Who Really Won the Vietnam War, Part XXVII

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Reports the AP:

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in J.K. Rowling's seven-part series about the famous boy wizard, was released throughout Vietnam on Monday, making the communist country the first in the world to put out an authorized translation.

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  1. >>The solution is to take away their power so they can’t do it any more.

  2. I am making no idealogical comments. Merely saying that, when I paint my house, I usually try to plan to do it correctly.

    Vietnam wasn’t about Vietnam but about Cold War standoffs. What constitutes “winning” to us is but puerile thought to our betters. Or so it would seem.

  3. No one who had live for any time with…the Vietnamese people could have called them “slopes”.

    Where did that crap come from? “Slope” was a term for Koreans and in reference to their often flat facial features. In time it became more generally derisive. Korean troops sometimes referred to Vietnamese as “slopes.”

  4. Methinks there is a valuable lesson here.
    Reaction caused an equal and opposite Reaction.
    Moderate Ideas caused movement in a different, and probably more desirable direction.
    I’m no pacifist, but I’m no hawk either.
    Interesting.
    What’s the old saying? Violence begets violence?
    I suspect:
    Reasoning results in useful thought.
    Imagine what Vietnam could have meant if we had actually lived up to our ideals instead of down to them.
    Imagine, for instance, if American soldiers were given lessons in the language of the countries they were in, so we could communicate? Say, two hours a day while they were in these foreign nations. Would working class soldiers find that they had something in common with folks in these countries?
    Would these folk come to realize that they have something in common with us?

    Oh, I’m sure I’m wrong, I’m sure diplomacy at the end of a gun requires no thought.

    Like the Pres says, bring it on!

  5. Better yet, Skeptikos, how about if “we” had stayed home and minded “our” own damn business? My guess is that if Ho had just been left in control of Indochina in 1945, he would have pursued an independent brand of national communism along the lines of a Southeast Asian Tito (in the sense of following an independent line, not necessarily in terms of economic organization). He would probably have had a hard time getting along with either the Russians or Chinese. And while he would probably have implemented some form of forced collectivization before it was over, I doubt the death toll would have been as high as the total from the Phoenix Program, strategic hamlets, free fire zones, and generally using the whole South (and Laos and Cambodia) for a battlefield.

    On a more general note, I don’t mean to make light of your genuinely idealistic sentiments. But the problems in the world don’t exist because somebody’s head’s just in a bad place, and they need to get in touch with their better natures. Oppression doesn’t exist because the oppressors are unenlightened or “mistaken.”

    Oppression exists because it is very much in the rational interests of oppressors to oppress. By the use of force, they milk the producers of the world like cattle and live off their sweat. What could be more rational or straightforward than that?

    The solution to oppression is not to “educate” the ruling class into not being oppressive, because they know damned well what their interests are, and you can’t educate a wolf into not eating sheep. The solution is to take away their power so they can’t do it any more.

  6. Imagine, for instance, if American soldiers were given lessons in the language of the countries they were in, so we could communicate?

    A passable English was common among Vietnamese. For example, “You huckin 69 thousn!” meant that you were not a favorite of your respondent.

  7. I am making no idealogical comments. Merely saying that, when I paint my house, I usually try to plan to do it correctly. The reality was, we did go to Vietnam, we did go to Iraq. The only note I was making is, so far as I can tell, (excuse me: corny warning) it never hurts to do it right. I like America, whether you are right or left, it does not excuse sloppy work. But that’s exactly what we get from most of our presidents. And that, regardless of you idealism or lack of it, is inexcusable. As long as we are in Iraq, we have a choice, to live up to our expectations or down to them. I find my house looks better when I “look up” while painting.

    Not Idealistic, pragmatic. Saying we should stay home may be “idealogically correct”. But is not relevant. We didn’t, and subsequently we owed ourselves something. The only thing worse than going to war, is (m)ucking it up once you get there. Like I said, I think the ability to reason is a valauble export. Not imperiastic aspirations. Opposing oppresors is not the worst crime, but becoming them may be.

  8. Dr Philism time: “Sometimes you make the right choice, and sometimes you have to make the choice right.”

    Does that about sum it up?

  9. Thank you Plutarck. (even with the Doc Phil apellation)
    Sorry for the large posts, but…
    Quotes from my favorite talking head, S.J. Harris:

    “Perhaps the basic tragedy of the human condition is that the world is never changed by reason, only by passion-and that passion usually replaces one form of unreason with another form”
    “Bigotry springs from fear, and fear largely comes from ignorance. To know any group of people well…is to like them better when you understand their reasons for their different behavior. No one who had live for any time with…the Vietnamese people could have called them “slopes”.
    I suspect the operative word is “with” Imperialists live over, but people must live “with” each other. The choice we know face, is one we have faced before. Are we imperialsts? Or will we be liberators. I must confess, I do not believe we will choose to be liberators.
    Aww, just go read Orwell.

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