Russia is screwed

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neverfail
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Re: VIETNAM was screwed.

Post by neverfail » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:43 pm

You are truly in earnest about this aren't you Cassowary? Your words convey strong feelings to me at my end.

But just because your opinions are strong does not necessarily make them right. Rightness does not lie in misplaced passion.

The anti-war movement came about because many of us came to realise that our government had LIED to us for the pretext of getting us into that war - which otherwise would have remained a low level insurgency resulting in few deaths and far less destruction.

Cass, you seem to cling to the amoral precept that the end justifies the means. "What does it matter if the government publically tells a few lies just as long as it gets its military working to defeat those terrible reds?" Well, it matters a lot Cass. As mug voters we elect them into government and as mug taxpayers we fund their unduly lavish salary and superannuation packages. In return for that I believe that we citizens have an absolute right to demand that they be open truthful and accountable to us in all things - especially an issue as weighty as taking the country to war.

The anti-War movement was an understandable response to governments who failed to take the public into their confidence and truthfully reveal the true reason why our youth had to be selectively conscripted to wage war in a foreign country we previously knew nothing about.

Had we not opposed dishonest government policy we would have been useless fools (instead of useful ones) :) . Ignore corruption, misuse of power in government, and it spreads and spreads until it consumes our body-politic.

I was down here cassowary. I witnessed the birth and growth of the anti-War movement so I know what I am talking about
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Your comparison of the death and destruction in World War Two with that in Vietnam I consider a canard. The Axis powers were menacing international aggressors fully capable of inflicting as much death and destruction as was subsequently inflicted on them by their adversaries. But when were the Viet Cong or even the North Vietnamese ever aggressors against MY country (or the United States)? The Vietnamese were in a state of civil war over the destiny of their country and we were the aggressors who bought into that conflict without just cause. By doing so we inflicted unspeakable death and destruction on a people who intended no harm to us.

If you had Communist would-be insurgents in your midst who might have (as you point out) been aroused to greater agitation by an easy Communist victory then I am truly sorry for you - but that is something for you guys to cope with. Yes, we have some people down here who you could consider to be left leaning but they are a rather harmless bunch. They are tolerated and this places them under the moral obligation to be tolerant in return. Meantime up there in Asia you seem to have generally intolerant societies that reap the whirlwinds they sow in the form of violent mutinies like left insurgencies. One of these days you guys should try out tolerance - arguably the fruit of long experience of living with democracy. :D

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cassowary
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Re: VIETNAM was screwed.

Post by cassowary » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:43 am

neverfail wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:43 pm
You are truly in earnest about this aren't you Cassowary? Your words convey strong feelings to me at my end.

But just because your opinions are strong does not necessarily make them right. Rightness does not lie in misplaced passion.

The anti-war movement came about because many of us came to realise that our government had LIED to us for the pretext of getting us into that war - which otherwise would have remained a low level insurgency resulting in few deaths and far less destruction.

Cass, you seem to cling to the amoral precept that the end justifies the means. "What does it matter if the government publically tells a few lies just as long as it gets its military working to defeat those terrible reds?" Well, it matters a lot Cass. As mug voters we elect them into government and as mug taxpayers we fund their unduly lavish salary and superannuation packages. In return for that I believe that we citizens have an absolute right to demand that they be open truthful and accountable to us in all things - especially an issue as weighty as taking the country to war.

The anti-War movement was an understandable response to governments who failed to take the public into their confidence and truthfully reveal the true reason why our youth had to be selectively conscripted to wage war in a foreign country we previously knew nothing about.

Had we not opposed dishonest government policy we would have been useless fools (instead of useful ones) :) . Ignore corruption, misuse of power in government, and it spreads and spreads until it consumes our body-politic.

I was down here cassowary. I witnessed the birth and growth of the anti-War movement so I know what I am talking about
.................................................................................................................

Your comparison of the death and destruction in World War Two with that in Vietnam I consider a canard. The Axis powers were menacing international aggressors fully capable of inflicting as much death and destruction as was subsequently inflicted on them by their adversaries. But when were the Viet Cong or even the North Vietnamese ever aggressors against MY country (or the United States)? The Vietnamese were in a state of civil war over the destiny of their country and we were the aggressors who bought into that conflict without just cause. By doing so we inflicted unspeakable death and destruction on a people who intended no harm to us.

If you had Communist would-be insurgents in your midst who might have (as you point out) been aroused to greater agitation by an easy Communist victory then I am truly sorry for you - but that is something for you guys to cope with. Yes, we have some people down here who you could consider to be left leaning but they are a rather harmless bunch. They are tolerated and this places them under the moral obligation to be tolerant in return. Meantime up there in Asia you seem to have generally intolerant societies that reap the whirlwinds they sow in the form of violent mutinies like left insurgencies. One of these days you guys should try out tolerance - arguably the fruit of long experience of living with democracy. :D
There are a few points I want to make:

1)The comparison of the Vietnam War with WWII is apt. After the defeat of Nazism, the world faced a challenge of Communism. Both Communism and Nazism are equally evil. The USSR led the Communist struggle against the civilized world. (Most people call them Communist but I prefer to call them what they called themselves - Socialist. USSR stands for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.) Vietnam was one part of that struggle against Socialism/Communism.

2)The year 1965 was the year that the US ramped up US involvement in Vietnam. It was also the year of the failed Indonesian coup which was defeated by General Soeharto, some say with US help. So 1965 was a fateful year. By 1965, it should have been clear that whenever Socialists take over, millions of people die. Millions perished in the USSR and China under Mao. Thus stopping the spread of Socialism was a NOBLE cause. Had Indonesia gone Communist, would that pose a threat to Australia? No doubt Chinese and Russian warships will have a base in Indonesia.

3)SE Asia was rife with insurgencies by Socialist/Communist forces supported by China. The anti-Communist forces needed help and the US offered that help. Here is a list of Communist/Socialist insurgencies in SE Asia:

a)The Malayan Emergency
By the way, Australian troops fought in this war. Are you also opposed to this war?

b)Communist Insurgency in Thailand. To our relief, Thailand was a domino that did not fall in 1975. Perhaps, as LKY said, the 10-year respite gave SE Asia the time to put our houses in order.

c)Communist insurgency in the Philippines

d)The attempted Communist coup in Indonesia. This occurred in 1965 after the Americans already escalated its involvement in Vietnam. As I said before, US determination strengthened the anti-Communist forces. Picture yourself as an Indonesian officer at the time of the 1965 coup. Which side should you choose? Choosing the wrong side likely meant death or imprisonment.

All these Socialist/Communist insurgencies were supported by Communist China.

4)The newly independent countries were too poor and weak to have stood up to Chinese supported insurgencies. They needed help. The US and its allies (including Australia) stepped up to the challenge. The US provided support by providing troops, money, military advisors, and opening its markets for SE Asian goods to help develop their economies.

5)There was a global struggle against Socialism and SE Asia was just one part. Vietnam was just one part of one part.

6)Both Vietnam and Malayan wars were comparable. Both were Communist-inspired emergencies that required a hearts and mind approach. Nixon even hired British General Gerald Templer and followed his strategy in Vietnam. I am convinced that the Vietnam war was being won till US politics compelled a premature withdrawal. The US troops remained in South Korea and this helped them build a prosperous democracy.

7)The anti-Vietnam war movement was led by Socialists/Communists who wanted the US to be defeated. The rest were the useful idiots. Jane Fonda was one of them and so was her husband.
“If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become communist. . . . I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism.”
... Jane Fonda

8)The anti-war left focus only on a small part of a small part of a small part of a BIG, BIG picture. They like to say that the South Vietnamese regime was not democratic enough or was corrupt or our military and political leaders were not honest enough. The real debate is whether America and its Allies (including Australia) should oppose Communism from taking over the world. That' is the key question.

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Re: VIETNAM was screwed.

Post by neverfail » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:31 pm

Do you know something that I find very odd about that 1950's Malaya emergency? Virtually every one of those thousands of Communist insurgents (and supporters) were ethnic Straits Chinese - your own crowd :) . Socialism did not appeal to ethnic Malays at all. Why not? For the very aspect of Malay ethnicity that you seem to disdain Cassowary: the fact that they are Muslim.

Muslims worldwide find atheist/agnostic creeds unacceptably repugnant. People who spend their lives preparing for a heavenly afterlife are (not always but usually) modest in their worldly aspirations. I think that you will agree with me that the average Bumi in Malaysia is nothing if not that? Some of their political bigwigs succumbing to the temptations of high office may be different in that regard but that is beside the point.

Which brings us to the Chinese. Straits Chinese, more ambitious than their Malay neighbours; are decidedly builders of "kingdoms in this world" regardless of whether they are enthusiastic capitalists as in Singapore, Penang or KL; or Communist insurgents out in the jungle.

Socialism is for materialist types interested in building kingdoms in this life rather than for those preparing themselves for the next. In that regard socialists have much in common with capitalists.

Which brings me to Indonesia and the 1965 coup. Under President Sukarno's leadership (do you recall "Bung Karno"; founder of the Indonesian republic? Probably before your time!) . Sukarno led a syncretist government with cabinet ministers drawn from the various factions that had made up the Indonesian independence movement - pro-Western, Communist, Javanese traditionalist and Islamic. When USSR premier Nikita Khrushchev and Sukarno formed a friendship in early 1960's the PKI (Parti Kommunis Indonesia) gained greater influence within his cabinet and its cadres were emboldened to go out into the rural villages to evangelize class struggle, socialist revolution to the peasant masses. They turned out to be politically very inept. While bands of peasants apparently listened to them usually with polite facial expressions, fear and anger were apparently building up in their hearts. For the last thing that any tradition bound Javanese peasant wanted was change - and radical change was just what the cadres were promising them.

That, dear Cassowary, is why the 1965-66 Indonesian peasant backlash upheaval against their Communists was so violent. The PKI had spent years sowing the seeds for its own destruction out in the rural backblocks.

This is why I now believe that Indonesia was never destined to go Communist.

With indonesia now purged absolutely clean of Communism, ironically it made our earlier Vietnam military commitment rather redundant. To subdivide south east Asia broadly into two parts: mainland (or continental) s. e. Asia (i.e. Indochina, Thailand and Burma/Myanmar) and archipelago s.e.Asia (i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Brunei and Timor Leste: out of the two the latter is and has always been of more immediate concern to Australia for defence security reasons that the latter. The archipelago approaches to our island-continent home have been safe since 1966.

Which brings me back to Vietnam and the war. When my country first sent troops to Vietnam our Prime Minister of the day (R G Menzies) reassured up that Communist insurgency in Indochina was "part of a broad Communist thrust between the Indian and Pacific Oceans" (with the unstated insinuation that Australia was its ultimate target - hint hint, nudge nudge, wink.). That of course is how Lee K Y also saw things. However, by late 1960's that impression could no longer be sustained.

The ambitions of Hanoi never extended beyond the bounds of former French Indochina.

To this day Vietnam under Communist government has been innocent of all acts of aggression against non-Communist neighbours like Thailand. It has neither sown nor sponsored subversion nor terrorism in its non-Communist neighbours either.

Our earlier fears that the Viet Cong were part of a bigger picture of Communist expansion proved false. Which leads me to wonder: why do you still cling to that discredited old myth, cassowary?

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Re: VIETNAM was screwed.

Post by cassowary » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:04 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:31 pm
Do you know something that I find very odd about that 1950's Malaya emergency? Virtually every one of those thousands of Communist insurgents (and supporters) were ethnic Straits Chinese - your own crowd :) . Socialism did not appeal to ethnic Malays at all. Why not? For the very aspect of Malay ethnicity that you seem to disdain Cassowary: the fact that they are Muslim.

Muslims worldwide find atheist/agnostic creeds unacceptably repugnant. People who spend their lives preparing for a heavenly afterlife are (not always but usually) modest in their worldly aspirations. I think that you will agree with me that the average Bumi in Malaysia is nothing if not that? Some of their political bigwigs succumbing to the temptations of high office may be different in that regard but that is beside the point.

Which brings us to the Chinese. Straits Chinese, more ambitious than their Malay neighbours; are decidedly builders of "kingdoms in this world" regardless of whether they are enthusiastic capitalists as in Singapore, Penang or KL; or Communist insurgents out in the jungle.

Socialism is for materialist types interested in building kingdoms in this life rather than for those preparing themselves for the next. In that regard socialists have much in common with capitalists.
I think you do have a point with regards to the Muslims. They generally don't find Socialism/Communism appealing because of its atheistic nature. But there were Malays recruited in Chin Peng's army. The Chinese were influenced by Mao who had taken over China at this time.

Mao united China and gave the Chinese pride after decades of humiliation first at the hands of western powers and later at the hands of the Japanese. Even my father remained angry with the Opium War and that was a hundred years before his time. Though a businessman and certainly no Socialist, he took pride that China had "stood up" under Mao. Others thought that Socialism was the way forward to make China powerful.

They noted that the Chinese army managed to fight western armies to a draw in the Korean War, something previous Nationalist (against the Japanese) and Qing Dynasty governments could not do. It was ethnic pride that led them to Socialism. But they eventually observed that capitalist Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan became prosperous but Socialist China was mired in poverty.
Which brings me to Indonesia and the 1965 coup. Under President Sukarno's leadership (do you recall "Bung Karno"; founder of the Indonesian republic? Probably before your time!) . Sukarno led a syncretist government with cabinet ministers drawn from the various factions that had made up the Indonesian independence movement - pro-Western, Communist, Javanese traditionalist and Islamic. When USSR premier Nikita Khrushchev and Sukarno formed a friendship in early 1960's the PKI (Parti Kommunis Indonesia) gained greater influence within his cabinet and its cadres were emboldened to go out into the rural villages to evangelize class struggle, socialist revolution to the peasant masses. They turned out to be politically very inept. While bands of peasants apparently listened to them usually with polite facial expressions, fear and anger were apparently building up in their hearts. For the last thing that any tradition bound Javanese peasant wanted was change - and radical change was just what the cadres were promising them.

That, dear Cassowary, is why the 1965-66 Indonesian peasant backlash upheaval against their Communists was so violent. The PKI had spent years sowing the seeds for its own destruction out in the rural backblocks.

This is why I now believe that Indonesia was never destined to go Communist.
Indonesia nearly went Communist. Sukarno or Bung Karno tried to balance the three major factions - the army, the religious groups and the Communists (PKI party). But increasingly, Bung Karno leaned more and more to the Communists. After meeting with Chou En Lai, he set up his own paramilitary group.

The army and religious groups were alarmed. The armed forces were also divided. The army was infiltrated by the Communists. The Americans and British supported the non-Communist factions in the army while China supported the Commies. Tensions built up and something had to happen. Members within the PKI launched the September 30 movement. On October 1, leading generals of the non-communist faction were killed. They were tortured and some were castrated.

Suharto, with CIA support, fought back. This triggered a massacre in 1965 to 1966. Estimates of those killed ranged from 500,000 to 3 million people.Suharto blamed the PKI for the killing of the generals. The killings prompted brutal reprisals. The US embassy gave Suharto a list of PKI leaders numbering 5,000. It should be noted that many military groups sided with the PKI.

That is why I said that an officer had to make a decision which side to choose. Choosing the wrong side meant death. The Communist Chinese were supporting the Communists and the Americans supporting the non-Communists. The support the US gave helped sway enough officers to Suharto's anti-communist side. The killings were directed by the army loyal to Suharto. It was perilous times for Suharto and his colleagues. Losing meant certain death. There was communist infiltration at all levels of government and armed forces. This was true all over SE Asia including Singapore.

Suharto and his soldiers killed all suspects of being Communist sympathizers. No doubt, there were errors made and innocents died. Some were killed for revenge and some were killed to acquire their properties. The army encouraged the Muslim fanatics to join in. They did so gleefully considering it their Islamic duty to kill atheists.

It was also a fight between the Santris and the Abangan Muslims. There Santris were Orthodox Muslims while the Abangan Muslims practiced an Islam that was a syncretism between Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Many Abangans were PKI supporters and were killed. The Santris were not too fussy in choosing their targets because they considered Abangans to be heathens corrupting Islam.

Not only did officers have to choose sides but so did wealthy Chinese businessmen. My friend's father was a wealthy Chinese businessman. He chose the wrong side and had to flee Indonesia after Suharto won. On the other hand, Liem Sioe Liong helped Suharto by providing funds. After the civil war, he was richly rewarded and became Indonesia's wealthiest businessman.
With indonesia now purged absolutely clean of Communism, ironically it made our earlier Vietnam military commitment rather redundant.


If safety of Australia was the only consideration, I would say, "yes". But the safety of America was never in doubt at all times. Yet they paid blood and treasure to stop Communism in Vietnam. Don't you think that is Noble?

Similarly, the British, Australia and New Zealand could have left Malaya to its fate during the Emergency without danger to their home countries, But they also provided blood and treasure to save Malaya from Communism during the Malayan Emergency which lasted 12 years. I also call it Noble.
To this day Vietnam under Communist government has been innocent of all acts of aggression against non-Communist neighbours like Thailand. It has neither sown nor sponsored subversion nor terrorism in its non-Communist neighbours either.

Our earlier fears that the Viet Cong were part of a bigger picture of Communist expansion proved false. Which leads me to wonder: why do you still cling to that discredited old myth, cassowary?
You forgot that Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978. But the threat does not come from a Vietnamese invasion of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The threat comes from home-grown Communist insurgencies supported by China. In 1965, all of SE Asia was vulnerable. If not for US help and intervention in Vietnam, SE Asia would have fallen. With the US involvement in the Vietnam War, the fall of Vietnam came in 1975 instead of 1965.

Had it happened in 1965, few officers in Indonesia would have supported Suharto. Remember that they had to choose sides. Had Vietnam fell in 1965, they would have concluded that the triumph of Communism was inevitable and thus chose the Communist side.

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Re: Russia is screwed

Post by neverfail » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:34 am

Thank you for that illuminating post Cassowary. In thrust and direction I find nothing in it that I fundamentally disagree with. Permit me though to comment further on two points:

Yes, Vietnam did invade Cambodia in 1978 after the latter had staged several successive armed attacks on the former between 1975 and 1978.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian ... namese_War
Considering the imbalance of military might between the two the POl Pot regime must have been stark raving mad to pick a fight with its bigger neighbour. But the mass homicide that satanic regime committed against its own was sheer madness also.

I consider the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia to have been an act of divine mercy for the hapless Cambodians. It removed Pol Pot and brought the killing fields atrocity to an end.
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From the US side Vietnam was a big screw-up from start to finish. A retired Aussie former soldier I knew a few years ago told me that "what the US military did to its people on the ground in Vietnam made your heart bleed."

I feel prouder of the role played by our Aussie diggers. They did not fly around in helicopter gunships shooting at anything that moved but actually went into the jungle and fought the Viet Cong on their own terms. During the battle of Long Tan (1966) the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese learned the hard way that you do not take on Australian infantry in combat lightly:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Long_Tan

During that battle the Communist side lost so many fighters that their high command ordered all units to go to ground and not to engage the Australians in combat for as long as they remained present in Phước Tuy Province.

The difference between the morale of the Yanks and that of our diggers was that the former had reason to wonder what they were doing there in such a remote, forlorn country. back in the US Vietnam was always "LBJ's war"; not America's war. But the Aussies UNDERSTOOD why they had been sent: to stop the red tide reaching our shoreline.

A common saying here in Australia during the earlier phase in the conflict (before public support ebbed later on) was "better to fight them up there than to have to fight them down here".

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Re: Russia is screwed

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:16 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:34 am
A common saying here in Australia during the earlier phase in the conflict (before public support ebbed later on) was "better to fight them up there than to have to fight them down here".
As on any issue ever, American sentiment wasn't unilateral. There were plenty of people saying, "Better to fight the commies in Vietnam than to fight 'em in Texas."
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Re: Russia is screwed

Post by neverfail » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:16 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:34 am
A common saying here in Australia during the earlier phase in the conflict (before public support ebbed later on) was "better to fight them up there than to have to fight them down here".
As on any issue ever, American sentiment wasn't unilateral. There were plenty of people saying, "Better to fight the commies in Vietnam than to fight 'em in Texas."
Not plausible that Americans might have needed to fight them in Texas but people will believe whatever they will.

Steve, I would like your opinion on this:

Although J F Kennedy had to do a secret deal with the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, to pull it off, Kennedy in 1962 appeared for years after to have won a cold war tactical victory over the USSR by getting Khrushchev to end the Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing the thermonuclear missiles from Cuba. Has Kennedy not been assassinated the following year I believe that on the weight of that apparent victory his 1964 re-election would have been a mere formality.

Meantime, whilst the Kennedy administration has sent material aid to the Diem regime in South Vietnam for its war against the Viet Cong; his government notably abstained from sending American ground troops there. The heir to his presidency and successor in office, L B Johnson had no such restraint.

(Well, come to think of it: with the Cuban missile crisis to preoccupy him, Kennedy probably did not see Vietnam at the time as being all that important.)

I am wondering whether, after his 1964 re-election victory over Barry Goldwater (by default of his scary Republican challenger - not due to his own public appeal) Johnson decided that in order to clinch his chances of re-election in 1968, decided that like Kennedy before him he needed a Cold war triumph of his own and viewed Vietnam as the most likely venue to win that victory?

I am sure that Johnson would not have sent American troops to Vietnam out of altruistic concern for the Vietnamese. In the early 1960's, a minister in the New Zealand government named Robert Muldoon (destined one day to become a controversial Prime Minister of that country) visited Washington DC. As he was not a head of government, Washington DC protocol demanded that he was not entitled to be given time for a one-on one meeting with the President but by a lesser public official. Lyndon Johnson, then Kennedy's vice-president was given the task of greeting and meeting Muldoon during that visit. In an autobiography that Muldoon wrote and published decades later he described how he LBJ came across to him during that meeting in these words: "nought but a cunning rascal!"

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Re: Russia is screwed

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:28 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:16 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:34 am
A common saying here in Australia during the earlier phase in the conflict (before public support ebbed later on) was "better to fight them up there than to have to fight them down here".
As on any issue ever, American sentiment wasn't unilateral. There were plenty of people saying, "Better to fight the commies in Vietnam than to fight 'em in Texas."
Not plausible that Americans might have needed to fight them in Texas but people will believe whatever they will.
I agree, but I suppose the thinking was that if communists could take over in Cuba, then why not elsewhere in Latin America, including neighbouring Mexico.
neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:58 pm
Steve, I would like your opinion on this:

Although J F Kennedy had to do a secret deal with the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, to pull it off, Kennedy in 1962 appeared for years after to have won a cold war tactical victory over the USSR by getting Khrushchev to end the Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing the thermonuclear missiles from Cuba. Has Kennedy not been assassinated the following year I believe that on the weight of that apparent victory his 1964 re-election would have been a mere formality.

Meantime, whilst the Kennedy administration has sent material aid to the Diem regime in South Vietnam for its war against the Viet Cong; his government notably abstained from sending American ground troops there. The heir to his presidency and successor in office, L B Johnson had no such restraint.

(Well, come to think of it: with the Cuban missile crisis to preoccupy him, Kennedy probably did not see Vietnam at the time as being all that important.)

I am wondering whether, after his 1964 re-election victory over Barry Goldwater (by default of his scary Republican challenger - not due to his own public appeal) Johnson decided that in order to clinch his chances of re-election in 1968, decided that like Kennedy before him he needed a Cold war triumph of his own and viewed Vietnam as the most likely venue to win that victory?

I am sure that Johnson would not have sent American troops to Vietnam out of altruistic concern for the Vietnamese. In the early 1960's, a minister in the New Zealand government named Robert Muldoon (destined one day to become a controversial Prime Minister of that country) visited Washington DC. As he was not a head of government, Washington DC protocol demanded that he was not entitled to be given time for a one-on one meeting with the President but by a lesser public official. Lyndon Johnson, then Kennedy's vice-president was given the task of greeting and meeting Muldoon during that visit. In an autobiography that Muldoon wrote and published decades later he described how he LBJ came across to him during that meeting in these words: "nought but a cunning rascal!"
This isn't my era of history, but as I understand it, LBJ's advisors were hawkish believers of the domino theory, and pushed him into greater involvement, especially after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Until that point popular opinion in the U.S. wasn't in favour of involvement in Vietnam and neither was LBJ.

No question, though, that LBJ was both cunning and a rascal.
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Re: Russia is screwed

Post by neverfail » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:53 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:28 am

This isn't my era of history, but as I understand it, LBJ's advisors were hawkish believers of the domino theory, and pushed him into greater involvement, especially after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Until that point popular opinion in the U.S. wasn't in favour of involvement in Vietnam and neither was LBJ.

No question, though, that LBJ was both cunning and a rascal.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident

The attack on the USS Maddox was of course an act of war. But what were the Maddox (and its sister ship) doing there anyway? "Doing a radar sweep"? Well, the US and North Vietnam were not at war so what was the point?

I get the impression that the two ships, while possibly in international waters were (close to North Vietnam coast and with PRC territory on two other sides) were in an unfriendly location being where they were. In short I have reason to believe that they were directed to be there as a deliberate provocation to the North Vietnamese in the hope that their patience would wear thin and they would attempt something stupid like that attack.

And they did!

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