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Who really won the 'Nam war?

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posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 04:01 PM
Agreed, to a point. They could sustain losses greater, and they would have to win the war. It was that important to their national identity. But that aside, you're using one example of a military blunder, and if you want to compare numbers, the Americans commited their share.

I didn't fight in the war. I've never proclaimed as much. However, I have a few veterans in the family and I've studied it extensively to try and understand how the premier fighting force in the world was essentially fought to a standstill, along with the French, by what amounted to farmers with pitchforks.

They received invaluable supply aid from China, but, they manufactured many of their own weapons, in many cases near perfect replicas of American firearms. That takes skill. They operated with a much less advanced military, and though they lost more troops, they continued the fight, and never gave up.

The American boys were, for the most part, divided along racial lines, they had that working against them. The viet cong didn't suffer from that for obvious reasons.

Despite the Tet offensive, I maintain that the Viet Cong possessed superior generals, or at the very least, generals and planners who were more concerned with actually winning the war. Would you agree?

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 04:30 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Despite the Tet offensive, I maintain that the Viet Cong possessed superior generals, or at the very least, generals and planners who were more concerned with actually winning the war. Would you agree?

The Viet Cong were seperate from the NVA. They were not uniformed troops, and had more of a 'skirmish", or 'harrass' agenda. Their main focus was not fighting pitched battles against the Americans. They were more of an underground force, hiding among villagers at day, and fighting against the Americans at night. So no, their generals wre not more superior. They just had greater flexibility, and could use coercion, and force if neccessary, to motivate their troops.

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 04:41 PM
You're saying that because they fought at night and didn't utilize the same conventional tactics as the NVA that makes them inferior?

No. They were to us, what we were to the British during the revolutionary war.

Superior tactics, plain and simple. Superior tactics come from superior generals.

Giap was still brilliant, but the NVA was hamstringed by a reliance on more conventional formations (troop disbursements) and position-taking maneuvers - they were, in my opinion, slightly more predictable than the VC.

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 04:42 PM
In the end, the war in Vietnam was won by the people of Vietnam. If not a majority of the Vietnamese people had been pro-socialist, there would have been no reason for the sustained fighting.

The international involvement (Of China, USSR AND the USA alliance) turned this INTERNAL conflict into the bloodshed it became. The southern forces alone never stood a chance, so the whole war would have soon be over. THAT is what the USA has to be ashamed of, since they tried to justify their involvement on a moral basis, but instead abused the conflict for their higher political reasons; why US troops were sent into this conflict is beyond my understanding.

No one can doubt that the US forces crushed any military forces that stood against them. But there was never a hope of winning for the (equally dictatoric) cause of the southern government and state system. A clear sign of this was the huge size of the NLF (commonly called Vietcong = Communistic Vietnamese).

And since politicians started the war I do not see the problem with politicians ending the war. It is wrong to blame the defeat of the US troops (any kind of retreat is a defeat) on single reasons like side-switching politicians or the anti-war movement. What really forced the US to back out is the realization of the american people at whole that the reasons for being there were pointless. The returning veterans had to suffer from a common human reflex that forced people to point out those that were guilty, so they could wash their own hands in innocence.

[edit on 31-3-2005 by Lonestar24]

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 05:59 PM

I disagree. The United States had no concerns at all about any possibility of an “axis of nationalism” between Japan and Vietnam (or any other country). As someone who was raised in the Pacific, spent six months in Japan, and read Yomiuri Shimbun religiously, I find that assumption simply ludicrous.

I was just quoting Chomsky, and based on what I've read, he is correct. His quotation of John Gower (well-known asian historian) regarding the use of the word "super-domino" is accurate based on the theories that motivated our involvement in Asian wars post-WWII. Why would you say that you know more than a historian because you lived in Japan for six months?

As Chomsky says:

Noam Chomsky: Well, I don't think that Vietnam was a mistake; I think it was a success. This is somewhere where I disagree with just about everyone, including the left, right, friends and so on.

To determine whether it was a failure you have to first look at what the goals were. In the case of Indo-china, the US is a very free country; we have an incomparably rich documentary record of internal planning, much richer than any other country that I know of. So we can discover what the goals were. In fact it is clear by around 1970, certainly by the time the Pentagon Papers came out, the primary concern was the one that shows up in virtually all intervention: Guatemala, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Chile, just about everywhere you look at. The concern is independent nationalism which is unacceptable in itself because it extricates some part of the world that the US wants to dominate. And it has an extra danger if it is likely to be successful in terms that are likely to be meaningful to others who are suffering from the same conditions.

So in the former colonial world, the Third World and the south, the problem was what planners called the rotten apple that might spoil the barrel or a virus that might infect others. The virus is independent nationalism that seems as though it may be successful in terms that are meaningful to others that are suffering similar problems. That's a theme that goes through the entire documentary record and it was a concern in Vietnam. So the US, during the late 1940s, hadn't really decided whether to support the French in their re-conquest of the former colony or to take the path that they did in Indonesia in 1948 and support the independence movement against the Dutch. But the issue was: suppose Vietnam turns out to be an independence movement that is out of control. They knew it was not run by the Russians and the Chinese: that was for public show. It was clearly an independent nationalist movement which could turn out to be successful. So in the 1950s they became increasingly concerned that North Vietnam was developing in ways that could be meaningful for others in the region. A fully independent Vietnam could truly dominate Indochina, which could become an independent nationalist force, a rotten apple which would affect others: Thailand, Malaya, which was a big problem at the time, possibly Indonesia. They were deeply concerned about Indonesian nationalism under Sukarno, which was going off on its own independent course and was a pillar of the non-aligned movement. If this infection of independent nationalism spread the concern was it might ultimately lead to Japan -- the "superdomino," as Asia historian John Dower called it. Not that Japan would be affected by it but that Japan would be induced to, as they put it, accommodate to independent Asian nationalism in SE Asia, maybe spreading from Vietnam, Indonesia, China, which was by then a huge rotten apple. And if Japan were to accommodate to Asian independent nationalism and offer itself as the technological and commercial and financial and industrial center it would effectively have won the Second World War. The Second World War was fought in the Pacific phase to prevent Japan from establishing a new order in Asia in which it would be the center. And it would be an independent force in world affairs. Well in the 1950s the US was not prepared to lose the Second World War and so it took a nuanced position. It first supported Sukarno then quickly turned against him. In 1958, US President [Dwight] Eisenhower was supporting the break up of Indonesia. It quickly in 1950 decided to support the French in Vietnam. And it just goes on from there. You can go through the steps, but effectively this is what happened.

By around 1960 the US recognized that it could not maintain a client state in Vietnam. The client state, which had already killed maybe 60,000 people, had engendered resistance which it could not control. So in 1962 Kennedy simply invaded the country outright. That's when US bombing started, chemical warfare, attempts to drive people into concentration camps and so on, and from then on it just escalated. By 1967 South Vietnam was practically destroyed. Bernard Fall, who is a very respected and rather hawkish military analyst and Vietnam specialist, was writing by 1967 that he wondered whether Vietnam could survive as a historic and cultural entity under the assault of the biggest military machine of all time. There was very little protest at that time. The US and England and the rest were just content to see Vietnam destroyed. That was much worse than anything happening in Iraq. It looked at that point as if they would conquer Vietnam. The Tet Offensive [a major national offensive by anti-US Vietnamese forces in early 1968] made it clear it was going to be a long war. At that point the business world turned against the war and decided this is just not worth it. They said we have already achieved the main objectives and Vietnam is not going to undergo successful independent development. It will be lucky if it survives. So it is pointless; why waste the money on it. The main goal had been achieved by the early seventies.

I tend to agree with a lot of Chomsky's analysis and his research is impeccable. This seems to be the true goal of the Vietnam war, that is to say to smash any nationalistic dreams the Vietnamese may have had. They got their 'victory' in the form of a museum, but we got our victory by killing their best males (plus hundreds of thousands of truly innocent people) and wrecking their country. We sprayed their forests with untested toxic chemicals. I knew a Vietnam vet who got cancer from Agent Orange and subsequently killed himself. He got shafted just like the Vietnamese people themselves.

I'd be happy to hear any other theories about the war that don't make it sound like suddenly around 1968 war-planners found themselves in over their heads. It's simply not true. The VC were excellent soldiers but if America had wanted to win, it would not have been difficult. What the warplanners wanted to do was simply (1) sell as many hueys (and crash them) as they could (also missiles and other expensive MIC technology), (2) destroy the countryside/cities/infrastructure, and (3) Make Vietnam a puppet state safe for US owned businesses to set up shop. They accomplished goals one and two, but goal three would have just been gravy and it wasn't worth the cost. That's what's truly sad for the Vietnam vet: If the big chiefs had wanted to spend the money, they could have won the war, but they stuck the US soldier (conscript) with the loss while they laughed their arses off. Objective number three wasn't worth the cost, to them.

Based on these goals, the Vietnam war can be seen as a success.

[edit on 31-3-2005 by smallpeeps]

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 07:01 PM
I consider Noam Chomsky to be like William Shockley, who invented the transistor and espoused wondrous racialist theories: an impeccable scholar in one field (linguistics in Chomsky's case) who happened to be a complete bozo in another. Of course, the fact that he says things that his coterie wants to believe makes them forgive many things about him, including his long-time and unswerving support for that patriot of the left, Pol Pot.

Obviously, you may read and accept the views of whomever you choose. Your acceptance of an icon of the Old Left is certainly no worse than some other posters here blindly accepting the gospel according to John Wayne or Robert McNamara.

I am not sure if you were alive during the war. If not, then of course you cannot call on your reading of then-current events, and I would suggest that you read both sides of a terribly divisive issue that both Mr. Philpotts and I had the misfortune to live through as members of the armed forces at the time. (I am fortunate in that, although I am a Vietnam-era veteran, I was never deployed there.)

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 07:16 PM

Avalon project- Yale
Indochina - Unification of Viet-Nam Through Free Elections: Statement by the Secretary of State at a News Conference, June 28, 1955

The North Vietnamese won. 'IF' this and that are bunk. The (North) Vietnamese went on to take down Pol Pot (upper middle-class family) after the U. S.:

World Socialist web site
Prince Sihanouk had sought to maintain his country's distance from the war in Vietnam through a policy of neutralism. He refused to act against Vietnamese supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail, which ran through eastern Cambodia. At the same time he kept silent about US military actions against Vietnamese forces operating on Cambodian soil.
The Nixon administration finally broke with Sihanouk in April 1970, backing a CIA-directed military coup that installed General Lon Nol and sent Sihanouk into exile in Beijing. One month later Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia by 20,000 US and Vietnamese troops.
During nearly five years of bombing raids, from 1969 to 1973, some 532,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia, more than three times the tonnage dropped on Japan in all of World War II.
By 1974, 95 percent of Cambodia's national income came from US aid, much of it siphoned off into the pockets of corrupt military officers. Two million out of the seven million people were homeless.

    While the U.S. and China sat on the sidelines or hampered Vietnam-

The nationalist xenophobia of the Cambodian leadership led to a series of clashes with Vietnam, as Khmer Rouge forces staged bloody attacks on ethnic Vietnamese living along the Cambodia-Vietnam border. After nearly a year of such raids, the Hanoi government ordered a full-scale Vietnamese invasion in December 1978, which rapidly overwhelmed the Khmer Rouge forces . . .

The most critical role was played by the United States government, which saw Pol Pot as a useful Cold War ally, since he was at war with Vietnam, which was allied to the Soviet Union. With US backing, China supplied the Khmer Rouge with military equipment and the right-wing military regime in Thailand, a US client state, allowed free flow of supplies to Pol Pot's guerrillas in their base camps along the Thai-Cambodian border.

Boy, this has got to hurt the 'U.S. is righteous' folks. The U.S. backed a genocidal maniac.

Other similar Cambodia articles:
Time Asia
More or less

So, thusfar the U.S. devastated Vietnam and lost the war, devasted Cambodia and supported a mass murderer. How about Laos?


Air Force Assoc. magazine
The communist force comprised tough, regular North Vietnamese army units and supplementary--and generally not very effective--local Pathet Lao units. They were opposed by the very ineffective Royal Laotian armed forces, whose leaders preferred to let the despised Laotian hill people, the Hmong, do the real fighting. The US supplied airpower on a very limited scale, initially, but in greater and greater amounts as the war progressed.
As the Hmong casualties rose, the US-sponsored fighting forces were increasingly augmented by Thai "volunteers," whose numbers eventually reached 17,000. These mostly were mercenaries paid with US funds and led by the Thai army's regular officers and noncommissioned officers.

This entire argument could on for a long time but history is history. While conclusions may vary the facts remain.


posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 07:31 PM

Your acceptance of an icon of the Old Left is certainly no worse than some other posters here blindly accepting the gospel according to John Wayne or Robert McNamara.

...Or Ayn Rand? I guess we all have our blind alliegences.

Chomsky is right on here and I challenge anyone to prove him wrong. Why did the US have far more trouble with Vietnam and Iraq than anyone ever thought they would? As Chomsky says regarding Iraq (and I think it applies to Vietnam also):

"It takes real genius to be incapable of crushing such weak opposition."

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 07:14 PM

We won by destroying any socialist ideas that Vietnam had. If they had experimented with socialism they may have made it work in a way that was attractive to other Asian nations. This could not be allowed.

We won? We didn't destroy any ideas....The North Vietnamese are communist to this day....where did you learn your history? Give me a brother died over there. What the H do you know? Obviously nothing!!

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 07:20 PM

It is true that North Vietnam won the war, but I think it is more than disingenuous for anyone to say that the US lost the war. Had the communists not had so much support from the likes of John Kerry both in the streets and in Congress and President Johnson, who insisted on micro-managing the war, the havens of Laos and Cambodia for the communists, and without the complete withdrawal of US combat troops the North would have been completely defeated by 1973.

What a bunch of twaddle going on here. Kerry? John Kerry was part of the reason we lost? He came home a hero and wanted the war to end because he knew it was senseless and unwinable and didn't want to see anymore young men come home in coffins. Eff you pal. You are talking out of your arse!!

And Johnson is easy to blame but he was only a puppet for the NWO....he did what he was told to do and when he didn't want to what he was told to do any more he decided not to run for a second term in 1968....leading to Nixon the war-monger to come along and line his pockets with the souls of thousands of young men!! Get your facts straight!!

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 07:41 PM
I see your mentions of Johnson and Nixon, but have you forgot a few others? You going to lay any blame at their collective feet besides the two that you have mentioned?


posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 08:09 PM
Who won the Vietnam war? With more bombs dropped than WWII, obviously the weapons manufacturer, the coffin makers, the bankers, and evil.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 09:22 PM

Originally posted by Zabilgy
Actually the only people that won are the big businesses (and mega-rich that ownded stock in those businesses) that made money off the war. i.e. defense contracts, etc etc etc.......Wars are very profitable to the corporations providing the weapons, vehicles, planes, etc etc etc....and to the people whose pockets get lined by those corporations. Richard Nixon made plenty off of the war!....and a lot of other politicians that had a secret agenda for wanting to keep that "war" going!!

I have to agree with you. The ones who won the war are the ones that profited from it.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 09:46 PM
*scratches head*
Who supplied the North Vietnamese? The VietCong?
Do they have weapons manufacturers or did the State simply reap from those arms and munitions sales?

Obviously, I am not looking at it from the typical US perspective, but from an all-around perspective.


[edit on 6-4-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 09:50 PM

Originally posted by Seekerof
*scratches head*
Who supplied the North Vietnamese? The VietCong?
Do they have weapons manufacturers or did the State simply reap from those arms and munitions sales?

[edit on 6-4-2005 by Seekerof]

Yeah, the viet congs were flying b52 from 20,000 feet, dropping bombs on themselves.

posted on Apr, 6 2005 @ 10:32 PM
Vietnam: The Triumphant Ascendancy Of Modern Information Warfare

The side that waged the best propaganda campaign won the Vietnam War.

Military capability had almost nothing to do with it, although the U.S., China and the Soviet Union all poured phenomenal amounts of money and weapons into Vietnam over the course of this legendary proxy conflict, which was itself just one of several “hot wars” fought under the aegis of the Cold War.

The Johnson and Nixon administrations proved inept at effectively countering Communist propaganda programs being actively waged in the U.S., even though they were very much aware of them and spoke of them publicly on countless occasions.

These efforts often included violent provocations on the part of paid agents of North Vietnam, the Soviet Union and China, who all wished to see the U.S. mission in Vietnam fail.

Meanwhile, the U.S. COINTELPRO operations not only failed to competently counteract enemy propaganda, but had turned rogue, preying on Americans in the same way the Communists did, rendering it a shameful, misguided and self-discrediting failure.

In other words, instead of exposing enemy propaganda efforts for what they were, U.S. agencies trusted with protecting the people of the United States turned on them instead, using the same methods the enemy used, to their eternal disgrace.

They Say You Want A Revolution

The Communists effectively had free reign to do as they pleased in the U.S. during the Vietnam War, and they took full advantage of their unexpected good fortune, working their craft against an undefended population like wolves among sheep.

Having American college students parading around waving pictures of Chairman Mao even as the infamous and genocidal Cultural Revolution was actively underway was about as in-your-face as Communist propagandists could get.

And the kids ate it up, echoing the Communist party line as if it was their new, unique, earth-shaking revelation, openly worshiping Communist revolutionaries as if they were patron saints.

Decrees made publicly in Hanoi, Beijing and Moscow were echoed on college campuses around the U.S.

That was by no means coincidence, and virtually none of the so-called “peace protesters” had so much as a single unkind word for the atrocities of the authoritarian regimes pulling their strings.

In the United States, Marxism was pushed on youth with all the hype and fervor of a “Holy Roller” Christian revival.

Same tactics, different religion.

All The Enemy Is Saying Is “Give Peace A Chance, So We Can Defeat You”

To this day, many “Vietnam peace protesters” refuse to believe they were manipulated by Communist propagandists, even while parroting the exact same propaganda the Communists openly pushed on them.

Heck, there are still people who believe a lot of the disinformation that was floating around back then. They have even passed it on to their children as gospel truth.

Awareness of the inherent fallacy that opposing only one side of a war isn't a true call for peace was brainwashed out of their heads, though it should seem obvious on even the most fundamental of logical terms.

It's quite a testimony to the power of propaganda to permanently mold human minds, and the lessons of the war did not go unlearned by those whose profession is to shape public thought.

While the merits or lack thereof regarding the U.S. military presence in Vietnam can sensibly be argued, the bottom line is that Communist propagandists successfully demoralized and defeated the United States in an open confrontation, which is why they won the war.

Such is the power of information warfare.

[edit on 4/6/2005 by Majic]

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 09:15 AM

You see, for the US, the real Vietnam 'War'/Conflict started in 1950 and ended 25 years later in 1975. The buck doesn't stop with only the two presidents you mention. The buck goes further back...

No kidding. I didn't say only Nixon and Johnson were involved. Kennedy was certainly involved and wanted us out of Vietnam in 1962. He said it was their war...etc and felt we were wasting our time and if he wasn't killed, he would have taken us out of that war. The people that pulled Johson's strings made him keep us in the war. Nixon probably had something to with Johnson deciding to drop out of the 1968 race and of course having RFK killed. Nixon had financial reasons for keeping us there.

Someone mentioned Kerry and people like him being partly responsible for our losing the war which has to make me laugh. Kerry made 2 clear points when he spoke officially on the subject when he came back from Vietnam. His two points were:

If you are going to fight a war you need to do two things:
1. Not under-estimate the enemy (and WE DID in a big way)
2. You need to have a plan to win it (and we NEVER DID and that is pathetic considering who we are....our government's plan all along was to keep the war dragging on for as long as possible while the rich got richer off the war and scum-bags like Nixon had his pockets lined to the point of overflowing)

So, Kerry and others like him knew what they were talking about. And the threat of communism spreading if we didn't get involved was bull# just like in Korea and just the American government scaring its citizens back into that RED SCARE fear of the Truman era and using that fear to make them believe we had a purpose in Vietnam which we didn't and which was proven after too many years and too many lives were WASTED....FOR NOTHING!!

Edit to add this: Today, in Iraq what is our plan to win the war in Iraq? None. We have no plan on how we are going to win that war. It is being fought just like Vietnam and for the same make the rich richer and line the pockets of politicians, including our President's, with money made off the blood of our troops. This time of course we haven't underestimated the enemy. We could take them out swiftly if we wanted to, but the people that really run this country don't want this war to end, at least not until they've made billions of dollars off of it!!

[edit on 7-4-2005 by Zabilgy]

[edit on 7-4-2005 by Zabilgy]

[edit on 7-4-2005 by Zabilgy]

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 09:31 AM
the US Lost Vietnam for sure, the reason being is that the people of Vietnam were protecting their homeland and giving up their life for that mean't nothing to them. The Chinese have tried to take over Vietnam for thousands of years and have failed. Why would we think we could win with fewer troups? Same thing is going on in Iraq now.

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:06 AM
America truly lost the Vietnam War; however, if we had commited fully into it then we probably would have won. Eventhough, we would probably be better off if we still lost because if not we would have been in a war with the former Soviet Union and most certainly China. Also, if we had won then the Japanese probably wouldn't have invested so heavily in the U.S. like it did in the 80's-90's, stimulating our economy as well as theirs.

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:12 AM
And there are similarities between Iraq and Vietnam. I totally supported the invasion of Afganistan, but Iraq is something more than "freeing" the Iraqis. And just like Vietnam we are not fully commited to the Iraq war. Also, I can not stand those people who say "We were not in a war with Vietnam, it was just a conflict."

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