Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
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09-10-2017, 11:56 AM
Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
A former marine and proud American, I've always been under the assumption that the US was justified in our role in the Vietnam War. These thoughts were primarily based on a great sense of pride in the US along with the books I've read and documentaries that I've watched typically all written from the Southern and American perspectives. However, I'm currently watching a new documentary by Ken Burns who is going into much more detail about the conditions prior to US involvement and how both sides got to the point of so much bloodshed. I've just started, but I'm already rethinking my position. I really hate to admit this, but I'm even rethinking my preconceived notions about those damn tree-hugging hippies of the late 60's-early 70's, at least to some extent! Additionally, this all happened a decade and a half before I was born so I cannot rely on personal experience and have to rely on historical recounting in books and documentaries.

I like to think I'm pretty knowledgeable about our history, but I really feel like I'm already changing my mind about our role there. I know it was to stop the spread of communism during the Cold War, but was it worth it? For example, from what I now understand, Ho Chi Minh reached out on several occasions to the US only to have his letters remain unread by anyone in a position to do anything about them. He seems to have had some noble goals at the beginning and wished to unify his country without bloodshed or violence, even while the French were engaged in "pacification" as occupiers. It seems he initially wanted to unify Vietnam and wanted the French to leave them so they could govern themselves. Obviously that changed, but I can't help but think if we had taken another route back then, our men never would've been put into harm's way and the result would've been the same if not better than what we have now. I'm still learning so there might be more info that will change my mind again, but Vietnam seems to be one of those wars that really didn't have a legitimate purpose other than being a side-conflict of the overarching Cold War.

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09-10-2017, 11:58 AM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(09-10-2017 11:56 AM)reeveseb Wrote:  I know it was to stop the spread of communism during the Cold War, but was it worth it?

It wasn't about the spread of communism, it was about securing the rubber supply for the Michelin company. And even if it was truly over an ideological difference, why did they want to stop the spread of communism and why is it our place to dictate to a people what system of government they can or cannot have?

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09-10-2017, 12:00 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
Quote:Was the US right to fight there?

lol

Uh, no.
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09-10-2017, 12:04 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
"X country that isn't the US" War - Was the US right to fight there?

My answer will always be "no".

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09-10-2017, 12:05 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(09-10-2017 11:58 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 11:56 AM)reeveseb Wrote:  I know it was to stop the spread of communism during the Cold War, but was it worth it?

It wasn't about the spread of communism, it was about securing the rubber supply for the Michelin company. And even if it was truly over an ideological difference, why did they want to stop the spread of communism and why is it our place to dictate to a people what system of government they can or cannot have?

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09-10-2017, 12:09 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(09-10-2017 11:58 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  And even if it was truly over an ideological difference, why did they want to stop the spread of communism and why is it our place to dictate to a people what system of government they can or cannot have?

That's what I'm getting at. Not withstanding the whole Michelin thing, you had an entire country of people who should have been able to make up their own minds and vote for whichever system of government they wanted. If it's communism, then so be it. Hell, it's communist now. Over 50,000 service members died all because everyone kept pushing the narrative that Vietnam would be the first of many dominoes to fall?

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09-10-2017, 12:21 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(09-10-2017 12:09 PM)reeveseb Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 11:58 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  And even if it was truly over an ideological difference, why did they want to stop the spread of communism and why is it our place to dictate to a people what system of government they can or cannot have?

That's what I'm getting at. Not withstanding the whole Michelin thing, you had an entire country of people who should have been able to make up their own minds and vote for whichever system of government they wanted. If it's communism, then so be it. Hell, it's communist now. Over 50,000 service members died all because everyone kept pushing the narrative that Vietnam would be the first of many dominoes to fall?

Yeah, the "Domino Effect" was a big propaganda tactic to keep Americans scared of communism like it was a 20th century Black Plague or something. Two of my oldest brothers figured this out pretty quick, got on their motorcycles, went to Canada and never came back.

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09-10-2017, 12:23 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
Lets be clear that the soldiers who went are not to blame.

The last war I could have called justified that we got into was WW2. Since then we have basically caught in quagmire after quagmire for nothing more than propping up the global weapons industry.

The first Gulf war was more understandable because we were invited and defending an ally. Afghanistan while understandable, I fail to see why we did a ground invasion when we could have done what Obama finally did.

I am not an all or nothing person when it comes to global politics. I do think war should always be a last resort and put diplomacy first, and I don't think we always do that well. But we cannot be isolationists either. Unfortunately our species evolved to form groups and we've always been rival and fought each other.

I will say though, far too many Americans see war to be worshiped and glorified and it should not be. In an age of nuclear weapons, it does not matter whom fires first, a domino effect would make all 7 billion of us losers.

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09-10-2017, 12:29 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
Quote:Lets be clear that the soldiers who went are not to blame.

I thought they were the ones who shot people and burnt down villages and shit. Do I have that fucked up?
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09-10-2017, 12:34 PM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2017 12:42 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(09-10-2017 12:09 PM)reeveseb Wrote:  That's what I'm getting at. Not withstanding the whole Michelin thing, you had an entire country of people who should have been able to make up their own minds and vote for whichever system of government they wanted. If it's communism, then so be it. Hell, it's communist now. Over 50,000 service members died all because everyone kept pushing the narrative that Vietnam would be the first of many dominoes to fall?

Who do you think benefits from preventing a political revolution with the philosophical intent to disrupt the current power dynamics? On that same note, who do you think is truly in charge of the United States beyond the symbolism of a democratic republic and its president? I know these are leading questions and they may seem condescending -- that is not my intent. However, it is worth examining these things to grasp why almost 60,000 American servicemembers, 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers, 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers, and 587,000 civilians died for the capitalist class.

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