Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
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11-10-2017, 05:49 AM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(10-10-2017 11:52 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  But the bigger question, as we waste more blood and treasure on fucking Afghanistan is this: Why do we never learn?

I think we have learned, but the booty is too abundant and accessible to stop. There's too much at stake and people high up in the food chain are loathe to stop the constant inflow of cash, power and influence.

As I've watched the series, I'm coming to the realization that the military-industrial complex needs these "wars" to justify its existence and continued billions/trillions of dollars allocated by congress. The US is a treasure trove of wealth. I have to imagine that much of the US economy (large and small businesses numbering in the thousands and employing hundreds of thousands of people) excluding the federal government is almost solely sustained by government spending on the beans, bullets and band-aids purchased to support conflicts. I actually work for a company that sells exclusively to the military and state department. When the military budgets are signed and/or increased, we giggle like school girls because we know that more business is headed our way.

This is actually a pretty significant moment for me. Until watching this documentary, I would always roll my eyes when someone mentioned the MIC and the "conspiracies" that kept us in a seemingly never ending cycle of overseas interventions/conflicts. Might just be that as I get older, I get more cynical each time we are blatantly lied to by our elected representatives.

It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.
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11-10-2017, 02:04 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
It was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy. The war was driven by ideology, which is a good recipe for blinding oneself to the reality on the ground. We fought at the wrong end of the supply chain. We lacked the support of the folks we ostensibly fought for. And we lacked the national will to see it through.

(09-10-2017 07:04 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  But in war, good money follows bad down the toilet.

'Tis a strategic dictum: reinforce success, and starve defeat. Never throw resources into a losing cause.
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11-10-2017, 02:19 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(10-10-2017 11:52 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote: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.


Well, I lived through it and only now, thanks to Burns, learned what a steady diet of lies and bullshit we were fed by every administration because no one wanted to be the guy who lost the war. Even though we lost it by fighting it in the first place.

Knee-deep in history as I know you are, it's odd to learn that you didn't know of the bullshit flowing steadily. By the time I was in high school in the 80s, the Gulf of Tonkin lies, the Tet lies, they were taught knowledge. Hell, when I joined the USAF in 1989 and in our basic-training history classes they were harping on Linebacker II, I was chuckling silently for knowing that we didn't "bomb them to the table".

Nixon's abuse of power might have pride of place in his shitty record, but his deceit in the conduct of that war was about as bad in my opinion.

The smart money was on letting the French hang themselves on their own colonial noose, but, being Americans, we had to do something, to the tune of 58,000 dead.

Fuck all that.
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11-10-2017, 03:30 PM
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?

In fact one could argue that the American engagement made the domino theory happen. Laos, Cambodia - would they have fallen? Noone can say.

It's a fact that it was a dirty little war. The US backing a western leaning dictatorship against someone who was perceived as a national hero by large parts of the Vietnamese population. Ho was viewed as the man kicking out the Japanese and then the French. That, combined with the fact that they didn't win the hearts and minds but killed a lot of innocent civilians, made the disaster happen.

At the time even US politicians were able to learn. Almost a decade of peace ensued until Reagan opened the floodgates again with Grenada.

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11-10-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
We all have to be careful about what is wrong and what is correct. I think that it is possible to say that war is wrong. Imposing what you think is correct by violence is not correct.

I spent 6 years in the army reserves to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam. I had great trouble thinking about dieing for foolishness.

Are there other times when one may be forced to violence, yes there maybe.

We must all find ways to find peace with each other.
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11-10-2017, 04:07 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
"Nothing more peaceful than a dead man."
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12-10-2017, 06:05 AM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(11-10-2017 04:07 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  "Nothing more peaceful than a dead man."

> "Old soldiers never die---young ones do." (Antiwar Poster, c.1968) Consider
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12-10-2017, 06:22 AM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(12-10-2017 06:05 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  
(11-10-2017 04:07 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  "Nothing more peaceful than a dead man."

> "Old soldiers never die---young ones do." (Antiwar Poster, c.1968) Consider

Lots of them. I know of one young man, fourteen or so, who died because some idiot gave him a gun and told him to stand sentry. The boy wasn't up to the task.
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12-10-2017, 08:14 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(11-10-2017 02:04 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  It was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy. The war was driven by ideology, which is a good recipe for blinding oneself to the reality on the ground. We fought at the wrong end of the supply chain. We lacked the support of the folks we ostensibly fought for. And we lacked the national will to see it through.

(09-10-2017 07:04 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  But in war, good money follows bad down the toilet.

'Tis a strategic dictum: reinforce success, and starve defeat. Never throw resources into a losing cause.

True, but unfortunately that's purely a military dictum. For a dictatorship or for the Kings and Queens of Europe playing real life chess in the 17th and 18th centuries, you had nobody to answer to if you cashed in your chips when you had a losing hand. Now we have politicians whose only concern is not being the one who "lost _____________________" (insert Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) and not "letting the brave soldiers that are gone die in vain! (So send in more and endlessly more!)" Nixon must be the shittiest president ever (yes, present company included); about 20,000 more Americans died in Vietnam on his watch and surely by 1968 it was clear our "national security" was...not quite threatened by North Vietnam.

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12-10-2017, 08:44 PM
RE: Vietnam War - Was the US right to fight there?
(12-10-2017 08:14 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  
(11-10-2017 02:04 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  It was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong enemy. The war was driven by ideology, which is a good recipe for blinding oneself to the reality on the ground. We fought at the wrong end of the supply chain. We lacked the support of the folks we ostensibly fought for. And we lacked the national will to see it through.


'Tis a strategic dictum: reinforce success, and starve defeat. Never throw resources into a losing cause.

True, but unfortunately that's purely a military dictum. For a dictatorship or for the Kings and Queens of Europe playing real life chess in the 17th and 18th centuries, you had nobody to answer to if you cashed in your chips when you had a losing hand. Now we have politicians whose only concern is not being the one who "lost _____________________" (insert Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) and not "letting the brave soldiers that are gone die in vain! (So send in more and endlessly more!)" Nixon must be the shittiest president ever (yes, present company included); about 20,000 more Americans died in Vietnam on his watch and surely by 1968 it was clear our "national security" was...not quite threatened by North Vietnam.

Of course they play for optics. That's one of the weaknesses of democracy, having to palliate the shattered feelings of the jingoistic even though it may mean thousands more die in the process.

I wish there were an easy answer, but there isn't, because politics and selfishness go hand-in-hand, any more.
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