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Was Vietnam an American victory?

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  • Was Vietnam an American victory?

    Lee Kuan Yew:
    ÖThe conventional wisdom in the media now is that the war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. Conventional wisdom in the 1970s assumed that the war in Vietnam was similarly an unmitigated disaster. It has been proved wrong. It bought the time and created the conditions that enabled non-communist East Asia to follow Japanís path and develop into the four dragons (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore), followed by the four tigers (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines). Time brought about the split between the Soviet Union and China, and that led to China attacking Vietnam when it attacked Cambodia and thus broke the domino effect of communist victory in Vietnam. The four dragons and four tigers in turn changed both communist China and Vietnam into open market economies and made them freer societies. If the unexpected developments of war in Iraq are addressed in a resolute, not a defeatist manner, conventional wisdom, now pessimistic, will again be proved wrong. A stabilised Iraq, less repressive, with its different ethnic and religious communities accepting each other in some devoluted framework, can be a liberating influence in the Middle East.
    Thoughts?
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

  • #2
    Ironduke Reply

    Our secret weapon remains Elvis, Mickey Mouse, and Madison Ave.

    We lose engineered information battles and yet always are winning the advertising wars in the most insidious ways- from eastern Europeans seeking Levis and bootleg albums of the Rolling Stones in the seventies to now.

    Why not? Mr. Yew sees the economic miracle of Asia through an empirical lens of tangible progress and measurable data. We don't seem to know how, when and where we plant the seeds, but they take hold more often than not.

    America has had an amazing and often under-recognized and appreciated impact upon the world.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

    Comment


    • #3
      The Sino-Soviet Rift had a lot to do with it ... and we did not engineer that one.

      Comment


      • #4
        OoE Reply

        "The Sino-Soviet Rift had a lot to do with it ... and we did not engineer that one."

        Colonel,

        Don't mis-understand me, sir. That "Rift" just might be among the top five security/defense/political events of the 20th Century.

        Colonel, there's this remarkable confluence of forces occurring in the sixties-seventies which I'm certain is still impossible to understand at all, much less in detail.

        You mentioned one of them. I believe that the rise of television and advertising as mediums and messages were another. There are a few more as well.

        Fascinating stuff for historians in the next century.
        "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
        "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

        Comment


        • #5
          and that led to China attacking Vietnam when it attacked Cambodia and thus broke the domino effect of communist victory in Vietnam
          OOE you owe me a beer from a few years back when we had that talk about China invading over Cambodia - I don't drink Canadian beer either .
          To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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          • #6
            Are you man enough to take Chocolate Milk?

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            • #7
              Not a victory, but not the massive defeat many think it was. As Arnold Rimmer put it in Red Dwarf, "no-score draw".

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              • #8
                Jello,...

                Maybe, we should look at this as what good came from a bad situation.

                We lost Vietnam.


                However, that is not to say we(U.S.A.) should not have gone in, or even knowing what we know now, we still should have gone in. ( I feel the same about Iraq without making any comparison)

                Some measurable good came from our intervention in Vietnam a few reason were mentioned above. Other reasons are more intangible and much less well recieved, such as fighting the good fight.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by S-2 View Post
                  Our secret weapon remains Elvis, Mickey Mouse, and Madison Ave.

                  We lose engineered information battles and yet always are winning the advertising wars in the most insidious ways- from eastern Europeans seeking Levis and bootleg albums of the Rolling Stones in the seventies to now.

                  Why not? Mr. Yew sees the economic miracle of Asia through an empirical lens of tangible progress and measurable data. We don't seem to know how, when and where we plant the seeds, but they take hold more often than not.

                  America has had an amazing and often under-recognized and appreciated impact upon the world.
                  I think the world often misunderestimate :P the impact of American culture. People laugh at the US as a culture wasteland yet we influence the world like no other culture can.:)) Coca Cola, Baywatch, McDonald's contributed just as much to halting communism as NATO, Boeing, and Aegis.
                  "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    gunnut Reply

                    "Coca Cola, Baywatch, McDonald's contributed just as much to halting communism as NATO, Boeing, and Aegis."

                    A billion pissed-off teeny-boppers is no laughing matter to the cash register.
                    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jello,...

                      S-2, I Agree with you.

                      I would even go one step further and state that our armed forces and their proficiency is only an outcome of our understanding of capitalism and its utilization

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                        The Sino-Soviet Rift had a lot to do with it ... and we did not engineer that one.
                        But Nixon and Kissinger were smart enough to make use of it.

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                        • #13
                          Z,

                          That's the popular opinion but what was the real result? We still lost Vietnam.

                          It was not until Deng Xia Peng to win his civil war against the Gang of Four that we've really actually turn China to our side in practical terms. That time period was Jimmy Carter.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                            Lee Kuan Yew:

                            Thoughts?
                            No, it was a loss. The Sino-Soviet rift existed prior to the conventional intervention in 1965, and how does not fighting change the economic paths for the dragons and the tiger?

                            So where did the US stand in 1975? Visible defeat in SVN. An emasculated presidency with an ascendant Congress that would say no to most any conflict. On the verge of a President whose first three years in office were a disaster vis a vis the USSR. A hollow Army riddle with drug use and racial infighting. Weaponry that was often outclassed by the USSR. A USSR that had achieved nuclear parity in terms of #s of warheads thanks to a lack of continued capitalization of the nuclear force during Vietnam.

                            Vietnam is a "gift" that keeps on giving today. Many politicians and voters still see the world through Vietnam, which clouds judgements. It hampers recruitment, as parents of the sons and daughters of American often counsel their kids not to sign up to join their generation's "Vietnam".

                            I'd have to see Lee Kuan Yew's speech in full (the download timed out on me) to see if he actually has something to support his assertions, but given that the Sino-Soviet split is an obvious miss, I suspect there's not much meat to some of his other points.
                            "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1975 also saw the USSR win additional allies in Africa on top of the fall of all of Indochina - Indochina-2 was a loss for the non communist world.
                              To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

                              Comment

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