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    Default "The Vietnam War"

    "The Vietnam War" a documentary by Ken Burns, will air on PBS starting September 17. It will be in 10 parts spanning a total of 18 hours.

    Probably a good time for this, as we hit 50th Anniversary of the peak years of the war and with the 50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive coming up in January of 2018. Over 42 years since the Fall of Saigon.

    The passage of a full generation is a good time to take a reflective look back at the worst mistake by the United States in its entire history.

    The entire war was based on a lie, the fictitious Gulf of Tonkin "incident". We spent our blood and treasure backing one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes ever to exist, a regime that would ultimately fold like a deck of cards once it had to stand on its own two feet.

    In the end, every soldier who died, every soldier who was injured, every soldier poisoned by Agent Orange and every soldier ****** up by PTSD, suffered and died for nothing. In the end, the United States, for all intents and purposes, unconditionally surrendered, "saving face" through the phony Paris Peace Accords. South Vietnam was obliterated. North Vietnam won total and complete victory, humiliating the United States in the process.

    It should be an interesting series. It would be nice if the United States Government had learned something from the Vietnam War, but of course they never did.

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    I've been looking forward to this documentary for a couple of years now... should be a good one.

    That being said, it's easy to sit back and judge US actions in Southeast Asia as a "lie" or a failure or whatever other label you want to put on it, but it's another thing entirely to suggest an alternative course of action that we could have taken that would have led to a better result.

    If we had just turned our backs on South Vietnam and let Saigon fall in 1965 instead of 1975, then we might well have ended up fighting a much harder and more costly war in Thailand instead. Or Indonesia. Or both. Vietnam was a tough call.... I've listened to LBJ's phone conversations where he talked about the escalating our involvement - I know how much he agonized about it. It was about the last thing he wanted to do.... but try as he could, he couldn't find an alternative that offered a better chance of succeeding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    I've been looking forward to this documentary for a couple of years now... should be a good one.

    That being said, it's easy to sit back and judge US actions in Southeast Asia as a "lie" or a failure or whatever other label you want to put on it, but it's another thing entirely to suggest an alternative course of action that we could have taken that would have led to a better result.

    If we had just turned our backs on South Vietnam and let Saigon fall in 1965 instead of 1975, then we might well have ended up fighting a much harder and more costly war in Thailand instead. Or Indonesia. Or both. Vietnam was a tough call.... I've listened to LBJ's phone conversations where he talked about the escalating our involvement - I know how much he agonized about it. It was about the last thing he wanted to do.... but try as he could, he couldn't find an alternative that offered a better chance of succeeding.
    Actually, the opposite situation is true.

    Vietnam at its core was a civil war. The motivation of many of the northerners was nationalism, rather than communism. Communism rode in on nationalism and would survive the war by about 11 years, being replaced with a market transition that continues to this day. Today's Vietnam is communist in name only.

    Cambodia might very well have resisted communist takeover, had it not been for the major destabilizing actions of the United States. And the radicalization and rage that led to the genocide of the Khmer Rouge was very much due to the rural populations being slaughtered by United States bombing.

    And even had the "domino effect", a doubtful scenario at best, continued, it was not for us to interfere.

    We should never have set foot in Indochina.

    Saigon would have fallen in 1964 and 58,000 United States troops would still be alive, as well as many millions of Vietnamese, Khmers and Laotians.

    The end result in Vietnam would have been the same and the outcome in Laos and Cambodia may have been better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Actually, the opposite situation is true.

    Vietnam at its core was a civil war. The motivation of many of the northerners was nationalism, rather than communism. Communism rode in on nationalism and would survive the war by about 11 years, being replaced with a market transition that continues to this day. Today's Vietnam is communist in name only.

    Cambodia might very well have resisted communist takeover, had it not been for the major destabilizing actions of the United States. And the radicalization and rage that led to the genocide of the Khmer Rouge was very much due to the rural populations being slaughtered by United States bombing.

    And even had the "domino effect", a doubtful scenario at best, continued, it was not for us to interfere.

    We should never have set foot in Indochina.

    Saigon would have fallen in 1964 and 58,000 United States troops would still be alive, as well as many millions of Vietnamese, Khmers and Laotians.

    The end result in Vietnam would have been the same and the outcome in Laos and Cambodia may have been better.
    You're assuming China was completely disinterested in the outcome of SE Asia, Safiel.... they were pivotal in supporting the Pathet Lao during the Laotian Civil War. If we didn't intervene in South Vietnam, what makes you think they would have thought twice about supporting anti-government factions in Thailand? Why wouldn't they? As we eventually saw with the many uprisings in Thailand during the 1970's, they were ripe for a push.

    And then there's Indonesia. Sukarno had already established himself as an anti-Western loose cannon. He was in the process of cozying up to the Chinese. If we hadn't shown resolve in Vietnam, then the "Year of Living Dangerously" might well have gone in favor of the PKI. If you control Indonesia, then you control the flow of oil to Japan, both from Indonesia itself and from the shipping lanes from the Middle East.

    The lynch pin to all of this was South Vietnam. If there had to be a fight anywhere in the region, that was the best place for it. We had easy access to the sea and we could influence the course of events both to the East and the West by intervening there. If we had just let Saigon fall in 1965, we would have eventually have had to fight somewhere else probably under much tougher conditions.

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    Great series so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    "The Vietnam War" a documentary by Ken Burns, will air on PBS starting September 17. It will be in 10 parts spanning a total of 18 hours.

    Probably a good time for this, as we hit 50th Anniversary of the peak years of the war and with the 50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive coming up in January of 2018. Over 42 years since the Fall of Saigon.

    The passage of a full generation is a good time to take a reflective look back at the worst mistake by the United States in its entire history.

    The entire war was based on a lie, the fictitious Gulf of Tonkin "incident". We spent our blood and treasure backing one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes ever to exist, a regime that would ultimately fold like a deck of cards once it had to stand on its own two feet.

    In the end, every soldier who died, every soldier who was injured, every soldier poisoned by Agent Orange and every soldier ****** up by PTSD, suffered and died for nothing. In the end, the United States, for all intents and purposes, unconditionally surrendered, "saving face" through the phony Paris Peace Accords. South Vietnam was obliterated. North Vietnam won total and complete victory, humiliating the United States in the process.

    It should be an interesting series. It would be nice if the United States Government had learned something from the Vietnam War, but of course they never did.
    That is not even close. Did you miss the first two installments of the series?

    "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    I've been looking forward to this documentary for a couple of years now... should be a good one.

    That being said, it's easy to sit back and judge US actions in Southeast Asia as a "lie" or a failure or whatever other label you want to put on it, but it's another thing entirely to suggest an alternative course of action that we could have taken that would have led to a better result.

    If we had just turned our backs on South Vietnam and let Saigon fall in 1965 instead of 1975, then we might well have ended up fighting a much harder and more costly war in Thailand instead. Or Indonesia. Or both. Vietnam was a tough call.... I've listened to LBJ's phone conversations where he talked about the escalating our involvement - I know how much he agonized about it. It was about the last thing he wanted to do.... but try as he could, he couldn't find an alternative that offered a better chance of succeeding.
    That's one of the things about judging history ... you can never truly know how things would have gone if certain events had not occurred. We can speculate until the cows come home, but he only thing we can say with any confidence is that the outcome would have been different.

    "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    That is not even close. Did you miss the first two installments of the series?
    No it was true. I have seen it.

    No gulf of Tonkin incident no gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRS View Post
    No it was true. I have seen it.

    No gulf of Tonkin incident no gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
    The war had been up and running for years by that time. What the Gulf of Tonkin incident did was to publicize and "legitimize" what had already been occurring clandestinely. If it had not been that incident, it would have been something else because the train had already left the station.

    "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

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