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August 03, 2004


lady lawyer

Except we were defeated by the only weapon the Communists had -- people like John Kerry.

posted by lady lawyer


I cannot tell you how much it enrages me that the left has hijacked the history of the Vietnam War. They have taken a war that was necessary, just, righteous, and part of the larger global conflict, and twisted it (in the minds of the populace) into some kind of pointless massacre of the two sides.

But then again I shouldn't be surprised... most of my college professors seemed upset that the US won the Cold War...

posted by jamesnwu


Hogwash. We went into Vietnam to bail out the French (once again) and their colonial interests, after they got their butts kicked at Dien Bien Phu. We previously had been arming and supporting Ho Chi Minh because his freedom fighters were helping hold off the Japanese. Once WWII was over, both the Vietnamese freedom fighters and the French were appealing to us for help. We made a disasterously wrong decision in supporting the French. That forced Ho Chi Minh to turn to communist China for help. We didn't stop the domino cascade of communism, we helped it, and in the name of supporting our French allies, those stalwarts of freedom and justice.

posted by tentmaker


What a joke. You claim to know the truth about communism, and you don't even know that Leninism/Stalinism WAS NOT communism. The Soviet Union was an authoritarian dictatorship using the language of communism as propaganda to hide the true nature of the Soviet system.

True communism democratic and basically leaderless. All in a Marxist communist system have an equal say in the policies of the state. True communism, I should add, is also utopian and cannot exist in the real world.


To: tentmaker
Agreed. We should have kept out of it while we still had the chance.

We should abandon this silly defense of Vietnam, admit that the rest of the country is right, and put the blame squarely where it belongs - on the Dems.

posted by horatio


To: tentmaker

Vietnam, win or lose, was not about SE Asia. It was about Europe, and maintaining confidence within the alliance that we were a reliable ally to defend against Soviet aggression into Europe.

posted by Magnum44




Ho Chi Mihn came to Eisenhower asking for US support of a neutral, democratic Vietnam, and was refused. Ho Chi Mihn was determined to have self-rule for the Vietmanese. Nothing more. All our committment to principles of democracy were thrown out the window when Ho Chi Mihn negotiated for a Vietnam in no-one's sphere of influence. So, he turned to China and Russia, because China and Russia offered the most autonomy for the Vietnamese. Yes, it was a Stalinist government, but it was a Stalinist government run by Vietnamese.


1. We did support Ho, but at the same time, he was always a communist. [of course, we were assisting Mao at the same time - while being allied with China (Kmt) and with France's government in exile]
2. We did move to assist/replace the French in early fifties, but we'd also hampered them for five or so years prior as part of our [assinine] campaign against colonialism. [immediately after WW2 the US was friend to a whole bunch of "agrarian reformers" and "progressives". Korea kind of changed that at the top without being mirrored in the eyes of the public - painfully apparent over the years that followed]
3. At least I'm happy to see someone putting Vietnam into Kennedy's lap, although Eisenhower had plans and advisors in place well before then. [hint, the green berets were only a change into uniform - one that was not well received]

posted by norton


I recommend the book "President Kennedy" by Richard Reeves. Kennedy had chickened out at the Bay of Pigs by withdrawing promised air support after the battle began, and he knew Krushchev knew he chickened out. Kennedy backed off again after vowing to fight in Laos if the Soviets didn't allow Laos to, at least, remain neutral. A third failure by Kennedy also occurred (I forget which), also known by Krushchev. Then the Vienna summit meeting with Kruschev occurred. Krushchev tore Kennedy apart for two days, and on the third day (maybe literally) took Kennedy by the lapels and said "I'm going to take West Berlin, and you're not going to do anything about it." Kennedy was so completely shaken that he was bedridden and ill for three weeks or more. He believed nuclear war was inevitable, because he knew he could not protect West Berlin with conventional weapons. If the Soviets took West Berlin, they would take all of Western Europe, and Kennedy knew he could not allow that to happen. So he decided to show Krushchev that Americans would fight, and Viet Nam was the field of battle. To take pressure off the West Berlin issue, Kennedy and his State Department came up with the Berlin Wall idea and passed along to Krushchev that the U. S. would not object to such a wall to stop the "brain drain" flowing from the Soviet Union and East Germany through West Berlin into the West. So, those who fought in Viet Nam have a substantial claim to saving Western Europe from Soviet domination and to saving the world from nuclear destruction. Not exactly a throw-away waste of a war.

posted by n-tres-ted


This would all be very interesting, if it hadn't been rehashed a million times since the fall of Saigon. But what always irks me the most of such views is the simplicity in the idea of "good versus evil." While there is a lot of truth in what has been written here, it also attempts to paint the reality as black and white.

I sincerely admire your service to your country, Sir, and I can't emphasize that enough. However, I don't see how Vietnam could have ever been won by the method used. I'm not sure that you disagree with this opinion, and you would likely know better than I, but I don't buy into your view that losing the Vietnam War saved hundreds of millions of lives in SE Asia.

You can't force Democracy upon a nation by using force. It's an ideological tenet that can only be attained through reason. In the same manner you can't force totalitarian communism upon a nation and expect it to persist for any reasonable length of time. This is the main reason why communist governments are, and continue, to fall across the globe and not because they have been defeated by a superior power or the good guys.


To: tentmaker

Once WWII was over, both the Vietnamese freedom fighters and the French were appealing to us for help. We made a disasterously wrong decision in supporting the French. That forced Ho Chi Minh to turn to communist China for help.
That is pure BS invented by the Marxist historian commune. Kindly old Uncle Ho was a commie revolutionary for 30 years before we ever got involved in Vietnam. He was owned lock, strock and barrewl by the Soviet KGB and did whatever the hell they told him to. He caused the needless deaths of millions of Vietnamese. The man was a monster.

Here's his background.

Ho Chi Minh , 1890–1969, Vietnamese nationalist leader, president of North Vietnam (1954–69), and one of the most influential political leaders of the 20th cent. His given name was Nguyen That Thanh. In 1911 he left Vietnam, working aboard a French liner. He later lived in London and in the United States during World War I before going to France near the end of the war.

There he became involved in the French socialist movement and was (1920) a founding member of the French Communist party. He studied revolutionary tactics in Moscow, and, as a Comintern member, was sent (1925–27) to Guangzhou, China. While in East Asia, he organized Vietnamese revolutionaries and founded the Communist party of Indochina.

posted by Ditto

what's up

Lee Quan Yew, ex-leader in Sinapore, swears that the Domino
theory was correct. He thanks the US for holding off the communist threat in the North long enough to allow countries like Singapore develop economically so that communism could never be a threat there.

posted by what's up


You are exactly right, Vietnam was a legitimate and important war that was utterly doomed by the repeated, profound mistakes of Lyndon Johnson..period.

posted ableChair


I offer my memoir to add another perspective on the Vietnam War (coming spring 2005).


Just last night I happened upon some back issues of Tropic Lightning News (25th Infantry Division) from 1967 & '68 online and as I read through them I saw photos of our soldiers up to their necks in water carrying their guns above their head, soldiers in the heat of battle jumping off helicopters, and soldiers on ambush. I read through the articles describing contemporaneous battles that had just occurred, including Tet of '68. Then I thought of John Kerry and how he and the other anti-war leaders undermined our military - the mightiest military the world has EVER known and caused it to succumb to a psychological defeat - not a military defeat. Our military was so demoralized it took years for them to regroup. And this a****** has the nerve to want to be the head of the military?! Is he deranged? And what is wrong with the Vietnam veterans that want to vote for him? Can't they see through this jerk? For my two cents...yes, you Viet Nam vets did stop Communism on the Pacific Rim and for all your heroic efforts our country owes a great debt to you.



Have we got our work cut out? Is it even possible to correct the wrongful depictions of the Vietnam War? The educrats pretty much choose what it is they want to believe and just keep passing it down to the next generations.

Michael Moore on 11/3/2004 we are coming after you

“If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.”


The Vietnam conflict will be regarded in history as one phase of the struggle by the liberal democracies against the Communists led by the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over and the few remaining Communist governments are on the road to "the ash heap of history".

John Kerry picked the loser in that war!


What would the outcome have been in Viet Nam had our civilian leaders prosecuted the war with the same all-out effort that Bush One had in Gulf War I?


THAT's the most painful aspect, sixdogteam.

It wasn't EVER that we were in an unwinnable war - it was that politicians were micro-managing it from DC and didn't allow our military to do what it could have done.

We never lost a single battle, as it was. How much faster, how much less costly in terms of lives if that jackass in the White House didn't think he had the ability to call the targets from the Oval Office?

I "if only" this to death and it hurts every time.

They were the best - and we didn't get out of the way and let them do what we asked them to do.


Adrian Spidle

Great post.

This election is between those who believe American style democracy and capitalism deserve duplication elswhere on this planet and those who believe communism, theocracies and brutal dictatorships are just as viable and just as rightous.

The success of spaceshipone's mission in the mojave dessert today is the perfect example of why this country is the model to be replicated.


does anyone know how accurate Vietnam is depicted in our children's history books? I don't have any school age kids anymore or I'd be reading it to find out! I think a lot of young people are getting a glossed over view of it, if they don't have someone in their family who actually served in it.


While the nobility of helping a people in need cannot be questioned (vietnam) and the nobility of stopping the spread of a dictatorship masked as communism (the only pure form of communism was apparently Jesus), the nobility of our government can certainly be questioned when in Vietnam tens of thousands of American soldiers were forced to go and die in the name of a just cause, whose families were assured their death was not in vain yet the United States' greatest cash cow who was bestowed "favored nation status" is Communist China. Tell me now why the 18 year old kid gave his life? Patriotism, pride and god are nothing more than corporate tools devised to appeal to "ego" in order to support militarily the corporate profit margin. Observe the friendship and coddling of the Saudi's by Bush and friends inc. While we are so valiantly engaged in freeing an Iraqi people from oppression under false pretense with the deaths of American soldiers and thousands in "collateral damage", Bush and our administration wine and dine a regime that has (next to China) the worst track record for human rights. Who cares about that though when you have 4th of July barbecues and the enjoyment of believing we are God's favorites.


"You can't force Democracy upon a nation by using force. It's an ideological tenet that can only be attained through reason."

What, then, explains our success in Japan and Germany? (And, BTY, we are still there.)

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war is always wrong so i recommend that get until the last chance to not make war . and they Vietnam was was terrible all the people dead the family's suffering and the disease don't worth the victory .

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Experience is the na me give their mistakes. (Oscar Wilde, British playwright and poet)

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