The Vietnam War - 2017

#41
All three of them avoided the draft? Kin gaylords. Mind you, says a lot about the american people voting in cowards as their leaders.....
Vietnam was a very polarising issue for the Americans.
It was not an existential threat like World War 2, or even a UN approved war like Korea. It was a war of choice for the Americans, but with no clear objectives or end in view.
Those with the means could and did arrange their lives to avoid the draft- often with the connivance of their local medics.
Those without means, the poor, and uneducated, tended to get swept up, whatever their colour.

Clinton got an educational deferment, Bush served in the National Guard, (and the Americans do make more use of NG than we do), but Trump simply lied.
(No surprise there).
 
#42
What a cruckid bastard Nixon was
Kennedy actually - but being dead seemed to get him a "free pass" on 'getting American involved on the ground in the Vietnam war' thing - Bay of Pigs anyone?
 
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#43
Interesting US involvement kicked off under Harry Truman bolstering France with Dollers and US equipment leading to US Techs trying to help the Frogs
 
#44
Vietnam was a very polarising issue for the Americans.
It was not an existential threat like World War 2, or even a UN approved war like Korea. It was a war of choice for the Americans, but with no clear objectives or end in view.
Those with the means could and did arrange their lives to avoid the draft- often with the connivance of their local medics.
Those without means, the poor, and uneducated, tended to get swept up, whatever their colour.

Clinton got an educational deferment, Bush served in the National Guard, (and the Americans do make more use of NG than we do), but Trump simply lied.
(No surprise there).
On very scant research (4 sites) about Donny not getting drafted it appears that 1 - He got educational deferments (same as Billy boy) 2 - High lottery number (?) well, I have won about £100 in total in all the time the lottery has been going. My numbers just never came up. Hang on, just like Donny and 3 - medical reasons which were out of his control and so would have been the quack that lied*
I am in no way either a fan of or a detractor of Donny. He is only the pres of america and as such, is no more or less important to me than the woman who works on the checkout at Sainsburys.


*I am not sure if a quack was ever done for taking bribes
 
#45
Interesting US involvement kicked off under Harry Truman bolstering France with Dollers and US equipment leading to US Techs trying to help the Frogs
Well, it was Woodrow Wilson if you take it back to when he was trying to broker 'peace' with the French.....


Which was ironic
 
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RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#46
All three of them avoided the draft? Kin gaylords. Mind you, says a lot about the american people voting in cowards as their leaders.....
To be fair the American conscription model of a draft (a foundation of over 4,000 local draft boards, which contrast to the universal military service in force in most European nations, the boards selected only as many men as required by the armed services, chiefly the Army. The director, General Hershey, portrayed them as gatherings of neighbours decideding whose lad would go and whose would stay behind), enacted by the Selective Service System had by the early 1960s become a social tool to 'channel' youth into nationally prioritised pursuits by awarding of draft deferments, i.e. College degrees for those who were academically, or reserved occupations such as teaching on in the defence industry.

The supposed 'Best and Brightest' were by design channeled into academic and civil service paths that were exempt from the draft. It's no wonder then that the majority of that generation's political class did not serve in the Armed Forces. The exceptions seem to prove the rule (Senators McCain, both Kerrys, etc.) as they were overwhelmingly volunteers, officers and often academy graduates.

The Baskir & Strauss study is probably the go-to reference on the Viet Nam era draft, but there is plenty of other more laymen stuff out there too, including some colourful anecdotal accounts. An article on the Draft in Life magazine from Aug 1965 has a revealing interview Hershey where he talks about channeling:
Life Magazine - The Draft
 
#47
Personally I'd have liked to see a rule "Dodged service - no Presidency" for those of the right age. Can't be Commander-in-Chief if you're too chicken-shit to take your chances with the rest

So no Billy, no Donny and George W looking iffy
 
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#49
Ah, playing to the crowd. Forgive me if I am wrong. but wasn't Vietnam over by the time Clinton, Bush and Trump became president?
Clinton used his educational deferment to avoid being drafted including his time as a Rhodes Scholar, similarly, Bush Jr. managed to get a slot in the Texas Air NG and avoid being drafted. I haven't checked Trump but I'm going to guess an educational deferment as well. For those interested in the social-economic disparities in the draft and racial overtones, Google "McNamara's 100,000", the lowering of standards to an absurd level to draft cannon fodder.

Edit to add: And as for being medically disqualified, William Calley of My Lai infamy was originally class as 4F, unfit for military service until the standards were lowered and he was re-classed 1A and was deemed eligible.
 
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#51
Clinton used his educational deferment to avoid being drafted including his time as a Rhodes Scholar, similarly, Bush Jr. managed to get a slot in the Texas Air NG and avoid being drafted. I haven't checked Trump but I'm going to guess an educational deferment as well. For those interested in the social-economic disparities in the draft and racial overtones, Google "McNamara's 100,000", the lowering of standards to an absurd level to draft cannon fodder.

Edit to add: And as for being medically disqualified, William Calley of My Lai infamy was originally class as 4F, unfit for military service until the standards were lowered and he was re-classed 1A and was deemed eligible.
But these deferrals were legal and above board at the time? I am not being argumentative, I just wasn't there, am not american, and don't fully understand. Standards being lowered on what grounds? I have served with blokes that are/were illiterate....
 
#52
BStandards being lowered on what grounds? I have served with blokes that are/were illiterate....
Many were medical 'upgrades'.
But, as Nomad points out: Project 100,000 soldiers included those unable to speak English, of low mental aptitude, with minor physical impairments, as well as those who were slightly overweight or underweight, among other categories.
Effectively, if you could see lightning and hear thunder, you were draft-bait.
In my time, SADF, there were some guys who were so dumb it amazed me they'd survived to late teens.
Good for 'moving unbreakable objects over level ground under supervision
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#53
And as for being medically disqualified, William Calley of My Lai infamy was originally class as 4F, unfit for military service until the standards were lowered and he was re-classed 1A and was deemed eligible.
Do you have a source for that? As far as I am aware, Calley was reclassified after dropping out of college, he then enlisted and (in a criminal response to desperate manning pressures) selected for and passed through Officer Candidate School (OCS).

There were some famous reclassifications under the Project 100,000 scheme, which among other things lowered the threshold down to include men who scored as Category IV in the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AQT). This effectively meant the 10-30% scoring group (Cat V is the lowest). Cassius Clay (as was then) was probably the most famous, having been initially classified as 1-Y only to be re-classified as 1-A some years later as draft calls increased.

1-Y by the way was a classification that fell short of 4-F as a temporary deferment that disqualified men for mental/academic/physical shortcomings unless needed in a national emergency or in the event that they improved. It was a classification that Draft Boards used fairly liberally (apparently it avoided the 'stigma' of 4-F) until it was abolished in 1971.

Project 100,000 wasn't the only time that 'substandard' recruits were inducted into the US Armed Forces. During WW2 for example, illiterate recruits were still inducted, but subjected to remedial education. Project 100,000 men were supposed to marked for special training also, but there is little evidence that they actually did.

But these deferrals were legal and above board at the time? I am not being argumentative, I just wasn't there, am not american, and don't fully understand. Standards being lowered on what grounds? I have served with blokes that are/were illiterate....
Yes they were. As I wrote earlier, they were in effect, just doing what was expected of them at the time. Times changed though and in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a rush of baby-boomer politician types joining the Reserves and NG as a means to claim some military service. Gary Hart (he of the 'Monkey Business') was probably the most famous case , commissioning as he did as a USNR JAG lawyer.
 
#55
Yes they were. As I wrote earlier, they were in effect, just doing what was expected of them at the time. Times changed though and in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a rush of baby-boomer politician types joining the Reserves and NG as a means to claim some military service. Gary Hart (he of the 'Monkey Business') was probably the most famous case , commissioning as he did as a USNR JAG lawyer.
So is it a case of people being judged by 2018 standards for things done in the 60s and 70s do you think?
 
#56
What I've always missed in any filum or documentary about the Vietnam War is that it was kicked off, controlled and sustained by the CIA.

The author L. Fletcher Prouty describes in great detail how that came about in his excellent book: "The Secret Team - The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World". It's a real eye-opener for those who still believe that the US Army, Marines or Air Force were the ones in charge.

MsG
It really is lucky for us that you 'know stuff' isn't it. You should be confined to posting in the Hole.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#57
So is it a case of people being judged by 2018 standards for things done in the 60s and 70s do you think?
Well to some degree, possibly. In part because the United States buys heavily into the myth of egalitarianism of youth. In other part though, that era was simply an exceptional time. The generation that came of age and in large part manned the Viet Nam conflict, was a huge 'baby boom' demographic. How do you choose who serves when not all need to serve? Even with the institution of the lottery system in 1969, the plethora of deferments and exemptions remained extant.

The trend tended to shift the other way in the early 1980s, at first in Republican circles, where military service had always held a certain caché. Increasingly amongst the Left too, where the Viet Nam War was always regarded at best as a grave mistake, the act of having gained an exemption was acknowledged as tantamount to have sent some other man (statistically less well off) in your place. Hence the angst over Clinton's twisting and turning over how he managed to stay out of the service.

Comparisons have habitually been made to the American Civil War, where both sides allowed men to 'buy substitutes' to serve in their place. Grover Cleveland famously purchased the services of a Polish immigrant for a $150 to serve in his place. As with Clinton, it obviously didn't impact on his future political career.
 
#58
Comparisons have habitually been made to the American Civil War, where both sides allowed men to 'buy substitutes' to serve in their place. Grover Cleveland famously purchased the services of a Polish immigrant for a $150 to serve in his place. As with Clinton, it obviously didn't impact on his future political career.
I have heard that there was a lottery for serving in the civil war too, wasn't there? I imagine that there were some corrupt shenanigans going on then too, albeit less easily proven or accountable. Didn't a whole bunch of Irish immigrants get taken off their boats as they arrived, issued uniforms, and sent off to fight?

Maybe they should have done that here! Hahahaha
 
#59
]
So is it a case of people being judged by 2018 standards for things done in the 60s and 70s do you think?
There is a saying "The past is like a foreign country. They do things differently there ".
Projecting our values backwards is easy to do, but not usually very valuable.

The only things you can learn from history are to try and understand WHY people did the things that way.

Evasion of military service is probably the norm. During the Napoleonic wars we were pressing/enslaving sailors, and paying someone to serve was quite common in earlier times.

My main concern over Trump's educational deferments is that he still writes and thinks like an 8 year old.
Clearly it didn't stick.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#60
I have heard that there was a lottery for serving in the civil war too, wasn't there? I imagine that there were some corrupt shenanigans going on then too, albeit less easily proven or accountable. Didn't a whole bunch of Irish immigrants get taken off their boats as they arrived, issued uniforms, and sent off to fight?

Maybe they should have done that here! Hahahaha
Each State was given a quota of men to produce and as of 1863 they made up the shortfall by conscription. Most districts used a ballot by drawing names from a drum. Such was the paranoia that there have been accounts of blind men being used to draw the lots, who were still blindfolded despite their disability.

The Union side made extensive use of substitutes ($150 per man) and commutations ($300), which led to the fairly accurate charge that the draft was more effective at raising funds for the Army than actual soldiers. There was widespread resentment at what was decried as a 'rich man's war, but a poor man's fight'. Recent Irish immigrants were most noticeably enraged by this as the 'Copperhead Riots' showed. There were a couple of reasons for this. The Irish, speaking English, were easily enrolled as citizens by the Tammany Hall political machine in New York to get them voting. This however obliged them to register for the draft, unlike blacks who weren't viewed as citizens in many districts. And unlike rich whites, they weren't able to buy their way out.

The Confederacy, whilst also employing substitutes also had a who class of exemptions especially for those working on plantations. There was an exemption for overseers, nicknamed the "twenty-n***er law" that allowed a plantation owner to retain one white overseer for every twenty slaves.
 

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