How we won the war in VN

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 6, 2003.

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    gene29223
    Moderator
    Posts: 115
    (5/16/01 9:39:27 am)
    | Del All How we won the war in VN
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    For those who might a be interested: Viet D. Dinh is professor and deputy director of Asian Law and Policy Studies at Georgetown University Law Center. He is one of the many successful boatpeople. Professor Dinh has put into words what I felt but could'd put to paper.

    Dave, this goes back to a discussion we had a while back. Another perspective.

    Homer, you might be interested in thiss too.

    espsun.space.swri.edu/cgi...671-60.htm

    Take care, Gene



    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 529
    (5/16/01 1:12:12 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    I don't know Gene.......anyway you cut it I don't think we won the war in Vietnam. I can imagine putting Professor Dinh in front of an assembly of Vietnam veterans. Not too many would buy into his perspective.
    I will grant you, as we've discussed before, the bankruptcy of Russia was an indirect cause and effect of Vietnam. But more than anything I believe that the years since the 80's when we rebuilt our nation after the debacle years of (particularly) Carter, it was the desperate attempt of a beleaugered Russia trying to keep pace with a very determined United States to regain military superiority. And thanks in a great part to the vision of Ronald Reagan to unencumber individuals (entrepreneurialship) and reinforce the national defense structure. It was that momentum which caused Russia to go broke......just couldn't compete.
    Does that mean we won the war in Vietnam? If we did, then I'm not sure that the 58,000, their family and friends would think it was much of a victory. Or the thousands of VN veterans who carry one hell of a load of baggage with them. Plain and simple, It's my humble opinion that we lost (and clearly we could have kicked their butts) but the outcome may have a positive side to it... if that's possible.


    Edited by: dap22 at: 5/16/01 2:20:48 pm

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 557
    (5/20/01 7:21:51 pm)
    | Del Re: DID we win the war in Vietnam???????????
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    I have a feeling that no one is commenting for fear of hurting my feelings or Gene's feelings. I think if you can put that aside, do you subscribe to what Professor Dinh is saying or not?
    It's not my aim to hurt anyone's feelings as much as simply expressing my opinion. I apologize to you Gene, if in fact I have hurt your feelings........I simply don't see how anyone can make the point that we won the war in Vietnam. If any of you Vietnam veterans (or non veterans or whomever) would care to comment, I think this is a subject worthy of some comment pro or con.

    oneknight
    Moderator
    Posts: 943
    (5/20/01 11:12:40 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Professor Dinh said:

    "But of course Vietnam is not just another country of
    marginal international significance. It is a name that
    remains DEEPLY INGRAINED in the AMERICAN PSYCHE as a
    NOT-SO-GENTLE reminder of our fallibility."

    I would say to Professor Dinh, it is much easier to
    study it, teach it and write it than it was to LIVE IT,
    FIGHT IT AND DIE FOR IT.

    Viet Dinh is a Professor of ONE of the finest Law School's
    in this Country, but I have to wonder, if in his heart,
    he truly believes we won the war.


    Donna




    "HE MANAGED TO WALK A WORTHY JOURNEY."

    Copr6
    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 198
    (5/20/01 11:39:46 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    I have not commented due to the fact that I don't care to get into a long drawn out conversation about whether we won or not. My opinion is that we DID NOT win. We did not accomplish our so-called goal... and that was to run the Commies out of SEA.

    gene29223
    Moderator
    Posts: 118
    (5/21/01 11:22:11 am)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Been out of touch the past few days, Baby grand daughter has a wicked pneumonia but is now recovering. Fever broke late yesterday and I got the first smile in three days out of her last night.


    This could turn into a Geopolitical study and I understand some not wanting to engage it. However, if we don't study such things how do we prevent history from repeating its self? We shouldn't order our young off to war unless it is for a damned good reason (Was VN a good reason? My marriage aside - I happen to think so). Once we are committed, it should be for the whole ballgame not just the first few innings.

    No, no, my feelings wern't hurt about your reply. As I've said before we all come to this with our own memoriers and feelings. This is our forum to discuss things. You see I DON'T think we LOST the war. We got tired and quit because our government wouldn't allow us fight the fight to a military victory. What would VN look like today if we had - would we not have rebuilt the country as we did Germany/Japan? Would VN not have been an ally and stabilization factor to SE Asia? Would there have been the Killing Fields?

    While we were there we DID accomplish what we said we would - communism did not take over. That happened three years after we left.

    Are we not now helping to rebuild Vietnam? The Viet Q and other businesses are pumping millions back into the country and along with the dollars come our principals of a free market and a free (democratic) people. When the younger Vietnamese (and even some of the older die hard communists)interact with the free world, they want a piece of the "American Pie" in their homeland also. In this light we may have won the war. We exposed thousands of Vietnamese to our way of life here in the US and they liked it!

    I don't want to go to my grave thinking so many lives were lost for NOTHING. Perhaps it was the other side that wasted so many lives (theirs and ours)for naught. If VN does become a free market and democratic society - then we won. To this end their struggle goes on.

    Hey, we can agree to disagree and still be friends/family.

    Take care, Gene

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 562
    (5/21/01 11:31:28 am)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene:
    Great to hear your granddaughter is on the mend...no doubt some extremely worrisome moments!
    Also glad you replied. I guess there are some very different ways to look at the whole thing. I will agree with you that our government let them and us down....big time. And, if the eventual outcome is a democracy for the Vietnamese, then clearly the outfall of the war was good. The rest we'll have to agree to disagree about......glad you're back.
    Dave

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 299
    (5/21/01 2:35:01 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene - Dave,

    Nor do I want to argue this, as you say we each have our feelings and who is to say who is right or wrong?

    I can see where Prof. Dinh, in his thinking would think we (he) won in Vietnam.

    As I look at it, it is not how "we" won in Vietnam but how the Vietnamese won in their country, not then but now. That little part of the world is now changing a tad bit, we are now trading with them.

    We may have lost the war but not at our soldiers discretion. They were like fighters in a ring and one of them was told to throw the fight. What was left for us to do? We had to walk away.

    We have come a long ways from bullets and bombs as Prof. Dinh stated but we have come away with broken hearts, broken lives, regret and many didn't come back at all, one way or another. Some still hear those bullets and bombs.

    Prof. Dinh states at the closure of his report that "the U.S. must take a hard line on Vietnam's abuse of it's people", If I am not mistaken I thought We Did That Once!

    Gene,
    Sorry to hear of your Granddaughters illness and that she is getting better. I can imagine Grandpa was walking the floor over that one. - Hope

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 300
    (5/21/01 2:47:55 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene, my brain was getting ahead of my fingers again and I did not mean for it to sound like I was sorry your Granddaughter was getting better. I am very glad!!

    Sorry - Hope

    Copr6
    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 199
    (5/21/01 3:40:40 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene...your statement..."it should be for the whole ballgame not just the first few innings", I agree with 100%.
    Another excerpt..."While we were there we DID accomplish what we said we would - communism did not take over. That happened three years after we left". This I see as saying that we spent 10 yrs and 58,000 lives and countless walking dead for 3 yrs without Communism is VN...not hardly worth the effort. If you look at the whole thing, we would have had to stay forever in order to say that VN was Commie free!



    oneknight
    Moderator
    Posts: 945
    (5/21/01 6:29:58 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene,

    Of course we are still friends/family here. We're all
    mature adults with the exception of dap22. lol!

    It would take a lot more than an opinion to kick you out of
    Boom Boom's.

    Glad Baby is on the mend, a worrisome time, no doubt.

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 563
    (5/21/01 6:34:24 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    That's not what you said the other night!

    oneknight
    Moderator
    Posts: 950
    (5/21/01 9:23:15 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    More than just a memory, wasn't it???

    gene29223
    Moderator
    Posts: 123
    (5/22/01 3:31:52 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Hey, Granddaughter is running all over the place now. Yes, it was worrisome. You can see they don't feel good and your heart goes out. She wanted to be consoled, yet couldn't get comfortable until after the IV antibiotics had run their course. All I could do was hold her and quietly reassure her that things would be okay in a few more hours (I was Praying). The wonderful resilience of youth, how quickly they bounce back. Thank God!! Thanks to all of you for your concern.

    Hope, I understood what you meant concerning GD's illness.

    You wrote: "I can see where Prof. Dinh, in his thinking would think we (he) won in Vietnam"
    Maybe I'm missing your point as I took Professor Dinh's writting this as he being a US Citizen when he said we. Perhaps I am wrong in that assumption. Yes we did take a hard line and I believe Prof. Dinh is extolling us to be careful in our future dealing with the current VN regime. Yet, he does want his former country to prosper and become democratic.

    I'm still jumpy, don't like unexpected bangs, and still see the faces of those I cared for and those that died in our care. They weren't wasted lives -our country called and they responed: Something about Duty - Honor - Country. Read a recent pole: "Knowing what you now know about our involvement in VN would you do it again if asked"? The majority of VN vets who responded said yes.

    6, We wouldn't have had to be there fighting for 10 yrs if our gov. would have let the military fight the fight. Why do we still have such a military presence in Europe? WWII has been over for a long, long time. I wish we would have kicked butts and left a military contingent in VN to help rebuild the country back in the 60's. SO many lives would not have been lost or torn apart. To me the lesson learned is: If your going to do it - do it right the first time. That's very much like medicine - the most expensive antibiotic is the one that doesn't work at first, either for not taking it long enough (compliance) or it was the wrong one. (forget the dollar cost per pill) Our government tied the military's hands at almost every turn. We gained a little only to give it back. Stop an appropriate antibiotic to soon and the bacteria get stronger and builds a resistance to it, you then loose or need to get a bigger hammer!

    Deep down, I know the war needed to end. As we were pulling out, I thought thank God, it's over; but I was still naive enough to believe we'd continue to help the SVN if the NVA came south. When it happened, I hoped we'd resume the bombing and turn Hanoi into a parking lot. I really did not want to send ground forces back in UNLESS.....we decided on a complete military victory.

    Enough, we've beat this horse to death. Let's get a few beers at Boom, Booms. I'll buy and if your good I might get Barry to jam a few blues with me. Anyone remember Muddy Waters? Homer, you there? Just don't start that damned "Old Shep" stuff again. I cried for hours the last time.

    Take care, Gene


    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 305
    (5/22/01 6:26:22 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    Gene,

    You are most likely correct. I guess my brain wasn't in the comprehending mode. You head for Boom Booms and you get Muddy Waters playing, perhaps the place will start hopping again. - Hope

    Remf
    Moderator
    Posts: 181
    (5/22/01 8:20:30 pm)
    | Del Re: How we won the war in VN
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    If we had won there wouldn't have been boat people or re-education camps. Russia would still have gone under, they had thier own Veitnam only they called it Afganistan.