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August1991

The Vietnam War

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....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).

Moammar Kadafi agreed too ! :lol:

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Moammar Kadafi agreed too !
I don't think "Kadafi" agreed but I think Bush Jnr clearly made the consequences apparent.

Nowadays, we are dealing with simple poor country psychopaths: Burma and North Korea, and medieval fanatical Muslim priests. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan had to deal with sophisticated organized gangsters. The Cold War was a complicated challenge to individual liberty.

I'm an optimist. I trust Americans.

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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.

Still missing and unaccounted for: 4500 tons of VX nerve agent precursor. A true WMD if put into production. Buried? In Syria? Buried in Syria? We don't know and Iraq is a big place if you want to hide something.

As mentioned...if I had the ability to track US satellites, "unlimited" funding and an army of guys with backhoes and shovels, I could hide ten 18-wheelers in BC and you'd NEVER find them.

Since Saddam did use this type of gas at one time, we have to assume SOME went into production. Getting rid of it is impossible in Iraq as you need special furnaces to burn and break the stuff down (after being mixed with other solvents and such). So where is it??? is still the big question...

VX, for those unaware, is the most deadly chemical agent yet discovered by humans. A tiny droplet on exposed flesh is enough to incapacitate if not kill (horribly). It diffuses through the body almost instantly. It is non-water soluable and tends to linger in the environment. Not a true gas, it condenses out of the air if cooled...only to vaporize again in sunlight/warmth. This makes it an ideal area denial weapon...for ever...as it is nearly impossible if not totaly impossible to clean-up. Both the US and Russia began destroying their stocks long ago as both view it as a dangerous white elephant of a weapon. As likely to cause you damage as the enemy.

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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.

And yet no evidence has been found.

I can remember the argument was that a 140,000 U.S. inspectors in the form of an invasion would find the weapons whereas an incompetent U.N. couldn't.

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.

I didn't have to be prescient. The U.N. kept repeating they found nothing new in their inspections and the U.S. didn't believe it.

I supported the pressure to get the U.N. inspectors back in the country but I believed Dick Cheney was prescient back in the first Gulf War when he explained the dangers of invading. It is something he seems to have forgotten years after.

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).

Actually, you haven't proved any such thing.

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

I very much doubt that.

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Still missing and unaccounted for: 4500 tons of VX nerve agent precursor. A true WMD if put into production. Buried? In Syria? Buried in Syria? We don't know and Iraq is a big place if you want to hide something.

I think the argument was that weapons of mass destruction were ready to go, were about to go and and that the world had to act post-haste.

Nothing has been discovered. No information of any kind has given a lead as to weapons.

If the U.S. believes that there are still weapons in place, they should still be looking.

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I think the argument was that weapons of mass destruction were ready to go, were about to go and and that the world had to act post-haste.

No, that wasn't the argument at all. The potential for such a capability was good enough to not only force the issue, but settle it once and for all. Anybody with experience in such matters knew that an invasion without adequate NBC protection telegraphed the lower than expected risk from such weapons.

Nothing has been discovered. No information of any kind has given a lead as to weapons.

Still playing small ball? Confusing tactics with strategy? Is Saddam Hussein still the dictator of Iraq?

If the U.S. believes that there are still weapons in place, they should still be looking.

Why? The very effective pretext served its purpose......just as it did in Vietnam. What part of the larger geo-political dynamic escapes such navel gazers?

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And yet no evidence has been found.

I can remember the argument was that a 140,000 U.S. inspectors in the form of an invasion would find the weapons whereas an incompetent U.N. couldn't.

The inspectors were not looking for weapons rather, they were looking to ensure that Iraq did not have any. A totally different mission than so many believe. Iraq said they had destroyed them all however, could not prove this through documentation and, their willingness to allow verification was minimal if not nonexistent. These incidents of unwillingness were considered 'material breaches' and, the same as actually having WMDs as far as an offense against the UN resolutions went.

After more than a decade of this bullshit, the US, finding Iraq a liability resource wise and, a potential asset to intimidate Saudi Arabia into being more aggressive in taking action against their Qutbists, used the breaches as a legal pretext to invade and take out Saddam. If they were actually worried about WMDs, they would have simply gone in with or without UN approval long before.

simply went to war on a material breach. This was the reason given to the UN when the US went to war.

. This made for increased suspicion that they actually did not destroy the WMDs and related material. It all came to a head when Iraq finally

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jdobbin: If the U.S. believes that there are still weapons in place, they should still be looking.

Who said they've stopped looking? Maybe the reporters have stopped looking...

August1991: 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".

The real failure was not blocking the Trail. That had to be done on the ground. Laos and Cambodia were turning a blind eye to NVA divisions marching south to conduct warfare. Only too late was an attempt made and the media jumped all over it as an INVASION of a neutral country. That was a stretch....Laos and Cambodia being neutral.

:lol:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lam_Son_719

Of course, the Trail wasn't a single road, so effort had to be made to cut off this route. Just spending a few days there then leaving wasn't going to do the trick.

Re: airpower. I agree that North Vietnam should have been under constant interdiction re: entrances to the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What few folks in the West knew at the time was that actual Soviet troops were stationed in North Viet-Nam helping run the air defence system. This may have well influenced the vigorousness of the air campaign in the North as overt Soviet casualties might have caused the conflict to spread to a more global scale.

Rolling Thunder, the bombing of the North (1965-1968), was a very controled campaign divided into what were called Route Packs (I-VI). RP-I being in the south of North Viet-Nam with RP-VI being the danger zone around Hanoi...one of the best defended cities ever AA-wise. All on the Russian's dime...errr...kopek. LBJ himself would go over the targets with Robert McNamara and pick what places were going to get the B-52s and F-105s (etc) that day. Overall, the North Vietnamese (with Soviet help) often gave as good as they got in many engagements with the USN and USAF.

The North Vietnamese airforce used three different modern Soviet fighters, having good success with each: MiG-17 Fresco, MiG-19 Farmer and the MiG-21 Fishbed.

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Who said they've stopped looking? Maybe the reporters have stopped looking...

I believe the U.S. was the one that said they are not looking. All the specialized teams tasked with the job are no longer in place.

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simply went to war on a material breach. This was the reason given to the UN when the US went to war.

The U.S. said that the Iraqis had the weapons and were a threat immediately. That was the reason they went to war.

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A mention should be made of the NVA leadership, as well. North Viet-Nam enjoyed the talents of one of the best generals in modern times, Vo Nguyen Giap. Without this fellow at the helm, it is hard to say if North Viet-Nam could have won this conflict. He served from the days of the French right through to the end. He changed the North Vietnamese Army from a Third World rabble to one of the most elite forces on the planet. Fellows like Westmoreland were unable to grasp the kind of war Giap was fighting.

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I believe the U.S. was the one that said they are not looking. All the specialized teams tasked with the job are no longer in place.

Indeed...but the reality on the ground is often different. My point is that the US (et al) is still aware of the existence of this stuff. If found, they're not going to ignore it. Due to its extremely deadly nature, I'd suggest nobody can truely afford to not keep the seach up as time and events permit. However, it has been suggested that this all vanished into Syria during the final bit of activity re: trucks crossing from Iraq. So perhaps it isn't even in-country.

If this VX precursor stuff made 'normal' nerve gas, I don't think they would or should bother. But since, in the hands of a terrorist group, VX would be capable of making any targeted city uninhabitable for the next century, we'd best keep our eyes open, just in case. The foolish thing to do would be to go...well, we found nothing therefore there is nothing. That's yea olde fallacy: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

(edit... re: an earlier post. The airbase the VC attacked was actually Bien Hoa near Saigon {top right} and it was the worst US aviation loss in one shot since WW2. I believe Robert McNamara was in Saigon at the time on one of his many fact-finding missions when the Viet-Cong attacked...the huge plumes of black smoke visible for miles. This event shocked him not only into action but also put the nagging thought in his head that this conflict was a BAD idea. His support for the war dropped quickly after the initial failure of Rolling Thunder. The USMC were dispatched to Da Nang to avoid a similar attack, however. These were the first 'official' combat troops into Viet-Nam. But, by 1965 there were already well over 20,000 'unofficial' US troops in South Viet-Nam providing military/civil assistance.)

Edited by DogOnPorch

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Indeed...but the reality on the ground is often different. My point is that the US (et al) is still aware of the existence of this stuff. If found, they're not going to ignore it. Due to its extremely deadly nature, I'd suggest nobody can truely afford to not keep the seach up as time and events permit. However, it has been suggested that this all vanished into Syria during the final bit of activity re: trucks crossing from Iraq. So perhaps it isn't even in-country.

Agreed...can't be ignored....if even as leftover artifacts of the Iran-Iraq War. Saddam liked to bury things in the sand, like his MiG-25's (photo at link)...

The discovery of the buried Iraqi jet fighters illustrates the problem faced by U.S. inspection teams searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is larger in size than California, and the massive deserts south and west of Baghdad were used by Saddam Hussein to hide weapons during the first Gulf war.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/f/foxbat.htm

Vietnam was even a greater hooch and tunnel nightmare....all the way down the Trail.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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The U.S. said that the Iraqis had the weapons and were a threat immediately. That was the reason they went to war.

To the UN, they acted on various material breaches, at home, they went to conduct regime change to get rid of what was considered by them an urgent threat. There were a lot more reasons of course that were the real reasons such as;

- to get Iraq to comply with ceasefire terms

- to stop Iraq’s Inadvertence to UNSC resolutions

- to force Iraq to cease it’s violation of human rights

- to stop Iraq’s material breaches of UNSC resolutions

- to end Iraq’s WMD capability and aspirations

- to end repression of Iraq’s civilian population

- to force Iraq to return or cooperate in accounting for Kuwaiti and third country nationals

- to force Iraq to return Kuwaiti property wrongfully seized by Iraq,

- to end Iraqi Support for terrorism

- to show America has the will to help allies and destroy foes

- to depose a regional threat take in Saddam that would have to be dealt with sooner or later

- to force action from SA to take care of it's radicals

- to pressure other regimes in the area not to provide passive or active support to Jihadists

- to position US troops in the region in force to enable that pressure

- to aid their global and NATO mission by having another Air Support base in the region

- to support and help create an Arab democracy as an example to others .

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To the UN, they acted on various material breaches, at home, they went to conduct regime change to get rid of what was considered by them an urgent threat. There were a lot more reasons of course that were the real reasons such as;

I know the litany of reasons. However, the Bush administration pressed the urgency of the need to act immediately and produced intelligence that was inaccurate.

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I know the litany of reasons. However, the Bush administration pressed the urgency of the need to act immediately and produced intelligence that was inaccurate.

Not so urgent.....it dragged on for at least six months, if only to get forces in position. Saddam's "peaceful" capitulation was presented by the UAE and others as an option but he declined. WMD's were only a pretext.

The longstanding objective (long before Dubya) was to remove Saddam's regime.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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I know the litany of reasons. However, the Bush administration pressed the urgency of the need to act immediately and produced intelligence that was inaccurate.

And your point is............?

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And your point is............?

That the American people felt they were sold of bill of goods in regards to the war. The weapons issue was a pretext to remove Saddam in the hope they could improve the situation. Well, what they got was the quagmire that Dick Cheney had warned about years before.

And the jury is out on whether Iraq will be a safe place from here on in. The U.S. military is already concerned about the spike in violence.

Edited by jdobbin

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....And the jury is out on whether Iraq will be a safe place from here on in. The U.S. military is already concerned about the spike in violence.

Can't be much worse than before for Shiites and Kurds.

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That the American people felt they were sold of bill of goods in regards to the war.

They weren't sold a bill of goods. In fact, they had no choice n the matter as the US is a Democratic Republic meaning they vote in their reps and then they hang on for the ride. Regime change in Iraq had been US policy since the Clinton era so this was simply a continuation of it.

The weapons issue was a pretext to remove Saddam in the hope they could improve the situation. Well, what they got was the quagmire that Dick Cheney had warned about years before.

There was a lot of strategic reasons for the action, all of them were successful. The few that had to do with Iraq directly were, for the most part, successful as well. The quagmire is another twenty five million people and the hundreds of millions of their descendants who are free.

And the jury is out on whether Iraq will be a safe place from here on in. The U.S. military is already concerned about the spike in violence.

Better call Obama on that one. He is the one who now calls the shots on whether to to continue or discontinue the paint by numbers policy laid out for him.

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They weren't sold a bill of goods. In fact, they had no choice n the matter as the US is a Democratic Republic meaning they vote in their reps and then they hang on for the ride. Regime change in Iraq had been US policy since the Clinton era so this was simply a continuation of it.

You can say what you want but a majority of Americans according to numerous polls believe they were deceived about the war.

There was a lot of strategic reasons for the action, all of them were successful. The few that had to do with Iraq directly were, for the most part, successful as well. The quagmire is another twenty five million people and the hundreds of millions of their descendants who are free.

That remains to be seen. At the moment, it looks like things are sliding again. This was the danger of going in in the first place. Once in, hard to ever get out and always a target while you're there.

Better call Obama on that one. He is the one who now calls the shots on whether to to continue or discontinue the paint by numbers policy laid out for him.

I realize that that many on the right believe the U.S. should stay there with a full force pretty much forever but politically, it is a no go zone. There is a reason why Republicans lost big in the last election. Part of it was the fear of a continuation of Bush policies on Iraq.

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You can say what you want but a majority of Americans according to numerous polls believe they were deceived about the war.

Not saying anything, just giving you the rational for the invasion. With at least a dozen reasons, Bush did what any leader does when he brings an action forth to the people, picks one that will work best. He chose WMDs. If he began to spell out Qutbism for the masses, it would have put them to sleep after fifteen minutes and would not even have gotten past the beliefs to how they are a threat.

That remains to be seen. At the moment, it looks like things are sliding again. This was the danger of going in in the first place. Once in, hard to ever get out and always a target while you're there.

The danger of not being there was watching Saudi Arabia turn out Qutbist Jihadists like a Pez Dispenser. That problem has been brought under control thanks to the Iraq action.

I realize that that many on the right believe the U.S. should stay there with a full force pretty much forever but politically, it is a no go zone. There is a reason why Republicans lost big in the last election. Part of it was the fear of a continuation of Bush policies on Iraq.

Can you name any that believe that? Forever is a long time.

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Not saying anything, just giving you the rational for the invasion. With at least a dozen reasons, Bush did what any leader does when he brings an action forth to the people, picks one that will work best. He chose WMDs. If he began to spell out Qutbism for the masses, it would have put them to sleep after fifteen minutes and would not even have gotten past the beliefs to how they are a threat.

And because of his choice Americans believe they were sold a bill of goods according to the polls and their election choice.

The danger of not being there was watching Saudi Arabia turn out Qutbist Jihadists like a Pez Dispenser. That problem has been brought under control thanks to the Iraq action.

That remains to be seen as well.

Can you name any that believe that? Forever is a long time.

McCain seemed to believe that.

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...McCain seemed to believe that.

Good bet....the USA still maintains bases in Germany, Japan, and South Korea...after more than 50 years.

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And because of his choice Americans believe they were sold a bill of goods according to the polls and their election choice.

Edited to add: I would agree but then, Bush was a terrible communicator so part of that is many did not understand the entire problem and underlying reasons for many actions.

That remains to be seen as well.

The invasion certainly got the Royals to stop sitting on their hands and participate for a change.

McCain seemed to believe that.

I'd like to have a quote that shows that as the only one I have seen is one in which he speaks of a US presence there similar to the US presence in South Korea or Germany.

"Maybe 100," McCain replied. "As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day."
Edited by KrustyKidd

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