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View Diary: In the Washington Times: a call to investigate, possibly to prosecute (271 comments)

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  •  "Condescending ass" versus ignoramus... (0+ / 0-)

    ...you decide.  One good thing comes of this; I'll do a diary on this little riff.  If you're this clueless, and insistent in clinging to ignorance like an infant to its mother's breast, then perhaps a more generalized deficiency is also present among the audience.

    As to the substance, thin as it is, of your response, here we go.  

     many of our politicians that supported the Vietnam war wanted to go to war to help France.  That would have left Vietnam part of THEIR empire.  Not ours.

    On the surface, I suppose, a point like this has some validity.  Of course, it assumes that geopolitics is essentially like a game of Risk--a game that you probably enjoy, right?--and it completely ignores documentary, testimentary, and eyewitness evidence that suggest other predominant factors of self interest, but hey, who knows?  Maybe your bald assertion can stand against Chapters Two and Four of the aforementioned Pentagon Papers--passim, as the saying goes for those who care to examine the case.  And again, supporting--half-heartedly and with our own interests and agenda, but still, somewhat--the French was a part of the story, albeit just a part.  

    Perhaps you're unaware of Ho Chi Minh's repeated attempts to appeal to the U.S.  He wrote Truman in 1946,

     I wish to invite attention of your Excellency for strictly humanitarian reasons to following matter.  Two million Vietnamese died of starvation during winter of 1944 and spring 1945 because of starvation policy of French... .Unless great world powers and international relief organizations bring us immediate assistance, we face imminent catastrophe.

    As Howard Zinn points out in his A People's History of the United States, "Truman never responded."  

    But the U.S., financing 80% of the war effort in Indochina, beginning well before the formal inauguration of the Cold War in Autumn, 1946, and years before we "lost China," pursued such a 'selfless' policy not because our leaders were morons who just thought the French Foreign Legion romantic, but because they foresaw markets, labor, resources, and key commodities in the region that they wanted for our bankers and manufacturing companies and fuel outfits.  To suggest that we were fighting for French imperial interests under these circumstances and in this fashion is, at best, hilarious nonsense.

    But wait, there's more.
      The most important region in the French empire was that of Indochina, which supplied sources of tin and rubber to the allied war effort.  Vietnam, the largest, most populous part of Indochina, was already seething with nationalist sentiment, and the leaders of the Vietnamese independence movement seized on the Atlantic Charter to press their demands for self-determination.  Yet the Roosevelt administration turned a deaf ear to those appeals. In late 1942, FDR assured the French that "it is thoroughly understood that French sovereignty will be reestablished as soon as possible... .
      Even before the... war, some business leaders described their ultimate goals in blunt terms.  Speaking to the Investment Bankers Association of New York in 1940, Virgil Jordan, president of the National Industrial Conference Board, used these words: "Whatever the outcome of the war, America has embarked on a career of imperialism, both in her world affairs and in every other aspect of her life."  Carrying out "our imperial responsibilities"...meant advocacy of an American empire, based on dominance of the global economy, continu(ing)after the war.

    Do you notice there, that our leaders had more than just a tad of self interest, imperial purpose, that sort of thing, in being so magnanimous with the French while we let the Vietnamese starve?  And this was largely occurring while our alliance with the Soviets was in high gear--we also wanted to sell them shit, after all.  The quote above is from Peter Irons most excellent monograph, War Powers: How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution.
     You seriously ought to study this matter some, before you try to make a serious argument, but hey, that's just my advice.

    Of course, you also throw up the commie bugaboo.  Let me explain something about chronology.  The future cannot cause the past.  The plans for empire date from at least--and many people would, like Irons, would move this back a couple of decades or more--the late 1930's.  You see 'the commie menace'--which never really existed in any substantial form, except to our imperial presence, but hey, we're all liberals here, right?--didn't exist when we got all of this started.  That means, in case you're interested, that you have to account for this matter of empire, in addition to talking about the evils of communism.

    You also fail to address the point that a large number of nations were involved in Vietnam and not just us.

    You're joking right?  Not just that we supplied over 98% of the combat troops, endured the same proportion of casualties and expense, but just, like, it was our deal.  You don't get that?  It's like calling Operation Iraqi Liberation--oh, excuse me, I mean OIF, they changed the name for a less damning acronym--a 'multinational effort.  Please.

    You note, charitably, that you do oppose imperialism in Latin America "for the most part."  Unfortunately, it's the same empire, led by the same folks, for the same purposes.  Thanks all the same.

    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

    by SERMCAP on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 02:57:23 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Intellectual Integrity is NOT your strongpoint (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mas Gaviota

      And yet you discount my most important points.  Weak.  You are so completely focused on the possible economic benefits of fighting in Vietnam that you completely ignore that the threat of the Soviet Union was real.  

      You see 'the commie menace'--which never really existed in any substantial form,

      Take a little time out of hating the US to look at what was really going on.  You have this prism that you look back in time with where you discount EVERY possible defensive reason for going to Vietnam and emphasis every possible economic reason.  It is disingenuous or LYING.

      The Soviet Union did take over the Eastern Block countries.  The Soviet Union really did blockade Berlin forcing the Berlin Airlift.  Kruschev really did bang his shoe on a table yelling "We will bury you".  The Cuban Missile Crisis really did happen.  The Korean War really did happen.  These are not figments of my imagination even though you write all of this off as the "commie bugaboo". As I started out, intellectual integrity is NOT your strongpoint.

      •  You offer nothing of substance about my primary.. (0+ / 0-)

        ...points, you accuse me of things which are calumny, since I am an insufferable patriot, and you offer nothing except your assertions about Southeast Asia and then use a few hackneyed examples of 'evil Stalinists' to attack me.  Of course, the 'evil Stalinists' involved much more complicated issues than you acknowledge, and they, in any event are completely divorced from Southeast Asia.  

        The Berlin blockade justified slaughtering a million IndoChinese, and somehow, magically, caused us to plan imperial domination of the region two decades before it happened.

        In short you are presumptuous, your arguments consist of non-sequiturs and red-herrings, and, apparently, you have no interest in learning anything about your ignorance.  On the other hand, I revel in learning, so I thank you for your correction below, which supports my POV anyhow, and I can use all of the continued conversation that you present, since it merely sharpens my points to anyone who is objective, as opposed to a nationalistic, anti-communist, imperialist, which pretty much precludes anything akin to objectivity, more's the pity.

        I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

        by SERMCAP on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:51:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Simply pointing out that there are two (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mas Gaviota

          sides to the story.  You come across like one of the people that thinks that the Gazans have no reason whatsoever to fight the Israelis which then leads to the obvious conclusion that the Gazans are simply evil.  

          The Stalinists / Soviet Union were for the most part divorced from Southeast Asia.  I would contend that there were Russian advisers there.  The Vietnamese were certainly using Russian arms even if the supply came through China. In hindsight, you can say that Vietnam wasn't a threat to Southeast Asian stability, but at the time, that may not have been obvious.  You also have no idea what the effect on the regimes in Southeast Asia would have been if we hadn't been involved.  You can speculate all you want, but we do know what happened.  If we had done nothing, would Thailand and Malaysia have become communist (against their will I might add)?  You don't know.

          •  Projection is the most primitive form... (0+ / 0-)

            ...of coping strategy.  So that must be why you say this:

              You come across like one of the people that thinks that the Gazans have no reason whatsoever to fight the Israelis which then leads to the obvious conclusion that the Gazans are simply evil.

            You're describing yourself here.  Set this all aside, whenever you're finished trying to squirm your way out of the hole you keep digging deeper.  Then, after a month or two, go back and reread it.  My guess is, with your obvious intelligence, you'll be able to see that you were looking in the mirror when you wrote those lines.  They're sure as shit not about me.

            The presence or absence of the Russians in Southeast Asia has nothing to do with my argument, except inasmuch as it supports the fact of the imperial nature of the venture, by both France and the U.S., long before the Cold War was official, and continuing afterwards, primarily guided and financed, and ultimately fought, by the USA.

            We were the "threat to S.E. Asia's stability."  The murder of millions at our hands and with our weapons at the hands of others, the rise of Pol Pot, a generation of murder and mayhem in the behest of empire, those are not the responsibility of any Stalinist or Russian anywhere.  These evil and self-serving results, about which you continue to advance self-righteous notions of justification, were the responsibility of U.S., and to an extent French and other European, policy makers and leaders.

            I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

            by SERMCAP on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:31:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not the guy (0+ / 0-)

              that looks at 184,000 dead South Vietnamese soldiers and sees that as proof of US imperialism!

              The murder of millions at our hands and with our weapons at the hands of others, the rise of Pol Pot, a generation of murder and mayhem in the behest of empire, those are not the responsibility of any Stalinist or Russian anywhere.  These evil and self-serving results

              Stop.  You again look with hindsight and decide that this was a foregone conclusion going into things as though it was the plan.  Sure our involvement in Vietnam didn't turn out well but that is the nature of wars.  Some go well some don't.  I guess not everyone is omnipotent and knows the results going in.  

    •  Wrong on number of casualties too (0+ / 0-)

      The greatest number of fatalities suffered by allied forces in Vietnam was the South Vietnamese Army at around 185,000.

      •  Fair enough. (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for this, which is another point in relation to the essentially imperial nature of the process.

        I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

        by SERMCAP on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 06:44:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mas Gaviota

          Your logic escapes me here.  It seems to me that South Vietnam didn't want to be communist.  At the time of the separtion of Vietnam into North and South, the North Vietnamese murdered some 8,000 "class enemies" (shades of the Khmer Rouge?) and threw a large number of other people into reeducation camps.  These were not good people any way you slice it and a good portion of the country didn't want any part of it.

          Diem was not a great leader and that is putting it mildly, but having a lack of qualified leaders is something of a hallmark of countries throwing off imperial rule (France, not us) so this is unsurprising.

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