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DamonX
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 11:43:22 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Since the terrorist vs freedom fighter thread has spawned a new discussion related specifically to the vietnam war, I thought I'd post a new thread. I feel that this topic, although well known in popular culture, is still poorly misunderstood by those on both sides of the argument.

Do you feel that America was justified in playing the role it did in Vietnam? I am also interested in how you perceive the war, and how it was presented to you when you were taught about it.

Enjoy.
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:35:07 AM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,678
Location: United States
I don't think the US had any business there. From what I've read, most people at the time didn't see it that clear-cut. Hippies did, of course, and so did the war hawks, but most in between thought maybe it was important for the US to be there to help stop the spread of communism in general, and that the people would be forced into communism, and also the idea that the DRV (North Vietnam) was a puppet government for China, and that both were in cahoots with Russia.

We now know that those things weren't really true. There's no way that lower Vietnam was the tipping point for some worldwide Communist wave, and that we needed to keep pouring soldiers into that meat grinder until we won. It seems crazy to think that some really smart people really believed that back then. Also, the majority of the people wanted the french-sponsored elitist, corrupt regime gone ASAP. They preferred communism, which to them represented self rule, free of elitism, oppression, and imperialism. The US government knew that, but didn't care. They spread the 'we're fighting on behalf of the Vietnamese who deserve to be free' rhetoric as fact, and lots of people here bought it. As for China, the North Vietnamese accepted their help out of necessity. They never intended to have China's long term interest or influence tangled up in their government, and history shows that they did not. China helped free them from the savagery of the Japanese, and had the kind of modern weapons that the Viet Minh would need vs. the French, and that the Viet Cong would need vs. the Americans. A marriage of need, not love.

There is no question in my mind, from the point of view of most Vietnamese, we the US were the mighty muscle that showed up to make sure their oppressors, their incompetent, corrupt government, stayed in power. We were invaders on their land, destroyers of their land and inevitably some innocent people. So, hell yes, the Viet Cong did everything they could to kill and discourage the Americans. They, we, whatever- the US, had no business in their country, fighting against their wishes for themselves.

In the end, the North Vietnamese got what they wanted anyway, they secured Saigon, and thousands and thousands of US soldiers died for a cause that wasn't successful, and back in the US, the country was split in half over a war that so many people saw as utter bullshit that had nothing at all to do with the US- which was true, whether you believed that Communism had to be 'stopped', or not.

MY VIEW OF THE VIETNAM CONFLICT

The French, then the Japanese, then the French again made the 20th century a pretty hard time to be Vietnamese. Ho Chi Minh offered a new way, a Vietnamese way, and hope that people really embraced and- obviously- fought to the death for. They fought for the freedom to identify with their own government, no matter what the West had to say about it being communist and evil, etc. Opposing them, you had a foreign, exploitative occupier with a powerful ally who was willing to send tens of thousands of troops over to secure the continued rule of their sponsored regime, no matter how transparently awful it was, because of their paranoia about communism. The country suffered trauma to both it's people and it's land, the scars of which are still with both.

It's true that those aligned with the US/French/South Vietnamese regime faced serious and deadly retributions without the US government being willing to accept them as political refugees. My mother was one of them. I don't know how old she was, but she must have been a small child at the time. So, there are good consequences born of terrible things sometimes. Yet to see this from Vietnam's perspective, which I can't help but do whenever I think of that war, you mostly see occupation, invasion, death, fracturing of society, and a culture set back at least a decade, with baggage that never goes away. Every culture has baggage- this war happens to be a huge, painful matching set of theirs.
mercianknight
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:14:22 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Oh goody, I get to opine on the Vietnam disaster.

First. I am going to totally dismiss the power of hind-sight, because we all accept that, if the US had known then what it does now, then it would have never intervened in Vietnam. If the US had known how bankrupt the communist philosophy is then it would have never caused the west so many sleepless nights and the whole world could have focused instead on funding a democratic utopia instead of A-bombs. But we didn't, and in their place I am sure even the delightful LadyX would have made the same mistakes as the US did.

Look what we, the West, were faced with. WWII is over. Europe is bankrupt and on life support, Stalin has seized most of Eastern Europe and encouraged China to do the same in the East forcing the US to accept that Japan needs to be rebuilt as a bulwark against communism.

Try to remember the massacre of Hungarians by the communists in 1956 and the West's realisation that they were powerless to intervene. Remember the North vs South war in Korea where the western powers, after initial successes were forced to accept a stalemate because we were just too exhausted.

The Vietnam war began in the mid-1950's (I know, Hollywood told you differently) when the incredibly inept and brutal French regime tried to suppress the communist led independence movement. No doubt the vietnamese had the best of intentions, however, they had allied themselves to the Devil (China) in the eyes of the world and their humbling of the French forces (like that was a surprise!!) truly scared the bejeezus out of the west. The US and Britain were absolutely terrified of the prospect of communism sweeping the globe and, based on the then available evidence, ended up with the 'domino theory'. Regardless of what we know now, back then, the ONLY decision they could make was to to stop the fall of weaker, developing countries into the hands of the communists.

In my humble opinion, the US did the only thing it could do at the time and that was to go to the aid of their ally, France, and bail them out. Problem for the US was that they tried to fight a conventional war by playing to the rules. The vietkong did not play by the rules, neither did the chinese, because they would hit & run from across the borders of so-called neutral countries leaving the US military ham-strung. Sure there would have been repurcussions for 'invading' so-called neutral countries, but what we DO know is that China supported the north and the fear of another global conflagration turned vietnam into a shambles.

What happened in Vietnam was a disgrace - no question. Was it right for the US to intervene? Absolutely. Was the conduct of the war and loss of life disgraceful? Oh dear Lord, it was a terrible waste of life, resources, goodwill, etc. Was the US the villain? Absolutely NOT - guilty of crimes perhaps, but no more guilty than the chinese for feeding the flames of conflict rather than negotiation.

And whatever your thoughts now, remember, you are only free to express those thoughts because good people fought and died for that right for all of us. If you doubt that then just look at North Korea, look at the oppression of the Chinese people then compare that to your own lot. Be grateful.

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:41:34 AM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,678
Location: United States
mercianknight wrote:

First. I am going to totally dismiss the power of hind-sight, because we all accept that, if the US had known then what it does now, then it would have never intervened in Vietnam. If the US had known how bankrupt the communist philosophy is then it would have never caused the west so many sleepless nights and the whole world could have focused instead on funding a democratic utopia instead of A-bombs. But we didn't, and in their place I am sure even the delightful LadyX would have made the same mistakes as the US did.


All due respect to you Knight, but if I was in my grandparents' generation, being my age in the late sixties, I'm pretty sure I'd have been on the hippie side of that divide, opposing the war. Even my 7th grade bird-brain was against the Iraq War, and from where I sit, I see propaganda and paranoia behind both wars, the only differences were what was told and what fears were being stoked for political gain to gather support among the tv-watchers. Then, just as now, not everyone was buying what they were selling.

Point taken on hindsight- it's a way to have a discussion, but I can understand how you might have a hard time judging everyone's actions with its benefit. Otherwise, we'll do like we seem to often, agree to disagree.

Good post- I always look forward to yours, because when you bother to post on these topics, you always bring the heart, baby. Lwinking
mercianknight
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:23:10 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
To the ever delightful and classy LadyX........ notworthy
Always a pleasure.

Anyone else care to join in?

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:08:31 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,081
Location: United States
Some interesting reading.

A few snippets:

Quote:

The Pentagon Papers provide evidence of a criminal conspiracy of long duration to engage the United States in aggressive war. One may debate the sufficiency of the evidence, but hardly its existence. It is natural, if somewhat ironic, that the Justice Department, instead of investigating the possible criminal conspiracy exposed by the Pentagon Papers, has chosen instead to investigate and prosecute those who revealed these acts to the public. Senator Fulbright has stated, in a different but related connection: "I and some of my colleagues have almost been reduced to the situation where it makes no difference what is put into law, the administration will not abide by it." He has also expressed his hope that some day "this country will return to its senses and we will then have an opportunity to resurrect the basic principles of law on which this country was founded" (Congressional Record, October 4, 1971).


Quote:
The US executive had no authority to back French colonialism; to impose a terroristic regime (or even a benevolent democracy) on South Vietnam; to engage in clandestine war throughout Indochina; to introduce US forces in combat support and direct aggression from 1961 on; to carry out a full-scale invasion of South Vietnam in 1965, demolishing much of the peasant society; or later, under Nixon, to wipe out the Plain of Jars in Laos and much of rural Cambodia; to bomb Haiphong; or to carry out any of the other actions that have led to mass revulsion in this country and throughout much of the world. Had the US executive been strictly bound by its legal obligations, which in my opinion do express reasonable principles of international behavior, we would never have found ourselves in the Indochina war.


Quote:
It is fashionable today to deride the domino theory, but in fact it contains an important kernel of plausibility, perhaps of truth. National independence and revolutionary social change, if successful, may very well be contagious. The danger is what Walt Rostow, writing in 1955, called the "ideological threat," specifically, "the possibility that the Chinese Communists can prove to Asians by progress in China that Communist methods are better and faster than democratic methods" (An American Policy in Asia, MIT, p. 7). Similar fears were expressed by the State Department and the Joint Chiefs in 1959 (DOD, book X, pp. 1198, 1213, 1226). The State Department therefore urged that the US do what it could to retard the economic progress of the Communist Asian states (ibid., p. 1208), a decision that is remarkable in its cruelty.



Quote:
...Had the historians cast a somewhat wider net, they would have discovered, as Joyce and Gabriel Kolko point out, that the domino theory was expressed by Secretary of State Marshall in 1947 with regard to Greece—in this case, the Middle Eastern countries, not Japan and Indonesia, were the "farther dominoes" that concerned him.[11]

They would also have discovered intriguing similarities between US intervention in Indochina and in Korea from 1945 to 1950. They might have noted that the US escalation of clandestine activities in Vietnam and Laos in late 1963 and 1964 apparently coincided with a similar escalation of attacks on Cambodia by the Khmer Serei, trained and equipped by the US Special Forces and the CIA. They would have observed that since 1948 the US has been deeply involved in Thai affairs, supporting a corrupt and at times savage military dictatorship, at first under a Japanese collaborator.

They would have determined, in short, that the US has not been a confused victim of events but an active agent, pursuing policies that were consistent with a coherent global strategy: to carve out and stabilize a system of "open societies," societies in which, in particular, US capital can operate more or less freely. Though this is far from the sole operative factor in US policy, still it is surely the beginning of wisdom to recognize its crucial role.



Hindsight is 20/20, but there seems to be plenty of evidence that enough members of the American government had enough information that they should have been extremely reluctant to enter into this conflict, and having entered, they should have been more than willing to pull our forces out by 1965 at the very latest. I don't really have time right now to look into exactly what influence the suppliers of military equipment and ordnance had over the political decision-making process, but I'd be willing to wager that the amount of pull asserted was considerable. Perhaps this could be a topic for a later thread.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:54:19 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,216
Location: Cakeland, United States
Vietnam, (an undeclared war) like both of the Iraqi invasions which followed it - in a nutshell:

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one
international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the
losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of
the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit
of the very few, at the expense of the very many.

Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

by Major General Smedley Butler

Smedley Darlington Butler
Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881
Educated: Haverford School
Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905
Awarded two congressional medals of honor:
1. capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914
2. capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917
Distinguished service medal, 1919
Major General - United States Marine Corps
Retired Oct. 1, 1931
On leave of absence to act as
director of Dept. of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932
Lecturer -- 1930’s
Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932
Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940
For more information about Major General Butler, contact the United States Marine Corps.

The US Military Industrial complex which Ike warned the US population about, in his farewell speech in 1961 gave anyone who cared to listen, fair warning of what could occur (and what has come to pass) for the next 50 years.

President Eisenhower's farewell speech.

Who or what (hint: Corporations are amongst the 'who') has made a literal $ killing - monetarily speaking on all the wars since the Korean War?


If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:31:42 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,081
Location: United States
Quick aside: Major General Butler's career has come under considerable criticism after publishing the paper that declares "War is a racket." Other military leaders have tried to discredit him, his service, his courage, and his foresight. He remains, however one of only two Marines that have ever been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor twice, for acts of bravery carried out in two separate military actions. (The other being Sergeant Major Dan Daley.) If you ever want to read about some true, balls-to-the-wall heroes, look up some of the actions that these men participated in...

We now return you to your previously scheduled Think Tank thread...

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:32:40 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,817
DamonX wrote:
Since the terrorist vs freedom fighter thread has spawned a new discussion related specifically to the vietnam war, I thought I'd post a new thread. I feel that this topic, although well known in popular culture, is still poorly misunderstood by those on both sides of the argument.

Do you feel that America was justified in playing the role it did in Vietnam? I am also interested in how you perceive the war, and how it was presented to you when you were taught about it.

Enjoy.


I'm an old Vietnam Vet so in the old days and if your in the Military you go where the President tells you to go. Now days we have young people and they can live in this Mamby Pamby land and make a bunch of dream world judgments. Mamby Pamby land exists because men went where the President said and killed the enemy. We are going to have to reinstate the draft soon anyway. To many people are getting a free ride. Time to grab a weapon and stand a post. We have 2 wars going and this is just the beginning. Iran, North Korea, Say goodbye to Mamby Pamby land.

S
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:20:27 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,817
I have never read the speech by Eisenhower, but one thing that occurred to me, was the duality of the US governments views which can sometimes seem like you're listening to a person with a schizophrenic/multi-personality disorder.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Eisenhower's Secretary of War, sorry, I mean defense was..Robert A. Lovett. Who after finishing up the task of starting a massive armament collection and becoming the daddy of the cold war (all with the purpose, wink wink, to finish the Korean War) went on to work for Brown Brothers Harriman (://.bbh.com/index.shtml) Yup, he was simply a really smart businessman. Eisenhower warns against the "disastrous rise of misplaced power" which although warning against it, helped facilitate it, and all under the message that we need to do this "so that security and liberty may prosper", hmmmmmm, does that sound familiar. Using your might to make things right? Bush and Sons, Inc. have cornered the market on that one, however, right now the might is oil.

Moving on to the successor, JFK. Who does he hire? Robert McNamara who was the key in making Ford Motor Company a very profitable company. What did old Mackey give us? Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD for short, and it was mad. Lets build up enough armaments, so that the other guy, no matter how many armaments he has, won't use them because if he does he will be killing himself. This all building up to the point of the Cuban Missile crises where we got caught with our pants down while taking a leak on the rest of the world.

Why Vietnam? It was of interest because of its geopolitical proximity to mother Russia and the Heartland (Mackinder Theory) if you wanna read up on it. Communist expansion was economically opposed to our economy, and we had to stamp it out. Yes, those ruskies were also horrible human right violators, but we were and have been the only ones to drop a nuclear weapon on people (I know that's another thread), and it too was in the interest of peace and prosperity.

So my take on Vietnam? It just made good economic sense, not just in boosting the war machine, but also stamping out the threat it posed on our free reign economy.
DamonX
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:16:01 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Great posts by LadyX and MercianKnight.

I'm going to offer a bit of a different outlook.

Should the US have supported their ally S.Vietnam when faced with an invasion from another country? Yes. In the same way that we would expect them to intervene if Canada was attacked by Russia or if Australia was invaded by North Korea.

But....why was there a South Vietnam in the first place? In my opinion, the real injustice was the division of the nation in 1954. The Vietnamese won their independence from France after the battle of Dien Bien Phu and should have had their own country.

But to appease the United States and accomadate the weatlthy, Catholic western-oriented minority in the south, the corrupt "republic" of South Vietnam was created at the Geneva conference in 1954.

In a way, this was creating a recipe for disaster, since it created a situation in which the South was destined to be attacked both from the North and from within. I think the US was responsible for cleaning up the mess it had created. You can't just claim support for the creation and existence of an independent South Vietnam and then "wilt like a salted snail" when the shit hits the fan. Let me be clear though, that there should never have been a South vietnam!

Did they do it the right way? Absolutely not. They chose an impotent defensive strategy that was destined to fail. They could have invaded North Vietnam, but chose not to in fear of Chinese reprisals and escalation into a wider conflict. They probably should have cut and run, taking their South Vietnamese puppets with them.

I also disagree with the use of a draft to fill the ranks. In my opinion, this is a major injustice.

I also despise the protesting hippies that smoked pot all day and then spat insults like "baby killer" at the returning GIs. Could you imagine being a 19 year old kid that gets drafted because you're too poor to go to college, enduring the worst ordeals imaginable, and then coming home physically or psychologically scarred jsut to be spit at and called "baby killer."

But, in my opinion, the real victims were the Vietnamese civilians caught in the middle and abused by both sides.

I'm starting to rant...so I think I'll call it a night.



glasses8
xCindyx3
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 7:38:20 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 25
Location: Canada
Quote:
There is no question in my mind, from the point of view of most Vietnamese, we the US were the mighty muscle that showed up to make sure their oppressors, their incompetent, corrupt government, stayed in power. We were invaders on their land, destroyers of their land and inevitably some innocent people. So, hell yes, the Viet Cong did everything they could to kill and discourage the Americans. They, we, whatever- the US, had no business in their country, fighting against their wishes for themselves.

I wasnt alive in this time. But my mother was. She lived in South Vietnam when the war was happening. And as far as I know, my mothers whole family wanted Democracy and the Americans tried to help them. There would have been many people killed regardless. If the Americans didn't do anything, the South Viietnamese would have. The Chinese and Russians wanted Communism to spread and they were supporting the North to overtake the South. So it makes perfact sence to me that the Americans would want to get in on the war to help the South keep their Democracy.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 6:38:36 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,081
Location: United States
xCindyx3 wrote:

I wasnt alive in this time. But my mother was. She lived in South Vietnam when the war was happening. And as far as I know, my mothers whole family wanted Democracy and the Americans tried to help them. There would have been many people killed regardless. If the Americans didn't do anything, the South Viietnamese would have. The Chinese and Russians wanted Communism to spread and they were supporting the North to overtake the South. So it makes perfact sence to me that the Americans would want to get in on the war to help the South keep their Democracy.


Thanks for giving your input, Cindy. Is your Mom Vietnamese? Or was she a foreign national living there? And have you ever asked her about what it was like back then? I'm sure we'd love to hear some of her stories.

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 7:01:25 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,817
DamonX wrote:
Great posts by LadyX and MercianKnight.

I'm going to offer a bit of a different outlook.

Should the US have supported their ally S.Vietnam when faced with an invasion from another country? Yes. In the same way that we would expect them to intervene if Canada was attacked by Russia or if Australia was invaded by North Korea.

But....why was there a South Vietnam in the first place? In my opinion, the real injustice was the division of the nation in 1954. The Vietnamese won their independence from France after the battle of Dien Bien Phu and should have had their own country.

But to appease the United States and accomadate the weatlthy, Catholic western-oriented minority in the south, the corrupt "republic" of South Vietnam was created at the Geneva conference in 1954.

In a way, this was creating a recipe for disaster, since it created a situation in which the South was destined to be attacked both from the North and from within. I think the US was responsible for cleaning up the mess it had created. You can't just claim support for the creation and existence of an independent South Vietnam and then "wilt like a salted snail" when the shit hits the fan. Let me be clear though, that there should never have been a South vietnam!

Did they do it the right way? Absolutely not. They chose an impotent defensive strategy that was destined to fail. They could have invaded North Vietnam, but chose not to in fear of Chinese reprisals and escalation into a wider conflict. They probably should have cut and run, taking their South Vietnamese puppets with them.

I also disagree with the use of a draft to fill the ranks. In my opinion, this is a major injustice.

I also despise the protesting hippies that smoked pot all day and then spat insults like "baby killer" at the returning GIs. Could you imagine being a 19 year old kid that gets drafted because you're too poor to go to college, enduring the worst ordeals imaginable, and then coming home physically or psychologically scarred jsut to be spit at and called "baby killer."

But, in my opinion, the real victims were the Vietnamese civilians caught in the middle and abused by both sides.

I'm starting to rant...so I think I'll call it a night.

glasses8




Actually we went in to clean up the mess the French created in the first place it was a French conflict to start with not originally Americas fight.




Isn't that always the cause in any war police action or whatever the hell ya wanna call it?
DamonX
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 1:46:55 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
bikebum1975 wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Great posts by LadyX and MercianKnight.

I'm going to offer a bit of a different outlook.

Should the US have supported their ally S.Vietnam when faced with an invasion from another country? Yes. In the same way that we would expect them to intervene if Canada was attacked by Russia or if Australia was invaded by North Korea.

But....why was there a South Vietnam in the first place? In my opinion, the real injustice was the division of the nation in 1954. The Vietnamese won their independence from France after the battle of Dien Bien Phu and should have had their own country.

But to appease the United States and accomadate the weatlthy, Catholic western-oriented minority in the south, the corrupt "republic" of South Vietnam was created at the Geneva conference in 1954.

In a way, this was creating a recipe for disaster, since it created a situation in which the South was destined to be attacked both from the North and from within. I think the US was responsible for cleaning up the mess it had created. You can't just claim support for the creation and existence of an independent South Vietnam and then "wilt like a salted snail" when the shit hits the fan. Let me be clear though, that there should never have been a South vietnam!

Did they do it the right way? Absolutely not. They chose an impotent defensive strategy that was destined to fail. They could have invaded North Vietnam, but chose not to in fear of Chinese reprisals and escalation into a wider conflict. They probably should have cut and run, taking their South Vietnamese puppets with them.

I also disagree with the use of a draft to fill the ranks. In my opinion, this is a major injustice.

I also despise the protesting hippies that smoked pot all day and then spat insults like "baby killer" at the returning GIs. Could you imagine being a 19 year old kid that gets drafted because you're too poor to go to college, enduring the worst ordeals imaginable, and then coming home physically or psychologically scarred jsut to be spit at and called "baby killer."

But, in my opinion, the real victims were the Vietnamese civilians caught in the middle and abused by both sides.

I'm starting to rant...so I think I'll call it a night.

glasses8



Actually we went in to clean up the mess the French created in the first place it was a French conflict to start with not originally Americas fight.


Isn't that always the cause in any war police action or whatever the hell ya wanna call it?


Bikebum, Bikebum, Bikebum.... Haven't you learned yet to review your history before engaging me in debate?

The Viet Minh defeated the French in 1954 and effectively won their independence. It was the US among other western countries) that pushed for the division of the nation in two, thus creating a situation in which two opposing idealogies would then be destined for conflict. The didn't go in to clean up any mess. They created a much larger one.

And the American and French had much different intents with their involvement. The French were trying to desperately hold on to one the last vestiges of 19th century imperialism, while the Americans were trying to prop up a corrupt puppet state in order to stem the spread of communism in South East Asia. Although we tend to include the years of 1945-75 under the umbrella of "The Vietnam War" there were actually distinct differences between the the two phases (referred to by those outside the USA as the First and Second Indochina Wars).
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