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

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  •  Whoa!! (0+ / 0-)

    One thing is for certain.  I would have supported democratic processes and opposed imperialistic processes.  That you refuse to acknowledge that you support murder and mayhem in the guise of protecting against commies is difficult to stomach, but you are of course entitled to that opinion.  

    You keep introducing non-sequiturs to defend yourself.  This is what I meant by 'tightening up.'  You keep returning to the nonsensical red-herrings.  I've said nothing about the complexities of post-war Europe, so your accusations in that regard, at best, are off base and a little absurd.

    In regard to Korea, where both my dad and my uncle were stationed during the early '50's, you may know as much as I do about the war--it is a conflict that I have studied quite a bit, for various reasons--but you certainly don't show that by your simplistic generalizations.  And the analogy with Vietnam is worse than weak; it is non-existent, vacuous and silly.

    You've either not studies the things about which you speak, comfortable in your fantasy world of petty bourgeois American presumptuousness, or you are withholding any evidence and analysis which might show your knowledge and ability.  

    The only line that you repeat is that the ARVN incurred many casualties, so this means that it can't be an imperial war.  What in the world would justify that reasoning?  Mercenaries and thugs are as old as history; and plenty of people in a dog-fight back different dogs.  So what?  That has as much to do with the question of imperialism as saying that lots of gamblers' losing money on football is proof that the bookie's vigorish is not driving the system.  

    You prefer your little fantasies to analysis apparently.  Bon chance; keep those cards and letters coming, as I appreciate the chance to answer the absurd, of which so much is in evidence these days.

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

    by SERMCAP on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:09:56 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I see little proof in anything you write (0+ / 0-)

      Do you even know the meaning of "non sequitor"?  Everything that I have presented has supported my ONE position which is that much of the fighting (to include Vietnam) was geared toward defending the US.

      Were Korea and Vietnam identical.  Nope and considering I never made that point, it doesn't seem salient to this conversation.  Read closer.  We did just complete the fighting in Korea at the time Vietnam was ratcheting up so that certainly informed out thinking there, yes?

      I've said nothing about the complexities of post-war Europe, so your accusations in that regard, at best, are off base and a little absurd.

      My point is that the complexities if you will in post-war Europe also informed our decisions to fight in Vietnam AT LEAST as much as any desire for an empire.  

      The only line that you repeat is that the ARVN incurred many casualties, so this means that it can't be an imperial war.

      Perhaps it's just the only line that you actually read.  I have pointed out numerous places all over the planet where we fought the Soviet Union or the Chinese.  Vietnam was simply one more.  

      You seem very smug in what you have put forth, but you haven't in the slightest even dented my hypothesis.  All you can do is provide a variety of materials indicating that we might have had imperial designs in Vietnam.  That doesn't disprove in the least my contention that our actions in Vietnam were primarily geared toward defense against the threat of Communist take-over and simply a continuation of the multitudinous other battles that we fought against each other.

      Coming from a science background, I'm guessing I probably have a little more rigorous definition of what constitutes proof than you do.

      •  I sure do. (0+ / 0-)

        And you illustrate them quite well.  You offer ideas that, whatever their truth or utility, are 'out of sequence' with the matter at hand, and then you point to them triumphantly, not only having proven nothing, but having offered nothing substantive.

        Now, in this response, without offering any documentation but certainly showing some general knowledge of intellectual and political history, you DO connect to the thread of the discussion.  Well done.  And again, you acknowledge the possibility that imperialism was 'AT LEAST as much' a part of our thinking as anti-communism.  That's all that I would insist, and I noted it in my "Ahhhhh!" comment.  Prior to that, you denied this potential, or ignored it, preferring to ride the hobby-horse of anti communism.  

        In relation to the points that you do make here that are substantive--and again, congratulations; better late than never--here's why I have argued, and made a case for a belief, that imperialism is much the stronger actual basis for U.S. foreign policy.

        In relation to the connection between Europe and Asia, this was actually a matter of huge contention among the Plutocratic set.  And yes, inevitably, especially in relation to Greece and Italy, we feared the impact of communist and Soviet designs.  This informed what happened in Asia, though the butchering of the situation in Korea, as Halberstam's book, The Coldest Winter, which I've read twice, amply documents, was an example of either monumental stupidity or an attempt to draw the Kim storm troopers into an attack that we could then repel.  I

        The problem with both of these points in relation to Indochina, which I have presented repeatedly without any response from you even as applicable as you've given here, is that the policies of post-WWII dominances are demonstrably present by at least the early 1940s.  We were up to our asses in the region well before Korea's shit hit the fan; we considered the peninsula of limited value in all by geopolitical terms, completely in contrast to the resources, market, and investment potential that we contemplated in Southeast Asia.  Thus, pointing to the initiation of a Cold War, and to the coming of the Korean conflict, is not apropos to support 'fighting commies' as the basis for Southeast Asia.  For one thing, the future cannot cause the past; for another thing, documents, commentary, and secondary sources all show the imperial plans that we were unfolding in Vietnam.

        You can disagree about degree, but your argument seems weak to me, and you've already admitted what I consider to be the 'minimum program,' so to say.  Good luck.

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

        by SERMCAP on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 05:57:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have a basic problem. (0+ / 0-)

          You don't actually argue against my point.  My initial post said "You oversimplify to the point of slander".  Let's break that down.  Do I at any point say that you are wrong?  Nope.  I point out that you have oversimplified which indicates that you are at least partially correct.  I then pointed out a large number of places (pretty much all over the world) where we fought either Russia or China.  These were serious engagements with the potential for progressing into WWIII.  Vietnam was simply one more in the group.  You have done nothing to dent that hypothesis, although you think you have.  What you did was provide info as to why you think we had imperial designs.  I never argued against that point from the beginning.  I simply think that was a far smaller component that you.

          You have pointed out that we had some long-term goals of opening markets and whatnot in Southeast Asia.  So if that wasn't the case and the Commies (I'll use your word) tried to take over South Vietnam, would we have gone, I would contend yes.  Was imperial interests that our main focus in fighting there?  You haven't proven that.  Did we lose 58,000 troops and spend umpteen billion dollars to try to exploit Vietnamese resources?  Totally unproven and hardly logical.

          I'm curious.  Of the reasons that we went to Vietnam, what percentage do you think was to exploit the region and what percentage was to fight communism?  I'm going 20% imperial 80% fighting communism.  You?

          •  We all have problems, eh? (0+ / 0-)

            Your first post misrepresented, and in case you're unclear on that, that means, in context that you were the slanderer, by asking a rhetorical question.  And in case we're unclear on that, one form of the rhetorical question is one that carries an accusation.  It stated, "So everyone who fought in Vietnam was a murderer?"  

            How arch that you then accused me of slander.  After that, when I pointed out that misrepresentation, for approximately the next seven or eight posts, for example here:
             

            that war was hardly a war of empire

            and here:
             

            That would have left Vietnam part of THEIR empire.  Not ours.
              You admit that many politicians in this country were concerned about communism.  The Soviet Union's actions in Eastern Europe were truly appalling and that surely got people's attention.  So feel free to pooh-pooh the Red Scare, but a lot of people truly were concerned and it did drive a number of policy positions.

            and here:
               

            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.

            and here:(this is the first hint of reality--i.e., "two sides" in the 'subject' line.
             

            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.

            and here:
             

            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.  

            And I could go on.  You were insulting and snarky, and for a time, I remained clinical, before I decided, 'Oh what the hell!  Maybe he enjoys being insulted as much as he does casting aspersions," and I joined in the fray, though without the same level of vituperation--i.e., scatalogical usage, all CAPS, etc.

            More pertinent to an actual discussion, you(except for the "two sides" implied admission in the one 'subject line')denied or ignored the possibility that imperial aspects of the Vietnam conflict might have been important.  In contrast, in the second post after your really nasty insinuation in your first posting, I admitted, 'sure, anti-communism played a role.'  I then proceeded, by providing primary source references, secondary source references, and analysis to provide evidence--you are aware of the difference between evidence and proof, right? Your 'subject' line a couple of stitches back makes me wonder--to develop a reasonable historical argument that imperialism played a significantly more important basis for the Southeast Asian conflict that the U.S. promulgated for close to thirty years than did such factors as 'self-determination for Vietnam'(laughable really)and anti-communism(clearly a part of the mix, like I've repeatedly acknowledged).

            You on the other hand, having now admitted that maybe imperialism did play some role--again, bravo; where there's life there's hope--have yet to offer a single source, of any sort, to buffer your position.  Instead you rely on 'what we all know about the evils of commies.'  Except I don't buy it; and many historians don't buy it.  And that little matter of chronology and documentation keeps coming up, a charge to which you've yet to make a reply.

            Now, since it took me something like seven or eight stitches in this thread--probably more like ten, but we'll be conservative--just to drag you to the point that you acknowledge the irrefutability of my basic argument, that Vietnam had imperial components, you haven't had the chance to hear me expand on what this new form of empire entails.  

            You keep referring to commodities and real estate, as if the 19th century forms of exploitation have never changed.  I'd refer you to another speech, but given your lack of documentation, I'm afraid that you don't like reading much.  But who knows?  It's Ike's farewell address, the one in which quite explicitly he warned of a certain "Military Industrial Complex."  And see, both in my estimation and the assessment of loads of 'professional historians' and academicians in other fields, this M.I.C. is a huge part of the imperial presence of the USA, both in terms of the political economy of capitalism, and in terms of the social and political control of the national economy.

            So, given this, and the still important vestiges of nineteenth century forms, I'd say, at a minimum, imperial elements were twice as important as ideological underpinnings.  But that's just a ball park.  I never denied the role of the 'red-baiting'--hell, you're living proof, right?--from the get go.

            I know that I've won this argument; you've moved, and I haven't.  But you've allowed me to create all sorts of lovely dialogs for other aspects of my work.  So please, by all means, keep those cards and letters coming.  

            I mean, you probably believe that there really is a "War on Terror," I'll bet, and a "War on Drugs" too, right?  What a trip.  

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

            by SERMCAP on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:17:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some day you will figure out (0+ / 0-)

              that flashy prose and patting your self on the back for points that you think you made is no substitute for a cogent argument.

              Your job was to show that somehow we fought the "Commies" only where we thought we could make a buck or extend our empire.  You didn't remotely do that.  As I have pointed out (and which you haven't refuted) we fought them pretty much everywhere.  Some places you could argue we extended some sort of empire.  Other places we didn't (Greece, Germany, Turkey, Israel, Korea, etc.).  The lack of a pattern here is your problem and you haven't addressed it.  All you want to do is provide examples of people or entities that wanted to extend some kind of empire in Southeast Asia.  Provide a million of them.  I don't care.  It does not scratch my hypothesis.  

              All I see is the application of the Truman Doctrine or put another way a full court press on Communist aggression or expansion.  Nothing more.  That some guys expressed some interest in Southeast Asia at some point does not in the slightest refute my point.  It simply doesn't.  And as I indicated, I never really disagreed with your original premise but I thought things were far more complex than you made them out to be.

              So you say that anti-communism was "part of the mix" in Vietnam, yet you call our soldiers murderers (so to speak).  Well how much of a percentage of the mix would it have to be for you to not call them murderers?

              •  Have you ever thought of therapy? (0+ / 0-)

                I've had good friends and lovers who were therapists, and they worked well with people who had issues with honesty, whether the manifestation of the problem was in lying to others or lying to themselves.  You clearly have issues with telling the truth.

                Your "only" in the sentence that begins the second paragraph, followed by "where we thought we could make a buck or extend our empire" is a travesty.  You are a liar, as I pointed out in the first reply to you that I made.  Let me repeat.  You are a liar.  By my second response to you, I was already acknowledging that anti-communism played a role, though I produced evidence and argument--which you have yet to do in a coherent form, just offering your opinions about a period of four decades without any support--to contend that imperial and 'make-a-buck' matters were paramount.

                To support your lie, after pontificating on the great insight of Blanchy, oh-he-who-knows-all-but-must-still lie-repeatedly, you lie again; we went back and forth about the homicide issue already.  To state so baldly and so falsely that I have "call(ed) our soldiers murderers" is a pitiful act.  Thus, you are not only a liar, but you are also pathetic.  

                Nonetheless, Vaya con Dios, kiddo.  Boy, I'd love to be in a panel discussion or debate with you in front of an audience of neutral truth-seekers.  I love to watch folks turn all red.  It's my favorite color.

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

                by SERMCAP on Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 03:40:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm a liar. Sure. Run with that. (0+ / 0-)

                  You STILL can't refute my point that we fought communism everywhere and Vietnam was just one more place.  

                  You throw out that "anti-communism played a role" and then proceed to call our soldiers murderers as though the defense aspects were not at least as significant as any others.  You are the one that can't call a spade a spade or at least attempt to quantify how much emphasis you put on each one.  So this is what makes me a liar?  LOL.

                  And I wasn't sure what you meant by scatological comments at first.  Then I figured out that you don't know the etymology of the word ass, my little wordsmith.  If you call someone an ass, you are referring to the animal and not the part of the human body.  

                  •  You're not even an artful liar. (0+ / 0-)

                    You ... proceed to call our soldiers murderers as though the defense aspects were not at least as significant as any others.

                    You either need a reading course, or a bolt from the blue to introduce you to reality or the motivation to stop seeking to deceive others.  Too bad that you are so comfortable in your little bubble of self-deception.  The world can use intelligent people who are not deluded and insistent on advancing their delusions as reality.  

                    As to the 'braying donkey' origins of ass, sure, I'm aware of them; in part Biblical, if I recollect rightly.  I misconstrued.  I'm always happy to acknowledge error.

                    Good luck to you in your insular little world of lies, compadre.  Vaya con Dios.

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

                    by SERMCAP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:01:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You seem to think you ticked me off. (0+ / 0-)

                  Enjoy your fantasy.  I really enjoyed watching you clothe your lack of an argument in fancy prose, but when all the dust cleared you STILL can't refute my very basic hypothesis.

                  •  I not only refuted your measly excuse... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...for an argument, I developed an essay that expanded and launched that argument further.  You, on the other hand, have yet to produce any evidence other than your truly pathetic ideological imprecations against Reds.  

                    "Lions and Tigers and Commies, Oh My!' does not an argument make, though I suppose it barely passes muster as premise and presumption, so it is hypothetical, and refutable, which is what I have done over the course of this thread.

                    Of course, this is all opinion.  But I'd bet that if we did a poll among university history professors, both of us would receive stern critique--that's what scholars do--but that I at least would be given credit for advancing an argument, something that you have yet to do in any other than the form of an assertion that you know the truth about the evils of Communism.

                    Good luck making peace with your maker with that line.

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

                    by SERMCAP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:06:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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