The Vietnam War
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31-05-2013, 11:34 AM
RE: The Vietnam War
People tend to look at the Vietnam war (or any war, for that matter) like it is a case of black and white, or absolute good or evil, when anything about them is just a shade of gray. Was WWII a "good" war. Yes, in the sense of choosing between governing ourselves, or off shoring the job to Tojo or Hitler. Did the Allies do bad things? Of course. No black, no white - just a light shade of gray.

Was it bad for fifty thousand or so Americans to die in 'Nam? Yes. How about a million or so Vietnamese twelve thousand miles away from being any risk to us? Yes.

On the other hand, there were quite a few of THEM that shouldn't have been just killed. They should have been slowly tortured almost to death, then revived for the procedure to be done again. Over and over. Probably a few of our side also, although I never saw anything done by a U.S. entity that even came close to the stomach churning acts done by THEM against THEIR own. That war was also not black, not white. Just who knows what shade of gray.

Should the youngsters have gone to Canada? Yes, of course, if they had any sense of decency. Absolutely Not, if they had any sense of loyalty to their country. After all, if we subscribe to Joan Biaz's theory that if we just disband ALL of our military, the goodness of the other countries will respect us for that.

How about today? Those in U.S. units are fighting in a stupid war (my opinion - feel free to have one of your own) entered with their eyes open. Warmongering soldiers-of-fortune in it for a good time and the kicks? Yes? No?

How about this - I recommend that any young person graduating from high school and who wants to attend college enter the military. First off, you learn good stuff that has nothing do to with guns and bullets - such as, that scumbags can be rich or poor, and lifelong friends can be black or white or yellow or anything in-between. It opens your eyes that the world doesn't owe you a living and in actual fact, doesn't care if you live or die.

And, when you get out in two or three years, you will have the G.I. bill to go to college on.

Or, they can enter a life of slavery to a bank with a student loan. Actually, an actual slave can run away - a student can't.

How many are there because of that, or because the unemployment percentage for their hometown is about 110 percent? Or are they all their for the enjoyment of shooting at civilians?

Arguments about war that are practically a digital on or off, up or down, good or bad is, as Heinlein said, like the leftover yeast in beer - useless and harmless.

By the way...
A BLACK GASH IN THE GROUND SURROUNDED BY WAILING SOLDIERS IS NOT A MONUMENT TO VICTORY OR A NOBLE CAUSE.
No, it isn't. It's a monument to friends and companions who were killed. Good friends who missed out on forty or fifty years of life, so far, because they had the bad luck to draw a low number in a lottery that they didn't want to enter in the first place.
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31-05-2013, 11:58 AM
RE: The Vietnam War
(27-05-2013 05:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  In a vacuum I'd still say that South Vietnam was better than North Vietnam. For 'better' read 'a bit less oppressively awful to its people'.

I have no idea about the internal state of the Northern outfits, other than they could apparently care less whether they lived or died, but for the Arvin's (South), it was not exactly a professional army. If an Arvin unit was guarding our flank, we always put extra men over there just in case.

Know what a Six-by is? A two and 1/2 ton ten wheeled truck.

Theirs tended to be strange - at least by later in the day. A truck would load up in, say, PhuBai with military supplies - well, mostly. Some of them would be looted black market stuff destined for up the line. (Ever see a five dollar can of Coke? It looks just like a dollar one today.) On the way the spare tire and half the fuel would disappear. Further up the road, when it stopped for lunch, two of the dual tires would be sold. By the next couple of villages, half of the other two duals would be gone, but it wouldn't matter by then, because half the cargo was gone also.

They mostly used M1 Carbines left over from WWII. A really neat little piece that any gun collector would love to have. No problem, some Arvin soldiers will gladly sell you his for, say twenty bucks - even though the DMZ is only two miles away. Oh, you want the pistol too? How about a ten-spot and I'll throw in that machinegun over there.

On and on. Call it what you like, I don't think that most believed in the war. Or maybe it was because they were surrounded by so many American riches that they were just living for the good time.
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31-05-2013, 12:30 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
The South Vietnamese communists were better fighters and bore most of the attacks by the U.S. than did the northern communists. People forget that the southern communists were a different fighting force that with help from the North defeated the U.S.
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31-05-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: The Vietnam War
(31-05-2013 11:58 AM)morlock Wrote:  ...

Not entirely sure if you were really responding to me there.

If you were a civilian, away from the fighting (an ephemeral and unlikely conceit, I know), then the South Vietnamese government was less likely to mistreat or kill you. That's borne out by comparing statistics between the two, particularly earlier on before the conflict escalated.

That's got nothing to do with how and why the conflict developed, of course, which I also said...
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