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The Vietnam Nightmare---Again
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Much of America, including yours truly, has been watching the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series, ‘Vietnam.’ Instead of clarifying that confusing conflict, the series has ignited fiery controversy and a lot of long-repressed anger by soft-soaping Washington’s motives.

This march to folly in Vietnam is particularly painful for me since I enlisted in the US army at the height of the war. Gripped by youthful patriotism, I strongly supported the war. In fact, the TV series even showed a pro-war march down New York’s Fifth Avenue that I had joined. Talk about déjà vu.

At the time, 1967, the Cold War was at full force. We really believed that if the US did not make a stand in Vietnam the Soviets and Chinese would overrun all of South Asia.

No one in Washington seemed to know that China and the Soviet Union had split and become bitter enemies. As ever, our foreign human intelligence was lousy. We didn’t understand that Vietnam deserved independence after a century of French colonialism. Or that what happened in Vietnam was of little importance to the rest of the world.

Three American presidents blundered into this war or prolonged it, then could not back out lest they lose face and risk humiliation. I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed. This is a charming legend. Richard Nixon, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all feared that a withdrawal from Vietnam would lose them the next election. Republicans were still snarling over ‘who lost China’.

The current 17-year old US war in Afghanistan has uncanny resemblances to the Vietnam War. In Kabul and Saigon, the US installed puppet governments that command no loyalty except from minority groups. They were steeped in drugs and corruption, and kept in power by intensive use of American air power. As in Vietnam, the US military and civilian effort in Afghanistan is led by a toxic mixture of deep ignorance and imperial arrogance.

The US military understands it has long ago lost the Afghan War but cannot bear the humiliation of admitting it was defeated by lightly-armed mountain tribesmen fighting for their independence. In Vietnam, Washington could not admit that young Vietnamese guerillas and regulars had bested the US armed forces thanks to their indomitable courage and intelligent tactics. No one outside Vietnam cared about the 2-3 million civilians killed in the conflict

Unfortunately, the PBS program fails to convey this imperial arrogance and the ignorance that impelled Washington into the war – the same foolhardy behavior that sent US forces into Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq and perhaps may do so in a second Korean War. The imperial spirit still burns hot in Washington among those who don’t know or understand the outside world. The lessons of all these past conflicts have been forgotten: Washington’s collective memory is only three years long.

Vietnam was not a ‘tragedy,’ as the PBS series asserts, but the product of imperial geopolitics. The same holds true for today’s Mideast wars. To paraphrase a famous slogan from Vietnam, we destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to make them safe for ‘freedom.’

One of the craziest things about the Vietnam War has rarely been acknowledged: even at peak deployment, the 550,000 US soldiers in Vietnam were outnumbered by North Vietnamese fighting units.

That’s because the huge US military had only about 50,000 real combat troops in the field. The other half million were support troops performing logistical and administrative functions behind the lines: a vast army of typists, cooks, truck drivers, psychologists, and pizza-makers.

Too much tail to teeth, as the army calls it. For Thanksgiving, everyone got turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, choppered into the remotest outposts. But there were simply not enough riflemen to take on the Viet Cong and tough North Vietnamese Army whose Soviet M1954 130mm howitzer with a 27 km range were far superior to the US Army’s outdated WWII artillery.

Poor generalship, mediocre officers, and lack of discipline ensured that the US war effort in Vietnam would become and remain a mess. Stupid, pointless attacks against heavily defended hills inflicted huge casualties on US troops and eroded morale.

The monumentally stupid war mismanagement of Pentagon chief Robert McNamara, a know-it-all who knew nothing, turned the war into a macabre joke. This was the dumbest command decision since Louis XV put his girlfriend Madame de Pompadour in charge of his armies.

We soldiers, both in Vietnam and Stateside, scorned the war and mocked our officers. It didn’t help that much of the US force in ‘Nam’ were often stoned and rebellious.

The January 30, 1968 Tet Offensive put the kibosh on US plans to pursue the war – and even take it into south-west China. Tet was a military victory of sorts for the US (and why not, with thousands of warplanes and B-52 heavy bombers) but a huge political/psychological victory for the Communists in spite of their heavy losses.

I vividly recall standing with a group of GI’s reading a typed report on our company barracks advising that the Special Forces camp in the Central Highlands to which many of our company had been assigned for immediate duty had been overrun at Tet, and all its defenders killed. After that, the US Army’s motto was ‘stay alive, avoid combat, and smoke another reefer.’

The war became aimless and often surreal. We soldiers all knew our senior officers and political leaders were lying. Many soldiers were at the edge of mutiny, like the French Army in 1917. Back in those ancient days, we had expected our political leaders to be men of rectitude who told us the truth. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.

This same dark cloud hangs over our political landscape today. We have destroyed large parts of the Mideast, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan without a second thought – yet wonder why peoples from these ravaged nations hate us. Now, North Korea seems next.

Showing defiance to Washington brought B-52 bombers, toxic Agent Orange defoliants and endless storms of napalm and white phosphorus that would burn through one’s body until it hit bone.

In spite of all, our imperial impulse till throbs. The nightmare Vietnam War in which over 58,000 American soldiers died for nothing has been largely forgotten. So we can now repeat the same fatal errors again without shame, remorse or understanding.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: American Media, Vietnam War 
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  1. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don’t. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can’t be controlled at a distance. Of course the morale of US soldiers ends up being bad when they realize there’s nothing for them to fight for. No one wants to die to help some politician save face. Insofar as the current much publicized Vietnam documentary goes there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s new or original. All of it has been known for many years to anyone who would bother to brush up on the subject. The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Christian

    "The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority."
     
    Americans at-large have no power. A small cadre runs things now. Once Americans didn't have a draft to worry over, they vacated the streets and left the dying to the farmers' sons (metaphor for the poor). That's all it is. The damage done to the economy, the sheer quantities of cash vacuumed up from the rest of the country and showered over the Washington DC region escapes the imagination of us out here in the country with our local issues and problems. These, rooted in the sheer theft of our taxes and handed over to the war-mongers of DC because there simply isn't enough left over after feeding The Beast in Washington. We have aircraft carriers that can't launch aircraft, planes that won't fly, weapons that won't work and wrong strategies followed in war-fighting and procurement, yet still, the theft goes on.

    War after war lost, yet the Generals are still revered, money to the pro-war think tanks is never ending and the revolving door between the Pentagon, White House and defense contractors (and their corporate boards) has never been richer. Doesn't matter the war industry doesn't win wars, the money is just so damned good they can't stop, won't stop. And who is to stop them? These are the folks that kill people, that have a file on each of us. Indeed, it is our only remaining industry, flawed and failed though it may be. It certainly is a rich one. And it IS unstoppable. Completely. Utterly.
    , @Don Bacon
    re: "No one wants to die to help some politician save face."

    I don't have a teevee, but I bet they didn't cover the mutiny in the ranks which is the main reason the US had to withdraw because of a "broken army." That included fragging, mission refusal, and an overall negative attitude as you suggest. Now we have a volunteer army, a warrior class, which changes that dynamic.

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  2. Cranky says:

    So whose name gets to be the last American killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc?

    Dying for a place on the memorial, boys.

    “The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away.”

    Some things don’t change- I wonder if Rand has a new copy of the Pentagon Papers regarding post 9/11.

    And a new Nixon in office….he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it…simply amazing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam McGowan
    No, Nixon DID NOT push more into it. Nixon began deescalating the war as soon as he took office. He just didn't do it the way the leftists who had turned against the war wanted him too. The Cambodia "incursion" was not an escalation nor did it make a "wider war." The North Vietnamese were already taking over Cambodia and using it as a sanctuary and supply base for their operations in South Vietnam. Those of us who were actually there at the time applauded the move as something that should have been done years before. Incidentally, we also applauded the National Guard at Kent State.
    , @Hu Mi Yu

    I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed. This is a charming legend. Richard Nixon, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all feared that a withdrawal from Vietnam would lose them the next election. Republicans were still snarling over ‘who lost China’.
     
    I didn't like Kennedy either, but go back and reread the newspapers from the early days of the Kennedy administration. The oval office was bugged, and the information leaked in ways to embarrass Kennedy and UN Ambassador Adelai Stevenson. There is only one way that could have happened. Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left. These same bugs brought down Nixon in the Watergate crisis. The swamp wanted war, and they pulled the rug out from under both presidents as soon as they brought peace.

    And a new Nixon in office….he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it…simply amazing.
     
    He promised to get out...and he did get us out. The peace treaty was announced just before the election in 1972. He knew it was his only hope for re-election. The Vietnamese disputed some of the terms, and that resulted in the Christmas bombing that year. The American withdrawal began in January 1973.

    Trump promised to get us out of the Middle East. We should give him some rope. Maybe he hangs himself, or just maybe he can pull it off. He will need to be re-elected in three years.
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  3. Sam McGowan says: • Website

    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn’t “lose” the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted “to contain it”. Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to “nail the coonskin to the wall.” Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to “reduce American casualties” shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea – as well as other wars around the world – were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn’s latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don’t need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @nsa
    Save your senile hot air for the other menopausal drunks drooling in the VFW lounge. The conscript US military completely collapsed.........fragging, rampant drug usage, desertion, abject morale, chain of command disintegration, and the usual commissioned officer cowardice. Any western country stupid enough to pursue a land war in Asia deserves what it gets.......inevitable defeat and humiliation.
    , @Jim Christian
    Concur all, McGowan, good takes. Yeah, my Pop was into Naval spook communications and messaging, he'd pick up the WashPost off the driveway and see various and sundry in the paper lying and white-washing the effort and just be wild by the time he left for work. He knew the carriers were having no success, he knew the air-war was a mess, he knew the Marines were getting killed all over the country. People that knew the truth from the inside hadda keep their traps shut. By the time I joined up for a 6 year dose of USN carrier decks in 1976 I got the scoop from a few of our officers, almost all of whom had flown with VA35 over Vietnam in A-6's. Clusterfuck, they could then acknowledge just those few years later, only the most junior officers hadn't served in the air war over Vietnam. And they had good stories that pointed out the folly throughout.

    Now? The military is just a revenue-stream, nothing produced, much destroyed to the enrichment of a few insiders.
    , @Dave37
    During my two years in Nam I saw some dissatisfaction in the troops but it seemed to me it had more to do with the people who were drafted. Of course the army, like most bureaucracies, is a big blundering bull in the china shop but as far as being in a war that was lost, the American troops still had it better than the North Viet side ever did. Fortunately I'll be gone before they start tearing down Viet Nam wall and vilifying it's participants as criminals. Good luck to the future, they're going to need it I guess.
    , @grr
    "the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ".

    LOL, only in AmeriKa would anyone label right-wing fascists as left-wing.
    , @Blowback
    What don't you understand about Clausewitz's dictum "war is the mere continuation of politics with other means"? War is what you do when you can't achieve your political objectives by other means. The United States' political objective in Vietnam was to prevent the American satrapy in the south being re-united by the nationalists in the north. So, where the f**k is South Vietnam? The United States might believe it won every battle (slight exaggeration) but it still lost the American war.
    , @jacques sheete

    The fact is that the US didn’t “lose” the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it
     
    Despite your bona fides, (in both senses of the phrase
    ), those statements display a shamefully superficial analysis; in fact, they sound downright naive to me.

    First, explain what you mean by winning and losing, and consider in what senses the terms apply. In this context, "winning" could mean accomplishing one's goals. I'd contend that, for instance, the winners, at least in their own wretched minds, were certain Pentagon nutcase glamour boys such as the bemedalled and pampered-for-life field and general grade morons who walked away with more medals and rank and fat sinecures and the war profiteers.

    Those who lost were those who suffered for no valid reason, and I'd say the Vietnamese peasants certainly fall into that category, and so do the duped members of the US working classes who lost life, limbs, minds, friends and relatives doing the devil's dirty work.

    Regarding the comment about left wingers, I'd say that's an obsolete and corny way of describing some our political jackals since there's really not much difference, morally, between the so called left and right. They're merely opposite sides of the same coin. Either way, you flip it, the net value is the same.

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  4. Sam McGowan says: • Website
    @Cranky
    So whose name gets to be the last American killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc?

    Dying for a place on the memorial, boys.

    "The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away."

    Some things don't change- I wonder if Rand has a new copy of the Pentagon Papers regarding post 9/11.

    And a new Nixon in office....he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it...simply amazing.

    No, Nixon DID NOT push more into it. Nixon began deescalating the war as soon as he took office. He just didn’t do it the way the leftists who had turned against the war wanted him too. The Cambodia “incursion” was not an escalation nor did it make a “wider war.” The North Vietnamese were already taking over Cambodia and using it as a sanctuary and supply base for their operations in South Vietnam. Those of us who were actually there at the time applauded the move as something that should have been done years before. Incidentally, we also applauded the National Guard at Kent State.

    Read More
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  5. nsa says:
    @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    Save your senile hot air for the other menopausal drunks drooling in the VFW lounge. The conscript US military completely collapsed………fragging, rampant drug usage, desertion, abject morale, chain of command disintegration, and the usual commissioned officer cowardice. Any western country stupid enough to pursue a land war in Asia deserves what it gets…….inevitable defeat and humiliation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rich
    Do you base you're historical knowledge on what you picked up from a few bad movies in the 70's? You're lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing. I'm sure there's something you have a bit of knowledge about, the Vietnam War is obviously not it.
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  6. I don’t think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let’s keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let’s remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR’s government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn’t intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been ‘debunked’, it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn’t all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn’t all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics… at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn’t defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn’t sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations — India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets — , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina — brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia — and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it’s clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn’t want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory… just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn’t have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today’s progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    My comment #8, supra, should have been addressed to Priss Factor at comment #6, but I guess I forgot the REPLY button.
    , @The Alarmist

    "And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland."
     
    Bingo! The only problem is that the globalists are now using the opportunity to also wear down the populations of the home territories as well. The only reason our national economic imperialism wasn't enough of a raging success (don't get me wrong ... by any rational measure it was) was that it was kept in check by the opposing communist bloc, and still America managed to conquer the so-called free world with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Hollywood Inc., etc.

    When the communists gave up and joined the party, our globalist masters realized that they could not only amass further wealth by spreading these things to the former communist bloc and under-exploited non-aligned nations, but they could now squeeze even more profit-margin out of the home territories by wearing down the power of the local workforce at all levels, except, of course, for the very pinnacle, by outsourcing production and even many services to the newly "developing world."

    Ironically, fighting the communist threat probably kept our leadership more honest than they have been in the new world order since the fall of communism.
    , @Joe Wong
    You surely are a fine specimen of the 'god-fearing' morally defunct evil 'puritans', always portray someone else worse than you, the American, with fake news to exonerate yourself the war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace you have been committing since the Columbus time; no matter how evil the American does, you always can conclude that whatever USA does is necessary with the best intention.

    Reading through your comment is like peeking through the mind of a psychopath who is always wondering why other people behave different from his, the only way the psychopath can make sense this weird phenomenon to himself is by calling others psychos.

    In case you don't know for over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and enslave its people.

    USA is 10,000 miles on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. American is an alien to Asia. In history no alien ever has the well-being of locals in heart; they are the invaders and troublemakers; the only way they can benefit from a faraway place is to create chaos, insert wedges, sow discords and incite animosities between the locals. Go home Yankee, you are not wanted, not invited and not loved in Asia.
    , @edNels
    It took 'em 50 yrs. to come up with this soft ball redux on 'Nam War'?

    Burns wore a little thin on the Civil War documentary anyways.

    Lot's of good video from Viet Nam War, they don't allow that anymore.
    , @Anon
    "But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao."

    Let's ask the Vietnamese people that question!

    http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/143784

    Over 7 million tons of bombs were dropped by the US during the Vietnam War; over 2 million tons were dropped during WW2.

    The US first used napalm during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters, and also deployed it during the Korean War. However, those instances are dwarfed by American use of napalm in the Vietnam War, where the US dropped almost 400,000 tons of napalm bombs in the decade between 1963 and 1973. Of the Vietnamese people who were on the receiving end, 60% suffered fifth-degree burns, meaning that the burn went down to the bone.

    Horrifying as napalm is, its effects at least are time-limited. That is not the case with the other major chemical weapon the US used against Vietnam - Agent Orange.

    And then of course, we have Operation Phoenix.

    Estimates of total Vietnamese killed - between two to four million. Yes, not Russia or China under Moa and Stalin, but Vietnam is a small country.
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  7. DanC says:

    The US is going to stay in Afghanistan until the empire runs out of money, or men, to keep the place from opening up to the Chinese.

    Afghanistan is the route the Chinese plan to route the OBOR network through, eastward into Iran, and thenceward on to Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean.

    The US occupation of Afghanistan, and its involvement in Pakistan, are the plugs stopping the Chinese from breaking through with a land connection to Iran, and points beyond.

    The 21st century version of the Great Game.

    Will attempts to obstruct Chinese railway-building on the Silk Road have the same results that attempting to obstruct German railway building on the Silk Road had one hundred years ago?

    https://carlcymrushistoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/the-berlin-baghdad-railway-and-the-outbreak-of-world-war-one/

    Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!

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    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "Afghanistan is the route the Chinese plan to route the OBOR network through, eastward into Iran, and thenceward on to Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean." -- DanC
     
    So, DanC, you actually looked at a map of the region!

    Way back in about 2005, I guess, I brought this point up variously in the blogosphere. Back then, there was a lot of talk about a supposed NS road/pipeline through Afghanistan. I found that to be a ridiculously transparent cover for the real issue of countering or preventing a likely Chinese plan to build an EW pipeline from China to Iran. Insiders who actually (probably) talked privately about the EW pipeline, of course could not openly discuss it. So they talked in 'code' about a US NS pipeline.(That's my conjecture, but it seems pretty obvious,) Very few people back then (or now?) had (have) any idea that Afghanistan connects China with Iran. Looking critically at maps is apparently something most folks just do not do!
    , @Vidi

    Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!
     
    Or until all the routes into Afghanistan are blocked. At the moment, the only route still open passes through Pakistan, and that may close at any time.
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  8. Very good, PF, as good as possible, summary of the whole deadly cluster-f**k of Vietnam. Especially since you really try to bring some balance into the equation. Unfortunately, neither you nor Sam McGowan nor Margolis, nor (I suppose although I’m not sure) Burns in his documentary … none of the voices here seems to emphasize or even mention what to me is the key event in the Vietnam War, namely, the Gulf of Tonkin affair (fraudulent cover-up). ‘That’s because my view is from a 100% American POV, since I have never been in Vietnam. I was, as it happens, tangentially involved from inside a DoD contractor, but really I did not GAS (Give A Sh***) until I woke up one morning to the news that Senator Fulbright had made a statement concerning why and how he had supported the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, assuring its near-unanimous passage — only Senator Morse (Oregon) and Senator Gruening (Alaska) held out, demanding a full hearing before they could approve the Resolution. Morse and Gruening were both populist and maverick Democrats from the Pacific NW back when there was still some lingering pioneer spirit there.

    What I heard Fulbright say, shortly after the Resolution had passed, is that LBJ had phoned him right after the alleged Gulf of Tonkin incident, leaned on their (Johnson’s and Fulbright’s) long association in the GOB club going back to the days of FDR, and, persuaded Fulbright to give his support. But LBJ had also promised Fulbright that he would give him (Fulbright) a full report later, like shortly. Fulbright, as it developed, had never gotten that report and in the news story that I heard on the radio, stated that he (Fulbright) still had no idea what had actually happened at the Gulf of Tonkin on the night of 4 August 1964.

    This announcement by Fulbright was early August 1964 … so I’m not talking about the brouhaha of the investigation years later led by Senator John Kerry … I’m talking about August 1964. From the POV of a constitutionalist, from my POV, Vietnam gave off a terrible stink from that point forward.

    https://userpages.umbc.edu/~jamie/html/did_lbj_overstep_the_gulf_of_t.html

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/twe-remembers-congress-passes-gulf-tonkin-resolution

    https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/senate-foreign-relations-committee-releases-volumes-of-previously-classified-transcripts-from-vietnam-era-hearings

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  9. @Priss Factor
    I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics... at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory... just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

    My comment #8, supra, should have been addressed to Priss Factor at comment #6, but I guess I forgot the REPLY button.

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  10. @DanC
    The US is going to stay in Afghanistan until the empire runs out of money, or men, to keep the place from opening up to the Chinese.

    Afghanistan is the route the Chinese plan to route the OBOR network through, eastward into Iran, and thenceward on to Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean.

    The US occupation of Afghanistan, and its involvement in Pakistan, are the plugs stopping the Chinese from breaking through with a land connection to Iran, and points beyond.

    The 21st century version of the Great Game.

    Will attempts to obstruct Chinese railway-building on the Silk Road have the same results that attempting to obstruct German railway building on the Silk Road had one hundred years ago?

    https://carlcymrushistoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/the-berlin-baghdad-railway-and-the-outbreak-of-world-war-one/

    Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!

    “Afghanistan is the route the Chinese plan to route the OBOR network through, eastward into Iran, and thenceward on to Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean.” — DanC

    So, DanC, you actually looked at a map of the region!

    Way back in about 2005, I guess, I brought this point up variously in the blogosphere. Back then, there was a lot of talk about a supposed NS road/pipeline through Afghanistan. I found that to be a ridiculously transparent cover for the real issue of countering or preventing a likely Chinese plan to build an EW pipeline from China to Iran. Insiders who actually (probably) talked privately about the EW pipeline, of course could not openly discuss it. So they talked in ‘code’ about a US NS pipeline.(That’s my conjecture, but it seems pretty obvious,) Very few people back then (or now?) had (have) any idea that Afghanistan connects China with Iran. Looking critically at maps is apparently something most folks just do not do!

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  11. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Is the view that JFK wanted out of Vietnam merely a conspiratorial fantasy?. The following articles are easy reads:

    Exit Strategy: In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam
    James K. Galbraith, BOSTON REVIEW

    JFK’s Vietnam Withdrawal Plan Is a Fact, Not Speculation
    A response to Rick Perlstein.
    By James K. Galbraith, THE NATION

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    • Agree: Grandpa Charlie
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  12. @anonymous
    For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don't. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can't be controlled at a distance. Of course the morale of US soldiers ends up being bad when they realize there's nothing for them to fight for. No one wants to die to help some politician save face. Insofar as the current much publicized Vietnam documentary goes there doesn't seem to be anything that's new or original. All of it has been known for many years to anyone who would bother to brush up on the subject. The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.

    “The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.”

    Americans at-large have no power. A small cadre runs things now. Once Americans didn’t have a draft to worry over, they vacated the streets and left the dying to the farmers’ sons (metaphor for the poor). That’s all it is. The damage done to the economy, the sheer quantities of cash vacuumed up from the rest of the country and showered over the Washington DC region escapes the imagination of us out here in the country with our local issues and problems. These, rooted in the sheer theft of our taxes and handed over to the war-mongers of DC because there simply isn’t enough left over after feeding The Beast in Washington. We have aircraft carriers that can’t launch aircraft, planes that won’t fly, weapons that won’t work and wrong strategies followed in war-fighting and procurement, yet still, the theft goes on.

    War after war lost, yet the Generals are still revered, money to the pro-war think tanks is never ending and the revolving door between the Pentagon, White House and defense contractors (and their corporate boards) has never been richer. Doesn’t matter the war industry doesn’t win wars, the money is just so damned good they can’t stop, won’t stop. And who is to stop them? These are the folks that kill people, that have a file on each of us. Indeed, it is our only remaining industry, flawed and failed though it may be. It certainly is a rich one. And it IS unstoppable. Completely. Utterly.

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  13. @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    Concur all, McGowan, good takes. Yeah, my Pop was into Naval spook communications and messaging, he’d pick up the WashPost off the driveway and see various and sundry in the paper lying and white-washing the effort and just be wild by the time he left for work. He knew the carriers were having no success, he knew the air-war was a mess, he knew the Marines were getting killed all over the country. People that knew the truth from the inside hadda keep their traps shut. By the time I joined up for a 6 year dose of USN carrier decks in 1976 I got the scoop from a few of our officers, almost all of whom had flown with VA35 over Vietnam in A-6′s. Clusterfuck, they could then acknowledge just those few years later, only the most junior officers hadn’t served in the air war over Vietnam. And they had good stories that pointed out the folly throughout.

    Now? The military is just a revenue-stream, nothing produced, much destroyed to the enrichment of a few insiders.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    A bit off topic, but, since I know that you had naval experience, any take on why Navy ships keep colliding with merchantmen? Is it reduced competence because of racial and sexual preferences, or overworked sailors because deployed ships are short-staffed as a result of pregnancies? Or is it just a run of bad luck? I've read some different theories but I've seen you post often enough to know that you'll have an informed opinion.
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  14. “I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed.” — Margolis

    Margolis is one of those many writers/critics who simply cannot bring himself to say anything good about the USA. Therefore, he cannot abide anything being said about any POTUS that is not negative if not totally condemnatory. He has, however, admitted that there were a few days back in 1942 (Battle of Midway) of which we may actually be proud, as Americans. But even then he has to make a baseless slurring attack on FDR, who was POTUS at that time. Here’s what he said in his article that was mostly about the Battle of Midway:

    “The USS carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown had been sent away from Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attack. Had they been in port, Japan would have won the Pacific War on 7 Dec 1941. But they were not, strongly suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration of Japan’s plans.” — Margolis

    Then Margolis follows with an ostensibly unrelated paragraph about code-breaking in WW II. In that way, he is actually saying (without saying it, because it is baseless) that FDR knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl well in advance but chose to ignore it in order to sacrifice American lives for the sake of getting us into a war with Japan (“suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration”) The facts are well-known and have been gone over about a million times, about this myth that FDR was complicit in the success of the Japanese surprise attack: FDR and all other major figures in his administration did know that there was to be a Japanese offensive on 7 December 1941, but they had no idea or reasonable suspicion that it was to be a huge air raid on Pearl. And they could not announce what they knew (although they did distribute the gist of the information to a select few, including both the Army and the Navy commanders at Pearl) without letting the Japanese know that their codes had been broken, and, as Margolis notes, the ability to read Japanese encoded commo was essential in winning WW II and saved countless American lives.

    Most thought, MacArthur for example, that Japan would attack the Philippines. And most in Hawaii thought that the danger there was from Japanese submarines. The air raid on Pearl was the largest sea-based air raid in all of history, it was a huge success despite the fact that it was at a distance from Japan such that no one could or did believe it possible (except maybe for one isolated naval officer in a relatively minor position). It was a true case of “hindsight is 20-20.” In another notable instance, Japan was successful in pulling off the “impossible” early in the Pacific War when the JIA attacked and took Singapore from the north where everyone had always assumed it was impossible because of impenetrable jungle. (Fall of Singapore, 15 February 1942)

    Getting back to Margolis, just as in the case of FDR, JFK posed a threat to the ‘USA=Evil’ school of thought, and Margolis had to respond with a condemnatory theory about JFK, lest something positive slip by about a POTUS and thus about USA … which might cause people to think rather than to just applaud when a writer such as Margolis tries to cash in his “USA = EVIL” chip (you know, the red one with a picture of Lucifer on one side and a $ sign on the other).

    “I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed.” — Margolis

    Note that Margolis doesn’t just say that he doubts that JFK in 1963 was planning to end USA’s involvement in Vietnam, he would “not for a moment” believe such a thing about the “saintly” JFK “Not for a moment” … making it sound like there is no evidence contrary to what Margolis believes … in other words, Margolis is running a bluff, hoping to scare us (his audience) into folding immediately … OMG, he has the “saint” card! … rather than thinking. Writers like Margolis don’t want us thinking, they want to do all the thinking for us!

    Here’s one of the things about JFK and Vietnam that Margolis doesn’t mention: during the JFK years, no one in the US Army could be assigned duty in Vietnam unless they specifically requested it, by specific order of JFK. Is that a crazy idea, especially for those of us that actually have been in the Army, is that a crazy and unprecedented idea, or what? Sure, the Lieutenant might ask for volunteers in forming up a squad for a dangerous mission (or not!) but imposing such a restriction on an entire theater of battle? Crazy and unprecedented, and totally contrary to the sacred ‘Army Way”! Either Margolis does not know about that fact or he chooses not to tell us about it … because that might lead us to research into further evidence that JFK probably really would have pulled USA out of Vietnam if he were to be re-elected in 1964!

    I’m just saying … and what am I ‘just saying’? I’m saying that Eric Margolis is a propagandist. So be wary when you read his stuff. He’s just another propagandist.

    Who does he work for?

    “Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia … He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.” — ericmargolis.com/official-bio

    I’m not saying to never read his stuff. I’m just saying MAYBE never read his stuff.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    The Japanese trained their naval cadets using a mock Pearl Harbor type exercise annually for a fair number of years prior to WW2. The Russo-Japanese War of 1905 began with a Japanese surprise attack. You have the unmitigated gall to attack Margolis as an establishment mouthpiece when you yourself are whitewashhing the"sainted" FDR. No prudent military planner would absolutely assume that the attack would come in one particular place, whether the Phillipines, Pearl, or elsewhere.
    , @jacques sheete
    Gramps, while I agree with your scepticism and advice regarding Margolis, I have to say that your defense of the Pinko, FR, is a bit off kilter.

    There is much evidence that FDR provoked Japanese militarists to fire the first shot by initiating into the desperate attack on PH.

    That unctuous fool was a traitor to the American people, but not, of course, to his dandy class.
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  15. Sir
    Recently came across some startling statistics about men who served in Vietnam like you and me.Of the
    2.7 million who served only 850,000 are still alive at last census!!!!!! 700,500 died prematurely between 1995 census and 2000 census. No country for old men .

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  16. @Priss Factor
    I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics... at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory... just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

    “And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.”

    Bingo! The only problem is that the globalists are now using the opportunity to also wear down the populations of the home territories as well. The only reason our national economic imperialism wasn’t enough of a raging success (don’t get me wrong … by any rational measure it was) was that it was kept in check by the opposing communist bloc, and still America managed to conquer the so-called free world with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Hollywood Inc., etc.

    When the communists gave up and joined the party, our globalist masters realized that they could not only amass further wealth by spreading these things to the former communist bloc and under-exploited non-aligned nations, but they could now squeeze even more profit-margin out of the home territories by wearing down the power of the local workforce at all levels, except, of course, for the very pinnacle, by outsourcing production and even many services to the newly “developing world.”

    Ironically, fighting the communist threat probably kept our leadership more honest than they have been in the new world order since the fall of communism.

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  17. “No one in Washington seemed to know that China and the Soviet Union had split and become bitter enemies. As ever, our foreign human intelligence was lousy.”

    They knew of the rift that had grown since 196o or so, but they didn’t believe it until the short border war in 1969. The same way that a number of indicators suggested as early as 1983 that the USSR was imploding, but the menace of the USSR was used to keep justifying a buildup and procurement of new systems until and even beyond its actual implosion a few years later.

    Evil, stupid, or merely blind. You decide.

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    • Replies: @Capn Mike
    Having been on - site at the time (North Tonkin Gulf), I can tell you that China gave U.S.N. units free rein over those waters, including Chinese waters. The fix was in. In 1969 onwards. China and Viet Nam were NEVER friends.
    Did CIA realize this? I don't know.
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  18. KenH says:

    I know opinions vary on Ken Burns/PBS’s “Vietnam” documentary, but what struck me is that we’re following the same script in Afghanistan and the Middle East as we were in Vietnam and expecting a different (i.e., more favorable) outcome. The script being “pacification” through providing medicine, foodstuffs, soccer balls and American smiles to the local populations combined with placing massive amounts of ordnance on targets deemed hostile. It didn’t win hearts and minds then nor is it now.

    The generals keep telling us that with just a few more antibiotics, soccer balls and troops victory is around the bend.

    Hindsight’s always 20/20, but to be fair a military force in Vietnam did seem like the right thing do at least in the early years. Any de-escalation and/or withdrawals would have been perceived by a rabidly anti-communist population as surrendering to communist aggression and political suicide for any president proposing it.

    The monumentally stupid war mismanagement of Pentagon chief Robert McNamara, a know-it-all who knew nothing,

    We have legions of McNamara’s calling the shots today. They are called neoconservatives and liberal interventionists. The big brains of the Ivy league do seem to excel at steering us into icebergs time and again.

    As it was former allies Vietnam and China briefly fought each other in 1979 and Vietnam didn’t have the desire or the ability to project power much beyond Cambodia and Laos.

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  19. Dave37 says:
    @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    During my two years in Nam I saw some dissatisfaction in the troops but it seemed to me it had more to do with the people who were drafted. Of course the army, like most bureaucracies, is a big blundering bull in the china shop but as far as being in a war that was lost, the American troops still had it better than the North Viet side ever did. Fortunately I’ll be gone before they start tearing down Viet Nam wall and vilifying it’s participants as criminals. Good luck to the future, they’re going to need it I guess.

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  20. grr says:
    @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    “the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ”.

    LOL, only in AmeriKa would anyone label right-wing fascists as left-wing.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Only a Marxist would label LBJ and, especially, JFK, as a fascist.
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  21. DB Cooper says:

    “We really believed that if the US did not make a stand in Vietnam the Soviets and Chinese would overrun all of South Asia.”

    India played a big role in shaping this narrative. Just five years ago before 1967 China finally responsed to India’s creeping land grab after years of trying to warn New Delhi’s to stop its ‘Forward Policy’ by launching a massive anticipatory strike into India. India was defeated militarily but India was able to fool the world that India was a hapless victim against an agressive China when in fact the reverse is true.

    http://gregoryclark.net/redif.html

    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/podcasts/renewed-tension-indiachina-border-whos-blame

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  22. @Jim Christian
    Concur all, McGowan, good takes. Yeah, my Pop was into Naval spook communications and messaging, he'd pick up the WashPost off the driveway and see various and sundry in the paper lying and white-washing the effort and just be wild by the time he left for work. He knew the carriers were having no success, he knew the air-war was a mess, he knew the Marines were getting killed all over the country. People that knew the truth from the inside hadda keep their traps shut. By the time I joined up for a 6 year dose of USN carrier decks in 1976 I got the scoop from a few of our officers, almost all of whom had flown with VA35 over Vietnam in A-6's. Clusterfuck, they could then acknowledge just those few years later, only the most junior officers hadn't served in the air war over Vietnam. And they had good stories that pointed out the folly throughout.

    Now? The military is just a revenue-stream, nothing produced, much destroyed to the enrichment of a few insiders.

    A bit off topic, but, since I know that you had naval experience, any take on why Navy ships keep colliding with merchantmen? Is it reduced competence because of racial and sexual preferences, or overworked sailors because deployed ships are short-staffed as a result of pregnancies? Or is it just a run of bad luck? I’ve read some different theories but I’ve seen you post often enough to know that you’ll have an informed opinion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    The military is off-kilter all over. Navigation? Routine. Ought to be. Not anymore. Procurement? Driven by inertia and the corruption of planners that know a carrier's planes are useless if the ship has to stand off 500-1000 miles because of a cruise missile environment that they KNOW every third-world shitbox has been building for 30 years now, starting with the Norks. From aircraft to ships, a complete clusterfuck. Personnel? Ya gotta be shitting me, right? Between the sexism, reverse-racism and the cultural kookiness from the top of a terrorized Central Command and throughout the military, right down to the pretty little Blonde Hispanic Black Dwarf tranny just dying to terrorize said command with a complaint, we really haven't much good to say about our staffing. It's not a meritocracy anymore, hasn't been since Reagan. The entire thing is sitting there waiting to be taken down and humiliated.

    And still? We sprinkle the trillions onto the DC region, make the war planners rich, we still lionize Generals and Admirals that haven't won shit in 75 years and we cycle them through the think tanks and corporate boards of the defense contractors and make THEM rich too. Then we even put them in charge at the White House, having discarded the notion of Congressional approval for the wars they "fight" in our names. And they start wars. And finally, the notion that we have civilian control of our military is long gone. We are a Junta. There is a coup ongoing, two or more in our past and we're no more than a broke but dangerous and heavily armed danger to the rest of the world run by the thugs of the Pentagon, the think tanks, the defense contractors and the lazy sloth of Congress, who is supposed to keep this shit straight and Constitutional. Doom. Yes, the word doom comes to mind.
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  23. NO MATTER what wonderful things JFK might have done had he not been prematurely removed from office, the fact remains he supported the war for years and when he became POTUS he escalated the war.

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  24. A plane can´t make a steel tower fall and two planes can´t make three steel towers fall. That´s impossible. But nano-thermite can. It was found by 9 scientists, one of them Dr Niels Harrit, Uni of Copenhagen. Where did the nano-thermite come from ???????????????????????????????????????

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  25. Blowback says:
    @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    What don’t you understand about Clausewitz’s dictum “war is the mere continuation of politics with other means”? War is what you do when you can’t achieve your political objectives by other means. The United States’ political objective in Vietnam was to prevent the American satrapy in the south being re-united by the nationalists in the north. So, where the f**k is South Vietnam? The United States might believe it won every battle (slight exaggeration) but it still lost the American war.

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  26. @Diversity Heretic
    A bit off topic, but, since I know that you had naval experience, any take on why Navy ships keep colliding with merchantmen? Is it reduced competence because of racial and sexual preferences, or overworked sailors because deployed ships are short-staffed as a result of pregnancies? Or is it just a run of bad luck? I've read some different theories but I've seen you post often enough to know that you'll have an informed opinion.

    The military is off-kilter all over. Navigation? Routine. Ought to be. Not anymore. Procurement? Driven by inertia and the corruption of planners that know a carrier’s planes are useless if the ship has to stand off 500-1000 miles because of a cruise missile environment that they KNOW every third-world shitbox has been building for 30 years now, starting with the Norks. From aircraft to ships, a complete clusterfuck. Personnel? Ya gotta be shitting me, right? Between the sexism, reverse-racism and the cultural kookiness from the top of a terrorized Central Command and throughout the military, right down to the pretty little Blonde Hispanic Black Dwarf tranny just dying to terrorize said command with a complaint, we really haven’t much good to say about our staffing. It’s not a meritocracy anymore, hasn’t been since Reagan. The entire thing is sitting there waiting to be taken down and humiliated.

    And still? We sprinkle the trillions onto the DC region, make the war planners rich, we still lionize Generals and Admirals that haven’t won shit in 75 years and we cycle them through the think tanks and corporate boards of the defense contractors and make THEM rich too. Then we even put them in charge at the White House, having discarded the notion of Congressional approval for the wars they “fight” in our names. And they start wars. And finally, the notion that we have civilian control of our military is long gone. We are a Junta. There is a coup ongoing, two or more in our past and we’re no more than a broke but dangerous and heavily armed danger to the rest of the world run by the thugs of the Pentagon, the think tanks, the defense contractors and the lazy sloth of Congress, who is supposed to keep this shit straight and Constitutional. Doom. Yes, the word doom comes to mind.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!
    , @anonymous
    The modern US army would be a fearsome fighting machine. Send in the 3rd Heavy Transsexuals, supported by the Bill Clinton Light Infantry, with the President's Own San Francisco Gays to take the enemy from the rear. They would probably fold and sue for peace immediately.
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  27. rta says:

    Applauded Kent State? Wow, you are a piece of work.

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  28. @Jim Christian
    The military is off-kilter all over. Navigation? Routine. Ought to be. Not anymore. Procurement? Driven by inertia and the corruption of planners that know a carrier's planes are useless if the ship has to stand off 500-1000 miles because of a cruise missile environment that they KNOW every third-world shitbox has been building for 30 years now, starting with the Norks. From aircraft to ships, a complete clusterfuck. Personnel? Ya gotta be shitting me, right? Between the sexism, reverse-racism and the cultural kookiness from the top of a terrorized Central Command and throughout the military, right down to the pretty little Blonde Hispanic Black Dwarf tranny just dying to terrorize said command with a complaint, we really haven't much good to say about our staffing. It's not a meritocracy anymore, hasn't been since Reagan. The entire thing is sitting there waiting to be taken down and humiliated.

    And still? We sprinkle the trillions onto the DC region, make the war planners rich, we still lionize Generals and Admirals that haven't won shit in 75 years and we cycle them through the think tanks and corporate boards of the defense contractors and make THEM rich too. Then we even put them in charge at the White House, having discarded the notion of Congressional approval for the wars they "fight" in our names. And they start wars. And finally, the notion that we have civilian control of our military is long gone. We are a Junta. There is a coup ongoing, two or more in our past and we're no more than a broke but dangerous and heavily armed danger to the rest of the world run by the thugs of the Pentagon, the think tanks, the defense contractors and the lazy sloth of Congress, who is supposed to keep this shit straight and Constitutional. Doom. Yes, the word doom comes to mind.

    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Christian

    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!
     
    One man's opinion. I do wish someone would show me where I'm wrong, but I spent too many years down in DC doing their tech stuff after I left the Navy (too many women that couldn't, at that point in 82, go to sea) and so they only had more sea duty because the shore billets were all taken in their haste to "integrate" women into the Navy. Even instructor duty for Naval Air Maintenance was hosted by women that had never served a day in carrier air, training the young mice how to do business on a flight deck. They did offer me, for variety, another four year hitch in a WestPac squadron aboard one damned carrier deck or another. Already having done 5, I said no thanks and went back home to Virginia. And so I got familiar with the workings of the spooks, Booze, Allen, Heritage, Cato, Brookings, the Pentagon, NSA, FBI, Quantico, there were hundreds of them, most with two or three names in the chain of title. I did their phones for decades, they're psychos, they're paranoid, everything classified and spooky and ooga-booga. Worthless ants on a big log and they each think they're steering it down the river.

    Bunch of fucking Frank Burns's is what they are..Cheers.

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  29. Don Bacon says:
    @anonymous
    For both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as other places, the guiding principle is that they live there and we don't. These are all expeditionary wars for the US. Resistant peoples can't be controlled at a distance. Of course the morale of US soldiers ends up being bad when they realize there's nothing for them to fight for. No one wants to die to help some politician save face. Insofar as the current much publicized Vietnam documentary goes there doesn't seem to be anything that's new or original. All of it has been known for many years to anyone who would bother to brush up on the subject. The question is whether Americans are capable of learning from the past and the answer seems to be no for the vast majority.

    re: “No one wants to die to help some politician save face.”

    I don’t have a teevee, but I bet they didn’t cover the mutiny in the ranks which is the main reason the US had to withdraw because of a “broken army.” That included fragging, mission refusal, and an overall negative attitude as you suggest. Now we have a volunteer army, a warrior class, which changes that dynamic.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Too many of the volunteers are really economic draftees. You can have plenty of discipline problems with volunteers, I've seen it up close and personal, although never reaching the level of mutiny.
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  30. @Diversity Heretic
    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!

    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!

    One man’s opinion. I do wish someone would show me where I’m wrong, but I spent too many years down in DC doing their tech stuff after I left the Navy (too many women that couldn’t, at that point in 82, go to sea) and so they only had more sea duty because the shore billets were all taken in their haste to “integrate” women into the Navy. Even instructor duty for Naval Air Maintenance was hosted by women that had never served a day in carrier air, training the young mice how to do business on a flight deck. They did offer me, for variety, another four year hitch in a WestPac squadron aboard one damned carrier deck or another. Already having done 5, I said no thanks and went back home to Virginia. And so I got familiar with the workings of the spooks, Booze, Allen, Heritage, Cato, Brookings, the Pentagon, NSA, FBI, Quantico, there were hundreds of them, most with two or three names in the chain of title. I did their phones for decades, they’re psychos, they’re paranoid, everything classified and spooky and ooga-booga. Worthless ants on a big log and they each think they’re steering it down the river.

    Bunch of fucking Frank Burns’s is what they are..Cheers.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Take care of yourself. People like you are a national asset, appreciated by at least some of us.
    , @peterAUS

    I do wish someone would show me where I’m wrong
     
    Maybe I could try.

    Re collisions.
    There was related thread here about it where I posted a couple of links.
    One is how and why it was/is happening, another about the measures US Navy is supposed to implement to prevent that in future.
    A bit of Googling can find those links easy.
    I get an impression....impression mind you...that you haven't had much experience on the bridge.
    The problem is how the bridge works on a warship compared to merchant ship. Chain of communication/command is critical here. Works well in combat...much less in peace in congested waters.

    Re aircraft carriers (or carrier task force).
    Also addressed in some other threads.
    All major navies keep building them. Chinese just introduced theirs. The HM Navy is building two as we speak. So, they must have some use.....

    Re missiles.
    The defense against missiles is multi phased and multilayered. Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it.Also addressed in some other threads.

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  31. @Jim Christian

    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!
     
    One man's opinion. I do wish someone would show me where I'm wrong, but I spent too many years down in DC doing their tech stuff after I left the Navy (too many women that couldn't, at that point in 82, go to sea) and so they only had more sea duty because the shore billets were all taken in their haste to "integrate" women into the Navy. Even instructor duty for Naval Air Maintenance was hosted by women that had never served a day in carrier air, training the young mice how to do business on a flight deck. They did offer me, for variety, another four year hitch in a WestPac squadron aboard one damned carrier deck or another. Already having done 5, I said no thanks and went back home to Virginia. And so I got familiar with the workings of the spooks, Booze, Allen, Heritage, Cato, Brookings, the Pentagon, NSA, FBI, Quantico, there were hundreds of them, most with two or three names in the chain of title. I did their phones for decades, they're psychos, they're paranoid, everything classified and spooky and ooga-booga. Worthless ants on a big log and they each think they're steering it down the river.

    Bunch of fucking Frank Burns's is what they are..Cheers.

    Take care of yourself. People like you are a national asset, appreciated by at least some of us.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
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  32. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn’t really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    While Hitler's ally, Stalin attacked Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Rumania, incorporating some or all of their territory into the USSR. He later snatched part of Japan and a corner of Czechoslovakia, while keeping as puppets the governments of East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania. He tried to grab Greece and to take control of Yugoslavia.

    What would he have done had he been aggressive, eh?
    , @dearieme
    "The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920" by those wicked Poles who had been defending themselves from a Red Army invasion that was intended to conquer them and proceed to attack Germany.
    , @Hibernian
    Yea, the Spanish Civil War was just a tea party.
    , @jacques sheete

    The war became aimless and often surreal. We soldiers all knew our senior officers and political leaders were lying. Many soldiers were at the edge of mutiny, like the French Army in 1917. Back in those ancient days, we had expected our political leaders to be men of rectitude who told us the truth. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.
     
    Ever since Margolis supported bush's war on Iraq, he's pretty much lost me as a trusted source, but this article is pretty good, especially the claims made in the quote.

    As for the commenters (e.g., as in comment #3...) who claim that they know something about the motives for the war on the Vietnamese because they were there, I call BS. The mere fact that one was present in country during the hostilities confers no special knowledge regarding the political reasons for the war, and I doubt that anyone there knew anything about the war beyond the areas they patrolled.

    The whole damned thing was a hideous display of the usual psychopathic behavior of US "leadership." Anyone defending it is as degenerate as the jackals who ran it.

    nsa, (comment #5), nailed it.

    , @jacques sheete

    There never was a communist threat.

     

    They certainly spent a lot of energy promoting world revolution ( Trotsky wanted world revolution, as you say, and he certainly wasn't alone or unique.) The US government for example was full of Reds and Red sympathizers, and plenty of Red millionaires infested high society in New York City, but I guess they were all just into tea parties and such. Once the big money crowd co-opted their worldwide revolution, if became a huge threat, I'd say.

    Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country,
     
    I suspect this was merely a temporary expedient- a way of buying time. Something like his alliance with Hitler. Things like that can change on a dime as can be seen in the ever changing 5 year plans and FDR's New Deals.

    Stalin did, however, do the world a favor by exterminating a lot of the old Bolshies like Trotsky and Genrikh Yagoda.

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  33. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jim Christian
    The military is off-kilter all over. Navigation? Routine. Ought to be. Not anymore. Procurement? Driven by inertia and the corruption of planners that know a carrier's planes are useless if the ship has to stand off 500-1000 miles because of a cruise missile environment that they KNOW every third-world shitbox has been building for 30 years now, starting with the Norks. From aircraft to ships, a complete clusterfuck. Personnel? Ya gotta be shitting me, right? Between the sexism, reverse-racism and the cultural kookiness from the top of a terrorized Central Command and throughout the military, right down to the pretty little Blonde Hispanic Black Dwarf tranny just dying to terrorize said command with a complaint, we really haven't much good to say about our staffing. It's not a meritocracy anymore, hasn't been since Reagan. The entire thing is sitting there waiting to be taken down and humiliated.

    And still? We sprinkle the trillions onto the DC region, make the war planners rich, we still lionize Generals and Admirals that haven't won shit in 75 years and we cycle them through the think tanks and corporate boards of the defense contractors and make THEM rich too. Then we even put them in charge at the White House, having discarded the notion of Congressional approval for the wars they "fight" in our names. And they start wars. And finally, the notion that we have civilian control of our military is long gone. We are a Junta. There is a coup ongoing, two or more in our past and we're no more than a broke but dangerous and heavily armed danger to the rest of the world run by the thugs of the Pentagon, the think tanks, the defense contractors and the lazy sloth of Congress, who is supposed to keep this shit straight and Constitutional. Doom. Yes, the word doom comes to mind.

    The modern US army would be a fearsome fighting machine. Send in the 3rd Heavy Transsexuals, supported by the Bill Clinton Light Infantry, with the President’s Own San Francisco Gays to take the enemy from the rear. They would probably fold and sue for peace immediately.

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  34. Wissing’s book “Funding the enemy” details the totally corrupt Afghan government and is a compelling argument why we should pull out at once and needs to be read by anyone with half a brain. I served in Vietnam also,in 1967, and its deja vu all over again.

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  35. Capn Mike says:
    @The Alarmist

    "No one in Washington seemed to know that China and the Soviet Union had split and become bitter enemies. As ever, our foreign human intelligence was lousy."
     
    They knew of the rift that had grown since 196o or so, but they didn't believe it until the short border war in 1969. The same way that a number of indicators suggested as early as 1983 that the USSR was imploding, but the menace of the USSR was used to keep justifying a buildup and procurement of new systems until and even beyond its actual implosion a few years later.

    Evil, stupid, or merely blind. You decide.

    Having been on – site at the time (North Tonkin Gulf), I can tell you that China gave U.S.N. units free rein over those waters, including Chinese waters. The fix was in. In 1969 onwards. China and Viet Nam were NEVER friends.
    Did CIA realize this? I don’t know.

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    • Replies: @Che Guava
    That is interesting to me. As is the Margolis artictle, never knew he had been a USA soldier, very interesting article. Thought he was a Canada person.

    I have a question for you, Capn Mike.

    If the PRC had allowed the USA free rein in Gulf of Tonkin, where were the supply lines to the Nth. Viet military and Viet Cong?

    Must it not still have been overland from PRC at that time you say (1969)?
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  36. Vidi says:
    @DanC
    The US is going to stay in Afghanistan until the empire runs out of money, or men, to keep the place from opening up to the Chinese.

    Afghanistan is the route the Chinese plan to route the OBOR network through, eastward into Iran, and thenceward on to Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean.

    The US occupation of Afghanistan, and its involvement in Pakistan, are the plugs stopping the Chinese from breaking through with a land connection to Iran, and points beyond.

    The 21st century version of the Great Game.

    Will attempts to obstruct Chinese railway-building on the Silk Road have the same results that attempting to obstruct German railway building on the Silk Road had one hundred years ago?

    https://carlcymrushistoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/the-berlin-baghdad-railway-and-the-outbreak-of-world-war-one/

    Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!

    Anyways, expect the US to keep on wasting money in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Tajikistan) until it gets bankrupted by the next Big War!

    Or until all the routes into Afghanistan are blocked. At the moment, the only route still open passes through Pakistan, and that may close at any time.

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  37. wayfarer says:

    Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That’s approximately 0.46 percent of the total number of American kids who died, or less than a half of one-percent.

    “Statistical Information About Casualties of the Vietnam War”

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

    ” 9/11 Israel Did It! ”

    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it

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  38. Hibernian says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    "I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed." -- Margolis
     
    Margolis is one of those many writers/critics who simply cannot bring himself to say anything good about the USA. Therefore, he cannot abide anything being said about any POTUS that is not negative if not totally condemnatory. He has, however, admitted that there were a few days back in 1942 (Battle of Midway) of which we may actually be proud, as Americans. But even then he has to make a baseless slurring attack on FDR, who was POTUS at that time. Here's what he said in his article that was mostly about the Battle of Midway:

    "The USS carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown had been sent away from Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attack. Had they been in port, Japan would have won the Pacific War on 7 Dec 1941. But they were not, strongly suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration of Japan’s plans." -- Margolis
     
    Then Margolis follows with an ostensibly unrelated paragraph about code-breaking in WW II. In that way, he is actually saying (without saying it, because it is baseless) that FDR knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl well in advance but chose to ignore it in order to sacrifice American lives for the sake of getting us into a war with Japan ("suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration") The facts are well-known and have been gone over about a million times, about this myth that FDR was complicit in the success of the Japanese surprise attack: FDR and all other major figures in his administration did know that there was to be a Japanese offensive on 7 December 1941, but they had no idea or reasonable suspicion that it was to be a huge air raid on Pearl. And they could not announce what they knew (although they did distribute the gist of the information to a select few, including both the Army and the Navy commanders at Pearl) without letting the Japanese know that their codes had been broken, and, as Margolis notes, the ability to read Japanese encoded commo was essential in winning WW II and saved countless American lives.

    Most thought, MacArthur for example, that Japan would attack the Philippines. And most in Hawaii thought that the danger there was from Japanese submarines. The air raid on Pearl was the largest sea-based air raid in all of history, it was a huge success despite the fact that it was at a distance from Japan such that no one could or did believe it possible (except maybe for one isolated naval officer in a relatively minor position). It was a true case of "hindsight is 20-20." In another notable instance, Japan was successful in pulling off the "impossible" early in the Pacific War when the JIA attacked and took Singapore from the north where everyone had always assumed it was impossible because of impenetrable jungle. (Fall of Singapore, 15 February 1942)

    Getting back to Margolis, just as in the case of FDR, JFK posed a threat to the 'USA=Evil' school of thought, and Margolis had to respond with a condemnatory theory about JFK, lest something positive slip by about a POTUS and thus about USA ... which might cause people to think rather than to just applaud when a writer such as Margolis tries to cash in his "USA = EVIL" chip (you know, the red one with a picture of Lucifer on one side and a $ sign on the other).


    "I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed." -- Margolis
     
    Note that Margolis doesn't just say that he doubts that JFK in 1963 was planning to end USA's involvement in Vietnam, he would "not for a moment" believe such a thing about the "saintly" JFK "Not for a moment" ... making it sound like there is no evidence contrary to what Margolis believes ... in other words, Margolis is running a bluff, hoping to scare us (his audience) into folding immediately ... OMG, he has the "saint" card! ... rather than thinking. Writers like Margolis don't want us thinking, they want to do all the thinking for us!

    Here's one of the things about JFK and Vietnam that Margolis doesn't mention: during the JFK years, no one in the US Army could be assigned duty in Vietnam unless they specifically requested it, by specific order of JFK. Is that a crazy idea, especially for those of us that actually have been in the Army, is that a crazy and unprecedented idea, or what? Sure, the Lieutenant might ask for volunteers in forming up a squad for a dangerous mission (or not!) but imposing such a restriction on an entire theater of battle? Crazy and unprecedented, and totally contrary to the sacred 'Army Way"! Either Margolis does not know about that fact or he chooses not to tell us about it ... because that might lead us to research into further evidence that JFK probably really would have pulled USA out of Vietnam if he were to be re-elected in 1964!

    I'm just saying ... and what am I 'just saying'? I'm saying that Eric Margolis is a propagandist. So be wary when you read his stuff. He's just another propagandist.

    Who does he work for?


    "Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia ... He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC." -- ericmargolis.com/official-bio
     
    I'm not saying to never read his stuff. I'm just saying MAYBE never read his stuff.

    The Japanese trained their naval cadets using a mock Pearl Harbor type exercise annually for a fair number of years prior to WW2. The Russo-Japanese War of 1905 began with a Japanese surprise attack. You have the unmitigated gall to attack Margolis as an establishment mouthpiece when you yourself are whitewashhing the”sainted” FDR. No prudent military planner would absolutely assume that the attack would come in one particular place, whether the Phillipines, Pearl, or elsewhere.

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  39. dearieme says:
    @anonymous
    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

    While Hitler’s ally, Stalin attacked Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Rumania, incorporating some or all of their territory into the USSR. He later snatched part of Japan and a corner of Czechoslovakia, while keeping as puppets the governments of East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania. He tried to grab Greece and to take control of Yugoslavia.

    What would he have done had he been aggressive, eh?

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    While Hitler’s ally, Stalin attacked...
     
    Excellent retort!

    I'm betting you would find much that's interesting in this article, which I think is superb.

    Some quotes from it that demolish the idea that Stalin was only interested in socialism in one country. That's a claim that no one should have ever taken at face value.

    The historical records show that the Soviet Government, since its establishment — besides stirring up countless strikes, riots, and general disorders abroad through the instrumentality of its subsidized, affiliated Communist parties — has fought a round dozen wars of conquest and aggression, some of which violated in the most cynical way engagements which the Soviet regime had voluntarily assumed and principles to which the Communist Party was pledged.


    the Kremlin has displayed an incorrigible tendency to interfere in disturbances outside its own borders which puts the military adventures of Mussolini to shame. The Soviet Government has proved itself a past master in every old trick of imperialistic conquest and has added a few original new ones on its own account. A favorite device has been formally to recognize the independence of a State, then to create disorder through Communist agents within the country in question, and to complete the process by sending in the Red Army to help the local Communist rebels. The creation of "independent" States which are completely controlled from Moscow and the waging of war without declaring it are two other favorite Soviet methods of procedure. But they have never fooled anyone except editors of the New Republic. The Soviet trail of bloody conquest and outright aggression stretches from Finland, in the far northwest of the former Czarist Empire, to the Caucasian States in the southeast, and to the rolling steppes and deserts of Mongolia and Manchuria.

    -William Henry Chamberlin, Soviet Russia's Wars of Conquest, The American Mercury, April 1938, pp. 385-396
    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1938apr-00385

     

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  40. dearieme says:
    @anonymous
    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

    “The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920″ by those wicked Poles who had been defending themselves from a Red Army invasion that was intended to conquer them and proceed to attack Germany.

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  41. Hibernian says:
    @anonymous
    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

    Yea, the Spanish Civil War was just a tea party.

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  42. Hibernian says:
    @Don Bacon
    re: "No one wants to die to help some politician save face."

    I don't have a teevee, but I bet they didn't cover the mutiny in the ranks which is the main reason the US had to withdraw because of a "broken army." That included fragging, mission refusal, and an overall negative attitude as you suggest. Now we have a volunteer army, a warrior class, which changes that dynamic.

    Too many of the volunteers are really economic draftees. You can have plenty of discipline problems with volunteers, I’ve seen it up close and personal, although never reaching the level of mutiny.

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  43. Hibernian says:
    @grr
    "the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ".

    LOL, only in AmeriKa would anyone label right-wing fascists as left-wing.

    Only a Marxist would label LBJ and, especially, JFK, as a fascist.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Only a Marxist goes around labeling his enemies as fascists.
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  44. Che Guava says:
    @Capn Mike
    Having been on - site at the time (North Tonkin Gulf), I can tell you that China gave U.S.N. units free rein over those waters, including Chinese waters. The fix was in. In 1969 onwards. China and Viet Nam were NEVER friends.
    Did CIA realize this? I don't know.

    That is interesting to me. As is the Margolis artictle, never knew he had been a USA soldier, very interesting article. Thought he was a Canada person.

    I have a question for you, Capn Mike.

    If the PRC had allowed the USA free rein in Gulf of Tonkin, where were the supply lines to the Nth. Viet military and Viet Cong?

    Must it not still have been overland from PRC at that time you say (1969)?

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    • Replies: @Capn Mike
    Good question. Above my pay grade, I regret. But there were LOTS of Russian freighters in and out of Haiphong throughout the "war". The North Vietnamese were always close to the Soviets.
    We never harassed those ships, or ANY vessels for that matter. The N. Vietnamese fishing fleet would fish within a stone's throw of our ships up at PIRAZ.
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  45. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @Cranky
    So whose name gets to be the last American killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc?

    Dying for a place on the memorial, boys.

    "The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were going to end up giving the whole circus away."

    Some things don't change- I wonder if Rand has a new copy of the Pentagon Papers regarding post 9/11.

    And a new Nixon in office....he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it...simply amazing.

    I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed. This is a charming legend. Richard Nixon, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all feared that a withdrawal from Vietnam would lose them the next election. Republicans were still snarling over ‘who lost China’.

    I didn’t like Kennedy either, but go back and reread the newspapers from the early days of the Kennedy administration. The oval office was bugged, and the information leaked in ways to embarrass Kennedy and UN Ambassador Adelai Stevenson. There is only one way that could have happened. Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left. These same bugs brought down Nixon in the Watergate crisis. The swamp wanted war, and they pulled the rug out from under both presidents as soon as they brought peace.

    And a new Nixon in office….he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it…simply amazing.

    He promised to get out…and he did get us out. The peace treaty was announced just before the election in 1972. He knew it was his only hope for re-election. The Vietnamese disputed some of the terms, and that resulted in the Christmas bombing that year. The American withdrawal began in January 1973.

    Trump promised to get us out of the Middle East. We should give him some rope. Maybe he hangs himself, or just maybe he can pull it off. He will need to be re-elected in three years.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    "The oval office was bugged". That's a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that "Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left"!

    "These same bugs brought down Nixon". Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren't bugs at all. They were Nixon's own unintended trap for himself.
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  46. Nice personal account of Vietnam.

    However, the US foreign policy keeps holocausting the 3-rd world and lately the 2 -cond world.

    The holocausts keep coming from US foreign policy of “exceptionalism” = “Nazi Übermensch”=”the chosen ones” over this planet, many executed by the CIA-Nazi’s:
    The Syrian holocaust
    The Yemen holocaust
    The Ukranïan holocaust (Euromaidan) by Poroshenko/Nuland neo-nazi”s.
    The Libyan holocaust
    The Irak holocaust
    The Afghanistan holocaust

    The Belgrad holocaust

    The Indonesian holocaust (Kissiger e.a.)
    The Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Thailand holocaust (Kissinger e.a)
    The Korean holocaust

    During WWII:

    The Jewish/Polish/Russian holocaust by Nazi’s funded by Wallstreet/London bankers
    The German holocaust (Die Rheinweisen lager) by US army Morgenthau plan.

    Before WWII:
    The Ukranian and Russain holocausts 1921-22, 1932-33 (holodomor) by Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin.

    All these, were and are financed by the Wallstreet elite owners, the Billionaires who are mega-fascists, eugenic and satanic in character. Their credo is GREED.

    (sources: Antony Sutton, Carrol Quickley, W.F. Engdahl)

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  47. @anonymous
    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

    The war became aimless and often surreal. We soldiers all knew our senior officers and political leaders were lying. Many soldiers were at the edge of mutiny, like the French Army in 1917. Back in those ancient days, we had expected our political leaders to be men of rectitude who told us the truth. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.

    Ever since Margolis supported bush’s war on Iraq, he’s pretty much lost me as a trusted source, but this article is pretty good, especially the claims made in the quote.

    As for the commenters (e.g., as in comment #3…) who claim that they know something about the motives for the war on the Vietnamese because they were there, I call BS. The mere fact that one was present in country during the hostilities confers no special knowledge regarding the political reasons for the war, and I doubt that anyone there knew anything about the war beyond the areas they patrolled.

    The whole damned thing was a hideous display of the usual psychopathic behavior of US “leadership.” Anyone defending it is as degenerate as the jackals who ran it.

    nsa, (comment #5), nailed it.

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  48. Joe Hide says:

    Great article… I really mean it. Keep writing more and more

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Great article… I really mean it. Keep writing more and more
     
    This was a good article but keep yer nose to the ground when reading Margolis. He strikes me as someone who takes every opportunity to publicly display his connections and accomplishments, and makes some "interesting" statements and uses some "original" logic on occasion so's to call attention to himself, so he's often wide of the mark.
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  49. @anonymous
    There never was a communist threat. Not since at least the 1920s, when Stalin defeated Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution. Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country, developing the country economically. He wasn't really interested in the outside world.

    In the 1930s he was willing to cooperate with right wing western governments till they did a deal with Hitler in 1938. He was never interested in invading countries to grab land and resources. Whenever he did so, Poland in 1939, or Eastern Europe post 1945, it was for security reasons. The part of Poland he occupied in 1939 had been taken from Russia by force in 1920. It was inhabited by 1o million White Russians and Ukrainians and no Poles.

    There never was a communist threat.

    They certainly spent a lot of energy promoting world revolution ( Trotsky wanted world revolution, as you say, and he certainly wasn’t alone or unique.) The US government for example was full of Reds and Red sympathizers, and plenty of Red millionaires infested high society in New York City, but I guess they were all just into tea parties and such. Once the big money crowd co-opted their worldwide revolution, if became a huge threat, I’d say.

    Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country,

    I suspect this was merely a temporary expedient- a way of buying time. Something like his alliance with Hitler. Things like that can change on a dime as can be seen in the ever changing 5 year plans and FDR’s New Deals.

    Stalin did, however, do the world a favor by exterminating a lot of the old Bolshies like Trotsky and Genrikh Yagoda.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    "...5 year plans and FDR’s New Deals."

    Five year plans and New Deals
    Wrapped in golden chains.
    And I wonder
    Still I wonder
    Who'll stop the rain?
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  50. A fine piece of indignant rhetoric from which I only wish to pick a nit of verbiage concerning the denial that the Vietnam warmaking was a “tragedy”. Surely it was like a Greek tragedy in which the tragic flaws
    or hamartia of the heroes (or just the initially rich and powerful) bring them down through errors of judgment.

    Nonetheless would EM please specify the “lies” of the politicians and others that soldiers in Vietnam were conscious of and indignant about or scornful of.

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  51. @Joe Hide
    Great article... I really mean it. Keep writing more and more

    Great article… I really mean it. Keep writing more and more

    This was a good article but keep yer nose to the ground when reading Margolis. He strikes me as someone who takes every opportunity to publicly display his connections and accomplishments, and makes some “interesting” statements and uses some “original” logic on occasion so’s to call attention to himself, so he’s often wide of the mark.

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  52. @Hu Mi Yu

    I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed. This is a charming legend. Richard Nixon, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all feared that a withdrawal from Vietnam would lose them the next election. Republicans were still snarling over ‘who lost China’.
     
    I didn't like Kennedy either, but go back and reread the newspapers from the early days of the Kennedy administration. The oval office was bugged, and the information leaked in ways to embarrass Kennedy and UN Ambassador Adelai Stevenson. There is only one way that could have happened. Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left. These same bugs brought down Nixon in the Watergate crisis. The swamp wanted war, and they pulled the rug out from under both presidents as soon as they brought peace.

    And a new Nixon in office….he vowed to get out too- and yet pushed more into it…simply amazing.
     
    He promised to get out...and he did get us out. The peace treaty was announced just before the election in 1972. He knew it was his only hope for re-election. The Vietnamese disputed some of the terms, and that resulted in the Christmas bombing that year. The American withdrawal began in January 1973.

    Trump promised to get us out of the Middle East. We should give him some rope. Maybe he hangs himself, or just maybe he can pull it off. He will need to be re-elected in three years.

    “The oval office was bugged”. That’s a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that “Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left”!

    “These same bugs brought down Nixon”. Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren’t bugs at all. They were Nixon’s own unintended trap for himself.

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    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu

    “The oval office was bugged”. That’s a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that “Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left”!
     
    Go back and read newspapers from 1961. Those leaks were big news.

    Johnson knew about the bugs, that is why he couldn't pull out of Vietnam.

    Nixon knew about the bugs that is why he moved to the ¨Western Whitehouse" in San Clemente.

    Eisenhower originally supported the twenty-second amendment, but then he was furious when he found out that he was not grandfathered out. He had plans for a rollback of communism that could not be completed in eight years. He wanted to invade China. As a fallback plan he swung his support toward Johnson in 1960. The only way Kennedy was allowed the nomination was by selecting Johnson as Vice President.

    First came the Bay of Pigs, and then the 1963 agreement in principle with Ngo Diem for and American pull out. Kennedy wouldn't stay on his leash.

    “These same bugs brought down Nixon”. Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren’t bugs at all. They were Nixon’s own unintended trap for himself
     
    Ha ha ha. Now there is fantasy. You can't keep secrets in the White House to this day. Maybe Trump can fix it.
    , @dearieme
    JFK surreptitiously recorded conversations with his advisors. Those tapes should be listened to with this in mind: Kennedy knew the conversations were being taped but his advisors didn't.

    Even this interesting piece seems to me to fail to interpret the tapes in light of this asymmetry.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/?single_page=true
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  53. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Hibernian
    Only a Marxist would label LBJ and, especially, JFK, as a fascist.

    Only a Marxist goes around labeling his enemies as fascists.

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  54. @Grandpa Charlie

    "I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed." -- Margolis
     
    Margolis is one of those many writers/critics who simply cannot bring himself to say anything good about the USA. Therefore, he cannot abide anything being said about any POTUS that is not negative if not totally condemnatory. He has, however, admitted that there were a few days back in 1942 (Battle of Midway) of which we may actually be proud, as Americans. But even then he has to make a baseless slurring attack on FDR, who was POTUS at that time. Here's what he said in his article that was mostly about the Battle of Midway:

    "The USS carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown had been sent away from Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attack. Had they been in port, Japan would have won the Pacific War on 7 Dec 1941. But they were not, strongly suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration of Japan’s plans." -- Margolis
     
    Then Margolis follows with an ostensibly unrelated paragraph about code-breaking in WW II. In that way, he is actually saying (without saying it, because it is baseless) that FDR knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl well in advance but chose to ignore it in order to sacrifice American lives for the sake of getting us into a war with Japan ("suggesting foreknowledge by the pro-war Roosevelt administration") The facts are well-known and have been gone over about a million times, about this myth that FDR was complicit in the success of the Japanese surprise attack: FDR and all other major figures in his administration did know that there was to be a Japanese offensive on 7 December 1941, but they had no idea or reasonable suspicion that it was to be a huge air raid on Pearl. And they could not announce what they knew (although they did distribute the gist of the information to a select few, including both the Army and the Navy commanders at Pearl) without letting the Japanese know that their codes had been broken, and, as Margolis notes, the ability to read Japanese encoded commo was essential in winning WW II and saved countless American lives.

    Most thought, MacArthur for example, that Japan would attack the Philippines. And most in Hawaii thought that the danger there was from Japanese submarines. The air raid on Pearl was the largest sea-based air raid in all of history, it was a huge success despite the fact that it was at a distance from Japan such that no one could or did believe it possible (except maybe for one isolated naval officer in a relatively minor position). It was a true case of "hindsight is 20-20." In another notable instance, Japan was successful in pulling off the "impossible" early in the Pacific War when the JIA attacked and took Singapore from the north where everyone had always assumed it was impossible because of impenetrable jungle. (Fall of Singapore, 15 February 1942)

    Getting back to Margolis, just as in the case of FDR, JFK posed a threat to the 'USA=Evil' school of thought, and Margolis had to respond with a condemnatory theory about JFK, lest something positive slip by about a POTUS and thus about USA ... which might cause people to think rather than to just applaud when a writer such as Margolis tries to cash in his "USA = EVIL" chip (you know, the red one with a picture of Lucifer on one side and a $ sign on the other).


    "I don’t for a moment believe that the ‘saintly’ President John Kennedy planned to end the war but was assassinated by dark, rightwing forces, as is claimed." -- Margolis
     
    Note that Margolis doesn't just say that he doubts that JFK in 1963 was planning to end USA's involvement in Vietnam, he would "not for a moment" believe such a thing about the "saintly" JFK "Not for a moment" ... making it sound like there is no evidence contrary to what Margolis believes ... in other words, Margolis is running a bluff, hoping to scare us (his audience) into folding immediately ... OMG, he has the "saint" card! ... rather than thinking. Writers like Margolis don't want us thinking, they want to do all the thinking for us!

    Here's one of the things about JFK and Vietnam that Margolis doesn't mention: during the JFK years, no one in the US Army could be assigned duty in Vietnam unless they specifically requested it, by specific order of JFK. Is that a crazy idea, especially for those of us that actually have been in the Army, is that a crazy and unprecedented idea, or what? Sure, the Lieutenant might ask for volunteers in forming up a squad for a dangerous mission (or not!) but imposing such a restriction on an entire theater of battle? Crazy and unprecedented, and totally contrary to the sacred 'Army Way"! Either Margolis does not know about that fact or he chooses not to tell us about it ... because that might lead us to research into further evidence that JFK probably really would have pulled USA out of Vietnam if he were to be re-elected in 1964!

    I'm just saying ... and what am I 'just saying'? I'm saying that Eric Margolis is a propagandist. So be wary when you read his stuff. He's just another propagandist.

    Who does he work for?


    "Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia ... He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC." -- ericmargolis.com/official-bio
     
    I'm not saying to never read his stuff. I'm just saying MAYBE never read his stuff.

    Gramps, while I agree with your scepticism and advice regarding Margolis, I have to say that your defense of the Pinko, FR, is a bit off kilter.

    There is much evidence that FDR provoked Japanese militarists to fire the first shot by initiating into the desperate attack on PH.

    That unctuous fool was a traitor to the American people, but not, of course, to his dandy class.

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  55. @dearieme
    While Hitler's ally, Stalin attacked Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, and Rumania, incorporating some or all of their territory into the USSR. He later snatched part of Japan and a corner of Czechoslovakia, while keeping as puppets the governments of East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania. He tried to grab Greece and to take control of Yugoslavia.

    What would he have done had he been aggressive, eh?

    While Hitler’s ally, Stalin attacked…

    Excellent retort!

    I’m betting you would find much that’s interesting in this article, which I think is superb.

    Some quotes from it that demolish the idea that Stalin was only interested in socialism in one country. That’s a claim that no one should have ever taken at face value.

    The historical records show that the Soviet Government, since its establishment — besides stirring up countless strikes, riots, and general disorders abroad through the instrumentality of its subsidized, affiliated Communist parties — has fought a round dozen wars of conquest and aggression, some of which violated in the most cynical way engagements which the Soviet regime had voluntarily assumed and principles to which the Communist Party was pledged.

    the Kremlin has displayed an incorrigible tendency to interfere in disturbances outside its own borders which puts the military adventures of Mussolini to shame. The Soviet Government has proved itself a past master in every old trick of imperialistic conquest and has added a few original new ones on its own account. A favorite device has been formally to recognize the independence of a State, then to create disorder through Communist agents within the country in question, and to complete the process by sending in the Red Army to help the local Communist rebels. The creation of “independent” States which are completely controlled from Moscow and the waging of war without declaring it are two other favorite Soviet methods of procedure. But they have never fooled anyone except editors of the New Republic. The Soviet trail of bloody conquest and outright aggression stretches from Finland, in the far northwest of the former Czarist Empire, to the Caucasian States in the southeast, and to the rolling steppes and deserts of Mongolia and Manchuria.

    -William Henry Chamberlin, Soviet Russia’s Wars of Conquest, The American Mercury, April 1938, pp. 385-396

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1938apr-00385

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  56. Thanks to Vietnam, the politicians were exposed as liars and heartless cynics with no honor.

    A couple of the biggest lies were exposed, but the myths still live that the US government is an effective and dependable force for peace and freedom, and that the US military is an institution of dignity worthy of honor.

    And people still put their faith (or is it hope) in the heartless cynics ( eunichs, really) with no balls, fewer brains, no soul, and even less honor.

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  57. Thanks, Eric. You speak truth to lies. Your article is a remarkably succinct summation of the most salient points worth making about the Vietnam War.

    I find it rather interesting that Fred Reed still manages to glorify the whole bloody fucking mess. Go figure.

    The US military recruiter promised me free medical care for life. Such a deal. And now, that $50 co-pay ain’t free no more. Such a deal.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    I find it rather interesting that Fred Reed still manages to glorify the whole bloody fucking mess.
     
    Sadly, Fred reached his peak with this, a must read for all 'Merkins, chest pounders and non-chest pounders alike.:

    Spend a year on a casualty ward. When the girlfriend of seventeen from Chattanooga finds that her Mikey is blind and doesn't precisely have a face, her expression is something to see. Or not to see. You can become disposed to ask: Is this war for anything? Or is it just a war?

    -Fred Reed, War, Maybe We Could Go Bowling Instead
    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Cambodia.shtml
     
    Also, in my extremely humble opinion, there's way too much sappy pity for the US victims of the crime and way too little for the Vietnamese ones.
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  58. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    "The oval office was bugged". That's a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that "Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left"!

    "These same bugs brought down Nixon". Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren't bugs at all. They were Nixon's own unintended trap for himself.

    “The oval office was bugged”. That’s a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that “Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left”!

    Go back and read newspapers from 1961. Those leaks were big news.

    Johnson knew about the bugs, that is why he couldn’t pull out of Vietnam.

    Nixon knew about the bugs that is why he moved to the ¨Western Whitehouse” in San Clemente.

    Eisenhower originally supported the twenty-second amendment, but then he was furious when he found out that he was not grandfathered out. He had plans for a rollback of communism that could not be completed in eight years. He wanted to invade China. As a fallback plan he swung his support toward Johnson in 1960. The only way Kennedy was allowed the nomination was by selecting Johnson as Vice President.

    First came the Bay of Pigs, and then the 1963 agreement in principle with Ngo Diem for and American pull out. Kennedy wouldn’t stay on his leash.

    “These same bugs brought down Nixon”. Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren’t bugs at all. They were Nixon’s own unintended trap for himself

    Ha ha ha. Now there is fantasy. You can’t keep secrets in the White House to this day. Maybe Trump can fix it.

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  59. Joe Wong says:
    @Priss Factor
    I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics... at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory... just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

    You surely are a fine specimen of the ‘god-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘puritans’, always portray someone else worse than you, the American, with fake news to exonerate yourself the war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace you have been committing since the Columbus time; no matter how evil the American does, you always can conclude that whatever USA does is necessary with the best intention.

    Reading through your comment is like peeking through the mind of a psychopath who is always wondering why other people behave different from his, the only way the psychopath can make sense this weird phenomenon to himself is by calling others psychos.

    In case you don’t know for over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and enslave its people.

    USA is 10,000 miles on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. American is an alien to Asia. In history no alien ever has the well-being of locals in heart; they are the invaders and troublemakers; the only way they can benefit from a faraway place is to create chaos, insert wedges, sow discords and incite animosities between the locals. Go home Yankee, you are not wanted, not invited and not loved in Asia.

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    • Replies: @utu
    Reading through your comment is like peeking through the mind of a psychopath

    Not sure about the psychopath but clearly there is something there that is very disconcerting.
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  60. RJJCDA says:

    “Washington could not admit that young Vietnamese guerillas and regulars had bested the US armed forces…”

    BS. Between 4/65 and 3/70, in military and security contractor roles I spent 41 months in country. THE WAR WAS WON when I left. The Marines pulled out in 70, and last army combat units left in 72 or early 73. North invaded and won CONVENTIONALLY in 1975 AFTER Congress cut off funding for South.

    As Gen.Krulak suggested to Joint Chiefs and Admin.in 1965, extending DMZ at 17th parallel across southern Laotian panhandle, and manning with 2.5 divisions, would have ended the war in OUR favor with only fraction of casualties for all sides. North later agreed. But State Dept. (Harriman) refused as it would damage their agreement with North to “keep” Laos neutral. Yeah, right!

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    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Did you ever stop to think what was going to happen once the US left? The North, no matter what the current condition, can always wait us out and the South never put up much of a fight. Do you expect the US to stay there like we are in Korea?
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  61. peterAUS says:
    @Jim Christian

    Thanks! Always appreciate your candor!
     
    One man's opinion. I do wish someone would show me where I'm wrong, but I spent too many years down in DC doing their tech stuff after I left the Navy (too many women that couldn't, at that point in 82, go to sea) and so they only had more sea duty because the shore billets were all taken in their haste to "integrate" women into the Navy. Even instructor duty for Naval Air Maintenance was hosted by women that had never served a day in carrier air, training the young mice how to do business on a flight deck. They did offer me, for variety, another four year hitch in a WestPac squadron aboard one damned carrier deck or another. Already having done 5, I said no thanks and went back home to Virginia. And so I got familiar with the workings of the spooks, Booze, Allen, Heritage, Cato, Brookings, the Pentagon, NSA, FBI, Quantico, there were hundreds of them, most with two or three names in the chain of title. I did their phones for decades, they're psychos, they're paranoid, everything classified and spooky and ooga-booga. Worthless ants on a big log and they each think they're steering it down the river.

    Bunch of fucking Frank Burns's is what they are..Cheers.

    I do wish someone would show me where I’m wrong

    Maybe I could try.

    Re collisions.
    There was related thread here about it where I posted a couple of links.
    One is how and why it was/is happening, another about the measures US Navy is supposed to implement to prevent that in future.
    A bit of Googling can find those links easy.
    I get an impression….impression mind you…that you haven’t had much experience on the bridge.
    The problem is how the bridge works on a warship compared to merchant ship. Chain of communication/command is critical here. Works well in combat…much less in peace in congested waters.

    Re aircraft carriers (or carrier task force).
    Also addressed in some other threads.
    All major navies keep building them. Chinese just introduced theirs. The HM Navy is building two as we speak. So, they must have some use…..

    Re missiles.
    The defense against missiles is multi phased and multilayered. Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it.Also addressed in some other threads.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    "Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it"
    Yes -- however, if the Russian hyper sonic missiles (Vector ??)live up to the hype....We'll, it'll be interesting.
    , @Jim Christian
    No, Peter, my experience was flight decks, I was a LOX and ejection seat guy. I kept the pilots breathing and got em out of the plane. Also, I was out there in the late 70s and early 80s. I'm skeptical just the same, that a swarm of hypersonic cruise missiles, say a volley of 20 or 30 can ALL be stopped by the two puny Aegis cruisers that travel with carriers. Throw in speedy torpedoes the equal of our ADCAP warshots launched from quiet diesel subs and the environment is decidedly hostile to surface ships in general let alone monsters like carriers.

    As regards other countries' carriers, the Chins have one old Soviet hull and supposedly one or two others they're dicking around with. The Russians don't have any carriers under construction that I've heard of, one was operational off Syria awhile back but haven't checked lately. Meanwhile, we have one carrier @ 15 billion dollars that's not close to operational, the Ford and two follow-ons to the Ford with the keels laid and one wonders that even if carriers ARE viable, where is the dough to build the escorts to protect them, the planes to fly off them, and mostly, the crews to "man" them?

    You don't really need to sink a carrier, just get a fire going on the roof and that's that, it can't operate. If the carrier has to stand off far from an enemy's coast, there's no gas for the planes over target. It's just a trip wire, a carrier. Just one old sailor's opinion, I'd rather be building subs myself. Lots of them. Actually, I'd rather we just pulled back. All we're doing is burning cash to no good end.
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  62. anarchyst says:

    Ken Burn’s “documentary” on Vietnam missed one of the most important and successful pacification efforts to take place “in country”…the USMC “Combined Action Program”. This little-known and publicized program inserted a squad-level unit into various villages in I Corps, to provide security, training for the Vietnamese Popular Forces (PF’s–akin to military reservists). Quite often the senior American serviceman on site was a Sergeant or Corporal. The CAPs would run patrols at night, live in the village or hamlet during the day, and generally “stayed put”. The North Vietnamese and VC hated the CAPs as they were denied the ability to gain a stronghold on the local population. This program was disbanded in 1971 as a result of President Nixon’s “Vietnamization” program.

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  63. edNels says:
    @Priss Factor
    I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics... at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory... just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

    It took ‘em 50 yrs. to come up with this soft ball redux on ‘Nam War’?

    Burns wore a little thin on the Civil War documentary anyways.

    Lot’s of good video from Viet Nam War, they don’t allow that anymore.

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  64. I am a Vietnam-era vet though not a Vietnam vet, as, luckily for me, my name never came up to be sent there. However, I did run into many Vietnam vets, and do remember the near mutinous conditions in the barracks. AWOLs and desertions were common. Several of the men in my basic training unit just went missing. The difference back then was that most of us were either drafted or were draft motivated to enlist. The powers-that-be then decided that that situation was intolerable for continuous war, so the all-volunteer Army was born right around the time I was getting out. I call it the Master Stroke of the Empire. Complain too much today and they’ll throw you out on your ear, with probably a less than honorable discharge. The mass of middle and upper class people don’t much care about the wars as long as their sons are not getting drafted. The Afghan War could never have lasted 7, let alone 17 years, if we had a citizen-soldier draftee Army.

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian

    The Afghan War could never have lasted 7, let alone 17 years, if we had a citizen-soldier draftee Army
     
    Good take, Sativa. Add in that these asshole Generals that do nothing but extend and lose our wars for us would be thrown out on their ears before they could become millionaires. Our MIC, the Pentagon and the civilians in Congress that pretend to do our bidding would be held accountable at some point. Not to mention our intel and law enforcement authorities might have been taken more to account for allowing 9/11 to have happened in the first place because THEIR failures caused all this to begin with. As you said, master stroke of the Evil Empire to go all-vol. We're ill-served from the top of the government to the bottom and because there's no draft no one has human skin in the game.
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  65. @John Jeremiah Smith
    Thanks, Eric. You speak truth to lies. Your article is a remarkably succinct summation of the most salient points worth making about the Vietnam War.

    I find it rather interesting that Fred Reed still manages to glorify the whole bloody fucking mess. Go figure.

    The US military recruiter promised me free medical care for life. Such a deal. And now, that $50 co-pay ain't free no more. Such a deal.

    I find it rather interesting that Fred Reed still manages to glorify the whole bloody fucking mess.

    Sadly, Fred reached his peak with this, a must read for all ‘Merkins, chest pounders and non-chest pounders alike.:

    Spend a year on a casualty ward. When the girlfriend of seventeen from Chattanooga finds that her Mikey is blind and doesn’t precisely have a face, her expression is something to see. Or not to see. You can become disposed to ask: Is this war for anything? Or is it just a war?

    -Fred Reed, War, Maybe We Could Go Bowling Instead

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Cambodia.shtml

    Also, in my extremely humble opinion, there’s way too much sappy pity for the US victims of the crime and way too little for the Vietnamese ones.

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  66. Capn Mike says:
    @Che Guava
    That is interesting to me. As is the Margolis artictle, never knew he had been a USA soldier, very interesting article. Thought he was a Canada person.

    I have a question for you, Capn Mike.

    If the PRC had allowed the USA free rein in Gulf of Tonkin, where were the supply lines to the Nth. Viet military and Viet Cong?

    Must it not still have been overland from PRC at that time you say (1969)?

    Good question. Above my pay grade, I regret. But there were LOTS of Russian freighters in and out of Haiphong throughout the “war”. The North Vietnamese were always close to the Soviets.
    We never harassed those ships, or ANY vessels for that matter. The N. Vietnamese fishing fleet would fish within a stone’s throw of our ships up at PIRAZ.

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    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Appreciating your reply, and knew of the help from USSR, but they must still have had an internal supply route from China. After all, your side was bombing the Nth. Viet ports so heavily.

    Would guessing that, because CPC was unsettled at the time (1969 to fall of Saigon, also before and after), factions in the south of China were continuing the inland supply.

    At that time, still competition between CPUSSR and CPC for hearts and minds in some other places. Going back to Mao's idea that he was the natural successor to Stalin, and it wasn't to working out that way!

    Weirdest story I was hearing about that war when overseas and have never read elsewhere, from a man still in military service at the time, there was a urine-detecctor campaign, they set up urine-detectors in suspected areas of Viet Cong activity.

    Destroyers off the coast would shelling these places.

    The shelling killed a few people at first, but the Viet Cong worked out what was happening (possibly with tech. support from outside, possibly not), threw bags of urine at the sensors, then withdrawing to watch the spectacle of wildlife and jungle being shelled.

    Regards.
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  67. dearieme says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    "The oval office was bugged". That's a big statement, as are those leaks you allege. Please elaborate and justify. I must ask partly because you triggered my fantasy detector by writing that "Eisenhower installed those bugs before he left"!

    "These same bugs brought down Nixon". Are you for real? 12 years after installation? But of course they weren't bugs at all. They were Nixon's own unintended trap for himself.

    JFK surreptitiously recorded conversations with his advisors. Those tapes should be listened to with this in mind: Kennedy knew the conversations were being taped but his advisors didn’t.

    Even this interesting piece seems to me to fail to interpret the tapes in light of this asymmetry.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/?single_page=true

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  68. @peterAUS

    I do wish someone would show me where I’m wrong
     
    Maybe I could try.

    Re collisions.
    There was related thread here about it where I posted a couple of links.
    One is how and why it was/is happening, another about the measures US Navy is supposed to implement to prevent that in future.
    A bit of Googling can find those links easy.
    I get an impression....impression mind you...that you haven't had much experience on the bridge.
    The problem is how the bridge works on a warship compared to merchant ship. Chain of communication/command is critical here. Works well in combat...much less in peace in congested waters.

    Re aircraft carriers (or carrier task force).
    Also addressed in some other threads.
    All major navies keep building them. Chinese just introduced theirs. The HM Navy is building two as we speak. So, they must have some use.....

    Re missiles.
    The defense against missiles is multi phased and multilayered. Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it.Also addressed in some other threads.

    “Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it”
    Yes — however, if the Russian hyper sonic missiles (Vector ??)live up to the hype….We’ll, it’ll be interesting.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Not quite.
    As long as it doesn't get sold to potential....target...countries it's irrelevant.

    Iran and North Korea....maybe Venezuela....some African countries....in that order.

    Carrier task groups are for projecting the imperial power on the 3rd world countries.

    For big boys play there are other tools.
    Radioactive type.
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  69. peterAUS says:
    @animalogic
    "Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it"
    Yes -- however, if the Russian hyper sonic missiles (Vector ??)live up to the hype....We'll, it'll be interesting.

    Not quite.
    As long as it doesn’t get sold to potential….target…countries it’s irrelevant.

    Iran and North Korea….maybe Venezuela….some African countries….in that order.

    Carrier task groups are for projecting the imperial power on the 3rd world countries.

    For big boys play there are other tools.
    Radioactive type.

    Read More
    • Replies: @animalogic
    Interesting you mention Iran & Nth Korea. Unprovoked attacks (ah la Iraq) would present very good odds of those "big boys" you mention getting involved....
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  70. utu says:
    @Joe Wong
    You surely are a fine specimen of the 'god-fearing' morally defunct evil 'puritans', always portray someone else worse than you, the American, with fake news to exonerate yourself the war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace you have been committing since the Columbus time; no matter how evil the American does, you always can conclude that whatever USA does is necessary with the best intention.

    Reading through your comment is like peeking through the mind of a psychopath who is always wondering why other people behave different from his, the only way the psychopath can make sense this weird phenomenon to himself is by calling others psychos.

    In case you don't know for over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and enslave its people.

    USA is 10,000 miles on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. American is an alien to Asia. In history no alien ever has the well-being of locals in heart; they are the invaders and troublemakers; the only way they can benefit from a faraway place is to create chaos, insert wedges, sow discords and incite animosities between the locals. Go home Yankee, you are not wanted, not invited and not loved in Asia.

    Reading through your comment is like peeking through the mind of a psychopath

    Not sure about the psychopath but clearly there is something there that is very disconcerting.

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  71. @peterAUS
    Not quite.
    As long as it doesn't get sold to potential....target...countries it's irrelevant.

    Iran and North Korea....maybe Venezuela....some African countries....in that order.

    Carrier task groups are for projecting the imperial power on the 3rd world countries.

    For big boys play there are other tools.
    Radioactive type.

    Interesting you mention Iran & Nth Korea. Unprovoked attacks (ah la Iraq) would present very good odds of those “big boys” you mention getting involved….

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    True.

    At the same time those ....military enterprises.....could present very good odds of those "big boys" not getting involved in a meaningful manner.

    The manner related to elements I was talking about as:
    -missiles
    -aircraft carriers

    I can envisage a feasible scenario where Iran is in chaos, around fourth of it occupied by Western side and Russia and China not interfering much.

    I can also envisage a thermonuclear exchange wiping human life of the Earth.

    But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won't make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.
    On top of it we can be assured that those people in power are highly competent and responsible to their duties to the peoples they elected them. Hence, they just can't make any mistake.
    Lucky us.
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  72. MarkinLA says:
    @RJJCDA
    "Washington could not admit that young Vietnamese guerillas and regulars had bested the US armed forces..."

    BS. Between 4/65 and 3/70, in military and security contractor roles I spent 41 months in country. THE WAR WAS WON when I left. The Marines pulled out in 70, and last army combat units left in 72 or early 73. North invaded and won CONVENTIONALLY in 1975 AFTER Congress cut off funding for South.

    As Gen.Krulak suggested to Joint Chiefs and Admin.in 1965, extending DMZ at 17th parallel across southern Laotian panhandle, and manning with 2.5 divisions, would have ended the war in OUR favor with only fraction of casualties for all sides. North later agreed. But State Dept. (Harriman) refused as it would damage their agreement with North to "keep" Laos neutral. Yeah, right!

    Did you ever stop to think what was going to happen once the US left? The North, no matter what the current condition, can always wait us out and the South never put up much of a fight. Do you expect the US to stay there like we are in Korea?

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  73. Rich says:
    @nsa
    Save your senile hot air for the other menopausal drunks drooling in the VFW lounge. The conscript US military completely collapsed.........fragging, rampant drug usage, desertion, abject morale, chain of command disintegration, and the usual commissioned officer cowardice. Any western country stupid enough to pursue a land war in Asia deserves what it gets.......inevitable defeat and humiliation.

    Do you base you’re historical knowledge on what you picked up from a few bad movies in the 70′s? You’re lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing. I’m sure there’s something you have a bit of knowledge about, the Vietnam War is obviously not it.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    You’re lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing.
     
    Such as?

    I'd say that nsa's comments, including the one you responded to, are spot on except the part about NCO cowardice which was not limited to NCOs since the "orificers" and politicians and their apologists were the worst of the cowards.

    Moral cowardice still reigns supreme in the phony "Land of the Free."
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  74. @peterAUS

    I do wish someone would show me where I’m wrong
     
    Maybe I could try.

    Re collisions.
    There was related thread here about it where I posted a couple of links.
    One is how and why it was/is happening, another about the measures US Navy is supposed to implement to prevent that in future.
    A bit of Googling can find those links easy.
    I get an impression....impression mind you...that you haven't had much experience on the bridge.
    The problem is how the bridge works on a warship compared to merchant ship. Chain of communication/command is critical here. Works well in combat...much less in peace in congested waters.

    Re aircraft carriers (or carrier task force).
    Also addressed in some other threads.
    All major navies keep building them. Chinese just introduced theirs. The HM Navy is building two as we speak. So, they must have some use.....

    Re missiles.
    The defense against missiles is multi phased and multilayered. Carrier battle group, let alone a carrier is just a small part of it.Also addressed in some other threads.

    No, Peter, my experience was flight decks, I was a LOX and ejection seat guy. I kept the pilots breathing and got em out of the plane. Also, I was out there in the late 70s and early 80s. I’m skeptical just the same, that a swarm of hypersonic cruise missiles, say a volley of 20 or 30 can ALL be stopped by the two puny Aegis cruisers that travel with carriers. Throw in speedy torpedoes the equal of our ADCAP warshots launched from quiet diesel subs and the environment is decidedly hostile to surface ships in general let alone monsters like carriers.

    As regards other countries’ carriers, the Chins have one old Soviet hull and supposedly one or two others they’re dicking around with. The Russians don’t have any carriers under construction that I’ve heard of, one was operational off Syria awhile back but haven’t checked lately. Meanwhile, we have one carrier @ 15 billion dollars that’s not close to operational, the Ford and two follow-ons to the Ford with the keels laid and one wonders that even if carriers ARE viable, where is the dough to build the escorts to protect them, the planes to fly off them, and mostly, the crews to “man” them?

    You don’t really need to sink a carrier, just get a fire going on the roof and that’s that, it can’t operate. If the carrier has to stand off far from an enemy’s coast, there’s no gas for the planes over target. It’s just a trip wire, a carrier. Just one old sailor’s opinion, I’d rather be building subs myself. Lots of them. Actually, I’d rather we just pulled back. All we’re doing is burning cash to no good end.

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  75. @ken satifka
    I am a Vietnam-era vet though not a Vietnam vet, as, luckily for me, my name never came up to be sent there. However, I did run into many Vietnam vets, and do remember the near mutinous conditions in the barracks. AWOLs and desertions were common. Several of the men in my basic training unit just went missing. The difference back then was that most of us were either drafted or were draft motivated to enlist. The powers-that-be then decided that that situation was intolerable for continuous war, so the all-volunteer Army was born right around the time I was getting out. I call it the Master Stroke of the Empire. Complain too much today and they'll throw you out on your ear, with probably a less than honorable discharge. The mass of middle and upper class people don't much care about the wars as long as their sons are not getting drafted. The Afghan War could never have lasted 7, let alone 17 years, if we had a citizen-soldier draftee Army.

    The Afghan War could never have lasted 7, let alone 17 years, if we had a citizen-soldier draftee Army

    Good take, Sativa. Add in that these asshole Generals that do nothing but extend and lose our wars for us would be thrown out on their ears before they could become millionaires. Our MIC, the Pentagon and the civilians in Congress that pretend to do our bidding would be held accountable at some point. Not to mention our intel and law enforcement authorities might have been taken more to account for allowing 9/11 to have happened in the first place because THEIR failures caused all this to begin with. As you said, master stroke of the Evil Empire to go all-vol. We’re ill-served from the top of the government to the bottom and because there’s no draft no one has human skin in the game.

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  76. peterAUS says:
    @animalogic
    Interesting you mention Iran & Nth Korea. Unprovoked attacks (ah la Iraq) would present very good odds of those "big boys" you mention getting involved....

    True.

    At the same time those ….military enterprises…..could present very good odds of those “big boys” not getting involved in a meaningful manner.

    The manner related to elements I was talking about as:
    -missiles
    -aircraft carriers

    I can envisage a feasible scenario where Iran is in chaos, around fourth of it occupied by Western side and Russia and China not interfering much.

    I can also envisage a thermonuclear exchange wiping human life of the Earth.

    But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won’t make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.
    On top of it we can be assured that those people in power are highly competent and responsible to their duties to the peoples they elected them. Hence, they just can’t make any mistake.
    Lucky us.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    Yes, indeed: lucky old us....
    , @Alwaysthinking
    Is this a sarcasm: But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won’t make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.
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  77. @peterAUS
    True.

    At the same time those ....military enterprises.....could present very good odds of those "big boys" not getting involved in a meaningful manner.

    The manner related to elements I was talking about as:
    -missiles
    -aircraft carriers

    I can envisage a feasible scenario where Iran is in chaos, around fourth of it occupied by Western side and Russia and China not interfering much.

    I can also envisage a thermonuclear exchange wiping human life of the Earth.

    But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won't make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.
    On top of it we can be assured that those people in power are highly competent and responsible to their duties to the peoples they elected them. Hence, they just can't make any mistake.
    Lucky us.

    Yes, indeed: lucky old us….

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  78. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Priss Factor
    I don't think CucKen Burns is entirely wrong in empathizing with those who got involved.

    Sure, there were warmongers. Sure, they were profiteers. Sure, there were power-maniacs. Sure, there were paranoids.

    But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.

    As for military men, well, whaddya expect? They were trained to think of the world in terms of military power. As for CIA, we are talking of more sinister elements, but let's keep in mind that Soviets had their intelligence organizations and methods of subversion. Let's remember Soviets had infiltrated FDR's government and pulled dirty trick. Even got the Bomb during Truman era.
    Also, Soviets could be utterly ruthless in their own empire.

    Now, would the US have intervened in Vietnam if the nation was to be united by a non-communist nationalist? Probably not. US didn't intervene in Indonesia when it gained independence under Sukarno. The only reason US got involved was because Ho was a Soviet-leaning communist. And even though Domino theory has been 'debunked', it made sense at the time. Even Soviets believed in it. Mao believed in it. Soviets believed that sign of US weakness could spread the revolution all around. Che Guevara believed in the Domino Theory. Communist victory over Cuba, he thought, would herald spread of communism all over Latin America, and then it would spread into US itself. Che really believed this, which is why he died in Bolivia trying to start an insurgency.

    Also, in a way, Domino Theory did come true, at least for awhile. Not so much in Southeast Asia, though Laos and Cambodia also fell to communism. And keep in mind Indonesia almost could have become communist if the Peking-backed coup had succeeded. And keep in mind it took lots of British brutality and ruthlessness to stem the communist movement in Malaysia. Brits built huge hamlets and concentration camps. They took extreme measures.

    At any rate, communism did continue to spread after the fall of Vietnam. US power seemed to be declining. And not only communists were emboldened by US defeat in Vietnam. Vietnam became a metaphor for anti-Americanism all over the world. May 68 movement that almost brought down the French government was fired up partly by Vietnam(though it began as some silly stuff about dorms and sex). Vietnam was bigger than Algeria because US was seen as the Great Power. French defeat wasn't all that surprising in Algeria. So, after US left from Vietnam, there was a sense that David could beat American Goliath. Iran regime fell and Islamists came to power. Afghanistan turned communist, and Soviets felt emboldened in rolling in tanks. Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Angola turned communist. Communists won in Nicaragua and almost won in El Salvador. There was a raging Maoist insurgency in Peru. Allende came to power through elections, and he was pro-Soviet and pro-Cuba. He was removed only by US-backed coup that did as much harm as good. It blackened US reputation around the world. So, in a way, the Domino Theory wasn't all wrong. Vietnam did signal a sea-change in world politics... at least for awhile.

    In the end, communism wasn't defeated by the US. It defeated itself. Soviet economics just couldn't sustain the empire. Its subsidies to Cuba were costly. Its support of Marxist regimes in Africa drained Soviet economy. USSR had to prop up Iron Curtain nations economically. And Vietnamese communism was a disaster. Maoism was hell on earth. Some might say communism failed cuz Capitalist West froze the communists out of world trade. But considering that the communist world encompassed resource-rich Soviet Empire, people-rich China, and lots of nations willing to do business with communist nations -- India and Arab nations had good relations with Soviets -- , the real reason for failure of communism was it was its own worst enemy.

    And when we look at the aftermath of communist victory in Indochina -- brutal repression in Vietnam and Laos and psychotic democide in Cambodia -- and when we consider how even communist nations like China and Vietnam switched to market economics, it's clear that US was on the right side of history on many issues.

    Also, the conflict was complicated because both sides were aggressors. US was the aggressor in working with the French to divide Vietnam in half, in occupying the southern half, and dropping bombs and using Viet women as whores. But the communists were also aggressors because they tried to impose a form of Stalinism on people in the South, most of whom didn't want communism. After all, many more people fled the north to the south than vice versa. Why? There is something prison-like about communism. The commissars never leave you alone. Also, North Vietnamese leaders, though inspired and patriotic, were utterly ruthless in their own way, willing to sacrifice any number of people for victory... just like Japanese militarists were willing to Go All the Way instead of calling it quits to save lives.

    Still, in retrospect, Ho Chi Minh was a genuine patriot, a legendary figure much beloved by many Viets. And for that reason, US shouldn't have intervened, and the whole mess could have been avoided.

    CucKen Burns makes my skin crawl, but at his best, he can look at both sides of the issue instead of going for b/w version of history with good guys vs bad guys.

    That said, maybe his position reflects globalism. As Proglobalists now control the US, the neo-Pax-Americana is about the spread of agendas favored by the likes of CucKen Burns, like homomania, Jewish Power, anti-nationalism, and Afromania. Today's progs want the world to become neo-Americanized.
    And in Vietnam, as Linh Dinh reported, there is now homo parades and Afromania and Vietcuckery. So, considering that Viet commies stood for patriotism and national sovereignty, maybe the globalist viewpoint is more favorable to US efforts to turn Vietnam into globo-disneyland.

    After all, where was CucKen Burns when Obama and Hillary were destroying Libya, Ukraine, Syria, and etc. Where were he and his ilk when Jews were cooking up New Cold War with Russia with hysteria that would make McCarthy blush?

    “But Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were not particularly sadistic or cruel men. Eisenhower could be aloof and mean. Kennedy could be vain. Johnson was plenty corrupt. Nixon could be nasty. But were not psychos or radicals like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.”

    Let’s ask the Vietnamese people that question!

    http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/143784

    Over 7 million tons of bombs were dropped by the US during the Vietnam War; over 2 million tons were dropped during WW2.

    The US first used napalm during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters, and also deployed it during the Korean War. However, those instances are dwarfed by American use of napalm in the Vietnam War, where the US dropped almost 400,000 tons of napalm bombs in the decade between 1963 and 1973. Of the Vietnamese people who were on the receiving end, 60% suffered fifth-degree burns, meaning that the burn went down to the bone.

    Horrifying as napalm is, its effects at least are time-limited. That is not the case with the other major chemical weapon the US used against Vietnam – Agent Orange.

    And then of course, we have Operation Phoenix.

    Estimates of total Vietnamese killed – between two to four million. Yes, not Russia or China under Moa and Stalin, but Vietnam is a small country.

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  79. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The Empire wants to rewrite the Vietnam chapter now that it is in total decline.

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
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  80. @Rich
    Do you base you're historical knowledge on what you picked up from a few bad movies in the 70's? You're lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing. I'm sure there's something you have a bit of knowledge about, the Vietnam War is obviously not it.

    You’re lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing.

    Such as?

    I’d say that nsa’s comments, including the one you responded to, are spot on except the part about NCO cowardice which was not limited to NCOs since the “orificers” and politicians and their apologists were the worst of the cowards.

    Moral cowardice still reigns supreme in the phony “Land of the Free.”

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    • Replies: @Rich
    You must have an odd definition of "coward" if you believe that men who put themselves in harm's way are cowards. Obviously you can disagree with their cause, but using the word "coward " is simply inaccurate.

    Maybe you just don't like America or Americans, that's okay, we don't like your either.
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  81. Che Guava says:
    @Capn Mike
    Good question. Above my pay grade, I regret. But there were LOTS of Russian freighters in and out of Haiphong throughout the "war". The North Vietnamese were always close to the Soviets.
    We never harassed those ships, or ANY vessels for that matter. The N. Vietnamese fishing fleet would fish within a stone's throw of our ships up at PIRAZ.

    Appreciating your reply, and knew of the help from USSR, but they must still have had an internal supply route from China. After all, your side was bombing the Nth. Viet ports so heavily.

    Would guessing that, because CPC was unsettled at the time (1969 to fall of Saigon, also before and after), factions in the south of China were continuing the inland supply.

    At that time, still competition between CPUSSR and CPC for hearts and minds in some other places. Going back to Mao’s idea that he was the natural successor to Stalin, and it wasn’t to working out that way!

    Weirdest story I was hearing about that war when overseas and have never read elsewhere, from a man still in military service at the time, there was a urine-detecctor campaign, they set up urine-detectors in suspected areas of Viet Cong activity.

    Destroyers off the coast would shelling these places.

    The shelling killed a few people at first, but the Viet Cong worked out what was happening (possibly with tech. support from outside, possibly not), threw bags of urine at the sensors, then withdrawing to watch the spectacle of wildlife and jungle being shelled.

    Regards.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    The sensors (PSIDS) were not affected by urine, but relied on seismic activity from footsteps and vehicle movements.
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  82. @Sam McGowan
    First, I was heavily involved in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. Second, I have written extensively about the war and read the books. The fact is that the US didn't "lose" the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it, JFK and LBJ, has no intention of defeating the communist insurgency, they just wanted "to contain it". Cam Ranh Bay and made a speech in which he commented to the troops present that he wanted them to "nail the coonskin to the wall." Richard Nixon began withdrawing troops immediately after his inauguration and gave Abrams an edict to "reduce American casualties" shortly afterwards. In fact, Vietnam as well as Korea - as well as other wars around the world - were continuations of World War II, which Americans thought ended when the Japanese surrendered. By the way, I am not watching Ken Burn's latest left-wing propaganda piece nor do I intend to. I don't need him to tell me what happened in Southeast Asia, I was there.

    The fact is that the US didn’t “lose” the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it

    Despite your bona fides, (in both senses of the phrase
    ), those statements display a shamefully superficial analysis; in fact, they sound downright naive to me.

    First, explain what you mean by winning and losing, and consider in what senses the terms apply. In this context, “winning” could mean accomplishing one’s goals. I’d contend that, for instance, the winners, at least in their own wretched minds, were certain Pentagon nutcase glamour boys such as the bemedalled and pampered-for-life field and general grade morons who walked away with more medals and rank and fat sinecures and the war profiteers.

    Those who lost were those who suffered for no valid reason, and I’d say the Vietnamese peasants certainly fall into that category, and so do the duped members of the US working classes who lost life, limbs, minds, friends and relatives doing the devil’s dirty work.

    Regarding the comment about left wingers, I’d say that’s an obsolete and corny way of describing some our political jackals since there’s really not much difference, morally, between the so called left and right. They’re merely opposite sides of the same coin. Either way, you flip it, the net value is the same.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    All one has to do is look at the silence of the so-called "anti-Vietnam war protesters" and communist sympathizers as tens of thousands of "boat people" risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise". The Ken Burns "documentary" inadvertently admitted that most of those who worked for Americans and South Vietnamese were interned (re-educated) in "re-education camps" (actually prisons) for decades--not for months, as claimed by the communists.
    The prosecution of the Vietnam (American) war may have been flawed, BUT there was a valid moral component to it all. Communism WAS a real threat in that part of the world. Americans and South Vietnamese fought valiantly despite the political inability to shut off the supply routes from the North.
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  83. anarchyst says:
    @jacques sheete

    The fact is that the US didn’t “lose” the war, the left-wing presidents that got us into it
     
    Despite your bona fides, (in both senses of the phrase
    ), those statements display a shamefully superficial analysis; in fact, they sound downright naive to me.

    First, explain what you mean by winning and losing, and consider in what senses the terms apply. In this context, "winning" could mean accomplishing one's goals. I'd contend that, for instance, the winners, at least in their own wretched minds, were certain Pentagon nutcase glamour boys such as the bemedalled and pampered-for-life field and general grade morons who walked away with more medals and rank and fat sinecures and the war profiteers.

    Those who lost were those who suffered for no valid reason, and I'd say the Vietnamese peasants certainly fall into that category, and so do the duped members of the US working classes who lost life, limbs, minds, friends and relatives doing the devil's dirty work.

    Regarding the comment about left wingers, I'd say that's an obsolete and corny way of describing some our political jackals since there's really not much difference, morally, between the so called left and right. They're merely opposite sides of the same coin. Either way, you flip it, the net value is the same.

    All one has to do is look at the silence of the so-called “anti-Vietnam war protesters” and communist sympathizers as tens of thousands of “boat people” risked life and limb to escape that communist “paradise”. The Ken Burns “documentary” inadvertently admitted that most of those who worked for Americans and South Vietnamese were interned (re-educated) in “re-education camps” (actually prisons) for decades–not for months, as claimed by the communists.
    The prosecution of the Vietnam (American) war may have been flawed, BUT there was a valid moral component to it all. Communism WAS a real threat in that part of the world. Americans and South Vietnamese fought valiantly despite the political inability to shut off the supply routes from the North.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Well tell some mother that her son died making Vietnam a better place. I am sure than will make her happy.
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  84. anarchyst says:
    @Che Guava
    Appreciating your reply, and knew of the help from USSR, but they must still have had an internal supply route from China. After all, your side was bombing the Nth. Viet ports so heavily.

    Would guessing that, because CPC was unsettled at the time (1969 to fall of Saigon, also before and after), factions in the south of China were continuing the inland supply.

    At that time, still competition between CPUSSR and CPC for hearts and minds in some other places. Going back to Mao's idea that he was the natural successor to Stalin, and it wasn't to working out that way!

    Weirdest story I was hearing about that war when overseas and have never read elsewhere, from a man still in military service at the time, there was a urine-detecctor campaign, they set up urine-detectors in suspected areas of Viet Cong activity.

    Destroyers off the coast would shelling these places.

    The shelling killed a few people at first, but the Viet Cong worked out what was happening (possibly with tech. support from outside, possibly not), threw bags of urine at the sensors, then withdrawing to watch the spectacle of wildlife and jungle being shelled.

    Regards.

    The sensors (PSIDS) were not affected by urine, but relied on seismic activity from footsteps and vehicle movements.

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    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.

    He was possibly just to make it up.

    The US had so many crazy schemes in the times, maybe the story I heard was the truth, maybe not, but the history being what it was, easy to believing!

    m(__)m
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  85. Rich says:
    @jacques sheete

    You’re lack of knowledge concerning the Vietnam War is embarrassing.
     
    Such as?

    I'd say that nsa's comments, including the one you responded to, are spot on except the part about NCO cowardice which was not limited to NCOs since the "orificers" and politicians and their apologists were the worst of the cowards.

    Moral cowardice still reigns supreme in the phony "Land of the Free."

    You must have an odd definition of “coward” if you believe that men who put themselves in harm’s way are cowards. Obviously you can disagree with their cause, but using the word “coward ” is simply inaccurate.

    Maybe you just don’t like America or Americans, that’s okay, we don’t like your either.

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  86. America is so lucky to be protected by two large Oceans. However modern weapons are shrinking this protection. If, I surely hope not, U.S. ever experience the devastation of war in its backyard then perhaps we will not be so cavalier in going to war in foreign land. Unfortunately, 911 was just one unique experience and we have become more of a police state.

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  87. @peterAUS
    True.

    At the same time those ....military enterprises.....could present very good odds of those "big boys" not getting involved in a meaningful manner.

    The manner related to elements I was talking about as:
    -missiles
    -aircraft carriers

    I can envisage a feasible scenario where Iran is in chaos, around fourth of it occupied by Western side and Russia and China not interfering much.

    I can also envisage a thermonuclear exchange wiping human life of the Earth.

    But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won't make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.
    On top of it we can be assured that those people in power are highly competent and responsible to their duties to the peoples they elected them. Hence, they just can't make any mistake.
    Lucky us.

    Is this a sarcasm: But, because all major players in that scenario are functional democracies (I mean elections etc..) we can rest assured that the best interests of those peoples and human race are first and foremost in minds and souls of people in power.
    People voted for the best among themselves after competent and careful decision making process.
    So, people in power won’t make any decision that would go against the will of those peoples.

    Read More
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  88. MarkinLA says:
    @anarchyst
    All one has to do is look at the silence of the so-called "anti-Vietnam war protesters" and communist sympathizers as tens of thousands of "boat people" risked life and limb to escape that communist "paradise". The Ken Burns "documentary" inadvertently admitted that most of those who worked for Americans and South Vietnamese were interned (re-educated) in "re-education camps" (actually prisons) for decades--not for months, as claimed by the communists.
    The prosecution of the Vietnam (American) war may have been flawed, BUT there was a valid moral component to it all. Communism WAS a real threat in that part of the world. Americans and South Vietnamese fought valiantly despite the political inability to shut off the supply routes from the North.

    Well tell some mother that her son died making Vietnam a better place. I am sure than will make her happy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anarchyst
    ...you must have been an "anti-war" protester who has an affinity for communism...
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  89. anarchyst says:
    @MarkinLA
    Well tell some mother that her son died making Vietnam a better place. I am sure than will make her happy.

    …you must have been an “anti-war” protester who has an affinity for communism…

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    No, an America first paleocon who recognizes the stupidity of fighting people in a foreign country that pose no threat to the US mainland.
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  90. MarkinLA says:
    @anarchyst
    ...you must have been an "anti-war" protester who has an affinity for communism...

    No, an America first paleocon who recognizes the stupidity of fighting people in a foreign country that pose no threat to the US mainland.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Had we continued to support RVN in '75 not a single extra American need have died, and we would not have that extra stain on our national conscience that we now do.
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  91. Hibernian says:
    @jacques sheete

    There never was a communist threat.

     

    They certainly spent a lot of energy promoting world revolution ( Trotsky wanted world revolution, as you say, and he certainly wasn't alone or unique.) The US government for example was full of Reds and Red sympathizers, and plenty of Red millionaires infested high society in New York City, but I guess they were all just into tea parties and such. Once the big money crowd co-opted their worldwide revolution, if became a huge threat, I'd say.

    Stalin, for all his bloodthirsty antics in Russia, realised this was all nonsense. He just wanted Socialism in One Country,
     
    I suspect this was merely a temporary expedient- a way of buying time. Something like his alliance with Hitler. Things like that can change on a dime as can be seen in the ever changing 5 year plans and FDR's New Deals.

    Stalin did, however, do the world a favor by exterminating a lot of the old Bolshies like Trotsky and Genrikh Yagoda.

    “…5 year plans and FDR’s New Deals.”

    Five year plans and New Deals
    Wrapped in golden chains.
    And I wonder
    Still I wonder
    Who’ll stop the rain?

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  92. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @MarkinLA
    No, an America first paleocon who recognizes the stupidity of fighting people in a foreign country that pose no threat to the US mainland.

    Had we continued to support RVN in ’75 not a single extra American need have died, and we would not have that extra stain on our national conscience that we now do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    We could've bombed the hell out of the NVA.
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  93. @Anon
    Had we continued to support RVN in '75 not a single extra American need have died, and we would not have that extra stain on our national conscience that we now do.

    We could’ve bombed the hell out of the NVA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @britishbrains1300cc
    [Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise all your comments will get trashed.]
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  94. Che Guava says:
    @anarchyst
    The sensors (PSIDS) were not affected by urine, but relied on seismic activity from footsteps and vehicle movements.

    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.

    He was possibly just to make it up.

    The US had so many crazy schemes in the times, maybe the story I heard was the truth, maybe not, but the history being what it was, easy to believing!

    m(__)m

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.
     
    XM2 ammonia sensor, also called a "people sniffer". Detected groups of people by ammonia present in sweat and urine. Also detected water buffalo. Not perfect, but it was "real-time", not a recorded stat.
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  95. @Father O'Hara
    We could've bombed the hell out of the NVA.

    [Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise all your comments will get trashed.]

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  96. @Che Guava
    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.

    He was possibly just to make it up.

    The US had so many crazy schemes in the times, maybe the story I heard was the truth, maybe not, but the history being what it was, easy to believing!

    m(__)m

    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.

    XM2 ammonia sensor, also called a “people sniffer”. Detected groups of people by ammonia present in sweat and urine. Also detected water buffalo. Not perfect, but it was “real-time”, not a recorded stat.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Sincerely, thank you sir,

    I did not think that I was just hearing lies at the time (not at that time, but much later).

    Now I am having no doubt that the destroyer officer who was saying that they were shelling places for that, and that it was useless, and that the Viet Cong used the ready availability of urine (and from water buffaloes)i to making the useful wasting of major ammmunition was truthful.

    Briefly fooled by an OP who is not bad, but lacking in knowledge.

    As we all are, but to knowing when one is not knowing, when one is not sure, when one is really knowing, when one is lashimg out, or just trolling, is important.

    (;_;)/~~~
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  97. Che Guava says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Sincerely thanking you for the info., but I heard the urine sensor tale from a serving officer at the time (both off Vietnam and when he was saying it), met during my own brief (2 yr.) time in uniform.
     
    XM2 ammonia sensor, also called a "people sniffer". Detected groups of people by ammonia present in sweat and urine. Also detected water buffalo. Not perfect, but it was "real-time", not a recorded stat.

    Sincerely, thank you sir,

    I did not think that I was just hearing lies at the time (not at that time, but much later).

    Now I am having no doubt that the destroyer officer who was saying that they were shelling places for that, and that it was useless, and that the Viet Cong used the ready availability of urine (and from water buffaloes)i to making the useful wasting of major ammmunition was truthful.

    Briefly fooled by an OP who is not bad, but lacking in knowledge.

    As we all are, but to knowing when one is not knowing, when one is not sure, when one is really knowing, when one is lashimg out, or just trolling, is important.

    (;_;)/~~~

    Read More
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