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Old 04-30-2013, 14:27   #1
Silas.soule
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Harry Truman Lost Vietnam

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/wo...t-91.html?_r=0

WWII saw the Japanese occupy Vietnam and toss out the French. The USA sent army advisors in, by parachute, to teach the Vietnamese rebels how to fight against the Japanese.

Once the war was over and the Japanese gone, the French tried to return.

Well, the Vietnamese rebels LIKED Americans. General Giap learned to throw a hand grenade from his American advisor. They incorporated language from our Declaration of Independence in their document of the same. Poorly educated jungle fighters probably just joined the Communist band wagon as the trendy thing to do. Obviously, they were not Red enough to hate America.

Then, when the French tried to regain their colony,
Harry Truman sided with the French.

Wait a minute. The USA expelled British colonialists. Why did we help French colonialists? Surely, money was to be made by someone. That Giap and Ho Chi Minh were Commies was a convenient way to excuse our siding with the French, don't you think?

I think we could have NOT sided with French, and Commies or not, Giap and Ho would have buddied up with the USA in some fashion. Maybe against their old enemy China. Heck, presently, Wal-Mart is full of goods made by "Communist China".

Maybe Karma came back to bite the USA in the form of 55,000 dead service people.

Last edited by Silas.soule; 04-30-2013 at 15:23..
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Old 04-30-2013, 15:19   #2
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Franklin Roosevelt Opposed France Returning

Too bad FDR didn't live longer:

" Roosevelt had been determined not to let the French take back the colony they had lost to the Japanese. Like many Americans imbued with a strong sense of anti-colonialism, he disliked the ‘poor colonizers’ who had ‘badly managed’ Indochina, and felt that it was time for the US to accept the forces of nationalism in Asia, while preserving access to the region’s wealth of raw materials."

this is from:

http://www.historytoday.com/sami-abo...ochina-1947-50

the lesson I get from all this is that US interests can either be defined by its citizens and a sense of morality and fairness, or by business interests and accounting sheets

Last edited by Silas.soule; 04-30-2013 at 15:22..
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Old 04-30-2013, 15:36   #3
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Vietnam was lost the minute we put advisors in. The whole war was started on a lie, that being the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. 6 months after it happened LBJ said for all he knew the Destroyer Lester Maddox could have been shooting at whales. When Pres. Kennedy sent Marine Major General Victor Krulak and Joseph A. Mendenhall, a senior foreign service advisor to South Vietnam to study the situation there, their reports were so the polar opposite of each other that JFK interrupted the meeting and asked if they had gone to different countries.

LBJ made all sorts of promises to not send troops to Vietnam when he ran against Barry Goldwater, and after he took office he did everything he said he wouldn't.

So if anyone "lost" Vietnam, it was Johnson, but in all reality, we never had it to begin with. it was a war that didn't need to be fought and never should have been fought.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:03   #4
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Back in 1946 Ho Chi Minh asked President Truman for help against the French.


Nowadays, the Vietnamese are again asking for our help. They want a US Army brigade combat team stationed in DaNang as a defense against China.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:10   #5
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Originally Posted by Silas.soule View Post
Too bad FDR didn't live longer:

" Roosevelt had been determined not to let the French take back the colony they had lost to the Japanese. Like many Americans imbued with a strong sense of anti-colonialism, he disliked the ‘poor colonizers’ who had ‘badly managed’ Indochina,
Badly managed? Heck, we can't even get civilization on the south side of Chicago. It was JFK who began it, he wimped out in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and looked around for somewhere to be tough and chose Vietnam. In a conversation with Charles Bartlett he said, "We don't have a prayer of staying in Vietnam, those people hate us. They are going to throw our asses out of there at any point. But I can't give up that territory to the Communists and get the American people to reelect me."

That being said, had the post-Watergate Democratic Congress not completely stopped aid to South Vietnam, they might have held on until the end of the Cold War.

It there was a place to oppose Communism militarily, it was Cuba, not a place on the other side of the world.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:18   #6
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FWIW I went further back in history in a thesis paper.

Just a "Cliff's Notes" version.

Admiral Perry "Opened" Japan.

The Emperor Meji, impressed by "westernism" disbanded the samurai class although they still, de facto, were the military class.

To remain relevant the military samurai class willingly participated in the Sino-Soviet war and lightly in WWI.

The combination of western technology and the natural hegemony of the military class in Japanese society led to the Pacific conflict in WWII.

from there I pretty much followed the logic set out by the OP.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:41   #7
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FWIW I went further back in history in a thesis paper...
One could view most all of human geopolitical history as a series of connected armed conflicts.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:43   #8
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Vietnam was lost the minute we put advisors in. The whole war was started on a lie, that being the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. 6 months after it happened LBJ said for all he knew the Destroyer Lester Maddox could have been shooting at whales. When Pres. Kennedy sent Marine Major General Victor Krulak and Joseph A. Mendenhall, a senior foreign service advisor to South Vietnam to study the situation there, their reports were so the polar opposite of each other that JFK interrupted the meeting and asked if they had gone to different countries.

LBJ made all sorts of promises to not send troops to Vietnam when he ran against Barry Goldwater, and after he took office he did everything he said he wouldn't.

So if anyone "lost" Vietnam, it was Johnson, but in all reality, we never had it to begin with. it was a war that didn't need to be fought and never should have been fought.
A Texan asked me if I knew how to make a "LBJ Omelete". I answered "no" and they told me:

First, you steal 6 eggs.

SO.

Not only did we side with the colonial power, we were with the largely Catholic leaders of South Vietnam, who told the Buddhists they could not hold their annual parade. Prompting some to pour gasoline on themselves and light it.

So much for our upholding of American values. Our leaders sure as hell didn't.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:46   #9
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One could view most all of human geopolitical history as a series of connected armed conflicts.
Indeed, and that was my point in the thesis. At the time, decades ago, there were a lot of simplistic "blame theories" going around, so I decided to really take it back a ways.
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Old 04-30-2013, 16:50   #10
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Badly managed? Heck, we can't even get civilization on the south side of Chicago. It was JFK who began it, he wimped out in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and looked around for somewhere to be tough and chose Vietnam. In a conversation with Charles Bartlett he said, "We don't have a prayer of staying in Vietnam, those people hate us. They are going to throw our asses out of there at any point. But I can't give up that territory to the Communists and get the American people to reelect me."

That being said, had the post-Watergate Democratic Congress not completely stopped aid to South Vietnam, they might have held on until the end of the Cold War.

It there was a place to oppose Communism militarily, it was Cuba, not a place on the other side of the world.
I remember the final exam, for that class I took on the war. We were to imagine ourselves advising the President on what to do. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I believe. My advice was to give South Vietnam a blank check for military hardware. Year after year. But to never ever send our troops there. I think it might have worked. However, the leaders of South Vietnam wouldn't have been upholding our values.
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Old 04-30-2013, 17:02   #11
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I remember the final exam, for that class I took on the war. We were to imagine ourselves advising the President on what to do. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I believe. My advice was to give South Vietnam a blank check for military hardware. Year after year. But to never ever send our troops there. I think it might have worked. However, the leaders of South Vietnam wouldn't have been upholding our values.
Sorry, but, IMO the leadership would have squirreled much of it away (as the did with us there but more so) and skipped the Country. The regime had little respect for their own people. It would have been better than what we did no doubt but we still would have been best served with Special Forces volunteers there to administer and evaluate the effectiveness.
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Old 04-30-2013, 17:04   #12
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I remember the final exam, for that class I took on the war. We were to imagine ourselves advising the President on what to do. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I believe. My advice was to give South Vietnam a blank check for military hardware. Year after year. But to never ever send our troops there. I think it might have worked. However, the leaders of South Vietnam wouldn't have been upholding our values.
Then maybe the wise course of action would have been not to get involved at all.
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Old 04-30-2013, 18:22   #13
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Brig. General James Gavin: So that's it. We're pulling them out. It was Nijmegen.

Lt. Colonel J.O.E. Vandeleur: It was the single road getting to Nijmegen.

Lt. General Horrocks: No, it was after Nijmegen.

Lt. General Frederick "Boy" Browning: And the fog, in England.

Maj. General Stanislaw Sosabowski: Doesn't matter what it was. When one man says to another, "I know what let's do today, let's play the war game."... everybody dies.
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Old 04-30-2013, 20:36   #14
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Post-war US far east policy was nothing short of a string of disasters.
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Old 04-30-2013, 21:50   #15
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it was a war that didn't need to be fought and never should have been fought.
What an idiotic comment. What are you? Communist?

After what the communists did to those people after we withdrew and you make a statement like that?

GT cannot sink any lower.
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Old 04-30-2013, 21:59   #16
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I remember the final exam, for that class I took on the war. We were to imagine ourselves advising the President on what to do. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I believe. My advice was to give South Vietnam a blank check for military hardware. Year after year. But to never ever send our troops there. I think it might have worked. However, the leaders of South Vietnam wouldn't have been upholding our values.
They would have upheld our values a lot more than the North. Sometimes in an imperfect world you have to choose the lesser of two evils, as FDR did when he allied with Stalin.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:41   #17
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Hindsight is so great, isn't it?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:35   #18
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Hindsight is so great, isn't it?
Hindsight is great, but there was enough information out there at the time that showed it was a huge mistake right from beginning.

In 1966 or 67 General Westmoreland met with LBJ. As we sent more troops to South Vietnam, North Vietnam did too. No matter what efforts were made to interdict the movement of troops and material along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, it could be slowed but not stopped. When LBJ raised the question of what would happen if North Vietnam requested Chinese Army "volunteers" to match our increase in troops, the only answer Westmoreland had was, "that's a very good question".

Ever hear of The Great Laotian Truck Eater? That was an explanation put forth by the Air Force when daylight photos were taken after hundreds of B-52 raids on the Ho Chi Minh Trail that reported thousands of trucks being destroyed. The photos rarely showed any damaged trucks. Just lots of craters.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:26   #19
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after LBJ had JFK murdered, he sent thousands of Americans to be killed and then lied about it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:28   #20
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after LBJ had JFK murdered, he sent thousands of Americans to be killed and then lied about it.
Actually, that was Glen Campbell.
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