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Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:34 AM

What happened after the US ran from Vietnam? n/t

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Reply What happened after the US ran from Vietnam? n/t (Original post)
malaise Jul 2016 OP
jonno99 Jul 2016 #1
tonyt53 Jul 2016 #2
malaise Jul 2016 #3
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #5
malaise Jul 2016 #6
tonyt53 Jul 2016 #8
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #7
malaise Jul 2016 #9
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #10
malaise Jul 2016 #14
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #16
malaise Jul 2016 #20
Trust Buster Jul 2016 #53
tonyt53 Jul 2016 #11
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #12
malaise Jul 2016 #21
tonyt53 Jul 2016 #27
JanMichael Jul 2016 #56
Crunchy Frog Jul 2016 #71
Bradical79 Jul 2016 #83
Marengo Jul 2016 #13
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #30
David__77 Jul 2016 #52
Bradical79 Jul 2016 #84
hatrack Jul 2016 #149
larkrake Jul 2016 #31
Warren DeMontague Jul 2016 #62
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #63
Warren DeMontague Jul 2016 #64
Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #67
Warren DeMontague Jul 2016 #75
Mr Dixon Jul 2016 #154
Dreamer Tatum Jul 2016 #4
Javaman Jul 2016 #15
malaise Jul 2016 #18
tblue37 Jul 2016 #106
malaise Jul 2016 #108
Basic LA Jul 2016 #17
malaise Jul 2016 #19
AngryAmish Jul 2016 #22
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #24
AngryAmish Jul 2016 #26
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #29
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #37
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #45
cherokeeprogressive Jul 2016 #23
malaise Jul 2016 #25
cherokeeprogressive Jul 2016 #65
malaise Jul 2016 #91
Agnosticsherbet Jul 2016 #126
cherokeeprogressive Jul 2016 #130
The_Casual_Observer Jul 2016 #28
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #32
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #33
snooper2 Jul 2016 #34
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #35
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #36
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #38
GOLGO 13 Jul 2016 #39
malaise Jul 2016 #40
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #41
malaise Jul 2016 #42
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #43
malaise Jul 2016 #44
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #46
malaise Jul 2016 #48
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #49
malaise Jul 2016 #58
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #51
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #57
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #59
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #61
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #73
mahina Jul 2016 #78
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #81
mahina Jul 2016 #87
malaise Jul 2016 #102
pangaia Jul 2016 #105
GOLGO 13 Jul 2016 #79
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #86
msanthrope Jul 2016 #107
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #111
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #145
malaise Jul 2016 #97
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #114
malaise Jul 2016 #115
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #116
malaise Jul 2016 #117
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #119
malaise Jul 2016 #120
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #123
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #125
malaise Jul 2016 #133
Bernielover357743 Jul 2016 #66
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #72
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #80
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #96
malaise Jul 2016 #70
Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #68
malaise Jul 2016 #104
pangaia Jul 2016 #103
onethatcares Jul 2016 #47
malaise Jul 2016 #50
WinkyDink Jul 2016 #113
ronnie624 Jul 2016 #132
Trust Buster Jul 2016 #54
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #74
Bradical79 Jul 2016 #85
1939 Jul 2016 #89
guillaumeb Jul 2016 #55
NuclearDem Jul 2016 #60
Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #69
NuclearDem Jul 2016 #82
Warren DeMontague Jul 2016 #88
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #93
Rex Jul 2016 #76
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #92
mahina Jul 2016 #77
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #95
mahina Jul 2016 #98
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #109
phasma ex machina Jul 2016 #128
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #131
mahina Jul 2016 #153
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #110
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #122
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #134
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #146
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #147
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #148
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #150
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #151
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #152
muriel_volestrangler Jul 2016 #90
stevenleser Jul 2016 #94
yurbud Jul 2016 #99
yurbud Jul 2016 #100
yurbud Jul 2016 #101
WinkyDink Jul 2016 #112
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #118
sylvanus Jul 2016 #121
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #124
sylvanus Jul 2016 #135
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #136
Albertoo Jul 2016 #138
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #139
Albertoo Jul 2016 #142
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #144
Albertoo Jul 2016 #155
Albertoo Jul 2016 #127
pinboy3niner Jul 2016 #129
malaise Jul 2016 #140
Albertoo Jul 2016 #143
KingCharlemagne Jul 2016 #137
Albertoo Jul 2016 #141

Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:40 AM

1. Death - and lot's of it...nt

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:41 AM

2. The North Vietnamese were brutal rulers of the South and thousands in the South were killed.

 

The North considered those thousands to be sympathetic to the US. The genocide in Cambodia was allowed to begin. And yes, we were keeping Cambodia from being ran by a brutal dictator too. The genocide in Cambodia began shortly after the US pulled out of Vietnam.

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:46 AM

3. How many did we kill or maim in Vietnam? n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:48 AM

5. Estimates vary but a conservative estimate is one million in southeast

 

Asia. I have seen estimates as high as 3 million.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:52 AM

6. Thanks KingCharlemagne

We're so good at pointing fingers at other folks

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:53 AM

8. Estimates are all over the place, but I'd say 500K-750K. BUT that wasn't your original question

 

And I'm not justifying those casualties in any way. By the way, I was there at the end.

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:53 AM

7. The "thousands in the South" to whom you refer collaborated with the

 

brutal regime of the illegal occupiers (the U.S.) and their puppets in the south.

The Socialist Government of Vietnam stopped the genocide of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge would never have come to power absent U.S. meddling in the region.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:55 AM

9. Just like the Taliban, ISIS and more than a few in Central and South America

We never learn

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:58 AM

10. Since 1898, the U.S. has had a really shitty record in

 

picking sides in other countries' civil wars. Ya know, maybe we shouldn't take sides in other countries internal affairs?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:20 AM

14. The thing is we don't have friends on any side

just self interest

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Response to malaise (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:26 AM

16. With all due respect, my friend, your comment is

 

Last edited Fri Jul 15, 2016, 02:20 PM - Edit history (3)

somewhat ahistorical with regard to Vietnam. The OSS (predecessor to the CIA) was allies with the Viet Minh during world War II. Viet Minh partisans rescued several U.S. airmen shot down over Vietnam and conveyed them to safety. In fact, when The Viet Minh took over Hanoi in 1945, Ho Chi Minh addressed the assembled masses by quoting from . . . the U.S. Declaration of Independence! But Truman and Acheson wanted to suck De Gaulle's dick, a lesson Ho, Le Duc Tho and General Giap did not fail to learn.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:35 AM

20. Some learn and some don't

Now it's expedient profit before history lessons

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:48 PM

53. Refreshing to read someone who is historically literate. Thank you.

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:01 AM

11. Where did you come up with that nonsense about Vietnam stopping that genocide?

 

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:05 AM

12. FFS, dude, its history. Who do you think stopped the

 

Khmer Rouge????? The tooth fairy?????

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:35 AM

21. Open a book n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #21)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 12:21 PM

27. Sorry, to break it to you, but you are wrong.

 

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #27)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:03 PM

56. Cuckoo?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian–Vietnamese_War

That was not Pokémon that defeated Pol Pot and his loons.

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #27)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 06:19 AM

71. Were you even alive then?

I'm old enough to remember reading about it in the newspapers.

I recall ou gov't being really pissy about it too. They preferred the genocide continue rather than Vietnam extend its influence.

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 01:58 AM

83. What? Vietnam took over the country

 

The Vietnamese invaded (counter invaded?) after the Kmer Rouge turned on their one time allies and pushed into Vietnam murdering tons of Vietnamese. Vietnam eventually just conquered the country and removed the Kmer Rouge from power when talks weren't working to end hostilities. It wasn't THAT long ago. Vietnam's occupation ended less than 30 years ago.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:18 AM

13. What was the Vietnamese motivation for invading Kampuchea?

 

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Response to Marengo (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 01:41 PM

30. IDK. Humanitarian, maybe? I don't read Vietnamese and so can only rely upon

 

English-language sources:

Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer: កម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ, Kâmpŭchéa Prâcheathippadey) (DK) was the name of the Khmer Rouge (KR)-controlled state that, between 1975 and 1979, existed in present-day Cambodia. It was founded when the Khmer Rouge forces defeated the Khmer Republic of Lon Nol in 1975. During its rule between 1975 and 1979, the state and its ruling Khmer Rouge regime was responsible for the deaths of millions of Cambodians through forced labour and genocide. After losing control of most of Cambodian territory to Vietnamese occupation, it survived as a rump state supported by China. In June 1982, the Khmer Rouge formed the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea with two non-communist guerilla factions, which retained international recognition.[1] The state was renamed Cambodia in 1990 in the run up to the UN-sponsored Paris Peace Agreement conference of 1991.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Kampuchea (Emphasis added)

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Response to Marengo (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:45 PM

52. Probably both ideological and border security.

I believe I read that Kampuchean forces were launching incursions along the border prior to the Vietnamese invasion. I can imagine that the Vietnamese wanted to put a stop to this.

That said, I think that the Vietnamese communists were probably used to being in the driver seat of the Indochinese communist movement, and wanted to bring Kampuchea into the fold. The pro-Chinese elements in Vietnam had been removed from power in the late-70s and the country was in the pro-Soviet, anti-Chinese camp.

I personally do think that the Vietnamese authorities probably had higher regard for human life "in the abstract" than the Kampuchean authorities.

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Response to Marengo (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 02:09 AM

84. They were attacked

 

The Kmer Rouge invaded Vietnamese territory, sparking the war.

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Response to Marengo (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:53 PM

149. Multiple attacks from Cambodia along the frontier in 1977 and 1978 . . .

. . . which killed thousands of Vietnamese civilians.

The Vietnamese arrived at the "fuck this shit!" conclusion and invaded at Christmas, 1978. The Khmer Rouge lasted about two weeks, before collapsing and fleeing to the western jungles, where they maintained a government in exile for years.

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 01:50 PM

31. It was not our business, so why did we go in? What resources were we wanting to steal

 

All we got from it is hellish PTSD, agent orange patients and the citizens questioning our government and armed forces, oh, and a hell of alot of drugs.Just like Iraq, our presence created uber-genocide when we left. Same question- why are we in Afghanistan, it is not our place to interfere. People who are oppressed, have to fight their own battles. We supply both sides with arms, so are responsible for the chaos

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Response to tonyt53 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:52 PM

62. and what would have happened if the 1956 nationwide elections had been allowed to proceed

as the Geneva Accords had promised?

I'll tell you what would have happened. The "brutal ruler" of North Vietnam- who worked with the US to fight the Japanese World War II and quoted Thomas Jefferson immediately afterwards when he first declared an independent Vietnam- would have won a broad and popular mandate in both the north and the south, because that was who the Vietnamese people wanted to lead them to long-desired freedom from foreign occupation.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #62)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:57 PM

63. He is still revered throughout Vietnam as Bác Hồ (Uncle Ho). nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #63)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:03 PM

64. We fundamentally misunderstood that situation from the get-go.

Really, where we fucked up was at the end of WWII. We should have let Vietnam become independent. Instead we felt it was more important to return France's "property" to them, even though we had just saved their ass from the Nazis.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #64)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 03:00 AM

67. WADR, we didn't misunderstand. we understood PERFECTLY,

 

and supported the side of imperialism, as we almost always did, do, and will.

when have we NOT? ask m
Mossadegh, for another mid 50's shining example, or Allende, or Lumumba, or.....need I go on? misunderstanding?

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #67)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 04:59 PM

75. Point taken.

A bad call, either way.

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #67)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 03:08 PM

154. SMH

Agreed nothing has changed

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:47 AM

4. What's your point? nt

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:24 AM

15. what are you wanting to know, specifically?

what happened is happening now.

does that answer your question?

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Response to Javaman (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:32 AM

18. Bro in a sense it is a rhetorical question

but when you have candidates in elections shouting 'we don't win anymore', it's about a game of conquest. It's about winning, not peace and humanity. Human life cannot be a fucking game played by huge egos.

I am sick of the killing and I'm just as sick of the propaganda. We are no better than the rest of scumbags on the planet.

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Response to malaise (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 12:11 PM

106. LBJ wanted OUT of Vietnam, but he was afraid of being labeled as the president who lost the war,

so he kept escalating. The "light at the end of the tunnel" was always just a version of the will-o'-the-wisp, the light that leads the unwary traveler deeper into the swamp and to their demise.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #106)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 02:49 PM

108. And eventually they still have to withdraw

or it is deeper into the swamp

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:32 AM

17. Recent bestseller "The Sympathizer" explains this very well.

The novel, written by someone whose family fled to the US, explores the plight of the Vietnamese we left behind. The hero is a North Vietnamese spy.

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Response to Basic LA (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:33 AM

19. Thanks Basic LA

Welcome to DU

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:51 AM

22. NBA troops came South and took over.

 

Ethnically cleansed the Han. Sent the collaborators to concentration camps.

The stuff nations due when they take over territory. Kinda like 1492 Spain.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #22)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 12:03 PM

24. NBA?

Funny typo.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 12:13 PM

26. Damn autocorrect....

 

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 01:38 PM

29. ROTFLMAO. Were General Giap the coach, I have little doubt they would

 

win!

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #29)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 03:06 PM

37. He'd have them dribbling across the DMZ and all the way downtown to Saigon

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #29)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 05:50 PM

45. Well to be fair, we were in the Final Four

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:57 AM

23. Vietnam... you mean the war that LBJ lied the country into with his Gulf of Tonkin bullshit?

 

Paraphrasing here: "For all I know, those boys could have been shootin' at whales out there." Everyone laughed.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #23)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 12:09 PM

25. Same one

another lie with deadly consequences

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Response to malaise (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 11:21 PM

65. LBJ's name should forever be tied to The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was later repealed.

 

Fuck every "GOOD" thing he did. He lied about a non-incident in a body of water on the other side of the world in order to enrich his friends and in the process fucked up the country for a generation.

My Mom's Brothers were drafted, both were my Heroes, and when they came back I hardly knew them.

And let's not even mention the fact his "Great Society" contained something called the "Urban Renewal Act" that paid minorities to stay in the inner cities with promises life would get better for them. Paid. Minorities. To. Stay. In. Inner. Cities with promises we'd make their better. Paraphrasing again: "I just wrapped up the nigger vote for two hundred years".

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #65)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 07:13 AM

91. I know more than a few persons who were victims

and so little is provided after they return.

Bro the con game version of institutional racism is still practiced by vote seeking politicians.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that as long as Western Powers believe in their superiority over all others, the longer institutional racism remains part of the fabric of American society and other societies.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #23)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 10:56 PM

126. Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, a U.S. Army killed in Vietnam Sept. 25, 1945.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congressional-opponents-of-nixon-vietnam-policy-renew-opposition

Johnson did not start that.
Eisenhower expanded our involvement, as did every President through Nixon, who made sure the war continued so he could win.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #126)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 11:56 PM

130. Um... Johnson didn't START it, but he never passed up an opportunity to make a buck.

 

Gulf of Tonkin Incident: August 2, 1964 THE LIE

Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin Speech to the American Public: August 4 (at 11:36 p.m. EDT) LYING WITH URGENCY

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passes:
Passed the House on August 7, 1964 (416-0)
Passed the Senate on August 7, 1964 (88-2)
Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 10, 1964


The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave Johnson permission to use conventional military force without a declaration of war. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution repealed: January 1971

Now look at the troop numbers and how they relate to the dates above...


AND IT WAS ALL A LIE.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 12:25 PM

28. Seems to me that it's a tourist destination now and they sell

All kinds of goods to Walmart.

I hear the balloon rides are great.

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Response to The_Casual_Observer (Reply #28)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 01:59 PM

32. I made 3 month-long trips there in the '90s

Last edited Mon Jul 18, 2016, 02:15 PM - Edit history (1)

Saw the Hard Rock Cafe in Saigon and the golf resort that was going up near the Emperor's summer palace at Dalat, and visited the Tunnels of Cu Chi--where tourists could shoot an AK or an M-16 for a dollar a round (I passed on that one).

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #32)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 02:05 PM

33. I have some Vietnamese students this term and last and I must say they are the

 

hardest-working students I have ever taught (and smart as a whip to boot!). Now I know first-hand why the Vietnamese won at Dien Bien Phu and other places.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #33)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 02:10 PM

34. hold on a sec- You teach people?

 

just curious on the subject matter....

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #33)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 02:14 PM

35. Home court advantage, just like the NBA. :) ...

Two strangers are talking, discover they're both Vietnam vets.

The one who did the later tour says, "Oh, so you're the one who made them mad at us."

Other guy says, "Yeah--but we were winning when I left."

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #35)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 02:18 PM

36. LOL. Now THAT is funny! :) - nt

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #36)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 03:45 PM

38. That's actually common banter among vets. :)

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 03:53 PM

39. Thanks to everyone contributing with comments.

Vietnam was before my time but it's a interesting "time" to read about.

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Response to GOLGO 13 (Reply #39)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 04:04 PM

40. Hi there

Nice

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 04:56 PM

41. Some didn't run

They were carried out in body bags or on stretchers.

The 8 additions this year bring the total number of names on the Wall to 58,315.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #41)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 04:58 PM

42. I know bro

I know folks who are still in pain

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Response to malaise (Reply #42)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 05:08 PM

43. It never goes away--on our side or on theirs

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #43)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 05:10 PM

44. My world - Imagine

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Response to malaise (Reply #44)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 06:39 PM

46. The NVA soldier who shot me was killed by my men

In a way, that was satisfying to know when I heard the story 2 decades later. But the way I feel now, I'd be happier if he survived.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #46)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:23 PM

48. It's called survival in a war theater

I don't know how you feel - I never faced what you did, but one of my nephews gets it

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Response to malaise (Reply #48)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:37 PM

49. In war, killing the enemy not only means your survival

Killing him also means that he cannot go on to kill your comrades later.

It's a horrific business, but for the grunt on the ground that much is very straightforward.

I'm glad for anyone who has never had to be in that position.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #49)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:06 PM

58. Precisely

It's that simple and it is a horrible business.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #46)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:41 PM

51. You might enjoy a poem by Thomas Hardy called "The Man He Killed":

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #51)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:04 PM

57. That's a good one

Last edited Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:48 PM - Edit history (1)

I've posted before about one of my postwar visits to Vietnam on which I sat down to lunch together with former ARVN allies and former VC and NVA enemies. When I said I wished we could have just sat down to lunch together back then instead of killing each other, we were all in tears.

In a way, I felt I had more in common with my brave former enemies than I did with many of my own countrymen.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #57)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:46 PM

59. Wow, thats a hell of a story. I hope you are writing about it

 

or recording it for future generations.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #59)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:35 PM

61. I was trained in journalism but I never wanted to write an autobiography

And for a lot of years I couldn't even think about the war, much less write about it.

When I finally opened up I was invited to speak at high schools and colleges, and I've been doing that for 30 years. Not professionally, but just as a voluntary thing from time to time.

I did post a few vignettes here from my war experience and the aftermath. Just a few things that I thought were worth sharing...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1399087

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #61)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 08:08 AM

73. I will check them out post haste. I still shudder when I consider

 

that Afghanistan and Iraq could take place only one generation later. To quote Pete Seeger, "when will we ever learn?"

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #61)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:24 PM

78. <3

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Response to mahina (Reply #78)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 01:08 AM

81. <3 back

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #81)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 05:47 AM

87. Yep

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:05 PM

102. Bookmarked

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 05:03 PM

105. I just read it.. Stunning..


I can only imagine, Or really, I can not..

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #57)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:24 PM

79. What a powerful moment to have experienced.

It's hard to visualize a table of old warriors seated across from their former enemies decade later just talking. Hope some pictures were taken. Most epic lunch ever, I imagine.

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Response to GOLGO 13 (Reply #79)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 02:22 AM

86. I had other powerful experiences there, but this one was at the top

I don't remember there being any photos, but if there were, my ex-wife probably wound up with them.

My Vietnamese mother-in-law had a home in a beach resort city. After Saigon fell, her home was confiscated by the new authorities and given to an NVA Colonel and his wife who were among many Northerners sent South to take control.

My MIL decided to build a house adjoining the Colonel's, but with her porch extending out farther than theirs. That was a symbolic act of defiance that was meaningful to her, and I funded most of the construction cost and stayed in her new home for part of the time on all of my Vietnam visits.

On one occasion I was invited to tea by the NVA Colonel and his wife and we were in tears as they described the earth shaking violently and being sure they were going to die while cowering in tunnels during American B-52 bomber strikes where they lived in the North.

While traveling around the South I also met an elderly professor who came to have a chat when he found out I was an American vet. He was highly placed in the North's war efforts but was reluctant to be specific about what he did. Still, he was fascinated to talk to an American vet.

When I went to Dalat, in the mountains, I met a guy who had been an ARVN Special Forces Lieutenant. He had a souvenir stall directly across from the Emperor's summer palace, which is a big tourist attraction. Meeting him was another tearful encounter. I was amazed that he survived, because the ARVN SF, like ours, operated in small teams working with indigenous civilian forces in the provinces, and the ARVN SF frequently were overrun and had extremely high casualty rates. He had been wounded multiple times and after the fall was sent to a re-education camp and eventually was released. After several failed attempts to escape from Vietnam he was resigned to staying and running his tourist shop. We exchanged souvenirs and parted reluctantly.

On my visits I also stayed part of the time with poor in-laws in Cholon, the ethnic Chinese section of Saigon. Many of the people there are poor, but I also got to know a more well-off guy there who was a former ARVN Lt. Col. On one visit at Tet, I sponsored a performance of a dragon dance troupe at a Cholon temple for the holiday. All of the families turned out with their kids to greet the troupe when they crossed the bridge across the canal to enter the neighborhood and paraded behind them as they made their way to the temple. I'd hired one of the better troupes, and their dragons and gymnastics and martial arts displays blew everyone away. The residents were still talking about it years later, and this American vet was a hero in a community that had been largely VC during the war.

Our veterans' lunch, at a coffee plantatation in Ban Me Thuot, wasn't without its lighter moments. The others kept rererring to one member of our group as 'the monk,' smiling when they said it. He wasn't dressed like a monk, so I asked why they called him that. It turned out that in order to avoid being pressed into service by either side--the ARVNs or the Viet Cong--he had hid out at a Buddhist temple during the war, pretending to be a monk. So he was a draft dodger to both sides, but none of the vets there had any problem with that. They rather enjoyed the joke and seemed to consider him lucky.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #86)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 01:52 PM

107. In tears reading you on this thread. Can't write more. nt

 

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #107)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 06:37 PM

111. Our tears open hearts and bring us together

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #107)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 11:01 AM

145. +Infinity! - nt

 

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #57)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 12:49 PM

97. Actually you have me in tears

All that pain and death for what - the world's 1%

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Response to malaise (Reply #97)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 07:47 PM

114. It was a profound experience--both the war and the aftermath

If anyone is tempted to feel sorry for me, I can point to many others who went through far worse than I did, and who struggle daily with far worse physical and psychological disabilities from that war.

The war affected my life profoundly. But I accept my choices, and I also accept the good consequences with the bad. It was horrible, yes, but I also learned things and I think the experience made me a better man.

It is something that is always with me, and even today, these decades later, I have as my DU username my radio callsign from that long ago and faraway war.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #114)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 07:54 PM

115. watched the medal of honor ceremony this morning

Charles Kettles - made me proud of all of you. You didn't send yourselves there and you sure protected your mates.

Truth is I'll never understand the experience - yours or my nephews.

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Response to malaise (Reply #115)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 08:28 PM

116. A roommate from training was MoH posthumous

Steve was ramrod military on duty but off-duty he let his hair down and was a real joker. After our early training he got an OCS class ahead of me and when I got there later he was my mentor.

In Vietnam when NVA machine guns were tearing up his men and he had wounded down who nobody could get to to help, he advanced on the NVA machine gun bunkers and took them out getting shot in the process. By the time he got to the last bunker he was too shot-up to throw a grenade, so he carried it into the bunker.

I didn't learn what happened to Steve until many years after the war, but I cried like a baby when I heard that.

There's a vet group named in Steve's honor, and at one of their annual banquets one of the wounded men he saved met Steve's parents. I've also talked to his parents on the phone. He was a hell of a guy.

R.I.P. my friend, Stephen Helden Doane.


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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #116)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 08:37 PM

117. R.I.P. Steve

My mother's only brother survived WW2 but died in a motorcycle crash in London a few years after the war ended. I think about that a lot.

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Response to malaise (Reply #117)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:24 PM

119. We all experience losses in life

It's the massive losses in stupid fucking wars that are the hardest to take.

R.I.P. to your uncle.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #119)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:42 PM

120. I agree

but to survive the war and die on a motor bike was odd.

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Response to malaise (Reply #120)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:56 PM

123. I learned only many years later that my first radioman killed himself in traffic

I was told that he had a lot of problems after he got back, and that his driving head-on into a tractor semi-trailer was a suicide. That was 2 months after he returned home.

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Response to malaise (Reply #115)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 10:47 PM

125. The men with whom I served in Vietnam didn't earn the Medal of Honor

they were just ordinary Army grunts, draftees and enlistees, doing what they had to do and just trying to make it home. Their bravery in combat went mostly unremarked and unrecognized.

Except to those of us who were with them. Some may have earned Bronzes, and fewer were awarded Silvers. But many deserving soldiers went unrewarded for their heroism in battle. I received a valorous decoration probably just because I was an officer.

My Battalion Commander and his Executive Officer came to see me at the evac hospital after I was wounded, and the Colonel said he would make sure I was recognized. My face was ballooned out horribly from a head wound and swathed in bandages. and I had a trache tube so I couldn't talk. So I just gave them a thumbs-up and those two old warriors burst into tears and fled the room.

But they gave me a medal.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #125)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 05:22 AM

133. Wow

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #51)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 02:14 AM

66. It was even worse for the montenegrins

 

They were fiercely loyal to the units they worked with, and hated by pretty much all Vietnamese. They were slaughtered.

Same with the SVN Marines. They fought hard and paid a heavy price when we pulled out

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Response to Bernielover357743 (Reply #66)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 08:01 AM

72. Technical Note: I think you mean the "Montagnards" (French word for

 

the indigenous Hmong who lived in the central highlands) and not "Montenegrins" (citizens of the Balkan Republic of Montenegro)

Damned spellcheckers

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #72)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 10:57 PM

80. You mean it's safe to say they weren't with the NBA?

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #80)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 10:05 AM

96. LOL. I think they were with the ABA :) - nt

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #51)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:12 AM

70. Yes

That's it right there - thank you.

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Response to malaise (Reply #44)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 03:18 AM

68. my world.....

 



the beginning is Greek; the Iliad

once got chased through Havana, IL by a guy who called me a queer. jumped into a pickup bed before he and his pals got me; gave em another finger as we pulled away into the wilds of central IL

anything by ed sanders always leads me to this, the most romantic love song ever written, bar none:

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #68)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:36 PM

104. Nice

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Response to malaise (Reply #42)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:31 PM

103. As do I know one.

very close friend who was only serving on a hospital ship at Da Nang, I think.

Still threads of PTSD from what he saw. Plus.. agent orange..



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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:04 PM

47. what a waste of life

on both sides.

I went RA in 1972 thinking I'd be going with intentions that weren't altruistic at all.

Nixon began the wind down and the Paris Peace talks.

In retrospect, I was one lucky troop.

My thoughts go out to those who served there.

May you find peace in your lives in all endeavors.

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Response to onethatcares (Reply #47)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:38 PM

50. It always turns out to be a waste of lives

How we destroy our own for power

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Response to malaise (Reply #50)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 07:40 PM

113. What is "it"? And would "it" include defeating Nazism?

 

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #113)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:56 AM

132. Self-serving interventionism, of course.

What else?

WWII doesn't exonerate the US of its brutal crimes in Indochina, by any stretch of the imagination.

And there were many Americans, including in the US Congress, who had few problems with Naziism. Roosevelt had to go through some serious phenigalling to rouse people to the menace.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:56 PM

54. Ironically, Viet Nam explains a lot of problems in France today.

 

Not only did they colonize Viet Nam for a century and treated it's citizens like slave labor and whores, they colonized places like Algeria and Iraq. Iraq was created after WWI as was Iran so that France and Britain could plunder it's oil. Woodrow Wilson warned against this foolish move. France thought it was a good idea to send thousands of colonized Muslims back to the motherland to serve as a ready source of cheap labor. Today represents the residual effect.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #54)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 08:13 AM

74. Technical Note: the Brits get top billing in Iraq, up until 1945. Sykes-Picot (1922)

 

gave Iraq to the Brits and modern-day Syria and Lebanon to France.

Yay, imperialism!

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #54)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 02:16 AM

85. Yes, it's interesting. I've been researching Vietnam

 

as part of a global studies course I'm taking. So much I never learned in history class back in high school. Our education on Vietnam didn't consist of much of the lead up to fighting, or much detail about afterwards. It definitely gives more context to some of today's issues.

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Response to Bradical79 (Reply #85)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 06:42 AM

89. Even though it was before Vietnam

In the course of my schooling in the 1950s, I had three year-long US history courses (jr high, high school, and college). In none of the three did we ever get past World War I.

No particular reason for the last sixty years to have accelerated those classes any.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:57 PM

55. The Vietnamese were free to determine their own future, free of colonial domination.

After centuries of outside interference from other countries.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 09:05 PM

60. Hundreds of thousands died either in reeducation camps or fleeing Vietnam.

 

Then their Khmer Rouge allies in Cambodia slaughtered millions, until China and the USSR used Cambodia and Vietnam in their own little Southeast Asia proxy war (the "humanitarian" action carried out by the caretakers of the Hanoi Hilton, according to a poster in this thread), which ended in 100,000+ civilians dead, followed shortly by a war between China and Vietnam which resulted in nearly as many people dead as the US lost in Vietnam, and an escalation nearly to war between the two nuclear-armed powers in Moscow and Peking over the border between their two countries.

Oh, sorry, I mean the NVA brought cakes and puppies to the people of Saigon oppressed by the big meanie doo-doo head Americans, and peace reigned in Asia thenceforth.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #60)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 03:24 AM

69. put down the Conservapedia, and call us when you get back from

 

the Oort Cloud, Col. North

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #69)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 01:43 AM

82. It all happened.

 

The deaths of the Vietnamese boat people are well-documented, as are the deaths in the re-education camps. The Khmer Rouge were allies of the NVA during the war, and then later carried out the Killing Fields massacres. China and the USSR used Cambodia and Vietnam as proxies during their own little war.

People like you who so hilariously deny basic historical facts are the reason no one takes the left seriously in this country.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #82)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 05:57 AM

88. We had no business being there in the first place.

And if we'd told the French to go fuck themselves after WWII, instead of returning their colonial "property" to them, how many lives would have been saved?

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #82)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 09:48 AM

93. No. "It" didn't. People like you are the principal reason I swing

 

between the Democratic Party and parties further left. Your historical revisionism brings discredit upon all Dems.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:01 PM

76. Instead of learning any good lessons, we kept one of the worst - politicians deciding wars and not

 

military brass. The Iraq Invasion of 2003 is a direct result imo.

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Response to Rex (Reply #76)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 09:44 AM

92. Not sure I follow. Could you please elaborate? - nt

 

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:17 PM

77. The many people who helped us were imprisoned under horrendous circumstances, or killed.

Their families starved.

Entire tribes of Montegnards who helped our Special Forces, whose villages they lived in, were wiped off the planet.

Go to a Vietnamese restaurant and ask the proprietor, during a quiet time of day. Or a Vietnamese cab driver. If they'll talk about it.

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Response to mahina (Reply #77)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 10:01 AM

95. One person's 'help' is another person's 'collaborate.' - nt

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #95)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 03:58 PM

98. Seems so. They were my father's friends and family when he was a Ranger with the Jarais.

I'll go with help.

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Response to mahina (Reply #98)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 05:27 PM

109. I hear you, sister

The "collaborators" included some 400,000 Vietnamese Roman Catholics who fled the North due to religious persecution there. The issue of who supported whom is not all black and white. The people in Vietnam supported one side or the other for a lot of different reasons.

My Vietnamese roommate in Army training served as an ARVN officer probably because he was from one of the Catholic families that migrated to the South.

Two of my Vietnamese brothers-in-law were conscripted by force by the VC. One was a famous opera singer who was sent to entertain VC and NVA troops in redoubts along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The other, the sweetest guy in the world, who wanted nothing to do with killing, was a VC grunt only briefly before he deserted the VC and returned home.

My wife's father was in charge of Saigon electrical utilities during the war, but they believed he was secretly VC. I have no idea if it's true, but I was told that at Tet '68 he had the power shut down in Cholon so the VC could infiltrate through there into the city.

Vietnamese communities in the U.S. were largely pro-South because those were the refugees we accepted. When I visited a Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver, B.C., it was a different story. Canada was neutral during the war, but a lot of Canadians crossed the border to enlist in U.S. forces. I was visiting Canadian vet friends, along with expatriate U.S. vet friends there. Canada also took in many immigrants from North Vietnam. So the Vietnamese song I sang that was always greeted with delight in Vietnamese restaurants in the U.S. elicited only frowns in the Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #109)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 11:51 PM

128. A young visiting Vietnamese priest celebrated mass at my parish yesterday.

A young visiting Vietnamese priest celebrated mass at my parish yesterday. He said the mass in Vietnamese. He wore the same style of glasses that Vietnamese priests wore back in the day, but he was way too young to have experienced the war first hand.

Almost all of the Vietnamese in attendance were also way too young. Only one guy looked old enough to have possibly lived through the war as a child.

They sang in Vietnamese accompanied by one violinist. It was very soothing and reminded me that the church has a worldwide presence.

Allow me to embellish other comments in this thread. Some say that Britain prodded America to restore French Indochina. If France got her empire restored after WWII then surely the British empire ought to also get restored.

Some say that the Allies made a mistake by leaving Japanese administrators in place in Vietnam after WWII. Vietnam mistakenly thought that its Japanese overlords would go away after Japan lost the war.

The books that help me to understand the Vietnam War are: Ron Kovic's "Born on the Fourth of July," Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," and James C. Scott's "The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia," which explores the Montagnard mindset, among other things.

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Response to phasma ex machina (Reply #128)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:25 AM

131. O'Brien's 'The Things They Carried' was by far the best novel about the war

I've spoken to high school and college classes where it was required reading for the course.

His earlier book, 'Going after Cacciato,' didn't grab me until, late in the book, we saw the narrator in a tower on the beach in Vietnam and it suddenly became clear that the entire chase after Cacciato was a fantasy he invented as an escape from the horror of the war. That scene was a delicious moment.

I mentioned upthread that I also sing in Vietnamese. The one song my ARVN roommate taught me. It was about an ARVN soldier and his love for his country and his sweetheart. When I got to Vietnam and ran into Vietnamese woodcutters out in the jungle a couple of times, I sang them that song. Viet Cong would not have a good reaction to that song, so when the woodcutters had a positive reaction, I left them alone and took my platoon on our way.

The proprietors of the Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver did not like that song at all.

At Vietnamese nightclubs in Portland, Oregon, my Vietnamese friends would always force me onto the stage to sing the song with the band.
They got a big kick our of hearing an American vet singing it.

And I didn't even know for many years that the song is a twist.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #109)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 02:41 PM

153. I had no idea.

Mahalo for that!

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #95)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 05:37 PM

110. Point being?

Did it suddenly become OK to execute or imprison soldiers on the losing side of a conflict?

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #110)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:47 PM

122. Believe it or not, the phenomenon did not begin with Vietnam. After World War II,

 

the French had a period called l'epuration (or "purification", where collaborators with the Nazis were routinely shamed and worse by non-collaborationist French citizens.

The French director Alain Resnais directed a great film called Hiroshima, Mon Amour about a French woman who had slept with a German officer and fell victim to the epuration.

Maybe the Vietnamese took a lesson from their former colonial masters, eh? Since we're on that topic, what the fuck were the French doing in southeast Asia anyway?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #122)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 08:52 AM

134. Irrelevant.

Interesting historical tidbits aside, two wrongs don't make a right.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #134)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 11:07 AM

146. Meta-relevant actually. Had the French not brutally colonized Vietnam for

 

over a century, none of what transpired would have ever ensued.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #146)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:13 PM

147. Ethics.

You don't seem to understand how it works.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #147)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:45 PM

148. History.

 

You don't seem to understand the role it plays.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #148)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:57 PM

150. On the contrary, I do.

I know, for example, that when one wishes to determine whether or not a particular action or behavior is moral, one doesn't open a Stephen Ambrose book.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #150)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 01:11 PM

151. Just as I know that turning to Kant for ethical instruction is ill-advised, if

 

one ignores his distinction between a "perfect" and "imperfect" duty.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #151)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 02:13 PM

152. I am not ignoring the distinction at all.

Do you think not executing, starving, or torturing people are imperfect duties?

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 06:50 AM

90. They had a war with the Khmer Rouge, and then China

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 09:50 AM

94. There are many possible answers to your question depending on which facet you concentrate

 

The one I find most fascinating is the economic system the North Vietnamese were fighting so hard against is one they have been moving toward ever since.

This would seem to indicate the war was a complete waste of time and lives for both sides.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 03:59 PM

99. they eventually started making our sneakers for 50 cents a a day?

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:00 PM

100. Read KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES by Jeremy Scahill and only the Khmer Rouge will sound worse than our

occupation of South Vietnam.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:01 PM

101. human rights and the lives of innocents are at best excuses for our foreign policy

not actual motives

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 07:39 PM

112. "ran"?????? How about "finally left, in whatever way we could, form this illegal & undeclared war"?

 

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:02 PM

118. I have a very good anti-war friend who served with CIA there in the early years

He was a CIA bagman who traveled around the provinces, carrying money to the province chiefs to fund their resistance to the Viet Cong. At that time his family was with him there, and he had his British sportscar shipped over to tool around the countryside.

He's the one who told me that the CIA helicopters actually were painted white, the better to blend in with the sky.

I hired his son, long after the war, to work with me at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in D.C.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 09:44 PM

121. We didn't run, they beat us they won their country back. n/t

 

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Response to sylvanus (Reply #121)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 10:18 PM

124. They didn't beat the U.S.forces militarily

One sticking point with U.S. vets is that we won almost all the battles we fought. We were not defeated on the battlefield.

VN vets got tired of hearing from WWII vets in the VFW posts "At least we WON our war." For a long time there was a stereotype meme that VN troops were lesser, a bunch of cowardly pot-smoking hippies.

The truth is that North Vietnam beat us politically, not on the battlefield.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #124)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:08 AM

135. Sorry, You won the battles, and lost the war. They got their country unified.

 

Which was Ho Chi Mins main goal, to get the West (France, U.S.)
out of Viet-Nam and unify the North and the South.
But you can nit pick the details all ya want.

BTW my dad was a Marine Corpsman and did two tours, just in case
you think I'm anti-vet or bagging on ya.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #124)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:11 AM

136. Your post presupposes that Westmoreland's strategy of attrition might have

 

Last edited Tue Jul 19, 2016, 10:56 AM - Edit history (1)

have actually succeeded eventually, if it were given enough time and . . . 545,000 soldiers, er 575,000 soldiers, ahem 625,000 soldiers.

Westmoreland landed at Tan Son Nhut in November of 1967 to announce that we were beginning to see "the light at the end of the tunnel." Then came Tet '68, and it was clear that the "light" was the indomitable freight train of Vietnamese nationalism bearing down upon the occupiers with full force and fury.

Stanley Karnow relates an interesting anecdote about a postwar meeting between an American officer and his NVA counterpart. The American officer says essentially what you said. "True," the NVA officer agrees, "but it is also irrelevant."

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #136)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:17 AM

138. You appear to confuse the North's fanaticism with the nationalism of the VietNamese

 

Then came Tet '68, and it was clear that the "light" was the indomitable freight train of Vietnamese nationalism bearing down upon the occupiers with full force and fury.

The North won because of the dedication of an unelected cadre of Communist fanatics.

The great majority of the South VietNamese did not want Communism.

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Response to Albertoo (Reply #138)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:19 AM

139. Do you have the slightest idea what happened during Tet '68? - nt

 

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #139)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:24 AM

142. Yes. Terrorism by North VN commandos aided by their very few supporters in the South

 

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Response to Albertoo (Reply #142)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 10:37 AM

144. OMG! "Terrorism"??? Really???? Have you no sense of

 

shame or decency?

No matter, off to Ignore for you.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #144)

Wed Jul 20, 2016, 06:21 AM

155. Running away is easier than to show that North VietNam was not a fanatical dictatorship

 

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 11:14 PM

127. After the North imposed its totalitarianism, the country became an economic backwater

 

Not to mention that lots of people in the were sent to reeducation camp.

Having tried to support the free South was one good act which just didn't work out.

The dedication of fanatics (Nazis, Communists, Islamists) is a potent tool. Not for good.

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Response to Albertoo (Reply #127)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 11:53 PM

129. Not to mention that many people were released after re-ed camp

And the U.S. came to restore relations with Vietnam.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #129)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:21 AM

140. Precisely

so all the death and destruction was good for nothing

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #129)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:28 AM

143. Wow. So cool. Released? Why had they been in reeducation in the first place?

 

And why did hundreds of thousand flee the arrival of the North VietNam heroes on any piece of floatsam they could find?

Could it be the totalitarian regime of the North wasn't the dream regime of the free Southerners? Free until the north invaded, that is.

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Response to Albertoo (Reply #127)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:16 AM

137. So you agree with Reagan that Vietnam was a "noble cause," do you? Ever

 

checked the history of the Pentagon Papers?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #137)

Tue Jul 19, 2016, 09:23 AM

141. I simply note that the South VietNamese did not want Communism

 

And that hundreds of thousands welcomed the North VietNam fanatics by risking their lives fleeing on life boats. And that half a million were sent to reeducation camps.

And that subsequently, VietNam fell far behind Thailand (not to mention South Korea) thanks to the 'enlightened' leadership of the never elected North VietNamese Communist geniuses.

But who cares about the South VietNamese? Isn't it far more glamorous to imagine the North was a liberation army in shining armor, welcomed by the southerners with smiles and flowers?

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