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The Vietnam war...

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belisariusbilberry View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 16:50
The Vietnam war was unnecessary. At the time, the protests were correct. It was America's worst mistake, it was a crime against humanity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 22:25
I am confident that we will make bigger mistakes down the road....  I am not sure what you mean by unnecessary.  I don't see the Viet Cong/NVA as irresistible forces.  How many actions do governments do, that are strictly speaking "necessary"?  Is flood relief necessary?  On a cosmic level no, on an individual level some people will die without it, but people die all the time, and government can go on, still making relative mistakes (that are relatively successful otherwise).  Some Vietnamese moved to the United States and have prospered, because of the war, over all is that a bad thing.  Vietnamese seem to like Americans somewhat despite all our bumbling over there, I am not sure on the individual level it was a complete waste of time.

The protests were not correct.  They said what not to do, but they did not have any positive solution.  The protestors were all concerned about "humanitarian concerns," but after the pull out and Vietnamization of the war the protesters ceased to be concerned with abuses and war crimes, especially those done by the North.  They did not mind that there were abuses over there, they just minded that we (US) were (occasionally) involved in them.  They did not mind that the North did abuses on the South.  That revealed that it wasn't abuses they were concerned about all along, they were often the radical Left in the US concerned with taking sides with the left wing Viet Cong/NVA in a conflict with South Vietnam (ARVN), the US and other allies.  When the US pulled out, it was out of site, out of mind, the protesters didn't care about the abuses of the North, and they withdrew what little self-obsessed scrutiny and support they had for the actual Vietnamese people.

Nice picture of an American soldier in front of a thatch and the jungle.  It well illustrates something I heard about the US uniform and the jungle.  Both are green, but the uniform was drab and the jungle was a bright green, and so US cammo did not necessarily work that well.


Edited by franciscosan - 18 Jul 2017 at 22:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 02:25
Quote The Vietnam war was unnecessary. At the time, the protests were correct. It was America's worst mistake, it was a crime against humanity.

That's a matter of opinion.

The protests began only after the US KIA toll started to become known, and then, gradually, people grew more aware of the atrocities committed by US troops, such a My Lai.

Was it necessary to stop the spread of communism? I don't really know, but the politics of the day determined that it was.

It's all very well to be wise in hindsight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 17:28
Quote Nice picture of an American soldier in front of a thatch and the jungle.  It well illustrates something I heard about the US uniform and the jungle.  Both are green, but the uniform was drab and the jungle was a bright green, and so US cammo did not necessarily work that well.

Never heard that but you can see it. More people were killed by tigers on the Ho Chi Min trail than by US soldiers. There was plenty of suffering all around.
 
In the last twenty years the Vietnamese have found a significant identity in US. Not just as war refugees but in business and home ownership. You could argue that had there not been a war that Vietnam and maybe Cambodia too, would look more like NK. 

I have no doubt that the Vietnam war for Lyndon Johnson, was about the size of his Johnson.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2017 at 03:25
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Quote More people were killed by tigers on the Ho Chi Min trail than by US soldiers. 

  1. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was not a single road or highway, or even a bush track. It was a system of tracks used by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong to move personnel and supplies between the North and the South;
  2. You overlook the activity of things like the B52 bombers and the other US Airforce assets. Their body count can't be accurately accounted for due to the fact that the Viet Cong and NVA carried bodies away.
  3. The comment about the colour of the Jungle Greens is also misleading. Much of the soil in South Viet Nam is a rust red colour, and particularly after rain, the troops clothing became stained a mixture of that colour and green.(Note the colour of the soldiers trousers).
  4. Now, Death by Tiger, where did those figures come from?



Edited by toyomotor - 20 Jul 2017 at 03:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2017 at 15:47
No it wasn't a single road or highway, did I imply that it was?

I'm making a point that the jungle was a very dangerous place, more so even than armed men. I didn't forget the bombers, it wasn't meant to be literal. Let's say a great number of Vietnamese were killed by the jungle. No I do not have statistics, the US government doesn't, the Vietnamese government doesn't either.

"David Lamb wrote in Smithsonian magazine, "The camouflaged network of footpaths and roads they traveled was the world's most dangerous route. One North Vietnamese soldier counted 24 ways you could die on it: malaria and dysentery could ravage you; U.S. aerial bombardments could disintegrate you; tigers could eat you; snakes could poison you; floods and landslides could wash you away. Sheer exhaustion took its toll as well. [Source: David Lamb, Smithsonian magazine, March 2008 "

The point of the camo comment was that the green of US uniforms in Vietnam did contrast with the actual green color of the jungle plants. I expect they did look different when dirty.

I didn't mention any figures on death by tiger, it's the North Vietnamese themselves who graded the dangers of the HCM trail. The comment about more people being killed by tigers was someone's opinion. I didn't source it as a fact, it was an observation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2017 at 17:11
Quote No it wasn't a single road or highway, did I imply that it was?

Not exactly. From your post I wasn't sure if you knew that the Ho Chi Minh Trail was in fact a series of tracks etc.

Quote I'm making a point that the jungle was a very dangerous place, more so even than armed men. I didn't forget the bombers, it wasn't meant to be literal. Let's say a great number of Vietnamese were killed by the jungle. No I do not have statistics, the US government doesn't, the Vietnamese government doesn't either.

I'd need to think more about it, but I think most of the fighting was done in bush country rather than tropical jungle. For example, Hue, where US troops were engaged in ferocious battle, from memory, is/was scattered scrubland, Hue itself of course, is a town. 

Quote The point of the camo comment was that the green of US uniforms in Vietnam did contrast with the actual green color of the jungle plants. I expect they did look different when dirty.

A point not worth us arguing about.

Quote I didn't mention any figures on death by tiger, it's the North Vietnamese themselves who graded the dangers of the HCM trail. The comment about more people being killed by tigers was someone's opinion. I didn't source it as a fact, it was an observation.

Fair enough. I was having a dig at you. Sorry if you took it the wrong way.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2017 at 17:23
Fair enough dig away, that's how I took it. Just making a clear statement.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 04:24
If you were to make a war movie in Vietnam, then the difference between the jungle green and the cammo green would be a nice touch for the authenticity.  It is not a deep question, but a minor point that some filmmakers might miss.

"Apocalypse Now" had a tiger, it is good to know that there really were tigers in Vietnam and they were a real danger.  "Don't get off the boat."  I previously thought that the tiger was included just as a kind of metaphor or symbol.  
 "Tyger, tiger burning bright, in the forest of the night, what fearful hand or eye, framed thy fearful symmetry."--William Blake

I don't know how it is anywhere else, but in America, it is very important for some people to feel the soldiers did not die for nothing, and for other people it is very important to feel that it was all a waste.  

In September on PBS in America, there will be a new series by Ken Burns, this time on Vietnam.  Ken Burns does amazing documentaries, such as the one on the Civil War.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 08:56
The opening line of the OP is a copy of the opening line at http://thethinkingabout.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/the-vietnam-war.html
Quote The Vietnam war was a crime against humanity... It was the worst mistake of USA.

Having given no attribution the member ,belisariusbilberry, has in effect plagiarised that passage.

More, belisariusbilberry make no comment about the passage inviting comment from other members.

Members who have posted on the colour US uniforms etc have, IMHO, strayed from the OP anyway.

"The Vietnam war was a crime against humanity... It was the worst mistake of USA."

Was it in fact a crime against humainty?

Was it the worst mistake of the USA?

These are the questions to be debated, discussed.

IMHO of course.


Edited by toyomotor - 21 Jul 2017 at 09:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 21:41
How do we know it is not his blog?  This is not a scholarly journal.  "Plagiarism is an "academic" crime.  I am sure belisariusbilberry agrees with the sentiment, if he didn't write it originally.  It is a statement of opinion, not fact, and I am sure that belisariusbilberry holds that opinion.  

Yes, the whole thing about the uniforms is minor and tangential to the topic, although if the US army couldn't even dress men in the right color, one wonders why they thought they could successfully pursue a war.  Many people these days feel like _if_ they were going to fight Vietnam, they should have done it right.  Of course, they don't realize that an invasion of North Vietnam probably would have gotten the Chinese involved.  Like in Korea.

I'll drop the uniforms if you do.

As far as being a crime against humanity, crimes are usually one sided.  The Viet Cong and the NVA were not exactly helpless victims.  There were atrocities like My Lai, but there probably were atrocities on both sides.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2017 at 03:37
Frank
Quote "This is not a scholarly journal."Plagiarism is an "academic" crime

No, and yes.

But it does go to the integrity, the honesty if you like of the member posting. I can see no valid reason why, if one "lifts" a passage of someones elses writing, it should not be attributed to them in the normal way.

Are you arguing otherwise?

Quote Yes, the whole thing about the uniforms is minor and tangential to the topic, although if the US army couldn't even dress men in the right color, one wonders why they thought they could successfully pursue a war.

An irrelevent point-nothing to do with the OP. But note the difference in colour between his trousers and shirt anyway!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2017 at 07:47
This topic goes to the political thinking of the day, the fears of "Reds under the Bed", "The Domino Theory" etc. 

The thought was that if Communist North Viet Nam was allowed to take South Viet Nam, backed by China, the rest of South East Asia would follow, and then possibly Malysia, Indonesia etc. Unthinkable.

America could have sat back and watched to see if the NVA stopped at the SVN borders or decided to move against neighbouring countries, perhaps it should have, while learing some lessons from Dian Bien Phu, the battle in 1954 which saw the forerunner to the Viet Cong, the Viet Minh, defeat the French Expeditionary Force, and end French influence in what then called Indochina.

But it didn't. It decided to answer a plea from the South Vietnamese Government and went in boot'n'all. Thanks to falsified body counts submitted by US General Westmoreland, the US committed something slightly over half a million troops to the effort at it's height, to be defeated, largely, by a peasant army. And the defeat was shared by US allies equally.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2017 at 22:14
I am saying it might be belisauriusbilberry's blog in the first place.  He may be promoting his own blog, and I don't see anything wrong with that.  It is best if people attribute their sources, but that is not always possible or convenient, and if someone is vague on some general fact, they don't necessarily want to cite it and cite it wrong.  Ask yourself, which is more important, that belisauriusbilberry is wrong, and goes away, or right and comes back.  I want him to come back and join us, and not get caught by argument about whether he did whatnot.

DeGaulle was playing cutesy with the Eisenhower administration, after Dien Bien Phu, saying they wanted American support in Vietnam, and if they didn't get it, they might not cooperate with NATO and they might even kiss up to the Soviet Union, so early US intervention was done in support of the idea of French influence.  It is not that French pulled out, and the US just decided to go in, the French were trying to hold onto their options, if not of Indochina as a colony, then at least of Indochina still being dependent on the French.
I don't see what the relationship of body counts, and the amount of troops committed by the US have to do with each other?? Also, the NVA regulars were not a peasant army.  In contrast, the Viet Cong had largely been exhausted by the Tet Offensive.  Showing it wasn't a peasant army, the biggest example of the use of tanks at that time anywhere, was the invasion of the South and fall of Saigon.  More tanks came down the highway from Hue to Saigon than had been used in any WWII or Korean War battle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2017 at 02:03
franciscosan
Quote I don't see what the relationship of body counts, and the amount of troops committed by the US have to do with each other??

Perhaps you're not old enough to have been around at the time.

Westmoreland, in justifying his calls for more and more and troops, used the number of enemy killed. His rationale seemed to be give me more troops,and I'll kill more enemy"[/quote]

Quote Also, the NVA regulars were not a peasant army.

No they certainly weren't. And I used that passage, as a general term to describe the activities of the VC, who them selves were quite an accomplished force, having been at war with the French for years, and won. I suppose I was a little too subtle in what I was getting at, a peasant army lacking heavy firepower, that attacked at will, and melted into the populous at will. It was always going to be a hard slog for the Allies-similar to Afghanistan.

Quote Showing it wasn't a peasant army, the biggest example of the use of tanks at that time anywhere, was the invasion of the South and fall of Saigon.  More tanks came down the highway from Hue to Saigon than had been used in any WWII or Korean War battle.

The tanks, of course, were NVA, not VC, and indicated that Hue was now under NVA control, that they had freedom of movement between north and south, the end was near, and what an ignoble end it was.

So many lives lost in the servce of their countries, for what?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2017 at 02:09
franciscosan
Quote I am saying it might be belisauriusbilberry's blog in the first place.  He may be promoting his own blog, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

OK, if it's his own blog, why not say so?

From the brief enquiries I've made, it seems that the original web page is linked to a Chinese web site. But whether or not it's his, I can't say.

I'd like to hear from belisauriusbilberry on this.

I don't intend to argue this with you any longer, but will discuss with belisauriusbilberry.


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