and had to run for cover? Remember she was very insistant about it too. She stated “I’m telling you it happened”. But when she was shown a video of her arrival kissing and hugging kids she then changed her story and said she was tired from all the flying she had been doing. Sniper fire is not something you would confuse with greeting kids simply because you were tired. SHE LIED! Did you speak out then about how the left wingers are liars? No, I doubt that you did.

April 19, 2010 at 8:30 am
(24) Austin Cline says:

You say the right tell lies. Ann Coulter made an error. That simple an error.

If it was just an error, then she should have admitted the mistake and corrected it. Not doing so made it a lie. The continued attempts by apologists to defend her statements mean that they are lying as well.

Did you speak out the same way when Hillary Clinton did lie when she stated she was met with sniper fire in Bosnia and had to run for cover?

That wouldn’t have been relevant to this site. The claims made by apologists for the Christian Right are relevant to this site.

March 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(25) John Thompson says:

Austin, your point is very clear, and in my estimation, very correct. They do not see it because they do not want to see it. It’s how they operate. Funny how relativism is the tool of the devil… until they use it.

October 16, 2011 at 12:25 am
(26) Brad says:

Yes, in fact Canada did send their troops to fight in Vietnam, sorry liberals. Ann was right again. From barneykin.com/northwall: Over one hundred Canadians lost their lives in battle. One Canadian won the Congressional Medal of Honor. The monument is of black granite with the names inscribed of those Canadian Vietnam veterans killed in action during the war. Weighing more than three tons, it is eleven feet tall and fourteen feet wide. Near the U.S. border there is one memorial, The North Wall, at Assumption Park, Windsor, Ontario, overlooking the Detroit River. It honors the more than one hundred Canadians who lost their lives in Vietnam and the seven who went missing in action. It is a fine tribute to Canadians who served and sacrificed all for their belief in freedom during the Cold War.

October 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm
(27) Austin Cline says:

Yes, in fact Canada did send their troops to fight in Vietnam, sorry liberals.

No, they didn’t, as has been demonstrated in comments here – none of which you were capable of responding to.

Ann was right again.

Again? Was there ever a first time?

From barneykin.com/northwall: Over one hundred Canadians lost their lives in battle.

No one denies that Canadians died in Vietnam. But that’s not the same as the government sending troops to Vietnam. It’s not a slight or small difference, but it is a difference that is easily recognizable to any adult.

July 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm
(28) Dave says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_and_the_Vietnam_War

Between January 28, 1973 and July 31, 1973, Canada provided 240 peacekeeping troops to Operation Gallant, the peace keeping operation associated with the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) Vietnam, along with Hungary, Indonesia, and Poland.[42] Their role was to monitor the cease-fire in South Vietnam per the Paris Peace Accords.[43] After Canada’s departure from the Commission, it was replaced by Iran.

July 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm
(29) Austin Cline says:

Their role was to monitor the cease-fire in South Vietnam per the Paris Peace Accords

Ergo, they did not send troops to fight, contrary to the topic of Coulter’s claim.

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