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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 2:06 pm 
To bring the discussion around again to the legacy of Kissinger, it seems that the US paranoia (for decades) re Communism during the Cold War was responsible for all kinds of reprehensible behavior abroad, including our own hemisphere, probably brought on by what went on in Cuba. So we over-reacted and CIA ops abounded everywhere in support of various dictators who horribly abused their citizens, but it was OK with us b/c at least they weren't communists. The assassination of Allende in Chile and the US supported regime of General Pinochet which took its place is perhaps the most well known. It's a miracle that today Chile is one of the most stable countries in SA. I remember hearing, years ago, that Ho Chi Minh was originally a great admirer of American democratic ideals. I had to look that one up. Sure enough. He wrote in the 1945 Declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam:
Quote:
All people are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of the French Revolution made in 1791 also states: All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights. Those are undeniable truths.
When Hồ Chí Minh became Chairman of the Provisional Government (Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and issued that proclamation, he repeatedly petitioned President Harry S. Truman for support for Vietnamese independence, citing the Atlantic Charter, but Truman never responded. That was probably our first big mistake over there. (See Wikipedia HCM bio.)

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood

Ski
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Snowshovel
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 4:02 pm 
Our support of independence and the Atlantic Charter failed in light of the Warsaw pact

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catsp
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 7:59 pm 
Ski wrote:
It serves little purpose to debate the merits of Vietnam in 2023. Most people have their minds made up - the rest are completely clueless because they're not old enough to have lived through it.
I don't believe one must live through something before having any grounds for discussing it or having legitimate opinions. (In some instances an "outsider" might even have a better overall perspective.) In any event, I made no attempt to debate the merits of Vietnam. I simply noted two things: (i) whether the US had good reason to be involved in Vietnam in the first place is different from concerns over the tactics the US used in pursuing its interests; (ii) the average young American at the time was likely no better informed (IMO) than young people are today. I agree to disagree with those who disagree. up.gif The second post spoke to comments by those who were fortunate enough to not have served in Vietnam. Some weren't called, some found ways to avoid it. I offered "no opinion on [who was] on the right side of history ...." But in my opinion, backed by little more than my opinion, many people just didn't want to be involved in the nastiness of war (which, let's be fair, makes eminently good sense), and the questionable manner in which the US was pursuing its claimed interests provided a convenient justification. I'm speaking generally of course, not to anyone in particular.
Ski wrote:
On September 12, 2001, I called the local recruiting office and asked if there might be any opportunities to serve. I was told I was too old.
I'll take "Performative Performances" for $200, Alex. wink.gif

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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 7:16 am 
catsp wrote:
I simply noted two things: (i) whether the US had good reason to be involved in Vietnam in the first place is different from concerns over the tactics the US used in pursuing its interests; (ii) the average young American at the time was likely no better informed (IMO) than young people are today.
No, we had absolutely no reason to be there. Originally it was to help out the French, who were getting their asses kicked over there. The average young American of draft age in 1965 was every bit as well informed as the average American of draft age in the current era. Probably more, as our pubic educational system has managed to completely fail the American public over the course of the last 60 years. If you weren't there, there is no way you can read books and be able to smell the aroma of a simmering America in 1969. We didn't have cell phones. Or computers. Just the color footage that aired on the five o'clock news every night:
catsp wrote:
I'll take "Performative Performances" for $200, Alex.
Not really sure what your intent was with that comment, but since you brought it up: The recruiting agent who answered the phone that morning was happy, cheerful, receptive, polite, professional, and thanked me profusely for calling, and noted that I was but one of hundreds of old men who were calling him that morning. On December 8, 1941, my father drove down to the recruiting office and tried to re-enlist, but because he had lost his hearing on a Marine Corps gunboat off the coast of Panama in 1928, he was told he was too old and his hearing impairment would have disqualified him even had he been younger. When he told me that story about that part of his life he noted that he stood in line with a lot of other guys his age. after hitting "submit"... I had to come back to add: If you want to raise questions about my personal motivations, be up front about it. Show your cards. Smart-mouth crap doesn't go over well with me these days for some reason. Maybe that's just me.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

graywolf, Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 9:48 am 
I supported the original intervention in Afghanistan which overthrew the Taliban. I never supported the attempts to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq and turn them into capitalistic republics. Attempting to “win the hearts and minds” of people you are bombing are doomed to failure. In Southeast Asia Vietnam and Cambodia while officially Communist Republics are in actuality Lazie Fair Capitalistic kleptocracies dominated by Chinese oligarchs. People there tell me Chinese are buying up large parcels of real estate and displacing long time residents. This is true for most of Asia. After Pol Pat any change is an improvement, I guess. Neither is a “workers paradise” or a Stalinist nightmare.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 9:49 am 
The word "understand", by definition, means "to know by having experienced the same oneself." There is no way you could "understand" what America was like during the Vietnam era if you werent' there. Any more than I could "understand" what it was like for my 91-year-old mother living through the depression and World War II, and having to stand in line with her ration stamps so she could buy a roll of toilet paper when she was 10 years old. Any more than I could understand what it's like for a woman experiencing pregnancy. Or are you one of those people who's going to maintain you can learn how to fish by reading books?

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 10:20 am 
feel free to tell us all again how poorly informed we were....

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 11:32 am 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Neither is a “workers paradise”
To be fair, nether is Amazon.

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Snowshovel
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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 12:29 pm 
And neither have a hot ex-wife like Mackenzie

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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Dec 10, 2023 3:17 pm 
I think Tom would agree that this unexpectedly long thread has finally "jumped the shark", as they say. Thanks to all who have kept it civil (mostly) for so long.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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