As an American, Vietnam is usually talking about the war. And you can't talk about Vietnam war without talking about what lead up to the war, why it was fought, who won (and lost) the war), what were the consequences, and a lot of messiness around intentions and outcomes. This covers all of those topics.
Articles about Vietnam: 8 items
Bernie on Vietnam - The hippie Marxist (Sanders), told a group of High School Students that the U.S. had committed acts in its war with Vietnam that were “almost as bad as what Hitler did.” To be fair, that was back during his 1972 gubernatorial run, but even then you have to be a special kind of idiot to think a few crazy soldiers that went rogue is the same as institutionalize mass murder and human experimentation. (Every war has a million people cycling in and out of theater, under extreme stress, and you're going to a few that snap or bad judgement -- but again, the problem is when it is institutionalized on an industrial scale). If Sanders apologizes for the stupidity of his youth, I'd give him a free pass -- but he's unlikely to do that, or mean it if he did.
Kent State -
Peace dividend - If you think war is expensive, you should see what peace can cost. In Indochina the peaceniks wanted peace at any price, and for the U.S. to get out of Vietnam, despite multiple warnings by the CIA about what would happen (that South Asia would fall and the Marxists would exterminate/re-educate/expatriate the opposition). The peaceniks got their way, the benevolent communist people’s party got control, and the cost was >6 Million dead, and at least that many refugees driven from their homes, while the peaceniks have never apologized about what happened as a consequence of their "peace at any price".
Vietnam and Woodrow Wilson - What lead up to the Vietnam War?
In 1919, Woodrow Wilson (D) was in Versailles attending the Paris Peace Conference when he got a letter from a young socialist asking to meet him. Wilson had a busy schedule; he ignored him—and set in motion a chain of events that led to the Vietnam War. The young man was Ho Chi Minh, and at the time, he was still quite open to different ideas. All he wanted was independence for Vietnam. He had been inspired by the American Declaration of Independence, and hoped the American President would sympathize with Vietnam’s plight, and help them win independence from France. Wilson ignored him, because like many progressives of the day (and to this day) he was arrogant, racist, and helping wouldn't help him get elected. Thus Ho Chi Minh started to get disillusioned with America and went to the Soviet Union instead, where he studied Marxism, met with Trotsky and Stalin, and became a dyed-in-the-wool communist.
When Vietnam won independence from France, Ho Chi Minh led the Communist group that split Vietnam in half. The Vietnam War began—but it might never have happened if Woodrow Wilson had just given a young man the time of day.
Violence never solved anything -
Who lost the Vietnam War -
- 1972 - The Paris Peace Accords in 1972. Vietnam surrendered, we had a peace agreement and everything was fine. Tada. War over.
- 1974 - (two years later), the Democrats won congress. They immediately started cutting off all funding/support for South Vietnam
- 1975 - in January 1975 the North tried a probing attack to see if the U.S. would stop them (the South had a 2:1 advantage in most areas like artillery/planes/etc -- but no money for fuel). The Democrats denied treaties and obligations, and without that financial support, the NVA overran the country by the end of April.
So Americans didn't lose the first Vietnam war, democrats lost us the second one, by letting Russia, China and North Vietnam know they could have it.
Who won the Vietnam War - There's a prevalent myth that America lost the Vietnam war. But about 30 years ago, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, (who is largely credited with the “Singapore Miracle”, turning a backwater nation into an economically prosperous nation), wrote an op ed in the New York Times in which he claimed the U.S. had largely won the Vietnam War.
- His contention was that the U.S. wasn’t just fighting to protect South Vietnam from the Communist yoke, but that the U.S. was fighting to protect all of Southeast Asia (including his native Singapore). While South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos fell to Communism, the U.S.’s fight delayed the Communist surge long enough for Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines to develop their nations economically enough to make the Communist lure undesirable.
- Prime Minister Lee argued that had the U.S. not fought the Vietnam War, Communism would have taken over all of Southeast Asia. So the U.S.’s participation in the Vietnam War allowed the much larger portion of the Southeast Asian population (≈475 Million people) to escape the yoke of Communism and the violent purges that come with it. And in Lee’s eyes (as a significant insider), this meant the U.S. largely won the Vietnam War, even though Indochina fell to Communism.
- Despite the historical and philosophical importance of that, and who it was spoken by, where have you ever heard that taught in a public school or mentioned on the airwaves?
Why we fought the Vietnam War -
What can we learn from History?
- That little things can have big impacts. Ignoring socialists or pretending their ideology isn't poisonous is something you should do at your own peril. The silly College kids or rebels of today, are the ones willing to murder your family or everyone that opposes them in the future. Like Ho Chi Minh.
- That War and Peace are complex. Whether we fought the war or not, a similar outcome was predestined: that the Socialist/Communists were going to murder millions to get what they wanted: the enslavement of the country to their ideology of progressive wealth-redistribution and the centralization of power into the hands of the few (and a top-down economy, driven by the ideology of the left)
- That we didn't lose the war. We won. Democrats later gave up the promises and the second Vietnam War, because political expediency was worth more than the millions of lives lost or ruined in the name of "peace".
- That to this day, the young, Democrat-Educated, and gullible, still can't take responsibility for anything that happened and their contributions to the mess. That they got us into the war, then undermined our ability to win it, then bailed on our allies when they needed us most. That they encouraged young kids and radicals to fight to undermine American interests and divide us for votes. Then when their rabble-rousers eventually caused a massacre, they took no responsibility, blamed the other side, and invented fictions around what happened and why.
The point is NOT that you had to be for (or against) the War. I have no problem with sincere peaceniks, who are willing to let millions die for their beliefs in non-intervention, or that it wasn't our fight. They're right about that. And we certainly fucked things up.
What I have a problem with is the historical revisionists that are doing their best to NOT learn the lessons offered by history, by ignoring what happened and why. That increases the odds that we will repeat those mistakes, because we haven't studied what the mistakes were, and most think what happened is something else.
Mature adults can admit mistakes and learn from them. Republicans were far from innocent in the mess that became the Vietnam Wars, and I could go on and on about that -- but I don't have to. The Press/Media and leftists in Sociology and History departments will do it for me, in caricature and exaggerated form. So no need to beat that dead horse. But Democrats will usually deny history, or revise it, into some fiction where they were the good guys and did nothing wrong. And THAT I have a bigger problem with. They and their peaceniks got up to 6 Million killed in the name of peace -- and they need their noses rubbed in it, until they can openly own and admit they had something to do with it, and thus they're willing to learn that ego is less important than the lives of the future. (Those who will be lost if we don't learn the TRUE lessons that the dead paid with their lives to teach us).