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To: arthurus; Oldexpat; tanuki; Enterprise; John123; Grimmy

The sad thing that is overlooked in the discussion of Suharto is how his victory over Indonesian Communism rendered the whole Vietnam war so goddammed unnecessary.

The ‘Domino Theory’ was based on the assumption that if Vietnam fell then so would Thailand and Malaysia and then the Communists would get what they really wanted; Indonesia. Indonesia was the target of the Japanese in the Second World War and it was the target for the Communists. With its vast reserves of oil, rubber, tin, copper, bauxite, gold etc it was the jewel in the crown.

In 1965 Indonesia had the third largest Communists party in the world and they looked set to take over the country from the shambolic rule of Sukarno. But then Suharto handed their asses to them on a plate and in three months without using a single US soldier he wiped out the Communists and utterly destroyed them. After that Indonesia was firmly anchored in the western sphere of influence.

With Indonesia secure, and Malaysia and Singapore likewise under the Brits and Australia in the south and an American supported Philippines there was no need to worry about Indo-China, if they fell to Communism it would be no great loss to the world, as indeed happened but instead 55,000 young Americans were to die in a pointless war and America was to suffer a defeat from which it has still not fully recovered.


26 posted on 01/27/2008 5:12:24 PM PST by PotatoHeadMick
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To: PotatoHeadMick

The one strategic benefit of the Vietnam War was sucking the USSR into Afghanistan. That was the Big Domino.


27 posted on 01/27/2008 5:33:30 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: PotatoHeadMick

Indonesia was, indeed, the prize for that whole part of the world. Control of Indonesia would have given the Communists control of the major part of world sea traffic including oil transport, as well as another large source of oil.


29 posted on 01/27/2008 5:52:45 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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