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Thread: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

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    Member Member KafirChobee's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Part I:
    I keep hearing that the war in Vietnam only lasted 10 years. I suppose that if we measure the beginning as being when the USA began sending "active" ground troops (1964) to fight for the RVNs' coupe of the week that could be seen as true. Even if it discredits all the US troops that began filtering in beginning in 1955 or 1956 (depends on ones interpretation of the Pentagon Papers, again I suppose) - as advisors and to train the RVN military. Let's also forget that the French were there before us, and that the battle for Dien Bien Phu began as both parties in the conflict approached "peace talks". Let's also forget that it is called "the 10,000 day war" - not the 4,000 day war.

    Still, by limiting its length (the war) it does serve the purpose to propagate the "staying the course" of our present quagmire. You know, the old if not for those liberals we'ld a won in 'nam - assuming of course that the 75-85% of Americans that opposed the war were all liberals.

    Oh, well. Can't expect people that ignore history in their running of a government (and war) to be expected to know when a war began - or anything about it. Especially since none of them bothered to fight in it (what is it like 30 deferments from the draft for the Bushys old enough to have been drafted, and one whose daddy got him in the ANG).
    ===============
    Part II:
    Bush has denied from the outset any comparrisons between our occupation in Iraq, to our quagmire in Vietnam. Yet, finds it useful to invoke a comparrison when it suits him. On Wednesday, he did it again - hell he even associated Iraq with WWII. Disappointing he didn't refer to WWI and the CivilWar - and hey what about that Spanish thingy (Remember the Maine), which is closer than the others to Iraq in that it was for Imperialistic purposes.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0070822-3.html
    If you prefer to read the speech with inserts of applause go to the WSJ's version - you might note the dead silences also (especially about Korea and VN).

    So, it seems our involvement in 'nam was not invain because through it we were responsable for spreading democracy throughout the region - just think what we could have done if we had stayed (aside form the additional loss of another 60,000 dead and 600,000 wounded), gah. That Bush has such a warped conceptual view of reality about history is no great surprise, but that he believed vets (he gave his speech before yet another VFW group) that actually were there would buy into his rant is either callous or just plain stupid - take your choice.

    One thing we do know is that if it were up to Bush we would stay the course in Iraq for atleast another 10 years - maybe 20. Maybe make it another 10,000day war.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    For what it's worth, my father was a Marine operating in Laos in the fifties. None of his comrades are on the Vietnam War Memorial. So yeah, the war started a long time before the Gulf of Tonkin.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Dien Bien Phu began as both parties in the conflict”: even worst, Dien Bien Phu as engaged against strict Governmental instructions NOT to engage the Vietminh. De Castries chose to ignore these instructions for two reasons:
    First, the Vietminh was developing an offensive against Laos
    Second he hoped top have a success to get a good position in the opening negotiations…
    Kafir, you can add the Siamo-French war, followed by the Japanese aggression and the re-conquest of Indochina by the French… And before it was rebellion like Yen Bay Soviets etc…
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

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    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Oh well , after a few years of the idiots insisting that Iraq cannot be compared to indo-china it was ineviatable that they themselves would make the comparison .
    I really love the way Bush went way off on a revisionist history limb when he was speaking .
    They were actually correct the first time round , the war in Iraq should not be equated with Indo-china , it is much worse than Vietnam .

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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Agreed, but it's also worth noting that lots of other things are very different.

    For starters, America was essentially trying to enforce the Korea situation in Vietnam rather than actually win, which is why they lost.
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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    I have to agree with Philipvs position. The situation has some relation, but there are differences.

    The Iraq War is trying to set up a new democratic government in Iraq.
    Vietnam was about preventing the expansion of Communist doctrine throughout SE Asia.

    Vietnam was an attempt to prevent the NVA from taking over South Vietnam, like Korea.
    Iraq is a whole-or-nothing solution (probably going to be nothing, but I digress)

    We could have won Vietnam Operation Vulture
    US Airforce discussed Dien Bien Phu

    We are dealing with a religiously charged situation, and people are far more willing to die for those reasons than for political ideals.

    I have to say that while withdrawal (limited but some) would be preferable, there are some similarities between the 2 situations, and those should be respected (like the failure of the Tet Offensive)
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    Have you just been dumped?

    I ask because it's usually something like that which causes outbursts like this, needless to say I dissagree completely.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    We could have won Vietnam” That is re-writing history…
    Well the French coud have won the Germans in 1940 as well… They just didn’t.

    Atomic bomb dropped near China? What would China done?

    Dien Bien Phu was a calculated risk to attract the Vietminh in battle. Experience like Na San proved that when Giap thought it couldn’t win, he just withdrew…
    So a too big fortress and he would just ignore it.

    DBP was a WW2 battle, where the French were far to put all the new weapons at their disposal. Air support was done by F8F Bearcat and F4U-F Corsair when in Korea Migs 15 were fighting F-86 Sabres… In 1954, DBP years, the French had their own fighters (MD 450 Ouragan), but they were kept to confront the eventual Red Tempest…
    My father was in Tonkin from 1949 to 1951 and he was equipped with material from different origin… From the Japanese light machine gun to the US Thompson submachine gun, French MAS 36…
    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"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus
    Dien Bien Phu began as both parties in the conflict”: even worst, Dien Bien Phu as engaged against strict Governmental instructions NOT to engage the Vietminh.
    Do you have any sources on this? Just read a book about the Dien Bien Phu campaign and I can't remember reading anything about clear governmental instructions not to engage the Vietminh. The only thing that even remotely comes to mind is the question of whether Laos should be defended or not, and even then I can't remember that there were ever any clear instructions on the matter.

    Also Colonel de Castries had very little to say in the original decision of building a French air-landbase at Dien Bien Phu. He was only the appointed garrison commander and thus in charge of conducting its defence. It was General Henri Navarre, the C-in-C of CEFEO, who was ultimately in charge of the decision of creating a French base at Dien Bien Phu.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Er. Yes, my mistake, Gal Navarre was in charge.
    His mission “when appointed by Rene Mayer, was not to destroy the Vietminh or to win the war: it was to create the conditions of an “honourable way out”” (in The Last Valley, Martin Windrow)…

    Unfortunately all my documents are in France but if you read French you have now a great number of books, not all really good, to study the subject.
    What you can read in the Minister instruction is: don’t move, don’t do something dangerous…

    The new government of Joseph Laniel stayed in course…
    The 6 of February 1954, the national Defence Committee agreed that priority should be given to safeguard the French troops rather than Laos…
    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"

  10. #10
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    "Nietzsche is dead" - God

    "I agree, although I support China I support anyone discovering things for Science and humanity." - lenin96

    Re: Pursuit of happiness
    Have you just been dumped?

    I ask because it's usually something like that which causes outbursts like this, needless to say I dissagree completely.

  11. #11
    Member Member KafirChobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rewriting the Vietnam War - it ain't at all like Iraq

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    For what it's worth, my father was a Marine operating in Laos in the fifties. None of his comrades are on the Vietnam War Memorial. So yeah, the war started a long time before the Gulf of Tonkin.
    Agree completely. Knew men when I served, and a few I worked with after that related tales of their serving all over the region of and surrounding Vietnam. At first, I was taken a back (even had a "mustang" CO - Captain, that served as an advisor to Ho's troops fighting the Japs in WWII) - because the prevailing view was we only had people there for training purposes beginning during the JFK era. During Ike it was "nothing to see here".
    Why the men that died before the the official starting date of our involvement there have been ignored and left unhonored is beyond me. Unless, it is one of image - Remember the Tonkin Bay incident in 1964 was viewed by many as being equal to the Pearl Harbor attack (look up the Time and Newsweeks coverage, then look up the ChristianScienceMonitors), and that the North Vietnamese officials appologized for it is ignored entirely (they thought the destroyers were ARVN, and broke off as soon as they realized they were American). But, it was the second imaginary attack that sealed the deal - only 2 Senators voted against the TB resolution; no one voted against the Bush one btw (98-0).

    Understand there is a movement to get ALL the names of those that died in S.E. Asia on "The Wall". Are many more that died of injuries after leaving that are just now being added. So, later than sooner the men that gave their all in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, etc prior to the official starting date may yet be given the recognition and honor they deserve.

    One would hope.
    To forgive bad deeds is Christian; to reward them is Republican. 'MC' Rove
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
    ]Clowns to the right of me, Jokers to the left ... here I am - stuck in the middle with you.

    Save the Whales. Collect the whole set of them.

    Better to have your enemys in the tent pissin' out, than have them outside the tent pissin' in. LBJ

    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

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