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Thread: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    The General Giap died aged 102. This man, whose name will tell nothing to the youngest, was not only the symbol but the incarnation of the Vietnamese struggle first for Independence against the French then the fight for the reunification against the US, Teacher of History, his wife died in Paolo Condor, where the French were putting all criminals and political opponents… Learning from mistakes of lost Battle of Na San, he is the winner of Dien Bien Phu. Rigid, he tried to replicate the battle against the French against a more powerful adversary and was the looser of the Tet Offensive.

    However he was as well the one setting-up the Camps where 71% of the French War Prisoners died of mal-nutrition, starvation, brain-wash and mistreatments. On the 10.300 French Fighters captured at Dien Bien Phu, only 3,200 came back to France, walking skeletons. He decimated the South Vietnamese Communists with an ill-though offensive (some would say that was a plus) but ultimately, his strategy won the war.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Yes, a true hero, he did what needed to be done and secured the victory for his men.
    RIP.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    RIP

    A good summary from the Beast:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ncibility.html
    Last edited by HopAlongBunny; 10-12-2013 at 12:47.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Giap was an effective military commander and, apparently, an inspirational leader of troops when he served as a field officer. Though he made mistakes and lost some actions -- notably Tet -- he also managed to craft a military effort capable of surprising effectiveness.

    Brenus makes a good point about the conditions of NV POW facilities. Giap must bear some responsibility for that as well -- though I do not know that they would have been better/kinder under another NVA leader. Was it Giap's fault in a personal sense? I suspect there were issues of culture and of historical grievance that were likely to have surfaced in such facilities under any NVA leader. That said, the camps were horror-stories and must be counted as an evil.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Giap was an effective military commander and, apparently, an inspirational leader of troops when he served as a field officer. Though he made mistakes and lost some actions -- notably Tet -- he also managed to craft a military effort capable of surprising effectiveness.

    Brenus makes a good point about the conditions of NV POW facilities. Giap must bear some responsibility for that as well -- though I do not know that they would have been better/kinder under another NVA leader. Was it Giap's fault in a personal sense? I suspect there were issues of culture and of historical grievance that were likely to have surfaced in such facilities under any NVA leader. That said, the camps were horror-stories and must be counted as an evil.
    One of the great regional historical what-ifs must be what would have happened had the US kept out of military efforts in Vietnam, with the North Vietnamese leaders apparently great fans of the founders of the US. With the rapprochement well under way now despite the earlier conflict, would relations have been even closer earlier had it not been for the war? Would Vietnam have had the chance of turning into a Japan, modernised and with cultural values close to America's?

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    One of the great regional historical what-ifs must be what would have happened had the US kept out of military efforts in Vietnam, with the North Vietnamese leaders apparently great fans of the founders of the US. With the rapprochement well under way now despite the earlier conflict, would relations have been even closer earlier had it not been for the war? Would Vietnam have had the chance of turning into a Japan, modernised and with cultural values close to America's?
    Part of our deal with De Gaulle. We never really offered Ho Chi Minh or any of the rest of them support after 1945, leaving it alone as part of the French sphere of influence. Hardly surprising that HCM turned to the Soviet bloc for support (he had, after all, been involved with the Comintern since the '20s). Once that occurred, the tenor of the Cold War made any rapprochement more or less a non-starter. Still, you are correct, some different decisions during the last summer of the war may have effected a completely different development in Southeast Asia.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Did he lose the Tet-offensive?

    IMHO, USA thought they had started to get things under control, when a green storm hit them.

    I, for one, think the Tet-offensive played a major part as to why USA backed down like a dog with its tail between the legs.

    Please remember, military victories are not counted in people dead - but counted in national success. Of course a WHOLE lot more VC would die in the battles compared to USAnians.

    That's what happens when you give farmers make-do weapons and send them against the worlds premiere super powers military might.

    But Gal Giap knew that you could lose a hundred battles, if you won the war. And he did.

    My deepest respect. He had faults, of course. But it was a tough time and he needed to make tough decisions. And it's not like the US soldiers or generals behaved as saints.

    RIP - a TRUE freedom fighter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    That's what happens when you give farmers make-do weapons and send them against the worlds premiere super powers military might.
    The troops that fought and died for the North in the Tet Offensive were well-trained and well-equipped veterans...
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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    The troops that fought and died for the North in the Tet Offensive were well-trained and well-equipped veterans...
    First of all, I talked about the war and its strategies at large.

    Secondly, no.

    Just no.

    USAnian troops had access to WAY more modern weapons and training regimes. It's not like it's Viet Cong who used WMD's and had helicopter supported infantry, now is it?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    About half of the operational forces gathered for the Tet Offensive were PAVN , and were indeed, as I said, "well-trained and well-equipped veterans". Most of the rest were Main-Force VC, who were trained in the North and equipped almost as well as the regulars.

    The North wanted to try its hand at a conventional offensive, and of course they lost, because, as you say:

    USAnian troops had access to WAY more modern weapons and training regimes.
    That's why the defeat was so painful - they weren't just losing random conscripts handed bolt-action rifles, they were losing the cream of their armed forces.
    Vitiate Man.

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    The glib replies, the same defeats


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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    About half of the operational forces gathered for the Tet Offensive were PAVN , and were indeed, as I said, "well-trained and well-equipped veterans". Most of the rest were Main-Force VC, who were trained in the North and equipped almost as well as the regulars.

    The North wanted to try its hand at a conventional offensive, and of course they lost, because, as you say:



    That's why the defeat was so painful - they weren't just losing random conscripts handed bolt-action rifles, they were losing the cream of their armed forces.
    ... And nothing of what you just said diminish Gal Giap.

    Nor were you able to communicate how "well equipped soldiers" suddenly translate to "soldiers less equipped than their enemy".

    Pass me some.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    ... And nothing of what you just said diminish Gal Giap.
    I was actually trying to correct your 'diminishment' of the majority of the professional Vietnamese soldiers who actually fought for the North after you characterized them as "farmers [with] make-do weapons".

    Nor were you able to communicate how "well equipped soldiers" suddenly translate to "soldiers less equipped than their enemy".
    So, there's a wide range of military technology between 'sharpened stick' and 'B-52 bomber'.

    It's also rather facile to declare that only the best-equipped force in any given conflict counts as "well-equipped"...
    Vitiate Man.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    He still caused the USA nightmares to this day and was one of very few generals on the planet who can say they made the USA retreat and admit a defeat. There is often a bit of luck involved in such victories or would anyone say the USA were never lucky in their victories?


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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    Did he lose the Tet-offensive?

    IMHO, USA thought they had started to get things under control, when a green storm hit them.

    I, for one, think the Tet-offensive played a major part as to why USA backed down like a dog with its tail between the legs.

    Please remember, military victories are not counted in people dead - but counted in national success. Of course a WHOLE lot more VC would die in the battles compared to USAnians.

    That's what happens when you give farmers make-do weapons and send them against the worlds premiere super powers military might.

    But Gal Giap knew that you could lose a hundred battles, if you won the war. And he did.

    My deepest respect. He had faults, of course. But it was a tough time and he needed to make tough decisions. And it's not like the US soldiers or generals behaved as saints.

    RIP - a TRUE freedom fighter.

    Giap, interviewed following the conflict, said that NV was within days of seeking terms (relatively favorable ones) after Tet. The VC was almost eradicated and much of the subsequent conflict was effected by NVA troops infiltrating South through Cambodia (hence Nixon's decision to attack into Cambodia in 1970).

    They shifted from guerilla conflict to open attacks in Tet and got their heads handed to them tactically.

    HOWEVER, and this was huge, Cronkite and others in the American media DID despair after the offensive and called it a shocking setback. They began to wonder if victory was possible short of using nuclear weapons. Essentially, we finally got the open battle we wanted, won it, and then had the media announce we had lost....and sell the FACT of that loss to the public.

    Our willingness to wage the war was thereby sapped, allowing the USA to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Giap really was close to terms, saw the media reaction in the USA, and began to think that they could win simply by not quitting...that we would quit first. On that level it can be construed as a victory for the NV forces. Their victory was political, not military.

    Of course, as history points out, it was enough for them to win, so.....
    Last edited by Seamus Fermanagh; 10-12-2013 at 19:40.
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    and then had the media announce we had lost....and sell the FACT of that loss to the public.
    The media and the public were shocked not at a supposed "loss", as contemporary conservatives are fond of asserting, but because they perceived that the national government had flat-out deceived them as to the situation in Vietnam and the very character of the conflict.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Eh.. actually he is regarded warmly by American military doctrine and even most people. You'll study him at West Point. Thanks to the vietnam experience our military was radically reformed as demonstrated penultimately in Desert Storm.

    Unfortunately, as demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan, no Army can make up for bad policy.
    Hmm, I'm not sure Desert Storm proves that you could have done better in Vietnam in the early 90ies. Completely different terrain and a different enemy as well, the technological differences on the ground were probably smaller in Vietnam than they were during Desert Storm.

    The air war however was pretty much won over Vietnam as well but then again that's your thing.


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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    That's not the point at all. The reforms were in the structure of the Army.
    So how did Desert Storm demonstrate the new structure? And what were the advantages if not that you were able to roll over your enemy almost unopposed?


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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    The air war however was pretty much won over Vietnam as well but then again that's your thing.
    Rather stunning that the US lost 3500 fixed-wing and 5500 rotary-wing aircraft in the war against a "backwater".

    Stalin knows that feel.
    Vitiate Man.

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    The glib replies, the same defeats


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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    So how did Desert Storm demonstrate the new structure? And what were the advantages if not that you were able to roll over your enemy almost unopposed?
    One thing Vietnam did teach US strategists that was observable in the first Gulf War was the strict adherence to clearly defined, limited, and measurable military goals tied directly to clearly defined, limited, and measurable political goals. Attempting to use military force to achieve broad, vague policy goals such as "stopping the spread of communism" or "bringing democracy to the Middle East" is a recipe for mission creep.
    Last edited by PanzerJaeger; 10-12-2013 at 20:22.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    About the article of the beast: Full of approximation. The Vietminh succeeded to carry 24 pieces of 120 mm, and 15 of 75 mm. The real surprise was the AA composed by 36 x 37 mm and 20 heavy machine gun 12.7 mm. We are far of the 150 Heavy Artillery pieces, even if you include 20 x 120 mm mortars (which are not artillery but infantry weapons).
    Giap was far to be patient. It took him some time to understand he couldn’t win in Na-San, and his premature offensive on the “useful delta” in 1951 was costly but he learned from it.
    The French did as well, understanding that he won’t attack a too strong position, in order to destroy the Vietminh Corps de Bataille, you had to present an acceptable target, big enough to tempt Giap, but not too much.
    And unlike the French Generals, Giap understood the political consequences of a battle.

    Part of our deal with De Gaulle.”: err, it was no deal with De Gaulle. Roosevelt (so was Truman)was opposed of a French Return to Indochina, so the French Troops had to be shipped by the English, without the USA knowing. In fact, the US Jedburgh (OSS) did trained the Vietminh which had to good idea to hind the fact they were Communist (explaining the “US” Constitution, by the way). The Japanese surrendered to the British and the Chinese (Nationalist) and these kept the survivors of the French Troops captured during the Japanese attack of the 9th of March 1945 in the Camps. The US representative Patti contacted then Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh then declared the Independence of Vietnam the 2nd of September 1945 (Capitulation of Japan), claiming that France having being defeated by Japan, Vietnam gained its independence from the Japanese defeat.
    Last edited by Brenus; 10-12-2013 at 20:29.
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    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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  21. #21
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    That is a very comprehensive explanation and summary of how the operations are conducted, Cube (and PJ). I knew a lot of this somewhere but never thought about it or read about it in such a condensed form, very good post!

    However, I wouldn't call this structure, more like strategy or mode of operation. And additionally the type of enemy you face matters as well.
    Desert Storm was a huge success but Desert Storm 2 only happened because Saddam wasn't caught. In other words, would it have helped to prevent the spread of communism in Vietnam if the US Army had simply combed through the country up to the very northern end and then left again, similar to Desert Storm?
    Last edited by Husar; 10-12-2013 at 20:33.


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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Structure is important. The NCO corps is structure, and the NCO corps of Desert Storm (or even the modern US Army) is far more educated and motivated than the NCO corps of Vietnam. That is a structural difference. The creation of a purely volunteer Army is also certainly a matter of structure, as it required levels of funding to maintain permanent readiness that (to this day) dwarf any other nation. This is all because of Vietnam, and the long look inside that it prompted. However, we would not have won in Vietnam without taking the ground war to the North. That never happened because of political reasons, mainly not wanting a hot war with Russia.
    You're right about the structure, my apology for forgetting about that part of your previous post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    And desert storm 2, as you call it, happened for so many reasons that trying to claim any specific one as the cause is the height of misunderstanding. Its the definition of cluster-fuck. The lesson to be learned is not new: The only war worth waging is Total War.
    Sure, I just meant that without Saddam's return to power, the second part might not have happened after all. And without capturing Ho Chi Minh and his buddies, Vietnam may have become communist anyway despite a less taxing operation for the US Army. I mean just because the soldiers are less exhausted one cannot assume that a political victory will follow.


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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Posted junk that ended with:

    Of course, as history points out, it was enough for them to win, so.....
    So...?

    You act as if the good guys in Vietnam didn't have televisions and radio to follow the ebb and flow of USAnian morale.

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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Maybe. All I can say is that having served in Iraq, I still don't know why we went in there. In retrospect the evidence to go to war in '03 seems to have been blatantly fabricated, and as far as I can tell the United States of America in no way benefited from the war (financially or otherwise).
    I think President Bush explained that:


    It was basically for two reasons:

    1. Iraq had WMDs, turned out to be false, I could swear he once even said it was fabricated but I may be off since I can't find that anywhere.

    2. To stop Iraq from being a breeding ground for terrorists by establishing a government they will all love. In other words: LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    We know Pakistan has to be crushed to secure Afghanistan, but the political will isn't there.
    I'm not so sure about it having to be crushed since it doesn't seem quite as hopeless a case and is relatively stable, it might end up even more unstable after getting crushed. And it has nukes so I hope by crushed you don't mean nuke the country. On the other hand sending conventional troops could end up disastrous.


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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Why are people honoring this man?
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    I sense a bit of politics at play in the veneration of Giap, such as that Daily Beast article gleefully detailing how he "took America down". He can be credited (wrongfully to a large extent) with defeating the US, and that carries a special significance to a lot of people beyond simple academic interest.

    IMO, Giap's actions against the French are far more interesting and significant from a military history perspective than his actions against the US. During the latter, he simply sat behind an unassailable border and sent men to their deaths. His real accomplishment was in convincing millions of young Vietnamese to ignore all instincts of self preservation and willfully walk into a meat grinder.

    As in Afghanistan today, the politicians created a set of rules that made the game impossible for the military to win. Giap, I suppose, should be credited with recognizing that and taking full advantage of it.

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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Why do you note the passing of anyone who has made significant contributions to their field? From an academic point of view, Giap's story is essential to the tale of war. Emotion shouldn't factor into it.
    Yeah, which is why we all agreed for the Osama bin Laden death thread to be free of emotion....
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    I didn't celebrate his death, as I don't celebrate anyone's death. That said, we are not still fighting against Vietnam.
    We stopped fighting Osama after Tora Bora. Bush even admitted it wasn't one of his priorities.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    We are still fighting the group he created. You're being dense.
    We are fighting the group we created with our foreign policy since the 1950s.

    EDIT: If I am dense, please be the pickax to my boulder.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 10-13-2013 at 04:48.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gal Giap, aged 102, is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    That's an academic discussion worth having. Much like the one going on here regarding the circumstances of Giap's life and his relationship with our country. You should start a thread on it
    I am not trying to diverge the conversation here. I am trying to make a point that I find it a bit amusing how a bunch of men and women likely born after the Vietnam War are giving respectful statements to a man who committed war crimes against the French and sent thousands to get slaughtered by Americans in order to kill thousands of Americans. The war might be over, but I am sure there are still Vietnam veterans still alive that wouldn't lay flowers on his grave.

    Lots of people here put up a solid front against my attempt at an Osama death thread that wasn't just high fives and jingoism, I am just curious whether the time difference is really the reason whether someone considers a man a monster or just another actor in a long and complex play.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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