Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Prevailing myths of the Vietnam War
JWR ^ | May 1, 2000 | Tony Snow

Posted on 01/31/2004 11:41:34 AM PST by William McKinley

THE VIETNAM WAR marked the first time in American history that we waged war not only against a foreign enemy, but against ourselves.

Truth was the first casualty of that internecine fight, which means that now, on the 25th anniversary of our departure from Vietnam, many younger Americans know little about the war other than the grim idiocies passed on by the professors and the press.

Let's refute some of those popular myths. [snip]


(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: myth; tonysnow; vietnam; vietnamwar
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last
I am getting the sense that in this election, we will be re-fighting the Vietnam war. Time to start looking back.
1 posted on 01/31/2004 11:41:37 AM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Marked for later. On my way out to play in Saturday traffic.
2 posted on 01/31/2004 11:43:32 AM PST by leadpenny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: leadpenny
"On my way out to play in Saturday traffic."

Perhaps you should rephrase that. :~)

3 posted on 01/31/2004 11:47:53 AM PST by verity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Sure,....and....'JFK' would still be alive if he had been a socialist-Buddhist!
4 posted on 01/31/2004 11:50:22 AM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
I like Tony Snow. He has more common decency in his little finger than all of Hollywood lumped together.

I went to Vietnam when I was 18. I only wish I knew at the time why I was there. It would have given some meaning to it all.
5 posted on 01/31/2004 11:51:00 AM PST by rj45mis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
ping
6 posted on 01/31/2004 11:51:13 AM PST by hillsborofox (If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. Voltaire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maestro
I might agree with your point if I had any idea what it was. Care to explain it?
7 posted on 01/31/2004 11:51:38 AM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rj45mis
Thank you for your service.

If you want to read a few good books on that part of your life, I would suggest "Vietnam: The Necessary War" by Michael Lind which goes into the whys behind the war as seen from the perspective of decades later, and "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett which goes into how certain politically motivated groups worked to turn the public against the soldiers.

8 posted on 01/31/2004 11:53:56 AM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
It proves the old adage:
If you are teen aged and conservative...you have no heart
If you are middle aged and liberal...you have no brain
9 posted on 01/31/2004 11:54:27 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rj45mis
I went to Vietnam when I was 18. I only wish I knew at the time why I was there. It would have given some meaning to it all.

Exactly, of what 'value' is a 'Worldview'...?

(NEA public education)

10 posted on 01/31/2004 11:54:42 AM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
UR# 7......

I might agree with your point if I had any idea what it was. Care to explain it?

Sure,....and....'Diem' would still be alive if he had been a socialist-Buddhist!

11 posted on 01/31/2004 11:56:30 AM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Exactly, of what 'value' is a 'Worldview'...?

Quit hiding behind this phony speak and explain yourself.
12 posted on 01/31/2004 11:57:50 AM PST by rj45mis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
I am getting the sense that in this election, we will be re-fighting the Vietnam war. Time to start looking back.
Mom, Apple Pie, and the Ghost of Quagmires Past
I agree.
13 posted on 01/31/2004 11:59:16 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Belief in your own objectivity is the essence of subjectivity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maestro
I still have not the foggiest idea of what your point is.

You obviously disagree with something for some reason. Beyond that, you are coming through clear as mud.

14 posted on 01/31/2004 11:59:49 AM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
"If you want to read a few good books on that part of your life, I would suggest "Vietnam: The Necessary War" by Michael Lind which goes into the whys behind the war as seen from the perspective of decades later, and "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett which goes into how certain politically motivated groups worked to turn the public against the soldiers."

Thanks for the info, WM.
15 posted on 01/31/2004 12:01:07 PM PST by rj45mis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
"Time to start looking back."

By looking forward.

16 posted on 01/31/2004 12:01:16 PM PST by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley; rj45mis; Alamo-Girl; Poohbah; Dog; Mitchell; Fred Mertz; AAABEST; xzins
I still have not the foggiest idea of what your point is. You obviously disagree with something for some reason. Beyond that, you are coming through clear as mud.

LOL......read William McKinley's 'Home Page'......

Worldviews of 'value' do count!

(McKinley' daughter)

/sarcasm

17 posted on 01/31/2004 12:04:14 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
the first time in American history that we waged war not only against a foreign enemy, but against ourselves.

Being a democracy, America is was never monolithic in any of its wars. Anyone here remember the Civil War (Ooops, the 'War Between the States' for my southern in-laws).

He also got wrong that domino theory bit. If the theory worked, than after Burma we'd have lost the Phillipines, Japan, then hopefully California (well, maybe one out of three was true). But it didn't happen because the theory was bogus. In conflicts you pick defensive positions and Vietnam was not one of the best places to defend.

But we did defend there for the better part of two decades and Snow overlooks the biggest myth-- the idea that our efforts were wasted. They weren't because our goal was (or was supposed to have been) containment, not conquest. We contained communism (or at least slowed it down a lot) enough for Reagan to finish it off in the '80's. I'd call it a successful Fabian defense.

18 posted on 01/31/2004 12:04:45 PM PST by expat_panama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maestro
I see.

So your point is that you are incapable of communicating a point?

Very nice.

19 posted on 01/31/2004 12:06:47 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: expat_panama; All
Your# 18 ........'Great Post'......
20 posted on 01/31/2004 12:07:46 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: expat_panama
I think it is clear that Snow totally forgot the Civil War in making that line. :-)
21 posted on 01/31/2004 12:10:11 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
So your point is that you are incapable of communicating a point?

LOL.....

(McKinley's daughter?)

Enjoy reading post# 18,........18 is a 'Great Post'....!!

22 posted on 01/31/2004 12:10:33 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Yes, 18 is a great post, and I don't find much in it I disagree with.

And I still have no clue as to what you are talking about in any of your posts on this thread, nor do I have any clue what you are going off about "McKinely's daughter" about, nor do I have any idea why you were insulting a vet earlier on this thread.

Is it your intention to come across as an ass?

23 posted on 01/31/2004 12:12:43 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Your# 18 ........'Great Post'......

You are kind. But a truly great post is one that you print out and tape on the wall-- like I am doing with your post #20. ;-)

24 posted on 01/31/2004 12:15:38 PM PST by expat_panama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Perhaps it is moreso on this board but I know Kerry sets off old outrage in me.

There were also a lot of groups promoting the overthrow of the government,led by criminals more than idealists.They blew up a few buildings,robbed banks,people died.Communist infiltration.Flower children

Then there were the plain old hedonists!Hedonism was a religion..If it feels good do it!Clinton?
25 posted on 01/31/2004 12:17:32 PM PST by MEG33 (God bless our armed forces)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Sorry,.......

[see above]

.....I went to Vietnam when I was 18. I only wish I knew at the time why I was there. It would have given some meaning to it all. Exactly, of what 'value' is a 'Worldview'...?

(NEA public education)

Sorry,......lunch is served,.....see ya,....'later'.

Thanks for posting this thread!

(USA....'All-around-protection'.....forever!)

26 posted on 01/31/2004 12:17:50 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: expat_panama
I am making numerous copies of #20 to line the walls of my CPU.......in the event it takes a crap and I need to clean it up.

Who needs the old Sears Catalog!

27 posted on 01/31/2004 12:19:13 PM PST by Thumper1960
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: maestro
OK. Enjoy your lunch. Maybe you can actually make coherent points when you come back.
28 posted on 01/31/2004 12:20:19 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Thanks.
29 posted on 01/31/2004 12:23:20 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: expat_panama
But we did defend there for the better part of two decades and Snow overlooks the biggest myth-- the idea that our efforts were wasted. They weren't because our goal was (or was supposed to have been) containment, not conquest. We contained communism (or at least slowed it down a lot) enough for Reagan to finish it off in the '80's. I'd call it a successful Fabian defense.

I've tried to make this point to people for decades. All the men we lost were lost in a cause just as important as WWII. Communism made the Nazis look like amateurs when it came to slaughtering people. They saved us from decades of a new Dark Ages.

30 posted on 01/31/2004 12:23:38 PM PST by mikegi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: maestro
You're welcome! Thorzine can be hell on an empty stomach, my crazy aunt tells me.
31 posted on 01/31/2004 12:24:37 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: onedoug
I am more of a "start looking forward by first looking back" kind of a guy.
32 posted on 01/31/2004 12:25:59 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
bump
33 posted on 01/31/2004 12:26:02 PM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
You're welcome! Thorzine can be hell on an empty stomach, my crazy aunt tells me.

ROTFLOL.........

Prozik...............is the 'high' of the 21st Century?

LOL

34 posted on 01/31/2004 12:29:23 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
As far as giving Veterans their due, I was unemployed in 1980 but was trying to get into civil service. I was not allowed to use my VA preference because I had over two years of college, at the same time Jimmy Carter was allowing the maggots to come back from Canada and they had federal jobs waiting on them if they came back.
35 posted on 01/31/2004 12:32:31 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mikegi
I don't know what anyone is trying to say, aside from insulting each other. I spent 27 months there between 1965 - 1968 with MACV and the 25 DIV, as enlisted scum, 11B, and I thought we should have been there.

Americas last great burst of altruism.

36 posted on 01/31/2004 12:33:20 PM PST by Little Bill (I can't take another rat in the White House at my age.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
Good for you. To bad we didn't have another 300,000 troops just like you.
37 posted on 01/31/2004 12:38:40 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: mikegi
Communism made the Nazis look like amateurs

You and me and a bunch here know that but it's amazing how most people don't -- especially the dems and the press. Stalin killed so many more people than Hitler did, and when the last Stalinist- Gorby - called it quits, they gave HIM the friggin' Nobel prize. Maybe Carter is in good company, but if Nobel was alive today he'd be spinning in his grave.

38 posted on 01/31/2004 1:00:59 PM PST by expat_panama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: U S Army EOD
It was just something you did, no special thanks needed, we were in a war. All of my friends served alott of them a couple of tours, my dad and uncles served, goes back a long time.

Most of them came back no worse for weare and sit at the end of the bar at the VFW swapping lies along with the rest of the old guys as my Grandfathers generation did.

39 posted on 01/31/2004 1:01:44 PM PST by Little Bill (I can't take another rat in the White House at my age.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: joesnuffy
If you are teen aged and conservative...you have no heart If you are middle aged and liberal...you have no brain

You know, I'm finding that to be partially untrue, in my opinion the liberal hart is too shriveled by all it's bleeding.

40 posted on 01/31/2004 1:13:21 PM PST by WritableSpace
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
I don't know what Maesto is trying to say, and I'd probably disagree with him if I did. But he does seem to be alluding to a critical turning point in the war.

If JFK had not ordered the CIA to assassinate Diem, as the Pentagon Papers revealed, in part because Diem was a Catholic and JFK found his own Catholicism politically embarrassing, and because Vietnamese Buddhists were setting themselves in fire while protesting Diem as a tyrant, the war would have gone much better.

Kennedy's assassination of Diem was a disastrous turning point in the war, a major instance of our failure to fight the war as if we intended to win it.
41 posted on 01/31/2004 1:18:46 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
The part I am not seeing is how that turning point has anything to do with any point I've made or that Snow made-- and I am wondering why he would think that Snow's points would be the same as mine.

*shrug*

42 posted on 01/31/2004 1:23:40 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: larryjohnson
ping me
43 posted on 01/31/2004 1:55:20 PM PST by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
UR# 41.......Great Post!!

Kennedy's assassination of Diem was THE disastrous turning point in the war, THE major instance of our failure to fight the war as if we intended to win it.

The real 'value' of Worldviews......?

(What is 'total-war'....?)

(What is a true 'cultural-revolution'?)

(Outcome-resolutions-absolute!)

Civilizations die!

:-(

44 posted on 01/31/2004 2:02:47 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
I agree, I don't know what he's getting at. Never mind.
45 posted on 01/31/2004 2:09:15 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
The 'Internationale' U.N. is NOT your friend?
46 posted on 01/31/2004 2:11:04 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Of course, the same left who convinced us to abandon even ourselves then, are those trying it all again now.

In his most recent syndicated piece, Victor Davis Hansen writes:

"Our efforts in Iraq to remove a genocidal murderer and inaugurate democracy are not a "quagmire," but one of the brightest moments in recent American history — and we need not be ashamed to say that, again and again and again."

Amen.

Then, despite all those who undermined, and undermine today, our fight againt evil and to save our civilization...as a function of how that country changes today, this is how we will have in fact won the Vietnam War.

47 posted on 01/31/2004 2:11:48 PM PST by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
Something about President McKinley's daughter, I reckon.

Hey, I was going to bone up on my Vietnam history, considering how I think that it is likely to be rehashed ad nauseum throughout the campaign.

Do you have any recommendations?

48 posted on 01/31/2004 2:15:36 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley; Cicero
Stanley Karnow,...VIETNAM a History....The Viking Press, New York, 1983

(PBS television series)

Shalom ev Jesus Christ.

(Romans 4:5)

(Romans 10:17)

49 posted on 01/31/2004 2:25:24 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Stanley Karnow, Vietnam: A History:
Reviewer: Scott Carpenter (see more about me) from Irvine, CA United States

This book has many merits: It is comprehensive, it attempts to explain Vietnamese history, and it is full of on the spot interviews and remembrances. This remains the basic history text of record on American involvement in Vietnam. There is a breadth of perspective here that is lacking in many accounts of this most up-close and personal of wars.

Despite these advantages, the book has some real limitations. The writing is pedestrian, the characterizations (if one can say that about history) tend to be thin, and Karnow fails to convey a sense of wholeness in many chapters. The book at times feels more like a collection of dispatches from a reporter in the field (which Karnow was in Vietnam) rather than the work of a historian who has integrated fact and theory based on deep understanding and research. As comprehensive as the book tries to be, Karow's reach may have exeeded his grasp with his project.

The book also suffers from a real bias against American involvement and the American establishment, Republican and Democratic. When "Uncle Ho" commits murders in the thousands the book makes one feel like this is a natural outpouring of exuburant nationalism rather than good old fashioned absolutism. But when the admittedly corrupt and inept Diem regime or confused ARVN or American soldiers commit atrocities, the condemnation is acid and biting. Communists are presented as "golden," or "tough," while Southerners or Amercians are usually charactured as "greedy," or "arrogant."

There is also an irony in the book's approach. Karnow should be complemented for attempting to fit American involvement in Vietnam into the wider context of Vietnam's history. However, Vietnam's history is presented mostly through lense of Western or Colonial contact. There is little sense of Vietnam as a nation, and its people, religion and history are merely players on the stage of American Imperialism. In suggesting that the policy of containment as expressed in the Vietnam war was a misjudgment of Vietnamese Nationalism (which is now common wisdom), Karnow ironically describes that nation as through an American TV camera, rather than a Vietnamese watercolor.

Now, almost 20 years after it was written, the Vietnam: A History still has valuable perspective and information. But be forewarned: This is still a myopic document of American liberal self-analysis.

Looks like a short read, and my library carries it, so I'll check it out the next time I go, thanks. I doubt I'll find it as praiseworthy as you, because I tend to find books that have "a real bias against American involvement and the American establishment" tend to not be my cup of tea.
50 posted on 01/31/2004 2:32:30 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson