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August1991

The Vietnam War

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WTF? See "Tonkin Gulf Resolution" (Public Law 88-408).

WWI and WWII were also not "our wars", but we sure as hell ended them.

Accept for that whole being attacked thing in WWI, WWII.

As for the Gulf of Tonkin you send in troops and help into a war you expect to be attacked. Just because we didn't declare war does not mean we weren't fighting it in 1964. Not only that but a congressional investigation found out one attack probably didn't happen and the other we were engaging in war acts. I REPEAT IT WASN'T OUR WAR.

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Accept for that whole being attacked thing in WWI, WWII.

Just using your own pretzel logic against you...again.

As for the Gulf of Tonkin you send in troops and help into a war you expect to be attacked. Just because we didn't declare war does not mean we weren't fighting it in 1964. Not only that but a congressional investigation found out one attack probably didn't happen and the other we were engaging in war acts. I REPEAT IT WASN'T OUR WAR.

Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon disagreed with you....so you lose. The Tonkin Gulf incident did not involve "troops", unless they were swimming. US involvement predated this by many years anyway.

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Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon disagreed with you....so you lose.

Well if some guys who hated communism so much they were willing to send thousands to their death disagree with me.........I just might be right.

The Tonkin Gulf incident did not involve "troops", unless they were swimming. US involvement predated this by many years anyway.

Not only is this selective reading "As for the Gulf of Tonkin you send in troops and help into a war you expect to be attacked.", but unless a robot was firing the 14.5-millimeter machine gun troops were involved.

Just to hammer the point home I am going to quote an official 2005 NSA declassified report.

"At 1500G, Captain Herrick (commander of the Maddox) ordered Ogier's gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats fired first."

Those gunners must have been robots too becuase you claim their were no "troops" involved.

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Well if some guys who hated communism so much they were willing to send thousands to their death disagree with me.........I just might be right.

I don't think you were even alive at the time.

Those gunners must have been robots too becuase you claim their were no "troops" involved.

Nope...they were petty officers and seaman....not troops. Find out what a Gunner's Mate is.

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Nope...they were petty officers and seaman....not troops. Find out what a Gunner's Mate is.

Ohhhh my bad didn't realize that when my "support our troops" sticker means I don't support the navy. Come you are bouncing around the fact we were some where we should not have been doing something we should not have been doing.

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Ohhhh my bad didn't realize that when my "support our troops" sticker means I don't support the navy. Come you are bouncing around the fact we were some where we should not have been doing something we should not have been doing.

Bullpuckey, "we" were all over the goddamn world doing whatever was necessary to kill commies and pump more oil.

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US Marines arriving in South Viet-Nam had nothing to do with the Gulf of Tonkin. That was in response to the Viet Cong attacking the airport at Da Nang and blowing up a whole bunch of aircraft. The Marines were sent in to protect the airbase. Offensive patrols soon followed along with reinforcements. The Battle of Ia Drang came a bit later. All in 1965.

As BC2004 mentions though, US troops had been in country since 1959 I believe...maybe earlier. The NVA had been sending entire divisions of troops down the Ho Chi Mihn Trail to aid their Viet Cong allies in the south. US forces pre 1965 were advisors and trainers mainly...but also helicopter pilots who saw the first combat action outside acts of VC terrorism.

Edited by DogOnPorch

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.....US forces pre 1965 were advisors and trainers mainly...but also helicopter pilots who saw the first combat action outside acts of VC terrorism.

Yep.....about 500 dead and more wounded before 1965.

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Yep.....about 500 dead and more wounded before 1965.

A great book known as "Chickenhawk" details early helicopter action during the war. I also have an old Life magazine kicking around here somewhere from 1965 that had a good photo set of H-21 and H-34 action.

(See this link for some of the photos)

Edited by DogOnPorch

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A great book known as "Chickenhawk" details early helicopter action during the war. I also have an old Life magazine kicking around here somewhere from 1963 that had a good photo set of H-21 and H-34 action.

(See this link for some of the photos)

Schweet...the Piasecki Flying Banana!

http://www.helicoptermuseum.org/AircraftIm...helicopterID=28

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Here's a working one(!)...and an H-34 so you non-helicopter types can see what we're on about.

H-21 Shawnee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuNtTUM9evU

H-34 Choctaw:

The Choctaw was a USMC favorite.

I remember when an H-34 had to release a flooded Mercury capsule.

Thanks Gus!

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The Choctaw was a USMC favorite.

I remember when an H-34 had to release a flooded Mercury capsule.

Thanks Gus!

The H-34 was a good machine. The Shawnee had some big issues with the transmissions that led to many crashes if I recall. None the less, it saw plenty of action. Thank goodness for the Huey, though. Auto-rotate was a big leap forward in helicopter safety.

Re: Gus...that hatch just blew on its own...I swear!

His Gemini mission with John Young went without a hitch.

:)

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Re: Gus...that hatch just blew on its own...I swear!

His Gemini mission with John Young went without a hitch.

:)

Well, Gus gets a free pass because he paid back the debt with his life (and changes to pure O2 atmosphere).

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Well, Gus gets a free pass because he paid back the debt with his life (and changes to pure O2 atmosphere).

Indeed. A nasty death.

Re: Viet-Nam. It's really a very complex conflict that can't be sumed up with "they won" or a "we won". The North was playing hard ball and I think some folks aren't aware of how serious they were. Often Viet-Nam is simply portrayed as US soldiers on Zippo raids burning down villiages. But, the NVA were literally sending 100s of thousands of men down the Trail (located in Laos and Cambodia) to conduct warfare on an allied nation. We abandoned a lot of good people in the south to a very uncertain fate.

Two great general histories of the Viet-Nam War are Michael Maclear's Viet-Nam: The 10,000 Day War and Stanley Karnow's Viet-Nam: A History. They both give excellent accounts of the war in detail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Maclear

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Karnow

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Re: Viet-Nam. It's really a very complex conflict that can't be sumed up with "they won" or a "we won"....

Yes, the context and complexities are getting lost in simplified myths as the years pass. One of the lessons America learned was not to abandon their military personnel for doing their duty amidst such geo-political struggles. No more spitting on uniformed members in airports!

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Here's some great old action footage from 1975. ARVN troops advance slowly across Newport Bridge near Saigon against heavy VC opposition.

Edited by DogOnPorch

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Yes, the context and complexities are getting lost in simplified myths as the years pass. One of the lessons America learned was not to abandon their military personnel for doing their duty amidst such geo-political struggles. No more spitting on uniformed members in airports!

Indeed. the CID were in Viet-Nam (then Indochina) as early as 1945 trying to make contact with Uncle Ho. At first Ho was regarded as "America's man in Indochina" until the McCarthy Era hit hard and Ho's communist leanings were exposed as being a bad thing. Too bad...could have save a whole lot of trouble had we just dropped McCarthy on Viet-Nam.

:lol:

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Indeed. the CID were in Viet-Nam (then Indochina) as early as 1945 trying to make contact with Uncle Ho. At first Ho was regarded as "America's man in Indochina" until the McCarthy Era hit hard and Ho's communist leanings were exposed as being a bad thing. Too bad...could have save a whole lot of trouble had we just dropped McCarthy on Viet-Nam.

:lol:

Well, it wasn't called French Indochina for nuthin'. After...."one, two, three...what are we fightin' for", America and others are back in the game.

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Well, it wasn't called French Indochina for nuthin'. After...."one, two, three...what are we fightin' for", America and others are back in the game.

Well...France started this whole affair. Had they just let Viet-Nam become a nation like every bloody other group was doing back then there would have been no war. Ho would have been chums with the US (as he was already after fighting for the Allies in WW2). But, the French wanted their empire back.

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IOW, American ideals won. Freedom, even for Vietnamese.

I tend to agree. When the NVA first set foot in Saigon, they were confronted by mountains of Marlboros and Budweiser. The closest thing to Virginia tobacco these guys had smoked was from the back-end of a water buffalo.

I'll bet the Northern boys never forgot those days.

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There probably would still be a South Viet-Nam had ARVN been made more effective and its officer corp thrown to the crocodiles then replaced with competant, non-corrupt fellows. Nixon tried to get ARVN more involved in the actual fighting ("Vietnamization" was the term, if you recall), but other than the ARVN volunteer paratrooper/ranger companies, they were pretty darn useless.
Vietnamization has become the model for the West in defeating insurgencies elsewhere. I think the failure of Vietnamization was the US reticence to use air power. I'm far from being an expert on military matters though. I suspect that Vietnam (and Southeast Asia in general) could at best be a holding pattern. The US had to show the Soviets and Red China that the West would stand up to them. Who remembers Mao's description of the US as a "paper tiger".

No war is popular in a democracy but America fought with success teh Cold War.

I disagree, capitalism is a form of economy, not a political system. One can have a totalitarian regime that nevertheless uses capitalism, just as one can have a socialist democracy.
Capitalism by definition is the ownership and trade of claims on private property. For capitalism to fluorish, the State must respect private property rights. Modern China, in Confucian style, is following the model of Lee Kwan Yew and Singapore. It may not be democracy but it is far, far from Maoism, Cultural Revolutions or "Red is Expert" slogans. Deng Xiao Ping made a dramatic change in modern Chinese history.

The 20th century is a tragic story of how American principles had to defeat the collectivist, communist, socialist society on the battlefield and in practice: from National Socialism to a Union of Socialist Republics and to various People's Republics.

What a load of revisionist uber-patriotic ultra right wing bullshit. America ultimately won Vietnam because Vietnamese made bras are being sold in Walmart? The stupidity of such basing victory after the fact on such claims is second only to the OP's complete and utter blindness to history.

If anything, Vietnam is a victory for the Chinese model that combines Communism with Capitalism. In the end, Japan, China and Vietnam will end up owning the US......nice victory boys, when you are waving Old Glory this Fourth, best check to see where it was made.

A Chinese model combining communism with capitalism? WTF?

My argument was that individual liberty wins when poor women in Vietnam can make bras for poor women in America. As result, both are a little better off and can enjoy life more. America was founded on the Enlightenment principle of individual liberty.

And BTW, Sabre Rider, I'm no flag waving American nationalist for the simple reason that I'm not American. I have travelled in the US, up and down the east coast in particular, but I have absolutely no desire to live there. The food is awful. But I have a deep admiration for American principles, and for the way ordinary Americans go about things.

As BC2004 mentions though, US troops had been in country since 1959 I believe...maybe earlier.
IMV, it is impossible to view the Vietnam War except in the context of the Cold War. As French/British colonies became independent, the Soviets and Red Chinese sought to dominate these free states.

-----

In the OP, I made a reference to the movie Coming Home. Apocalyspe Now or Platoon are other examples. I think what bothers me is the common American/European perception of the Vietnam War.

In Hollywood terms, Vietnam war vets are all whacky psychos. For the Left, America was on the wrong side. For the Right, America lost in Vietnam because it lacked domestic support. For Europeans, America simply lost.

I have never been to Vietnam but I have been to Dieppe. I walked along the narrow beach by the resorts and then drove up the cliff to the Commonwealth cemetery. I was intrigued to note that Canadians managed to advance a kilometre or two inland. I wondered why anyone would order such a small group of men to such a place in 1943.

In hindsight, the Vietnam War was simply like Dieppe. One step in a broader effort. Soldiers in Vietnam and in Dieppe did the right thing and they deserve our respect.

Edited by August1991

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When an open democracy stands up to an organized authoritarian regime, or its proxy, we should all be thankful.

I'm surprised in your opening statement that you continue to push the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

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I'm surprised in your opening statement that you continue to push the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
In tapes recently released, Saddam purportedly stated that his claims of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction: A-Bombs and the sort) were motivated by his desire to protect himself against Iran.

Maybe you were prescient, Dobbin and maybe Bush Jnr was wrong. The Saddam tape make sense to me since I too suspected the whole WMD argument. Heck, I opposed this American invasion of Iraq.

But I think this misses the point of the OP. In the broader scheme of things, Bush Jnr was right (and Bush Snr was wrong).

----

Vietnam was an important battle in the defence of liberty. One day in the future, it will be seen that way.

Edited by August1991

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