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Vietnam: it’s always there. Looming in the past, informing American futures.

A 50-year-old war, once labeled the longest in our history, is still alive and well and still being refought by one group of Americans: the military high command. And almost half a century later, they’re still losing it and blaming others for doing so.

Of course, the U.S. military and Washington policymakers lost the war in Vietnam in the previous century and perhaps it’s well that they did. The United States really had no business intervening in that anti-colonial civil war in the first place, supporting a South Vietnamese government of questionable legitimacy, and stifling promised nationwide elections on both sides of that country’s artificial border. In doing so, Washington presented an easy villain for a North Vietnamese-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) insurgency, a group known to Americans in those years as the Vietcong.

More than two decades of involvement and, at the war’s peak, half a million American troops never altered the basic weakness of the U.S.-backed regime in Saigon. Despite millions of Asian deaths and 58,000 American ones, South Vietnam’s military could not, in the end, hold the line without American support and finally collapsed under the weight of a conventional North Vietnamese invasion in April 1975.

There’s just one thing. Though a majority of historians (known in academia as the “orthodox” school) subscribe to the basic contours of the above narrative, the vast majority of senior American military officers do not. Instead, they’re still refighting the Vietnam War to a far cheerier outcome through the books they read, the scholarship they publish, and (most disturbingly) the policies they continue to pursue in the Greater Middle East.

The Big Re-Write

In 1986, future general, Iraq-Afghan War commander, and CIA director David Petraeus penned an article for the military journal Parameters that summarized his Princeton doctoral dissertation on the Vietnam War. It was a piece commensurate with then-Major Petraeus’s impressive intellect, except for its disastrous conclusions on the lessons of that war. Though he did observe that Vietnam had “cost the military dearly” and that “the frustrations of Vietnam are deeply etched in the minds of those who lead the services,” his real fear was that the war had left the military unprepared to wage what were then called “low-intensity conflicts” and are now known as counterinsurgencies. His takeaway: what the country needed wasn’t less Vietnams but better-fought ones. The next time, he concluded fatefully, the military should do a far better job of implementing counterinsurgency forces, equipment, tactics, and doctrine to win such wars.

Two decades later, when the next Vietnam-like quagmire did indeed present itself in Iraq, he and a whole generation of COINdinistas (like-minded officers devoted to his favored counterinsurgency approach to modern warfare) embraced those very conclusions to win the war on terror. The names of some of them — H.R. McMaster and James Mattis, for instance — should ring a bell or two these days. In Iraq and later in Afghanistan, Petraeus and his acolytes would get their chance to translate theory into practice. Americans — and much of the rest of the planet — still live with the results.

Like Petraeus, an entire generation of senior military leaders, commissioned in the years after the Vietnam War and now atop the defense behemoth, remain fixated on that ancient conflict. After all these decades, such “thinking” generals and “soldier-scholars” continue to draw all the wrong lessons from what, thanks in part to them, has now become America’s second longest war.

Rival Schools

Historian Gary Hess identifies two main schools of revisionist thinking. There are the “Clausewitzians” (named after the nineteenth century Prussian military theorist) who insist that Washington never sufficiently attacked the enemy’s true center of gravity in North Vietnam. Beneath the academic language, they essentially agree on one key thing: the U.S. military should have bombed the North into a parking lot.

The second school, including Petraeus, Hess labeled the “hearts-and-minders.” As COINdinistas, they felt the war effort never focused clearly enough on isolating the Vietcong, protecting local villages in the South, building schools, and handing out candy — everything, in short, that might have won (in the phrase of that era) Vietnamese hearts and minds.

Both schools, however, agreed on something basic: that the U.S. military should have won in Vietnam.

The danger presented by either school is clear enough in the twenty-first century. Senior commanders, some now serving in key national security positions, fixated on Vietnam, have translated that conflict’s supposed lessons into what now passes for military strategy in Washington. The result has been an ever-expanding war on terror campaign waged ceaselessly from South Asia to West Africa, which has essentially turned out to be perpetual war based on the can-do belief that counterinsurgency and advise-and-assist missions should have worked in Vietnam and can work now.

The Go-Big Option

The leading voice of the Clausewitzian school was U.S. Army Colonel and Korean War/Vietnam War vet Harry Summers, whose 1982 book, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War, became an instant classic within the military. It’s easy enough to understand why. Summers argued that civilian policymakers — not the military rank-and-file — had lost the war by focusing hopelessly on the insurgency in South Vietnam rather than on the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. More troops, more aggressiveness, even full-scale invasions of communist safe havens in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam, would have led to victory.

Summers had a deep emotional investment in his topic. Later, he would argue that the source of post-war pessimistic analyses of the conflict lay in “draft dodgers and war evaders still [struggling] with their consciences.” In his own work, Summers marginalized all Vietnamese actors (as would so many later military historians), failed to adequately deal with the potential consequences, nuclear or otherwise, of the sorts of escalation he advocated, and didn’t even bother to ask whether Vietnam was a core national security interest of the United States.

Perhaps he would have done well to reconsider a famous post-war encounter he had with a North Vietnamese officer, a Colonel Tu, whom he assured that “you know you never beat us on the battlefield.”

“That may be so,” replied his former enemy, “but it is also irrelevant.”

Whatever its limitations, his work remains influential in military circles to this day. (I was assigned the book as a West Point cadet!)

A more sophisticated Clausewitzian analysis came from current National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in a highly acclaimed 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty. He argued that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were derelict in failing to give President Lyndon Johnson an honest appraisal of what it would take to win, which meant that “the nation went to war without the benefit of effective military advice.” He concluded that the war was lost not in the field or by the media or even on antiwar college campuses, but in Washington, D.C., through a failure of nerve by the Pentagon’s generals, which led civilian officials to opt for a deficient strategy.

McMaster is a genuine scholar and a gifted writer, but he still suggested that the Joint Chiefs should have advocated for a more aggressive offensive strategy — a full ground invasion of the North or unrelenting carpet-bombing of that country. In this sense, he was just another “go-big” Clausewitzian who, as historian Ronald Spector pointed out recently, ignored Vietnamese views and failed to acknowledge — an observation of historian Edward Miller — that “the Vietnam War was a Vietnamese war.”

COIN: A Small (Forever) War

Another Vietnam veteran, retired Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Krepinevich, fired the opening salvo for the hearts-and-minders. In The Army and Vietnam, published in 1986, he argued that the NLF, not the North Vietnamese Army, was the enemy’s chief center of gravity and that the American military’s failure to emphasize counterinsurgency principles over conventional concepts of war sealed its fate. While such arguments were, in reality, no more impressive than those of the Clausewitzians, they have remained popular with military audiences, as historian Dale Andrade points out, because they offer a “simple explanation for the defeat in Vietnam.”

Krepinevich would write an influential 2005 Foreign Affairs piece, “How to Win in Iraq,” in which he applied his Vietnam conclusions to a new strategy of prolonged counterinsurgency in the Middle East, quickly winning over the New York Times’s resident conservative columnist, David Brooks, and generating “discussion in the Pentagon, CIA, American Embassy in Baghdad, and the office of the vice president.”

In 1999, retired army officer and Vietnam veteran Lewis Sorley penned the definitive hearts-and-minds tract, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam. Sorley boldly asserted that, by the spring of 1970, “the fighting wasn’t over, but the war was won.” According to his comforting tale, the real explanation for failure lay with the “big-war” strategy of U.S. commander General William Westmoreland. The counterinsurgency strategy of his successor, General Creighton Abrams — Sorley’s knight in shining armor — was (or at least should have been) a war winner.

Critics noted that Sorley overemphasized the marginal differences between the two generals’ strategies and produced a remarkably counterfactual work. It didn’t matter, however. By 2005, just as the situation in Iraq, a country then locked in a sectarian civil war amid an American occupation, went from bad to worse, Sorley’s book found its way into the hands of the head of U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, and State Department counselor Philip Zelikow. By then, according to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, it could also “be found on the bookshelves of senior military officers in Baghdad.”

Another influential hearts-and-minds devotee was Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl. (He even made it onto The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.) His Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam followed Krepinevich in claiming that “if [Creighton] Abrams had gotten the call to lead the American effort at the start of the war, America might very well have won it.” In 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker “so liked [Nagl’s] book that he made it required reading for all four-star generals,” while the Iraq War commander of that moment, General George Casey, gave Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld a copy during a visit to Baghdad.

David Petraeus and current Secretary of Defense James Mattis, co-authors in 2006 of FM 3-24, the first (New York Times-reviewed) military field manual for counterinsurgency since Vietnam, must also be considered among the pantheon of hearts-and-minders. Nagl wrote a foreword for their manual, while Krepinevich provided a glowing back-cover endorsement.

Such revisionist interpretations would prove tragic in Iraq and Afghanistan, once they had filtered down to the entire officer corps.

Reading All the Wrong Books

In 2009, when former West Point history professor Colonel Gregory Daddis was deployed to Iraq as the command historian for the Multinational Corps — the military’s primary tactical headquarters — he noted that corps commander Lieutenant General Charles Jacoby had assigned a professional reading list to his principal subordinates. To his disappointment, Daddis also discovered that the only Vietnam War book included was Sorley’s A Better War. This should have surprised no one, since his argument — that American soldiers in Vietnam were denied an impending victory by civilian policymakers, a liberal media, and antiwar protestors — was still resonant among the officer corps in year six of the Iraq quagmire. It wasn’t the military’s fault!

Officers have long distributed professional reading lists for subordinates, intellectual guideposts to the complex challenges ahead. Indeed, there’s much to be admired in the concept, but also potential dangers in such lists as they inevitably influence the thinking of an entire generation of future leaders. In the case of Vietnam, the perils are obvious. The generals have been assigning and reading problematic books for years, works that were essentially meant to reinforce professional pride in the midst of a series of unsuccessful and unending wars.

Just after 9/11, for instance, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Richard Myers — who spoke at my West Point graduation — included Summers’s On Strategy on his list. A few years later, then-Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker added McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty. The trend continues today. Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller has kept McMaster and added Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger (he of the illegal bombing of both Laos and Cambodia and war criminal fame). Current Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley kept Kissinger and added good old Lewis Sorley. To top it all off, Secretary of Defense Mattis has included yet another Kissinger book and, in a different list, Krepinevich’s The Army and Vietnam.

Just as important as which books made the lists is what’s missing from them: none of these senior commanders include newer scholarship, novels, or journalistic accounts which might raise thorny, uncomfortable questions about whether the Vietnam War was winnable, necessary, or advisable, or incorporate local voices that might highlight the limits of American influence and power.

Serving in the Shadow of Vietnam

Most of the generals leading the war on terror just missed service in the Vietnam War. They graduated from various colleges or West Point in the years immediately following the withdrawal of most U.S. ground troops or thereafter: Petraeus in 1974, future Afghan War commander Stanley McChrystal in 1976, and present National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in 1984. Secretary of Defense Mattis finished ROTC and graduated from Central Washington University in 1971, while Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly enlisted at the tail end of the Vietnam War, receiving his commission in 1976.

In other words, the generation of officers now overseeing the still-spreading war on terror entered military service at the end of or after the tragic war in Southeast Asia. That meant they narrowly escaped combat duty in the bloodiest American conflict since World War II and so the professional credibility that went with it. They were mentored and taught by academy tactical officers, ROTC instructors, and commanders who had cut their teeth on that conflict. Vietnam literally dominated the discourse of their era — and it’s never ended.

Petraeus, Mattis, McMaster, and the others entered service when military prestige had reached a nadir or was just rebounding. And those reading lists taught the young officers where to lay the blame for that — on civilians in Washington (or in the nation’s streets) or on a military high command too weak to assert its authority effectively. They would serve in Vietnam’s shadow, the shadow of defeat, and the conclusions they would draw from it would only lead to twenty-first-century disasters.

From Vietnam to the War on Terror to Generational War

All of this misremembering, all of those Vietnam “lessons” inform the U.S. military’s ongoing “surges” and “advise-and-assist” approaches to its wars in the Greater Middle East and Africa. Representatives of both Vietnam revisionist schools now guide the development of the Trump administration’s version of global strategy. President Trump’s in-house Clausewitzians clamor for — and receive — ever more delegated authority to do their damnedest and what retired General (and Vietnam vet) Edward Meyer called for back in 1983: “a freer hand in waging war than they had in Vietnam.” In other words, more bombs, more troops, and carte blanche to escalate such conflicts to their hearts’ content.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s hearts-and-minds faction consists of officers who have spent three administrations expanding COIN-influenced missions to approximately 70% of the world’s nations. Furthermore, they’ve recently fought for and been granted a new “mini-surge” in Afghanistan intended to — in disturbingly Vietnam-esque language — “break the deadlock,” “reverse the decline,” and “end the stalemate” there. Never mind that neither 100,000 U.S. troops (when I was there in 2011) nor 16 full years of combat could, in the term of the trade, “stabilize” Afghanistan. The can-do, revisionist believers atop the national security state have convinced Trump that — despite his original instincts — 4,000 or 5,000 (or 6,000 or 7,000) more troops (and yet more drones, planes, and other equipment) will do the trick. This represents tragedy bordering on farce.

The hearts and minders and Clausewitzians atop the military establishment since 9/11 are never likely to stop citing their versions of the Vietnam War as the key to victory today; that is, they will never stop focusing on a war that was always unwinnable and never worth fighting. None of today’s acclaimed military personalities seems willing to consider that Washington couldn’t have won in Vietnam because, as former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak (who flew 269 combat missions over that country) noted in the recent Ken Burns documentary series, “we were fighting on the wrong side.”

Today’s leaders don’t even pretend that the post-9/11 wars will ever end. In an interview last June, Petraeus — still considered a sagacious guru of the Defense establishment — disturbingly described the Afghan conflict as “generational.” Eerily enough, to cite a Vietnam-era precedent, General Creighton Abrams predicted something similar. speaking to the White House as the war in Southeast Asia was winding down. Even as President Richard Nixon slowly withdrew U.S. forces, handing over their duties to the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) — a process known then as “Vietnamization” — the general warned that, despite ARVN improvements, continued U.S. support “would be required indefinitely to maintain an effective force.” Vietnam, too, had its “generational” side (until, of course, it didn’t).

That war and its ill-fated lessons will undoubtedly continue to influence U.S. commanders until a new set of myths, explaining away a new set of failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, take over, possibly thanks to books by veterans of these conflicts about how Washington could have won the war on terror.

It’s not that our generals don’t read. They do. They just doggedly continue to read the wrong books.

In 1986, General Petraeus ended his influential Parameters article with a quote from historian George Herring: “Each historical situation is unique and the use of analogy is at best misleading, at worst, dangerous.” When it comes to Vietnam and a cohort of officers shaped in its shadow (and even now convinced it could have been won), “dangerous” hardly describes the results. They’ve helped bring us generational war and, for today’s young soldiers, ceaseless tragedy.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives with his wife and four sons in Lawrence, Kansas. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his new podcast Fortress on a Hill.

[Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: American Military, Iraq War, Vietnam War 
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  1. The book that needs to be written is the one that explores the question, “Does this war need to be fought by us?”

    The guys running the show now were mid-grade officers when I served in the ’80s. They know we already were waging a war on terror, but it was a quiet one, e.g “low-intensity conflict,” the kind that doesn’t pump up budgets or put lots of ribbons and badges on the chests of more than a few of them, much less punch the ticket for promotion.

    The problem here is one of governance: Civilians who should be reigning in and questioning the military leadership (including the senior civilian leadership at DoD and apparently State) when it wants to take us on yet another foreign adventure seem instead to be be captive to them, because the spoils of war accrue to their benefit via procurement in their districts.

    Vietnam and the GWOT are merely symptoms of a bigger problem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    BTW, re Vietnam: Vietnam went through its Communist phase, but in a rather short time came back to pseudo-capitalism, much like China, so aside from nearly 60k US troops and a few million Viets killed and 20 years of lost time, what did we gain from fighting there?

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.
    , @JosephConrad
    When you are white, racist, educated, egotistical & arrogant, you believe you should win every war.
    You believe those who don't think as you, should...and you will make them do so.

    You put logic, reason & common sense aside and go for on 4th. & 65 ! You become the U.S.
    believing you can win against a skilled opponent & 1/2 your starters in traction.

    The US needs to learn restraint & logic or it will lose everything. Indeed, its's on that road now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. @The Alarmist
    The book that needs to be written is the one that explores the question, "Does this war need to be fought by us?"

    The guys running the show now were mid-grade officers when I served in the '80s. They know we already were waging a war on terror, but it was a quiet one, e.g "low-intensity conflict," the kind that doesn't pump up budgets or put lots of ribbons and badges on the chests of more than a few of them, much less punch the ticket for promotion.

    The problem here is one of governance: Civilians who should be reigning in and questioning the military leadership (including the senior civilian leadership at DoD and apparently State) when it wants to take us on yet another foreign adventure seem instead to be be captive to them, because the spoils of war accrue to their benefit via procurement in their districts.

    Vietnam and the GWOT are merely symptoms of a bigger problem.

    BTW, re Vietnam: Vietnam went through its Communist phase, but in a rather short time came back to pseudo-capitalism, much like China, so aside from nearly 60k US troops and a few million Viets killed and 20 years of lost time, what did we gain from fighting there?

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    "America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around"

    Rather like 20th century Germany, don't you think?
    , @George Taylor

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMEViYvojtY

    Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out
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  3. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Didn’t US realize that it can win any war with bribes and trade?

    Vietnam lost in the end. Its greedy corrupt elites are now puppets of US. They allow open prostitution in Ho Chi Minh city. They allow Vietnamese women to be a bunch of hookers again.

    And Vietnam even has homo parades because it comes with more gibs and bribes.

    US won. It just spread the money around.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kweli
    How true! If only the US had recognized the power of man's baser instincts and did what the US does best --- continue selling its culture of consumerism and hedonism, Vietnam would have arrived at the point much sooner and with virtually no loss of life.
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  4. They established a myth that we almost won in Vietnam but the politicians wouldn’t let us finish the job, claiming we never lost a battle in Vietnam. That is false, so I posted a list of 104 “Lost Battles of the Vietnam War” that squashed this myth.

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sandmich
    Thanks for that link. I agree, whitewashing those tragedies is a grave disservice to our soldiers who had to fight in those conditions (how are we supposed to learn from our mistakes if we can't even come to terms with what we did wrong?).
    , @you'refullofcrap
    Someone was killed and the battle was lost. You're a fucking idiot.
    , @Ace
    No one claimed that we never lost a battle or that the enemy was a brave and determined soldier. Good job on making a list of particular battles. The list of battles that went the other way would unroll out the door and across the street. E.g., an enemy sapper battalion caught in the open in IV Corp and destroyed (1970). Punishing bombing of the North drove them to the "negotiating" table and we foolishly did not finish the job.

    Bottom line, however, is that we prevailed militarily. S. Vietnam was essentially under government control. Giap only prevailed on the Politburo to let him try an attack across the border on condition that he'd pull back if he encountered resistance. By that time the leftists Democrats in Congress had neutered Nixon over the national (heinous) Watergate spasm so there was no massive U.S. response. It's what Democrats do.

    By then Congress had signaled beforehand that no more supplies would be forthcoming. The ARVN had read the tea leaves and resistance collapsed despite some one year's supplies already delivered.

    Frank Snepp laid this all out in his Decent Interval.

    The U.S. military did very well given the treacherous behavior of some of the black, draftees, fragging, the anti-war hyenas, and the deleterious input of JBJ and McNamara. LBJ would personally approve targets for our bombers and the rules of engagement were criminal, to include no attacks on SAM sites under construction, only on completed sites. if memory serves me. When Nixon sent the troops into Cambodia the NVA fled in panic and little happened in IV Corps after that. LBJ's policy of gradualism was a failure of civilian leadership and cannot be laid at the feet of the military.
    , @EnrriqueCardova
    Good list and excellent resource. It does not take anything away from the Americans who fought in Vietnam. In any war you will lose some battles, and the US never lost a battalion-sized engagement or higher. The only quibble I have with your list is that you post the Ia Drang as a defeat. Most military histories credit the US with the victory there as far as comparative casualty count, and blocking the enemy from achieving his objectives. I do not doubt that in certain PARTS or phases of the battle the NVA may have fared a bit better in an immediate tactical situation., but the overall result most histories put in the US column. Indeed the presence of big US formations in the field encouraged communist forces to shift to smaller scale attacks overall until 72, save for occasional large scale foray such as Tet and Khe Sanh.

    In general, the list is a much needed corrective to the "fake news" beloved of many, the US never lost in Vietnam, and its all the fault of "the liberals" who say otherwise. In the words of one veteran who was there:

    "The result was that by 1970 we all realized that our total effort should be in geting our troops home safely.. For the infantry it became an exercise in "search and avoid" .. We all realized that this war was a lost cause.."
    --Michael A Eggleston, 2014. Exiting Vietnam, p 108-112
     
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  5. The entire conflict can be understood in this two minute video clip:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Norcal
    So much for The Domino Theory”. This clip from “The Fog Of War”. Thanks
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  6. A great article by Sjursen, with major implications for what’s happening now, and several excellent comments. Thank you.

    Read More
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  7. dearieme says:
    @The Alarmist
    BTW, re Vietnam: Vietnam went through its Communist phase, but in a rather short time came back to pseudo-capitalism, much like China, so aside from nearly 60k US troops and a few million Viets killed and 20 years of lost time, what did we gain from fighting there?

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.

    “America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around”

    Rather like 20th century Germany, don’t you think?

    Read More
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  8. Sandmich says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    They established a myth that we almost won in Vietnam but the politicians wouldn't let us finish the job, claiming we never lost a battle in Vietnam. That is false, so I posted a list of 104 "Lost Battles of the Vietnam War" that squashed this myth.

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    Thanks for that link. I agree, whitewashing those tragedies is a grave disservice to our soldiers who had to fight in those conditions (how are we supposed to learn from our mistakes if we can’t even come to terms with what we did wrong?).

    Read More
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  9. Sean says:

    No the JCS initially said SE Asia was strategically a backwater and not worth the concentrating of America’s limited resources. But military high command were operating within longstanding army protocols of subordinating the military to civilian policymakers. It was the CIA’s job to say whether the war could be won and they were always skeptical.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/97unclass/vietnam.html

    That skepticism was not what any politician wanted to hear so they listened to a civilian adviser.

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/David-Milne-13964/americas-rasputin/

    America’s Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War makes clear who was responsible for pressing for escalation and bombing in Vietnam, who was the optimist, and who continued to insisted after it had finished that the war had stabilized a domino.

    Read More
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  10. CK says:

    If one’s fundamental image of the world is as a place full of Quislings, McCains and assorted dual nationals; then it follows that one will be militarily a Coindinista. If only third world citizens were like American pols and stayed bought, but they aren’t and they don’t.
    If one’s fundamental image is that it is a world full of nationalists, patriots and Churchills: then the bomb them back to non-existence; then it follows that one is a Summer’s soldier.
    Unfortunately, if one wishes to debate other nuanced alternatives to this dichotomy; the enemy gets to shoot first.
    A policeman walks a beat in his city because he is paid to do it, the “world’s indispensable policeman” is unnecessary to the rest of the world but inevitable to himself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @augusto
    Nice, thank U.
    I´d never before had figured out,never outlined such a precise conceptual sight of the two still remaining American mindsets on HOW to win.
    Yes, cause for them Amerika must obviously must always win.
    So there are two viewpoints, that in plain clear English we citizens of the shitholin´ countries wherever- express as follows:

    1-The bomb the hell out of them to-the-stone-age approach.
    2-Combine the best lie + propaganda saturating policy with enough bomb-the-hell-out thing.

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  11. @The Alarmist
    BTW, re Vietnam: Vietnam went through its Communist phase, but in a rather short time came back to pseudo-capitalism, much like China, so aside from nearly 60k US troops and a few million Viets killed and 20 years of lost time, what did we gain from fighting there?

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.

    Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jake
    "Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out."

    Replace 'Vietnamese' with 'Middle Easterners' and 'gook' with 'Arab' or 'Moslem,' and you have the Neocon position.

    Replace 'Vietnamese' with 'the world' and replace 'gook' with 'dark skinned non-Christian' and place the word "liberal' before 'American,' and you have the Liberal/Leftist position.
    , @Ace
    One of the dumber movies ever made and that's saying something. As informative on this topic as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
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  12. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The Vietnam war killed the draft. The draft is involuntary servitude, slavery in a sense. For ordinary Americans this was the only positive thing to come from the war.

    Read More
    • Agree: Bill jones
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    No. The Vietnam protests killed the draft. And it was a mistake. One of the worst national mistakes made concerning US polity ad the open door to interventionists dreams no longer wedded to the national interests alone or even the limited interests that apply to our allies.

    The draft had come to mean the buy in that every male citizen understands as duty to the country bestowing so much of its blessings on all (I am not ignoring the very real disparities in our society). Furthermore given the shifting mores and peculiar identity awareness, it would have served well as a buffer to future interventionist advances. In comparing slavery to the draft, it's clear people making this advance hasn't read anything about the nature of slavery. It is insult to the millions of citizens in the US who are descendants of slaves. democrats and liberals never tire of making slavery links and to situations that don't even reach the heel mark when compared: same sex practitioner, women, students . . . nothing in in american history comes to close to the practice of slavery -- thank goodness.

    No. the US did not hold Vietnam as a colonial power. In fact, we had misgivings with supporting the French for just that reason. However, in cold war era polity -- communism was considered a larger threat. S. Vietnam was not a puppet of the US as evidenced by the internal turmoil within Vietnam.

    The Soviets had threatened to bury us in open forum -- we saw no reason to dismiss the challenge. In firm terms was Vietnam strategically important -- as in some clear and present danger to the US - no. But we bungled China and at the time believed we could use as many friends as possible. To his credit, Pres. Johnson fretted over sending troops to Vietnam for just the reasons experienced by US forces. But in Pres Johnson as in Kennedy the spark of intervention for democracy -- what we now now call a goal of neoconservative agenda, was a sincere desire to aide a new democratic republic -- eye rolling in advance the complaint about corruption and voting manipulation. In the last 17 years, the US has had two contested elections loaded with accusations of voting fraud and in the most recent -- a Russian conspiracy involving the current Pres. and his staff to rig the election. Those are bit two of many examples in US history where corruption was complaint.

    As for waste, mismanagement and theft --- hold your kettle in one hand and you twenty by twenty mirror in the other.

    irony of ironies -- today's voracious interventionists for democracy and capitalism - to stability are yesterday's Vietnam protesters --- hypocrisy is thick enough to choke Jolly Green Giant. Only old people will get the reference.

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  13. Blah blah blah. That war was a cluster fuck and a crime against humanity. It’s only purpose was to make a few rich men richer. The murder and destruction in the MENA is just more of the same.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Blah blah blah. That war was a cluster fuck and a crime against humanity. It’s only purpose was to make a few rich men richer. The murder and destruction in the MENA is just more of the same.
     
    Amen to that.
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  14. Singh says:

    It’s also weird that the idea of Vietnam War as a missionary conflict is never discussed।।

    The colonial Vietnam & later South Vietnam government gave preference to christians in governmental positions, bureaucracy & had a monopoly on education।।

    The prevailing narrative in the west, is that somehow christianity is better & that people flock to it due to this, just like their ancestors did।।

    Mosmaiorum.org/persecution_list.html

    For example, the anti Buddhist discriminatory laws in Korea are never discussed, neither is the flooding of Japan with bibles post ww2

    In the present age you have missionaries following closely behind the USA army & organizations like the US council on religious freedom being headed by missionaries sic. soul vultures।।

    From that pov, if white nationalists cannot control the predatory instincts of ‘their’ people nor disavow them by becoming Pagan; then, they deserve their fate & should expect no support from outsiders.

    As others have remarked, tariffs & protectionism help accrue capital as do socially conservative views।।

    The pushing of free trade & social liberalism on 2nd/3rd world countries is akin to kicking the ladder।।

    It’s probably in everyone’s interest for the Protestant west to collapse under Afro-Islamic demographic pressure so the great clean up can begin।।

    Tldr yes state power leads to liberalism & liberal views but, if you view that as the legacy of your people, fuck your people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @augusto
    Yes, you say tariffs and proteccionism help accrue capital.

    Have you got any objection against a large, populous but still poor country (like Nigeria, Indonesia, India or Brazil) sticking to higher (though not sky high) tariffs and protectionism to raise their production, their income and their living standards?

    That was PRECISELY HOW the US, Uk, Germany and the Meiji era Japan, not to mention China from 1949 to Chu enLai) acted and because of it rose the heights of the present status and well being societies.
    Yes, you naive repeater, let´s us first protect ourselves from the globalist wolves and THEN, we can sit down and talk but from a firm solid position, not the other way round...
    cut the frack!
    We southern people are fed up with that northern hemispheric sales talk - it ´s so convenient to you - but the web exists and times change.

    , @Ace
    Who knew?

    ** Protestant west to collapse under Afro-Islamic demographic pressure so the great clean up can begin **

    We have much to learn from primitives.
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  15. Well Major,

    we are deeply at odds. We did not lose the Vietnam conflict. I am confident that billions of dollars have been spent drilling that myth into the minds of well everyone. I remember being a young poli-sci student in KS. And as I listened to the lecture on Vietnam, did the reading my conclusion was so distant from his as to cause me no small amount of turmoil. The contention that we lost Vietnam is so counter to the data — it makes the Twilight Zone look like Gilligan’s Island, the twists on reality are directionless — but conclude we lost, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    I have another theory, the reason that Vietnam remains etched in the psyche is because the analysis was political as opposed to what actually occurred. This kind of hyperventilated self flagellating recriminations will distort truth. Perception over reality — then becomes self fulling history.
    _________________

    But to the point. The US has lost two wars: The war of 1812 and in my view, the Iraq conflict — no direct fault of those on the ground doing the fighting. And we may lose the Afghanistan gambit. It’s a loss because it fell apart during our occupation. The guerrilla warfare (asymmetrics) was not the issues for that failure. The failure was in

    1. unjustifiable cause
    2. poor implementation
    3. under resourced
    4. an inability to maintain order among communities — (1-3)
    5. and just a lot of bad decisions

    Trying compare Vietnam to Iraq is like trying compare a stone to water in similarity. You might be able to some generic references and very tiny specifics, but overall: the environment politically and strategically, just never mesh. We didn’t invade Vietnam. They had a functioning government. There were clear lines of who was who based on borders (I am not ignoring the insurgency — Vietcong, etc.
    It was the cold war and unlike Iraq there were not six varying countries throwing a myriad of combatants into the fray with varying agendas and varying religious convictions. Even the physical environment demanded a different strategy, insurgents or no insurgents.

    One has to plan for insurgent warfare as invading any country is bound to have those who get the best defense is one of stealth when your foe is as large a target as the US was in Iraq. But for all of the complaints about Counter-Insurgency the one that no one seems willing to state is the simplest. Don’t invade countries for which there is no clean or clear motive to do so.

    It’s that simple. There was never a need to invade Iraq, if anything we should have readjusted our dynamic and began a process of easing sanctions for their aide in countering terrorism —

    There was no reason to invade Afghanistan — even to distribute more bikinis and advance killing children in the womb. We wanted twenty guys and instead we stirred a hornet’s nest . . . ok well, more than one.

    Vietnam really was an act of selflessness, we wanted to shore up a small republic seeking a different course to communism. It bolstered our own ideas against the grand schema of the Soviet Union, rightly or wrongly. Now you are not the only one who has a gripe with counterinsurgency —

    And I think it’s a debate/discussion worth having, and while it may be useful to examine COIN as to Vietnam strategically — I think it can be done minus the incorrect and yet incessant sack cloth and ashes built on mountains of liberal psychological faux trauma as if the trauma of war is somehow unique to Vietnam,. It is not. As you know war is a nasty filthy business, best left alone. But on occasion one gets pushed into a fight as did S. Vietnam and when that screw is turned — well history is replete of the consequences, the waste, the blood, the brokenness . . .

    The tragedy of war does not mean one loses a war.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JVC
    I don't think that you understand at all the history of the USG involvement in VietNam--an act of selflessness??? What a crock.

    The entire foreign policy of the united states has been controlled by the military/industrial/security/espionage etc etc complex since, at least, the end of WWII. that group doesn't really care about victory--on going conflict somewhere is the only goal. Personally, I doubt that the USG has ever committed a selfless act in it's entire history. VietNam was just one stop in a long line of USG aggression.
    , @James N. Kennett

    We did not lose the Vietnam conflict.
     
    Did America achieve its war aims?

    If not, then to say America did not lose is no better than Saddam Hussein declaring victory in the "Mother of All Battles" (the battle for Kuwait in the first Gulf War).
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  16. Kweli says:
    @Anon
    Didn't US realize that it can win any war with bribes and trade?

    Vietnam lost in the end. Its greedy corrupt elites are now puppets of US. They allow open prostitution in Ho Chi Minh city. They allow Vietnamese women to be a bunch of hookers again.

    And Vietnam even has homo parades because it comes with more gibs and bribes.

    US won. It just spread the money around.

    How true! If only the US had recognized the power of man’s baser instincts and did what the US does best — continue selling its culture of consumerism and hedonism, Vietnam would have arrived at the point much sooner and with virtually no loss of life.

    Read More
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  17. Thomm says:

    Ultimately, the victory of WW2 due to sheer weight of industrial productivity ramp and hence massive output of planes, tanks, submarines, etc. made defense a large part of the US economy.

    Since that time, too many entrenched interests just never want the military to downsize. Hence, the US has to keep invented new demand for a product that otherwise would not have such demand, but keeps some major entrenched interests powerful.

    I mean, the Korean war started just 5 years after WW2 ended. They could barely wait for a new crop of boys to turn 18 and become cannon fodder. 50,000 in Korea right after the 300,000 in WW2.

    When casualties became politically incorrect (after VietNam), the focus shifted towards lengthy ‘nation building’, that was not meant to succeed, but just to cost a lot for a long time. In theory, the Iraq War could have worked, IF the true objective was the installation of a moderate regime in Iraq, coupled with no extended US occupation. But that was not the true objective after all, so it did not work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    Money's made fighting wars not winning them. 1945 was the last time the US made the mistake of winning a war, and may not have made that one had Russia not been on the verge of invading and occupying Japan, thus forcing the US into bringing the war to a close.
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  18. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The BIGGEST lesson to come out of the illegal and immoral War against Vietnam is that the draft was impeding the MIC’s effort to sell Americans on the idea of supporting endless war.

    Get rid of the draft and there will be no protests hell raised back home by people of draft age–and their families and friends–who don’t want to get drafted to fight wars so colonels can become generals; Wall Street can make a killing on the killing and so the Pentagon can try out its new ‘gee-whiz’ weapons in the field on actual people.

    The next biggest lesson was that the media must be tamed and brought under control with embedding, so they’ll push the Pentagon’s and Wall Street message of duty, honor, Mom and apple pie onto gullible Americans, who now damn near get orgasmic when they see a multi-billion dollar killing machine–the B-2–fly over the upcoming gladiator battle in the newest billion dollar coliseum and go into the State-mandated ‘Two Minutes Hate’ whenever they see or hear the word Muslim or Islam.

    For the record, I did my time in the US Army with the 82nd Airborne.

    Read More
    • Agree: bluedog, Carroll Price
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Is that true? The Military simply harvested the poors out of the hills, the South and other rural areas the same way they would have drafted 'em. All the kids respond once the Government offers them a way out of potential starvation and hopeless poverty. That's just a better way to draft people, although they won't call it that.
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  19. So America worships Ares/Mars and doesn’t expect the god of War to want to eat them too? There shall be wars and rumors of wars….I so look forward to watching this love of war spread itself from sea to shining sea.

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  20. n230099 says:

    Until the young wise up and realize that the military operations in other countries have nothing to do with the freedoms we have here and that they’re being used as fodder for the investments that the MIC has in the companies that make the tools of war, we will keep having this nonsense. The kids need to wise up. The government has at its disposal all it needs to ‘win’ if it wants to. But if you ‘win’, the sales and manufacturing of the goodies is curtailed. They’d rather send the kids into the meat grinder all pumped up thinking they’re ‘preserving freedom’…LOL!

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    The kids need to wise up.
     
    I suspect most of them would wise up if their elders did so first, and would teach 'em.

    One of the most annoying sights to me is to see some ancient fart wearing some sign that he's a vet. Even though I was once a sucker too, I always make it a point to remind them that we had no business in whatever war they happen to be glorifying and still wallowing in.

    How old does one have to be to get a clue?
    , @Alden
    I think the kids are more pumped up
    with college tuition, VA health , a chance to learn a civilian applicable skill
    , citizenship and something to do other than competing with illegal Indios for low wages.
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  21. augusto says: • Website
    @CK
    If one's fundamental image of the world is as a place full of Quislings, McCains and assorted dual nationals; then it follows that one will be militarily a Coindinista. If only third world citizens were like American pols and stayed bought, but they aren't and they don't.
    If one's fundamental image is that it is a world full of nationalists, patriots and Churchills: then the bomb them back to non-existence; then it follows that one is a Summer's soldier.
    Unfortunately, if one wishes to debate other nuanced alternatives to this dichotomy; the enemy gets to shoot first.
    A policeman walks a beat in his city because he is paid to do it, the "world's indispensable policeman" is unnecessary to the rest of the world but inevitable to himself.

    Nice, thank U.
    I´d never before had figured out,never outlined such a precise conceptual sight of the two still remaining American mindsets on HOW to win.
    Yes, cause for them Amerika must obviously must always win.
    So there are two viewpoints, that in plain clear English we citizens of the shitholin´ countries wherever- express as follows:

    1-The bomb the hell out of them to-the-stone-age approach.
    2-Combine the best lie + propaganda saturating policy with enough bomb-the-hell-out thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    You're welcome.
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  22. augusto says: • Website
    @Singh
    It's also weird that the idea of Vietnam War as a missionary conflict is never discussed।।

    The colonial Vietnam & later South Vietnam government gave preference to christians in governmental positions, bureaucracy & had a monopoly on education।।

    The prevailing narrative in the west, is that somehow christianity is better & that people flock to it due to this, just like their ancestors did।।

    Mosmaiorum.org/persecution_list.html

    For example, the anti Buddhist discriminatory laws in Korea are never discussed, neither is the flooding of Japan with bibles post ww2

    In the present age you have missionaries following closely behind the USA army & organizations like the US council on religious freedom being headed by missionaries sic. soul vultures।।

    From that pov, if white nationalists cannot control the predatory instincts of 'their' people nor disavow them by becoming Pagan; then, they deserve their fate & should expect no support from outsiders.

    As others have remarked, tariffs & protectionism help accrue capital as do socially conservative views।।

    The pushing of free trade & social liberalism on 2nd/3rd world countries is akin to kicking the ladder।।

    It's probably in everyone's interest for the Protestant west to collapse under Afro-Islamic demographic pressure so the great clean up can begin।।

    Tldr yes state power leads to liberalism & liberal views but, if you view that as the legacy of your people, fuck your people.

    Yes, you say tariffs and proteccionism help accrue capital.

    Have you got any objection against a large, populous but still poor country (like Nigeria, Indonesia, India or Brazil) sticking to higher (though not sky high) tariffs and protectionism to raise their production, their income and their living standards?

    That was PRECISELY HOW the US, Uk, Germany and the Meiji era Japan, not to mention China from 1949 to Chu enLai) acted and because of it rose the heights of the present status and well being societies.
    Yes, you naive repeater, let´s us first protect ourselves from the globalist wolves and THEN, we can sit down and talk but from a firm solid position, not the other way round…
    cut the frack!
    We southern people are fed up with that northern hemispheric sales talk – it ´s so convenient to you – but the web exists and times change.

    Read More
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  23. It’s not that our generals don’t read. They do. They just doggedly continue to read the wrong books.

    It’s not just the generals.

    The whole idea of the state is to control the uncontrollable in order to continue “growing”. That’s why we conducted Vietnam as we did and why we conduct operations as we do all over the world. Rather than Total War that produces winners and losers we are trying to keep a lid on behavioral sinks and modify behavior so that economic “growth” can continue.

    I am not advocating Total War, but I am predicting that horrible war is coming.

    How many dead men will it take
    To build a dike that will not break?

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  24. The Zionists have been the root cause of every war that America has been in since WWI and right on through the wars in the Mideast and the wars in the Mideast were perpetrated by the Israeli and Zionist controlled deep state attack on 911.

    America is under Zionist control and if anyone doubts this, just remember Israel did the attack on 911 and got away with and every thinking American knows that Zionist Israel did the attack which killed 3000 Americans, that is control.

    Read More
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  25. Don Bacon says: • Website

    . . .supporting a South Vietnamese government of questionable legitimacy

    Actually the US created the “Republic of Vietnam” within Vietnam, which was rather unusual, and then fought Vietnam. The US grabbed a Christian out of a New Jersey seminary (Ngo Dinh Diem) to run the Buddhist “country,” that didn’t help. More recently the US has overthrown governments (Iraq and Afghanistan) and then fought the natives. Whatever, it doesn’t work. The citizens (AKA dissidents, insurgents, terrorists, etc.) so effected don’t want US troops in their countries, and who can blame them.

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  26. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why do credulous Americans read anti-war books written by war criminals? Only brainwashed people support the troops. Most Americans hated soldiers after Vietnam. They had seen soldiers raping wives and daughters, burning houses and huts and crops and wiping out entire villages. They knew that men who agree to kill for a paycheck do other bad things like raping and looting and then writing books about it later.

    The cons put a stop to all those “incorrect” ideas American slaves had developed by ramping up the propaganda in the 1980s. Movies kicked in and “learned” the zombies about the wonderfulness of war and killing and how American soldiers kill with love in their hearts and the tragedy of the boy baby killers left behind – probably by “communists in the US Government.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    That there is some serious delusion.
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  27. CK says:
    @augusto
    Nice, thank U.
    I´d never before had figured out,never outlined such a precise conceptual sight of the two still remaining American mindsets on HOW to win.
    Yes, cause for them Amerika must obviously must always win.
    So there are two viewpoints, that in plain clear English we citizens of the shitholin´ countries wherever- express as follows:

    1-The bomb the hell out of them to-the-stone-age approach.
    2-Combine the best lie + propaganda saturating policy with enough bomb-the-hell-out thing.

    You’re welcome.

    Read More
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  28. The United States really had no business intervening…

    That’s a, maybe “the,” key concept.

    The US has always had enough internal problems of its own to deal with and it should always have tended to its own interest first.

    Damned know-it-all, brainless busybodies!

    Read More
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  29. @n230099
    Until the young wise up and realize that the military operations in other countries have nothing to do with the freedoms we have here and that they're being used as fodder for the investments that the MIC has in the companies that make the tools of war, we will keep having this nonsense. The kids need to wise up. The government has at its disposal all it needs to 'win' if it wants to. But if you 'win', the sales and manufacturing of the goodies is curtailed. They'd rather send the kids into the meat grinder all pumped up thinking they're 'preserving freedom'...LOL!

    The kids need to wise up.

    I suspect most of them would wise up if their elders did so first, and would teach ‘em.

    One of the most annoying sights to me is to see some ancient fart wearing some sign that he’s a vet. Even though I was once a sucker too, I always make it a point to remind them that we had no business in whatever war they happen to be glorifying and still wallowing in.

    How old does one have to be to get a clue?

    Read More
    • Agree: n230099
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  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Nothing quite says freedom like heavily armed soldiers on the streets demanding papers. Soon the US will have the same situation, with the “freedom loving” Americans willingly surrendering all their freedoms for “safety.” Today the US government spies on everyone’s communications, conducts over 80,000 SWAT raids a year, locks over 2 million people in actual slavery, and lets the cops execute people on the street. Nothing quite says Freedom when cops can execute poor people without any repercussions. Nothing quite says Freedom when opiate casualties in one year exceed the American total in Vietnam. Nothing quite says zombie when Americans can’t see the war that is being waged on them right now.

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  31. it never fails.

    The US did not lose Vietnam. And there;s not a single new contention that hasn’t been covered ad nauseum — not one, that changes the facts on the ground.

    The North Vietnamese militant wing finally conceded to a peace agreement –

    They did so because their losses were unsustainable. The US departed S. Vietnam in 1973 except for military air support naval artillery support. After the departure of US troops, the North made an attempt to invade and the South Vietnamese troops repelled and did so soundly. They did have support of naval and air forces. But the fact remained that the South, could and most likely would have been able to maintain a definitive border over time.

    Finally, when in 1975, after the US departure with the aide of the Soviet Union, China and most likely (in my view) troops from North Korea — they invaded and the south could not hold the line and they lost the war. But that was two years after the US departed. That is based on the definitive final outcomes. In other words, while the Vietnamese love to spatter on about never having stopped. They signed a treaty to stop.

    The 1975 invasion can only be considered in the eyes of international relations as a new war, that did not include the US.

    President Nixon was out of office, and given the turmoil of the Vietnamese issue in CONUS, Watergate, the Church hearings, the country just had no political will to respond to the invasion. All of these issues were internal to the US. It is customary for the Vietnamese to give themselves credit for the propaganda war. But and examination of the social shifts occurring in the US strongly suggest that N. Vietnamese had very little influence on that debate, despite Jane Fonda’s duplicitous anti-aircraft photo shoot.

    _____________________

    COIN is an issue that should be addressed, but slipping that on the back against the popular, but incorrect complaint that we lost Vietnam is in my view pandering.
    I stand where I came in spite of the politically correct ramifications.

    Read More
    • Agree: anarchyst, Ace
    • Replies: @Alden
    What’s COIN?
    , @nsa
    Save the BS for your fellow geezer drunks at the VFW lounge. Vietnam featured a complete collapse of the conscripted US military....rampant drug use, fragging, insubordination, faked injuries, disintegration of the chain of command, mass murder of civilians, and finally TOTAL DEFEAT after turning tail and running following the negotiation of a charitable "decent interval" allowing the yanks to save some face. Pathetic.
    , @anarchyst
    The Vietnam war was not a "civil-war" but was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists, who were not amenable to letting people decide for themselves what political system they chose to live under. They wanted "the whole pie".
    The South Vietnamese and American military fought courageously, with one hand tied behind their backs, as they were not permitted to attack the supply lines, logistics and staging areas of the North Vietnamese communists. The American news media played a large part in the sympathetic attitudes they had towards the communists, taking every chance to denigrate American and South Vietnamese troops, a prime example was communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite reporting that the 1968 "Tet offensive" was a "major loss" for Americans and south Vietnamese, despite it being a total slaughter of North Vietnamese communists and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Viet Cong operating in the South were almost all totally decimated.
    Yes, the final result of the Vietnam war was communist control, BUT, it was not due to the efforts of South Vietnamese and American troops.
    The Vietnamese "boat people" who risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise" have a totally different story to tell, but which had been rarely reported...
    Ken Burns is a communist sympathizer whose "documentary" on the Vietnam war was so one-sided, even the communists admitted that his whole premise on the Vietnam war was one-sided and false.
    Communist sympathizer Ken Burns inadvertently "let it slip" that "re-education" by the communists was not a "six month deal" (as he claimed) in which those in positions of power in South Vietnam would be "re-educated", but were actually prisons, in which "enemies of the (communist) state were to be interned for as long as 20 years.
    It is interesting to note that the communists could not exert the same harsh level of control as was the case in the North, to the people in the South.
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  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Greg Bacon
    The BIGGEST lesson to come out of the illegal and immoral War against Vietnam is that the draft was impeding the MIC's effort to sell Americans on the idea of supporting endless war.

    Get rid of the draft and there will be no protests hell raised back home by people of draft age--and their families and friends--who don't want to get drafted to fight wars so colonels can become generals; Wall Street can make a killing on the killing and so the Pentagon can try out its new 'gee-whiz' weapons in the field on actual people.

    The next biggest lesson was that the media must be tamed and brought under control with embedding, so they'll push the Pentagon's and Wall Street message of duty, honor, Mom and apple pie onto gullible Americans, who now damn near get orgasmic when they see a multi-billion dollar killing machine--the B-2--fly over the upcoming gladiator battle in the newest billion dollar coliseum and go into the State-mandated 'Two Minutes Hate' whenever they see or hear the word Muslim or Islam.

    For the record, I did my time in the US Army with the 82nd Airborne.

    Is that true? The Military simply harvested the poors out of the hills, the South and other rural areas the same way they would have drafted ‘em. All the kids respond once the Government offers them a way out of potential starvation and hopeless poverty. That’s just a better way to draft people, although they won’t call it that.

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  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The same generals who let 911 happen and started the Iraq war still run the show. All of them should have faced a firing squad for that, but instead, the grossly incompetent General Kelly runs the White House and the grossly incompetent Mattis runs the military.

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  34. Jake says:

    “The danger presented by either school is clear enough in the twenty-first century.”

    Apparently it is not close to clear. The warhawk imperialists – some of them Clausewtizians and most COINdinistas – rule everything. No matter how many lives are lost, no matter how much money is wasted, they demand we remain on the same path of playing world hegemon.

    George Washington fought the British Empire for our freedom, so our subsequent leaders, starting most importantly with Lincoln, could remake the country into the British Empire 2.0.

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  35. Jake says:
    @George Taylor

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMEViYvojtY

    Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out

    “Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out.”

    Replace ‘Vietnamese’ with ‘Middle Easterners’ and ‘gook’ with ‘Arab’ or ‘Moslem,’ and you have the Neocon position.

    Replace ‘Vietnamese’ with ‘the world’ and replace ‘gook’ with ‘dark skinned non-Christian’ and place the word “liberal’ before ‘American,’ and you have the Liberal/Leftist position.

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  36. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    As a youth during that time it seemed like a strange idea that they were pushing. How could Vietnamese be invading Vietnam? They already live there. The Americans had to travel thousands of miles to prevent this. Years later I realize my youthful intuition was right; Vietnamese can’t invade Vietnam. This North-South dichotomy was just a made up propaganda tool. The South was an artificial concoction set up by the West to divide someone else’s country. This question of how could we have won is absurd nonsense. What would ‘winning’ have looked like? The South would just have been a multi-billion millstone around our neck.

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  37. skrik says:

    The can-do, revisionist believers atop the national security state have convinced Trump that — despite his original instincts — 4,000 or 5,000 (or 6,000 or 7,000) more troops (and yet more drones, planes, and other equipment) will do the trick. This represents tragedy bordering on farce.

    No; it’s psychotic, psychopathic mayhem and mass-murder.

    Lemma: At any crime-scene, there are one or more perpetrators, possibly accessories, apologists and/or ‘idle’ bystanders. It is incumbent upon *all* witnesses to attempt to a) restrain malefactors and where possible b) rescue victims from harm. *All* present and not in active resistance to the crime attract proportional guilt.

    Addendum: Any person profiting from crime also makes him/herself an accessory, like all residents in the ‘illegitimate entity’ and/or the puppet executives, manufacturers of the means and their enablers = the whole MIC[*] plus all their dependents, say.

    [*] The US rogue regime = US-M/I/C/4a†-plex, with dog-wagging-tail, its illegitimate sprog the Zionist/Israeli rogue regime + Js = I/J/Z-plex, all components rife with corruption.

    a = academic = econ, psy, leg et al.; 4 = MSM+PFBCs, † = churches

    add a few significant stragglers like $ = banksters & ¿ = spies

    =====

    It’s a lot, and here I point for emphasis to all the citizens of the two named entities; silence is acquiescence. Take a look at the result, not ‘just’ in Afghanistan but Libya, Syria etc., the WC7in5 [fortunately not yet Iran]; wherever the US/Zs deploy their ‘hammers.’

    In the fewest words: The US/Zs including their ‘ordinary people’ are all true monsters, with the only exception being the actively objecting few.

    Not so BTW, from the above [but not only] I conclude that there can be no ‘god’ – for surely, any such would strike all the US/Z villains down.

    Again a ‘special case’ for emphasis, the intellectuals and academics who really should know better but where again, silence is acquiescence.

    *Guilty, your honour; may they all hang by the neck until dead!* rgds

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  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    American sheep can’t see war even though they are in one. What better weapon than to have a group of writers spreading disinformation and colorful propaganda that revolves around discrediting the other propaganda with falsehoods and romanticization of the war that came before. Let’s have yet another debate about the thing that happened half a century ago because driving the flock in circles gets them no where closer to resistance.

    Meanwhile the real war. If the financial crisis wasn’t a terrorist attack because the press never told you, what will you believe? If more men and women die in one year because of opiates than in the entire Vietnam effort, will the real owners tell you in their newspapers that they do it because they want to win?

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    • Agree: utu
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  39. @anon
    The Vietnam war killed the draft. The draft is involuntary servitude, slavery in a sense. For ordinary Americans this was the only positive thing to come from the war.

    No. The Vietnam protests killed the draft. And it was a mistake. One of the worst national mistakes made concerning US polity ad the open door to interventionists dreams no longer wedded to the national interests alone or even the limited interests that apply to our allies.

    The draft had come to mean the buy in that every male citizen understands as duty to the country bestowing so much of its blessings on all (I am not ignoring the very real disparities in our society). Furthermore given the shifting mores and peculiar identity awareness, it would have served well as a buffer to future interventionist advances. In comparing slavery to the draft, it’s clear people making this advance hasn’t read anything about the nature of slavery. It is insult to the millions of citizens in the US who are descendants of slaves. democrats and liberals never tire of making slavery links and to situations that don’t even reach the heel mark when compared: same sex practitioner, women, students . . . nothing in in american history comes to close to the practice of slavery — thank goodness.

    No. the US did not hold Vietnam as a colonial power. In fact, we had misgivings with supporting the French for just that reason. However, in cold war era polity — communism was considered a larger threat. S. Vietnam was not a puppet of the US as evidenced by the internal turmoil within Vietnam.

    The Soviets had threatened to bury us in open forum — we saw no reason to dismiss the challenge. In firm terms was Vietnam strategically important — as in some clear and present danger to the US – no. But we bungled China and at the time believed we could use as many friends as possible. To his credit, Pres. Johnson fretted over sending troops to Vietnam for just the reasons experienced by US forces. But in Pres Johnson as in Kennedy the spark of intervention for democracy — what we now now call a goal of neoconservative agenda, was a sincere desire to aide a new democratic republic — eye rolling in advance the complaint about corruption and voting manipulation. In the last 17 years, the US has had two contested elections loaded with accusations of voting fraud and in the most recent — a Russian conspiracy involving the current Pres. and his staff to rig the election. Those are bit two of many examples in US history where corruption was complaint.

    As for waste, mismanagement and theft — hold your kettle in one hand and you twenty by twenty mirror in the other.

    irony of ironies — today’s voracious interventionists for democracy and capitalism – to stability are yesterday’s Vietnam protesters — hypocrisy is thick enough to choke Jolly Green Giant. Only old people will get the reference.

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  40. Alden says:
    @n230099
    Until the young wise up and realize that the military operations in other countries have nothing to do with the freedoms we have here and that they're being used as fodder for the investments that the MIC has in the companies that make the tools of war, we will keep having this nonsense. The kids need to wise up. The government has at its disposal all it needs to 'win' if it wants to. But if you 'win', the sales and manufacturing of the goodies is curtailed. They'd rather send the kids into the meat grinder all pumped up thinking they're 'preserving freedom'...LOL!

    I think the kids are more pumped up
    with college tuition, VA health , a chance to learn a civilian applicable skill
    , citizenship and something to do other than competing with illegal Indios for low wages.

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  41. Alden says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    it never fails.

    The US did not lose Vietnam. And there;s not a single new contention that hasn't been covered ad nauseum -- not one, that changes the facts on the ground.

    The North Vietnamese militant wing finally conceded to a peace agreement -

    They did so because their losses were unsustainable. The US departed S. Vietnam in 1973 except for military air support naval artillery support. After the departure of US troops, the North made an attempt to invade and the South Vietnamese troops repelled and did so soundly. They did have support of naval and air forces. But the fact remained that the South, could and most likely would have been able to maintain a definitive border over time.

    Finally, when in 1975, after the US departure with the aide of the Soviet Union, China and most likely (in my view) troops from North Korea -- they invaded and the south could not hold the line and they lost the war. But that was two years after the US departed. That is based on the definitive final outcomes. In other words, while the Vietnamese love to spatter on about never having stopped. They signed a treaty to stop.

    The 1975 invasion can only be considered in the eyes of international relations as a new war, that did not include the US.

    President Nixon was out of office, and given the turmoil of the Vietnamese issue in CONUS, Watergate, the Church hearings, the country just had no political will to respond to the invasion. All of these issues were internal to the US. It is customary for the Vietnamese to give themselves credit for the propaganda war. But and examination of the social shifts occurring in the US strongly suggest that N. Vietnamese had very little influence on that debate, despite Jane Fonda's duplicitous anti-aircraft photo shoot.

    _____________________

    COIN is an issue that should be addressed, but slipping that on the back against the popular, but incorrect complaint that we lost Vietnam is in my view pandering.
    I stand where I came in spite of the politically correct ramifications.

    What’s COIN?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Social media like the Unz Review.
    , @EliteCommInc.
    having had numerous conversations with you . . . I am just going to conclude that you are kidding.

    I got it.
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  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden
    What’s COIN?

    Social media like the Unz Review.

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  43. nsa says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    it never fails.

    The US did not lose Vietnam. And there;s not a single new contention that hasn't been covered ad nauseum -- not one, that changes the facts on the ground.

    The North Vietnamese militant wing finally conceded to a peace agreement -

    They did so because their losses were unsustainable. The US departed S. Vietnam in 1973 except for military air support naval artillery support. After the departure of US troops, the North made an attempt to invade and the South Vietnamese troops repelled and did so soundly. They did have support of naval and air forces. But the fact remained that the South, could and most likely would have been able to maintain a definitive border over time.

    Finally, when in 1975, after the US departure with the aide of the Soviet Union, China and most likely (in my view) troops from North Korea -- they invaded and the south could not hold the line and they lost the war. But that was two years after the US departed. That is based on the definitive final outcomes. In other words, while the Vietnamese love to spatter on about never having stopped. They signed a treaty to stop.

    The 1975 invasion can only be considered in the eyes of international relations as a new war, that did not include the US.

    President Nixon was out of office, and given the turmoil of the Vietnamese issue in CONUS, Watergate, the Church hearings, the country just had no political will to respond to the invasion. All of these issues were internal to the US. It is customary for the Vietnamese to give themselves credit for the propaganda war. But and examination of the social shifts occurring in the US strongly suggest that N. Vietnamese had very little influence on that debate, despite Jane Fonda's duplicitous anti-aircraft photo shoot.

    _____________________

    COIN is an issue that should be addressed, but slipping that on the back against the popular, but incorrect complaint that we lost Vietnam is in my view pandering.
    I stand where I came in spite of the politically correct ramifications.

    Save the BS for your fellow geezer drunks at the VFW lounge. Vietnam featured a complete collapse of the conscripted US military….rampant drug use, fragging, insubordination, faked injuries, disintegration of the chain of command, mass murder of civilians, and finally TOTAL DEFEAT after turning tail and running following the negotiation of a charitable “decent interval” allowing the yanks to save some face. Pathetic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ElitecommInc.
    I am not a member of the VFW. I don't drink and have never been drunk. There was drug use how prevalent it was is unclear. not enough to prevent mission readiness, it appears.

    A lot has been made of fragging, but if you can find the numbers -- The evidence is very sparse that this practice was anywhere close to a staple. Here's an estimate 800 such incidents attempted. But given that there are only about 13 confirms that estimations is suspect. Some 3 million service members service in Vietnam that's a percentage of 0.026666666666% attempted. The actual number of men who died as the result of fragging 0.0005% and i used the highest number of fifteen actuals.

    There were tragic incidents of mass killings, but those two were rare. The next series of complaints are hard to quantify -- but suffice it to say, whatever the complaints -- when push came to shove the US service member repeatedly got the job done. And contrary to your comments, the process of the US withdrawal is well documented. More than anything, they secured a line of defense, and the situation at home was the most pressing. There is no evidence that the US ran from the battle field.

    OI think the evidence is clear that we should maintained support via air and sea power to ensure the victory was maintained on behalf of the S. Vietnamese who fought and died to defend their country. kudos to the Aussie's for their loyal support.
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  44. anarchyst says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    it never fails.

    The US did not lose Vietnam. And there;s not a single new contention that hasn't been covered ad nauseum -- not one, that changes the facts on the ground.

    The North Vietnamese militant wing finally conceded to a peace agreement -

    They did so because their losses were unsustainable. The US departed S. Vietnam in 1973 except for military air support naval artillery support. After the departure of US troops, the North made an attempt to invade and the South Vietnamese troops repelled and did so soundly. They did have support of naval and air forces. But the fact remained that the South, could and most likely would have been able to maintain a definitive border over time.

    Finally, when in 1975, after the US departure with the aide of the Soviet Union, China and most likely (in my view) troops from North Korea -- they invaded and the south could not hold the line and they lost the war. But that was two years after the US departed. That is based on the definitive final outcomes. In other words, while the Vietnamese love to spatter on about never having stopped. They signed a treaty to stop.

    The 1975 invasion can only be considered in the eyes of international relations as a new war, that did not include the US.

    President Nixon was out of office, and given the turmoil of the Vietnamese issue in CONUS, Watergate, the Church hearings, the country just had no political will to respond to the invasion. All of these issues were internal to the US. It is customary for the Vietnamese to give themselves credit for the propaganda war. But and examination of the social shifts occurring in the US strongly suggest that N. Vietnamese had very little influence on that debate, despite Jane Fonda's duplicitous anti-aircraft photo shoot.

    _____________________

    COIN is an issue that should be addressed, but slipping that on the back against the popular, but incorrect complaint that we lost Vietnam is in my view pandering.
    I stand where I came in spite of the politically correct ramifications.

    The Vietnam war was not a “civil-war” but was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists, who were not amenable to letting people decide for themselves what political system they chose to live under. They wanted “the whole pie”.
    The South Vietnamese and American military fought courageously, with one hand tied behind their backs, as they were not permitted to attack the supply lines, logistics and staging areas of the North Vietnamese communists. The American news media played a large part in the sympathetic attitudes they had towards the communists, taking every chance to denigrate American and South Vietnamese troops, a prime example was communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite reporting that the 1968 “Tet offensive” was a “major loss” for Americans and south Vietnamese, despite it being a total slaughter of North Vietnamese communists and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Viet Cong operating in the South were almost all totally decimated.
    Yes, the final result of the Vietnam war was communist control, BUT, it was not due to the efforts of South Vietnamese and American troops.
    The Vietnamese “boat people” who risked life and limb to escape that communist “paradise” have a totally different story to tell, but which had been rarely reported…
    Ken Burns is a communist sympathizer whose “documentary” on the Vietnam war was so one-sided, even the communists admitted that his whole premise on the Vietnam war was one-sided and false.
    Communist sympathizer Ken Burns inadvertently “let it slip” that “re-education” by the communists was not a “six month deal” (as he claimed) in which those in positions of power in South Vietnam would be “re-educated”, but were actually prisons, in which “enemies of the (communist) state were to be interned for as long as 20 years.
    It is interesting to note that the communists could not exert the same harsh level of control as was the case in the North, to the people in the South.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    Apparently unfamiliar with my long and detailed discussions here and at TAC about the Vietnam War.


    I don't think you will find a single suggestion in mt two or more years of discussion on Vietnam , that it was a civil war -- it was not.

    In every way, the North Vietnamese were the aggressors. And if anyone looking at the political issues and objectives of what happened in Vietnam --

    those who protested got nearly every aspect about Vietnam wrong, nearly every contention they make was predicated on the incorrect information, except one.

    war is a nasty filthy affair in which a lot hoes wrong - because that is part and parcel to the nature of war so many moving pieces on so many potential unpredictable planes. The entire enterprise is best avoided, but sometimes as in the case of S. Vietnam, you are left little choice but to defend yourself. Boys and girls afraid to fight screaming "Give peace a chance" at the defenders like pushing a drowning men under the waves and telling him all he need do is swim.


    You are preaching to the choir and the preacher.

    I am going to avoid rehashing the conflict, I think the data sets are on my side in tons. But I think the authors intentions are to really dismantle the cadre and their advocacy of COIN. Given that the current President has reneged on his campaign agenda to avoid needless wars violating the territory of others to regime change. The issue of counter insurgency is relevant. Because it looks like we are in for more than we bargained for. No doubt, SAS, the French Legionaries, CIA and a spec ops contingents are pre-prepping for insurgencies of our own.


    A brief look suggests that the only effective response to counter insurgency is intelligence and brutal response. though intended to suggest finesse, in the end -- it's root them out and destroy them. I think this is one those the cure is worse than the illness, because without indigenous support for your political and strategic goals in country -- brutal reprisals eventually reignite acts of terror as a means of self defense.

    , @bluedog
    What are you a troll playing the same old broken record spewing forth the same old line, for there was a vote coming up by the Geneva Accord, to decide just what kind of government the two Vietnam's wanted, a vote that would'nt go the way we wanted thus the false flag to get us involved.

    FDR had made a deal with Ho that if they would rise up and drive out the Japs that Vietnam could choose their own destiny,colonialism was dead he said, well until that little man in the to big a house got into office and then once again America's word wasen't worth a mouth full of warm spit and its never changed...

    , @EliteCommInc.
    It is not that I don't have responses here. It is that they have all been made. There just isn't anything further for me to add. I would that the US provided support for S. Vietnam. We chose not to provide that support. That;s the unfortunate side effect for anyone doing business with the US. If the polity shifts, agreements formal or otherwise become subject the goals, agendas and prerogatives of the new admin. That's a painful reality. It undermined our relations with N. Korea. It's going to undermine our credibility to effect with Iran.

    When Pres Nixon left office, the S. Vietnamese were on their own -- tragic. Had we fulfilled that promise there would be a single Vietnam - and they would have smoothly incorporated the benefits of Southern Vietnam capitalism and democracy - minus the devastation. I think the data as presented makes my case. We did not get chased out of Vietnam.

    While the US was present we did the mission and as messy as it may have been at times -- that's the nature of warfare. It's that simple. I had plenty of eye rolls to repetitions assertions based on some reports -- good grief. The record is pretty clear. South Vietnam could not withstand the forces of N Vietnam aided by China, the Soviets and N. Korea. And we weren't there to assist. They managed for two years about and that too is unfortunate.

    We beat their pants off with our hands tied behind our backs. And no service member should permit engage in any further self flagellation on the matter. I don't think there is any question that we have got have a response to insurgency.
    ______

    I think the only thought I have that I did not address was the reference to Walter Cronkite and i think I will respond to that now.

    I am familiar with Mr Burns' work. He, his brother and their colleagues do wonderful work. by wonderful, they provide information that has depth, breadth and meaning to issues they cover. And it s not uncommon they unearth little known key points that are critical to understanding issues. I don't by that either he or his Walter Cronkite are communists. However, I do disagree with their conclusions -- though I am not sure Mr. burns actually concludes that Vietnam was a loss.

    I can say this, what I saw of the series left me more convinced that Vietnam for the US was a win -- messy, unkempt, disfigured --- and because so much of our common understanding is wrong -- unresolved.

    As for Mr. Cronkite, I think he reveals what was true for the US. It was the very first time we experienced war in real time -- immediate and sometimes unedited. Seeing war in that manner, even if one is a soldier is very different than reading about it in history. The emotional impact of seeing one's fellows in combat or wounded or dead and be completely unable to do anything about it --- is traumatizing. So the natural response is get us out of their. That immediate natural response is powerful player in politics. which is why, restricting media coverage is such a hot button issue. It's easy to forget, that pain, suffering, carnage, lostness, chaos, blood, limbs, sinew, bone, and death and tears is exactly how the US won or lost any conflict it has engaged in -- that's war. The results of war is why so many who fight have the refrain --

    "I fought for the guy next to me"

    the big picture gets lost in the insanity of war, it's immediate, it's personal and intra-personal. Those images of the TET offensive, that we did indeed did win, can be overwhelming -- Mr. Cronkite was overwhelmed and unfortunately his editorial got played for all that it was worth -- in real time. For the US citizen the war became personal, not strategic, not a noble cause -- and eventually the intrapersonal and personal won out among many. It is one of the most effective tools of rhetoric -- make it personal -- appeal to the pathos and link it to the ethos.

    Short form -- killing is bad we are killing, we are bad -- we must stop being bad which means we must stop. A complete myopic disingenuous nonstop weeping, gnashing of teeth - regardless of the facts, and ethos of the endeavor or the pathos of the one being aided. And the fear of having to fight.


    I appreciated Mr Ken Burns and Ms Lynn Novick film, as did my father who served two tours in Vietnam. He called in quite a state over some memories, during one episode, of his few shares about his experiences there. It was a very neat time with him.

    Hes democrat and thinks i am nuts to defend the effort -- ignoring the emotion I focus on his aid to millions of people who had one day more of some peace before the the communist purgings began to rip the country asunder, far more than the war.

    In a span of ten years we lost nearly 60,000 precious souls of our nation. A tragic loss of human capital and loved ones whose gift cannot be repaid.

    In a span of three days from July 1st to july 4th, the US states lost 51,000 thousand men at the battle of Gettysburg -- three days.

    35,000 of those were gone in the first three hours of battle. War is a nasty tragic affair, best avoided --

    This is but little comfort (as the context is different, but the import is no less meaningful) but Christ says,

    "No greater gift than a man than this, that he lay down his life for another."
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  45. Norcal says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    The entire conflict can be understood in this two minute video clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl8wpsGooOo

    So much for The Domino Theory”. This clip from “The Fog Of War”. Thanks

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  46. @anarchyst
    The Vietnam war was not a "civil-war" but was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists, who were not amenable to letting people decide for themselves what political system they chose to live under. They wanted "the whole pie".
    The South Vietnamese and American military fought courageously, with one hand tied behind their backs, as they were not permitted to attack the supply lines, logistics and staging areas of the North Vietnamese communists. The American news media played a large part in the sympathetic attitudes they had towards the communists, taking every chance to denigrate American and South Vietnamese troops, a prime example was communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite reporting that the 1968 "Tet offensive" was a "major loss" for Americans and south Vietnamese, despite it being a total slaughter of North Vietnamese communists and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Viet Cong operating in the South were almost all totally decimated.
    Yes, the final result of the Vietnam war was communist control, BUT, it was not due to the efforts of South Vietnamese and American troops.
    The Vietnamese "boat people" who risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise" have a totally different story to tell, but which had been rarely reported...
    Ken Burns is a communist sympathizer whose "documentary" on the Vietnam war was so one-sided, even the communists admitted that his whole premise on the Vietnam war was one-sided and false.
    Communist sympathizer Ken Burns inadvertently "let it slip" that "re-education" by the communists was not a "six month deal" (as he claimed) in which those in positions of power in South Vietnam would be "re-educated", but were actually prisons, in which "enemies of the (communist) state were to be interned for as long as 20 years.
    It is interesting to note that the communists could not exert the same harsh level of control as was the case in the North, to the people in the South.

    Apparently unfamiliar with my long and detailed discussions here and at TAC about the Vietnam War.

    I don’t think you will find a single suggestion in mt two or more years of discussion on Vietnam , that it was a civil war — it was not.

    In every way, the North Vietnamese were the aggressors. And if anyone looking at the political issues and objectives of what happened in Vietnam –

    those who protested got nearly every aspect about Vietnam wrong, nearly every contention they make was predicated on the incorrect information, except one.

    war is a nasty filthy affair in which a lot hoes wrong – because that is part and parcel to the nature of war so many moving pieces on so many potential unpredictable planes. The entire enterprise is best avoided, but sometimes as in the case of S. Vietnam, you are left little choice but to defend yourself. Boys and girls afraid to fight screaming “Give peace a chance” at the defenders like pushing a drowning men under the waves and telling him all he need do is swim.

    You are preaching to the choir and the preacher.

    I am going to avoid rehashing the conflict, I think the data sets are on my side in tons. But I think the authors intentions are to really dismantle the cadre and their advocacy of COIN. Given that the current President has reneged on his campaign agenda to avoid needless wars violating the territory of others to regime change. The issue of counter insurgency is relevant. Because it looks like we are in for more than we bargained for. No doubt, SAS, the French Legionaries, CIA and a spec ops contingents are pre-prepping for insurgencies of our own.

    A brief look suggests that the only effective response to counter insurgency is intelligence and brutal response. though intended to suggest finesse, in the end — it’s root them out and destroy them. I think this is one those the cure is worse than the illness, because without indigenous support for your political and strategic goals in country — brutal reprisals eventually reignite acts of terror as a means of self defense.

    Read More
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  47. @Alden
    What’s COIN?

    having had numerous conversations with you . . . I am just going to conclude that you are kidding.

    I got it.

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  48. Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Rand? American Conservative? Tom's Dispatch? All fake news for the sheep, i.e COIN.

    If people want change, they have to refuse to cooperate. That means no voting. Voting means you agree with the basic trends and just want to tweak the system. All of us have gotten cheated by the Government all of our lives. Destruction of schools so people can't learn. Wars fought to make countries like Vietnam open to big corporations to move American jobs there. Corporate money backed by the fist of the Marines has worked all their lives, all their parents' lives, and all the modern history of America. "Why not now?", the sheep ask.

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  49. bluedog says:
    @anarchyst
    The Vietnam war was not a "civil-war" but was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists, who were not amenable to letting people decide for themselves what political system they chose to live under. They wanted "the whole pie".
    The South Vietnamese and American military fought courageously, with one hand tied behind their backs, as they were not permitted to attack the supply lines, logistics and staging areas of the North Vietnamese communists. The American news media played a large part in the sympathetic attitudes they had towards the communists, taking every chance to denigrate American and South Vietnamese troops, a prime example was communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite reporting that the 1968 "Tet offensive" was a "major loss" for Americans and south Vietnamese, despite it being a total slaughter of North Vietnamese communists and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Viet Cong operating in the South were almost all totally decimated.
    Yes, the final result of the Vietnam war was communist control, BUT, it was not due to the efforts of South Vietnamese and American troops.
    The Vietnamese "boat people" who risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise" have a totally different story to tell, but which had been rarely reported...
    Ken Burns is a communist sympathizer whose "documentary" on the Vietnam war was so one-sided, even the communists admitted that his whole premise on the Vietnam war was one-sided and false.
    Communist sympathizer Ken Burns inadvertently "let it slip" that "re-education" by the communists was not a "six month deal" (as he claimed) in which those in positions of power in South Vietnam would be "re-educated", but were actually prisons, in which "enemies of the (communist) state were to be interned for as long as 20 years.
    It is interesting to note that the communists could not exert the same harsh level of control as was the case in the North, to the people in the South.

    What are you a troll playing the same old broken record spewing forth the same old line, for there was a vote coming up by the Geneva Accord, to decide just what kind of government the two Vietnam’s wanted, a vote that would’nt go the way we wanted thus the false flag to get us involved.

    FDR had made a deal with Ho that if they would rise up and drive out the Japs that Vietnam could choose their own destiny,colonialism was dead he said, well until that little man in the to big a house got into office and then once again America’s word wasen’t worth a mouth full of warm spit and its never changed…

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Your name-calling exposes you as a small-minded individual who does not have a cogent counter-argument. GROW UP, already!
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  50. A thorough review and discussion about Mr. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick film concerning our defense of South Vietnam.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-best-way-to-honor-a-vet-is-with-the-truth/

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  51. Today’s officer corps would spare us all a great deal of cost, blood and grief and we Americans would all do much better if the cadets’, midshipmen’s, officer candidates’ and officer corps’ reading list began with the Bernard Fall book Rue Sans Joie.

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  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    For those who are not familiar with COIN here are some articles, those from TAC include lengthy discussions which you may find interesting.

    http://ready4itall.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Counterinsurgency-Warfare-Theory-and-Practice.pdf

    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG595.pdf

    https://www.fs.blog/2017/06/counterinsurgency/

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/coin-is-a-proven-failure/

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/counterinsurgency/

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/revenge-of-the-coin-doctrine/

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/06/15/the-cnas-annual-confab-aloof-and-irrelevant-as-ever/

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/savior-general-petraeus-gave-us-the-wrong-bible/

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/petraeuss-coin-gets-flipped/

    Rand? American Conservative? Tom’s Dispatch? All fake news for the sheep, i.e COIN.

    If people want change, they have to refuse to cooperate. That means no voting. Voting means you agree with the basic trends and just want to tweak the system. All of us have gotten cheated by the Government all of our lives. Destruction of schools so people can’t learn. Wars fought to make countries like Vietnam open to big corporations to move American jobs there. Corporate money backed by the fist of the Marines has worked all their lives, all their parents’ lives, and all the modern history of America. “Why not now?”, the sheep ask.

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    • Replies: @ElitecommInc.
    Note, I list of sites is not definitive. There are articles critical and article supportive of COIN. Some articles are just descriptive of what COIN means. COIN has been a subject of a good deal of debate for a very long time. Most articles are from TAC because that is the site I most frequently read and comment. And as Dr. Unz will tell you, they invite a host of articles by a host of authors -- with varying view points.

    About Rand, they are one of the most noteable contributors to government policy via research and while one may not appreciate their advocacy, it's not a bad idea to read what they are presenting on issues, in this case COIN. Even considering broad definitions of fake news -- it is unlikely that Rand would be included as such an outlet.

    One of the advances launched in the late sixties -- forward was that Vietnam was a MIC windfall and in fact manufactured by the MIC.

    I don't think there is much evidence of that. Pres Johnson and most of the leadership actually saw it as a case for democracy against the Chinese, the Soviets -- etc. You are not going to be able to escape the private sector profiting from war. Sure had democracy and capitalism actually won the day , I don't think there is any question money would have been made --- capitalism is a very healthy system -- if operated minus manipulation/unfair dealings. But that is not unique. One does business where business is. but cold war strategic aims made money for lots of people -- that doesn't deny that there was actually a system of proxy engagements for democracy and communism.

    , @Ace
    Did you learn that about not voting in Cosmo? Very entertaining. All those people who didn't vote for Barry Goldwater. They showed 'em.
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  53. wayfarer says:

    Vietnam War U.S. Military Fatal Casualty Statistics

    source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics

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  54. nsa says:

    The religious aspect of the Vietnamese CIVIL WAR is overlooked by the senile VFW geezers posting here. The patriots were mostly Buddhists……the quislings were mostly Catholics (inherited from the French). In between perving little kids, American Cardinals and Bishops demanded even more war and Vietnamese blood. The bloodthirsty homo, Cardinal Spellman, would even visit the troops in person and exhort them to create more carnage and mayhem. According to Bobbie McNamara, American efforts resulted in the murder of over 4 million Vietnamese and the maiming of millions of others….MOSTLY CIVILIANS. The role of the vile bloodthirsty Homo Cult of the Seven Hills has been mostly overlooked.

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  55. @Anonymous
    Rand? American Conservative? Tom's Dispatch? All fake news for the sheep, i.e COIN.

    If people want change, they have to refuse to cooperate. That means no voting. Voting means you agree with the basic trends and just want to tweak the system. All of us have gotten cheated by the Government all of our lives. Destruction of schools so people can't learn. Wars fought to make countries like Vietnam open to big corporations to move American jobs there. Corporate money backed by the fist of the Marines has worked all their lives, all their parents' lives, and all the modern history of America. "Why not now?", the sheep ask.

    Note, I list of sites is not definitive. There are articles critical and article supportive of COIN. Some articles are just descriptive of what COIN means. COIN has been a subject of a good deal of debate for a very long time. Most articles are from TAC because that is the site I most frequently read and comment. And as Dr. Unz will tell you, they invite a host of articles by a host of authors — with varying view points.

    About Rand, they are one of the most noteable contributors to government policy via research and while one may not appreciate their advocacy, it’s not a bad idea to read what they are presenting on issues, in this case COIN. Even considering broad definitions of fake news — it is unlikely that Rand would be included as such an outlet.

    One of the advances launched in the late sixties — forward was that Vietnam was a MIC windfall and in fact manufactured by the MIC.

    I don’t think there is much evidence of that. Pres Johnson and most of the leadership actually saw it as a case for democracy against the Chinese, the Soviets — etc. You are not going to be able to escape the private sector profiting from war. Sure had democracy and capitalism actually won the day , I don’t think there is any question money would have been made — capitalism is a very healthy system — if operated minus manipulation/unfair dealings. But that is not unique. One does business where business is. but cold war strategic aims made money for lots of people — that doesn’t deny that there was actually a system of proxy engagements for democracy and communism.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Very rich families and corporatists started their own think tanks after World War II. This is when the looting began for RAND. These are the bastards Eisenhower was afraid of. Abe Lincoln feared the large corporations born of business profiteering during the U.S. Civil War -- the military industrial complex of the day -- easily constituted the greatest threat to the American republic.

    Remember that Eisenhower's definition of the complex included among the bastards, not only the military defense industry corporations, but also right alongside them the news media and the university and private research establishments.

    Tom Jefferson thought periodic revolution against wealth and authority was desirable to keep these bastards in check. Which implies that he figured they would inevitably get us by the throat down on the floor from time to time.
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  56. @nsa
    Save the BS for your fellow geezer drunks at the VFW lounge. Vietnam featured a complete collapse of the conscripted US military....rampant drug use, fragging, insubordination, faked injuries, disintegration of the chain of command, mass murder of civilians, and finally TOTAL DEFEAT after turning tail and running following the negotiation of a charitable "decent interval" allowing the yanks to save some face. Pathetic.

    I am not a member of the VFW. I don’t drink and have never been drunk. There was drug use how prevalent it was is unclear. not enough to prevent mission readiness, it appears.

    A lot has been made of fragging, but if you can find the numbers — The evidence is very sparse that this practice was anywhere close to a staple. Here’s an estimate 800 such incidents attempted. But given that there are only about 13 confirms that estimations is suspect. Some 3 million service members service in Vietnam that’s a percentage of 0.026666666666% attempted. The actual number of men who died as the result of fragging 0.0005% and i used the highest number of fifteen actuals.

    There were tragic incidents of mass killings, but those two were rare. The next series of complaints are hard to quantify — but suffice it to say, whatever the complaints — when push came to shove the US service member repeatedly got the job done. And contrary to your comments, the process of the US withdrawal is well documented. More than anything, they secured a line of defense, and the situation at home was the most pressing. There is no evidence that the US ran from the battle field.

    OI think the evidence is clear that we should maintained support via air and sea power to ensure the victory was maintained on behalf of the S. Vietnamese who fought and died to defend their country. kudos to the Aussie’s for their loyal support.

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    • Replies: @wayfarer
    I was working as a carpenter in San Diego years ago.

    Met a psycho Marine veteran, who very briefly told me how he fragged an officer in Vietnam.

    Don't remember too many details as there weren't many and I wasn't asking questions, just that he was out on some patrol and decided to kill an officer he didn't like, then used his boot to kick/wedge a dog tag between the dead officer's front teeth.

    Same dude came storming at me in a rage one day, with a carpenter's hatchet in his hand. As he was explaining/rationalizing why he was going to bury it in my skull, I didn't say one word. Just calmly stared him straight in the eyes, thinking to myself, this is all she wrote.

    Fortunately for me, he decided to just turn and walk away.

    End of story.

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  57. If the war mongers had had an all-volunteer army like the one they have today, they could have and would have kept the Vietnam War going indefinitely. But, since they didn’t, draftees and their parents wised-up to the Pentagon’s money-making scam and put a stop to it by refusing to participate.

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    • Replies: @EnriiqueCardovaa
    Not really, for the simple fact that the volunteers could stop enlisting again as cannon fodder. The draft army didn't really have a choice. On top of that what makes you think the public would accept endless war with a volunteer force?
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  58. Art says:

    Westmoreland and McNamara are awaiting Kissinger in hell.

    Think Peace — Art

    p.s. Every US general supports Israel – how sick is that?

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  59. @Thomm
    Ultimately, the victory of WW2 due to sheer weight of industrial productivity ramp and hence massive output of planes, tanks, submarines, etc. made defense a large part of the US economy.

    Since that time, too many entrenched interests just never want the military to downsize. Hence, the US has to keep invented new demand for a product that otherwise would not have such demand, but keeps some major entrenched interests powerful.

    I mean, the Korean war started just 5 years after WW2 ended. They could barely wait for a new crop of boys to turn 18 and become cannon fodder. 50,000 in Korea right after the 300,000 in WW2.

    When casualties became politically incorrect (after VietNam), the focus shifted towards lengthy 'nation building', that was not meant to succeed, but just to cost a lot for a long time. In theory, the Iraq War could have worked, IF the true objective was the installation of a moderate regime in Iraq, coupled with no extended US occupation. But that was not the true objective after all, so it did not work.

    Money’s made fighting wars not winning them. 1945 was the last time the US made the mistake of winning a war, and may not have made that one had Russia not been on the verge of invading and occupying Japan, thus forcing the US into bringing the war to a close.

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  60. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @ElitecommInc.
    Note, I list of sites is not definitive. There are articles critical and article supportive of COIN. Some articles are just descriptive of what COIN means. COIN has been a subject of a good deal of debate for a very long time. Most articles are from TAC because that is the site I most frequently read and comment. And as Dr. Unz will tell you, they invite a host of articles by a host of authors -- with varying view points.

    About Rand, they are one of the most noteable contributors to government policy via research and while one may not appreciate their advocacy, it's not a bad idea to read what they are presenting on issues, in this case COIN. Even considering broad definitions of fake news -- it is unlikely that Rand would be included as such an outlet.

    One of the advances launched in the late sixties -- forward was that Vietnam was a MIC windfall and in fact manufactured by the MIC.

    I don't think there is much evidence of that. Pres Johnson and most of the leadership actually saw it as a case for democracy against the Chinese, the Soviets -- etc. You are not going to be able to escape the private sector profiting from war. Sure had democracy and capitalism actually won the day , I don't think there is any question money would have been made --- capitalism is a very healthy system -- if operated minus manipulation/unfair dealings. But that is not unique. One does business where business is. but cold war strategic aims made money for lots of people -- that doesn't deny that there was actually a system of proxy engagements for democracy and communism.

    Very rich families and corporatists started their own think tanks after World War II. This is when the looting began for RAND. These are the bastards Eisenhower was afraid of. Abe Lincoln feared the large corporations born of business profiteering during the U.S. Civil War — the military industrial complex of the day — easily constituted the greatest threat to the American republic.

    Remember that Eisenhower’s definition of the complex included among the bastards, not only the military defense industry corporations, but also right alongside them the news media and the university and private research establishments.

    Tom Jefferson thought periodic revolution against wealth and authority was desirable to keep these bastards in check. Which implies that he figured they would inevitably get us by the throat down on the floor from time to time.

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  61. Sounds like a good reason to know what they are advocating.

    And Pres Eisenhower was talking about —

    raytheon
    GD/EB
    Hughes
    etc, ect

    Here’s a list of the MIC many were not around during the Eisenhower years — but Rand was but a single player among many.

    https://www.militaryindustrialcomplex.com/companies.asp

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  62. JVC says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    Well Major,

    we are deeply at odds. We did not lose the Vietnam conflict. I am confident that billions of dollars have been spent drilling that myth into the minds of well everyone. I remember being a young poli-sci student in KS. And as I listened to the lecture on Vietnam, did the reading my conclusion was so distant from his as to cause me no small amount of turmoil. The contention that we lost Vietnam is so counter to the data -- it makes the Twilight Zone look like Gilligan's Island, the twists on reality are directionless -- but conclude we lost, when nothing could be further from the truth.


    I have another theory, the reason that Vietnam remains etched in the psyche is because the analysis was political as opposed to what actually occurred. This kind of hyperventilated self flagellating recriminations will distort truth. Perception over reality -- then becomes self fulling history.
    _________________


    But to the point. The US has lost two wars: The war of 1812 and in my view, the Iraq conflict -- no direct fault of those on the ground doing the fighting. And we may lose the Afghanistan gambit. It's a loss because it fell apart during our occupation. The guerrilla warfare (asymmetrics) was not the issues for that failure. The failure was in

    1. unjustifiable cause
    2. poor implementation
    3. under resourced
    4. an inability to maintain order among communities -- (1-3)
    5. and just a lot of bad decisions

    Trying compare Vietnam to Iraq is like trying compare a stone to water in similarity. You might be able to some generic references and very tiny specifics, but overall: the environment politically and strategically, just never mesh. We didn't invade Vietnam. They had a functioning government. There were clear lines of who was who based on borders (I am not ignoring the insurgency -- Vietcong, etc.
    It was the cold war and unlike Iraq there were not six varying countries throwing a myriad of combatants into the fray with varying agendas and varying religious convictions. Even the physical environment demanded a different strategy, insurgents or no insurgents.

    One has to plan for insurgent warfare as invading any country is bound to have those who get the best defense is one of stealth when your foe is as large a target as the US was in Iraq. But for all of the complaints about Counter-Insurgency the one that no one seems willing to state is the simplest. Don't invade countries for which there is no clean or clear motive to do so.

    It's that simple. There was never a need to invade Iraq, if anything we should have readjusted our dynamic and began a process of easing sanctions for their aide in countering terrorism ---

    There was no reason to invade Afghanistan -- even to distribute more bikinis and advance killing children in the womb. We wanted twenty guys and instead we stirred a hornet's nest . . . ok well, more than one.

    Vietnam really was an act of selflessness, we wanted to shore up a small republic seeking a different course to communism. It bolstered our own ideas against the grand schema of the Soviet Union, rightly or wrongly. Now you are not the only one who has a gripe with counterinsurgency ---

    And I think it's a debate/discussion worth having, and while it may be useful to examine COIN as to Vietnam strategically --- I think it can be done minus the incorrect and yet incessant sack cloth and ashes built on mountains of liberal psychological faux trauma as if the trauma of war is somehow unique to Vietnam,. It is not. As you know war is a nasty filthy business, best left alone. But on occasion one gets pushed into a fight as did S. Vietnam and when that screw is turned --- well history is replete of the consequences, the waste, the blood, the brokenness . . .

    The tragedy of war does not mean one loses a war.

    I don’t think that you understand at all the history of the USG involvement in VietNam–an act of selflessness??? What a crock.

    The entire foreign policy of the united states has been controlled by the military/industrial/security/espionage etc etc complex since, at least, the end of WWII. that group doesn’t really care about victory–on going conflict somewhere is the only goal. Personally, I doubt that the USG has ever committed a selfless act in it’s entire history. VietNam was just one stop in a long line of USG aggression.

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    • Agree: jacques sheete, bluedog
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    Short answer --


    The US had very little to gain from aiding Vietnam. If you can find it -- The WH tapes of Pres Johnson does a very nice job of describing his thinking.

    i think S. Vietnam was one of those rare acts.


    It's the 1960's cold war policy not the 1985 neoconservative agenda ----

    , @EliteCommInc.
    There are plenty of complaints to be had about our foreign policy. but we remain one of the most generous , sympathetic nations on this planet to the light of others. And the we have numerous aide and development programs to aide others lives that have no aggression involved: agriculture, infrastructure, and education programs, health services . . .

    disaster relief . . .
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  63. Danny Sjursen says:
    Of course, the U.S. military and Washington policymakers lost the war in Vietnam in the previous century and perhaps it’s well that they did.

    LOL.. True enough. Yet an assortment of “Church of Rambo” true believers in civilian life, including several here on Unz, continue to insist that that the US never lost the war, hell, never even lost a battle- claims all debunked by credible historians and military men who fought there.

    the vast majority of senior American military officers do not. Instead, they’re still refighting the Vietnam War to a far cheerier outcome through the books they read, the scholarship they publish, and (most disturbingly) the policies they continue to pursue in the Greater Middle East.

    The weakness of the piece is that you don’t say exactly which Vietnam approach today’s generals are following. Are they doing the “big battalions” approach of Westmoreland’s “search and destroy”? Are they doing the “Expanding Inkblot” of Marine General Krulak, Sorley’s “Better war”, or John Paul Vann’s “Hearts and Minds”?? You say these are all things from Vietnam but exactly which one is in place, and why is it losing?

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  64. @WorkingClass
    Blah blah blah. That war was a cluster fuck and a crime against humanity. It's only purpose was to make a few rich men richer. The murder and destruction in the MENA is just more of the same.

    Blah blah blah. That war was a cluster fuck and a crime against humanity. It’s only purpose was to make a few rich men richer. The murder and destruction in the MENA is just more of the same.

    Amen to that.

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  65. Danny Sjursen says:
    Two decades later, when the next Vietnam-like quagmire did indeed present itself in Iraq, he and a whole generation of COINdinistas (like-minded officers devoted to his favored counterinsurgency approach to modern warfare) embraced those very conclusions to win the war on terror.

    Again questionable. Petraeus had the correct approach to counter the previous “lets just invade and beat Saddam” approach of Rumsfeld. Rummy’s “lean force” package backed by almost unlimited air power was enough to win the conventional struggle but was woefully short of the numbers needed for occupation and pacification. Same thing happened to Hitler in the Balkans. Initial smooth success, grinding guerrilla attrition for years afterward.

    Both schools, however, agreed on something basic: that the U.S. military should have won in Vietnam.
    “Winning” by 1972 did not contemplate victorious US troops marching into Hanoi, or total abandonment of the field by PAVN/VC but a better final political settlement enabling the southern regime to survive, and/or a “decent interval” for the US to save face.

    n 1999, retired army officer and Vietnam veteran Lewis Sorley penned the definitive hearts-and-minds tract, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam. Sorley boldly asserted that, by the spring of 1970, “the fighting wasn’t over, but the war was won.” According to his comforting tale, the real explanation for failure lay with the “big-war” strategy of U.S. commander General William Westmoreland. The counterinsurgency strategy of his successor, General Creighton Abrams — Sorley’s knight in shining armor — was (or at least should have been) a war winner.

    You are misrepresenting Sorley’s full argument somewhat. SOrley did not envision or claim that there would have been any sweeping US victory with US troops marching into Hanoi, or that the VC/NVA would flee and abandon the struggle. A big part of his argument is for “a better war” – that is- the end game of which inevitably would be a BETTER NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT. Sorley knew quite well that the VC would not disappear (their political apparatus was still in place) and that the NVA would not simply pack up and return north. Sorley’s book “A Better War” contemplates a BETTER FINAL POLITICAL SETTLEMENT as part of the bottom line, not US troops marching triumphantly into downtown Hanoi, as PAVN armies scurried away into the jungle.

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  66. To his disappointment, Daddis also discovered that the only Vietnam War book included was Sorley’s A Better War. This should have surprised no one, since his argument – that American soldiers in Vietnam were denied an impending victory by civilian policymakers, a liberal media, and antiwar protestors – was still resonant among the officer corps in year six of the Iraq quagmire. It wasn’t the military’s fault!

    Keep in mind that Daddis wrote a book on the Vietnam War called ‘No Sure Victory’ in which he pins US failure on not being versed ENOUGH on hearts and minds counterinsurgency war, hence the reliance on massive and unworkable statistical and reporting systems of “progress.”

    “The army’s unpreparedness for counterinsurgency in the early 1960s surely encouraged this confusion. Conventional officers had little experience in developing a counterinsurgency reporting system and applying it within a larger strategic context.. So it was for the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Insufficiently versed in the mysteries of counterinsurgency, officers turned to statistics to assist them in measuring and reporting progress and effectiveness. Statistics, though, bred more statistics, and the MACV headquarters soon became awash in a flood of numbers, facts, and figures.”
    –Daddis, No Sure Victory

    but also potential dangers in such lists as they inevitably influence the thinking of an entire generation of future leaders. In the case of Vietnam, the perils are obvious. The generals have been assigning and reading problematic books for years, works that were essentially meant to reinforce professional pride in the midst of a series of unsuccessful and unending wars.

    You are barking up the wrong tree somewhat. Daddis laments reading list limitations as far as Iraq, but the reading list did not make any difference given 3 issues:

    (a) the decision to go to war in Iraq, when it was not necessary

    (b) the woefully inadequate number of troops provided the commanders for conquest and occupation and

    (c) the cavalier, careless nature of planning for postwar Iraq.

    What was or was not on the reading list is of limited impact given these 3 big realities the civilian leadership saddled commanders with.

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  67. @Carroll Price
    If the war mongers had had an all-volunteer army like the one they have today, they could have and would have kept the Vietnam War going indefinitely. But, since they didn't, draftees and their parents wised-up to the Pentagon's money-making scam and put a stop to it by refusing to participate.

    Not really, for the simple fact that the volunteers could stop enlisting again as cannon fodder. The draft army didn’t really have a choice. On top of that what makes you think the public would accept endless war with a volunteer force?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Wrong! The hill kids outside of the propaganda centers of American noize have no choice other than the guaranteed 3 square, housing and a possible future escape from Shithole, USA that the military provides.
    , @Carroll Price
    Maybe I missed something, but with no military draft since the late 1970s, there's no shortage of volunteer cannon fodder. And after 16 years of continuous no-win wars, the American public seems to be no closer to withdrawing their support as they were shortly after the 9/11 false flag attacks.
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  68. Who gives a fuck about the US terrorists?

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  69. Danny Sjursen says:
    Never mind that neither 100,000 U.S. troops (when I was there in 2011) nor 16 full years of combat could, in the term of the trade, “stabilize” Afghanistan. The can-do, revisionist believers atop the national security state have convinced Trump that — despite his original instincts — 4,000 or 5,000 (or 6,000 or 7,000) more troops (and yet more drones, planes, and other equipment) will do the trick. This represents tragedy bordering on farce.

    Point taken. But the fact is you did not even have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan for 16 years of full combat. And it is a fact that drone strikes, and “more” special forces application DID severely hurt Al Queda infrastructure, leaders, operations and potential for more large scale operations like Sept 11 at least from Afghanistan.

    Furthermore it is questionable whether the policy now is against Trump’s “instincts.” To the contrary, a central feature of his admin is that he appear to “the base” to be “rolling back” the actions of the “accursed” Obama. The so-called “mini-surge” APPEARS to be “rolling back” the “Obama retreat” from Afghanistan, but the numbers involved are more like a “mini-drip” – good for some localized operations but overall of limited country-wide significance. But “the drip” can be waved before “the base” as yet more proof of “rollback.” This is very much in keeping with Trump’s instincts.

    In an interview last June, Petraeus — still considered a sagacious guru of the Defense establishment — disturbingly described the Afghan conflict as “generational.”

    The Korean War is likewise generational, as was the German front for decades until the collapse of the Soviet Union. I have no quarrel with critiques of the wrong war and the wrong time as in Iraq. Afghanistan was the necessary war after 9/11 attacks from the soil of that nation. The question is- how do we wrap it up with enough of a “decent interval”? You provide no details as to what some alternatives are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    You are telli9ng me that a strategy to arrest, capture or kill twenty actors required all out war ---

    Invading Afghanistan was an emotional act more than strategic.

    Another poor grand scheme at regime change.
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  70. When it comes to Vietnam and a cohort of officers shaped in its shadow (and even now convinced it could have been won), “dangerous” hardly describes the results. They’ve helped bring us generational war and, for today’s young soldiers, ceaseless tragedy.

    A case can certainly be made for cutting our losses and exiting the field, but the present situation is not quite a requiem on Vietnam, and the men who now lead. Once they were given their flawed orders by the civilian leadership they were stuck with execution. And in that execution of their flawed orders, some the mistakes in Vietnam were again repeated- such as troop deployment. And far from a focus on counterinsurgency being a flaw, there was clearly NOT ENOUGH focus whether in planning, or in the aftermath of the quick victory by the “lean” invasion force.

    Finally, Petraeus knew/knows that the end result in Afghanistan is not the total eradication of the Taliban. That is virtually impossible- they will always be around at some level. And Petraeus knows the history of Afghanistan as well as anyone- the place cannot be easily tamed. Despite PR about “nation building” the bottom line is a “decent interval” -a period of RELATIVE quiet, whereby America can claim its “Vietnamization” program for Afghanistan is working, and a more or less final exit, with some modest residual airpower (drone and live) and garrison strength left in place.

    If any script is being followed today, it is not a “Total Victory-Taliban free” Afghanistan, but the “decent interval” of Vietnamization. Didn’t work for Nixon, but Afghanistan is different thing. 10 well equipped, hardened Taliban divisions are not camping out in the countryside with 50 more across the border, and another 10 in 3 adjoining countries sanctuaries infiltrating 24/7. Vietnam was a tougher nut than Afghanistan. Today’s generals need only create the conditions for the Viet style “decent interval” then pack up and go home.

    Read More
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  71. @JVC
    I don't think that you understand at all the history of the USG involvement in VietNam--an act of selflessness??? What a crock.

    The entire foreign policy of the united states has been controlled by the military/industrial/security/espionage etc etc complex since, at least, the end of WWII. that group doesn't really care about victory--on going conflict somewhere is the only goal. Personally, I doubt that the USG has ever committed a selfless act in it's entire history. VietNam was just one stop in a long line of USG aggression.

    Short answer –

    The US had very little to gain from aiding Vietnam. If you can find it — The WH tapes of Pres Johnson does a very nice job of describing his thinking.

    i think S. Vietnam was one of those rare acts.

    It’s the 1960′s cold war policy not the 1985 neoconservative agenda —-

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  72. wayfarer says:
    @ElitecommInc.
    I am not a member of the VFW. I don't drink and have never been drunk. There was drug use how prevalent it was is unclear. not enough to prevent mission readiness, it appears.

    A lot has been made of fragging, but if you can find the numbers -- The evidence is very sparse that this practice was anywhere close to a staple. Here's an estimate 800 such incidents attempted. But given that there are only about 13 confirms that estimations is suspect. Some 3 million service members service in Vietnam that's a percentage of 0.026666666666% attempted. The actual number of men who died as the result of fragging 0.0005% and i used the highest number of fifteen actuals.

    There were tragic incidents of mass killings, but those two were rare. The next series of complaints are hard to quantify -- but suffice it to say, whatever the complaints -- when push came to shove the US service member repeatedly got the job done. And contrary to your comments, the process of the US withdrawal is well documented. More than anything, they secured a line of defense, and the situation at home was the most pressing. There is no evidence that the US ran from the battle field.

    OI think the evidence is clear that we should maintained support via air and sea power to ensure the victory was maintained on behalf of the S. Vietnamese who fought and died to defend their country. kudos to the Aussie's for their loyal support.

    I was working as a carpenter in San Diego years ago.

    Met a psycho Marine veteran, who very briefly told me how he fragged an officer in Vietnam.

    Don’t remember too many details as there weren’t many and I wasn’t asking questions, just that he was out on some patrol and decided to kill an officer he didn’t like, then used his boot to kick/wedge a dog tag between the dead officer’s front teeth.

    Same dude came storming at me in a rage one day, with a carpenter’s hatchet in his hand. As he was explaining/rationalizing why he was going to bury it in my skull, I didn’t say one word. Just calmly stared him straight in the eyes, thinking to myself, this is all she wrote.

    Fortunately for me, he decided to just turn and walk away.

    End of story.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    One the most profound well known stories of PTSD is the Story of Audie Murphy.


    Creates insane environments in which we ask rational human beings to respond rationally, the result trauma. How much of that trauma impacts anyone soldier is an unknown. The best we can do is prepare men to deal with insane environments with training. regardless of the same ---


    Some will come back more phased and unable to cope with peace time environments. I have no clue what was the issue with this individual based on your rendering. What I do know is that we need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life. but Vietnam is no unique creator of stress after conflict.

    No conflict owns the damage we inflict on our fellows ---

    Delighted the situation was resolved peacefully. It was the conflict, not Vietnam, if it was that.
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  73. @EnriiqueCardovaa
    Danny Sjursen says:
    Never mind that neither 100,000 U.S. troops (when I was there in 2011) nor 16 full years of combat could, in the term of the trade, “stabilize” Afghanistan. The can-do, revisionist believers atop the national security state have convinced Trump that — despite his original instincts — 4,000 or 5,000 (or 6,000 or 7,000) more troops (and yet more drones, planes, and other equipment) will do the trick. This represents tragedy bordering on farce.

    Point taken. But the fact is you did not even have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan for 16 years of full combat. And it is a fact that drone strikes, and "more" special forces application DID severely hurt Al Queda infrastructure, leaders, operations and potential for more large scale operations like Sept 11 at least from Afghanistan.

    Furthermore it is questionable whether the policy now is against Trump's "instincts." To the contrary, a central feature of his admin is that he appear to "the base" to be "rolling back" the actions of the "accursed" Obama. The so-called "mini-surge" APPEARS to be "rolling back" the "Obama retreat" from Afghanistan, but the numbers involved are more like a "mini-drip" - good for some localized operations but overall of limited country-wide significance. But "the drip" can be waved before "the base" as yet more proof of "rollback." This is very much in keeping with Trump's instincts.


    In an interview last June, Petraeus — still considered a sagacious guru of the Defense establishment — disturbingly described the Afghan conflict as “generational.”

    The Korean War is likewise generational, as was the German front for decades until the collapse of the Soviet Union. I have no quarrel with critiques of the wrong war and the wrong time as in Iraq. Afghanistan was the necessary war after 9/11 attacks from the soil of that nation. The question is- how do we wrap it up with enough of a "decent interval"? You provide no details as to what some alternatives are.

    You are telli9ng me that a strategy to arrest, capture or kill twenty actors required all out war —

    Invading Afghanistan was an emotional act more than strategic.

    Another poor grand scheme at regime change.

    Read More
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  74. Who really gives a fuck about the US morons?

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  75. @wayfarer
    I was working as a carpenter in San Diego years ago.

    Met a psycho Marine veteran, who very briefly told me how he fragged an officer in Vietnam.

    Don't remember too many details as there weren't many and I wasn't asking questions, just that he was out on some patrol and decided to kill an officer he didn't like, then used his boot to kick/wedge a dog tag between the dead officer's front teeth.

    Same dude came storming at me in a rage one day, with a carpenter's hatchet in his hand. As he was explaining/rationalizing why he was going to bury it in my skull, I didn't say one word. Just calmly stared him straight in the eyes, thinking to myself, this is all she wrote.

    Fortunately for me, he decided to just turn and walk away.

    End of story.

    One the most profound well known stories of PTSD is the Story of Audie Murphy.

    Creates insane environments in which we ask rational human beings to respond rationally, the result trauma. How much of that trauma impacts anyone soldier is an unknown. The best we can do is prepare men to deal with insane environments with training. regardless of the same —

    Some will come back more phased and unable to cope with peace time environments. I have no clue what was the issue with this individual based on your rendering. What I do know is that we need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life. but Vietnam is no unique creator of stress after conflict.

    No conflict owns the damage we inflict on our fellows —

    Delighted the situation was resolved peacefully. It was the conflict, not Vietnam, if it was that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Whoever

    [W]e need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life.
     
    Maybe. But what we may soon be doing is screening individuals for genetic risk factors predisposing them to PTSD before selecting them for training in combat specialties or assigning them to war zones.

    "[F]indings advance our understanding of stress susceptibility for psychiatric disorders by identifying SKA2 as a potential biomarker of the effects of stress exposure on cortical thickness in psychiatrically relevant brain regions. As a putative molecular measure of cumulative dysregulation in stress response systems, SKA2 epigenetic variation may be a useful blood biomarker for screening military personnel prior to deployment to identify individuals with a high lifetime burden of stress who are at risk for developing PTSD and suicide following exposure to warzone stress."

    SKA2 Methylation is associated with Decreased Prefrontal Cortical Thickness and Greater PTSD Severity among Trauma-Exposed Veterans
    , @wayfarer
    That particular Marine veteran was given an ultimatum by a judge in Hawaii, go to jail for a crime committed or volunteer for military service and Vietnam.

    At least this is what I was told by him. I'm sure he wasn't playing with a full-deck long before his battlefield traumas.

    I've known many combat veterans in my days. Most do not openly volunteer narratives about their experience.

    Probably the most interesting of them all was a dude from Wyoming who served with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam (1967 – 1968).

    We worked together in San Diego, and became close friends.

    He enjoyed, “shooting the shit.” A natural born storyteller with a photographic memory. I heard lots of in depth and detailed Vietnam combat tales from him.

    I came to a conclusion that storytelling was his way of self-medicating, it was his therapy. Kind of like a pressure cooker being able to slowly release its internal pressure.

    One thing was certain, his mind had some dark permanent fixtures, images, feelings and emotions that would remain with him for life.

    I believe that openly expressing one's self is good medicine. I've found that 99 out of a 100 people could care less what you have to say. But when you find that 1 in a 100 who does listen, who does seem to be interested, who shows some empathy – then you've found your godsend.

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  76. Whoever says: • Website
    @EliteCommInc.
    One the most profound well known stories of PTSD is the Story of Audie Murphy.


    Creates insane environments in which we ask rational human beings to respond rationally, the result trauma. How much of that trauma impacts anyone soldier is an unknown. The best we can do is prepare men to deal with insane environments with training. regardless of the same ---


    Some will come back more phased and unable to cope with peace time environments. I have no clue what was the issue with this individual based on your rendering. What I do know is that we need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life. but Vietnam is no unique creator of stress after conflict.

    No conflict owns the damage we inflict on our fellows ---

    Delighted the situation was resolved peacefully. It was the conflict, not Vietnam, if it was that.

    [W]e need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life.

    Maybe. But what we may soon be doing is screening individuals for genetic risk factors predisposing them to PTSD before selecting them for training in combat specialties or assigning them to war zones.

    “[F]indings advance our understanding of stress susceptibility for psychiatric disorders by identifying SKA2 as a potential biomarker of the effects of stress exposure on cortical thickness in psychiatrically relevant brain regions. As a putative molecular measure of cumulative dysregulation in stress response systems, SKA2 epigenetic variation may be a useful blood biomarker for screening military personnel prior to deployment to identify individuals with a high lifetime burden of stress who are at risk for developing PTSD and suicide following exposure to warzone stress.”

    SKA2 Methylation is associated with Decreased Prefrontal Cortical Thickness and Greater PTSD Severity among Trauma-Exposed Veterans

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    There are tales of people be given that choice or that encouragement. I am not sure how prevalent it is. But I would hold suspect any precursor findings related to DNA, The dynamics of interactive human contact and other environmental factors are just too profound. Unless it is devastatingly obvious(?) war impacts every mind. Military service impacts every mind - to some extent it causes change by design. I suspect that no better screening process will surpass the boot camp and subsequent training process.

    Note: I am not opposed at suggestion of the value of eugenics, but I think it is abundantly clear environmental issues far outweigh DNA except in rare cases. All human beings have stress limitations and in my view those stress limitations are not static. We van do more with static data (structural) as of biology) but the mind is a lot of components, that interact in a multitude of ways -- interesting.

    I am convinced that transitioning space will be helpful, especially from wartime environments to peacetime environments. With almost no use of and mind altering substances - during that period, save for extreme instances.
    , @EliteCommInc.
    There are tales of people be given that choice or that encouragement. I am not sure how prevalent it is. But I would hold suspect any precursor findings related to DNA, The dynamics of interactive human contact and other environmental factors are just too profound. Unless it is devastatingly obvious(?) war impacts every mind. Military service impacts every mind - to some extent it causes change by design. I suspect that no better screening process will surpass the boot camp and subsequent training process.

    Note: I am not opposed at suggestion of the value of eugenics, but I think it is abundantly clear environmental issues far outweigh DNA except in rare cases. All human beings have stress limitations and in my view those stress limitations are not static. We van do more with static data (structural biology weight, muscles, etc.) but the mind is a lot of components, that interact in a multitude of ways -- interesting.

    I am convinced that transitioning space will be helpful, especially from wartime environments to peacetime environments. With almost no use of and mind altering substances - during that period, save for extreme instances.

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  77. Empire created on basis of Stockholm syndrome, usually does not last forever.

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  78. wayfarer says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    One the most profound well known stories of PTSD is the Story of Audie Murphy.


    Creates insane environments in which we ask rational human beings to respond rationally, the result trauma. How much of that trauma impacts anyone soldier is an unknown. The best we can do is prepare men to deal with insane environments with training. regardless of the same ---


    Some will come back more phased and unable to cope with peace time environments. I have no clue what was the issue with this individual based on your rendering. What I do know is that we need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life. but Vietnam is no unique creator of stress after conflict.

    No conflict owns the damage we inflict on our fellows ---

    Delighted the situation was resolved peacefully. It was the conflict, not Vietnam, if it was that.

    That particular Marine veteran was given an ultimatum by a judge in Hawaii, go to jail for a crime committed or volunteer for military service and Vietnam.

    At least this is what I was told by him. I’m sure he wasn’t playing with a full-deck long before his battlefield traumas.

    I’ve known many combat veterans in my days. Most do not openly volunteer narratives about their experience.

    Probably the most interesting of them all was a dude from Wyoming who served with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam (1967 – 1968).

    We worked together in San Diego, and became close friends.

    He enjoyed, “shooting the shit.” A natural born storyteller with a photographic memory. I heard lots of in depth and detailed Vietnam combat tales from him.

    I came to a conclusion that storytelling was his way of self-medicating, it was his therapy. Kind of like a pressure cooker being able to slowly release its internal pressure.

    One thing was certain, his mind had some dark permanent fixtures, images, feelings and emotions that would remain with him for life.

    I believe that openly expressing one’s self is good medicine. I’ve found that 99 out of a 100 people could care less what you have to say. But when you find that 1 in a 100 who does listen, who does seem to be interested, who shows some empathy – then you’ve found your godsend.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    I am not opposed talking, including story telling . . . in the oral or written traditions in aiding transitions to civilian life.
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  79. @EliteCommInc.
    Well Major,

    we are deeply at odds. We did not lose the Vietnam conflict. I am confident that billions of dollars have been spent drilling that myth into the minds of well everyone. I remember being a young poli-sci student in KS. And as I listened to the lecture on Vietnam, did the reading my conclusion was so distant from his as to cause me no small amount of turmoil. The contention that we lost Vietnam is so counter to the data -- it makes the Twilight Zone look like Gilligan's Island, the twists on reality are directionless -- but conclude we lost, when nothing could be further from the truth.


    I have another theory, the reason that Vietnam remains etched in the psyche is because the analysis was political as opposed to what actually occurred. This kind of hyperventilated self flagellating recriminations will distort truth. Perception over reality -- then becomes self fulling history.
    _________________


    But to the point. The US has lost two wars: The war of 1812 and in my view, the Iraq conflict -- no direct fault of those on the ground doing the fighting. And we may lose the Afghanistan gambit. It's a loss because it fell apart during our occupation. The guerrilla warfare (asymmetrics) was not the issues for that failure. The failure was in

    1. unjustifiable cause
    2. poor implementation
    3. under resourced
    4. an inability to maintain order among communities -- (1-3)
    5. and just a lot of bad decisions

    Trying compare Vietnam to Iraq is like trying compare a stone to water in similarity. You might be able to some generic references and very tiny specifics, but overall: the environment politically and strategically, just never mesh. We didn't invade Vietnam. They had a functioning government. There were clear lines of who was who based on borders (I am not ignoring the insurgency -- Vietcong, etc.
    It was the cold war and unlike Iraq there were not six varying countries throwing a myriad of combatants into the fray with varying agendas and varying religious convictions. Even the physical environment demanded a different strategy, insurgents or no insurgents.

    One has to plan for insurgent warfare as invading any country is bound to have those who get the best defense is one of stealth when your foe is as large a target as the US was in Iraq. But for all of the complaints about Counter-Insurgency the one that no one seems willing to state is the simplest. Don't invade countries for which there is no clean or clear motive to do so.

    It's that simple. There was never a need to invade Iraq, if anything we should have readjusted our dynamic and began a process of easing sanctions for their aide in countering terrorism ---

    There was no reason to invade Afghanistan -- even to distribute more bikinis and advance killing children in the womb. We wanted twenty guys and instead we stirred a hornet's nest . . . ok well, more than one.

    Vietnam really was an act of selflessness, we wanted to shore up a small republic seeking a different course to communism. It bolstered our own ideas against the grand schema of the Soviet Union, rightly or wrongly. Now you are not the only one who has a gripe with counterinsurgency ---

    And I think it's a debate/discussion worth having, and while it may be useful to examine COIN as to Vietnam strategically --- I think it can be done minus the incorrect and yet incessant sack cloth and ashes built on mountains of liberal psychological faux trauma as if the trauma of war is somehow unique to Vietnam,. It is not. As you know war is a nasty filthy business, best left alone. But on occasion one gets pushed into a fight as did S. Vietnam and when that screw is turned --- well history is replete of the consequences, the waste, the blood, the brokenness . . .

    The tragedy of war does not mean one loses a war.

    We did not lose the Vietnam conflict.

    Did America achieve its war aims?

    If not, then to say America did not lose is no better than Saddam Hussein declaring victory in the “Mother of All Battles” (the battle for Kuwait in the first Gulf War).

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    The US did achieve it's goals in Vietnam. The failure to assist the S. Vietnamese was a mistake, in my view.


    The US did not achieve it's goals in Iraq save for one, and that was negative from the outset - regime change, in fact, our efforts in Iraq actually undermined some valuable strategic goals in the region.


    The US and her allies successfully removed Iraq from Kuwait.
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  80. tael says:

    Since 2003 US active soldiers and veterans have commited suicide well above the 100.000+range now.
    Now and then it takes half a century for the public to peep at this kind of thing outside of the denial zone, like it’s volontarily classified for their brains to be a tiny bit concious.. ..
    So, at the end of this century it is safe enough to let the reality and all it’s impact over time sink in?
    Like the people killed by those same veterans, all of this is in vain, again and again. You are not capable of any reflection leading to peace and freedom so why pretend?

    Read More
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  81. @Whoever

    [W]e need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life.
     
    Maybe. But what we may soon be doing is screening individuals for genetic risk factors predisposing them to PTSD before selecting them for training in combat specialties or assigning them to war zones.

    "[F]indings advance our understanding of stress susceptibility for psychiatric disorders by identifying SKA2 as a potential biomarker of the effects of stress exposure on cortical thickness in psychiatrically relevant brain regions. As a putative molecular measure of cumulative dysregulation in stress response systems, SKA2 epigenetic variation may be a useful blood biomarker for screening military personnel prior to deployment to identify individuals with a high lifetime burden of stress who are at risk for developing PTSD and suicide following exposure to warzone stress."

    SKA2 Methylation is associated with Decreased Prefrontal Cortical Thickness and Greater PTSD Severity among Trauma-Exposed Veterans

    There are tales of people be given that choice or that encouragement. I am not sure how prevalent it is. But I would hold suspect any precursor findings related to DNA, The dynamics of interactive human contact and other environmental factors are just too profound. Unless it is devastatingly obvious(?) war impacts every mind. Military service impacts every mind – to some extent it causes change by design. I suspect that no better screening process will surpass the boot camp and subsequent training process.

    Note: I am not opposed at suggestion of the value of eugenics, but I think it is abundantly clear environmental issues far outweigh DNA except in rare cases. All human beings have stress limitations and in my view those stress limitations are not static. We van do more with static data (structural) as of biology) but the mind is a lot of components, that interact in a multitude of ways — interesting.

    I am convinced that transitioning space will be helpful, especially from wartime environments to peacetime environments. With almost no use of and mind altering substances – during that period, save for extreme instances.

    Read More
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  82. @Whoever

    [W]e need to provide transitional space and work for every service member before they return to civilian life.
     
    Maybe. But what we may soon be doing is screening individuals for genetic risk factors predisposing them to PTSD before selecting them for training in combat specialties or assigning them to war zones.

    "[F]indings advance our understanding of stress susceptibility for psychiatric disorders by identifying SKA2 as a potential biomarker of the effects of stress exposure on cortical thickness in psychiatrically relevant brain regions. As a putative molecular measure of cumulative dysregulation in stress response systems, SKA2 epigenetic variation may be a useful blood biomarker for screening military personnel prior to deployment to identify individuals with a high lifetime burden of stress who are at risk for developing PTSD and suicide following exposure to warzone stress."

    SKA2 Methylation is associated with Decreased Prefrontal Cortical Thickness and Greater PTSD Severity among Trauma-Exposed Veterans

    There are tales of people be given that choice or that encouragement. I am not sure how prevalent it is. But I would hold suspect any precursor findings related to DNA, The dynamics of interactive human contact and other environmental factors are just too profound. Unless it is devastatingly obvious(?) war impacts every mind. Military service impacts every mind – to some extent it causes change by design. I suspect that no better screening process will surpass the boot camp and subsequent training process.

    Note: I am not opposed at suggestion of the value of eugenics, but I think it is abundantly clear environmental issues far outweigh DNA except in rare cases. All human beings have stress limitations and in my view those stress limitations are not static. We van do more with static data (structural biology weight, muscles, etc.) but the mind is a lot of components, that interact in a multitude of ways — interesting.

    I am convinced that transitioning space will be helpful, especially from wartime environments to peacetime environments. With almost no use of and mind altering substances – during that period, save for extreme instances.

    Read More
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  83. @JVC
    I don't think that you understand at all the history of the USG involvement in VietNam--an act of selflessness??? What a crock.

    The entire foreign policy of the united states has been controlled by the military/industrial/security/espionage etc etc complex since, at least, the end of WWII. that group doesn't really care about victory--on going conflict somewhere is the only goal. Personally, I doubt that the USG has ever committed a selfless act in it's entire history. VietNam was just one stop in a long line of USG aggression.

    There are plenty of complaints to be had about our foreign policy. but we remain one of the most generous , sympathetic nations on this planet to the light of others. And the we have numerous aide and development programs to aide others lives that have no aggression involved: agriculture, infrastructure, and education programs, health services . . .

    disaster relief . . .

    Read More
    • Replies: @nsa
    So which is your favorite "generous and sympathetic" program......Operation Phoenix? There are 195 countries on the planet......JUSA has attacked at least 120 of them. You must be some kind of experimental govt bot....possibly a defective Darpa AI experiment that escaped from the lab.
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  84. @James N. Kennett

    We did not lose the Vietnam conflict.
     
    Did America achieve its war aims?

    If not, then to say America did not lose is no better than Saddam Hussein declaring victory in the "Mother of All Battles" (the battle for Kuwait in the first Gulf War).

    The US did achieve it’s goals in Vietnam. The failure to assist the S. Vietnamese was a mistake, in my view.

    The US did not achieve it’s goals in Iraq save for one, and that was negative from the outset – regime change, in fact, our efforts in Iraq actually undermined some valuable strategic goals in the region.

    The US and her allies successfully removed Iraq from Kuwait.

    Read More
    • Replies: @James N. Kennett

    The US did achieve it’s goals in Vietnam.
     
    Did those goals include the prevention of a North Vietnamese communist takeover of South Vietnam? Or the containment of communism in order to prevent neighboring countries such as Cambodia falling like dominoes under the communist advance?
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  85. @wayfarer
    That particular Marine veteran was given an ultimatum by a judge in Hawaii, go to jail for a crime committed or volunteer for military service and Vietnam.

    At least this is what I was told by him. I'm sure he wasn't playing with a full-deck long before his battlefield traumas.

    I've known many combat veterans in my days. Most do not openly volunteer narratives about their experience.

    Probably the most interesting of them all was a dude from Wyoming who served with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam (1967 – 1968).

    We worked together in San Diego, and became close friends.

    He enjoyed, “shooting the shit.” A natural born storyteller with a photographic memory. I heard lots of in depth and detailed Vietnam combat tales from him.

    I came to a conclusion that storytelling was his way of self-medicating, it was his therapy. Kind of like a pressure cooker being able to slowly release its internal pressure.

    One thing was certain, his mind had some dark permanent fixtures, images, feelings and emotions that would remain with him for life.

    I believe that openly expressing one's self is good medicine. I've found that 99 out of a 100 people could care less what you have to say. But when you find that 1 in a 100 who does listen, who does seem to be interested, who shows some empathy – then you've found your godsend.

    I am not opposed talking, including story telling . . . in the oral or written traditions in aiding transitions to civilian life.

    Read More
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  86. nsa says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    There are plenty of complaints to be had about our foreign policy. but we remain one of the most generous , sympathetic nations on this planet to the light of others. And the we have numerous aide and development programs to aide others lives that have no aggression involved: agriculture, infrastructure, and education programs, health services . . .

    disaster relief . . .

    So which is your favorite “generous and sympathetic” program……Operation Phoenix? There are 195 countries on the planet……JUSA has attacked at least 120 of them. You must be some kind of experimental govt bot….possibly a defective Darpa AI experiment that escaped from the lab.

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  87. @EliteCommInc.
    The US did achieve it's goals in Vietnam. The failure to assist the S. Vietnamese was a mistake, in my view.


    The US did not achieve it's goals in Iraq save for one, and that was negative from the outset - regime change, in fact, our efforts in Iraq actually undermined some valuable strategic goals in the region.


    The US and her allies successfully removed Iraq from Kuwait.

    The US did achieve it’s goals in Vietnam.

    Did those goals include the prevention of a North Vietnamese communist takeover of South Vietnam? Or the containment of communism in order to prevent neighboring countries such as Cambodia falling like dominoes under the communist advance?

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    The US , South Vietnam, and the Australian contingents did prevent the communist takeover, and forced n. Vietnam to the table.

    Should the US have ensure/secured that victory by maintaining air and sea artillery support to the S Vietnamese who demonstrated that they could fight effectively on the ground -- they should have.

    The attempt by the Vietnamese to expand communism into Cambodia was a failure. However, if you are discussing the invasion that occurred in 1978(?) five years after the US left Vietnam, The answer is clearly, No.

    I find a very curious advance to announce any military victory as a victory over the US when in fact, the US was not present.
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  88. @Carlton Meyer
    They established a myth that we almost won in Vietnam but the politicians wouldn't let us finish the job, claiming we never lost a battle in Vietnam. That is false, so I posted a list of 104 "Lost Battles of the Vietnam War" that squashed this myth.

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    Someone was killed and the battle was lost. You’re a fucking idiot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    this is not anew tactic. iy amounts to using every incident as a battle and then makes claims that the US engaged in cover-ups.


    When we speak of battles with respect to war, the general understanding are the large scale engagements for territorial control/advance. Sure there were small unit engagements and incidents of ambush in which US personnel lost their lives -- but that is not really what's the table.

    Sure the US took losses and even made mistakes. But if your read very carefully, even the list of supposed lost battles, the end amounts to US victories. No one disputes that the loss of some 60,000 men and some number of women occurred because the US never lost an engagement or losses in engagements they were successful in.
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  89. @James N. Kennett

    The US did achieve it’s goals in Vietnam.
     
    Did those goals include the prevention of a North Vietnamese communist takeover of South Vietnam? Or the containment of communism in order to prevent neighboring countries such as Cambodia falling like dominoes under the communist advance?

    The US , South Vietnam, and the Australian contingents did prevent the communist takeover, and forced n. Vietnam to the table.

    Should the US have ensure/secured that victory by maintaining air and sea artillery support to the S Vietnamese who demonstrated that they could fight effectively on the ground — they should have.

    The attempt by the Vietnamese to expand communism into Cambodia was a failure. However, if you are discussing the invasion that occurred in 1978(?) five years after the US left Vietnam, The answer is clearly, No.

    I find a very curious advance to announce any military victory as a victory over the US when in fact, the US was not present.

    Read More
    • Replies: @James N. Kennett

    The US , South Vietnam, and the Australian contingents did prevent the communist takeover, and forced n. Vietnam to the table.
     
    By "prevent" I think you mean "delay".

    I find a very curious advance to announce any military victory as a victory over the US when in fact, the US was not present.
     
    Nobody is declaring victory. However, if the US was not defeated in 1975 because it was not present, then it could have achieved the same result by not being present between 1964 and 1973.

    It seems to me that you are inadvertently making the same point as the author of this article: that America's traumatic experience in Vietnam makes it difficult for Americans to think clearly about the episode; and that this is important, because it prevents the learning of appropriate lessons that relate to the conflicts of the present day.
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  90. @you'refullofcrap
    Someone was killed and the battle was lost. You're a fucking idiot.

    this is not anew tactic. iy amounts to using every incident as a battle and then makes claims that the US engaged in cover-ups.

    When we speak of battles with respect to war, the general understanding are the large scale engagements for territorial control/advance. Sure there were small unit engagements and incidents of ambush in which US personnel lost their lives — but that is not really what’s the table.

    Sure the US took losses and even made mistakes. But if your read very carefully, even the list of supposed lost battles, the end amounts to US victories. No one disputes that the loss of some 60,000 men and some number of women occurred because the US never lost an engagement or losses in engagements they were successful in.

    Read More
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  91. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @EnriiqueCardovaa
    Not really, for the simple fact that the volunteers could stop enlisting again as cannon fodder. The draft army didn't really have a choice. On top of that what makes you think the public would accept endless war with a volunteer force?

    Wrong! The hill kids outside of the propaganda centers of American noize have no choice other than the guaranteed 3 square, housing and a possible future escape from Shithole, USA that the military provides.

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  92. @EnriiqueCardovaa
    Not really, for the simple fact that the volunteers could stop enlisting again as cannon fodder. The draft army didn't really have a choice. On top of that what makes you think the public would accept endless war with a volunteer force?

    Maybe I missed something, but with no military draft since the late 1970s, there’s no shortage of volunteer cannon fodder. And after 16 years of continuous no-win wars, the American public seems to be no closer to withdrawing their support as they were shortly after the 9/11 false flag attacks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EnriqqueCardova
    Not necessarily. Remember it was public displeasure with the war that got a possible Bush successor defeated in the presidential elections, and continual skepticism caused Obama to begin the draw down in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe Trump will rebuild that good old American "can do" spirit, and volunteers will once more flock to the colors. According to the report below, the volunteer force has been slowly shrinking.
    https://www.stripes.com/news/pentagon-military-civilian-disconnect-could-endanger-all-volunteer-force-1.507427
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  93. @EliteCommInc.
    The US , South Vietnam, and the Australian contingents did prevent the communist takeover, and forced n. Vietnam to the table.

    Should the US have ensure/secured that victory by maintaining air and sea artillery support to the S Vietnamese who demonstrated that they could fight effectively on the ground -- they should have.

    The attempt by the Vietnamese to expand communism into Cambodia was a failure. However, if you are discussing the invasion that occurred in 1978(?) five years after the US left Vietnam, The answer is clearly, No.

    I find a very curious advance to announce any military victory as a victory over the US when in fact, the US was not present.

    The US , South Vietnam, and the Australian contingents did prevent the communist takeover, and forced n. Vietnam to the table.

    By “prevent” I think you mean “delay”.

    I find a very curious advance to announce any military victory as a victory over the US when in fact, the US was not present.

    Nobody is declaring victory. However, if the US was not defeated in 1975 because it was not present, then it could have achieved the same result by not being present between 1964 and 1973.

    It seems to me that you are inadvertently making the same point as the author of this article: that America’s traumatic experience in Vietnam makes it difficult for Americans to think clearly about the episode; and that this is important, because it prevents the learning of appropriate lessons that relate to the conflicts of the present day.

    Read More
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  94. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why would anyone join the military after the nightmare of Vietnam? Danny Sjursen joined up and earned his war criminal credentials in Iraq. If you don’t profit from killing women and children around the world why do it?

    The slaves need to ask themselves – what victory has the US military delivered over the last 50 years other than profits for corporations? The US has doddering old generals who couldn’t win a gang war in LA, much less a real war. How could the giant, magnificent US military not win a war in Iraq it started almost 15 years ago? Because the profit lies in constant war, not endings.

    Wave the American Flag and support the Troops and be Patriotrotic while the rich steal our taxes to pay for the “massive” military. The only concern for the masters is how to prevent any of the slaves from actually resisting the next big war. Mass murder, widespread looting and rape should be thought of as a sporting event by the proles, with two teams in which one wins and the other loses. It takes a whole lot of controlled opposition to run an empire.

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  95. I very clear.

    the US prevented — I am not making any bones — US presence or US support as noted were factors.

    I clearly contend that the goal was achieved by 1973. I would even extend that to 1974(?) when the S. Vietnamese repelled N. Vietnam after US troops departed. Your argument suggests that mere presence is to victory, that is not what I am contending — presence does require an effective effort.

    The differences are several fold.

    – we won Vietnam
    – it’s a very limited comparison because of the strategic environments cold war verses post cold war
    – aiding by way of state invitation verses invasion violating another sovereignty
    – established marks of territorial and political objectives verses entering a theater in which no
    territorial boundaries exist
    – nonreligious agendas verses religion as primary actor
    – i think COIN is worthy of consideration given the realities of occupying any state that might have
    insurgent pushback. It is my understanding that the author thinks COIN is a opportunistic money
    power grab and prestige gambit resulting from Vietnamese angst.

    More nuance than I care to admit.

    laugh —— in direct response after some thought — No. I am not convinced that COIN relies on a better understanding of Vietnam. Though our approach to future conflicts might The elephant on that question is Iraq I — A successful campaign many times over with an astonishing bare loss of life. I think we thought that had settled the ghosts of Vietnam. Like Vietnam it was a response to an invading state into another. We should have decimated Vietnam’s ability to prosecute further war in any manner. We should have hunted down and destroyed the Vietcong, that routinely acted on their own accord, despite direction from Hanoi. warfare is filthy business. If we are going to do it — we should with clear resolve.

    we do agree that the the so called,”war on terror” is a policy rife with negative consequences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EnriqqueCardova
    You are misinformed. Credible military men who were there, including guys like Harry Summers, and credible Marine officers who were there, say we lost, as do many of today's military analysts and soldiers like Gregory Daddis referenced up above. What was achieved by 1973 was that the VC was severely hurt compared to their previous strength and increasingly was filled out by NVA troopers. The MAJOR regular NVA formations also were hurt. But both these entities still maintained a strong presence on the ground. The VC cut back on major attacks, but still continued its recruiting and terrorist activities. The NVA did NOT withdraw but kept several divisions in place WITHIN South Vietnam. They cut back on major operations and relied more heavily on sapper raids and stand-off mortar and rocket attacks, but they never quit fighting, they just scaled back intensity as they reorganized for another push. The ARVN had some local success but again, they were fighting a regrouping force but very much alive occupation force still remained WITHIN SVN, not expelled. PAVN did not go home but remained in place. The US conceded this major point at the bargaining table in an effort to cut and go, essentially leaving a dagger in the heart of SVN.

    And the ARVN did not "repel" North Vietnam in 1974. LOL, this is sheer fantasy, unsupported by the record. Perhaps in some LOCAL operations it may have fended off NVA and took over some territory, but all that was WITHIN SVN, where the NVA overall remained entrenched and in place, and biding its time for the major push in 1975, including building up a vast logistical work extending into SVN, complete with pipelines for fuel, and paved roads for truck traffic. In fact by late 1974, the SVN security situation began to deteriorate. Four months into 1975, it fell apart like a bad hand of cards.

    In the end, the major American policy objective, a strong independent SVN able to manage on its own was defeated, and was a failure. When your objective, for which you have expanded substantial life and treasure is not accomplished, it is a defeat by most credible definitions.
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  96. @Carroll Price
    Maybe I missed something, but with no military draft since the late 1970s, there's no shortage of volunteer cannon fodder. And after 16 years of continuous no-win wars, the American public seems to be no closer to withdrawing their support as they were shortly after the 9/11 false flag attacks.

    Not necessarily. Remember it was public displeasure with the war that got a possible Bush successor defeated in the presidential elections, and continual skepticism caused Obama to begin the draw down in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe Trump will rebuild that good old American “can do” spirit, and volunteers will once more flock to the colors. According to the report below, the volunteer force has been slowly shrinking.

    https://www.stripes.com/news/pentagon-military-civilian-disconnect-could-endanger-all-volunteer-force-1.507427

    Read More
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  97. @EliteComminc.
    I very clear.

    the US prevented --- I am not making any bones -- US presence or US support as noted were factors.


    I clearly contend that the goal was achieved by 1973. I would even extend that to 1974(?) when the S. Vietnamese repelled N. Vietnam after US troops departed. Your argument suggests that mere presence is to victory, that is not what I am contending -- presence does require an effective effort.

    The differences are several fold.

    -- we won Vietnam
    -- it's a very limited comparison because of the strategic environments cold war verses post cold war
    -- aiding by way of state invitation verses invasion violating another sovereignty
    -- established marks of territorial and political objectives verses entering a theater in which no
    territorial boundaries exist
    -- nonreligious agendas verses religion as primary actor
    -- i think COIN is worthy of consideration given the realities of occupying any state that might have
    insurgent pushback. It is my understanding that the author thinks COIN is a opportunistic money
    power grab and prestige gambit resulting from Vietnamese angst.


    More nuance than I care to admit.

    laugh ------ in direct response after some thought -- No. I am not convinced that COIN relies on a better understanding of Vietnam. Though our approach to future conflicts might The elephant on that question is Iraq I --- A successful campaign many times over with an astonishing bare loss of life. I think we thought that had settled the ghosts of Vietnam. Like Vietnam it was a response to an invading state into another. We should have decimated Vietnam's ability to prosecute further war in any manner. We should have hunted down and destroyed the Vietcong, that routinely acted on their own accord, despite direction from Hanoi. warfare is filthy business. If we are going to do it -- we should with clear resolve.

    we do agree that the the so called,"war on terror" is a policy rife with negative consequences.

    You are misinformed. Credible military men who were there, including guys like Harry Summers, and credible Marine officers who were there, say we lost, as do many of today’s military analysts and soldiers like Gregory Daddis referenced up above. What was achieved by 1973 was that the VC was severely hurt compared to their previous strength and increasingly was filled out by NVA troopers. The MAJOR regular NVA formations also were hurt. But both these entities still maintained a strong presence on the ground. The VC cut back on major attacks, but still continued its recruiting and terrorist activities. The NVA did NOT withdraw but kept several divisions in place WITHIN South Vietnam. They cut back on major operations and relied more heavily on sapper raids and stand-off mortar and rocket attacks, but they never quit fighting, they just scaled back intensity as they reorganized for another push. The ARVN had some local success but again, they were fighting a regrouping force but very much alive occupation force still remained WITHIN SVN, not expelled. PAVN did not go home but remained in place. The US conceded this major point at the bargaining table in an effort to cut and go, essentially leaving a dagger in the heart of SVN.

    And the ARVN did not “repel” North Vietnam in 1974. LOL, this is sheer fantasy, unsupported by the record. Perhaps in some LOCAL operations it may have fended off NVA and took over some territory, but all that was WITHIN SVN, where the NVA overall remained entrenched and in place, and biding its time for the major push in 1975, including building up a vast logistical work extending into SVN, complete with pipelines for fuel, and paved roads for truck traffic. In fact by late 1974, the SVN security situation began to deteriorate. Four months into 1975, it fell apart like a bad hand of cards.

    In the end, the major American policy objective, a strong independent SVN able to manage on its own was defeated, and was a failure. When your objective, for which you have expanded substantial life and treasure is not accomplished, it is a defeat by most credible definitions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    this has got to be one of the bizarre responses to what is on the table. no kidding, lots of Vietnam veterans who were there and believe that the US lost. That is part and parcel to the discussion. In previous discussions on articles in which I have participated, Vietnam veterans who were their roundly dispute that we lost. Their response is much simpler than my own.

    "We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict."

    Furthermore being their as you posit it is merely an appeal to authority or expertise. As I have made the case -- based not on appeals to anyone accept the data about the conflict itself. When N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory - the war ended. How i feel, how the vest feel, how politicians feel is just irrelevant. The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam - they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact.

    Note the question mark, indicating that i may have the date incorrect --- nice try. i was just zipping along and couldn't remember if it was '73 or '74. But that record is included in the long and lengthy discussions of the Mr. Ken Burns and Lisa Novick post. It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations -- inconsequential.

    What they waited for was the departure of any US support -- excuse me, but that confirms what ho Chi Mihn knew in 1954, if the US entered the conflict they could not win. When all of the support was withdrawn, WPA, the US involved in Watergate, Pres Nixon no longer in office, Church hearings etc -- the US abandoned any further support of S. Vietnam and in 1975, the North Vietnamese launched a new offensive -- a new war, in violation of the 1973 peace agreement, they overwhelmed the South Vietnamese with the aide of China, the Soviet union and most likely N. Koreans.

    The US has lost two conflicts, maybe three:

    The war of 1812
    The war in Iraq and
    Afghanistan (?) pay close attention to the question mark - it's there for a reason.
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  98. @EnriqqueCardova
    You are misinformed. Credible military men who were there, including guys like Harry Summers, and credible Marine officers who were there, say we lost, as do many of today's military analysts and soldiers like Gregory Daddis referenced up above. What was achieved by 1973 was that the VC was severely hurt compared to their previous strength and increasingly was filled out by NVA troopers. The MAJOR regular NVA formations also were hurt. But both these entities still maintained a strong presence on the ground. The VC cut back on major attacks, but still continued its recruiting and terrorist activities. The NVA did NOT withdraw but kept several divisions in place WITHIN South Vietnam. They cut back on major operations and relied more heavily on sapper raids and stand-off mortar and rocket attacks, but they never quit fighting, they just scaled back intensity as they reorganized for another push. The ARVN had some local success but again, they were fighting a regrouping force but very much alive occupation force still remained WITHIN SVN, not expelled. PAVN did not go home but remained in place. The US conceded this major point at the bargaining table in an effort to cut and go, essentially leaving a dagger in the heart of SVN.

    And the ARVN did not "repel" North Vietnam in 1974. LOL, this is sheer fantasy, unsupported by the record. Perhaps in some LOCAL operations it may have fended off NVA and took over some territory, but all that was WITHIN SVN, where the NVA overall remained entrenched and in place, and biding its time for the major push in 1975, including building up a vast logistical work extending into SVN, complete with pipelines for fuel, and paved roads for truck traffic. In fact by late 1974, the SVN security situation began to deteriorate. Four months into 1975, it fell apart like a bad hand of cards.

    In the end, the major American policy objective, a strong independent SVN able to manage on its own was defeated, and was a failure. When your objective, for which you have expanded substantial life and treasure is not accomplished, it is a defeat by most credible definitions.

    this has got to be one of the bizarre responses to what is on the table. no kidding, lots of Vietnam veterans who were there and believe that the US lost. That is part and parcel to the discussion. In previous discussions on articles in which I have participated, Vietnam veterans who were their roundly dispute that we lost. Their response is much simpler than my own.

    “We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict.”

    Furthermore being their as you posit it is merely an appeal to authority or expertise. As I have made the case — based not on appeals to anyone accept the data about the conflict itself. When N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory – the war ended. How i feel, how the vest feel, how politicians feel is just irrelevant. The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam – they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact.

    Note the question mark, indicating that i may have the date incorrect — nice try. i was just zipping along and couldn’t remember if it was ’73 or ’74. But that record is included in the long and lengthy discussions of the Mr. Ken Burns and Lisa Novick post. It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations — inconsequential.

    What they waited for was the departure of any US support — excuse me, but that confirms what ho Chi Mihn knew in 1954, if the US entered the conflict they could not win. When all of the support was withdrawn, WPA, the US involved in Watergate, Pres Nixon no longer in office, Church hearings etc — the US abandoned any further support of S. Vietnam and in 1975, the North Vietnamese launched a new offensive — a new war, in violation of the 1973 peace agreement, they overwhelmed the South Vietnamese with the aide of China, the Soviet union and most likely N. Koreans.

    The US has lost two conflicts, maybe three:

    The war of 1812
    The war in Iraq and
    Afghanistan (?) pay close attention to the question mark – it’s there for a reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @EnriqueCardova
    “We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict.”
    -------------------------------------

    You are ignoring one of the most basic principles of statecraft, policy and indeed war-making. To paraphrase Clausewitz war is policy by other means- the political master controls the military dog. If the military dog fails to accomplish the goals set by the master, then that is a defeat. The US objective for the entire period, was to sustain an independent South Vietnam and its territory against northern aggression. This policy was a failure, defeated by the activities of SVN and US enemies in North Vietnam. Saying we didn't have troops directly fighting doesn't change the fact of a defeat.

    .
    You say:
    "Then N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory – the war ended."
    ------------------------------------------------

    But you are wrong here again. The North never honored the agreement, it retained tens of thousands of troops in place WITHIN SVN, and the fighting never stopped. All throughout the "negotiations" and after fighting continued, and the US client or ally, had to keep on fighting to stay afloat. In Sept 1974, just 7 months before the final debacle, a survey was taken of senior US generals as to the ARVN prospects for survival. 53%, a majority, agreed that the US effort was not worth it, or should not have gone beyond an advisory effort. In short, a majority of the US generals said all the blood and treasure of the major fighting years was basically a loss- we should never have gone into combat in Vietnam. Seven months later even the most optimistic had to swallow the bitter results as PAVN tanks crashed thru the gates if the Presidential Palace.


    .
    " The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam – they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact."
    ----------------------------------

    Wrong again. The North did achieve its objectives at that stage of the war- they one they wanted so bad, that the Americans would withdraw in failure, face-saving aside, but still a failure. This allowed them to keep all the territorial gains they had made, commence a massive buildup unhindered by departing US troops or airpower, and setting the stage for final conquest 2 years later.

    The Americans were so eager to bug out, they twisted the arm of their client SVN into agreeing that the NVA keep all the territory it had gained, and twisted their arms to agree to a "coalition". Thus the US failed to maintain the territorial integrity of South Vietnam it had earlier guaranteed, and was forced to agree to a power sharing with the communists, which was as we know now, just a window dressing ruse before the final curtain.

    It is interesting that your definition of "victory" is not that specifically stated by US leaders or military commanders,- a strong SVN able to maintain its territorial integrity against northern aggression, but a very minimal "Just don't collapse until we bug out" formula. Not many accept that redefinition- which is not what we went in for in the first place. That's like a cop declaring a crime in which burglars keep returning to rip off the same house "CASE CLOSED," as long as the perps don't show up again before the cop car pulls away. LOL


    .
    "It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations — inconsequential."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LOL you don't have a clear grasp of the implications which almost every credible military history talks about. It was immensely consequential. It was a dagger in the heart of SVN, for it meant that the North had occupied key positions within SVN from which they could consolidate and strike at will. It also meant that the US guarantee of SVN's territorial integrity against northern aggression had failed, and that the US was at that point just trying to cut and go, leaving their main enemy in strong position on the field of battle. That was of immense consequence. In the exit agreement, the US capitulated and accepted, word for word, almost the entire NLF negotiating position. It even accepted a description of US forces as "foreign" but not those of the Hanoi government as "foreign." The US had to pull out, but the communists got to stay, keeping everything they had grabbed, with their bases all intact, and a huge final buildup underway. Small wonder the end came a mere 2 years later.

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  99. bluedog says:

    Hmm how dare you if we loose we simply turn it over and dream up all kinds of reasons that defeat was in fact a win,we blame our loss on someone else, we never loose we are the exceptional ones the shining light on the hill blah,blah blah ,we almost won its like the dog that almost caught the rabbit except he stopped to take a shit,we lost get use to it,for we haden’t we will still be there for once we get embedded in a country we never leave unless we are thrown out….

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    These comments are based on a bankrupt understanding of history:

    The US has engaged in more than 200 hundred interventions -------


    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

    http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/E-N/Intervention-and-Nonintervention-The-practice-of-intervention.html

    The lists contained in the sites above above include interventions for:

    1. war
    2. humanitariann reasons
    3. conflict resolution - largely in SA of all places

    I am not defending or challenging their value but the US has exited interventions more than they have remained. And given the intense debate in this country for a large part of its history over interventions -- we depart as soon as possible -- interventions as staple occupations is a unique feature. but contend that we never leave flies in the face of fact.

    Note: it has been the "hell in a handbasket" consequences of our leaving that fuels interventionists ambitions -- and the unwise foreign policies that often accompany the advocacy.

    Minus all of the caterwauling the our enter into Vietnam was a very simple. Provide a space for an independent state to chart it own course. Though bound in cold war rhetoric - that was it - defend the right of choice to pursue it's own course.

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  100. KA says:

    Developments outside the borders can be 1 ignored or 2 studied with readiness and preparedness or 3 engaged without reckoning the toll on the culture,traditions,values of the nation and effects on the pull between the ruled and the rulers. America intervention have mostly revolved around 3 since 1914. Over time war has been allowed to become a testing ground for either abstract non native ideologies that were hoisted on the nation or for the strengths of the competing lobbyists . American war failed to deliver culturally and failed to deliver any positive additions to existing traditional native values because of the reasons given for the wars were contradictory inconsistent or ad hoc explanations with no staying power or because of the nature of the interests of the lobbying groups did not jive with the broader public.

    . Despite the existence of differences between the lobbies in regard to the war or interventions, war would happen because the different lobby groups have successfully managed to interface on many common points and the lobbies could function without facing or mounting any major ideological economic or cultural threat from and on each other in domestic politics. This has been possible because the finished products of the wars have been interpreted differently by the different lobbies though they might have disagreed on the reason or the methods.
    This process or phenomenon is not a free lunch and leaves impact on the national psyche . The corrupting and poisoning of the unwritten unspoken national majoritian consensus eventually braek the structure from within.

    When war is fought on ideological ground, the feedback simply is not there to guide the progress of the war making process. When war is fought because of invisible lobby , the inherent contradictions,failures, nature of success and propaganda do not add up and do not make sense to the citizen and the citizen become demoralized – the first sign of the decay .

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  101. @bluedog
    Hmm how dare you if we loose we simply turn it over and dream up all kinds of reasons that defeat was in fact a win,we blame our loss on someone else, we never loose we are the exceptional ones the shining light on the hill blah,blah blah ,we almost won its like the dog that almost caught the rabbit except he stopped to take a shit,we lost get use to it,for we haden't we will still be there for once we get embedded in a country we never leave unless we are thrown out....

    These comments are based on a bankrupt understanding of history:

    The US has engaged in more than 200 hundred interventions ——-

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

    http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/E-N/Intervention-and-Nonintervention-The-practice-of-intervention.html

    The lists contained in the sites above above include interventions for:

    1. war
    2. humanitariann reasons
    3. conflict resolution – largely in SA of all places

    I am not defending or challenging their value but the US has exited interventions more than they have remained. And given the intense debate in this country for a large part of its history over interventions — we depart as soon as possible — interventions as staple occupations is a unique feature. but contend that we never leave flies in the face of fact.

    Note: it has been the “hell in a handbasket” consequences of our leaving that fuels interventionists ambitions — and the unwise foreign policies that often accompany the advocacy.

    Minus all of the caterwauling the our enter into Vietnam was a very simple. Provide a space for an independent state to chart it own course. Though bound in cold war rhetoric – that was it – defend the right of choice to pursue it’s own course.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Hmm if we are so eager to haul ass then why do we have some 900 bases scattered around the world, or are they in some strange was vacation spots for our weary troops

    Hell there was a number of reasons we just had to get into Vietnam hell even the people of Vietnam didn't want us there ,and of course we created all kinds of sorry incidents,installed yet another dictator after we killed the one in office .No I'm sorry but humanitarian means for our being there is waaaay down the to do list if it even made the list,now if we got our sorry ass's of the Korea's they might have a chance to be re-united as one country,But I would'nt count on that...

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  102. Ace says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    They established a myth that we almost won in Vietnam but the politicians wouldn't let us finish the job, claiming we never lost a battle in Vietnam. That is false, so I posted a list of 104 "Lost Battles of the Vietnam War" that squashed this myth.

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    No one claimed that we never lost a battle or that the enemy was a brave and determined soldier. Good job on making a list of particular battles. The list of battles that went the other way would unroll out the door and across the street. E.g., an enemy sapper battalion caught in the open in IV Corp and destroyed (1970). Punishing bombing of the North drove them to the “negotiating” table and we foolishly did not finish the job.

    Bottom line, however, is that we prevailed militarily. S. Vietnam was essentially under government control. Giap only prevailed on the Politburo to let him try an attack across the border on condition that he’d pull back if he encountered resistance. By that time the leftists Democrats in Congress had neutered Nixon over the national (heinous) Watergate spasm so there was no massive U.S. response. It’s what Democrats do.

    By then Congress had signaled beforehand that no more supplies would be forthcoming. The ARVN had read the tea leaves and resistance collapsed despite some one year’s supplies already delivered.

    Frank Snepp laid this all out in his Decent Interval.

    The U.S. military did very well given the treacherous behavior of some of the black, draftees, fragging, the anti-war hyenas, and the deleterious input of JBJ and McNamara. LBJ would personally approve targets for our bombers and the rules of engagement were criminal, to include no attacks on SAM sites under construction, only on completed sites. if memory serves me. When Nixon sent the troops into Cambodia the NVA fled in panic and little happened in IV Corps after that. LBJ’s policy of gradualism was a failure of civilian leadership and cannot be laid at the feet of the military.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Strange is it not when the military wins its because of military leadership, but lo and behold when they loose its because of civilian control...
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  103. Ace says:
    @George Taylor

    America tends to gain from commerce what it thinks it will get by warfare. Not so much the other way around.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMEViYvojtY

    Because we are here to help the Vietnamese because inside every go*k is an American trying to get out

    One of the dumber movies ever made and that’s saying something. As informative on this topic as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

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  104. Ace says:
    @Singh
    It's also weird that the idea of Vietnam War as a missionary conflict is never discussed।।

    The colonial Vietnam & later South Vietnam government gave preference to christians in governmental positions, bureaucracy & had a monopoly on education।।

    The prevailing narrative in the west, is that somehow christianity is better & that people flock to it due to this, just like their ancestors did।।

    Mosmaiorum.org/persecution_list.html

    For example, the anti Buddhist discriminatory laws in Korea are never discussed, neither is the flooding of Japan with bibles post ww2

    In the present age you have missionaries following closely behind the USA army & organizations like the US council on religious freedom being headed by missionaries sic. soul vultures।।

    From that pov, if white nationalists cannot control the predatory instincts of 'their' people nor disavow them by becoming Pagan; then, they deserve their fate & should expect no support from outsiders.

    As others have remarked, tariffs & protectionism help accrue capital as do socially conservative views।।

    The pushing of free trade & social liberalism on 2nd/3rd world countries is akin to kicking the ladder।।

    It's probably in everyone's interest for the Protestant west to collapse under Afro-Islamic demographic pressure so the great clean up can begin।।

    Tldr yes state power leads to liberalism & liberal views but, if you view that as the legacy of your people, fuck your people.

    Who knew?

    ** Protestant west to collapse under Afro-Islamic demographic pressure so the great clean up can begin **

    We have much to learn from primitives.

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  105. Ace says:
    @Anonymous
    Why do credulous Americans read anti-war books written by war criminals? Only brainwashed people support the troops. Most Americans hated soldiers after Vietnam. They had seen soldiers raping wives and daughters, burning houses and huts and crops and wiping out entire villages. They knew that men who agree to kill for a paycheck do other bad things like raping and looting and then writing books about it later.

    The cons put a stop to all those "incorrect" ideas American slaves had developed by ramping up the propaganda in the 1980s. Movies kicked in and "learned" the zombies about the wonderfulness of war and killing and how American soldiers kill with love in their hearts and the tragedy of the boy baby killers left behind - probably by "communists in the US Government."

    That there is some serious delusion.

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  106. Ace says:
    @Anonymous
    Rand? American Conservative? Tom's Dispatch? All fake news for the sheep, i.e COIN.

    If people want change, they have to refuse to cooperate. That means no voting. Voting means you agree with the basic trends and just want to tweak the system. All of us have gotten cheated by the Government all of our lives. Destruction of schools so people can't learn. Wars fought to make countries like Vietnam open to big corporations to move American jobs there. Corporate money backed by the fist of the Marines has worked all their lives, all their parents' lives, and all the modern history of America. "Why not now?", the sheep ask.

    Did you learn that about not voting in Cosmo? Very entertaining. All those people who didn’t vote for Barry Goldwater. They showed ‘em.

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  107. bluedog says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    These comments are based on a bankrupt understanding of history:

    The US has engaged in more than 200 hundred interventions -------


    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

    http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/E-N/Intervention-and-Nonintervention-The-practice-of-intervention.html

    The lists contained in the sites above above include interventions for:

    1. war
    2. humanitariann reasons
    3. conflict resolution - largely in SA of all places

    I am not defending or challenging their value but the US has exited interventions more than they have remained. And given the intense debate in this country for a large part of its history over interventions -- we depart as soon as possible -- interventions as staple occupations is a unique feature. but contend that we never leave flies in the face of fact.

    Note: it has been the "hell in a handbasket" consequences of our leaving that fuels interventionists ambitions -- and the unwise foreign policies that often accompany the advocacy.

    Minus all of the caterwauling the our enter into Vietnam was a very simple. Provide a space for an independent state to chart it own course. Though bound in cold war rhetoric - that was it - defend the right of choice to pursue it's own course.

    Hmm if we are so eager to haul ass then why do we have some 900 bases scattered around the world, or are they in some strange was vacation spots for our weary troops

    Hell there was a number of reasons we just had to get into Vietnam hell even the people of Vietnam didn’t want us there ,and of course we created all kinds of sorry incidents,installed yet another dictator after we killed the one in office .No I’m sorry but humanitarian means for our being there is waaaay down the to do list if it even made the list,now if we got our sorry ass’s of the Korea’s they might have a chance to be re-united as one country,But I would’nt count on that…

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    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    Since the end of the cold war, the US has seriously expanded it's use of military bases. However, that is relatively new -- as part of the interventionists agenda.

    But our discussion was about whether the US stayed if they did not lose. I think in the long lists of interventions noted, the US did not always in fact rarely stayed. I would not argue with a contention that that says, we had our fingers crossed after departing Vietnam. And relaxed, after the South repelled the first attempt to violate the treaty.

    But to be clear, the US does not lose every place they don't maintain permanent bases.
    , @EnrriqueCardova
    LOL, I wonder about this so called "humanitarian" notion. You are right- it was way, way down on the list. The prime objective was to defend the territory of our ally South Vietnam against northern aggression. That mission failed. Hell Article 20 of the "peace" agreement says that all foreign troops were to withdraw from SVN. We were so eager to cut and run that we, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, accepted the communist line that only US troops were "foreign." So there went most US troops and airpower, except for approx a thousand soldiers who handled aid procurement and replacement (backed by some 7000 civilian contractors). In the meantime, over a quarter of a million NVA and VC (who by this time were majority NVA personnel) were left in place within SVN, with all their bases free from once devastating US airpower. Hell they jumped for joy- it was a huge success, and more was to follow soon.

    On top of that infiltration never stopped- some 120,000 NVA infiltrated in 1974 for example. But oh no man - they were not "foreign" troops, just "good old local country boys" who just happened to show up from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. Oh and those country boys then began to build paved roads taking trucks 3 abreast, and fuel pipelines from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. into SVN... But hey, they wuz all nice local boys, or so the story went..

    As far as "humanitarianism", this is laughable. The US effort in Vietnam was not a "humanitarian" effort, just as WW2 was no "humanitarian" effort. Vietnam was a war to impose the US will on a designated enemy. Even with the various restrictions, it tried to do that with a vengeance. The US dropped more bombs on SVN than in the entire WW2 pacific theater, killing thousands of civilians and making many more homeless. The bombs left over 25 million craters on an area the size of New Mexico (121,666 square miles), and heavily damaged over half the forests of South Vietnam and 60% of its hamlets. Overall, approximately three times the amount of bombs dropped in World War II were dropped on Vietnam as a whole, making it the most bombed country in history. Along with bombs some 400,000 tons of napalm were dropped and some 19.1 million gallons of herbicides were applied, including the poisonous, and infamous Agent Orange. Hell, if this was a "humanitarian" effort, what would a "war effort" look like? And that's just bombing, not things like "free fire" artillery zones, or so called H&I "Harassment and Interdiction" random shelling that even Pentagon analysts criticized as not only ineffective but counterproductive. But hey, it was a humanitarian war you see..

    It should be noted that at the time, such approaches was CRITICIZED not merely by alleged "liberals" but by conservative military men like Marine General Krulak who found it overly heavy-handed, and counter-productive Even Lewis Sorley in his defense of the US effort criticizes Westmoreland's "search and destroy" approach on some of these grounds- at times unnecessary destruction or counterproductive effort. The bogus narrative that only "the liberals" objected is sheer fantasy.
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  108. bluedog says:
    @Ace
    No one claimed that we never lost a battle or that the enemy was a brave and determined soldier. Good job on making a list of particular battles. The list of battles that went the other way would unroll out the door and across the street. E.g., an enemy sapper battalion caught in the open in IV Corp and destroyed (1970). Punishing bombing of the North drove them to the "negotiating" table and we foolishly did not finish the job.

    Bottom line, however, is that we prevailed militarily. S. Vietnam was essentially under government control. Giap only prevailed on the Politburo to let him try an attack across the border on condition that he'd pull back if he encountered resistance. By that time the leftists Democrats in Congress had neutered Nixon over the national (heinous) Watergate spasm so there was no massive U.S. response. It's what Democrats do.

    By then Congress had signaled beforehand that no more supplies would be forthcoming. The ARVN had read the tea leaves and resistance collapsed despite some one year's supplies already delivered.

    Frank Snepp laid this all out in his Decent Interval.

    The U.S. military did very well given the treacherous behavior of some of the black, draftees, fragging, the anti-war hyenas, and the deleterious input of JBJ and McNamara. LBJ would personally approve targets for our bombers and the rules of engagement were criminal, to include no attacks on SAM sites under construction, only on completed sites. if memory serves me. When Nixon sent the troops into Cambodia the NVA fled in panic and little happened in IV Corps after that. LBJ's policy of gradualism was a failure of civilian leadership and cannot be laid at the feet of the military.

    Strange is it not when the military wins its because of military leadership, but lo and behold when they loose its because of civilian control…

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    • Replies: @Ace
    I think you meant to write "lose." "Loose" can be used to describe half-assed military and political analysis.
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  109. Ace says:
    @bluedog
    Strange is it not when the military wins its because of military leadership, but lo and behold when they loose its because of civilian control...

    I think you meant to write “lose.” “Loose” can be used to describe half-assed military and political analysis.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Lol yes you are correct,thank you...
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  110. bluedog says:
    @Ace
    I think you meant to write "lose." "Loose" can be used to describe half-assed military and political analysis.

    Lol yes you are correct,thank you…

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  111. anon • Disclaimer says:

    A new hagiography is in the offing from last few comments . No communism was not the issue that was the phony bogey ( like todays GWOT is ) that US used to get into Korea and Vietnam and the loss of human lives were unconscionable. Neo -nationalists still tout Korea as a victory and Vietnam was the one that slipped away.

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    • Agree: bluedog
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  112. @bluedog
    Hmm if we are so eager to haul ass then why do we have some 900 bases scattered around the world, or are they in some strange was vacation spots for our weary troops

    Hell there was a number of reasons we just had to get into Vietnam hell even the people of Vietnam didn't want us there ,and of course we created all kinds of sorry incidents,installed yet another dictator after we killed the one in office .No I'm sorry but humanitarian means for our being there is waaaay down the to do list if it even made the list,now if we got our sorry ass's of the Korea's they might have a chance to be re-united as one country,But I would'nt count on that...

    Since the end of the cold war, the US has seriously expanded it’s use of military bases. However, that is relatively new — as part of the interventionists agenda.

    But our discussion was about whether the US stayed if they did not lose. I think in the long lists of interventions noted, the US did not always in fact rarely stayed. I would not argue with a contention that that says, we had our fingers crossed after departing Vietnam. And relaxed, after the South repelled the first attempt to violate the treaty.

    But to be clear, the US does not lose every place they don’t maintain permanent bases.

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  113. Nearly 1 million S. Vietnamese lost their lives in the battle to defend S. Vietnam. Some sources say it was only 6 0r 700,000. But either number is a strong indicator that the people of S. Vietnam opposed N. Vietnamese aggression. In 1975, the mass evacuations are clear signs that S. Vietnamese people — did not welcome N. Vietnam with open arms.

    And a look at the internal relationship with the US makes it clear that S. Vietnam was not a US puppet. And I would consider that the mass

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  114. @EliteCommInc.
    this has got to be one of the bizarre responses to what is on the table. no kidding, lots of Vietnam veterans who were there and believe that the US lost. That is part and parcel to the discussion. In previous discussions on articles in which I have participated, Vietnam veterans who were their roundly dispute that we lost. Their response is much simpler than my own.

    "We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict."

    Furthermore being their as you posit it is merely an appeal to authority or expertise. As I have made the case -- based not on appeals to anyone accept the data about the conflict itself. When N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory - the war ended. How i feel, how the vest feel, how politicians feel is just irrelevant. The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam - they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact.

    Note the question mark, indicating that i may have the date incorrect --- nice try. i was just zipping along and couldn't remember if it was '73 or '74. But that record is included in the long and lengthy discussions of the Mr. Ken Burns and Lisa Novick post. It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations -- inconsequential.

    What they waited for was the departure of any US support -- excuse me, but that confirms what ho Chi Mihn knew in 1954, if the US entered the conflict they could not win. When all of the support was withdrawn, WPA, the US involved in Watergate, Pres Nixon no longer in office, Church hearings etc -- the US abandoned any further support of S. Vietnam and in 1975, the North Vietnamese launched a new offensive -- a new war, in violation of the 1973 peace agreement, they overwhelmed the South Vietnamese with the aide of China, the Soviet union and most likely N. Koreans.

    The US has lost two conflicts, maybe three:

    The war of 1812
    The war in Iraq and
    Afghanistan (?) pay close attention to the question mark - it's there for a reason.

    “We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict.”
    ————————————-

    You are ignoring one of the most basic principles of statecraft, policy and indeed war-making. To paraphrase Clausewitz war is policy by other means- the political master controls the military dog. If the military dog fails to accomplish the goals set by the master, then that is a defeat. The US objective for the entire period, was to sustain an independent South Vietnam and its territory against northern aggression. This policy was a failure, defeated by the activities of SVN and US enemies in North Vietnam. Saying we didn’t have troops directly fighting doesn’t change the fact of a defeat.

    .
    You say:
    “Then N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory – the war ended.”
    ————————————————

    But you are wrong here again. The North never honored the agreement, it retained tens of thousands of troops in place WITHIN SVN, and the fighting never stopped. All throughout the “negotiations” and after fighting continued, and the US client or ally, had to keep on fighting to stay afloat. In Sept 1974, just 7 months before the final debacle, a survey was taken of senior US generals as to the ARVN prospects for survival. 53%, a majority, agreed that the US effort was not worth it, or should not have gone beyond an advisory effort. In short, a majority of the US generals said all the blood and treasure of the major fighting years was basically a loss- we should never have gone into combat in Vietnam. Seven months later even the most optimistic had to swallow the bitter results as PAVN tanks crashed thru the gates if the Presidential Palace.

    .
    ” The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam – they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact.”
    ———————————-

    Wrong again. The North did achieve its objectives at that stage of the war- they one they wanted so bad, that the Americans would withdraw in failure, face-saving aside, but still a failure. This allowed them to keep all the territorial gains they had made, commence a massive buildup unhindered by departing US troops or airpower, and setting the stage for final conquest 2 years later.

    The Americans were so eager to bug out, they twisted the arm of their client SVN into agreeing that the NVA keep all the territory it had gained, and twisted their arms to agree to a “coalition”. Thus the US failed to maintain the territorial integrity of South Vietnam it had earlier guaranteed, and was forced to agree to a power sharing with the communists, which was as we know now, just a window dressing ruse before the final curtain.

    It is interesting that your definition of “victory” is not that specifically stated by US leaders or military commanders,- a strong SVN able to maintain its territorial integrity against northern aggression, but a very minimal “Just don’t collapse until we bug out” formula. Not many accept that redefinition- which is not what we went in for in the first place. That’s like a cop declaring a crime in which burglars keep returning to rip off the same house “CASE CLOSED,” as long as the perps don’t show up again before the cop car pulls away. LOL

    .
    “It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations — inconsequential.”
    —————————————————————————–

    LOL you don’t have a clear grasp of the implications which almost every credible military history talks about. It was immensely consequential. It was a dagger in the heart of SVN, for it meant that the North had occupied key positions within SVN from which they could consolidate and strike at will. It also meant that the US guarantee of SVN’s territorial integrity against northern aggression had failed, and that the US was at that point just trying to cut and go, leaving their main enemy in strong position on the field of battle. That was of immense consequence. In the exit agreement, the US capitulated and accepted, word for word, almost the entire NLF negotiating position. It even accepted a description of US forces as “foreign” but not those of the Hanoi government as “foreign.” The US had to pull out, but the communists got to stay, keeping everything they had grabbed, with their bases all intact, and a huge final buildup underway. Small wonder the end came a mere 2 years later.

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    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    I don't think you are applying the dictum correctly. The US did that and more. You sustain said territory by support or occupation. For a brief period we supported the effort. The fact that our presence of even the threat of force was removed is key -- and by your admissions -- North Vietnam bided its time until the US departed. The issue of the territory while of contested by the S. Vietnamese President was part of the negotiated deal. In other words, if we get an agreement - keep it. It's not worth fighting over. The larger objective was of greater value. There is absolutely no distance between your Clausewitz reference and my position.

    What prevented further support was not our military or political positions in the region -- but choices made by a new political leadership after that agreement. Those are the reasons we chose not to support S. Vietnam a second time. If I beat you up once and several years later you start another fight and i choose to let it be. That does not mean you won the first fight. I forced you to the table to accept an agreement on the table from day one. You lose your bitter pill antics of a child tantrum -- in violating the agreement only reinforces that you are acting in bad faith, poor form, and aren't to be trusted in the future. You can holler til the cows come home that you won -- but as you have demonstrated your integrity on truth is bankrupt. You lost.

    Under Pres Nixon the US was never going to leave S. Vietnam without an agreement. Even the Russians and the Chinese said, "throw in the towel", the Americans are not leaving. The territorial issue has been addressed and I remain on my previous responses. Nothing new has been advanced. I am certainly npot going to argue that the N. Vietnamese started a new war in 1975 in violation of an agreement that granted a mutual joining if both parties agreed. -- They didn't here.

    They did strike at will in and they were roundly repelled. So much for key positions S. Vietnam did nor attempt to push them further back across original borders. So much for S. Vietnamese lack of resolve and struck in the heart key positions. But it settles the question of territorial integrity that held for two years. In examining the agreement, I have to admit your advance concerning the terms :foreign" are interesting. No, acknowledging N. Vietnam staying in their country is not indicative of foreign presence isn't a sign of capitulation. it is acknowledging a political fact -- residing in your space does not make one foreign.

    I think the questions are answered in the following. I used to use the short brief, but here is the agreement in full.

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam/treaty.htm

    While I would not agree with all its content -- this is helpful in understanding the the scenario.

    http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/The-Vietnam-War-and-Its-Impact-The-peace-agreement.html

    One of the least addressed tragedies of our Vietnam era, and perhaps the worst on out psyche, especially its veterans is the wholesale carnage conducted on the minds of the men who served there. We have spent more money (in my view) drilling failure into the minds of the US service establishment than we spent prosecuting the defense of S. Vietnam.
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  115. @EnriqueCardova
    “We were not there when Vietnam fell in 1975. The S. Vietnamese lost that conflict.”
    -------------------------------------

    You are ignoring one of the most basic principles of statecraft, policy and indeed war-making. To paraphrase Clausewitz war is policy by other means- the political master controls the military dog. If the military dog fails to accomplish the goals set by the master, then that is a defeat. The US objective for the entire period, was to sustain an independent South Vietnam and its territory against northern aggression. This policy was a failure, defeated by the activities of SVN and US enemies in North Vietnam. Saying we didn't have troops directly fighting doesn't change the fact of a defeat.

    .
    You say:
    "Then N. Vietnam agreed to a peace treaty and not to pursue any further violence to gain S. Vietnamese territory – the war ended."
    ------------------------------------------------

    But you are wrong here again. The North never honored the agreement, it retained tens of thousands of troops in place WITHIN SVN, and the fighting never stopped. All throughout the "negotiations" and after fighting continued, and the US client or ally, had to keep on fighting to stay afloat. In Sept 1974, just 7 months before the final debacle, a survey was taken of senior US generals as to the ARVN prospects for survival. 53%, a majority, agreed that the US effort was not worth it, or should not have gone beyond an advisory effort. In short, a majority of the US generals said all the blood and treasure of the major fighting years was basically a loss- we should never have gone into combat in Vietnam. Seven months later even the most optimistic had to swallow the bitter results as PAVN tanks crashed thru the gates if the Presidential Palace.


    .
    " The treaty acknowledged a S Vietnamese state as per UN understanding. N. Vietnam did not achieve their objective while the US was present or in support of S. Vietnam – they lose. How Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda or the author or the public or you feel or thinks is irrelevant to that fact."
    ----------------------------------

    Wrong again. The North did achieve its objectives at that stage of the war- they one they wanted so bad, that the Americans would withdraw in failure, face-saving aside, but still a failure. This allowed them to keep all the territorial gains they had made, commence a massive buildup unhindered by departing US troops or airpower, and setting the stage for final conquest 2 years later.

    The Americans were so eager to bug out, they twisted the arm of their client SVN into agreeing that the NVA keep all the territory it had gained, and twisted their arms to agree to a "coalition". Thus the US failed to maintain the territorial integrity of South Vietnam it had earlier guaranteed, and was forced to agree to a power sharing with the communists, which was as we know now, just a window dressing ruse before the final curtain.

    It is interesting that your definition of "victory" is not that specifically stated by US leaders or military commanders,- a strong SVN able to maintain its territorial integrity against northern aggression, but a very minimal "Just don't collapse until we bug out" formula. Not many accept that redefinition- which is not what we went in for in the first place. That's like a cop declaring a crime in which burglars keep returning to rip off the same house "CASE CLOSED," as long as the perps don't show up again before the cop car pulls away. LOL


    .
    "It was agreed not to pursue a removal of the N. Vietnamese from their last land grab before the end of negotiations — inconsequential."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LOL you don't have a clear grasp of the implications which almost every credible military history talks about. It was immensely consequential. It was a dagger in the heart of SVN, for it meant that the North had occupied key positions within SVN from which they could consolidate and strike at will. It also meant that the US guarantee of SVN's territorial integrity against northern aggression had failed, and that the US was at that point just trying to cut and go, leaving their main enemy in strong position on the field of battle. That was of immense consequence. In the exit agreement, the US capitulated and accepted, word for word, almost the entire NLF negotiating position. It even accepted a description of US forces as "foreign" but not those of the Hanoi government as "foreign." The US had to pull out, but the communists got to stay, keeping everything they had grabbed, with their bases all intact, and a huge final buildup underway. Small wonder the end came a mere 2 years later.

    I don’t think you are applying the dictum correctly. The US did that and more. You sustain said territory by support or occupation. For a brief period we supported the effort. The fact that our presence of even the threat of force was removed is key — and by your admissions — North Vietnam bided its time until the US departed. The issue of the territory while of contested by the S. Vietnamese President was part of the negotiated deal. In other words, if we get an agreement – keep it. It’s not worth fighting over. The larger objective was of greater value. There is absolutely no distance between your Clausewitz reference and my position.

    What prevented further support was not our military or political positions in the region — but choices made by a new political leadership after that agreement. Those are the reasons we chose not to support S. Vietnam a second time. If I beat you up once and several years later you start another fight and i choose to let it be. That does not mean you won the first fight. I forced you to the table to accept an agreement on the table from day one. You lose your bitter pill antics of a child tantrum — in violating the agreement only reinforces that you are acting in bad faith, poor form, and aren’t to be trusted in the future. You can holler til the cows come home that you won — but as you have demonstrated your integrity on truth is bankrupt. You lost.

    Under Pres Nixon the US was never going to leave S. Vietnam without an agreement. Even the Russians and the Chinese said, “throw in the towel”, the Americans are not leaving. The territorial issue has been addressed and I remain on my previous responses. Nothing new has been advanced. I am certainly npot going to argue that the N. Vietnamese started a new war in 1975 in violation of an agreement that granted a mutual joining if both parties agreed. — They didn’t here.

    They did strike at will in and they were roundly repelled. So much for key positions S. Vietnam did nor attempt to push them further back across original borders. So much for S. Vietnamese lack of resolve and struck in the heart key positions. But it settles the question of territorial integrity that held for two years. In examining the agreement, I have to admit your advance concerning the terms :foreign” are interesting. No, acknowledging N. Vietnam staying in their country is not indicative of foreign presence isn’t a sign of capitulation. it is acknowledging a political fact — residing in your space does not make one foreign.

    I think the questions are answered in the following. I used to use the short brief, but here is the agreement in full.

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam/treaty.htm

    While I would not agree with all its content — this is helpful in understanding the the scenario.

    http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/The-Vietnam-War-and-Its-Impact-The-peace-agreement.html

    One of the least addressed tragedies of our Vietnam era, and perhaps the worst on out psyche, especially its veterans is the wholesale carnage conducted on the minds of the men who served there. We have spent more money (in my view) drilling failure into the minds of the US service establishment than we spent prosecuting the defense of S. Vietnam.

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  116. The failure to accurately deconstruct the truth from the false narratives remains the open wound. The comments here are loaded with the same false narration, exaggerations —- a constant and intense demand that the US engage in self flagellation for a conflict it did not lose about a conflict it not start and in many ways sought to avoid. The simple story, is is that in the best traditions of the US and perhaps the only example of a truly humanitarian war effort, the US protected the right of another to self determination — that’s it. And yet our academic s completely turned reality on its head, because they wanted to avoid the sacrifice. Millions of blacks in the south, millions of whites in poor communities desperate for relief were ignored by largely white spoiled kids seeking an easy out.

    Instead for fifty years we have drilled the worst distortions as truth to pander the childish sensitivities of the then youth who now as adults want to spread democracy in the name of rape prevention, killing children in the womb, so women can drive, and a host of the worst of american values — that the said targeted states don’t want.

    That is the real evidence of lessons unlearned. Sec. Clinton an iconic figure (in the minds of some) against war in 1970, is now advocating war in: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the Ukraine and several hundred million people are beside themselves that she lost. The military is not have as obtuse, hypocritical, bankrupt, careless or wanton as the leadership that is supposed to be the authority on these questions.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-requiem-for-vietnam/

    Read these comments in the above article and then consider how many of them gave whole hearted support for the democratic war candidate or the hope and change candidate/president before her, who upon getting onto office did a 180 and instigated conflicts throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.

    If there is a dire warnings of fatal blows being dealt to the US republic, they are not being dealt by the Pentagon but in the hypocrisy of the rhetorical games for power among the tiny pool of those chosen to as leaders — churned out and holding hands by yesterdays icons of false anti-war who got nearly every issue on Vietnam wrong.

    They should have been chanting “Give peace a chance ” the North Vietnamese. They and only they were the aggressors at every turn. And as the North began its campaign of murder and mayhem on its people were strangely —

    silent.

    But if we are going to pretend that agreements don’t matter then let’s play without hypocrisy. North Vietnam loses as they are crying out for western style capitalism to repair their self inflicted wound.

    The US wins — the long war against capitalism.

    I failed to stay out of Vietnam re-visitations — grrrrrrr

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  117. @The Alarmist
    The book that needs to be written is the one that explores the question, "Does this war need to be fought by us?"

    The guys running the show now were mid-grade officers when I served in the '80s. They know we already were waging a war on terror, but it was a quiet one, e.g "low-intensity conflict," the kind that doesn't pump up budgets or put lots of ribbons and badges on the chests of more than a few of them, much less punch the ticket for promotion.

    The problem here is one of governance: Civilians who should be reigning in and questioning the military leadership (including the senior civilian leadership at DoD and apparently State) when it wants to take us on yet another foreign adventure seem instead to be be captive to them, because the spoils of war accrue to their benefit via procurement in their districts.

    Vietnam and the GWOT are merely symptoms of a bigger problem.

    When you are white, racist, educated, egotistical & arrogant, you believe you should win every war.
    You believe those who don’t think as you, should…and you will make them do so.

    You put logic, reason & common sense aside and go for on 4th. & 65 ! You become the U.S.
    believing you can win against a skilled opponent & 1/2 your starters in traction.

    The US needs to learn restraint & logic or it will lose everything. Indeed, its’s on that road now.

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  118. ” The issue of the territory while of contested by the S. Vietnamese President was part of the negotiated deal. In other words, if we get an agreement – keep it. It’s not worth fighting over. The larger objective was of greater value. There is absolutely no distance between your Clausewitz reference and my position.”
    ————————————-

    But there is. Clausewitz said war is policy by other means- it is an instrument. If your political objective fails to be met by expenditure of military means, then you suffer a defeat. The prime objective, an independent SVN whose territory was protected from northern aggression was not met.

    .
    What prevented further support was not our military or political positions in the region — but choices made by a new political leadership after that agreement.
    ————————————————

    You miss the point that the shaky US political position in the region was the thing that prevented further support in the first place, which was why the US was so eager to cut and go. This was a long-standing problem not a choice made by new leadership. It was OLD problems that led to the shaky position. And without the political will, the military position was also weakened. If the political leaders are drawing down troops, then your military posture shrinks as well. Nixon was drawing down troops years BEFORE the agreement.

    As for an allegedly victorious America throwing in the towel and pulling the plug on its ally? Yes that decision was made against Nixon’s wishes. But it did receive bipartisan support. The US under its US Support Assist group, commanded by a general, had still kept almost 1000 troops in SVN, plus some 7000 civilian contractors to help monitor the north, and arrange for replacement, maintenance and procurement of all the incoming weapons and supplies from Washington. In addition the 7th Air Force was kept operational in nearby Thailand, ready to be reinforced and go if ordered to return. But when the big test came, America was too tired, threw in the towel and cut its losses, just when critical aid was needed by SVN. Meanwhile the North enjoyed massive aid from the Chinese and Soviets.

    .
    Under Pres Nixon the US was never going to leave S. Vietnam without an agreement. Even the Russians and the Chinese said, “throw in the towel”, the Americans are not leaving.

    —————————–

    Sure, a face-saving agreement was found that allowed the US to get out, and get its POWs back. And Russia and China did not say throw in the towel. This is fantasy. If the North had thrown in the towel the final debacle would never have come to pass. They advised the North to come to enough of an agreement to allow Nixon to save face, and most of all, get those damaging US troops and bombers out of the theater. With US troops and airpower gone the North achieved a huge success, allowing them to commence their own massive buildup with relative impunity. Hell they were building paved roads with trucks rolling 3 abreast, along with fuel pipelines into SVN, out in the open. And with the Americans gone, their anti-aircraft defenses reduced SVN airpower to paltry proportions.

    .
    “I am certainly npot going to argue that the N. Vietnamese started a new war in 1975 in violation of an agreement that granted a mutual joining if both parties agreed. — They didn’t here. ”
    ———————————-

    No they didn’t start a “new” war, the old one was still going on. It never stopped after the “peace” agreement.

    .
    “They did strike at will in and they were roundly repelled. So much for key positions S. Vietnam did nor attempt to push them further back across original borders. So much for S. Vietnamese lack of resolve and struck in the heart key positions.”
    ————————————

    Not really. SVN did retake some positions, and the North gained others in a see-saw back and forth. But the fact remains that the so-called “peace” agreement left thousands of PAVN troops INSIDE SVN, still fighting, and building up a massive logistical network. The presence of PAVN deep in the heart of the country, a condition the US had to agree to in order to get out, WAS a dagger in the heart of SVN. Just a little over a year after the main US exit, PAVN roundly trounced the ARVN in battle around Phuoc Long, consolidating their strategic positions even more, even as the logistical buildup ominously accelerated.

    .
    “I think the questions are answered in the following. I used to use the short brief, but here is the agreement in full.

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam/treaty.htm”

    ———————————————

    Sure that was the agreement, and the North never honored the agreement. For example neither side was to introduce weapons etc into the theater beyond already agreed to kevels. But PAVN laughed even as it cut new roads and/or built new pipelines from LAos, the DMZ and Cambodia. Hell infiltration in 1974 alone was some 120,000 PAVN troops per one report, in violation of the so-called “peace” agreement. The whole thing was a sham.

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  119. @anarchyst
    The Vietnam war was not a "civil-war" but was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists, who were not amenable to letting people decide for themselves what political system they chose to live under. They wanted "the whole pie".
    The South Vietnamese and American military fought courageously, with one hand tied behind their backs, as they were not permitted to attack the supply lines, logistics and staging areas of the North Vietnamese communists. The American news media played a large part in the sympathetic attitudes they had towards the communists, taking every chance to denigrate American and South Vietnamese troops, a prime example was communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite reporting that the 1968 "Tet offensive" was a "major loss" for Americans and south Vietnamese, despite it being a total slaughter of North Vietnamese communists and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Viet Cong operating in the South were almost all totally decimated.
    Yes, the final result of the Vietnam war was communist control, BUT, it was not due to the efforts of South Vietnamese and American troops.
    The Vietnamese "boat people" who risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise" have a totally different story to tell, but which had been rarely reported...
    Ken Burns is a communist sympathizer whose "documentary" on the Vietnam war was so one-sided, even the communists admitted that his whole premise on the Vietnam war was one-sided and false.
    Communist sympathizer Ken Burns inadvertently "let it slip" that "re-education" by the communists was not a "six month deal" (as he claimed) in which those in positions of power in South Vietnam would be "re-educated", but were actually prisons, in which "enemies of the (communist) state were to be interned for as long as 20 years.
    It is interesting to note that the communists could not exert the same harsh level of control as was the case in the North, to the people in the South.

    It is not that I don’t have responses here. It is that they have all been made. There just isn’t anything further for me to add. I would that the US provided support for S. Vietnam. We chose not to provide that support. That;s the unfortunate side effect for anyone doing business with the US. If the polity shifts, agreements formal or otherwise become subject the goals, agendas and prerogatives of the new admin. That’s a painful reality. It undermined our relations with N. Korea. It’s going to undermine our credibility to effect with Iran.

    When Pres Nixon left office, the S. Vietnamese were on their own — tragic. Had we fulfilled that promise there would be a single Vietnam – and they would have smoothly incorporated the benefits of Southern Vietnam capitalism and democracy – minus the devastation. I think the data as presented makes my case. We did not get chased out of Vietnam.

    While the US was present we did the mission and as messy as it may have been at times — that’s the nature of warfare. It’s that simple. I had plenty of eye rolls to repetitions assertions based on some reports — good grief. The record is pretty clear. South Vietnam could not withstand the forces of N Vietnam aided by China, the Soviets and N. Korea. And we weren’t there to assist. They managed for two years about and that too is unfortunate.

    We beat their pants off with our hands tied behind our backs. And no service member should permit engage in any further self flagellation on the matter. I don’t think there is any question that we have got have a response to insurgency.
    ______

    I think the only thought I have that I did not address was the reference to Walter Cronkite and i think I will respond to that now.

    I am familiar with Mr Burns’ work. He, his brother and their colleagues do wonderful work. by wonderful, they provide information that has depth, breadth and meaning to issues they cover. And it s not uncommon they unearth little known key points that are critical to understanding issues. I don’t by that either he or his Walter Cronkite are communists. However, I do disagree with their conclusions — though I am not sure Mr. burns actually concludes that Vietnam was a loss.

    I can say this, what I saw of the series left me more convinced that Vietnam for the US was a win — messy, unkempt, disfigured — and because so much of our common understanding is wrong — unresolved.

    As for Mr. Cronkite, I think he reveals what was true for the US. It was the very first time we experienced war in real time — immediate and sometimes unedited. Seeing war in that manner, even if one is a soldier is very different than reading about it in history. The emotional impact of seeing one’s fellows in combat or wounded or dead and be completely unable to do anything about it — is traumatizing. So the natural response is get us out of their. That immediate natural response is powerful player in politics. which is why, restricting media coverage is such a hot button issue. It’s easy to forget, that pain, suffering, carnage, lostness, chaos, blood, limbs, sinew, bone, and death and tears is exactly how the US won or lost any conflict it has engaged in — that’s war. The results of war is why so many who fight have the refrain –

    “I fought for the guy next to me”

    the big picture gets lost in the insanity of war, it’s immediate, it’s personal and intra-personal. Those images of the TET offensive, that we did indeed did win, can be overwhelming — Mr. Cronkite was overwhelmed and unfortunately his editorial got played for all that it was worth — in real time. For the US citizen the war became personal, not strategic, not a noble cause — and eventually the intrapersonal and personal won out among many. It is one of the most effective tools of rhetoric — make it personal — appeal to the pathos and link it to the ethos.

    Short form — killing is bad we are killing, we are bad — we must stop being bad which means we must stop. A complete myopic disingenuous nonstop weeping, gnashing of teeth – regardless of the facts, and ethos of the endeavor or the pathos of the one being aided. And the fear of having to fight.

    I appreciated Mr Ken Burns and Ms Lynn Novick film, as did my father who served two tours in Vietnam. He called in quite a state over some memories, during one episode, of his few shares about his experiences there. It was a very neat time with him.

    Hes democrat and thinks i am nuts to defend the effort — ignoring the emotion I focus on his aid to millions of people who had one day more of some peace before the the communist purgings began to rip the country asunder, far more than the war.

    In a span of ten years we lost nearly 60,000 precious souls of our nation. A tragic loss of human capital and loved ones whose gift cannot be repaid.

    In a span of three days from July 1st to july 4th, the US states lost 51,000 thousand men at the battle of Gettysburg — three days.

    35,000 of those were gone in the first three hours of battle. War is a nasty tragic affair, best avoided –

    This is but little comfort (as the context is different, but the import is no less meaningful) but Christ says,

    “No greater gift than a man than this, that he lay down his life for another.”

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Thank you for your concise comments. I must reiterate that Walter Cronkite AND Ken Burns spring out from that "old school" of journalism that DID (and still does) espouse communist principles. From Walter Duranty's lies about the Ukrainian "famine" which was "engineered starvation and murder" by Stalin and his minions, to the "Red Scare" of the 1950s, when it was known that there was a sympathetic communist streak within the halls of journalism, even Edward Murrow's producer Fred Friendly (yes, that's his name) was an avowed communist who was successful in hiding his affiliation. Eugene McCarthy's assertion that communists infiltrated both government and media was correct. He WAS vindicated in recent years.
    As to Cronkite's reporting on the Tet offensive, he was dead wrong, as the Viet Cong in the south was pretty much decimated in the offensive, and never regained its former effectiveness. In essence, the communist's plan was to overrun the South and cause as much carnage as possible. It turned out to be a slaughter by the American and South Vietnamese military.
    Dishonesty, lies and fabrications have ALWAYS been part and parcel of the "mainstream media".
    Let's look at the "mainstream media" throughout the years...
    From the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today's "fake news", journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times' Walter Duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist "famine" in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by Walter Cronkite as a military defeat, Cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media. Even North Vietnamese General Giap credited the American media for giving them "new resolve".
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman's conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent "thug" facebook picture.
    The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    I stand by my statements. The American "mainstream media" is guilty of giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, and still has a "soft spot" for communism.

    Regards,

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  120. anarchyst says:
    @EliteCommInc.
    It is not that I don't have responses here. It is that they have all been made. There just isn't anything further for me to add. I would that the US provided support for S. Vietnam. We chose not to provide that support. That;s the unfortunate side effect for anyone doing business with the US. If the polity shifts, agreements formal or otherwise become subject the goals, agendas and prerogatives of the new admin. That's a painful reality. It undermined our relations with N. Korea. It's going to undermine our credibility to effect with Iran.

    When Pres Nixon left office, the S. Vietnamese were on their own -- tragic. Had we fulfilled that promise there would be a single Vietnam - and they would have smoothly incorporated the benefits of Southern Vietnam capitalism and democracy - minus the devastation. I think the data as presented makes my case. We did not get chased out of Vietnam.

    While the US was present we did the mission and as messy as it may have been at times -- that's the nature of warfare. It's that simple. I had plenty of eye rolls to repetitions assertions based on some reports -- good grief. The record is pretty clear. South Vietnam could not withstand the forces of N Vietnam aided by China, the Soviets and N. Korea. And we weren't there to assist. They managed for two years about and that too is unfortunate.

    We beat their pants off with our hands tied behind our backs. And no service member should permit engage in any further self flagellation on the matter. I don't think there is any question that we have got have a response to insurgency.
    ______

    I think the only thought I have that I did not address was the reference to Walter Cronkite and i think I will respond to that now.

    I am familiar with Mr Burns' work. He, his brother and their colleagues do wonderful work. by wonderful, they provide information that has depth, breadth and meaning to issues they cover. And it s not uncommon they unearth little known key points that are critical to understanding issues. I don't by that either he or his Walter Cronkite are communists. However, I do disagree with their conclusions -- though I am not sure Mr. burns actually concludes that Vietnam was a loss.

    I can say this, what I saw of the series left me more convinced that Vietnam for the US was a win -- messy, unkempt, disfigured --- and because so much of our common understanding is wrong -- unresolved.

    As for Mr. Cronkite, I think he reveals what was true for the US. It was the very first time we experienced war in real time -- immediate and sometimes unedited. Seeing war in that manner, even if one is a soldier is very different than reading about it in history. The emotional impact of seeing one's fellows in combat or wounded or dead and be completely unable to do anything about it --- is traumatizing. So the natural response is get us out of their. That immediate natural response is powerful player in politics. which is why, restricting media coverage is such a hot button issue. It's easy to forget, that pain, suffering, carnage, lostness, chaos, blood, limbs, sinew, bone, and death and tears is exactly how the US won or lost any conflict it has engaged in -- that's war. The results of war is why so many who fight have the refrain --

    "I fought for the guy next to me"

    the big picture gets lost in the insanity of war, it's immediate, it's personal and intra-personal. Those images of the TET offensive, that we did indeed did win, can be overwhelming -- Mr. Cronkite was overwhelmed and unfortunately his editorial got played for all that it was worth -- in real time. For the US citizen the war became personal, not strategic, not a noble cause -- and eventually the intrapersonal and personal won out among many. It is one of the most effective tools of rhetoric -- make it personal -- appeal to the pathos and link it to the ethos.

    Short form -- killing is bad we are killing, we are bad -- we must stop being bad which means we must stop. A complete myopic disingenuous nonstop weeping, gnashing of teeth - regardless of the facts, and ethos of the endeavor or the pathos of the one being aided. And the fear of having to fight.


    I appreciated Mr Ken Burns and Ms Lynn Novick film, as did my father who served two tours in Vietnam. He called in quite a state over some memories, during one episode, of his few shares about his experiences there. It was a very neat time with him.

    Hes democrat and thinks i am nuts to defend the effort -- ignoring the emotion I focus on his aid to millions of people who had one day more of some peace before the the communist purgings began to rip the country asunder, far more than the war.

    In a span of ten years we lost nearly 60,000 precious souls of our nation. A tragic loss of human capital and loved ones whose gift cannot be repaid.

    In a span of three days from July 1st to july 4th, the US states lost 51,000 thousand men at the battle of Gettysburg -- three days.

    35,000 of those were gone in the first three hours of battle. War is a nasty tragic affair, best avoided --

    This is but little comfort (as the context is different, but the import is no less meaningful) but Christ says,

    "No greater gift than a man than this, that he lay down his life for another."

    Thank you for your concise comments. I must reiterate that Walter Cronkite AND Ken Burns spring out from that “old school” of journalism that DID (and still does) espouse communist principles. From Walter Duranty’s lies about the Ukrainian “famine” which was “engineered starvation and murder” by Stalin and his minions, to the “Red Scare” of the 1950s, when it was known that there was a sympathetic communist streak within the halls of journalism, even Edward Murrow’s producer Fred Friendly (yes, that’s his name) was an avowed communist who was successful in hiding his affiliation. Eugene McCarthy’s assertion that communists infiltrated both government and media was correct. He WAS vindicated in recent years.
    As to Cronkite’s reporting on the Tet offensive, he was dead wrong, as the Viet Cong in the south was pretty much decimated in the offensive, and never regained its former effectiveness. In essence, the communist’s plan was to overrun the South and cause as much carnage as possible. It turned out to be a slaughter by the American and South Vietnamese military.
    Dishonesty, lies and fabrications have ALWAYS been part and parcel of the “mainstream media”.
    Let’s look at the “mainstream media” throughout the years…
    From the “yellow journalism” of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today’s “fake news”, journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times’ Walter Duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist “famine” in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by Walter Cronkite as a military defeat, Cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media. Even North Vietnamese General Giap credited the American media for giving them “new resolve”.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman’s conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent “thug” facebook picture.
    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    I stand by my statements. The American “mainstream media” is guilty of giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, and still has a “soft spot” for communism.

    Regards,

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    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    You won't get any pushback from about either the accuracy or the incorrect interpretation of events in Vietnam.


    And as with nearly every journalist and advocate against our support for S. Vietnam -- they did indeed get the results of the TET Offensive completely and tragically wrong.

    I understand your perspective.

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  121. anarchyst says:
    @bluedog
    What are you a troll playing the same old broken record spewing forth the same old line, for there was a vote coming up by the Geneva Accord, to decide just what kind of government the two Vietnam's wanted, a vote that would'nt go the way we wanted thus the false flag to get us involved.

    FDR had made a deal with Ho that if they would rise up and drive out the Japs that Vietnam could choose their own destiny,colonialism was dead he said, well until that little man in the to big a house got into office and then once again America's word wasen't worth a mouth full of warm spit and its never changed...

    Your name-calling exposes you as a small-minded individual who does not have a cogent counter-argument. GROW UP, already!

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  122. @anarchyst
    Thank you for your concise comments. I must reiterate that Walter Cronkite AND Ken Burns spring out from that "old school" of journalism that DID (and still does) espouse communist principles. From Walter Duranty's lies about the Ukrainian "famine" which was "engineered starvation and murder" by Stalin and his minions, to the "Red Scare" of the 1950s, when it was known that there was a sympathetic communist streak within the halls of journalism, even Edward Murrow's producer Fred Friendly (yes, that's his name) was an avowed communist who was successful in hiding his affiliation. Eugene McCarthy's assertion that communists infiltrated both government and media was correct. He WAS vindicated in recent years.
    As to Cronkite's reporting on the Tet offensive, he was dead wrong, as the Viet Cong in the south was pretty much decimated in the offensive, and never regained its former effectiveness. In essence, the communist's plan was to overrun the South and cause as much carnage as possible. It turned out to be a slaughter by the American and South Vietnamese military.
    Dishonesty, lies and fabrications have ALWAYS been part and parcel of the "mainstream media".
    Let's look at the "mainstream media" throughout the years...
    From the "yellow journalism" of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today's "fake news", journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times' Walter Duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist "famine" in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by Walter Cronkite as a military defeat, Cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media. Even North Vietnamese General Giap credited the American media for giving them "new resolve".
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman's conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent "thug" facebook picture.
    The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    I stand by my statements. The American "mainstream media" is guilty of giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, and still has a "soft spot" for communism.

    Regards,

    You won’t get any pushback from about either the accuracy or the incorrect interpretation of events in Vietnam.

    And as with nearly every journalist and advocate against our support for S. Vietnam — they did indeed get the results of the TET Offensive completely and tragically wrong.

    I understand your perspective.

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  123. @bluedog
    Hmm if we are so eager to haul ass then why do we have some 900 bases scattered around the world, or are they in some strange was vacation spots for our weary troops

    Hell there was a number of reasons we just had to get into Vietnam hell even the people of Vietnam didn't want us there ,and of course we created all kinds of sorry incidents,installed yet another dictator after we killed the one in office .No I'm sorry but humanitarian means for our being there is waaaay down the to do list if it even made the list,now if we got our sorry ass's of the Korea's they might have a chance to be re-united as one country,But I would'nt count on that...

    LOL, I wonder about this so called “humanitarian” notion. You are right- it was way, way down on the list. The prime objective was to defend the territory of our ally South Vietnam against northern aggression. That mission failed. Hell Article 20 of the “peace” agreement says that all foreign troops were to withdraw from SVN. We were so eager to cut and run that we, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, accepted the communist line that only US troops were “foreign.” So there went most US troops and airpower, except for approx a thousand soldiers who handled aid procurement and replacement (backed by some 7000 civilian contractors). In the meantime, over a quarter of a million NVA and VC (who by this time were majority NVA personnel) were left in place within SVN, with all their bases free from once devastating US airpower. Hell they jumped for joy- it was a huge success, and more was to follow soon.

    On top of that infiltration never stopped- some 120,000 NVA infiltrated in 1974 for example. But oh no man – they were not “foreign” troops, just “good old local country boys” who just happened to show up from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. Oh and those country boys then began to build paved roads taking trucks 3 abreast, and fuel pipelines from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. into SVN… But hey, they wuz all nice local boys, or so the story went..

    As far as “humanitarianism”, this is laughable. The US effort in Vietnam was not a “humanitarian” effort, just as WW2 was no “humanitarian” effort. Vietnam was a war to impose the US will on a designated enemy. Even with the various restrictions, it tried to do that with a vengeance. The US dropped more bombs on SVN than in the entire WW2 pacific theater, killing thousands of civilians and making many more homeless. The bombs left over 25 million craters on an area the size of New Mexico (121,666 square miles), and heavily damaged over half the forests of South Vietnam and 60% of its hamlets. Overall, approximately three times the amount of bombs dropped in World War II were dropped on Vietnam as a whole, making it the most bombed country in history. Along with bombs some 400,000 tons of napalm were dropped and some 19.1 million gallons of herbicides were applied, including the poisonous, and infamous Agent Orange. Hell, if this was a “humanitarian” effort, what would a “war effort” look like? And that’s just bombing, not things like “free fire” artillery zones, or so called H&I “Harassment and Interdiction” random shelling that even Pentagon analysts criticized as not only ineffective but counterproductive. But hey, it was a humanitarian war you see..

    It should be noted that at the time, such approaches was CRITICIZED not merely by alleged “liberals” but by conservative military men like Marine General Krulak who found it overly heavy-handed, and counter-productive Even Lewis Sorley in his defense of the US effort criticizes Westmoreland’s “search and destroy” approach on some of these grounds- at times unnecessary destruction or counterproductive effort. The bogus narrative that only “the liberals” objected is sheer fantasy.

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    For a different and unique perspective on the Vietnam war by those (of us) who served, please obtain and read "Our War Was Different" by Al Hemingway.
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  124. anarchyst says:
    @EnrriqueCardova
    LOL, I wonder about this so called "humanitarian" notion. You are right- it was way, way down on the list. The prime objective was to defend the territory of our ally South Vietnam against northern aggression. That mission failed. Hell Article 20 of the "peace" agreement says that all foreign troops were to withdraw from SVN. We were so eager to cut and run that we, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, accepted the communist line that only US troops were "foreign." So there went most US troops and airpower, except for approx a thousand soldiers who handled aid procurement and replacement (backed by some 7000 civilian contractors). In the meantime, over a quarter of a million NVA and VC (who by this time were majority NVA personnel) were left in place within SVN, with all their bases free from once devastating US airpower. Hell they jumped for joy- it was a huge success, and more was to follow soon.

    On top of that infiltration never stopped- some 120,000 NVA infiltrated in 1974 for example. But oh no man - they were not "foreign" troops, just "good old local country boys" who just happened to show up from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. Oh and those country boys then began to build paved roads taking trucks 3 abreast, and fuel pipelines from across the borders of Laos, Cambodia and the DMZ. into SVN... But hey, they wuz all nice local boys, or so the story went..

    As far as "humanitarianism", this is laughable. The US effort in Vietnam was not a "humanitarian" effort, just as WW2 was no "humanitarian" effort. Vietnam was a war to impose the US will on a designated enemy. Even with the various restrictions, it tried to do that with a vengeance. The US dropped more bombs on SVN than in the entire WW2 pacific theater, killing thousands of civilians and making many more homeless. The bombs left over 25 million craters on an area the size of New Mexico (121,666 square miles), and heavily damaged over half the forests of South Vietnam and 60% of its hamlets. Overall, approximately three times the amount of bombs dropped in World War II were dropped on Vietnam as a whole, making it the most bombed country in history. Along with bombs some 400,000 tons of napalm were dropped and some 19.1 million gallons of herbicides were applied, including the poisonous, and infamous Agent Orange. Hell, if this was a "humanitarian" effort, what would a "war effort" look like? And that's just bombing, not things like "free fire" artillery zones, or so called H&I "Harassment and Interdiction" random shelling that even Pentagon analysts criticized as not only ineffective but counterproductive. But hey, it was a humanitarian war you see..

    It should be noted that at the time, such approaches was CRITICIZED not merely by alleged "liberals" but by conservative military men like Marine General Krulak who found it overly heavy-handed, and counter-productive Even Lewis Sorley in his defense of the US effort criticizes Westmoreland's "search and destroy" approach on some of these grounds- at times unnecessary destruction or counterproductive effort. The bogus narrative that only "the liberals" objected is sheer fantasy.

    For a different and unique perspective on the Vietnam war by those (of us) who served, please obtain and read “Our War Was Different” by Al Hemingway.

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  125. @Carlton Meyer
    They established a myth that we almost won in Vietnam but the politicians wouldn't let us finish the job, claiming we never lost a battle in Vietnam. That is false, so I posted a list of 104 "Lost Battles of the Vietnam War" that squashed this myth.

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    Good list and excellent resource. It does not take anything away from the Americans who fought in Vietnam. In any war you will lose some battles, and the US never lost a battalion-sized engagement or higher. The only quibble I have with your list is that you post the Ia Drang as a defeat. Most military histories credit the US with the victory there as far as comparative casualty count, and blocking the enemy from achieving his objectives. I do not doubt that in certain PARTS or phases of the battle the NVA may have fared a bit better in an immediate tactical situation., but the overall result most histories put in the US column. Indeed the presence of big US formations in the field encouraged communist forces to shift to smaller scale attacks overall until 72, save for occasional large scale foray such as Tet and Khe Sanh.

    In general, the list is a much needed corrective to the “fake news” beloved of many, the US never lost in Vietnam, and its all the fault of “the liberals” who say otherwise. In the words of one veteran who was there:

    “The result was that by 1970 we all realized that our total effort should be in geting our troops home safely.. For the infantry it became an exercise in “search and avoid” .. We all realized that this war was a lost cause..”
    –Michael A Eggleston, 2014. Exiting Vietnam, p 108-112

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  126. Small wonder this,

    The French were very eager for the US to lend their support to the effort in Vietnam.. The French were allies as far back as the war of 1776. If the US had simply wanted to export its will on N. Vietnam, she would joined the French and resolved the matter in 1950.

    But instead, the US withheld support that would have crushed N. Vietnam because the idea of colonial control – French colony – ran against our concept of individual freedom and self determination. It always astounds, the hoola hoops engaged for liberals to find an excuse for self flagellation.

    And the answers are simple: if the US merely wanted to exert her will she could have made the choice to bomb her way to N. Vietnam, instead the policy of containment was the one of choice. The worst possible choice.

    Vietnam was not the most bombed state during the conflict. I won’t even give a hint.

    And the predictable reliance on how bad bombing is — granted war bad — non war good. But if war is pressed by another — then war it is — and best do it to vigor and get it done.

    ——————–

    All of which suggests that occupation in which one has to contend with an insurgency requires a very intense and sustained response as did the French and Algiers or the Nazis in France — but to sustain it without alienating the population is a very tough call. That an occupation for which there are no clear boundaries to force an enemy requires a finesse and skill of the local population that we do not have in the middle East.

    Even something as understanding the language becomes a viral issue In France, the Germans were well familiar with French and in Algiers a large segment of the population spoke French.

    1. The French underground was a costly enterprise for the French. Had it not been for the invasions, there’s plenty of reason to think Nazi occupation would have contained any insurgency fairly effectively, at least in the major cities.

    2. The brutality of the French and the pressure placed on the population eventually backfired.

    I doubt US ethos would be able to sustain that level of brutal tactics to be successful without support of the population. The surge was only successful to the level of maintaining it.

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    • Replies: @EnrriqueCardova
    The French were very eager for the US to lend their support to the effort in Vietnam.. The French were allies as far back as the war of 1776. If the US had simply wanted to export its will on N. Vietnam, she would joined the French and resolved the matter in 1950.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    You are wrong again, and need to start reading more of the actual history of the war, which you seem quite unfamiliar with. Additional US aid would not have helped the French to win in 1950. While a major city like Hanoi was relatively easy to occupy, the French were already in the zone for the start of a long guerrilla war, and the Chinese border was right next door ready to supply Uncle Ho and his boys with much of what they needed. The only way for the French to have won was a massive troop commitment of multiple hundreds of thousands, for multiple decades, which a war weary France could not do in any case. Indochina simply was not worth such a commitment in a country still rebuilding from the damage of WW2.

    If America had wanted to win in 1950, it would have also needed to commit multiple divisions for multiple years to the Indochina jungles, even as it had its hands full with Korea, and a war weary public that demanded rapid demobilization after WW2. You are not grasping the basic historical picture, and instead rely on various obsolete right-wing fulminations. Read the actual history- not by egghead "liberals" but by sober military analysts and men who were there. General Maxwell Taylor himself warned about getting US troops bogged down in Vietnam, yet here you are making these sweeping statements bout all these easy "victories" that "would" have happened. Much of what you say is sheer fantasy.


    .
    All of which suggests that occupation in which one has to contend with an insurgency requires a very intense and sustained response as did the French and Algiers or the Nazis in France — but to sustain it without alienating the population is a very tough call. That an occupation for which there are no clear boundaries to force an enemy requires a finesse and skill of the local population that we do not have in the middle East.
    -----------------------------------------------

    But you are contradicting yourself. Here you talk about all the finesse and skill needed in an insurgency, but up above you offer a simplistic "bomb to victory" claim. You need to read and understand more actual history rather than simply proffer off- the- cuff opinion.
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  127. @EliteCommInc.
    Small wonder this,

    The French were very eager for the US to lend their support to the effort in Vietnam.. The French were allies as far back as the war of 1776. If the US had simply wanted to export its will on N. Vietnam, she would joined the French and resolved the matter in 1950.

    But instead, the US withheld support that would have crushed N. Vietnam because the idea of colonial control - French colony - ran against our concept of individual freedom and self determination. It always astounds, the hoola hoops engaged for liberals to find an excuse for self flagellation.

    And the answers are simple: if the US merely wanted to exert her will she could have made the choice to bomb her way to N. Vietnam, instead the policy of containment was the one of choice. The worst possible choice.

    Vietnam was not the most bombed state during the conflict. I won't even give a hint.

    And the predictable reliance on how bad bombing is --- granted war bad -- non war good. But if war is pressed by another -- then war it is -- and best do it to vigor and get it done.

    --------------------

    All of which suggests that occupation in which one has to contend with an insurgency requires a very intense and sustained response as did the French and Algiers or the Nazis in France -- but to sustain it without alienating the population is a very tough call. That an occupation for which there are no clear boundaries to force an enemy requires a finesse and skill of the local population that we do not have in the middle East.

    Even something as understanding the language becomes a viral issue In France, the Germans were well familiar with French and in Algiers a large segment of the population spoke French.

    1. The French underground was a costly enterprise for the French. Had it not been for the invasions, there's plenty of reason to think Nazi occupation would have contained any insurgency fairly effectively, at least in the major cities.

    2. The brutality of the French and the pressure placed on the population eventually backfired.

    I doubt US ethos would be able to sustain that level of brutal tactics to be successful without support of the population. The surge was only successful to the level of maintaining it.

    The French were very eager for the US to lend their support to the effort in Vietnam.. The French were allies as far back as the war of 1776. If the US had simply wanted to export its will on N. Vietnam, she would joined the French and resolved the matter in 1950.
    —————————————————-

    You are wrong again, and need to start reading more of the actual history of the war, which you seem quite unfamiliar with. Additional US aid would not have helped the French to win in 1950. While a major city like Hanoi was relatively easy to occupy, the French were already in the zone for the start of a long guerrilla war, and the Chinese border was right next door ready to supply Uncle Ho and his boys with much of what they needed. The only way for the French to have won was a massive troop commitment of multiple hundreds of thousands, for multiple decades, which a war weary France could not do in any case. Indochina simply was not worth such a commitment in a country still rebuilding from the damage of WW2.

    If America had wanted to win in 1950, it would have also needed to commit multiple divisions for multiple years to the Indochina jungles, even as it had its hands full with Korea, and a war weary public that demanded rapid demobilization after WW2. You are not grasping the basic historical picture, and instead rely on various obsolete right-wing fulminations. Read the actual history- not by egghead “liberals” but by sober military analysts and men who were there. General Maxwell Taylor himself warned about getting US troops bogged down in Vietnam, yet here you are making these sweeping statements bout all these easy “victories” that “would” have happened. Much of what you say is sheer fantasy.

    .
    All of which suggests that occupation in which one has to contend with an insurgency requires a very intense and sustained response as did the French and Algiers or the Nazis in France — but to sustain it without alienating the population is a very tough call. That an occupation for which there are no clear boundaries to force an enemy requires a finesse and skill of the local population that we do not have in the middle East.
    ———————————————–

    But you are contradicting yourself. Here you talk about all the finesse and skill needed in an insurgency, but up above you offer a simplistic “bomb to victory” claim. You need to read and understand more actual history rather than simply proffer off- the- cuff opinion.

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  128. Its not the amount of reading. it’s the content, accuracy and interpretation of what is read.

    “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.”
    Michael Corleone

    A contention that more US aid would have been unhelpful to the french colonial occupation of Vietnam, is a counter factual that could be discussed in detail. But there’s nothing to skipping the import of my conyention. The contention is that the purpose of the war was not for the US to exercise her will over an enemy. Ignoring the very real “cold war” dynamic as objective — if it was merely an exercise of US will over an enemy

    1. the US would have joined the French colonial or not — they provided limited support

    2. the US never launched full scale war of invading and destroying N. Vietnam as they most assuredly could and about which was ho Chi mins, primary concern — he knew that N. Vietnam could not overcome the US.

    The US did not invade S. Vietnam. S. Vietnam was a separate state with a functioning government, regardless of the complaints and both the royal and public versions of that leadership invited, encouraged and supported US participation. Neither scenario is true of France occupied Germany or Algeria occupied by the French –

    Which is why making comparisons between post cold war scenarios and cold war strategic scenarios is tricky business. The US occupied Afghanistan and Iraq — the insurgencies have very narrow corridors of comparisons.

    Those differences have monumental consequences. Not only is there no contradiction I don’t hop skip around using spurious details to ignore troublesome hurdles, such as invasion juxtaposed against insurgence or an invitation as in partnership — juxtaposed uninvited guest. It’s not that complicated.

    But I should know better to engage a foundation that rests on invading a country to arrest, capture and kill twenty or so actors if that many. There is a serious internal conundrum in this discussion, here’s a hint . . .

    More US aid would not have helped the French win.

    The only way to win was for a massive overwhelming force.

    Ignoring the fact that it was overwhelming force that forced N. Vietnam to the table – win.

    It’s a fairly safe bet that had the US provided the force to help the French they applied after 1970 a French, US, Philippine, Australian effort would have settled the matter in months not years.

    It’s also not what you read but the logic used to advance it . . . and that logic must overcome what people feel happened or wanted to happen —

    What you engage in is referred to as fallacy of composition, fallacy of division, false dilemmas and the fallacy of exception and false comparisons. If you front, middle or back load your position(s) with any of those fallacies, much less more — it really doesn’t matter how much one reads —

    In short, my comments are clearly that making comparisons between pre-cold war, cold war and post cold war scenarios are difficult, especially post cold and the previous. But even minus the differences in those grand strategic environments, assessing the value of COIN requires comparing dynamics that play out uniquely —

    I would grant that the sloppy critical analysis by opponents have found the muddying those waters convenient, as most of the arguments thus far presented. I like to call them the arguments of the what “abouts” . . . It’s the kid on the playground that telling the kid whose not fighting not to fight as he or she is being attacked by another.

    Hence my overall opposition to start this conversation from the conflict in Vietnam — of limited use. No one should take lessons about Vietnam from anyone who contends the war I Afghanistan was justified. The only thing worse would be taking seriously anyone who complains about Vietnam but supported the idea of invading Iraq.

    Since the US had no intention of being a colonial power in Vietnam (as the French were in Algeria) nor accessing it as part of greater territories (Germany were in France) — leap frogging between Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan where we were clearly invaders and occupiers has limited value.

    Anyone interested might actually want to examine what constitutes an insurgency before running amok making comparisons claiming contradictions.

    Not for lack of response, I am sure — but because a discussion about COIN is important for our future military endeavors of invasion – minus any legitimate invite

    I will bite my tongue, hand and or fingers from further comment about Vietnam.

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