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I can't remember - How did we get out of Viet Nam?

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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:54 PM
Original message
I can't remember - How did we get out of Viet Nam?
Did we pull out gradually, with a phased withdrawal? Or did we pull out quickly once the decision was made? All I can remember were those pictures of the helicopters at the US Embassy.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, after we beat the North Koreans...
we just sort of moseyed on out of there.

Didn't you see that John Wayne picture?
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Waya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. In a hurry......
...as fast as possible.....no phased withdrawal.
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AnotherMother4Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. In a big chaotic hurry - kinda like the Titanic evacuation
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
50. actually, that's not correct. Phased withdrawal
US troop levels peaked at 536,100 in 1968, and then declined as follows:

1969: 475,200
1970: 334,600
1971: 156,800
1972: 24,200
1973: basically none

Although US combat troops were essentially out of Vietnam by 1973, the war didn't really end until the fall of Saigon in April 1975.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #50
66. Correct
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 06:58 PM by Nederland
What is ironic is that this all happened under Richard Nixon. Pity the Republican party can't see what it used to be able to see quite clearly.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #66
92. Ridiculous to credit Nixon
Edited on Sat Oct-14-06 12:56 AM by JackRiddler
"We" got out of Vietnam because the US occupying force descended into chaos and a fully righteous mutiny.

According to the Pentagon's own estimates, in 1970 alone, 200-300 officers were killed ("fragged") by their soldiers, who no longer felt like risking their lives in a fight that was so obviously pointless and wrong, in a country that didn't want them there.

As a result it became difficult to mount offensive operations, although at the same time the "Phoenix" death squad program was at its peak, with massacres of tens of thousands of civilians spinning out of control.

A tenth of the US force was on heroin, half was getting stoned, and an unknown but high proportion deserted.

In other words, the soldiers revolted to a sufficient degree that the continuing occupation of southern Vietnam became unviable, at the same time that the political price at home was judged to be unacceptable.

It is questionable whether Nixon would have initiated a "phased withdrawal" if all this had not been the case. This was called "Vietnamization" of the conflict (i.e., the natives were kindly requested to continue with the business of killing each other without direct participation by US ground forces).

I consider it highly inaccurate to say Nixon ended the US invasion of Indochina. On the contrary, his regime extended it by five years, resulting in millions of additional casualties (about 20,000 of them Americans), once you factor in the CIA coup and "secret" massive bombing in Cambodia, which initiated decades of further miseries for that country's people.

Phased, yes - but the last part was very sudden. US forces were out of country. A North Vietnamese incursion discovered zero resistance on the part of the thoroughly rotten South Vietnamese forces and marched near-unopposed to Saigon in 1975, resulting in the rushed evacuation of the remaining US personnel, the helicopters leaving the embassy, etc.

Recommended reading: Frances Fitzgerald (Fire in the Lake), Michael Herr (Dispatches), Howard Zinn (People's History of the US), Douglas Valentine (Project Phoenix).

Your historian friend
"Jack Riddler"

---

On edit:

What does this tell us about Iraq? It's still Kissinger advising Bush, as we've learned in the last couple of weeks. And of course the present regime is a far worse "imperial presidency" than Nixon's.

The Vietnamese examples suggests that an end to the US invasion of Iraq will only come about as the result of the Iraqi people fighting the invasion, until enough of the US forces themselves turn against it. Only then does the cost of domestic opposition become too high.

However, the same people who were in charge back then still are, to an extent, in charge today. And they have "learned" from it. I expect their contingency plan this time around involves rounding up hundreds of thousands of oppositionists, something they planned but failed to pull the trigger on in the 70s.

Are you guys ready for dealing with this?
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #92
102. "Vietnamization" = Iraqis "stepping up"
Great post Jack. IMO the administration will have a problem with "rounding up oppositionists" if Democrats take control of Congress.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Basically, we declared victory & went home.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. which is the same way we'll get out of Iraq...
the chimp will find something bogus to declare a victory over, we'll unceremoniously vamoose, and then the pukes will hold their $20 million dollar party.



:puke: :eyes:
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
83. I thought it was "Peace with Honor".

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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #83
91. My immediate thought, too..."Peace with Honor."
By the way, those pictures tore my guts out. I remember those final days so vividly, and I was only seven at the time. Do you remember them dumping helicopters off the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea? I think it was a woman reporting, and behind her they were just throwing stuff overboard.

Unforgettable. :-(
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. Cut and ran. It was a "secret plan" though. Deal was that the
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 07:57 PM by rzemanfl
North would wait a respectable interval before they finished off the South, so it wouldn't look like we abandoned our allies and they were immediately overrun.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
71. i still recall the images of pluking people off embassy rooftops.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. That would be "cut and run"
I can still see the fall of Saigon, the helicopter, the terrified, scrambling people.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
73. Me, too
I was 16, and remember watching it on TV. I'll never forget.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. ...
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Dam that picture still hurts We left a lot of good people behind
Nixon pulled us out but some say for political reasons. I say we the people plus this Nam vet said no more
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. That was in '75 after Nixon the evacuation of the embassy
but Nixon did begin the de-escalation of the war.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 PM
Original message
We left Vietnam when we realized
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 PM by Xipe Totec
we still had a lot to lose by staying, and absolutely nothing to gain; There was no meaningful way to define victory.

If we are to judge the consequences of leaving Vietnam to the Vietnamese, let us judge it by the state of our relationship with that country today. By this measure, leaving was absolutely the right move.



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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. That was not a pretty sight was it?
I know a guy who was in "intelligence" at the time who was one of the very last Americans out that got out.
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bluedogyellowdog Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. It was more like this...
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:35 PM by bluedogyellowdog
Nixon claimed in 68 he had a "secret plan" to end the war, but prolonged the war for four years after he was elected. Peace talks kept being stalled for petty stuff like the shape of the negotiating table. There is a vague "Vietnamization" of the war in 1971 and 1972 - meaning phasing in more ARVN (South Vietnamese troops) involvement and slowly cutting U.S. troop levels. Right before the 1972 election he announces major troop withdrawals and a complete U.S. pullout by Jan. 1973, ensuring his landslide re-election as if all his dirty tricks and paranoia hadn't already.

In short, Nixon played politics with the war the entire time. First unnecessarily prolonging it, then pulling out just in time to secure his re-election.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Welcome to DU!!
love your siggy line and pic

:hi:
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bluedogyellowdog Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. Thanks
I'm in Virginia too...

:toast:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
51. Nice summary
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 11:58 AM by karynnj
After winning in Nov 1972, he initiated the Christmas bombing of NVN. The agreement we got when we left was essentially the same as what was available in 1968. Kerry sums it up accurately when he says that half of the people who died in VN died after the leaders knew the policy wasn't working. (On a personal level - that included the time he was on the swift boats.)
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
70. Not true
Nixon began to pull troops out as soon as he was elected:

1969: 475,200
1970: 334,600
1971: 156,800
1972: 24,200
1973: basically none

(taken from onenotes post above)
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bluedogyellowdog Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #70
98. Yes, it is true
Those numbers referred to were the troop levels *in* Vietnam, not the number withdrawn from Vietnam. As you can see from the numbers you quote, most of the troop reductions happened in 1971 and 1972. I stand by my post with one exception - the complete pullout wasn't January 1973 but later in the year (March?)
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #98
104. Check your Math
Edited on Mon Oct-16-06 11:32 AM by Nederland
By simply subtracting a given year's troop numbers from the following year we can get that year's withdrawl numbers:

1969: 140,600
1970: 177,800
1971: 132,600
1972: 24,200

As you can see, the largest troops withdrawls occurred in 1969 and 1970 (as soon as Nixon took office), not in 1971 and 1972 as you claim.

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. The Vietnamese kicked our sorry asses out of their country.
Just as the Iraqis are doing now.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Nope we held for 15 years I was there
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. And then they kicked our sorry asses out of the country.
:shrug:
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Naww it was the hippies ..don't ya read the papers?
Never won a battle but won the war....
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Oh, I read the papers.
And I'm sure forty years from now there'll be people saying we won Iraq.
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. Yep but VVAW was there to
I will not let those of my brothers on the wall be disrespected. RVN's could not hold. It was a war we never should of been in. But while we where there we kicked butts and took names. But when we came home we where called baby killers spit on. Some of us stood up and said no more. But don't ever say we got kicked out we did not. Nixon pulled out to win his Presidentship back.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. You got it bro'
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Homer Wells Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #36
65. DITTO!!!!
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. Monkeyman...
I was young during Viet Nam, so I have no firsthand knowledge, but I've been hearing a lot lately from left leaning sources that it is somewhat of an urban legend that Viet Nam vets were spit on and jeered, that it was actually a very rare occurence. Did you personally experience that? Would you disagree with that characterization?

Just curious, and thanks for your service and for the info!

:patriot:
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Yes at the airport
And called a baby burner. Two ladies and yes I was in my class A's
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #40
60. And did vets of other wars ever jeer you for running away?

The anti-war crowd was non-existent in my part of the country. But the WW-II vets were pretty hard on the Vietnam vets.

"What are doing home? Is the war over? Did I miss something?"

"Had you guys been signed up for the duration like us, you would have fought and won instead of just hiding like cowards for 12 months then hopping a plane flight back."

"We didn't call up a helicopter for medevac then turn tail and run every time a sniper shot at us."

And so on. They were pretty cruel. It surprises me how much I hear Vietnam vets complain about the anti-war crowd spitting on them, but not about the WW-II vets spitting on them. I believe the latter would have upset and stuck with me a lot more.


And if you ever feel like it was a waste of time, I suggest you do the following. Get forty copies of a black and white political map of the world. Color all the communist countries in 1945 red on the 1st map. Do the same for 1946 on the 2nd map. Continue in this way through to the end. Then use them as a flipbook to note the rapid expansion of communism until you guys held the line for awhile in Vietnam with the subsequent turn around afterwards.

Some minister in Singapore remarked on this a year or two ago when he said they, Malayasia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippinnes, New Guinea, etc all owe a debt of gratitude to the Americans who slowed down the communist expansion until all those countries could rebuild after WW-II.


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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #60
97. Debt of gratitude?
The Viet Minh declared an independent Vietnam on July 4, 1946, with words lifted straight from the American declaration of independence. Until then, the forces under Ho Chi Minh had received some help from the US for mounting a resistance to the Japanese occupation. With the Japanese gone, the French attempted to restore their imperial regime in Indochina, which they had first established by way of invasion in the 1870s. At this fateful stage, the United States chose to support the criminal endeavor of the French. If the US had chosen otherwise, a strongly nationalist Vietnam would have ended up as a US ally, Ho's ideological Marxism to the contrary.

Instead, after the French defeat, the Pentagon and the CIA took over the project of stealing this particular corner of the world. The US prevented implementation of the 1954 Geneva treaty, which called for an election in a unified Vietnam, in which Ho would have easily won in the South as well as the North. The ceasefire line thus became the border between two new countries. South Vietnam was a construct of the US and the CIA. The regime there from 1954 until 1963 - the dictatorship of Diem - was set up by the CIA. Diem was not from the predominantly Buddhist South. He was a member of the northern Vietnamese Catholic minority, most of whom had fled the north. Thus from the beginning the "indigenous" government of South Vietnam was actually an outside imposition, twice over.

Your flipbook example only makes sense under a paradigm of "communism" as monolith. Yugoslavia broke with the Soviet bloc in 1948. From 1959 forward, you would need different colors to distinguish the Soviet sphere from China - the two kept up a low-intensity border war for decades after that.

The 20-year US invasion of Indochina killed millions of people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and ended up creating the heroin culture of the 1960s. But it did nothing against "communism." Vietnam was back at war with its traditional enemy - CHINA - just four years after the fall of South Vietnam. This would have happened a lot sooner without the American intervention - nationalist Vietnam would have found its natural ally in the US against China, and gone capitalist decades earlier.

The US invasion of Indochina was never waged against "communism," contrary to the propaganda, but against Third World national liberation and for imperialism - at first to preserve the falling European empires, and then to establish a more flexible, American version thereof.

It's too bad about the Vietnamese allies who were used and misled and finally dumped by the Pentagon and CIA, who ended up as refugees. Things would have gone much better for them if the majority had been allowed to have their government under the Viet Minh from 1955, without the 20 years of American lies and American bombs, guns, massacres, Agent Orange, and horror without end.

It's also too bad about the US soldiers who were drafted and thrown into this mess. But 20 Asians were killed for every American. And the Americans were the invaders. How can you even compare these losses?

The courageous soldiers were those who deserted this criminal enterprise - or even went as far as killing their officers. My admiration certainly goes to those who resisted the draft, yes for the very SELFISH reason that they didn't want to sacrifice themselves to a criminal enterprise.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. Please! Don't go there. Not again. See ...
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/TahitiNut/11
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/TahitiNut/3

It happened. Use your DU-star-power and find some of the several times this has already been "discussed." (Usually by people whose ignorance is only exceeded by their hubris.)

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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Thank Brother I hate talking about those days to many brothers on the Wall
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #41
46. Okay, thanks I missed the discussions...
I have only recently heard otherwise, and it surprised me.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #37
49. Even if it happened once or even twice, how does that affect the
policy regarding the war?

This kind of thing would not bother a real soldier. I thinks it's just something the right uses to paint soldiers as victims when you don't support the war. Look how hard they work to make supporting the troops the same as the political view of supporting the war.

You're supposed to conclude that the entire war was an absolutely correct policy because some hippie dissed a soldier verbally. How is that going to truly bother somebody who escaped a war zone with his life?

And notice he can even have been wounded there, but as soon as he opposes the war, all respect for his service is off (see John Kerry).
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
54. We maybe kicked ass...
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 12:07 PM by Bigmack
... and taken names (and that's only a maybe) but we didn't win the war. Modern armies with modern weapons can always stack the bodies and outgun irregular forces, but they can't control the future of the country.

I used to have a t-shirt.... "Southeast Asian War Games 1962-72.... Second Place.

We lost.

Ho Chi Minh: "The elephant can make the ground tremble, but he cannot control the lives of the ants." "You can kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds, you will lose and we will win."

Gen Vo Nguyen Giap: "After 8 years of conflict, the Americans still don't understand the war."

Col Harry Summers to a nameless NV colonel after the war: "You know, you never defeated us in the field." The colonel responded: "That may be true, but it is also irrelevant."

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/general/articles/h...
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
55. Sorry but no returning viet nam vet was spat upon...
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. See 41 above
Given how many other conservative canards are grounded in horseshit, it's not surprising this has been questioned, especially by those who didn't engage in it.

But just because one reseacher couldn't find something doesn't mean it didn't happen, it could just be that he wasn't looking in the right places or talking to the right people.

Yes, the flamebots exaggerate -- to hear Rush or Loofah-boy you'd think every vet came home practically submerged in spittle -- but there are plenty of guys on "our side" that it say it happened to them. If you're going to call them liars, have a reason for it.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. One I haven't called anyone a liar two...
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 03:37 PM by Javaman
I'm sighting a researched report.

To quote homer simpson, "pffft, you can prove anything with facts".

Sorry until you prove otherwise or show proof that someone was spit upon, I'm going to base my opinion on researched facts.

Or you can continue to believe the right wing lie machine because it was they who promoted the whole spitting on the soldiers angle. It was done so to keep the nation divided.

On Edit: one person was spit upon however, it doesn't sight who the person was that spit on them. Hippie? nope. There was an active campaign going on by the right wing to promote this crap. I wouldn't put it past them to be the ones also hocking the loogies.

I won't question a persons experience, however I will find it suspect. Just my opinion and as American I'm still entitled to that.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #58
84. The word is "citing" not "sighting"
The condescending arrogance and fallacious 'reasoning' in your post betray entrenched bias, not objectivity. Lembcke's "research" was flawed and based on ridiculous (imho) assumptions - assumptions indicative of no contemporary experience and no appreciation for the experiences of returning vets like myself. This has been rehashed on DU about 3-4 times a year in the four years I've been here and there's always some pompous, arrogant asshole who arrogantly claims that the third-hand or fourth-hand "research" of Lembcke is more valid (and "fact"?) than my first-hand (second-hand to you) experience.

You say you "haven't called anyone a liar" and then you go right ahead and do so by saying you "will find it suspect." That's a rhetorical contortion worthy of Rove - self-contradictory and insulting in the extreme.
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #58
90. Look man, there was no right wing back then like there is now.
You are trying to put things that happened over 30 years ago in to today's context. It fits your right vs left way of looking at everything but you are doing vets like me a real disservice. You want to believe the book because it is what you are comfortable with. I was spit on in March of 1968 and I talked to the guy that wrote the book when I called into Mike Malloy's show a few years ago. After I said what I had to say the guy says that he cannot prove it didn't happen just as he couldn't prove it did. He cannot prove a negative. Why would someone write such a book? Why call all of us liars? The reason there is no evidence I think is because none of us acted on it. I never knew anyone else was spit on until over 20 years later when I heard about the book. I thought it was an isolated incident and never talked about it to anyone. I did not react at the time because I was in my uniform to fly standby and since I was just discharged and was told that I was still subject to the UCMJ for 72 hours and I could get in trouble for causing trouble. After I got home I was called a baby killer I was labled a walking time bomb. I could not put on an application that I was a veteran because I would not get hired. This is not a bunch of lies I made up.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #90
101. That Sucks Man.... sorry People Did That To You
Some people can really get full of themselves with righteousness.... spitting on you was totally f*ed up and wrong regardless of how people felt about the war.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #55
61. Then see 60 above.

There were worse people than hippies spitting on the vets.


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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #61
76. One, that was my point...
2 it's all hear say one persons experience against another an nothing documented. wouldn't hold water in court. and 3 if you read my posts you will see that I state clearly that the whole concept of people spitting on the vets was something promoted by the right wing.

Rant all you want, I'm sticking to the documented facts as done by extensive research. This is my last post on this subject, scream all you want into an empty room, you won't change my mind.

Peace.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. The North Vietnamese invaded Saigon and we got out quick
with the helicopters
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
42. Try again.
Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. Last American troops left RVN at the end of March 1973. The DVN tanks entered Saigon in April 1975.

Two years. Two years. Study your history.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #42
53. right you are
and the troop withdrawal itself was phased over several years

see post #50
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. My job in Nam was 'USARV Strength Accountability'
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 12:59 PM by TahitiNut
... so I had the inside track. Until about mid-1969, the DOD didn't have an accurate handle on current in-country strength. I was instrumental in designing the systems and procedures that brought such figures into focus in about 2-3 weeks rather than 4-6 months. In-country troop strength reached its apex (over 500,000) somewhere around May-June 1969. (The reason the 'official' figures place the peak at April 30 is because my systems went 'live' in May and some 'fudging' was done to bring prior inaccurate figures in line with better data. The Nixon WHite House had bragged on a troop reduction when, in fact, the count went up for another month.) From that point on, it decreased at an accelerating rate (as a result of several return/replacement strategies) until March of 1973. Clearly, the final phase of troop withdrawal in late 1972 and January-March of 1973 was the most precipitious. It takes a lot of planning and coordination to withdraw 200,000 troops from a war zone without risking massive casualties.

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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #57
74. Regarding your last sentence, how are our troops going to
execute a fighting withdrawal from Iraq, should that become necessary?

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #74
80. Very carefully.
A phased withdrawal can be easily accomplished over a span of 3-4 months, with the cooperation of the Iraqi forces, by bringing the units in, one-by-one and evacuating from Baghdad airport. Some mobile/armored units would withdraw to Kuwait and a core tactical force of around 5,000 troops would probably remain in the Baghdad area. That remaining force would be used to cover the movement of other troops and materials - but I'm guessing the DickRumsBush DOD would leave a lot of the materials behind for the Iraqis. Paring down the remaining 5,000 to around 2,000 or less would be fairly simple. I doubt that any U.S. administration, D or R, would go along with removing EVERY soldier - even though I'd personally prefer it. (I think having a significant U.S. military presence in something like 110 different countries is abominable, quite frankly.)
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #80
87. What if the Iraqi forces were not cooperative or were hostile?
That's my worry and why I used the term "fighting withdrawal."
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. That would make it a whole new ballgame, I'm afraid.
Not only would the thin facade of "democratization" fall away and reveal an (initially, at least) puppet regime that broke its strings and turned on the puppet-masters (as has happened before - Saddam, etc.), it would recast that theater conflict as state vs. state rather than 'coalition' vs. 'terrorism.' It would strip naked the U.S. presence in Iraq and display the fat, greedy monster of neo-imperialism for all to see. The realignment of global politics at that point would be cataclysmic - not to mention domestic politics.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. Well, those helicopters were it!
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. We "cut and run"
Simple, eh?
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
22. In a word: MESSILY
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ngant17 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
23. We lost the political will to continue
and of course, the Vietnamese were in it for the long haul.

They could wage a war for a lot less money than we could. The costs of keeping a war machine running 24-7, halfway across the world, was staggering then even as it is now, bankrupting us again in the wars on the dual fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sooner or later, the US will not be able to keep the war machine financed over there. The Iraqi have time on their side, we don't.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. Jumping on the last helicopter to flee Vietnam.
We ran, confused and frustrated. It was fast and very painful to the troops that served and then were written off by the government.

There are some Vietnam vets here who will tell you, just give it a few.
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
26. after 55,000 dead...tens of thousands more devastated for decades
...

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
27. Gradual withdrawal with peace talks.
Peace treaty signed in 1973, and full withdrawal of American troops. We also promised the south we'd help them with arms.

A year or so later the north launched an attack; the US decided that sending munitions to the south wasn't worth it. The south's army collapsed in 1975, and the N. Vietnamese marched into Saigon.

The embassy evacuation occurred more than two years after signing the peace treaty.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. 60 days is a funny definition of "gradual"
:eyes:
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #30
62. There was a draw-down for the
previous year or two. I'm including that, not just the denouement in '73.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
29. We're still waiting for the promised elections in the south.
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:38 PM by TahitiNut
On edit: When I began this reply, there were six or seven vacuous posts that indicated no apparent comprehension or familiarity with the topic - yet weren't apparently inhibited by that deficiency in exhibiting ignorance. When I finished this reply, there were over twenty-five such posts. Shame on DU! The lives of 59,000 American troops deserve a bit more, imho.


January 1973: "Peace With Honor" signed at Paris Peace Talks (Kissenger & Le Duc Tho - Nobel anyone?) The not very well-known fact: The terms were exactly the same as negotiated by LBJ in 1968.

February 1973: First group of POW's released

March 1973: The last U.S. military personnel departed RVN.

April 1975: Saigon fell to DRV forces.

Excerpts from the Paris Accords, January 27, 1973.


Article I

.... The United States and all other countries respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Viet-Nam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Viet-Nam . . .

Article 2

A cease fire shall be observed throughout South Viet-Nam as of 2400 hours G.M.T., on January 27, 1973. At the same hour, the United States will stop all its military activities against the territory of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam by ground, air and naval forces, wherever they may be based, and end the mining of the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. The United States will remove, permanently deactivate or destroy all the mines in the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of North Viet-Nam as soon as this Agreement goes into effect. The complete cessation of hostilities mentioned in this Article shall be durable and without limit of time....

Article 4

The United States will not continue its military involvement or intervene in the internal affairs of South Viet-Nam.

Article 5

Within sixty days of the signing of this Agreement, there will be a total withdrawal from South Viet-Nam of troops, military advisers, and military personnel including technical military personnel and military personnel associated with the pacification program, armaments, munitions, and war material of the United States and those of the other foreign countries mentioned in Article 3(a). Advisers from the above-mentioned countries to all paramilitary organizations and the police force will also be withdrawn within the same period of time.

Article 6

The dismantlement of all military bases in South Viet-Nam of the United States and of the other foreign countries mentioned in Article 3(a) shall be completed within sixty days of the signing of this Agreement.

Article 7

From the enforcement of the cease-fire to the formation of the government provided for in Article 9(b) and 14 of this Agreement, the two South Vietnamese parties shall not accept the introduction of troops, military advisers, and military personnel including technical military personnel, armaments, munitions, and war material into South Viet-Nam....

Article 8

(a) The return of captured military personnel and foreign civilians of the parties shall be carried out simultaneously with and completed not later than the same day as the troop withdrawal mentioned in Article 5. The parties shall exchange complete lists of the above-mentioned captured military personnel and foreign civilians on the day of the signing of this Agreement.

(b) The Parties shall help each other to get information about those military personnel and foreign civilians of the parties missing in action, to determine the location and take care of the graves of the dead so as to facilitate the exhumation and repatriation of the remains, and to take any such other measures as may be required to get information about those still considered missing in action.

(c) The question of the return of Vietnamese civilian personnel captured and detained in South Viet-Nam will be resolved by the two South Vietnamese parties on the basis of the principles of Article 21(b) of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Viet-Nam of July 20, 1954. The two South Vietnamese parties will do so in a spirit of national reconciliation and concord, with a view to ending hatred and enmity, in order to ease suffering and to reunite families. The two South Vietnamese parties will do their utmost to resolve this question within ninety days after the cease-fire comes into effect....

Article 9

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam undertake to respect the following principles for the exercise of the South Vietnamese people's right to self-determination:

(a) The South Vietnamese people's right to self-determination is sacred, inalienable, and shall be respected by all countries.

(b) The South Vietnamese people shall decide themselves the political future of South Viet-Nam through genuinely free and democratic general elections under international supervision.

(c) Foreign countries shall not impose any political tendency or personality on the South Vietnamese people.

Article 11

Immediately after the cease-fire, the two South Vietnamese parties will: -achieve national reconciliation and concord, end hatred and enmity, prohibit all acts of reprisal and discrimination against individuals or organizations that have collaborated with one side or the other; -ensure the democratic liberties of the people: personal freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of meeting, freedom of organization, freedom of political activities, freedom of belief, freedom of movement, freedom of residence, freedom of work, right to property ownership, and right to free enterprise....


Chapter V The Reunification of Viet-Nam and The Relationship Between North and South Viet-Nam

Article 15

The reunification of Viet-Nam shall be carried out step by step through peaceful means on the basis of discussions and agreements between North and South Viet-Nam, without coercion or annexation by either party, and without foreign interference. The time for reunification will be agreed upon by North and South Viet-Nam. Pending reunification:

(a)The military demarcation line between the two zones at the 17th parallel is only provisional and not a political or territorial boundary, as provided for in paragraph 6 of the Final Declaration of the 1954 Geneva Conference.

(b)North and South Viet-Nam shall respect the Demilitarized Zone on either side of the Provisional Military Demarcation Line.

(c) North and South Viet-Nam shall promptly start negotiations with a view to reestablishing normal relations in various fields. Among the questions to be negotiated are the modalities of civilian movement across the Provisional Military Demarcation Line.

(d) North and South Viet-Nam shall not join any military alliance or military bloc and shall not allow foreign powers to maintain military bases, troops, military advisers, and military personnel on their respective territories, as stipulated in the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Viet-Nam....

Article 21

The United States anticipates that this Agreement will usher in an era of reconciliation with the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam as with all the peoples of Indochina. In pursuance of its traditional policy, the United States will contribute to healing the wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam and throughout Indochina.

Article 22

The ending of the war, the restoration of peace in Viet-Nam, and the strict implementation of this Agreement will create conditions for establishing a new, equal and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam on the basis of respect of each other's independence and sovereignty, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. At the same time this will ensure stable peace in Viet-Nam and contribute to the preservation of lasting peace in Indochina and Southeast Asia....


The Return of Captured Military Personnel and Foreign Civilians

Article 1

The parties signatory to the Agreement shall return the captured military personnel of the parties mentioned in Article 8(a) of the Agreement as follows: -all captured military personnel of the United States and those of the other foreign countries mentioned in Article 3(a) of the Agreement shall be returned to United States authorities; -all captured Vietnamese military personnel, whether belonging to regular or irregular armed forces, shall be returned to the two South Vietnamese parties; they shall be returned to that South Vietnamese party under whose command they served.

Article 2

All captured civilians who are nationals of the United States or of any other foreign countries mentioned in Article 3(a) of the Agreement shall be returned to United States authorities. All other captured foreign civilians shall be returned to the authorities of their country of nationality by any one of the parties willing and able to do so.

Article 3

The parties shall today exchange complete lists of captured persons mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 of this Protocol.

Article 4

(a) The return of all captured persons mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 of this Protocol shall be completed within sixty days of the signing of the Agreement at a rate no slower than the rate of withdrawal from South Viet-Nam of United States forces and those of the other foreign countries mentioned in Article 5 of the Agreement.

(b) Persons who are seriously ill, wounded or maimed, old persons and women shall be returned first. The remainder shall be returned either by returning all from one detention place after another or in order of their dates of capture, beginning with those who have been held the longest....

With Regard to Dead and Missing Persons

Article 10

(a) The Four-Party Joint Military Commission shall ensure joint action by the parties in implementing Article 8 (b) of the Agreement. When the Four-Party Joint Military Commission has ended its activities, a Four-Party Joint Military team shall be maintained to carry on this task.

(b) With regard to Vietnamese civilian personnel dead or missing in South Viet-Nam, the two South Vietnamese parties shall help each other to obtain information about missing persons, determine the location and take care of the graves of the dead, in a spirit of national reconciliation and concord, in keeping with the people's aspirations....

http://www.aiipowmia.com/sea/ppa1973.html


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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. I've read that Vietnam's economy is flourishing.
Something about fish exports to the US being at an all time high.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. The make real good clothes
top quality in materials and labor. wearing their shorts as I type.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
43. "Intel Inside"
Intel Corp. is building a $300 million semiconductor assembly and test facility in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #43
75. I wish Intel was building a 300m facility near me.
That sounds nice. I read Intel will layoff 10% of their workforce. I wonder if that was before the decision to build in Vietnam or after.
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
31. Many of my friends got out of Nam
In a box.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
33. in october of '70 was the first plane load of the nixon withdrawal
I remember them telling us and I remember it because I was in that flying tiger dc8
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
34. President Gerald Ford issued the order to cut and run
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. That's a strange history book you have there.
:eyes:
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #34
47. Nixon was president when we stopped being in the war
For was merely president when we evacuated the US embassy in Saigon.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
38. The Vietnamese won!
That's right. Little brown people in straw hats and sandals beat the crap out of the U.S. army, because they were fighting for their COUNTRY! For self-determination! Ho Chi Minh would have won the UN-sponsored elections in 1954. And Vietnam would have ended up being a U.S. ally in the communist world. That's what Ho Chi Minh offered. They did not want to be anybody's tool. They had been fighting off Chinese domination for 5,000 years. But the U.S. government under Eisenhower--in its McCarthyite/capitalist paranoia against "communism," and with U.S. war profiteers drooling over the prospects of endless war--nixed those elections, and sent the CIA in to foment trouble and to ally with extremely corrupt fascists in setting up a highly artificial "south" Vietnamese government that had no popular support.

The Vietnamese people then fought the biggest military machine on earth, and won! The U.S. was forced to withdraw, because we were LOSING--and the reality that this was a righteous fight by the Vietnamese in defense of their own autonomy started to sink in, in the U.S. It had been well-understood outside of the U.S. for some time. Everybody but us knew the story of the valiant fight for self-governance that the Vietnamese had put up against French colonialists, led by revolutionary hero Ho Chi Minh. WHY were we fighting these people, and slaughtering tens of thousands of them, and burning their villages, and napalming people, when they so obviously didn't want us there, and despised our puppet "south" Vietnamese government? It made no sense. Short of nuking the entire country--an unthinkable act--we could not win a war against committed PATRIOTS. The Vietcong was an indigenous army supported by the SOUTH Vietnamese people. They knew their ground, and they fought like the soldiers in the American Revolutionary war. It was a totally losing situation for U.S. troops, much like Iraq--a stupid, ill-conceived, totally wrongful war, against an indigenous population that considered us to be invaders, which was the truth of the matter.

Nixon finally brokered an ignominious "withdrawal"--thin cover for defeat of the U.S. And the Nixonites in the Bush Junta are still smarting from that defeat, and were determined to re-militarize the U.S. and repeat that miserable failure all over again in the Middle East, this time with 12 years of sanctions to cripple the enemy, no-fly zones to destroy any air defense, and then "shock and awe" bombing to finish them off--with free reign for the war profiteers, and a second stolen election at home to manufacture an endorsement of this horror.

I sometimes wonder if Nixon was Watergated out of office because he wouldn't nuke Vietnam. There is some evidence that he was influenced by the war protests NOT to do so. But, in the end, upwards of 2 MILLION people were dead in Southeast Asia, including more than 55,000 U.S. troops--about half of that carnage occuring under Nixon. So he wasn't any peacemaker. He continued to believe the war profiteers' myth that the U.S. could "win" in Vietnam, by conventional means, far into the early 1970s, by which time the Vietnamese had essentially won, and it was only a matter of time before the U.S. would pull out.

It's very important to know this history, because the psychology of it--as well as the economics (ours is a war economy, and has been since WW II)--is still at work among the Bushites, and among many Democrats as well. I'm glad you asked. This is my own brief summary, having lived through it all. And, if there is anything I would like to have spared this generation of Americans, and future ones, it is "another Vietnam." We have not yet seen the carnage in U.S. soldiers that we saw at that time (and as far as we know, from Bushite Pentagon figures). But the deaths of Iraqis--now estimated at over half a million--is approaching Vietnam levels.

I think the voting system is to blame--is how and why the Bush Junta can ignore the overwhelming opposition to this war, which stood at 56% even before the invasion (way back in Feb. '03), and is up in the 60% to 70% range now, and I hope we....

Throw Diebold, ES&S and all election theft machnes into 'Boston Harbor' this November with Absentee Ballot voting!

If enough people vote by Absentee Ballot, the reign of these diabolical electronic voting machines run on SECRET CODE, will be over!

Election officials will not be able to defend this rigged electronic system--and will be forced to reform it, or resign--if NOBODY WILL VOTE ON THEIR GODDAMNED RIGGED MACHINES!
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
45. We were there during 5 presidents....
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
48. In boats. n/t
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
52. With our tail between our legs
Vietnam has proved all the right wing talking points wrong. There was no Domino collapse of all Asian countries after Vietnam fell and in fact the opposite is really taking place. You can not drive a country to democracy by gun point. It takes cooperation and setting examples for them to follow. Vietnam today is a country on the move. It is open to tourists and has established a good export market. The Vietnamese people are a happy and friendly people and have flourished despite America's disruption. America was shown as a foolish country that can not be trusted to keep it's word. We are intensifying that feeling by our illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Vietnam taught the GOP absolutely nothing. Stupid is as stupid does...
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. Yup. The only "domino effect" taking place there is...
Corporate BrandName CONSUMERISM:

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
63. I want to say something about our soldiers. And I've had three in my
family, so I am not without personal experience of those who serve our country in this way. I was an antiwar activist in the 1960s. Of my three family members who served in the military, two opposed the Vietnam War, and one supported it. None of them had to serve in Vietnam, thank God. But, needless to say, we had lively discussions about it. I was also close to the Catholic war resisters--people like Fr. Dan Berrigan--and had extensive contacts within the antiwar movement. I never, in that entire period of activism, ever heard an ill word spoken about the U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. There was a general recognition in the antiwar movement that U.S. soldiers were VICTIMS, as much as the Vietnamese were, of a bad and ill-conceived government policy that put our soldiers in an impossible position, having to obey orders to kill, and having to kill or be killed, in an extremely unjust situation. I heard nothing but COMPASSION for U.S. soldiers, and a desire to get them out of there. And many antiwar groups did as much as was humanly possible to help those who did not want to fight in that unjust war--whether it was burning Draft records in a civil disobedience action, or arranging passage to Canada.

Never an ill word about U.S. soldiers--never! Never in an antiwar protest. Never in private discussion. The overwhelming sentiment was PITY, and a feeling of OBLIGATION to do everything we could to stop the war and bring them all home, to save their lives and prevent further harm to them (tens of thousands of maimings and psychological breakdowns).

I don't know if anybody ever spat at a U.S. soldier. I've never seen any believable evidence of it. But it's certainly possible, given what the U.S. military was doing in Vietnam--burning whole villages, napalming children, slaughtering, by the end of it, upwards of two million people--that some Americans, at some point, spat upon or yelled at returning soldiers. All I'm saying is that none of the people *I* knew would ever have done such a thing. The focus of the antiwar movement was entirely upon the political and military LEADERS who had instigated the war. Our protests were entirely against THEM, not against soldiers. And soldiers were WELCOME among us--many agreed with us--and we were always open to dialogue with them, if they did not. Dialogue, not blame. The "winter soldier" hearings (which John Kerry participated in, also Jane Fonda) were PRO-soldier. They were a revelation of the position that our soldiers were put into, by the POLICIES of the political and military LEADERS. They were driven by the recognition that a common soldier or low level commander has no choice but to burn a village, or shoot suspected enemies even if they look like civilians, if he is ordered to do so, or is put in a situation where his life and the lives of his buddies are in danger.

It was a patriotic civil war, with most of the population on the side of our "enemy," the LEGITIMATE government of North Vietnam. (The "south" Vietnam government was a corrupt farce, created by the CIA and representing only the minority fascist elements of the country.) So, many situations DID involve children and the elderly and other "civilians" protecting and aiding the side they believed in: the Viet Cong in alliance with the legitimate government of the north. This put our soldiers--much like the soldiers now in Iraq--in an IMPOSSIBLE position.

That's what we--that is, our government--did to them. And everybody that I hung out with knew that was the case. To "hate" a U.S. soldier, having to fight in these conditions, would have been to "hate" myself, my own family members, and my fellow American victims of that war. "Hate" was never an issue. Love was the issue. And what would "love" do? Work to change those polices and bring them home!

The ONLY vilification of service in the U.S. military that I have seen has been by the Bushite fascists. They cast aspersions of John Kerry's Vietnam medals. They painted Max Cleland--a man who left three limbs in Vietnam--as a sympathizer with Osama bin Laden. They reviled John Murtha, a man who had a long career in the military, because he finally spoke up and opposed their vile war. They have spat upon and purged good people throughout the U.S. military and intelligence services--for giving honest advice, and providing real information--AND for having ethical standards, for instance, the JAG lawyers who opposed torture and other violations of the Geneva Conventions and the UCMJ.

These are the real enemies of the republic--these cowards and torturers and slimebags--Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove & Co.--who love pushing cannon fodder troops and military toys around on the Big Board, but who never worked an honest day in their lives, and who can't meet honest people eye to eye, to answer for their decisions.

This myth that the antiwar movement in the '60s "hated" U.S. soldiers, and treated them rudely, really must be put to rest. And the other myth that peace activists are weak, are not fighters, and somehow undermine America's "strength" must also be put down. I've never met such courageous people as I met in the '60s antiwar movement--and I see that courage returning today, in soldiers who refuse to return to Iraq, in military lawyers who have fought the Bushites on torture, in generals who have fought the Bushites on realism, in Cindy Sheehan who heartened a devastated American anti-Iraq war majority after the 2004 stolen election, in the midst of her own grief, and in the election fraud activists who never gave up. The courage of a physical fight--a soldier's courage, a warrior's courage--and the moral courage to stand up for your beliefs even if you have to stand up alone, are one and the same. And they BOTH contribute to America's "strength."

It is the thieves, liars, war profiteers and manipulative fearmongers--who savage both kinds of courage--that we could do without!

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Sapere aude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. History will be written by people like you. It doesn't matter if what
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 06:55 PM by Sapere aude
happened is something different from what you know. I am a Vietnam veteran who returned in March of 1968. My experience of coming home was nothing like what you witnessed. My story is not believed here at DU nor is it ever going to become the history of that time. The problem as I see it is that we feel that the anti war movement was something akin to a saintly adventure. People can't reconcile peace lovers with violence against soldiers and I have been able to live with that. I heard again on KPFK this week that the spitting stories are the biggest myth of that time and so it will be written. I know personally that it is not.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #68
77. I am not a veteran, but I lived through that period. The peace
movement had some very radical elements in it. Those were crazy times. I remember walking toward the library one night when a molotov cocktail flew almost directly over my head and set a building twenty or thirty feet away from me ablaze. I am eternally grateful that the nut who threw it at least had a good throwing arm and that everyone in the building got out quickly.

Find someone who does oral history and tell your stories, one day a scholar will reinterpret the history of those days from the appropriate temporal distance and get the right balance. Historians are still arguing over World War II.

P.S. there were too many spitting stories for all of them to be untrue.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #63
82. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your testimony. nt
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #63
89. I'll make a couple of observations here. (1) "Jody" does NOT = "hippie"
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 11:55 PM by TahitiNut
Let me say that again. "Jody" was NOT the same as "hippie." "Jody" was the guy that got your promotion or got your girl ... someone who profited from having you out of the way in Nam. WHen I got back from Nam in November 1969, one "Jody" was bedding my wife at his place and other "Jodys" became senior to me at my job at Chevrolet Central Office in Detroit. When I returned to my job, I found myself treated a bit like a leper and a bit like an object of ridicule. One of the 'jokes' that was played on me was slamming a door or dropping a large book - and watching me start to dive under my desk hearing a loud bang. You see, my startle response was well-developed after my tour of duty in Nam. Incoming mortars and RPGs have a tendency to do that. "Job #1" after I returned was making it less and less obvious that I was a Viet Nam vet - if only to avoid having to deal with the uncomfortable silences - and reactions like I'd just farted. (NOBODY in my family, even to this day, wanted to hear about my experience in Viet Nam - or on my return. NOBODY.) At the same time, the non-corporate people in my social group (welfare workers, teachers, grad students, medical paraprofessionals, etc.) were supportive, non-intrusive (respecting my wish to avoid talking about Viet Nam and my experiences), and respectful. Virtually all were liberals and anti-war -- some were 'activists' and many adopted 'hippie' modes of thinking (pot, love, communal living, etc.) to some degree. They were a REFUGE for me. Not family. Not coworkers. Not the VFW. Them.


(2) What many/most of us returnees called a "hippie" in 1969 didn't necessarily have anything to do with the anti-war movement. Depending on where we came from, our personal awareness of "hippie culture" was either pretty well-developed or non-existent. Being from the Detroit area and getting drafted in March 1968, I had virtually no comprehension whatsoever - we called the counter-culture people "beatniks" when I was drafted. As a Californian (I assume), your experience was far more developed - since California was about a year or two ahead of the rest of the country, especially the working class cities of the rust belt.

Many/most of us adopted the language of drill sergeants and other career military - that anyone who was between 18 and 25 with long hair, bell-bottoms, and flowered shirts was a "hippie." Since the style had become "pop" by late 1969, that meant damned near any young civilian adult, particularly college students and their peers. Thus, any reference to "hippie" on the part of a returning vet has virtually no relationship to what that term means to us today. It certainly had nothing to do with antiwar protesters ... except that they would be included in the far larger universe of people we'd call "hippies." Clearly, however, there were returnees not like myself (sealed in the Army time capsule - still stuck in the Sandra Dee era) who came from California or New York City where the 'pop culture' was leading edge - who were quite familiar with the activist/hippie subculture in the U.S. In fact, I was given a ride from OAB to SFO by one of these guys (with whom I flew back from Nam) and his girlfriend. They were the kids of UCBerkeley professors and very counterculture. The ride I got from OAB to SFO was in a 'flower-power' VW minivan, believe it or not. (Looking back, I feel like Forrest Gump, sometimes.)


So, when we use those terms today, we have to keep firmly in mind that NOT EVERYONE used those terms like we understand them today and only some used them then. We should also keep in mind that the liberal/conservative split DID NOT ALIGN with Democrat/Republican like it does today. It was "Johnson's War"!!! Remember George Wallace and Strom Thurmond and other far right conservatives (whom we call neoconservatives today) were Democrats and it was a Republican (Nixon) who became President on an antiwar sentiment!! The ideological allegiance people on DU show to Democrats of that era is misplaced! As is the antipathy to Republicans of that era. There were MANY liberal Republicans and MANY conservative (FAAAR right) Democrats.

Case in point: Hillary was a "Goldwater girl" AND an antiwar protester. In those days, that was not at all unusual.

Thus, the language and positions taken on DU today just don't often map to the realities of that day ... and people who weren't even born then are the least likely to comprehend this.


Postscript (on edit): In about 1985, after having moved to the SF Bay Area, I started dating a gal from Atherton who, I found out after a couple of dates, had been an anti-war activist at Berzerkley in the late 60s - a proud (former) member of "Girls Who Say 'Yes' To Guys Who Say 'No'." Since I don't wear a tattoo saying "Viet Nam Veteran" and generally don't discuss it IRL, she didn't know. I told her. She immediately went into full Freak Mode - calling me a "baby killer" and telling me I was wrong, misinformed, or just plain lying when I told her of MY experiences. It was a rather shocking change in personality ... a real Jekyll and Hyde thing. The thing was, we'd been intimate - getting along really quite well, indeed. But she really crammed me into a 'type' - a caricature rather than a person - and it meant absolutely nothing to her that she was wrong. Thus, I politely said "Goodbye." Several days later, she sent me a dozen roses at work and apologized. Sad to say, it made no difference to me. I'd seen the Beast inside Beauty. So ... could I envision her spitting? Yep. Easily. "Hostile" isn't the half of it - FIFTEEN YEARS LATER.

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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #89
94. You talk about this better than I ever could yet my experience is a lot
Edited on Sat Oct-14-06 01:57 AM by Mountainman
like yours. So many here at DU talk about events from 30 years ago in today's context and it just doesn't work like that. Right wingers did not start the spitting stories to bash the left or the anti war movement. Returning vets like me are the source of the spitting stories and there was no right wing back then as there is now. I remember the war supporters were union members and hard hats that fought with the protesters. I remember the main reason most guys were against the war was because they feared they would be selected in the lottery and sent to war themselves. They had to stop it before it was their turn to go. The anti war movement was a good thing in my opinion. It was not a righteous holy endeavor like todays DUers want to make it out to be. It was hip, self serving and there were very many good kind folks who were peace seeking people of good will and good intention. Thank God for them then and for them today.

One night in January of 1968 we were taken to sight out side the fence of Ben Hoa air base to defend our compound from a North Vietnamese attack. The ammo dump there was hit and it blew up, the concussion blew our truck into the ditch along side of the road. We were unhurt and the truck did not turn over. I read in a "History of the Vietnam War" book a few months ago that that night Ben Hoa and Long Bihn were attacked by 12 divisions of North Vietnamese regular army troops. Huey gun ships kept the North Vietnamese off our backs. They rotated ships with mini guns and then ships with rockets then mini guns and then rockets again, all night long it seemed. They were hitting the ground not more than 50 yards in front of me. The tracers from the mini guns looked like a long red neon light from the huey to the ground. Me and the guy with me were given a M60 machine gun which I didn't want to use because it made us a real good target. There was a guy in a guard tower near us with a 50 cal machine gun firing all night. Before morning he had been blown away and only half of he legs of his tower were left. I wasn't thinking of being pro war or anti war at the time. I wasn't defending freedom or making the world safe for democracy. I didn't support the war by then but all I was thinking of that night was how to survive. They came by later the next day and asked me if I wanted to go on a detail to help count the dead. I didn't want to go. They always inflated the count anyway.

A month and a half later I was at Tan Son Nhut waiting for the 707 to land and take me home. We had to wait three days laying on bunk springs with no mattresses and no food in our uniforms just so we could be rushed to the plane when ever it landed. The air base was being hit with mortars and the plane could not land. When it did land we were rushed to the plane in busses. The jets engines were running and as soon as we all were all on board it made a very fast run down the runway and a violent U turn almost hitting one wing on the ground and then made what seemed like a strait up climb into the sky. I wasn't sure if we would ever get home.
48 hours later I was looking at white "straight eyed" moms and dads and kids from our bus window at Travis AFB. It had been so long since I had seen American civilians it was like looking a something new, they were staring back at us. I was separated from my friend since I was being discharged and he was getting reassigned. I was supposed to go to his wedding but I never saw him again.

Many hours later I was walking through San Francisco airport and saw a guy and his girl friend walking toward me. I remember thinking to myself that I was a civilian just like him even though I had on this damned uniform in order to fly standby. You could tell we were Vietnam Vets by the yellow, green and red ribbon we were given to wear. I didn't know what they wanted but was ready to oblige them what ever it was. When they were a few feet in front of me the guy spit on me. I was kind of taken a back. I didn't know what the reason for that was but let it go because I didn't want to get into trouble and I thought the guy was just some nut. I made it home the next day on a Friday. My brother came over to my folks house which is were I was going to stay for a while. He brought some of his friends and one of the girls asked me if I had killed any babies in Vietnam. That was the second time I thought I just had met a nut of some kind. I didn't expect anything like that. On Monday morning my mom informed me that I just wasn't going to lay around the house and that I should get up and get my job back. I wanted to take some time off but she wasn't having any of it. It was as if I just came back from a cross country trip or something. Then there were news stories of vets going crazy and shooting people and the term "walking time bomb" started to be used.

Over time it got worse and I learned not to say I was a Vietnam veteran. I never talked about getting spit on to anyone because I had let it go out of my mind. Through they years I went through depression, divorce, alcoholism, drug abuse, getting fired numerous times, bankruptcy and homelessness.

Many sober years later I hear about the book saying the spitting stories were a myth. I could not believe that other people had similar stories like mine. I thought that mine was an isolated incident. I even called the Mike Malloy show to talk to the guy and he said that he could not prove it didn't happen anymore than he could prove it did.

Now 30 years later we have those DUers who for what ever reason think I am a liar for saying I was spit on. I think that they have a need to feel the way they do. It has something to do with the right vs left battle that is going on today and we just sort of got added into the mix for selfish reasons. Sort of like the anti war people who loved us as long as we would get up in front of a crowd with our uniforms on and gave an anti war speech. I did not take part in the anti war movement when I got home. I was tired of fighting. I worked for Gene McCarthy and voted for McGovern though.

I still wish I had gotten a welcome home like my dad did from WWII. I remember him telling some of his war stories to relatives and them admiring him for it. I could never do that. No one wanted to hear what I had to say. They still don't. I was glad when they built the Wall. I felt that we were getting some good press for a change. I have some friends whose names are on it. I went to see their names a few years ago and touched them.

DUers, we are not liars.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-15-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #94
103. Mountainman, thank you for this wonderfully written account of your
experiences. You had me living it with you. Nothing prior to Bush has so shamed our nation as what this country did to you, by placing you in Vietnam, and then by neglecting and disrespecting you and other veterans upon your return. I am horrified by the couple who spat on you. What complete and total jerks. I can't imagine what that man thought he was doing. The only thing that springs to mind is the way Puritan hypocrites try to distance themselves from sin by projecting it onto others. There is that deep strain of ugly Puritan righteousness in our culture, which demonizes others. I am amazed at your restraint, and admiring of your youthful wisdom in not responding. I sometimes feel an ugly righteousness toward Bushites, which I try to temper by imagining appropriate punishments for them--such as, say, what Nelson Mandela would devise. My favorite is that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & co. be sentenced to a lifetime of service cleaning bedpans in Veterans' hospitals. You and other soldiers are the victims of their abominable policies. You bear the burden, in death, carnage, fear, discomfort, bad food, addictions, ripping apart of your lives, and lifetimes of nightmares--and then LACK OF GRATITUDE for what you did, when they move on to other forms of theft and powermongering.

I'm not so surprised by the silence in your family. Many families were silent on many things in those days. What is most appalling is the systematic neglect of soldiers' physical and psychological health and welfare, and the massive denial within government of what it had done to you and other vets, including the coverup of Agent Orange impacts on health, and the wrong and immoral policy that you were forced to carry out, while they all sat back in their plush offices in DC, making money hand over fist, and yammering piously about "patriotism."

Vietnam vets were different from other vets--maybe more akin to Korean war vets, but in much much worse shape upon return. And I attribute this to the lies and deceit about the war. As John Kerry said, in his "winter soldier" testimony, "How can tell someone that he will be the last man to die for a lie?" WW II wasn't a lie. That's why those who fought it could come home in relatively good shape, to appreciative families and communities--and furthermore to an appreciative government that went out of its way to facilitate the vets' returns, with GI loans and a host of helps. But what OUR government had to do was to COVER UP what they'd done, and quickly shove it into the past, because it had nothing to do with American national security, and everything to do, in my opinion, with war profiteers--all those companies on government welfare during WW II who never demobilized after that war, and needed MORE government welfare and more war, to multiply their profits. They had their hooks in our government, and they manufactured wars.

If they had REALLY wanted to "stop communism," they would have welcomed communist Vietnam as an ally, or supported their fight for independence before they became communists. But even AS communists, they were never in China's or Russia's orbit, not really. They got help from Russia but they were not lock-step communists. What was really driving them was an abiding desire for INDEPENDENCE. I really now believe that the whole "communist" thing, by 1964, was just cosmetics, just P.R. It was pablum for the uninformed. What was really driving OUR policy was all the money changing hands-for planes, for tanks, for helicopters, for bullets, for rockets, for uniforms, for fuel, for food, for uniforms, for tents, for housing, and all the rest, to place a huge army in southeast asia to smash this one little country. It was all so out of proportion to the cause. But not if the cause is MONEY.

What I'm getting at is what all this did, to people in government, and to Americans in general--to our psyches. All this lying and falseness. It put all the rah-rah flagwavers in a glum mood, because we couldn't win a war against determined Vietnamese, bent on independence. It WASN'T World War II, when people really needed rescuing! It wasn't liberating a country; it was oppressing one. That was the lie. It had been sold as a just war, and it wasn't. So THEIR feelings were conflicted. And the better informed people--students, thinkers, priests like Dan Berrigan, Martin Luther King, and the whole peace movement--could see through it. I remember reading Donald Hall's book on the history of Vietnam when I was about 19--what an eye-opener. A people who had been fighting off Chinese domination for 5,000 years. Our history goes back 200 years. It was difficult to imagine. And our government thought it could just overturn that? For what? To impose OUR idea of a government of these 5,000 year old freedom fighters? It didn't make sense. In fact it seemed like madness to me. And by the time *I* figured this out, tens of thousands of Vietnamese and U.S. soldiers were already dead. I met a lot of people who were stuck in Syndrome #1: believing the lies of the government. They weren't bad people. They were just living a DIFFERENT war than the one that was really happening. And I was stuck in Syndrome #2, seeing the wrongness and madness of the whole war, seeing the Democratic/Republican collusion on it, and feeling helpless and powerless to stop it.

And then...and then...when momentum really got going to stop it, and major politicians were turning against it, and mounting campaigns for president on stopping it...bang, bang, shoot, shoot. First we lost JFK (who had tried to prevent it by executive order, just before he was assassinated). Then we lost Martin Luther King, who had just come out publicly and strongly against it (and did this against political advice). And finally, Bobbie Kennedy, who would have won the presidency that year, 1968, and would have stopped the war. All dead.

Syndrome #1: delusion, sold a bill of goods. Syndrome #2: powerlessness and heartbreak. That's what you came home to. We, too, had broken psyches. Our government just barreling on, under Nixon, slaughter tens of thousands more under a false flag of secret "peace plans."

The asshole who spat on you may have been feeling some of this--some of these tears in our national psyche. It doesn't excuse it. But it may help explain how someone could do such a dastardly thing. He wasn't seeing YOU. He was seeing our deceitful leaders and our ravaged democracy, with people at each other's throats, some thinking we were still slaying Hitler and Nazis and Japanese imperialists all over again, and others seeing little girls in rice paddies getting napalmed; and some of us making lots of money off of that, but lying about that motive, and others looking at it for the first time perhaps in the history of war, and seeing it for what it was, and being appalled.

I wish now that, in honor of you and of all who suffered, we could have dismantled this horrible offensive war machine then and there. But there was too much corruption and too much dishonesty. And here we are now, right back in the same spot--with another unjust war.

I honor you, Mountainman, for your honesty and for your willingness to serve our country and put yourself in danger for us, and for me. I honor you for testing yourself that way, in the horrors of battle. And I honor you for surviving to tell us the tale. What I would like to see is a government that would never dare to misuse that kind of nobility for ill purposes. And I hope that we can create that government.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #94
106. It's like we walked the same path. Not just brothers. Fraternal twins.
We had our night of pant-pissing on February 23-24, 1969, (Tet) on the southern perimeter of Long Binh Post. It was an augmented battalion of NVA. Huey and Puff did their job - like lasers with sparklers at the end. (One of the gunships got hit - and a Medal of Honor was awarded for that night. Levitow. MHRIP.) Three NVA got through, I was told, just to the left (east) of our position, but were stopped before they got far. Every time I hear Robert Duvall's line from Apaocalypse Now, I think of when dawn came that next morning and our guys laid napalm down on a distant ridge line where the NVA had withdrawn. A lot of people died that night.

Every time this subject (spitting) comes up, I get emotionally dragged back into the sense of betrayal and alienation I felt in my own country when I came back in November 69. The insane notion that I'd try to kick the shit out of some Jody asshole in SFO for spitting at me as I'm focused on getting on a flight home just enrages me. The hubris is disgusting. It seems some are so fixated on denying the possibly misplaced blame against 'hippies' they go so far as to reopen old wounds and again viciously insult those of us who were there - 'fools' that we were to go instead of others.

Even as a toddler in WW2, I remember the 2-star flag in one grandmother's window and the 4-star flag in my other grandmother's window. I vaguely remember the welcomes my father and uncles got.

Welcome home, bro. :patriot:
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #63
105. Great post. As another DU'er who strongly opposed the Vietnam
War, that was my experience too--

"Never an ill word about U.S. soldiers--never! Never in an antiwar protest. "
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Sapere aude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
64. We bombed the hell out of Hanoi and Haiphong in Dec of 1972.
Edited on Fri Oct-13-06 06:56 PM by Sapere aude
It was called operation Linebacker II.

In January we signed a peace treaty with North Vietnam and left the fighting to the South Vietnamese who were defeated by the North.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #64
78. That would be what Kissinger would say about it in public. n/t
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
67. Didn't the Dems Vote to Stop Funding the War?
And from there the war had to end....
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #67
96. Yes, they did. They cut that evil umbilical cord of destruction.
Dem's are still reviled for it to this day. There are many who say 'We woulda won! We woulda won!!!!'


The country as a whole knew better.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #96
100. I'm Proud They Did... I Wish It Were Sooner
Those who claim they would have won, are nuts.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
69. by the seat of our pants----
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
72. The Commie protesters weakened our resolve,
sent the troops the message that we didn't love them, and empowered the enemy by having their pictures taken on pieces of artillery. :sarcasm:

And then we declared victory and got out.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
79. The same way China did after those stupids tried invading Vietnam after us
http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/99/0927/pingxian...

PINGXIANG: Border War, 1979

A Nervous China Invades Vietnam

By TERRY McCARTHY

Early in the morning of Feb. 17, 1979, Chinese artillery batteries and multiple rocket launchers opened fire all along the Vietnamese border with protracted barrages that shook the earth for miles around. Then 85,000 troops surged across the frontier in human-wave attacks like those China had used in Korea nearly three decades before. They were decimated: the well-dug-in Vietnamese cut down the Chinese troops with machine guns, while mines and booby traps did the rest.

Horrified by their losses, the Chinese quickly replaced the general in charge of the invasion that was meant, in Beijing's words, "to teach Vietnam a lesson," and concentrated their attack on neighboring provincial capitals. Using tanks and artillery, they quickly overran most of the desired towns: by March 5, after fierce house-to-house fighting, they captured the last one, Lang Son, across the border from Pingxiang. Then they began their withdrawal, proclaiming victory over the "Cubans of the Orient," as Chinese propaganda had dubbed them. By China's own estimate, some 20,000 soldiers and civilians from both sides died in the 17-day war.

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
81. Ripped that bandaid right off
The news footage was awful, let me tell you. It was humiliating to watch us abandoning so many who had put their trust in the US. But just how many more people were going to have to die or be maimed just so our leaders could go on being delusional?

Christ on a trailer hitch, I thought the US had learned something from that experience. :cry:

Hekate

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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #81
86. Well you see, there was a little thing called the "Powell Doctrine" that
was supposed to represent "lessons learned" (whether you like Powell or agree with him or not).

But you see, in the "post 9/11 world" it turns out that we never "learned" those lessons after all!
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
85. We declared victory and
then pulled out.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
93. Left all of our fucking shit and beat feet, just like we should do Iraq.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 01:00 AM
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95. The Dem's refused to pass the $$$ nessesary for it.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 08:42 AM
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99. like a scalded cat n/t
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