Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #11
    Story about my Dad. Dad served in WW2 and completely pro-Vietnam War in the 60s. My sister was dating a guy in high school who said he was going to become a conscientious objector or go to Canada and my father literally threw him out of the house.

    In late 1990s, a year or two before he died at 86 yo, we had a nice day together - went over to Raleigh where we lived for a year once, and then went to a little pub and were getting some burgers and talking about things. Vietnam came up, for some reason, and he said, "You know, I was wrong about Vietnam. That was the wrong thing for us to do." Always proud of him, in many ways, but still remember being proud of him when he said that.
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    #12
    It was only natural for WWII war veterans to view future American wars in black-and-white, good-vs-evil terms since their war was so easy to define in those terms. And keep in mind that not only was every President during the Vietnam War also a WWII veteran, but all of JFK's top advisors were also WWII veterans. One memorable quote from episode 2 was from a Vietnam vet who said that the Vietnam War marked the end to the era when the American people blindly accepted that the U.S. government was telling them the truth.

    I was unfamiliar with Madame Nhu. She embodied the type of nihilistic sadism rarely seen in men, much less the fairer sex.
    Last edited by jazzcyclist; 09-20-2017 at 02:52 PM.
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    #13
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    The real struggle during the Vietnam war was the struggle within America, two different visions and theorys and with them two different competing governing models. 1) Classic liberal economic theory of free markets, 2) The new theory of centrally planned, large and aggressive government control.

    The later 2) saw in communism something of a bedfellow, a partner in the process of organizing humankind for a greater social purpose of equitable distribution of resources.

    The former saw communism as totalitarian, fundamentally at odds with everything 1) was based on. It was therefore anathema.

    While the nation could mobilize against its WW2 adversaries of national socialism (Nazi-ism) it could not mobilize with a single face against an international socialism because within its own borders there was a large segment of the society that believes in socialism and international socialism.
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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf View Post
    Even today, I am not prepared to defend or condemn US participation in Viet Nam.
    I think (just my one little opinion) that the same goes for our current involvement in Afghanistan. What once seemed clear and logical to me, no longer does.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by user4 View Post
    While the nation could mobilize against its WW2 adversaries of national socialism (Nazi-ism) it could not mobilize with a single face against an international socialism because within its own borders there was a large segment of the society that believes in socialism and international socialism.
    There's nothing that I've seen so far that suggests that the Vietnamese cared one bit about American domestic politics and our never-ending capitalism-vs-socialism debate. Having said this, I would suggest you adhere to gh's advice in his post above lest he kill the thread for straying too far off topic and getting too political.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    I think (just my one little opinion) that the same goes for our current involvement in Afghanistan. What once seemed clear and logical to me, no longer does.
    According to polls conducted after 9/11, a military response seemed logical to 98% of the American people and all but one member of Congress. It's the mission creep that caused us to become disillusioned.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    According to polls conducted after 9/11, a military response seemed logical to 98% of the American people and all but one member of Congress. It's the mission creep that caused us to become disillusioned.
    Well, look how many people voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, and what happened to them in the next election...

    But the "initial justification" for Afghan War was far more obvious, and there does not seem to be any misinformation involved there.
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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    There's nothing that I've seen so far that suggests that the Vietnamese cared one bit about American domestic politics and our never-ending capitalism-vs-socialism debate. Having said this, I would suggest you adhere to gh's advice in his post above lest he kill the thread for straying too far off topic and getting too political.
    My comment had nothing to do with the Vietnamese people it had to do with the American people. Both sides sought to use the vietnam war as leverage to succeed politically in the US. If you were an international socialist in the US during the vietnam war you had a great opportunity to vilify your national war machine. If you were a virulent anti-communist in the late 1960s you had a great opportunity to portray your political adversaries as in league with communists.

    However it is true that the Vietnamese were also split on this issue. The communists were able to marshall more people and animate the population, capture the vision of a people with an affinity for their own nation and peoples. The south vietnamese were inherently tied to foreign interests and entanglements going back to the French and they were not able to summon the loyalty and provide a vision of a free and open South Vietnam to the people. The Communists succeeded largely because they more successfully presented themselves as representing the people of Vietnam, their native aspirations and hopes.
    Last edited by user4; 09-20-2017 at 06:02 PM.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by user4 View Post
    My comment had nothing to do with the Vietnamese people it had to do with the American people. Both sides sought to use the vietnam war as leverage to succeed politically in the US. If you were an international socialist in the US during the vietnam war you had a great opportunity to vilify your national war machine. If you were a virulent anti-communist in the late 1960s you had a great opportunity to portray your political adversaries as in league with communists.
    So is that why the president who expanded the domestic role of federal government through his Great Society programs was also responsible for escalating the war in Vietnam?

    Well, did you forget to stay in Holiday Inn Express last night?
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by user4 View Post
    However it is true that the Vietnamese were also split on this issue. The communists were able to marshall more people and animate the population, capture the vision of a people with an affinity for their own nation and peoples. The south vietnamese were inherently tied to foreign interests and entanglements going back to the French and they were not able to summon the loyalty and provide a vision of a free and open South Vietnam to the people. The Communists succeeded largely because they more successfully presented themselves as representing the people of Vietnam, their native aspirations and hopes.
    If you compare the way Ngo Dinh Diem presented himself to the way Ho Chi Minh presented himself, it's not hard to figure out why the Vietnamese rank-and-file gravitated towards the latter. Ho Chi Minh, like many other revolutionaries throughout history, was a charismatic son of privilege who could relate to and felt comfortable with his less fortunate brethren of the peasant class.
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