South Vietnam

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Salty, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    It has been over 35 years since South Vietnam fell to the communists

    In another thread this statement was made while speaking about Sen Kerry:

    I agree. I appreciate the fact that he had the courage and wisdom to stand up against US involvement in Vietnam back before the rest of the country realised just how terrible a mistake it was.

    With 20-20 hindsight now, did the US make a mistake about the RVN (Rep of Vietnam):

    Should we have been involved at all
    Should we have left sooner
    Should we have stayed longer

    Salty

    and a quick statement of your military/veteran/other status at the time would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    I spent 18 months there, mostly on a fire base.

    Should we have been involved? No, MacArthur had warned against a land war in Asia. The NVA had outlasted the Japanese and the French, they already had the infrastructure to last against us.

    Should we have left sooner? Yes, then I wouldn't have spent any time there. :laugh:

    Should we have stayed longer? No, pretty obvious that i didn't think we ought to have been there, we shouldn't stay longer.

    With all that, if we had decided that we were going to actually win it by taking the battle to the north, maybe, it might have been a winnable war. But it was a war run by politicians. LBJ bragged that they couldn't bomb an outhouse without his knowledge.

    The other problem was that the war was run by generals who were thinking WW 2 battles where we won a piece of land and then moved on to fight the enemy at the next town. We would fight for some little hill in 1964, then again in 1966, then again in 1969, then again in 1972.

    The problem with those who were against the war, was that they also hated those who had fought it. You should hear the stories of how guys were treated when they got back and the number of parents who were called after their son died. The caller would say how glad the caller was that they were dead. They were westboro before westboro.
     
  3. Jack Matthews

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    I was a baby when the Vietnam War ended, and only vaguely remember when my Dad came home from his tour of duty there. He never talked about it.

    I think, given the political attitude of the time, we couldn't have avoided the impetus to get involved. Southeast Asia didn't have the cultural background for American style democracy and economics to catch on. The population had a different attitude and perspective than the Koreans did, where American involvement had preserved a republic in the South. The colonial exploitation of Vietnam left a lot of scars, and made it almost impossible to win the trust of the people. The corruption of the South Vietnamese government had underminded most everything else. In spite of the advice we had been given, I think there was the view that America could succeed where others had failed, or that we at least had to try or the whole world would go Communist. In hindsight, we should have stayed out, but at the time, we couldn't see that we needed to.
     
  4. Winman

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    I was a little too young for Vietnam, although I signed up for the draft on my 18th birthday in '72. My birthday came up #355, so I was never called.

    It is hard for me to say whether we should be in other countries or not, I guess you just have to trust your government. I do not think we should ever get involved in any wars unless absolutely necessary, and I do not know exactly when they would be necessary.

    I do not like the way we treated our soldiers. I consider them patriots and heroes, they were simply doing their duty and should have been treated with respect.

    I will say this, if our government decides we must get involved in a war, we should go in all the way. I do not believe in a half-hearted effort, if you fight, you should fight to win. We owe that to our soldiers.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Everything about Vietnam was wrong, except the bravery of the soldiers involved. Nothing excuses the shame that what heaped on them.

    I think John Kerry saw the problems of the war after he served there. As a veteran he has a unique understanding of what it was like on the ground. I was barely too young to go, turning 18 in July of 73.

    In retrospect Vietnam was one of the worst modern mistakes made by the US. Its continuance was only because it was a profit maker for government contractors. When that happened it moved from being a mistake to a crime.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Is that 1873 or 1973? From what I know now, my answer is that we should have never been there in the first place. Besides having no business there, we did not follow the Constitutional pattern of declaring war. We certainy did not follow the hardfast rule of once we are fighting, we fight to win, win swiftly, and exit swiftly without rebuilding. The coniditions there were beyond imagination on so many levels. Our soldiers did their job and were disrespected upon their return. Bafoons like LBJ and McNamera thought nothing of the casualty list or the grief, but were sure worried about the profits of Bell Helicopter. The Gulf of Tonken resolution was a complete fabrication.
     
    #6 saturneptune, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2012
  7. OldRegular

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    I was in during Truman's Korean Police Action. I thank God that I was in the Navy and not the Army.

    I suppose all wars involve politics to some extent. I believe this is particularly true of Korea and Viet Nam.

    The country was in a mild recession in 1950, Dean Acheson was Sec. of State under Truman. He had indicated that South Korea was not considered essential to US interests. Whether his statement precipitated the attack on South Korea is open to debate.

    In any event the Communist North struck and almost drove the US a Army troops who were there into the sea! Whether the start of the war was political the conduct was political.

    MacArthur had wanted to destroy the bridges across the Yalu River but the politicians stopped him. The consequence was a Chinese horde and the march of the US Forces back from the Chosin Reservoir. I worked with a man who was in that brutal retreat in the middle of the Korean winter. Got shot in the "buttoX".

    Conduct of the war was political and MacArthur was relieved of command.

    Our entry into the Viet Nam war was gradual. The Communists were driving the French out of Viet Nam. If my memory is correct Eisenhower or Kennedy sent observers to Viet Nam.

    The above doesn't mention the Gulf of Tonkin incident which I believe was used by LBJ in his campaign against Goldwater.

    The war was political, conducted much like that in Korea. The major difference was the Viet Cong which makes the war in Viet Nam much like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistsn. Just who is the enemy! The war could likely have been won if the dikes in North Viet Nam had been destroyed.



    The wars in Korean and Viet Nam each resulted in the death of ~50,000 Americans and countless others. Both wars were political in nature and both were defeats for this country. Those who fought in Korea were generally ignored by the public. Those who fought in Viet Nam were treated with hatred and contempt in a manner that was a disgrace to the country and John Kerry was one who instigated in part that contempt and hatred. As far as I know, like Hanoi Jane Fonda ,he has never attempted to make amends so I have the same contempt that I have for Fonda!
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Oh my word you have been hanging out with poncho too long.
     
  9. blackbird

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    Kerry is a disgrace to the United States military!!
     
  10. OldRegular

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. saturneptune

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    Then why did you vote for him for President in 2004?
     
  12. Salty

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    I joined the Army in July 1970, in Oct I received orders for RVN. When we arrived at Oakland Army Base, my OJT unit from Atlanta Army Depot was informed that we were be diverted to Germany due to an overage of our MOS (supply) in Nam.

    Basically, I agree with what Tom wrote in post #2.
    If we were going to fight - we should fight to win - which means the White House should have stayed out of it. I have always believed that the major problem with the military is that it is run by civilians.

    Granted the strategies used by the Viet Cong and the North were different than the Nazi Army. Yes, we need to adjust, just as we changed strategies from the WWI to WWII.

    We won a WW in just 4 years - yet we spent a dozen years in one country -
    Keep in mind - as long as we were in RVN, they were a free country - we left - they were conquered.
     
  13. Jack Matthews

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    Ho, hum, more boredom.

    There's nothing like a good political discussion on this board to show that many of the self-righteous guardians of doctrinal purity are not even willing to be obedient to the simplest Biblical guidance regarding their tongue.
     
  14. blackbird

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    Whats the problem with saying Kerry is a disgrace?? Am I not titled to freedom of speech?? Did I say something to threaten the welfare of the nation??
    :wavey::wavey::type::type:
     
  15. Aaron

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    It is never wrong to take up arms against communism.
     
  16. Salty

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    I am surprised that no one has brought up "it was none of our business".

    When someone metions that, then I would supposed those same individuals would have wanted France andd(some) German troops to have turned ther backs on us back in 1776. Our of the great foreign military leaders was Gen Pulaski. These troops from France did help win our war of Independence.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    This situation was none of our business. It was simply a way to make big bucks for the military contractors at the expense of 60,000 American young people -and after all that the US failed to make a difference there.
     
  18. Salty

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    1) Do you suppose many in France said "those English colonies rebels are none of our business"

    2) And why did we fail to make a difference in Nam- several reason - which have been discussed
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    There was a profit margin for the French. Britain was not buying French goods. The colonies would
     
  20. Tom Bryant

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    For me, the more appropriate analogy is to our Civil War. Foreign countries did not get involved in that because trying to get between warring family members is an indication of stupidity.

    We ought not think that this was a war between a free state and a communist nation. The north was communist, but the south sure wasn't free in any sense of the word. They did their best to destroy all the non-vietnamese tribal groups like the Hmong. They were governed by whatever strong man happened to have the backing of the military.
     

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