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Was Vietnam an American victory?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Zemco View Post
    Just think where the country would be today if they hadn't been set back 55 years.
    You mean policies like military expansion, collectivization, Boat People, fighting two wars on two fronts? Vietnam would be exactly where it is today with the leaders that they had.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Zemco View Post
      That's a bizarre statement.

      The countries you name didn't suffer 25 years of warfare, and didn't endure an additional 20 years of US economic sanctions after the war ended.

      I would remind you that in just a mere 30 years Vietnam has jumped ahead of your pet puppet dictatorships in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala providing a higher quality of life and better standard of living, even higher than Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia, and they will surpass the Philippines and Thailand by the end of the decade if their on-fire economy keeps growing at 8%-10% per year.

      Just think where the country would be today if they hadn't been set back 55 years.

      The US still hasn't learned how to distinguish a nationalist from a communist.

      Lets not get carried away here.

      You are right about the dictatorships of Central America. Nothing to write home about there for the US. Most of them, however, did suffer extended wars (if not of the same intensity as Vietnam).

      They actually point to a fasinacting phenomenon which is rarely commented upon - the lack of democracy & social equity in 3rd world societies where Catholicism is dominant. This is an issue for another thread, but it crosses cultures & societies.

      I would also be VERY careful about using Laos & Cambodia as points of comparison to Vietnam.

      As I have made clear at length, Cambodia's impoverishment is largely the fault of Vietnam. Even beyond the fall of DK, Vietnam occupied Cambodia until 1989. It did precious little to help that nation, spending just enough to keep it functional & capable of supporting their war against Pol Pot & his royalist/nationalist allies.

      Laos is an even clearer example. Vietnam helped to fund a 15 year civil war in Laos, and then effectively turned it into a satellite when the communists won. Indeed, until the mid-1980s Laos was practically forbidden to trade with anyone but Vietnam. That Laos remains a dictatorship & economic basket case is largely the fault of Hanoi.

      As for Vietnam being set back '55 years' by the actions of outsiders, not even close. In the early 1960s the DRV (Nth Vietnam) had a choice. It had to choose between focussing its energies on building as proaperous a nation as it could in the North, or focussing its energies on overthrowing the government of Sth Vietnam. It chose the latter & started down a well documented path.

      Had it chosen not to do this the 1980s would undoubtedly have seen two Vietnamese nations more prosperous than the one that actually existed. The Nirth, however, would be facing the problems of all communist societies in thew 1980s - having built the basis for a modern industrial economy, how do we sustain it? A best case scenario is that the comrades followed the reforms of their near neigbour. A better situation than they had, but not a generation ahead.

      The south would most likely have been a 'tiger' economy. With its large & successful Chinese business community and its links to the US & other local economies, the RVN would probably have been quite successful, perhaps along the lines of Thailand or even Malaysia (best case).

      In addition, Cambodia might well have shared in this prosperity. Laos would probably have still undergone a lengthy proxy war & either ended up Vietnamese or de facto partitioned.

      Had America chosen not to commit units to ground combat in Vietnam there would still have been a fierce war, but one that might have ended five years earlier. Still lots of death & destruction. Still millions of refugees. Still the same economic dunces who almost engineered famines in the late 70s & mid-80s despite having some of the most productive agricultural land in the world.

      The war certainly set Vietnam back, but not by 55 years. Further, most of the problems had to do with the comrades in Hanoi, not US Administrations in Washington.
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