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

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-61 last
Vietnam was an unjust war.

In many respects the US involvement was a continuation of the failed French attempt to reconquer their former Indo-China colony consisting of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Although definitely Communist, Ho Chi Minh was seen by Vietnamese as a nationalist. In Vietnamese history, when a line of kings had become corrupt or extinct, a new line of kings had arisen from the commoners. Ho Chi Minh was seen as another example of this historical pattern, and he was supported because he would free Vietnam of colonial influences.

We had no reason to enter the battle.

Before the Vietnamese War, the French had lost North Vietnam and the US had lost a war in Laos.

It was a battle between the Frenchified Catholic minority and the nationalist Buddhist majority. We were bound to lose.

The United States was an imperialist aggressor.

This is true. Subsequent events have shown that the Indo-Chinese wars were largely wars of national liberation. Since Thailand had not been colonized, the liberation movements never took hold in Thailand.

Vietnam War protests set off an age of youthful idealism.

I think the idealism was legitimate. Youth do not realize how difficult ideals are to attain.

I used to think old people were hypocrits.

I now realize that hypocrisy is a useful social concept.

It allows a society to maintain high ideals, while not unnecessarily castigating those who fall short.

We're finally giving Vietnam veterans their due.

Veterans never get their dues. They are cannon-fodder, after all.

51 posted on 01/31/2004 2:33:17 PM PST by Lessismore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Lessismore
Yep.

From 'Bible-Providence' to 'Evolutionist-Karma'.

(Romans 10:17)

52 posted on 01/31/2004 3:20:52 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: Lessismore
As far as veterans being cannon fodder, the trick is to make the other side the cannon fodder and we sure killed a lot of commies.
53 posted on 01/31/2004 3:21:11 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 51 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley; Cicero
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.

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.

Yep.

54 posted on 01/31/2004 3:46:35 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Like I said, I'll check it out. I'll give you my review after.
55 posted on 01/31/2004 4:02:06 PM PST by William McKinley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 54 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
If your family military service line goes back to the 1860's, I'm afraid I am going to have to shoot you Little Bill.
56 posted on 01/31/2004 4:57:31 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 39 | View Replies]

To: U S Army EOD
Shoot away, if there was a war on we generally volunteered, Regular Military was not considered a proper career path.
57 posted on 02/01/2004 6:44:25 AM PST by Little Bill (I can't take another rat in the White House at my age.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | 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.

Write Mr. Snow an e-mail and tell him you just read his column. Make sure you point this out to him. If he is half the journalist I think he is, he will mull your comments over and file them away in his memory banks.

The next time he has the opportunity to write about the Viet Nam war he will address this.

58 posted on 02/01/2004 6:54:27 AM PST by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
The true citizen soldiers. Feel free to come down to Georgia anytime, I am getting to old to hold my rifle still and couldn't hit you anyway.
59 posted on 02/01/2004 7:35:58 AM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: Samwise
You're an inspiration --thanks!

This just went to Snow via Foxnews:

Yo Tony!

Over at the Freerepublic there's been a bit of flack about your Vietnam Column (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1069120/posts?page=18#18). A lot there –check out especially from #18(mine) thru #58(Samwise)-- but the main point is that you sell short the success of America's 'holding action' which formed a part of a policy of containment.

Don't get us wrong; I'm sure we argue about your columns a lot more than you argue about ours. Just the same, please celebrate America's successes in your next Vietnam column.
60 posted on 02/01/2004 7:44:29 AM PST by expat_panama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: expat_panama
And thank you. Not only did you make me look at Viet Nam with a different eye, you made me look up the term "Fabian defense."

:^)
61 posted on 02/01/2004 2:56:32 PM PST by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]


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