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OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 2:01:20 PM   
crsutton


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Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 2:02:13 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Would you mind commenting on my questions about this series in the General Discussion forum, please crsutton?

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 2:47:33 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Would you mind commenting on my questions about this series in the General Discussion forum, please crsutton?

I don't see your thread CB. Can you link it?

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 3:10:09 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Would you mind commenting on my questions about this series in the General Discussion forum, please crsutton?

I don't see your thread CB. Can you link it?



http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2959208&mpage=87

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 3:40:28 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Would you mind commenting on my questions about this series in the General Discussion forum, please crsutton?

I don't see your thread CB. Can you link it?


It's from the General Discussion "What are you watching now" thread.

Oops...Lecivius got it...

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 4:32:55 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Watched the first few episodes, missed last night, and will miss tonight (if its on). I thought, so far so good.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 4:46:40 PM   
geofflambert


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I watched the first episode and figured (wrong) that the next episode would be the following Sunday. I expect they'll be available somewhere in the archive.

I was kind of annoyed about the flipping back and forth over time, but I'm thinking that some people might think the French part is ancient history and not watch. Making it relevant to US watchers I guess. Is this being broadcast in the UK and elsewhere as well?

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 7:20:56 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Would you mind commenting on my questions about this series in the General Discussion forum, please crsutton?

I don't see your thread CB. Can you link it?


It's from the General Discussion "What are you watching now" thread.

Oops...Lecivius got it...

I was looking at the WITP-AE General Discussion. Never go to the Matrix Games top level forum. Not interested in all the stuff about other games ...

To answer the question, I am watching it when I can, but there are often conflicts with other programs I am interested in. I am certain PBS or HBO will air the series again.

I was pretty young and naïve when the Vietnam War was going on. I thought the US had to be the good guys and would never do ill-considered things - until I read about the villages being burned and people moved to keep them out of the clutches of the Viet Cong. Young and naïve as I was, I instinctively knew that the policy of uprooting people was bound to make implacable enemies. Nothing matters to farmers as much as their land. The series has made clear that this was one of many bad policies tried there.

The series also made clear that the politics of religion in the country (minority Catholic leadership suppressing Buddhist religion of majority) was a huge factor in setting people against the RVN government and the US which supported it. I am beginning to understand just how convoluted the whole thing was - and how the some of the lessons could apply to current issues in geopolitics.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 7:38:14 PM   
MakeeLearn


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Sung to the tune of "Poison Ivy"....

"Viet....nam Viet...nam

Late at night while you're sleeping
Charlie Cong comes a creeping all around... "
///



When tactics and logistics meet...




Attachment (1)

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 7:54:06 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

I was pretty young and naïve when the Vietnam War was going on. I thought the US had to be the good guys and would never do ill-considered things - until I read about the villages being burned and people moved to keep them out of the clutches of the Viet Cong. Young and naïve as I was, I instinctively knew that the policy of uprooting people was bound to make implacable enemies. Nothing matters to farmers as much as their land. The series has made clear that this was one of many bad policies tried there.

The series also made clear that the politics of religion in the country (minority Catholic leadership suppressing Buddhist religion of majority) was a huge factor in setting people against the RVN government and the US which supported it. I am beginning to understand just how convoluted the whole thing was - and how the some of the lessons could apply to current issues in geopolitics.


As my other post in the General Discussion Forum said, I really dislike coverage of the Vietnam War that's steeped irretrievably in the politics of the time. Ya ya Von Klauswitz, I know that war is a continuation of politics by other means, but I'm not interested in the diluted form of documentary that splits time between the protests here and the combat there on a 50:50 ratio. I'm also not interested in rehashing the politics of yore in a general sense. If the documentary can stick with the war per se, then I'm interested. Otherwise, like Vietnam: The 10,000 Day War (a Canadian series from 1984-1985) it delves into too much distraction.

I'd much rather read about the annihilation of the VC post-1968 Tet. What? You say the 'popular narrative' about that is that it was a harbinger of war's end and, like Cronkite, the war cannot be won? Not hardly. We had learned a lot about how to effectively counter the Viet Cong by 1968. Tet's failure hastened their demise. It was only a 'political victory' on the battlefield-whatever that means. See Unheralded Victory for a more balanced viewpoint of American combat successes in Vietnam.

So I'm staying away from any overly politically-laden 'documentary' of the war effort. Unless it's >75:25 "in country: home front" discussions, I'm not interested in rehashing the same slanted viewpoints brought up by other documentaries. We had military successes as we had military failures in Vietnam. A comprehensive evaluation of those would be refreshing.

The fact that it's Ken Burns gives me at least a sliver of hope that it's balanced. His Civil War documentaries were superb. The War (about the Second World War) was also good.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 9/22/2017 7:57:25 PM >


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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 8:49:00 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Anyone watching this on PBS? If not you should be. I find it to be very good and balanced.


Watched the first few episodes, missed last night, and will miss tonight (if its on). I thought, so far so good.


I found you can pull up episodes for a limited time if you go to PBS.org on the web. Just plug your laptop into the big screen and you are good to go.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 8:54:37 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

I was pretty young and naïve when the Vietnam War was going on. I thought the US had to be the good guys and would never do ill-considered things - until I read about the villages being burned and people moved to keep them out of the clutches of the Viet Cong. Young and naïve as I was, I instinctively knew that the policy of uprooting people was bound to make implacable enemies. Nothing matters to farmers as much as their land. The series has made clear that this was one of many bad policies tried there.

The series also made clear that the politics of religion in the country (minority Catholic leadership suppressing Buddhist religion of majority) was a huge factor in setting people against the RVN government and the US which supported it. I am beginning to understand just how convoluted the whole thing was - and how the some of the lessons could apply to current issues in geopolitics.


As my other post in the General Discussion Forum said, I really dislike coverage of the Vietnam War that's steeped irretrievably in the politics of the time. Ya ya Von Klauswitz, I know that war is a continuation of politics by other means, but I'm not interested in the diluted form of documentary that splits time between the protests here and the combat there on a 50:50 ratio. I'm also not interested in rehashing the politics of yore in a general sense. If the documentary can stick with the war per se, then I'm interested. Otherwise, like Vietnam: The 10,000 Day War (a Canadian series from 1984-1985) it delves into too much distraction.

I'd much rather read about the annihilation of the VC post-1968 Tet. What? You say the 'popular narrative' about that is that it was a harbinger of war's end and, like Cronkite, the war cannot be won? Not hardly. We had learned a lot about how to effectively counter the Viet Cong by 1968. Tet's failure hastened their demise. It was only a 'political victory' on the battlefield-whatever that means. See Unheralded Victory for a more balanced viewpoint of American combat successes in Vietnam.

So I'm staying away from any overly politically-laden 'documentary' of the war effort. Unless it's >75:25 "in country: home front" discussions, I'm not interested in rehashing the same slanted viewpoints brought up by other documentaries. We had military successes as we had military failures in Vietnam. A comprehensive evaluation of those would be refreshing.

The fact that it's Ken Burns gives me at least a sliver of hope that it's balanced. His Civil War documentaries were superb. The War (about the Second World War) was also good.


Respectfully have to disagree. Although I appreciate a good military only documentary, that would not fit for a big public study such as this. You got to swallow the whole dose of medicine with this one. Presenting the war is fairly easy and straight forward but it was the politics-the world over, that mattered and really is the most difficult for the average viewer to understand.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 9:30:26 PM   
MakeeLearn


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Ive not watched it ... yet. There is a lot of the military aspects of the Vietnam conflict that have never been covered in depth in a documentary.

< Message edited by MakeeLearn -- 9/22/2017 9:36:23 PM >

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 10:07:34 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MakeeLearn
There is a lot of the military aspects of the Vietnam conflict that have never been covered in depth in a documentary.


Exactly.

The conventional documentaries that get bogged down in the politics have no choice other than to divert from the military campaign to talk about the interminable peace talks, protests/riots, the 1968 DNC convention, the role of drugs in the military, the draft, the....

If presenting the war is fairly easily, why hasn't anyone really taken the time to get it right? I respectfully disagree. I believe that the political focus and coverage of the home front is the low hanging fruit. Easier than breaking down combined Air Cav search / clear operations. Easier than explaining the annihilation of the VC by the US Army in 1968. Lots of military myths about this war need to be dispelled or examined more critically.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 10:11:26 PM   
spence

 

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I've started watching the series (up to Episode 3 so far). As a avid potential soldier in that time I found that some of the idealistic writings of "Mogie" and his family's reminisces rang true for me in those times as well.

For the first time I am hearing now the words of doubt from our political leaders and how in the end THEIR concerns seemed to have nothing to do with the welfare of either our own soldiers or the South Vietnamese.


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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 10:20:42 PM   
geofflambert


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I see no reason why we can't have both types. The military history could go into a lot of stuff you wouldn't in a sociological documentary like this. We need both. But minimalism is good too. Decision, consequence, political, social and military. Economic too. Too many ignorant know nothings in this country who need the opportunity to learn about it. Remember when the Presidential Press Secretary, Dana Perino, didn't know what the Cuban Missle Crisis was? I was appalled. Also, I really want to know what was happening in the Vietnamese civilian's mind, North and South. Since relations are far better now than before there may be a lot new to hear. Plus their military people might just blow you off if all you wanted to know was military stuff without the human background.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 10:33:57 PM   
MakeeLearn


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I see no reason why we can't have both types. The military history could go into a lot of stuff you wouldn't in a sociological documentary like this. We need both. But minimalism is good too. Decision, consequence, political, social and military. Economic too. Too many ignorant know nothings in this country who need the opportunity to learn about it. Remember when the Presidential Press Secretary, Dana Perino, didn't know what the Cuban Missle Crisis was? I was appalled. Also, I really want to know what was happening in the Vietnamese civilian's mind, North and South. Since relations are far better now than before there may be a lot new to hear. Plus their military people might just blow you off if all you wanted to know was military stuff without the human background.



There is a Army cadence that covers this:

Pilot flying up over the trees
Dropping Napalm on refugees
Baby sucking on it's mother's tit
DOW Chemical don't give a sh*t

< Message edited by MakeeLearn -- 9/22/2017 10:35:54 PM >

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/22/2017 11:48:28 PM   
Big B

 

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Well said.
If there is ANYTHING new that needs to be said about the Vietnam War, a re-examination of the real military operations, and their results - would be well in order..... free from the old political and News Media spin for the first time.
EDIT: The following documentary is but one example highlighting the disinformation that the coverage of the Vietnam War wallowed in -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA2xudGyyxU&t=3s


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

quote:

ORIGINAL: MakeeLearn
There is a lot of the military aspects of the Vietnam conflict that have never been covered in depth in a documentary.


Exactly.

The conventional documentaries that get bogged down in the politics have no choice other than to divert from the military campaign to talk about the interminable peace talks, protests/riots, the 1968 DNC convention, the role of drugs in the military, the draft, the....

If presenting the war is fairly easily, why hasn't anyone really taken the time to get it right? I respectfully disagree. I believe that the political focus and coverage of the home front is the low hanging fruit. Easier than breaking down combined Air Cav search / clear operations. Easier than explaining the annihilation of the VC by the US Army in 1968. Lots of military myths about this war need to be dispelled or examined more critically.



< Message edited by Big B -- 9/23/2017 12:51:13 AM >


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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 2:07:45 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

Easier than breaking down combined Air Cav search / clear operations. Easier than explaining the annihilation of the VC by the US Army in 1968. Lots of military myths about this war need to be dispelled or examined more critically.


Something I read in "ON STRATEGY" many years ago is pertinent here. I have to paraphrase it cause I no longer have the book. I think it was at the start of Chapter 1.

Said the American Colonel to the North Vietnamese Colonel at the Paris Peace Talks; "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield".

Said the North Vietnamese Colonel to the American Colonel, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant".

Wars are fought for political reasons. The US generals did indeed examine, why; since they triumphed virtually every time they fought the North Vietnamese, the US lost the war. The problem was not tactics.
The real question today is whether they have forgotten the answer. Their political masters are and should be their civilian masters. They are the ones who get to say whether to go or not to go. When the JCS/Generals disagree with a proposed action it is incumbent upon them to resign and make sure that their political master takes ALL RESPONSIBILITY for what transpires next. Then at least their political master will ultimately pay the price of defeat.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 2:29:25 AM   
Big B

 

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I quite agree... US military victory on the battlefield was a fact - and quite irrelevant to the outcome.
War is politics by another means - that is true.
In the case of South Vietnam 1965-1975, the real war was fought on the American Home Front.
The Communist side won the victory by co-opting the democratic Party who had control of the Congress, to the point that when they re-ignited the war with the Easter Offensive in 1975 - Congress denied President Ford the action of honoring US Obligations to go back and defend South Vietnam - as the Cease Fire Agreement of 1973 required (even though Ford tried to honor that obligation) and they did one better - the Democrat controlled Congress - CUT all aid to South Vietnam as we had promised them in the same agreement - in the hour of their need. Cut off All military aid to South Vietnam.

So yeah - the Communist North did in fact win the war...but it's indispensable ally was the US Media and the Democrat Party... I'm old enough to remember all that first hand.


quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Easier than breaking down combined Air Cav search / clear operations. Easier than explaining the annihilation of the VC by the US Army in 1968. Lots of military myths about this war need to be dispelled or examined more critically.


Something I read in "ON STRATEGY" many years ago is pertinent here. I have to paraphrase it cause I no longer have the book. I think it was at the start of Chapter 1.

Said the American Colonel to the North Vietnamese Colonel at the Paris Peace Talks; "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield".

Said the North Vietnamese Colonel to the American Colonel, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant".

Wars are fought for political reasons. The US generals did indeed examine, why; since they triumphed virtually every time they fought the North Vietnamese, the US lost the war. The problem was not tactics.
The real question today is whether they have forgotten the answer. Their political masters are and should be their civilian masters. They are the ones who get to say whether to go or not to go. When the JCS/Generals disagree with a proposed action it is incumbent upon them to resign and make sure that their political master takes ALL RESPONSIBILITY for what transpires next. Then at least their political master will ultimately pay the price of defeat.



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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 3:53:53 AM   
spence

 

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The Dems and the media were only the ones who stated publicly what the President and his advisors AND his JCS had known since 1962.

In 1945 we had a chance to turn Ho Chi Minh's guns (American guns) northward but our government said the French should get their colony back...a big OOPs.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:02:48 AM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Easier than breaking down combined Air Cav search / clear operations. Easier than explaining the annihilation of the VC by the US Army in 1968. Lots of military myths about this war need to be dispelled or examined more critically.


Something I read in "ON STRATEGY" many years ago is pertinent here. I have to paraphrase it cause I no longer have the book. I think it was at the start of Chapter 1.

Said the American Colonel to the North Vietnamese Colonel at the Paris Peace Talks; "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield".

Said the North Vietnamese Colonel to the American Colonel, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant".

Wars are fought for political reasons. The US generals did indeed examine, why; since they triumphed virtually every time they fought the North Vietnamese, the US lost the war. The problem was not tactics.
The real question today is whether they have forgotten the answer. Their political masters are and should be their civilian masters. They are the ones who get to say whether to go or not to go. When the JCS/Generals disagree with a proposed action it is incumbent upon them to resign and make sure that their political master takes ALL RESPONSIBILITY for what transpires next. Then at least their political master will ultimately pay the price of defeat.


Not talking about the origin of war in a philosophical sense. Not talking about the political puppetry behind the military operations. Not talking about the role of Congress / JCS and the President in prosecuting a war. I'm talking about the war in Vietnam and the military actions therein as depicted by a documentary. It's what I'd like to see focused on and is not at all irrelevant to a discussion of the conflict.

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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:18:13 AM   
Big B

 

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Not exactly - The Democratic Party and the Media (Hollywood, the news industry, and acedemia) had been completely penetrated by the Soviet Communist party since before WW2...that's not quite the same thing.
The Russian Communist Party was implanted in our institutions going back to the 1930s - that's how they got the Atomic Bomb in WW2- it's in their archives.
The FBI sent literally hundreds of requests to Congress for investigations of communist penetration into the government in the late 1940s (before Senator McCarthy by the way). Their agents in the OSS and later CIA made sure Chiang Kai-Shek made sure the US abandoned Nationalist China in the late 40s in favor of Mao ...for starters.
Am I suggesting that the US Government and institutions of information were thoroughly penetrated by the Soviets and working for their interests?
Absolutely Yes...for Decades.
When the Honorable Senator Eugen McCarthy lost to Richard Nixon in 1972 - where did he go for vacation? - Why Communist Cuba of course, along with many fellow travelers.
If anyone has the genuine curiosity to look into what happened to America since 1950 - it's not the story of corporate greed - it's the painful realization that every level of our government and institutions have been successfully penetrated by Stalin's then Khrushchev's communist party.
As private US citizens it seems paranoia - but it's true and documented now that the Soviet Union fell since 1991.

quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

The Dems and the media were only the ones who stated publicly what the President and his advisors AND his JCS had known since 1962.

In 1945 we had a chance to turn Ho Chi Minh's guns (American guns) northward but our government said the French should get their colony back...a big OOPs.



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Post #: 23
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:27:36 AM   
spence

 

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Actually it is irrelevant. Our tactics may or not have been superb at the time but that has long since been corrected within the US military. It is the responsibility of the American populace to determine when and where the US military is committed to fight any war. That responsibility has been abrogated since the end of WW2.

What history has to tell us is that the United States should carefully examine whether any war is important enough for US (every person living in the USA) to risk our treasure and our youth to win. In the case of the Vietnam War the other guys said yes to the question and they were willing to risk it all. And they applied such strategic force as they possessed against our ambivalence about the stakes - maybe it was just a guess but it worked.

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Post #: 24
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:38:22 AM   
Big B

 

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Irrelevant my ass. NO power on earth can achieve it's aims if the establishment that supports an effort is corrupted and on the side of the enemy.
It's also BS to say it's friggin irrelevant if your side looses 50,000 plus lives to achieve an aim when it's own 'supposed side' is undermining the very efforts they are fighting for.
I personally knew men who died there in Vietnam - Don't tell me it's irrelevant on inconsequential if treason is going on behind the scenes.


quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

Actually it is irrelevant. Our tactics may or not have been superb at the time but that has long since been corrected within the US military. It is the responsibility of the American populace to determine when and where the US military is committed to fight any war. That responsibility has been abrogated since the end of WW2.

What history has to tell us is that the United States should carefully examine whether any war is important enough for US (every person living in the USA) to risk our treasure and our youth to win. In the case of the Vietnam War the other guys said yes to the question and they were willing to risk it all. And they applied such strategic force as they possessed against our ambivalence about the stakes - maybe it was just a guess but it worked.



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RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:51:55 AM   
spence

 

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I also knew friends and classmates who were killed in Vietnam. It is, to say the least, annoying to know that they may have died so that a former president could get re-elected or that the ego of a former Secretary of Defense or National Security Advisor could be served. THEY KNEW long before Saigon fell that SAIGON WOULD FALL. The overwhelming majority of soldiers who died in Vietnam were lost to serve nothing more than those individual's personal vanity.

So in the end we pretty much agree.



< Message edited by spence -- 9/23/2017 4:56:14 AM >

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Post #: 26
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 5:02:42 AM   
Big B

 

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I am not talking about egos and possible poor decisions here (and make no mistake - the Vietnam war was full of such political decisions)... I am talking about collusion with communists operatives who were actively working to ensure the defeat of America's efforts in the war.
YES - I am saying there was a concerted effort to subvert the best efforts of our government and troops to undermine the American Public's WILL to resist communist takeover in South Vietnam.
Come out to Garden Grove in Orange County California and talk to the 'New Americans' there... ask them about the war.

quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

I also knew friends and classmates who were killed in Vietnam. It is, to say the least, annoying to know that they may have died so that a former president could get re-elected or that the ego of a former Secretary of Defense or National Security Advisor could be served. THEY KNEW long before Saigon fell that SAIGON WOULD FALL. The overwhelming majority of soldiers who died in Vietnam were lost to serve nothing more than those individual's personal vanity.





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(in reply to spence)
Post #: 27
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:17:09 PM   
Chickenboy


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From: San Antonio, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

Actually it is irrelevant. Our tactics may or not have been superb at the time but that has long since been corrected within the US military.


Actually...I have no idea what you're saying here. What's your point? That the military execution of the war was spot on? Cite your example. Elaborate on what needed to be corrected, was corrected and why? Elaborate on why our tactics were spot on...until they weren't?

It is precisely this level of study that, like this discussion, gets smeared in the politics of the day. How can I know what we could have / should have learned from the military campaign there if we get derailed every other sentence.

So, no. Not irrelevant to my question. It's clear that we're not communicating about what I'm looking for in a vietnam war (military focused) documentary. You're suggesting that the only relevant aspect about the Vietnam war was the post-war hindsight circumspection about why or when or with whom we should go to war and that study of...you know...the war is irrelevant or, at best, a sidelight. Numerous documentaries (that all sound alike now that I think about it) have taken this tack. I'm saying they've all been derivative and wanting.

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(in reply to spence)
Post #: 28
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 4:53:37 PM   
spence

 

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Tactics change with the times, the weapons available, the terrain and the nature of the enemy. Tactically the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong contributed all that they had to contribute to the conflict at the beginning of the conflict. Tactically, they learned that to even manage a draw in a battle, they had to get in so close to US forces that the US could not safely employ its overwhelming artillery/air power. Tactically the US learned to employ infantry as "bait" to get the NVA/VC to attack and subject themselves to that overwhelming air and artillery firepower. When one side or the other failed to fit a battle to the tactical principles prevailing in the specific circumstances of that battle its losses were unacceptably high. For the US "unacceptably high" was incalculably lower than for North Vietnam (for a whole bunch of factors relating to the nature of the societies and other soft sciences which are inextricably tied to the ability of a country to fight a war).

Strategic principles transcend the scope of individual wars and are ignored at the peril of any who fight wars ignoring their importance. The US never chose an attainable objective as the focus of its efforts. The North Vietnamese chose the US will to fight the war as their objective because they had no other attainable objective. Since it wasn't even a war in a legal sense people like Jane Fonda could pose with NVA flak gunners etc, without risking any legal sanctions.

Episode 3-4 of the subject series explores the evolution of the North Vietnamese strategic focus (from the tactical lessons taught to them in open combat) and the corresponding lack of focus in the US efforts. Its a pretty good series.


(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 29
RE: OT-The Vietnam War - 9/23/2017 5:07:46 PM   
geofflambert


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Political opinions are verboten hier, I believe. Let's stop talking about commies and Reps and Dems. LBJ took us in and for reasons difficult to parse, but not for domestic political purposes.

(in reply to spence)
Post #: 30
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