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The truth about Viet Nam, and life there today.
| Oct 2002
Posted on 10/19/2002 12:59:12 AM PDT by Exton1
The truth about Viet Nam, and life there today.
I have been to Viet Nam twice in the last two years. In fact I went with the son of someone who for a short period of time was the highest ranking representative of the South. The dirty truth is that we actually won the war MILITARILY and lost it due to politics and lies of the communist press here in the states. Walter Cronkite, a proclaimed communist, lied when he said after the Tet Offensive that we were in a quagmire. The truth is that we had just destroyed the Viet Cong. They spent several years and all they had at us, and we kicked their butts. In fact the communist were surprised that we did not declare victory then.
The US killed so many men during the war that women had to fight. Even today the ratio of women to men is about 5 to 1. (Many families sent their boys out of the country to work so they could send money home) In fact the country almost had mass starvation, due to the war and the stupidity of the Communist leadership. It was not until about 5 years ago that they have had enough rice and goods to export.
What happened is that the last leader of the South was a communist who basically gave the country to the North. The North Communist had estimated that it would take 3 to 5 years to take over the South. Because of the action of the Souths president, the Communists met little if any resistance and took the country in about 3 months. What is also not widely known is that Nixons Christmas bombing almost won the war. The communist leader in Hanoi, said that had the bombing continued for a day or two longer they WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP UNCONDITIONALLY.
In addition , the Wall Street Journal had an article about 8 years ago that talk brought up the Domino Effect. Because we fought the war for about 10 years, this gave surrounding countries the time they needed to become DEMOCRACIES. People in countries like Thailand, give us credit for wining the war and stopping the spread of communism.
The lesson of Viet Nam is that, you do not go to war with a country unless you plan to finish the job and win. Once we were committed we should have stayed and finished the job. And that we should always support our troops and explain to the public why we are fighting.
In addition, it has been pointed out that America ONLY spent about one or two hour total explaining to the GIs why they were fighting. This compared to the Communist who spent nearly 4 hours a day, every day explaining to its solders why they were fighting. They told their soldiers that as poor as they were, the South was worse, because of US Imperialism the South did not even have bowls for their rice. That there was mass starvation and poverty. With stories like this many soldiers felt that their was great need to fight. So many were extremely surprised to find that it was all a lie, and that the South lived in luxury compared to them. Many said if they had known the truth they would have not fought or changed sides.
If you go to Viet Nam today you will find that the people love America and much of our culture. With the exception of the Government run War Museums, you will think the West won. Viet Nam has discos and night clubs where they sing American Songs, dress in American style clothes, and use cell phones. Although it always helps to be with someone who speaks the language, more people are learning English in Viet Nam then at any time in the past.
However, the county is very poor and change is slow because the old jungle fighters run the country, and they are extremely greedy. The average income is about $80.00 per month. When I was there I read a story about a family of four or five who got by on about $1,200 a year. The populace are fairly intelligent and realize that if they are to grow they have to get rid of Communist rule. Even though the government has repressed anti-government talk. It will only be a matter of time before even they ended up on the ash heap of history.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: communist; vietnam
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I can write more if you want. Let me know
posted on 10/19/2002 12:59:12 AM PDT
What is also not widely known is that Nixons Christmas bombing almost won the war. The communist leader in Hanoi, said that had the bombing continued for a day or two longer they WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP UNCONDITIONALLY.
This has been known for years among those of us who have studied military science and tactics. The British general who wiped out the communists in the Malay Penninsula said that within two more weeks of boming, Hanoi would have thrown in the towel. But, at the time, the leftists in congress aided by the leftists in the media, stopped Nixon from doing it.
posted on 10/19/2002 1:11:57 AM PDT
Because of the action of the Souths president, the Communists met little if any resistance and took the country in about 3 months.
Sorry, not so. The North had gathered together a number of concentrated armored divisions. By that time, the U. S. military was forbidden to give the south Aid or supplies. If American airpower had been allowed to be brought in the entire armored force would have been wiped out in four hours and Hanoi would have been finished. As it was, there was no way the South could stand up to that force.
posted on 10/19/2002 1:20:29 AM PDT
Budget Travel had an article about little bungalows you can rent in Vietnam. Looked like a good trip
There is a resort about a days drive north of Saigon. The place has a name that sounds like Fun Tit. It can be a lot of fun, for two. Nice air conditioned Bungalows , pool, Ocean, only thing is that they dont know how to make mixed drinks. You can make your own, and they charge you by whats used from the bottle.
posted on 10/19/2002 1:35:53 AM PDT
Your partially right. The South had its own Air Power. But look at the facts ONE lone tank crashed through the gates at the Presidential :Palace. In fact its still there as a monument. Truth is that there were Generals who wanted to fight, but the Communist President of the South lied to them and told them not to fight. The North met very little resistance on their way into Saigon.
P.S. Even though the communist have changed the name to Ho Chi Min city, most people still call it Saigon.
posted on 10/19/2002 1:44:12 AM PDT
Do the Viet Namese appreciate the *dedicated* efforts of the American left-wing and such grandstanding traitors such as Jane Fonda? Do they appreciate receiving their communist government due to American radicals?
posted on 10/19/2002 1:53:38 AM PDT
But look at the facts ONE lone tank crashed through the gates at the Presidential Palace.
For Christ sake, man. Only one tank can come through a gate at a time. That doesn't mean there was only one tank in the northern army. The North had piles of Soviet tanks. There couldn't use them earlier because they would be sitting ducks for American aircraft. When American forces began withdrawal of support directed from home, the North was free to move armor against a defenseless South.
posted on 10/19/2002 2:58:25 AM PDT
The truth is that we had just destroyed the Viet Cong. They spent several years and all they had at us, and we kicked their butts. In fact the communist were surprised that we did not declare victory then.
What is also not widely known is that Nixons Christmas bombing almost won the war.
Oh, good. Now we can all feel better, knowing that we really "won" in Vietnam.
Next up: The slaveholding states "really won" the Civil War, and to this day the free states are surprised that they didn't declare victory right after Bull Run.
posted on 10/19/2002 3:22:20 AM PDT
Let me recount the history I read. In 1973&74 the south vietnamese had some big fights with the north vietnamese. Casualties were high on both sides. The south held their ground generally. The north was being fed ammunition and equipment by the soviets at this point. The south was being fed ammunition and equipment by the americans. In the spring of 75 the US Congress cut off funding for the south vietnamese. The cutoff was effective immediately. The congressmen were so proud of themselves that they'd 'ended' our involvement in vietnam. Of course our troops had left completely in 73 formally while our troops had done very little fighting in 70, 71, 72 & 73. The big fighting for our guys occurred in 64, 65, 66, 67 & 68. Just 3 weeks or so later, after the cutoff in funding, the north vietnamese invaded with everything they had. The south's leaders knew they were going to lose because they were going to run out of ammunition. It wasn't much of a fight, some south vietnamese soldiers did in fact run out of ammunition while resisting. The generals didn't deploy them for victory because they knew it wasn't going to happen. The south's soldiers were scattering long before it was over.
If we'd kept funding them, then south vietnam would be free today and north vietnam would still be communist. The north wouldn't have clamped down on the south the way they did which cost hundreds of thousands of lives, perhaps even one million.
our troops really did win in Vietnam from a military view. It was a political decision strictly to bring our troops out, it was a political decision also to cut off funding for the south vietnamese military in 75 which led to their defeat.
The north vietnamese began fighting us in 64, the fighting was very hard. For every one soldier of ours killed there were perhaps 20 of theirs killed. A lot of people feel that this was due to our superior equipment in fighting the war. This is only partially true. Even when down on the ground facing the enemy without air power to back our guys up our troops performed extraordinarilly well in that war. They performed just as well as any of our troops in any war we ever fought. The climax came in early 68 when they threw everything they had at us at once. The biggest single battle at khe sanh in the north in late 67-early 68 was an example. We lost a few hundred men over 100 days, they lost perhaps 10,000. Notably, at Khe Sanh the enemy had the best soviet equipment, they also had soviet migs with soviet pilots and they had soviet artillery also. In other words, it was america's best against the soviets' best. Our best prevailed big-time. After the tet of early 68 the north's soldiers literally left the south. The fighting died down. We had actually won from a purely military point of view. We could've sent our troops into the north and completed the victory if we had merely chosen to do so. It was a political decision to not do so. We stayed in the south for several years, until 73 with our troops doing very little fighting. The south vietnamese were trained and equiped to do the fighting instead of us. We left in 73 with the south in charge. They held their own in the fighting throughout 73 & 74 with no american involvement whatsoever. They only lost after their funding was pulled by the US congress and their troops were running out of bullets.
All of this I've stated is simple fact. It is in fact a myth that we lost the war from a military point of view. It was a political decision to lose.
Our news media worked overtime getting everyone to feel as though we lost, but the actual facts are different.
There is a resort about a days drive north of Saigon. The place has a name that sounds like Fun Tit. It can be a lot of fun, for two.
Are you referring to Phan Thiet?
Nice air conditioned Bungalows , pool, Ocean, only thing is that they dont know how to make mixed drinks.
It's on the South China Sea and is about 100 miles almost due east of Ho Chi Minh City.
I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of your vanity post.
Walter Cronkite, a proclaimed communist, lied when he said after the Tet Offensive that we were in a quagmire.
Cronkite, a proclaimed communist? Who proclaimed him? Cronkite is far from being a conservative American, but he is no communist. You do little for your vanity when you start an article with proclomations such as this one.
posted on 10/19/2002 4:14:03 AM PDT
To: Red Jones
Thanks for your analysis. That's it in a nutshell, . . .
The biggest single battle at khe sanh in the north in late 67-early 68 was an example. We lost a few hundred men over 100 days, they lost perhaps 10,000. Notably, at Khe Sanh the enemy had the best soviet equipment, they also had soviet migs with soviet pilots and they had soviet artillery also.
. . . however, I don't remember any accounts or reports of the North's air power engaging our air power over Khe Sanh or anywhere else over the South. Also, you might get an argument, as to the largest battle, from the 'grunts,' both Army and Marines, who fought at the Battle for the Hue Citadel that took place at the same time as Khe Sanh.
To: Red Jones
You've given a pretty good bullet summation. It would make a good insert in the present day history books.
posted on 10/19/2002 4:23:29 AM PDT
From what I have heard, Viet Nam can undercut China on wages (10 cents an hour vs 35 cents). The Chinese are now starting to complain that they dont make enough, which will make American companies take their factories to VietNam. Vietnamese are skilled enough to make the same products the Chinese are making (furniture especially). Of course in the meantime American furniture workers are without jobs and will probably end up working at WalMart or Rooms to Go for miniumum wage. Makes it all worth 50,000 Americans dead, doesn't it?
posted on 10/19/2002 4:51:05 AM PDT
By that time, the U. S. military was forbidden to give the south Aid or supplies.
And this even included things as basic as ammunition for their guns,and fuel to run their trucks and tanks. The Dims in the US Congress are the ones that won the war from the North Vietnamese,not their counterparts in NVN.
you're right, that might not be correct about biggest battle, depending on how you measure it. But that battle lasted over 100 days. The enemy massed 20,000 troops at us, tried to over-run a camp with 5,000 or so americans in it. I read a slim book about that battle. It said the enemy had Migs with russian pilots working that battle. It said they had big artillery pieces also. I talked to two people who were there, they told stories. Our troops were so well dug in and prepared that when the enemy attacked it was just a killing field for them. They made it a very high priority to over-run our troops. We made it a very high priority to not let them.
Somebody should make a movie out of it.
But look at the facts ONE lone tank crashed through the gates at the Presidential :Palace. In fact its still there as a monument.
Of course. It was inevitable that this happen. The south had already surrendered before the NVA came into Saigon. The president of SVN told his army to quit fighting because they had nothing left to fight with,and more deaths would have been pointless.
however, I don't remember any accounts or reports of the North's air power engaging our air power over Khe Sanh or anywhere else over the South.
The communists tried this earlier in the war,and kept losing all their airplanes. They even went so far as to use eastern European,Russian,and Cuban pilots. They got tired of losing their fighters,so they mostly stayed on the ground after that.
Makes it all worth 50,000 Americans dead, doesn't it?
Where are your priorities? It will surely have been all worth it if McClain's wife's father gets the contract to import and export alchol,the Gore's,Kennedy's,Bush's,and other elites get contracts to drill for oil offshore,and other elites get to buy beachfront property at a penny to a dollars worth of value so they have land to build their hotels on.
yes, that is curious how they apparently used Migs at khe sanh in late 67/early 68, but did not use them in the south afterwards. I think maybe because khesanh was in the far north of south vietnam. The Migs were new tothem. Maybe they didn't want to risk using them further south or maybe we shot them out of sky? Also, I'm sure those soldiers taking back Hue during the tet that began right as Khe sanh battle was ending would disagree with the assessment that khe sanh being largest battle. If I'd been a grunt I'd rather have been dug in at Khe sanh than fighting to take back Hue after the communists took it.
It was a real tough war for our soldiers. They performed so well. That is the main message everyone should know. Mel Gibson's recent movie was based on fact, it is not hollywood baloney. Also, believe it or not, John Wayne's movie from 68, was it called 'The Green Beret'?, that one portrayed events that were similar to some events that actually did occur also. They really did try to over-run camps just like that and they really did suffer the kinds of lopsided casualties shown in that movie.
Comment #24 Removed by Moderator
To: Red Jones; sneakypete
I'm still unclear on whether or not there is any documented evidence that the North used any form of their air power over the South during the time the Americans were involved. I don't belive there is.
BTW, I had two trips as a Huey Driver. On my second tour (nov69-nov70) I had many good opportunities to see the lay of the land in the Khe Sanh AO. Of Course, during the most of that time it was completely deserted.
As for movies. I've seen most of 'em. "Full Metal Jacket" was great until it jumped to Nam. Although never a beloved grunt, I thought the night firefight in "Platoon" had to be close to reality. The ambush and firefight in "Forrest Gump" took my breath away. And for an early film that has been mostly overlooked, I recommend "Go Tell the Spartans" with Burt Lancaster. Most of the rest of the stuff out of Hollywood is just too much Hollywood for me. I know the story of the Ia Drang. I flew into some of the same landing zones on my first tour about a year after the battle.
Thanks. I'm sitting here reading about how good Wayne's movie is and it really isn't ,thinking there was another movie ,better, that was good, but be damned if I could think of the name, It was a long time ago. "Go Tell the Spartans" , that's it.
posted on 10/19/2002 6:16:54 AM PDT
Walter Cronkite, a proclaimed communist,....
I suspect that you are correct, that he was not a "proclaimed communist," but he was the head megaphone for the liberal, socialist propaganda ministry that took over the American newsmedia and so intensely bombarded us with anti-American values that the country was fractured beyond repair. (He also left us with satanic offspring such as Dan Rather.) Now, he is clearly a globalist supporter of the new world order of neo monarchs.
During the seige of Khe San, 1 (that's ONE) C-130 was shot down and burned on the landing strip.
The communists at the big three networks ran film of that night after night, making it appear to the public that the commies were shooting down our whole air force.
posted on 10/19/2002 6:42:02 AM PDT
I'm still unclear on whether or not there is any documented evidence that the North used any form of their air power over the South during the time the Americans were involved.
If you mean tac-air,it never happened. I'm not even sure the north HAD fighter-bombers. They did have fighters though,and they did scramble them early in the war to try and defend the north from bombing attacks. There are two SF guys I know who participated in the very first "Bright Light" insertion into North Viet Nam (within sight of the Hanoi lights)to try to rescue a shot-down pilot,and as they were inserting,one turned to the other and asked him,"What would you do if you saw a MIG now?" When the second one answered "Shit",the first one pointed out a MIG coming after them. The MIG saw their fighter escort though,and ran away.
There were also reports of Soviet helicopters seeing limited use in Laos and Cambodia. Mostly for ferrying advisors and NVA brass,though.
The scene where Lancaster is telling the Captain why he, after WWII, Korea and now Vietnam, is still a g-d'd Major is worth the price of a rental.
Thanks. That "Bright Light" story reminds me of a few seconds of terror I had. In early 70 I was flying the 24th Corps Arty CG in the tri-border area just south of Khe Sanh near the northern end of the Ashau Valley. He liked to personnaly survey things and this day we were looking at the overnight progress the NVA was making with a spur of the HCM Trail into the South. Later, 175 and 8" rounds would be arriving from places like FSB Barbara southwest of Quang Tri. Out of no where I spotted a 'fast mover' at about our altitude (1500-2000') near the Laotian border and a couple of miles away. The five or so seconds it took to determine it was an F4 tooling through the area made me almost wish I was wearing a diaper.
Note to self: Use spell check!
To: Red Jones
11 and 12 are pretty much as I remember it as well.
As early as '69 we were looking at what would be left behind for the south to use in defending themselves.
And it was damn little even then.
'73 was when we finally pulled the plug and reflected it by cutting forces in the pacific to a degree that must have cheered Hanoi a great deal. That's also when we dumped the original plan to go after POW and MIA.
posted on 10/19/2002 8:25:14 AM PDT
"Gardens of Stone"
Still and always best telling of the whole picture - not just the fights, the questions, or the issues, but the feel.
posted on 10/19/2002 8:31:24 AM PDT
Why I haven't seen that one I don't know. On your advice, I'm gonna get it today.
Even today the ratio of women to men is about 5 to 1.
Source of this stat?
posted on 10/19/2002 9:32:19 AM PDT
by per loin
To: per loin
Here is the actial stat according to the CIA factbook:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Watergate, shmottergate.....Nixon was THE MAN!!!
My brother (on the right) and fellow 'Wolfhounds' at Cu-Chi, 1966!
By that time, the U. S. military was forbidden to give the south Aid or supplies. And this even included things as basic as ammunition for their guns,and fuel to run their trucks and tanks. The Dims in the US Congress are the ones that won the war from the North Vietnamese,not their counterparts in NVN.
Neither the North or South had a large enough economy to produce armaments. What existed was an incursion from the north with communist supplied armaments which required outside supply of armaments to the south for resistance. Whichever side first fails to continue receiving outside support, loses. The Commies knew that and were ready to move when we began weakening our support for the south..
posted on 10/19/2002 11:44:59 AM PDT
You should change your screen name to 'Shrillbay'
leadpenny if your referring to why I talked about the resort about a days drive north of Saigon, it was a response to KneelBeforeZod who said Budget Travel had an article about little bungalows you can rent in Vietnam. Looked like a good trip
If your asking why I did the original post. Well that is more complicated. It started as a reply to a post about a pole on the History Channel about was it worth us going to Viet Nam. Frankly, as an American Veteran of that era, I am sick and tired of self-righteous leftist liberals saying that the USA was criminal in fighting the war, and that Veterans were stupid for serving. I am sick and tired of feeling ashamed for serving my contry, while cowards like Bill Klinton strut around like peacocks, proclaiming they have superior morels, and that Nixon was worse than LBJ how many Kids did you kill today. There is a fact that Socialist Liberal Cowards fought the war and demonized the soldiers who fought it.. As late as 1984 a friend of mine was turned down on a job because he mentioned he flew cargo planes form the US to VN. They told him that they did not hire Baby Killers.
posted on 10/19/2002 12:07:50 PM PDT
What years were you in VN? Do you have any desire to go Back? What did you do there?
posted on 10/19/2002 12:14:15 PM PDT
Illbay So What is your point? That we should let the lies of the Left continue? That we should just bend over and continue to take the abuse of the lying liberals? That those who proudly served should be ashamed for being Americans? What have you ever done for this country?
posted on 10/19/2002 12:20:08 PM PDT
"The lesson of Viet Nam is that, you do not go to war with a country unless you plan to finish the job and win."
The democRATs wouldn't even let us try to win the war as it was. "No, you can't bomb Hanoi, No you can't mine Haiphong harbor, No you can't take out the Ho Chi Minh Trail, No you can't follow the little bastards into Cambodia, and you have to back the ships 20 miles off the coast so the North Vietnamese can re-supply their Cong fighters in the South.
Sheeeeesh!! Don't ever let a democRAT run a war for the U.S.A. unless you want our country to be utterly disgraced!
So What is your point? That we should let the lies of the Left continue?
What "lies"? You are promoting the "truth" that we "really won" in Vietnam?
Sheesh, give it a rest.
posted on 10/19/2002 12:29:44 PM PDT
We might not have won but we certainly did not lose! To use a football analogy, we pulled the first team out of the game at the end of the third quarter and then the US congress took away the helmets, shoulder pads and shoes from the guys remaining on the field. Our congress sold out the South Vietnamese in a way that caused our "allies" to question our commitments for decades. Our enemies are still testing our national resolve.
Oh! OK. I apologize for sounding irritated.
To he!! with anyone who wants to criticize the military. I know what I did. I did what I was told to do. We did what we were told to do. Here in DC they play the LBJ tapes on weekends and evenings on C-SPAN Radio. I catch them sometimes. What comes through to me, loud and clear, is the image of a truly sick and disgusting power-hungry man. In my book LBJ did as much harm to this country, if not more, than WJBC did. I would urinate on LBJ's grave in front of cameras if I could get away with it. I blame no one else. Not Mcnamara. Not Westmoreland. Not the Chiefs of Staff. Not the American public or the media. It all comes down to the failed human being in the name of LBJ.
I checked my bookshelf. There's a book called 'Khe Sanh', volume 5 in a series called 'The Illustrated History Of The Vietnam war' written by Michael Ewing. In that book he says that at Khe Sanh the north vietnamese had both heavy artillery deployed, the best from the soviet arsenal, and Migs. He says they didn't know for sure, but they strongly believed it was russians piloting the migs. But, maybe they just used em in that 1 battle. Maybe they decided there was no fruit in sending them south of khe sanh which was on border between north andsouth. maybe russians decided it was suicide mission and stopped sending migs and pilots into battle.
Either way, I don't know if it was right or wrong for us to fight that war, I'll never know. But it was one heck of a war. And our troops performed so very well.
We might not have won but we certainly did not lose!
Anyone who tries to look at that conflict in only military terms is being myopic in the extreme.
Wars are not football games. The military exists to assert the will of the nation against its protagonists.
We "lost" in Vietnam because we had no will to win, and trying to "score" the conflict in purely military terms is preposterous.
We LOST that conflict, and we wasted many lives and squandered much political capital in the process.
Worst of all, we energized the coterie of dissident Leftists that still plague us today. That's perhaps the most telling sign of defeat of all.
posted on 10/19/2002 1:02:28 PM PDT
"We LOST that conflict, and we wasted many lives"
Don't lecture me on what we lost there, I know up close and personal! "WE" had the will to win, our leaders did not. I know why the military exists and have lived it to the extreme.
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