Why was Vietnam so Different?

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posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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As usual, I enjoy taking a look back in time at events that lead us up to where we are today. Indeed I feel that the answers to the questions today when it comes to civics, social ethics and humanities can be answered by doing research on the past.

One of the most horrific scenes in United States and Asian history of course was that of Vietnam. We saw the deployment of napalm in a large quantity, encountered guerilla warfare on a scale we had never seen, and the United States and Vietnamese soldiers threw away the rules of engagements in battle. From Mai Lei to the Tet Offensive, the war easily could establish itself as one of the most pointless wars and the bloodiest.

Nick Turse has written a book called "Kill Anything That Moves", and while I'm subjective with my references to news topics, I found another great one on the History News Network. Here's a few things he had to say to add to this:



As Turse notes in his op-ed, American leaders like General William Westmoreland demonstrated “a profligate disregard for human life,” mainly because their strategy “was to kill as many ‘enemies’ as possible, with success measured by body count. Often, those bodies were not enemy soldiers,” Turse concludes.


Full Source: History News Network - We Lost Our Humanity in Vietnam

"Success measured by body count."
The question was, what caused this to be the new rules of engagement by American soldiers? What the American public was told was that Vietnam was a necessary war to prevent the spread of communism in southeast Asia, and that the French were no longer strong enough to do the job.



By later standards (massive bombing by B-52s in Arc Light attacks), the air raid Fall witnessed, consisting of A-1 Skyraiders carrying napalm and fragmentation bombs, was small. But don’t tell that to the Vietnamese fishing village that was utterly destroyed in this “small” raid.


I added this line into the post, because a lot of people don't recall that there were also insidious air assault and bombing missions that were carried out against Vietnam and surrounding nations. However, these were not designed to fend off the Viet Cong alone, but to put a dead stop on the chance of any assistance in the North by the Chinese (see Operation Rolling Thunder). I liken this to the mindset of General MacArthur's desire to run north of the Yang Se in Korea.


We lost more than a war in Vietnam. We lost our humanity.


This does not account for the lack of ethical engagement in war however. So what changed that? Why did we lose our humanity? Let's put some numbers on that.



Perhaps one-third of the South Vietnamese population became refugees, uprooted from their ancestral homes...

...dropping of more than seven million tons of bombs on Indochina - three times the total tonnage of explosives dumped on all the Axis nations during World War II...


That does not include the American military presence increments: 900 to 15,000 under Kennedy, then 15,000 to 555,000 under Johnson. Who of which stated he "will not be the first president to lose a war."

There-in lies the potential of where the chain reaction of humanity begins to degenerate. Johnson even went as far as to lie to the American public that Vietnam was going fine. While, it's nothing new that politicians lie, what do you think fueled this mindset? Surely, something had to have started it.

Many historians will argue that the reason for this rests solely on the fact that you could not tell them apart from each other. However, that does not account for the mass killings of civilians including women children, and even pets. What do you think ATS? Lets get those thinking caps on and see what we can collectively come up with.




Statistics:
1. Café, William H.; Sitkoff, Harvard; Bailey, Beth. "A History of Our Time: Readings on Post War America." Eighth Edition. 2012. 134.

Further Reading:
1. Cahfe, William H.; Sitkoff, Harvard; Bailey, Beth. "A History of Our Time: Readings on Post War America." Eighth Edition. 2012. 134-169.
2. Chafe, William H. "The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II." Seventh Edition. 2011. 237-252, 265-289.
3. Cobbs-Hoffman, Elizabeth; Blum, Edward J.; Gjerde, Jon. "Major Problems in American History." Volume II: Since 1865. Third Edition. 2012. 427-461.

* I must warn you, if you are squeamish or are easily disturbed, please read into #2 with discretion.
edit on 19.10.2013 by Shugo because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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Lets no blame the Military or the people but instead lets blame the person that sent them there..... it was not Kennedy he did not want anything to do with Vietnam, but ask yourself this why did L.B. Johnson send us right after we lost Kennedy?

You know the American people did not want anything to do with it, They protest against the war everyday, but we as Americans blamed the soldiers returning home and calling them names. And once again I ask you who decided that we should get involved? Answer "POLITIANS"

Put yourself in their (soldiers) spot, young just out of high school and Drafted, did not really have a choice. Don't look at what happened on the battle field and crucify those that fought, but look at yourself and imagine yourself there and tell me what you would of done to survive a year in a place that is not called home.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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Vietnam Was were I think the USA became the "Bad guy" of the world.

And whats worse allot of war criminals Like William Calley who should have been been locked up for life got anway scott "free" or with only a slapped risk because the USA is too good for the INTERNATIONAL Criminal courts.
edit on 19-10-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by 19KTankCommander
 


Not to mention the false flag called "The Gulf of Tonkin" that started the whole farce in the first place.

I find it also sad that people actually believe in "rules of war". Sorry, but you put my life on the line, I will do anything necessary to survive!

Rules of war are nothing more than a big fat blunt, so that we smoke it and willingly accept that our government is telling us they are killing, but doing it in a nice humane way...............



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:57 PM
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Its interesting how people talk about Vietnam

yet more were killed in Korea which was arguably a much more dirty and arguably is continuing to this very day.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:59 PM
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i remembr. something frm my youth,, it went something like ,,"well Mr. president",,in my best gutteral drone," we would show the Soviets that if it came too Nuclear Xchange,, we would be willing as a Nation, too accept American lives,,,,thats why,, they went,,,forward, with NO ALL OUT SUPPORT OF ALL THE MILITARY,,

at least thats from what memory ,,serves.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 


Deep wounds take a long time to heal...................

Just look at the BS war on Terror.

Hell my friend, look at how some Americans still look at the Crown!

War creates enemies, and those enemies pass their hatred onto their future generations.......



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 03:07 PM
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In WWII the average age of the combat soldier was 26, in vietnam it was 19 (thanks Paul Hardcastle).

I think this probably had the biggest impact on the behaviour of the soldiers, along with 'Guerilla' warfare, not knowing who the enemy was, weak Platoon leadership etc.

Imagine being a 19 year old, witnessing such atrocities at such a young age is bound to influence your decision making skills.

In retrospect it was a completely futile war, but I guess there were lots of people who made an absolute fortune out of it. Somebody always does
edit on 19/10/13 by Cobaltic1978 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by 19KTankCommander
 


Playing devil's advocate here, a lot of the soldiers acted without orders from high commands. A lot of the soldiers blindly followed the orders given to them by captains who were engaged in combat overseas without second guessing them. And to be fair, one would expect nothing less. However, many of them did in fact go rogue on specific missions. Mai Lai is a prime example of such an occasion, and it was not the only time.


seeker1963
Not to mention the false flag called "The Gulf of Tonkin" that started the whole farce in the first place.


Again, playing devil's advocate. There were many reports from the incident that reported they actually did believe there was something there. That doesn't justify the means that they returned fire and lashed out blindly without knowing for sure what was going on, but there is a good mix of reviews from people who were actually stationed off the coast as to what happened.

Thanks for the replies so far guys!



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:15 PM
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Shugo, I too am a student of history, and I appreciate those who look at the present from a historical perspective. The advantage that many miss about history is that it allows you to see an event from more points of view than your own, and you're able to see things more clearly. Of course this is assuming that the history that you're looking at is not to skewed to the writers' bias.

When I consider the strategy for the Vietnam war, I can't think of another strategy than the one that was chosen that would make any sense, as the war was one of attrition. I also consider the attitudes of the people making the decisions. It would be hard to argue that LBJ's attitude toward 'commies' was anything other than 'kill them all', and that his attitude would extend to civilians as well as combatants. I don't think LBJ really liked brown people too much. LBJ's feelings on the matter just happened to match in effect, if not in impetus, the strategy most likely to achieve victory conditions in the most efficient way. In theory.

The NVA had a counter strategy that was very effective, and that was to 'hamstring' American forces. The KIA count on the NVA side is remembered at a little over a million. (Just considering combatant counts now, not collateral damage.) The KIA count for the USA a little under 60,000. The number that is more important to look at in this war, when considering the NVA strategy is the wounded in action count.

We killed a million of them, and wounded 600 thousand. They only killed 60 thousand of us, but they wounded 350 thousand. They're strategy was to attack our resources of time, manpower, and equipment. They used the fact that we would never leave a fallen soldier behind against us. They knew that if they were to only wound us, we would be too busy taking care of the wounded to fight. The logistics, the labor, and the expense necessary to care for a wounded soldier is twentyfold that of a dead one.

With the enemy's strategy in mind, I still believe that kill as many as you can as fast as you can is the best strategy. My personal philosophical attitude toward the war itself has nothing to do with the fact that I regard the chosen strategy to be the correct one.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by Shugo
 


i agree with most of what your saying, but i think that some of the info is wrong.

like this,


As Turse notes in his op-ed, American leaders like General William Westmoreland demonstrated “a profligate disregard for human life,” mainly because their strategy “was to kill as many ‘enemies’ as possible, with success measured by body count. Often, those bodies were not enemy soldiers,” Turse concludes.


now i think it true in that the way they thought. but it was the bean counter Robert McNamara, that came up with most of what the policies were.

here from the wiki.


McNamara put in place a statistical strategy for victory in Vietnam. He concluded that there were a limited number of Viet Cong fighters in Vietnam and that a war of attrition would destroy them. He applied metrics (body counts) to determine how close to success his plan was.


i think this was the the reason that the commanders on the ground went looking for the high body count instead of objectives. get a high body count, get promoted, or rotate out.

mcnamara micro managed everything, but as time went on he began to see that the way they were fighting the war was all but useless. and he told Johnson as much, he sent a memo to johnson say that he should stop the bombing and turn ground fighting over to the south and freeze troop levels. there much more about this in the wiki, and it list quite a sleuth of reference martial.

also,McNamara said that the Domino Theory was the main reason for entering the Vietnam War.


edit on 19-10-2013 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:32 PM
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When civilian casualties are considered in the Vietnam war (estimated at an additional 3 million noncombatant lives lost), compare that to the Japanese cities firebombed in WW2.

67 cities were bombed as part of our air campaign, and they were bombed prior to dropping Fat and Little. Fire has an interesting way of destroying much more than just the intended target.

We have never really had a strategy other than kill them all, and let God worry about whether some of them were elderly, children, or the next Tesla.

Here's a concise page on that...



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by Cobaltic1978
 





posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by Shugo
 


You "Assume", that Vietnam was some turnpoint ... I doubt that.

What I suggest to you, is that Vietnam occurred at a time of "Woodstock". The generation that made Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and others like them. People who didn't accept the rhetoric of religion, weather that religion is preached by priests or politicians. And because of that, you had a lot of people with guts, who reported the atrocities. And at home, there were people who demonstrated against the violence ... it was a time, when "Revenge of the nerds" was a funny movie.

Today, they should be making a new movie ... "Revenge of the jocks". Because, it's exactly that what happened.

Every day in your life, you are living a lie ... somebody points out a crime, to the general population. And immediately that "truth" is turned around, and the person who revealed it, is attacked and he's the bad guy. This is happening all over the world ...

In more educated times, you'd call it ... "The individual against the collective". Or, in a different context ... evil.

It's blossoming all around ... everywhere. It's called "religion", and it uses fancy words ... like "democracy", and "freedom". Without anyone understanding what the actual context of these words mean. And meanwhile, everything is getting more expensive ... until it must be made cheaper ... so one day, you'll find yourself as broke as the peasants did during the middle ages. And your only salvation, is to become a good religious follower and praise the lord for him giving you food on your table.

or, face the "wrath" if you oppose it ...



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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hounddoghowlie
i think this was the the reason that the commanders on the ground went looking for the high body count instead of objectives. get a high body count, get promoted, or rotate out.


This is a great point. Brass is going to be judged based on mission accomplishment and efficiency. If to kill as many as you can as fast as you can is the mission, than that's what leaders are going to do.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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The answer to the OP question is Mind Control. New forms needed to be developed after the last wars that we worked in. People grow tired of fighting, they really grow tired for fighting for the IMF and currency control under the guise of political problems.

The fifties were the heyday of Mind Control. TV was born, radio went all out and popular media was created. Ergo, new forms if Mind Control, including the "hate your enemy" stuff.

It was needed. They had to draft people against their will, and they had to fuel them with endless propaganda go convince them that napalm wasn't napalm, but rather an aid to ridding the world of the communist menace. The soldiers and the populace learned that Agent Orange was not Agent Orange, but and add to ridding the world of those who hated democracy.

The meme changed in the 2000's. Depleted Uranium is not Depleted Uranium, but an aid to kill all those who hate our freedoms.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by bjarneorn
 


Revenge of the Nerds didn't come out until 1985, ten years after Vietnam.

and if you look around, a lot of those flower children are the ones running the government and big corporations.

hell just look at Bill Gates, he is in a#@@#le deep with the worlders and promoting depopulation.
all you got to do is google it.

no a lot of flower children, turned out to be greedier than their folks. now that is a fact.




edit on 19-10-2013 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 05:00 PM
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OtherSideOfTheCoin
Its interesting how people talk about Vietnam

yet more were killed in Korea which was arguably a much more dirty and arguably is continuing to this very day.


i tend to clash a lot with you but nice point . gave u a star
edit on 05/09/2013 by leopardpimps because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by hounddoghowlie
 


That's "after" the fact ... and it's a classic case, of the "one child" philosophy. Where the child grows into "rebellion" and rebels against his/her parents. But later, grows into what their parents were ... but this happens in the late 80's and 90's.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by Shugo
 


"Success measured by body count."
The question was, what caused this to be the new rules of engagement by American soldiers?


Massive expenditures and specific numbers of troop deployments (more openly reported back then) in the beginning seemed out of proportion with the actual kill ratio. The Vietnamese understood Guerrilla warfare and had just given the French a bloody nose at Dien Bin Phu (spelling).

The same method of digging massive tunnel complexes and using jungle trails and bicycles to move arms and supplies was again employed against the Americans. Jungle is exceedingly thick and resistant to movement by modern mechanized forces. Long excursions met by slow bleed hit and run style tactics utilizing terrain and tunnels to disappear into found the Americans struggling to cope just like the French did. So they built bases and occupied hill tops, using vast armadas of bombers and ordnance to pound the jungle.

When even this failed to make a difference in the number of American casualties suffered at the hands of enemy ghosts, the call became more of an expectation of higher and higher "body counts".

You couldn't "conquer" the jungle and battles to conquer small patches of it became common place futile.

The American commanders had no comprehension of how to fight that kind of war against such a determined and resourceful enemy. I think it was planed that way on purpose personally. The far away, impenetrable, undefeated enemy would surely make a little dirty war profitable for the corporations that made bank off it.

We are dragging another one out far away, in another remote, impenetrable country against another undefeated peasantry today.

In Vietnam it was jungle. In Afghanistan its mountains.

Jungle mines, Roadside IED's.
Bicycles and motor cycles.
M16s and Ak 47s

Tunnels rule in both places.





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