|"As for Biden, he is not perfect, but he is a breath of fresh air in comparison to Trump."|
There is no defense for Trump and there is even less for Biden.
ATLANTIC – In the spring of 1975, as North Vietnamese divisions approached Saigon, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese with connections to the U.S.—soldiers, officials, spies, interpreters, drivers, bar girls, cooks—begged their American friends and colleagues to help them find a way out. But the embassy in Saigon and the Ford administration in Washington were slow to face the gravity of the situation and reluctant to prepare an evacuation for fear of panicking the population into chaos. In mid-April, President Gerald Ford finally realized that the government of South Vietnam might fall, and he asked Congress for $300 million in emergency aid, including money to evacuate the remaining 2,500 Americans and their dependents along with up to 175,000 South Vietnamese.
But Congress, led by Senate Democrats, had no interest in throwing away more money on a lost war that Americans wanted to forget. The prospect of sending U.S. troops to help evacuate Vietnamese along with Americans was a nonstarter. Some of the most strenuous objections came from the 32-year-old first-term senator from Delaware, Joseph R. Biden.
“I feel put upon in being presented an all-or-nothing number,” Biden said at a rare White House meeting between the president and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 14. “I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”
Ford countered: “We opened our door to the Hungarians. I am not saying the situation is identical, but our tradition is to welcome the oppressed. I don’t think these people should be treated any differently from any other people—the Hungarians, Cubans, Jews from the Soviet Union.”
Biden and other Democrats were unmoved. In a Senate speech on April 23, Biden argued that the president lacked the authority to rescue any Vietnamese. “I do not believe the United States has an obligation, moral or otherwise, to evacuate foreign nationals” other than diplomats of third countries, Biden said. “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese.” The U.S. should leave the task of protecting them to “the organizations that are available” and “diplomatic channels,” he added. A week later, North Vietnamese tanks entered the grounds of the presidential palace in Saigon just hours after the last helicopter carried the last Americans out of Vietnam.