Peasants...really? The North Vietnamese Army was just as well trained and just as well equipped as their American adversaries. I wouldn't say we had our asses kicked. The "peasants" or VC you speak of were almost non-existent after the 1968 Tet Offensive because they were almost all killed. Every time the Communist forces decided to fight in that war they got THEIR asses handed to them. We lost the war not because of our military inability, but because of our lack of political will. The US forces fought with both hands tied behind their backs and still cleaned the clock of the NVA/VC in every major military action throughout our involvement in the war.
Ask any Vietnam vet and they will tell the worthiness of the NVA infantryman as an adversary. They may have hated each other, but there was certainly a mutual respect between the two. My dad said he had more respect for the NVA than the ARVN forces we were supporting because at least the NVA would fight for what they believed in.
Our loss in Vietnam is NOT a result of the soldiers fighting on the ground, it was a result of the politicians running a war from halfway around the war and never really grasping what was necessary to win. Like my dad says "I don't know what happened, when I left, we were winning!"