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Thread: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

  1. #41
    Bovril's Avatar Sagittarius
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
    In fact the problems started after the french left and the americans stepped in.
    Let's not forget the Japanese occupation. It was during that period when much of the Viet Mihn infrastructure was created, and much of the impetus for the independence struggle seems to have stemed from that disruption in colonial rule as far as I can tell.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bovril View Post
    Let's not forget the Japanese occupation. It was during that period when much of the Viet Mihn infrastructure was created, and much of the impetus for the independence struggle seems to have stemed from that disruption in colonial rule as far as I can tell.
    Well it still leaves the french clean

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    Icon8 Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    are you crazy we weren't the one that kill,rape villagers. usa is the bad guy because of usa stupid president kenedy

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    I think there were no good or bad guys in a matter you can point your finger at one nation and say: Good! and then at the other and say:Bad!; The only I can think of being good were the civilians, and I don't mean about hidden insurgents, but plain old or young rice farmers or whomever who done no harm to annyone. But to characterize entire nation or political or military entity as good or bad is not something that should be made lightly, or better still something that shouldn't be made at all...

    I think that (this is my personal opinion only) in the VW almost the same ammount of suffering for civilians came from both sides. you help american, VC burns your village, you help VC, americans burn your village. conclusion: don't help anyone and always have a fire-engine close at hand.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Did America fight against Vietnam or for Vietnam?

    Vietnam was just lucky we had incompetents running things until Nixon took over and ed them up.
    Last edited by Col. Tartleton; February 28, 2013 at 08:24 AM.
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    Minas Moth's Avatar Sabre of Secession
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Tartleton View Post
    Did America fight against Vietnam or for Vietnam?
    do you burn down village belonging to the people you fight for? even if 10 of 200 villagers are insurgents, does that justifies burning an entire village and (possibly) killing all of the villagers? I think no... so to your question: US fought for itself, just as it ever does... just as everyone do. In entire military history I haven't come upon a war that was fought purely on altruistic motives of one side... that is contradictio in adjecto... Hell, I wouldn't condemn my nation to War if there is no gain to be had (either political, economical or some other)...

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    More or less, the US, the French, and most allies. Along with various sympathetic bit players and grassroots movements. Does this mean they were Perfect or that this wasn't a war that could've been avoided? Heck no. But that's just what I think. It's incredibly hard to get less monstrous than "Good Uncle Ho" and his supporters, and given the thugs we propped up in this war that says a lot.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minas Moth View Post
    do you burn down village belonging to the people you fight for? even if 10 of 200 villagers are insurgents, does that justifies burning an entire village and (possibly) killing all of the villagers? I think no... so to your question: US fought for itself, just as it ever does... just as everyone do. In entire military history I haven't come upon a war that was fought purely on altruistic motives of one side... that is contradictio in adjecto... Hell, I wouldn't condemn my nation to War if there is no gain to be had (either political, economical or some other)...
    Come on, compare with Filipino-American War Americans already acted very lenient in Vietnam.
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    North Vietnam tore down the agreement and invaded South Vietnam, they sound like the bad guys to me.

    As for the "Corrupt Uber-evil South Vietnamese" government, lets keep in mind that both South Korea and Taiwan were able to transition to a Democratic regime a few decades down the road under US protection, something that never happened in any Commie country. China is still the same dictatorship, just like North Korea, while those that were under pro-american regimes are now democracies. So this is not even something to argue with, cause at least in Asia Democratic under USA protection is proven possibility.
    Last edited by Menelik_I; February 28, 2013 at 04:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    North Vietnam tore down the agreement and invaded South Vietnam, they sound like the bad guys to me.
    Its not exactly that black and white.

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    As for the "Corrupt Uber-evil South Vietnamese" government, lets keep in mind that both South Korea and Taiwan were able to transition to a Democratic regime a few decades down the road under US protection, something that never happened in any Commie country.
    Yes, but there is no evidence to support South Vietnam becoming a democracy. In fact South Vietnam is really to blame for everything considering they refused to hold elections in accordance with the Geneva Accords in 1956. they cited fair elections could not be held because of the North, and thus then decided to have their own elections (a fraud election)

    Ho Chi Minh was a hero to the Vietnamese people like Washington was to the Americans. The better thing would have been to support Ho Chi Mihn instead of the very corrupt and unpopular South Vietnamese.
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoi View Post
    Its not exactly that black and white.


    Yes, but there is no evidence to support South Vietnam becoming a democracy. In fact South Vietnam is really to blame for everything considering they refused to hold elections in accordance with the Geneva Accords in 1956. they cited fair elections could not be held because of the North, and thus then decided to have their own elections (a fraud election)

    Ho Chi Minh was a hero to the Vietnamese people like Washington was to the Americans. The better thing would have been to support Ho Chi Mihn instead of the very corrupt and unpopular South Vietnamese.
    Actually, that's not overly true at all. Or more actually, it's partially, technically true, but there are so many omissions it's not even funny.

    For one, the idea that there is no evidence for South Vietnam becoming a democracy requires you completely ignore the case studies of Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic post-Trujillo.... I could go on. Especially given the fact that the ARVN didn't lack for "loyal opposition"; they just tended to get crushed by either A: the regime or especially B: the Communists after they took over.

    Secondly, the Geneva Accords were horribly, HORRIBLY goddamned illegitimate as written by the time we even get into the elections, and so on multiple levels. For one, the Western Allies would never, ever have signed on to it without various behind the scenes agreements with the other sides where they agreed (tactly) that while the agreement forbade the partition of Vietnam, in practice they would not rule out anything, including a vote supporting a split.

    This of course was tacitly ignored by the Communists afterwards, who held that Geneva somehow trumped international laws regarding Self-Determination, which is absolutely groundless. That isn't to say the Self-Determination was absolutely flawless or beautiful, but compared to outright trying to insist one of the cornerstones of international law somehow gets suspended is not just morally wrong, it's pretty idiotic on a PR level.

    And finally, on the subject of Uncle Ho being so thoroughly popular and the South Vietnamese being purely to blame for throwing out the elections, I'm not going to say there aren't measures of truth in both. However, you seem to be forgetting that Washington was accused of becoming a tyrant or military dictator at several times (and that there were a number of communities that absolutely hated him for what he did on campaign), and that unlike Washington Uncle Ho categorically DID NOT rise above those accusations; just the opposite.

    For one, I'm not going to lie here: South Vietnam's preparations for the elections were filled with irregularities and less than ethical accounting, but most of it was relatively
    "normal"; usually the urban political machines and local quasi-feudal holdovers conspiring to try and steal the vote or at least heavily manipulate it, like what we'd see in Gilded Age America. Now, it's true that the West allowed this to some degree, but more often than not it was willfully detached and/or ignorant of it. And compared to what they had been doing, it was nothing compared to the wholesale terror campaign the Communists did in the North.

    For two? By this point in time, the only removals of Uncle Ho's name from the ballot were illegal, local hodge podges by what were equivalent to the local corrupt polling station and were generally not thaaaat widespread (though still pretty massive), and even by my own evaluation wouldn't have been enough to change the results of the election. There was considerable anti-Communist/Pro-Western sentiment in the South dating back to at least the Japanese occupation, but even factoring that in it's hard to imagine how it would've been enough to negate that. So, how did he really, Really get his name thrown out?

    Well, in the months prior to the election date, the North unleashed the Viet Cong on the south to "Get out the Vote", using such dynamic voter-participation campaigns as "Burn the Rice Fields", the "Gun (down the village) Drives", and "Cut off various bodily parts." To this day I have no idea whatsoever why they did this, because it did them not one damn whit of good; they were almost certainly going to win anyway. But in the end, they managed to singularly alienate huge chunks of the rural *and* urban populace, and made them throw their support behind what basically amounted to the local banana republic tyrants with the local feudal strongmen who would otherwise thoroughly have lacked any legitimacy whatsoever.

    Which led directly to the government first throwing the Communists from the ballot box, and then postponing/cancelling the elections altogether on the basis of the obviously dangerous terrorist campaign being waged. Now, I think it's pretty obvious they were doing this mainly to hold on to power, but legally and ethically speaking they had a point; considering the Communists had stood out as being horrible in an already trouble/corruption ridden election cycle, that should speak something.

    Better corrupt oligarchs than totalitarians, and better the French than the tyrants of either left or right. At least those circumstances offered more hope than what actually happened; relying on the murdering, absolute, charismatic dictator to change what he was doing.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rt. Hon. Gentleman View Post
    Hey, much as I am not France's greatest fan, what right does America have to tell them what they can and can't keep? Same with us and the Suez. None of their business.
    I disagree -- the Suez was their business as much as it was UK's or France's. Both UK and France only had influence in the Middle East due to their past colonial meddling, so why would US meddling be any less legitimate?

    Really, the whole Suez episode simply made explicit - and in a very embarrassing way (for the UK and France) what was already obvious: the US and USSR were the ones who drove world affairs, and that old colonial powers were rapidly becoming irrelevant.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minas Moth View Post
    do you burn down village belonging to the people you fight for? even if 10 of 200 villagers are insurgents, does that justifies burning an entire village and (possibly) killing all of the villagers? I think no... so to your question: US fought for itself, just as it ever does... just as everyone do. In entire military history I haven't come upon a war that was fought purely on altruistic motives of one side... that is contradictio in adjecto... Hell, I wouldn't condemn my nation to War if there is no gain to be had (either political, economical or some other)...
    The objective of war is to twist the other guys arm until he says uncle. It's a wrestling match between countries.

    The more brutal the assault the quicker the fight ends, and the less people you have to kill.

    Vietnam was initially an attempt to win by ongoing attrition (Search and Destroy) which was flawed because Westmoreland misread Vietnamese and American resolve. Had we adopted Abrams more direct Clear and Hold methods and proper offensives from the beginning we wouldn't be ransacking random villages, we'd have been planting our flag in the rubble of Hanoi, with the entire subcontinent in submission to the United States.

    Honestly, Vietnam is like the best country to fight it. It's long and narrow with most of the country near the coast and the inland highlanders were friendly. It shouldn't have been that hard to just tear the place up and roll into the North.
    Last edited by Col. Tartleton; February 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Tartleton View Post
    The objective of war is to twist the other guys arm until he says uncle. It's a wrestling match between countries.

    The more brutal the assault the quicker the fight ends, and the less people you have to kill.

    Vietnam was initially an attempt to win by ongoing attrition (Search and Destroy) which was flawed because Westmoreland misread Vietnamese and American resolve. Had we adopted Abrams more direct Clear and Hold methods and proper offensives from the beginning we wouldn't be ransacking random villages, we'd have been planting our flag in the rubble of Hanoi, with the entire subcontinent in submission to the United States.

    Honestly, Vietnam is like the best country to fight it. It's long and narrow with most of the country near the coast and the inland highlanders were friendly. It shouldn't have been that hard to just tear the place up and roll into the North.
    I never understood why the Americans had to wait until Nixon to put B-52 over Hanoi, besides the obvious lack of balls of both Kennedy and LBJ, but had they taken the war to the North at the beginning thing could have turned out differently. The US was fearing a Chinese involvement a la Korea ?
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    US was scared of those Red Chinese...
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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    The objective of war is to twist the other guys arm until he says uncle. It's a wrestling match between countries.

    The more brutal the assault the quicker the fight ends, and the less people you have to kill.
    The last time I checked, civilians aren't included, or do you suggest that killing civilians is also allowed to make the other side say uncle? if so, then one can say that 9/11 was an act of war and not an act of terrorism (which I personally hold it to be) as the civilian targets are a fair game? or double standards applz for America in this also? I am intrigued where you get this kind of ideas from? that end justifies the means? I sincerely hope I missenterpreted your words, 'cause if I haven't then it is really disturbing... the civilians are (or should be) protected in each conflict... I really can't imagine how would destruction of Vietnam's civilian population (early and swiftly) help America to win that War?

    It shouldn't have been that hard to just tear the place up and roll into the North.
    the same was believed in too many Wars... It is a classic super-power (not only US, but other also) syndrom: Oh, we so big! Oh, we have so superior weapon! We gonna smash them fast!... Well, history has showed (more often than not) this isn't the case. It seems that many war-planners of modern time forget or don't include people will to fight and resist foreign occupation. If what you say is true, and had American generals learned anything from it, you wouldn't have a second and third vietnam going on (Iraq and Afghanistan respectively). I think that we messed up there, big time... I say we as my country sent its soldiers there also... we have all underestimated simple man who fights for his own four walls and cares nothing about government type his country has (democracy, dictatorship or whatever)...

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minas Moth View Post
    The last time I checked, civilians aren't included, or do you suggest that killing civilians is also allowed to make the other side say uncle? if so, then one can say that 9/11 was an act of war and not an act of terrorism (which I personally hold it to be) as the civilian targets are a fair game? or double standards applz for America in this also? I am intrigued where you get this kind of ideas from? that end justifies the means? I sincerely hope I missenterpreted your words, 'cause if I haven't then it is really disturbing... the civilians are (or should be) protected in each conflict... I really can't imagine how would destruction of Vietnam's civilian population (early and swiftly) help America to win that War?
    Time it the HELL OUT, mate. For one, Are you saying that the Communist organizations did not make it a point to murder civilians in FAR greater numbers and frequency than anything any of the allies did (including the admittedly corrupt and oppressive Southern governments) in literal textbook Acts of Terrorism AND War? Are you saying that you somehow think burning hamlets necessarily involves killing the people that live in them (which suffice it to say did not happen and was never the intention, as can be found in multiple sources)?

    And finally, are you alleging that the targetting of the enemy's potential or actual *physical* means of support or supply in the field is invaid (by which I mean NOT the civilians themselves, but where necessary civilian structures, supplies, et-cetera)? Well, in that case, guvernor, please answer me this: why do you have *Grant* of all people as your Avatar, given what he authorized in the Shenendoah by Sheridan and in the deep South by Sherman?

    The murder of civilians is not permissible to make the other side cry uncle, but when necessary the destruction of means by the enemy to support their presence in-country (like supplies drawn from the civilian populace) Is. That was the point of the hamlet burning operations, usually leaving the poor civilians suffering from it uprooted but very much alive, in the same fashion that Sherman and Sheridan did not wantonly execute every Southern civilian even as they knocked down their houses.

    Before you cry foul, you are well advised to note that more than a few allied officers and soldiers (most infamously at My Lai) wantonly and with malice ignored this distinction, and were duly punished for it. You will also note that the Southern governments had a far poorer track record cleaning up abuses by their officers in the cities than their foreign allies did (unless said foreign allies were pressuring them on it).

    I will also note you are well advised to note that pretty much every single person in a leadership of THE ENTIRE OTHER SIDE OF THE WAR did not even *remotely* agree to this distinction, and for whom the mass-murder of civilians was *absolutely* kosher in order to break Southern will to resist and weaken the abilities of the Allies to support themselves in-country. This is made abundantly clear by the behavior of the Viet Minh, and then their successors the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regular army. This was at least on par with the atrocities of the Indonesian government and its' sympathizers to crush East Timorese self-determination, and for the exact same reasons.

    I will not be the first to admit that more than a few allied soldiers went too far, and deserved everything they got. I will also not be the first to admit that the Southern government(s) were oppressive dictatorships that racked up more than a little bit of innocent blood on their hands *and* that their foreign allies stand partially to blame for not cracking down on them. But that doesn't change the facts, mate: no matter how you crunch the numbers or view it, the Communist side was far, Far, FAR worse behaved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Minas Moth View Post
    the same was believed in too many Wars... It is a classic super-power (not only US, but other also) syndrom: Oh, we so big! Oh, we have so superior weapon! We gonna smash them fast!... Well, history has showed (more often than not) this isn't the case. It seems that many war-planners of modern time forget or don't include people will to fight and resist foreign occupation. If what you say is true, and had American generals learned anything from it, you wouldn't have a second and third vietnam going on (Iraq and Afghanistan respectively). I think that we messed up there, big time... I say we as my country sent its soldiers there also... we have all underestimated simple man who fights for his own four walls and cares nothing about government type his country has (democracy, dictatorship or whatever)...
    Please get off of your fantasy high and back to reality, you're making it obvious you have abundantly little knowledge of the Indochinese Wars and absolutely none of things like Iraq and Afghanistan. These were all civil wars first and foremost, usually between the West and its' local doochsnozzles, and the local mass-murdering totalitarians and their foreign supporters. Portraying this as some sort of grand resistance to foreign imperialism completely ignores the many, many, MANY MANY MANY obvious facts that contradict this. In Iraq it ignores the Kurds in the North, it ignores the Shiities and Marsh Arabs in the West, all of whom knew true oppression and military occupation under centralized and genocidal dictatorship that was no more alien to them than we were even if it arose from the same country and spoke the same language and worshipped by and large a different offshoot of the same religion.

    It ignores just about everything about the war in Afghanistan, which abundantly demonstrates what Afghanistan *actually* looked like when the country as a whole rose up against legitimately brutal and alien foreign rule under the Soviets and their local communist allies. To make a long story short, it involved the Mujahadeen fielding semi-regular armies ala Tito, regularly engaging and defeating regular communist formations in pitched battle by sheer dint of morale and ability to pick up volunteers as they went, the willingness of factions that absolutely *HATED* each other to unite against the thing they hated even more (and this is a Big one, and something that hasn't even remotely been approximated since, given the Northern Alliance/Taliban split and the former's alliance with the West), and ultimately their ability to defeat a well-supplied and entrenched government through conventional force of arms (unlike the South Vietnamese, which basically was cut off from support and folded like a deck of cards because the potential for resistance was just not there in terms of equipment even if the civilian Southern military by and large was willing to and did fight like the devil).

    And in particular, it is one of the sloppiest and most bastardized overviews of "Vietnam" or rather the Indochinese Wars I have ever seen, and that is saying a lot. Especially since it calls into question why you choose Grant in the first place as your avatar, and how he and his subordinates were American generals that *did* in fact anticipate Confederate will to fight and to resist foreign occupation, and reacted accordingly (not through mass murder, but through similar strategies to our hamlet burning campaigns).

    Yeah, yeah, you think we screwed up...well, I don't give a flying fork about what you think, just like I wouldn't give a flying fork about the thoughts or words of anybody who clearly has not studied or researched certain issues worth a damn, but who insists on speaking on them anyway.

    For the love of God, do some research, man. I'll be willing to help. But you're just embarrassing yourself here. I don't think President or General Grant would like to see you suffering like this now.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America; perception due to lack of control of the media expanded hearts and minds to the American electorate, who were already apprehensive as to the safety of their sons in an undeclared war on foreign territory.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere 40K View Post
    Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America; perception due to lack of control of the media expanded hearts and minds to the American electorate, who were already apprehensive as to the safety of their sons in an undeclared war on foreign territory.
    This; which is more or less what happened to the French as well earlier. I also feel obliged to note the effect enemy propaganda had on the will to fight, especially since it found so many people at home in the Metropolitans willing ot spread it (either out of genuine support, ignorance, or honest good intentions). The French Communist Party and American reluctance to come in did more for the Viet Minh cause than the arms of the Viet Minh did (even with the phyrrhic but impressive victory at Dien Bien Phu and what have you)

    But in wars like this, the morale is to the physical what three is to one, so it didn't overly matter.

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    Default Re: Who were the good guys in the Vietnam War?

    South Vietnam carried out more executions, rigged more elections, had higher corruption, and was a weaker and overall more brutal government, than North Vietnam ever was. However, North Vietnam was an army with a country, and carried out their share of bloodshed towards innocents.

    At least North Vietnam didn't carpetbomb the South, or the USA, for that matter.

    Neither side was good, but South Vietnam with American backing was far worse.
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