The Vietnam War
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23-05-2013, 01:35 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Julius Wrote:  Wow! You were over there but won't answer the Big Question: "Why did they fight?". Much less, you haven't even given serious consideration as to who you were fighting. I mean, when you say that you saw very little hate when you walked through the villages you flattened I am astounded - flabbergasted! What, did you expect these people to start shouting at you when you had guns, helicopters and artillery and they didn't...and they couldn't even hide?

Also, you say that they wouldn't have understood Democracy...how the hell would you know? What the hell kind of candor do you think you'll get from a people who are afraid you could go go apeshit and shoot up their fellow villagers like what happened at Mai Lai? I can see you now, "Hi...I'm the Guy who just leveled your village, let's talk Political Theory!"

Also, don't shit yourself that you or the United States of America were offering the Vietnamese people Democracy - or anything else of value. The US installed a Military Dictatorship which not only wiped out the locally-elected village councils, bit raised taxes and started integrating a lot of the land back into colonial estates once the United States Army relocated them from their farms to camps in the cities.

Want to know why the US lost the Vietnam War? Look in the mirror - that's the guy who just won't ask the Big Question! Why did they fight?

He was talking about the ones who didn't fight. Even in a guerilla war, the vast majority of people just want to stay alive and be left alone. They weren't stupid, they knew the American soldiers didn't want to be there and didn't particularly give a shit about them.

Why did they fight? is such an obvious question I'd say he didn't think he needed to answer it. They didn't foreign soldiers in their country. Obvious, no?

And the US leadership was inept. Winning "hearts and minds" would have been a matter of being demonstrably less shitty than the North Vietnamese government. That's a mighty fucking low bar, and they still couldn't clear it. That's why so many people didn't care. They knew they'd get fucked no matter who ended up on top of them.

The USA had an opportunity, right after the war, to do some real good with respect to decolonisation. They got it pretty much as wrong as possible, from Indonesia, where they did send the Dutch home - and leave the place to the tender mercies of Malay and Javanese imperialism, to Indochina (especially Vietnam), where they helped put the French back in charge, and later played musical dictators themselves, to teaming up with the UK to run the Middle East into the ground. They talked the talk with the original UN declarations, but missed a lot of opportunities, and especially after Eisenhower's administration they were as callous and rapacious as any great power.
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24-05-2013, 12:21 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Julius Wrote:  Wow! You were over there but won't answer the Big Question: "Why did they fight?". Much less, you haven't even given serious consideration as to who you were fighting. I mean, when you say that you saw very little hate when you walked through the villages you flattened I am astounded - flabbergasted! What, did you expect these people to start shouting at you when you had guns, helicopters and artillery and they didn't...and they couldn't even hide?

Want to know why the US lost the Vietnam War? Look in the mirror - that's the guy who just won't ask the Big Question! Why did they fight?

Are you kidding? I was 18 or 19 years old. I had no idea of why the hell I myself was over there, let alone the internal thoughts of a people that I had never even heard of a year before. From this distance in time, I can only report what I saw without having a clue what it really meant.

And as to meek people who wouldn't dare raise their voices, let alone offer violence, to we GodLike Americans, ask a current soldier or Marine what he thinks about that statement of the civilian folks on the other side in the current war.

You are getting your ideas about the Vietnam war from Hollywood, and so far, I have not seen one that has anything right but the spelling of the country. I am being polite - I haven't seen one yet that wasn't fucking asinine. (As an aside, I have often wondered if WWII war movies, that I have always enjoyed, are as hokum to those vets as the 'Nam flicks are to us.)

I didn't like the place, didn't want to go, but I had only three other choices - get some girl knocked up, stay in college (alas, out of money), or head for Canada. I wanted the second choice, or as close as I could get to it, and accepting the draft was the payment for getting the GI bill education (which was much better back then.) Of course, there were many many times that I regretted not having piled into my junker and hauling ass north.

All in all, a really stupid war, lead by abysmally incompetent leaders, and fought mostly by guys who didn't want to be there, didn't know why they were, and never to this day, have found out why.
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24-05-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
Morlock, my two oldest two brothers went to Canada in the fall of 1968. They never looked back. They both say it was the best decision each of them ever made and became Canadian citizens soon after they crossed the boarder. Admittedly, my mother was Canadian so they actually had duel citizenship which made the transition much easier.

Neither one of my brothers were Army material and they figured most American politicians were so uninformed about Vietnam that it was a lost cause by "68.

So far as we know they are the only brother team out of the 30 thousand or so that went to Canada and stayed there.

I'm glad they went.
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24-05-2013, 06:06 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
It's amazing to take a step back and look at the trajectory of most vietnam war discussions in the west. The conservative slant is just as dumb but since nobody here is spouting this view I have no reason to critique that view. However the common liberal view is being expressed here in this forum. Most with no bad intentions but really, the U.S. killed 3 million people so it does seem extremely laughable to make a whole vietnam war debate over "deluded american kids being exploited" "my uncle or brother went and got fucked up" it's the failure of the empires ability to take vietnam that causes feelings of remorse or regret, not the fact that the U.S. killed 3 million people.
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24-05-2013, 07:28 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(24-05-2013 04:22 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Morlock, my two oldest two brothers went to Canada in the fall of 1968. They never looked back. They both say it was the best decision each of them ever made and became Canadian citizens soon after they crossed the boarder. Admittedly, my mother was Canadian so they actually had duel citizenship which made the transition much easier.

Actually, I didn't look back at Vietnam once I left. I didn't have nightmares, , didn't turn into a jesus freak (why that was so prevalent with returnees, I have no idea) wasn't in the agent orange area so I just shut it off. As I remember back then, being young and stupid as is normal at that age, I subscribed to the standard bullshit of "Saving the world for Democracy," and "Preventing the nations of the world from falling like dominos..." and so forth.

Actually, it was years later that I realized just how stupid the war was and how much the leaders lied to us about it. Johnson started it with a bald faced lie about us being attacked, just like Hitler started WWII.

Now, I and I, about the deluded American kids. Yep, we were, but very few of us were there by choice. They got blamed for it, but there wasn't a damned thing they could do about it but go to jail or go to Canada. (Note. I didn't get blamed, because I didn't accept blame.)

3 million? Or 3 hundred thousand, or 30 million. Ever been in a firefight? I will tell you that if I had a choice of being killed, or pushing a button that would kill those 3 million on the other side and let me live - I would stab that button as hard as I could push.

Guess that means that I'm going to have problems at the pearly gates, huh.
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24-05-2013, 08:48 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(24-05-2013 12:21 PM)morlock Wrote:  (As an aside, I have often wondered if WWII war movies, that I have always enjoyed, are as hokum to those vets as the 'Nam flicks are to us.)

I had 2 Uncles that fought against the Germans and 1 Uncle and 1 Grandfather who fought against the Japanese. Also, had a father who was WW2 airborne (enlisted at the very end of the war - didn't see combat) and actually knew - personally knew and worked with - a lot of the characters in "Band of Brothers".

Now...they would agree that movies like "Tora, Tora, Tora" and "Saving Private Ryan" and Serials like "Band of Brothers" were pretty-much accurate, but most of the other movies were utter BS. Any movie that even remotely glorified war or idealized the fight they considered BS. Most of the experiences they related to me involved them trying to stay alive and in one piece, watch out for your buddies and retain a sense of humanity in a very bad situation. To a man, they said the living conditions were always too cold/hot and always damp, however, food was pretty-damned good. It was a mostly a boring and uncomfortable life interspersed with the occasional terror of battle. One of my uncles helped liberate a German Concentration Camp, and he said it was worse than he could possibly describe or that any movie or documentary film footage could relate. Another Uncle saw every major campaign in the Pacific. He said that New Guinea (Bougainville) was remarkable for the natives ate the Japanese when they could catch them.
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24-05-2013, 10:19 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(24-05-2013 06:06 PM)I and I Wrote:  It's amazing to take a step back and look at the trajectory of most vietnam war discussions in the west. The conservative slant is just as dumb but since nobody here is spouting this view I have no reason to critique that view. However the common liberal view is being expressed here in this forum. Most with no bad intentions but really, the U.S. killed 3 million people so it does seem extremely laughable to make a whole vietnam war debate over "deluded american kids being exploited" "my uncle or brother went and got fucked up" it's the failure of the empires ability to take vietnam that causes feelings of remorse or regret, not the fact that the U.S. killed 3 million people.

Whole debate, eh? Hardly what I've seen in this thread...

Most of the American leadership was incompetent at best (and criminal at worst). Obviously the Vietnamese (and Laotian, and Cambodian) people were the biggest victims. But it's not like a lot of Americans (who were conscripted) weren't exploited. Fair to say there were victims too, no?

And we could talk about the other countries involved, something I haven't mentioned (South Korea had the biggest non-US deployment, you'll pretty much never hear about that; Australia and New Zealand sent some poor bastards). Damn good thing we didn't have a little shit like Harper in office back then, or we'd've been right up in it with you Americans.

(24-05-2013 08:48 PM)Julius Wrote:  ... It was a mostly a boring and uncomfortable life interspersed with the occasional terror of battle. ...

That's pretty much the classic definition of being stuck in a war, isn't it?

My grandfather was a Lancaster pilot, in the Canadian wing of Bomber Command. It's not like being down on the ground in the mud and shit, but the night raids over Germany (50% casualties, through '41 and '42...) were their own kind of awful.
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25-05-2013, 11:41 AM
RE: The Vietnam War
(24-05-2013 10:19 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(24-05-2013 06:06 PM)I and I Wrote:  It's amazing to take a step back and look at the trajectory of most vietnam war discussions in the west. The conservative slant is just as dumb but since nobody here is spouting this view I have no reason to critique that view. However the common liberal view is being expressed here in this forum. Most with no bad intentions but really, the U.S. killed 3 million people so it does seem extremely laughable to make a whole vietnam war debate over "deluded american kids being exploited" "my uncle or brother went and got fucked up" it's the failure of the empires ability to take vietnam that causes feelings of remorse or regret, not the fact that the U.S. killed 3 million people.

Whole debate, eh? Hardly what I've seen in this thread...

Most of the American leadership was incompetent at best (and criminal at worst). Obviously the Vietnamese (and Laotian, and Cambodian) people were the biggest victims. But it's not like a lot of Americans (who were conscripted) weren't exploited. Fair to say there were victims too, no?

And we could talk about the other countries involved, something I haven't mentioned (South Korea had the biggest non-US deployment, you'll pretty much never hear about that; Australia and New Zealand sent some poor bastards). Damn good thing we didn't have a little shit like Harper in office back then, or we'd've been right up in it with you Americans.

(24-05-2013 08:48 PM)Julius Wrote:  ... It was a mostly a boring and uncomfortable life interspersed with the occasional terror of battle. ...

That's pretty much the classic definition of being stuck in a war, isn't it?

My grandfather was a Lancaster pilot, in the Canadian wing of Bomber Command. It's not like being down on the ground in the mud and shit, but the night raids over Germany (50% casualties, through '41 and '42...) were their own kind of awful.

Your Grandfather went through his own special hell just like the rest. Flying a Bomber sucked...and it was extremely ugly and dangerous.

Anyways, I believe that neither your Grandfather nor my Grandfather and Uncles ever went through the kind of emotional hell that the Vietnam Troops got....and my WW2 war-veteran relatives believe this, too. Vietnam was a soul breaker. It was a spiritual destroyer. I feel for those guys who got sent to Vietnam.
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25-05-2013, 05:06 PM
The Vietnam War
3 million Vietnamese were killed during the war. At that point nobody gives a fuck about the emotional stress of members of an empire after having to kill that many people. "Your honor when I was robbing the bank I started to get stressed out, have sympathy". Fucking please.
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25-05-2013, 05:29 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(25-05-2013 05:06 PM)I and I Wrote:  3 million Vietnamese were killed during the war. At that point nobody gives a fuck about the emotional stress of members of an empire after having to kill that many people. "Your honor when I was robbing the bank I started to get stressed out, have sympathy". Fucking please.

It's not exactly as if those "members of an empire" went willingly. Dodgy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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