Insight into the Sad Background of the US Entry into the Vietnam War.

Ho was at heart a nationalist driven further to the left by the extingencies of constant war. If you're country gets more bombs dropped on it than the USAAF dropped in all of WWII, it tends to colour your views.
By the standards of most regimes, Ho's was a fairly light touch and certainly far better to his people than many of the Wests 'non commie' clients states.

The Americans, and the French, have been hugely keen to rewrite Ho as the arch bogeyman since 1945 for three very basic reasons.

The Americans were too stupid to realise that Ho was fundamentally a nationalist and they were being played for suckers by the French.

The French lost and have been spitting their collective dummy out since Dien Bin Phu

The Americans were too stupid to see the fundamental animosity between Vietnam and China that had existed for millennia and could have been played to mould Vietnam as a bulwark against Communist China.


American policy towards Vietnam since 1945 could be be described as, if in doubt, always take the dumbest course of action.

The Vietnam War(s) were completely avoidable, all it needed was a grown up who wasn't terrified of the 'C' word.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
Ho was at heart a nationalist driven further to the left by the extingencies of constant war. If you're country gets more bombs dropped on it than the USAAF dropped in all of WWII, it tends to colour your views.
By the standards of most regimes, Ho's was a fairly light touch and certainly far better to his people than many of the Wests 'non commie' clients states.

The Americans, and the French, have been hugely keen to rewrite Ho as the arch bogeyman since 1945 for three very basic reasons.

The Americans were too stupid to realise that Ho was fundamentally a nationalist and they were being played for suckers by the French.

The French lost and have been spitting their collective dummy out since Dien Bin Phu

The Americans were too stupid to see the fundamental animosity between Vietnam and China that had existed for millennia and could have been played to mould Vietnam as a bulwark against Communist China.


American policy towards Vietnam since 1945 could be be described as, if in doubt, always take the dumbest course of action.

You might want to read up on Ho's activities with the COMINTERN in the 1920's as well as the purges of Nationalists and Trotskyists in the 1940's which long predated the American war. A good place to start would be 'Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years, 1919-1941' by Sophie Quinn-Judge. She details the accepted Leninist strategy of subsuming Revolutionary Socialism to National Liberation and how the COMINTERN became uneasy about this in the early 1930's with the rise of fascism. There were numerous purges in Moscow of foreign nationalist leaders and students especially in 1934, and although Ho probably came under suspicion of being a Nationalist (rather than Marxist Leninist) he survived the cut.
 
Ho was at heart a nationalist driven further to the left by the extingencies of constant war. If you're country gets more bombs dropped on it than the USAAF dropped in all of WWII, it tends to colour your views.
By the standards of most regimes, Ho's was a fairly light touch and certainly far better to his people than many of the Wests 'non commie' clients states.

The Americans, and the French, have been hugely keen to rewrite Ho as the arch bogeyman since 1945 for three very basic reasons.

The Americans were too stupid to realise that Ho was fundamentally a nationalist and they were being played for suckers by the French.

The French lost and have been spitting their collective dummy out since Dien Bin Phu

The Americans were too stupid to see the fundamental animosity between Vietnam and China that had existed for millennia and could have been played to mould Vietnam as a bulwark against Communist China.


American policy towards Vietnam since 1945 could be be described as, if in doubt, always take the dumbest course of action.

The Vietnam War(s) were completely avoidable, all it needed was a grown up who wasn't terrified of the 'C' word.

There were valid reasons for fearing the C word.

That's why there aren't so many 'C' countries around anymore, and why those that once were, are at least three generations behind the rest in terms of human development.

Your profound ignorance of the history of the region is only exceeded by your knee jerk Anti-Americanism. There are valid criticisms of US policy in SEA, but you haven't made any of them.

Would you like to explain how a team of 7 OSS agents parachuted in to Tonkin, a week and half before the big one went of in Hiroshima, constitutes an alliance, as you claim?

Can you explain how d'Argenlieau's granting of Independence to Cochin China, (which predated the Independence of India) fundamentally differed from the Independence granted by the British to Malaya?

Can you explain Sir Stafford Cripp's role in the release of HCM from a Hong Kong jail in 1931?

How do those three events tally with anything you have posted on this topic thus far?

Best regards

Mick
 

Tool

LE
I once read a book, "The 10,000-day war" by Mike McClear. Didn't realise it was a Cannuck TV documentary as well. Does anyone have critique - positive ro neagtive - on the book and/or series?
 
FYI JJH.

The date 1965 as the 'beginning' of the war is somewhat historically ropey too.

You are aware that Marines were in combat with the Viet Cong prior to the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

June 1964 - Tiger Tooth Mountain.

I am aware of pre-65 history. Obviously I was severely abbreviating a complex subject--it is generally accepted that 1965 marked the shift to regular combat operations.
 
Giap beat the French, and then the Yanks, get over it, the smarter guys won and the losers have been doing their very best for half a century to rubbish the winning team. Can't say as how I blame them, must be bloody embarrassing to lose hands down to a bloke with just a pair of black jammmies, an AK and unshakable belief in the justness of his cause.

Given a choice of Uncle Ho or say the preferred US regional puppet Chiang Kai Shek, it's Uncle Ho all day long.
 
I once read a book, "The 10,000-day war" by Mike McClear. Didn't realise it was a Cannuck TV documentary as well. Does anyone have critique - positive ro neagtive - on the book and/or series?

I finished reading it a month or so back.

I found it to be OK facts-wise unless there was an opportunity to place a left of centre political slant on matters.
It was a LOT nicer to LBJ than he deserved & paid scant respect to Nixon's pursuit of a political settlement.
Needless to say; the control commission received little in the way of criticism.
 
Giap beat the French, and then the Yanks, get over it, the smarter guys won and the losers have been doing their very best for half a century to rubbish the winning team. Can't say as how I blame them, must be bloody embarrassing to lose hands down to a bloke with just a pair of black jammmies, an AK and unshakable belief in the justness of his cause.

Given a choice of Uncle Ho or say the preferred US regional puppet Chiang Kai Shek, it's Uncle Ho all day long.

Giap didn't beat the Americans; their military had left before the 1975 invasion.
In fact he was beaten every time he attempted to take them on, with Tet being a spectacular failure of both strategy & intelligence.
If you think the NV leadership were any less cruel than Chiang towards those who failed to fully support them, then you are delusional.
The biggest mistake the US made once they became involved, was in tacitly supporting the overthrow of Diem, which led to multiple coups & leadership changes when stability was of the essence.
 

Oyibo

LE
Giap beat the French, and then the Yanks, get over it, the smarter guys won and the losers have been doing their very best for half a century to rubbish the winning team. Can't say as how I blame them, must be bloody embarrassing to lose hands down to a bloke with just a pair of black jammmies, an AK and unshakable belief in the justness of his cause.

Given a choice of Uncle Ho or say the preferred US regional puppet Chiang Kai Shek, it's Uncle Ho all day long.

As long as you weren't a Vietnamese citizen living in Hue when the North moved in.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Sunno seems to be one of what Lenin called the 'useful idiots' - blind to how Communism is essentially evil and gullible enough to swallow its deliberate disinformation. Unless of course he is actually a Commie propagandist himself.
 
As long as you weren't a Vietnamese citizen living in Hue when the North moved in.


And that of course justified the US killing between 2 and 4 million assorted Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians?

Stupid and unjustified war fought for a stupid and unjustifiable reasons by stupid politicians.
 
Giap didn't beat the Americans; their military had left before the 1975 invasion.
In fact he was beaten every time he attempted to take them on, with Tet being a spectacular failure of both strategy & intelligence.
If you think the NV leadership were any less cruel than Chiang towards those who failed to fully support them, then you are delusional.
The biggest mistake the US made once they became involved, was in tacitly supporting the overthrow of Diem, which led to multiple coups & leadership changes when stability was of the essence.

Common myth that Giap was the architect of the Tet Offensive. Giap was a critic of the Tet Offensive plan which he didn't plan.

The biggest mistake the Americans made was getting involved in an unwinnable and unnecessary war.
There was no 'domino theory' with Vietnam, the Vietnamese hate the Chinese with a vengeance and have for millennia, they were merely allies of convenience against the current superpower foe, and once they packed the French and then Americans off back home, took great pleasure in giving the Chinese a bloody nose when they poked it into their affairs.

And …"If you think the NV leadership were any less cruel than Chiang towards those who failed to fully support them…"

Hang on a mo, I thought 'commies R bad m'kay'? Now you're saying that the NV leadership were as bad as the non Commie but approved 'good guy' Chiang.

Well whats it to be? Support the 'bad commies' or just as bad 'good non commies'? You can be an utterly ruthless and murderous bastard as long as you worship at the alter of consumerism?

No wonder US policy in the region was a complete and utter disaster. Obviously they did believe the joke "We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out."

Total nett outcome of 25 years of war?

Vietnam reunited, 55,000 dead Americans, 2-4 million dead SE asians assorted, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos wrecked but now fully independent, the USA about a $1 Trillion out of pocket in todays money and for what?

Has SE Asia become a huge monolithic evil commie empire? Well oddly enough, no, and the US shenanigans in SEA had bugger all to do with that, although if they had carried through with their wartime policy of supporting decolonisation, (although oddly enough, they did ruthless press us on the case with our Empire while helping the French grab back their colonies), they could have ended up with this current end state in 1946 and spared everyone all the grief. And Chaings legacy still lives on in that great bastion of 'democracy', Taiwan.
 
You might want to read up on Ho's activities with the COMINTERN in the 1920's as well as the purges of Nationalists and Trotskyists in the 1940's which long predated the American war. A good place to start would be 'Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years, 1919-1941' by Sophie Quinn-Judge. She details the accepted Leninist strategy of subsuming Revolutionary Socialism to National Liberation and how the COMINTERN became uneasy about this in the early 1930's with the rise of fascism. There were numerous purges in Moscow of foreign nationalist leaders and students especially in 1934, and although Ho probably came under suspicion of being a Nationalist (rather than Marxist Leninist) he survived the cut.

Totally agree, Quinn Judge is the best place to start.

Quinn Judge's recent work completely validates Jean Lacoutre's 'Ho Chi Minh' first translated to English in 1967 and dismissed by the radical anti war left left, at that time, as a work of fiction.

Perhaps our friend Sunnoficarus with his vast knowledge of Indochinese history would care to explain HCM's great friendship with Jean Sainteny? Perhaps he could then explain who shot him and why.

Peter Dewey was the first American killed in what is now Vietnam. Perhaps an explanation of who killed him and precisely when would be enlightening.

Perhaps the resident expert can tell us more about Ngô Đình Khôi. Arguably Annam's most ardent non-communist nationalist. He was killed in 1945. He was buried alive into the ground up to his neck and then his head was then smashed in by a shovel. Everyone can guess why he was killed, perhaps old mate can tell us who killed him.

For a bonus ten points he can tell you whose brother he was.

For a bonus 50 points he can explain how in that confucian society, that familial relationship deprived post colonial Vietnam of a future President to rival Ho.

I won't hold my breath because he can't and even if he could he wouldn't.
 

alib

LE
...
What a waste of blood and treasure.
There is a school of reasoning that Vietnam was all just a smoke screen for LBJ's sweeping domestic programs, something to distract his opponents from matters he planned to deal with closer to home. Last time the US re-invented the republic to that extent it was proceded by an even dumber war and what they now reckon was three quarters of a million futile sacrifices.

Politically an area bombing campaign isn't at all the same as putting boots on the grounds and it's often forgotten that LBJ had very heavy public support, steadily up in the mid 70s, it only started to crumble with Tet and even after that their were surges of enthusiasm.

An escalation of any kind probably would still have led into a ground war like the one the French had just lost 70K men in, the whole Pentagon was poorly briefed and severely underestimated Uncle Ho's resilience, he had after all been fighting for decades at this point and fully expected that to continue for half a century.

And was the US intervention in Vietnam's civil war so bad? The US was somewhat humiliated but rapidly bounced back. Like the other small wars of the time it let some steam off in the dangerous pressure cooker of the Cold War. Proportionality US casualties were light compared with what the French had suffered. Sleekit Nixon used it all as opportunity to recognize China, the cornerstone of diplomatic victory in the Cold War and a vital element in America's wealthy escaping the burden of US labor.

Once again colored folks didn't actually get their forty acres and a Mule but Jim Crow was finally laid to rest and US seniors got their beloved Medicare and Social Security. The ensuing inane culture wars were largely won by the hairy pot smoking liberals, women surged ahead idiotically trying to have it all as did America's vigorous sodomites. Conservatives then trounced their foolishly distracted opponents in the more important economic sphere with Reagonomics and its great debt fueled pork factory. We then got to watch the USSR lose an almost equally misconceived war against another hyped up chimera, this time of Islamo-fascism in Afghanistan.
 

Oyibo

LE
And that of course justified the US killing between 2 and 4 million assorted Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians?

Stupid and unjustified war fought for a stupid and unjustifiable reasons by stupid politicians.

I didn't say it did. It was in response to your specious post about life being so much better under the North:

Given a choice of Uncle Ho or say the preferred US regional puppet Chiang Kai Shek, it's Uncle Ho all day long.
 
Common myth that Giap was the architect of the Tet Offensive. Giap was a critic of the Tet Offensive plan which he didn't plan.
.

You need to google research faster dude. Earlier in this thread you claimed "Giap beat the French, and then the Yanks, get over it, the smarter guys won."

Shattering your own myth in one thread is not a good look.

You've been asked some questions, have a crack at answering them.

For a bonus 100 points; can you name which Lao Dong Party Plenum it was, that Giap personally apologised for and took responsibility for the Nghe An massacre. A measure that saw the hero of Dien Bien Phu shuffled sideways.

On a postcard, why wasn't Giap, the hero of Dien Bien Phu and master strategist, the architect of Tet?

Please feel free to add as much detail as you like regarding the peasant revolt in HCM's home Province as you like.






 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
must be bloody embarrassing to lose hands down to a bloke with just a pair of black jammmies, an AK and unshakable belief in the justness of his cause.

Given a choice of Uncle Ho or say the preferred US regional puppet Chiang Kai Shek, it's Uncle Ho all day long.

Two things to this. Firstly the description above is both a gross caricature of and disservice to the Communist Vietnamese fighting man, who whatever one may feel about his cause, was moderately well-supplied, mostly very well trained and superbly disciplined soldier. The Asian minuteman stereotype really only applied to those that the Americans termed as Viet Cong Irregulars.

Secondly, Chiang Kai Shek was anything but a US puppet. Relations remained strained right into the 1960's and indeed Chiang always tilted more towards the Soviets until the end of the 1940's.

Back on thread, the quote by JJH showed a level of distrust between the civilian leadership at the White House and the Joint Chiefs. Could this itself have been a legacy of the Cuban Missile Crisis? On that occasion many felt that the military advice (mostly from Le May) to launch a preemptive strike against Cuba was wholly unsound and you can imagine that many people came away from that thinking that the Chiefs needed to be kept on a leash before they took the world into WW3.
 
I'm just astounded that there are some on this thread who hadn't heard of the 'Domino Theory' - do they teach history in schools these days?

My Bn sailed from Hong Kong to Singapore in '65 to attend JWS in Malaya prior to operations in Borneo, en-route we were discussing the increasing US involvement in Vietnam when it was announced we were heading there! Imagine our surprise? Fortunately it was only to medevac a Chinese sailor!
 
Dear Me! So, the plan was to bomb a capital city - Hanoi - and then mine and blockade the ports.

No wonder LBJ had a fit! Just take the blockade, what a bloody stupid idea. What was going to happen when the first Russian or Chinese ship was sent along, at a moment of their choosing, to break the blockade - were you going to sink it, seize it or wave it through?

And what do you think would have happened next?

Do you think that bombing Hanoi and promising to continue causing mass civilian casualties until they bent to your will was an acceptable way of carrying out international policy?

How would you have felt if the Russians and Chinese used the same tactic in all the other proxy wars that were going on during that era?

I think LBJ should have sacked the lot of them - or had them shot for conspiring to cause WW3.
 
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