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Jace, Basilissa

The Conflict in Vietnam

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America's Afghanistan before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan before America invaded Afghanistan.

We've got massacres, carpet bombing, essentially chemical warfare with DDT. Marlon Brando in a creepy temple or cave.

Vietcong, NVD.  I'm always forgetting the differences to the factions. The Ho Chi Min trail. Bryan Cranston as LBJ.

Atrocities, offensives, guerrillas. John McCain. Charlie Sheen in one of my favorite films.

And of course Billy Joel.

DISCUSS 

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A stupid idea, going back to Truman deciding to help the French to try and retake their empire in southeast Asia. But China (and later Cuba) seemed to validate Domino Theory about communist take-overs, so we get escalation throughout the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies (plus backing an unpopular tyrant) before LBJ takes it into open war.

Incidentally, LBJ sucked at foreign affairs policy. Although perhaps not as much as Kissinger and Nixon's team, who quietly tried to sabotage talks in 1968 that might have led to North Vietnam recognizing the South as an independent country. And if they'd done that in 1968, then US support for Vietnam wouldn't have been so politically toxic as to let the regime fall when North Vietnam inevitably tried to conquer it after the US removed most of its troops. Instead, that all happened in 1973-74, when it was no longer politically popular to provide any assistance to South Vietnam after withdrawal and they let North Vietnam roll over it (creating a whole ton of refugees and a bunch more folks sent to prison camps).

 

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1 hour ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

America's Afghanistan before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan before America invaded Afghanistan.

We've got massacres, carpet bombing, essentially chemical warfare with DDT. Marlon Brando in a creepy temple or cave.

Vietcong, NVD.  I'm always forgetting the differences to the factions. The Ho Chi Min trail. Bryan Cranston as LBJ.

Atrocities, offensives, guerrillas. John McCain. Charlie Sheen in one of my favorite films.

And of course Billy Joel.

DISCUSS 

Ramón Gerard Antonio Estévez was a more prolific solider than Carlos Irwin Estévez!

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1 minute ago, SpaceForce Tywin et al. said:

Ramón Gerard Antonio Estévez was a more prolific solider than Carlos Irwin Estévez!

I love Mighty Ducks

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12 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

I love Mighty Ducks

Makes sense. I guess that’s why you like to quack at people.

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Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

It's a shame that all these decades later we still haven't come much farther in psychologically preparing the children that we send to war for what they will experience. Other than an indoctrinizing training regime  through which military tribalism has become a subculture unto itself independent of any generation of conflict.

Anecdotally, I bought the Ken Burns documentary and my 30 day limit to return it ran out like a week before it popped up on Netflix.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

It's a shame that all these decades later we still haven't come much farther in psychologically preparing the children that we send to war for what they will experience. Other than an indoctrinizing training regime  through which military tribalism has become a subculture unto itself independent of any generation of conflict.

Anecdotally, I bought the Ken Burns documentary and my 30 day limit to return it ran out like a week before it popped up on Netflix.

Yeah, aside from Vietnam (and while I can't say he shouldn't take a great deal of blame, I don't accept that JFK would necessarily have not escalated things, the process was well under way) he was great, I love LBJ, my favourite to read about. 

The biggest lesson that should be learnt is that you can't just rely on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Diem was a truly terrible dictator in every way- incompetent, bigoted, vain and vicious. The attitude that "he's fighting the commies so he's our guy" caused so many problems. 

Still, the same can be said about the anti-war protesters to an extent, even now. People remember My Lai, but they don't remember the incredible communist brutality, especially in Hue, where they buried people alive (I've been to Hue and there's absolutely no memory). 

I spent a few months in Vietnam and it's such a great country. People have a really chill attitude about the whole thing in my opinion, considering the unbelievable damage the Yanks and their allies did. I guess the attitude is mitigated by the fact they "won", but Jesus, what a cost. 

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3 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

It's a shame that all these decades later we still haven't come much farther in psychologically preparing the children that we send to war for what they will experience. Other than an indoctrinizing training regime  through which military tribalism has become a subculture unto itself independent of any generation of conflict.

Anecdotally, I bought the Ken Burns documentary and my 30 day limit to return it ran out like a week before it popped up on Netflix.

"It's a shame that all these decades later we're still sending our children into pointless wars under the guise of patriotism or with a chance at making enough money to escape the poverty that is their likely future." Ftfy

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

"It's a shame that all these decades later we're still sending our children into pointless wars under the guise of patriotism or with a chance at making enough money to escape the poverty that is their likely future." Ftfy

No, you are expressing an entirely unrelated thought. And not a super original one.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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1 hour ago, mankytoes said:

I spent a few months in Vietnam and it's such a great country. People have a really chill attitude about the whole thing in my opinion, considering the unbelievable damage the Yanks and their allies did. I guess the attitude is mitigated by the fact they "won", but Jesus, what a cost. 

The American-Vietnamese war was just one in a long series of foreign invaders in that country going back to Napoleon. They'd have no more reason to hate the Americans than the French, the Japanese, etc. It's a country that's had to learn to move on time and again. Such a sad history...

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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I grew up with the Vietnam war constantly in the background. If I was born on the other side of a lake and was 2 years older, I would have been sent there also. As it was I watched as the US just about tore itself apart and sent away to die, or be in exile, the best of its youth. 

The elites that snagged deferments were those willing to let others die for the country and as their reward they now get again to let others die for their country. 

 

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5 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

It's a shame that all these decades later we still haven't come much farther in psychologically preparing the children that we send to war for what they will experience. Other than an indoctrinizing training regime  through which military tribalism has become a subculture unto itself independent of any generation of conflict.

Anecdotally, I bought the Ken Burns documentary and my 30 day limit to return it ran out like a week before it popped up on Netflix.

So many people who were there, both in the war zone and here at home, at the time, have told me that the Burns's doc is about as rolling with the official version, i.e. Kissenger, Westmorland, etc., as it was at the time.  So I've never bothered with it -- already knowing how much their jazz doc, and others, sucked at leaving out salient information.

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Look how the language changed with Vietnam. To 'frag' someone came from that era along with REMF. That stood for Rear Echelon Mother Fucker. 

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6 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

Fair, but I think some of it has to do with the fact there are audio tapes of him carrying on conversations with female staffers while he urinates.

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

Fair, but I think some of it has to do with the fact there are audio tapes of him carrying on conversations with female staffers while he urinates.

Pffft, please.,, JFK fucked mafia couriers and Russian spies and they gave him the half-dollar.

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1 minute ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Pffft, please.,, JFK fucked mafia couriers and Russian spies and they gave him the half-dollar.

No tapes!  Plus there was that whole assassination thing and the fact he was always incredibly popular.

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6 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Probably the reason LBJ isn't on currency.

It's a shame that all these decades later we still haven't come much farther in psychologically preparing the children that we send to war for what they will experience. Other than an indoctrinizing training regime  through which military tribalism has become a subculture unto itself independent of any generation of conflict.

Anecdotally, I bought the Ken Burns documentary and my 30 day limit to return it ran out like a week before it popped up on Netflix.

They learned about not letting the media show the war as it actually is, because otherwise people might object more. What’s more, the entire country knows that that’s happening, and most even know why it’s happening and virtually no one complains about it. So effectively willful cooperation with being manipulated, because that’s how you win football games, yo.

That’s...eh, progress of a kind. 

Edited by James Arryn

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1 minute ago, James Arryn said:

They learned about not letting the media show the war as it actually is, because otherwise they might object more. What’s more, the entire country knows that that’s happening, and most even know why it’s happening and virtually no one complains about it. That’s...eh, progress of a kind. 

I think a lot of that is a kind of false transparency. Yes we have access to that information now, but we live in a society that constantly discourages us from seeking it out. We all eventually came to see the way the Vietnam vets were treated when they came back, and since then we've lionized military service under the guise of "supporting the troops" to the point where war itself has once again become romanticized, the brutality shoved under the rug. Once again we have politicians undermining peace talks for political currency (Obama's nuclear deal anybody?).

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9 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

The American-Vietnamese war was just one in a long series of foreign invaders in that country going back to Napoleon. They'd have no more reason to hate the Americans than the French, the Japanese, etc. It's a country that's had to learn to move on time and again. Such a sad history...

Well, three really- France, Japan, America. I don't know if numbers can really convey what the Americans did, but The Blitz in the UK is still talked about a lot, had major, permananet effects. That was about 41,000 tons of bombs. America dropped eight MILLION tons of bombs in the Vietnam war (that includes a ton per person on non-combatant Laos). It's hard to find any buildings at all in North Vietnam that predate the war. They carpet bombed absolutely everything. This was the biggest bombing campaign in human history. I wonder if the entire American East coast had been carpet bombed into oblivion (as well as Toronto and the Mexican side of their border) people would describe it as "just one in a long series" of American wars. 

And then of course there was the agent orange, a war crime which caused horrific birth defects, which, of course, you can still see today. The USA has offered no compensation for this. 

There are still signs in rural Vietnam and Laos warning against going off the tracks because of unexploded bombs. It's mainly children who are still killed and crippled by the bombs to this day. 

The brutality on the ground may have just been standard colonial stuff in a war where atrocities were committed by all parties. But the attacks from the air were truly exceptional in their permanent devastation. 

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