Category: commentary

ari-is-costanza replied to your post “Food for thought” Ho Chi Minh had…

ari-is-costanza
replied to your post “Food for thought”

Ho Chi Minh had been appealing to the west for decades before falling firmly in the communist side. He was present at the WW1 peace accords and worked with the allies in the second world war.

I think he was well aligned with socialists and communists in France during WWI. He appealed directly to Wilson in a letter but never received a response, if I remember correctly.

His cooperation with the Allied powers in WWII is an interesting case and is similar in function to the reasoning behind US involvement after the war. That is to say the common enemy was the Japanese at the time. The US was willing to help those movements fighting the Japanese, even if they were communist. I think Ho Chi Minh believed, once again, that the US would make good on their promises of self determination for all peoples. (See the Atlantic Charter)

I doubt he would have worked with the Allies if that meant direct cooperation with the French. 

Any of the tags related to the Tet Offensive. It was a pivotal part of the Vietnam War and I find it very interesting.

It definitely was. Have you read any of the recent books that came out about it?

What’s your favorite Vietnam War Era #tag?

What’s your favorite Vietnam War Era #tag?

How come the US never invaded North Vietnam?

The Cold War context cannot be forgotten here. The war was less about Vietnam specifically than it was about what it stood for symbolically. It was simply one piece in the global game being played with small nations suing for independence. The US was striving to prove democratic capitalism as the superior model in government and economy, while the Soviet Union (and China) were seeking to prove that communism was the superior model. To do so, each tried to gain influence in those small nations, supporting different factions.

Fearful of triggering a third world war (as well as wanting to reserve money for domestic programs) Johnson pursued a strategy of gradualism. There were plenty of military officers and civilian hawks (war supporters) who advocated for or believed that invading North Vietnam was necessary to win. Vietnam was unique in its proximity to China, one of the supporters of North Vietnam. Invading North Vietnam could also trigger a situation similar to the Korean War, or so some policy makers feared.

Some proponents of the gradualism plan genuinely believed it would be enough to achieve American objectives in Vietnam. This is generally put down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the Vietnamese. One way to put this is that the US was fighting a limited war while the Vietnamese communists (both North Vietnam and the Viet Cong) were fighting a total war.

TL;DR: American policy makers did not want to risk drawing Chinese or Soviet ground troops into the war.

How come the US never invaded North Vietnam?

The Cold War context cannot be forgotten here. The war was less about Vietnam specifically than it was about what it stood for symbolically. It was simply one piece in the global game being played with small nations suing for independence. The US was striving to prove democratic capitalism as the superior model in government and economy, while the Soviet Union (and China) were seeking to prove that communism was the superior model. To do so, each tried to gain influence in those small nations, supporting different factions.

Fearful of triggering a third world war (as well as wanting to reserve money for domestic programs) Johnson pursued a strategy of gradualism. There were plenty of military officers and civilian hawks (war supporters) who advocated for or believed that invading North Vietnam was necessary to win. Vietnam was unique in its proximity to China, one of the supporters of North Vietnam. Invading North Vietnam could also trigger a situation similar to the Korean War, or so some policy makers feared.

Some proponents of the gradualism plan genuinely believed it would be enough to achieve American objectives in Vietnam. This is generally put down to a fundamental misunderstanding of the Vietnamese. One way to put this is that the US was fighting a limited war while the Vietnamese communists (both North Vietnam and the Viet Cong) were fighting a total war.

TL;DR: American policy makers did not want to risk drawing Chinese or Soviet ground troops into the war.

In the wake of Sen. John McCain’s death, I have seen many posts and tweets celebrating his military…

In the wake of Sen. John McCain’s death, I have seen many posts and tweets celebrating his military service. I have seen just as many posts and tweets condemning his military service. The latter usually progress into damning all those who served in the Vietnam War. I don’t believe this is right, just as I do not believe glorifying the war is right either.

Many claim that every man had a choice. They could dodge the draft one way or another, or challenge it and go to jail. Any of that would be better than serving in America’s imperialist war in Vietnam. So they say.

My main issue with this is that those who speak that way are operating under a completely different context than those young men living in the 1960s and 1970s. The distrust in government, the widespread questioning, that we experience as part of every day life now was only because of the Vietnam War era. Nor are we a golden superpower still riding the high of winning WWII and the incredible boons that rippled through a large portion of American society in its aftermath. It is easy to say now what people 50 years ago should have done because we cannot understand that context completely without living it ourselves. And we cannot do that. 

This is to say nothing of the fact that many drafted likely could not afford to abandon families or spend time in a prison cell. The military would offer a paycheck, housing, food. Then there is the simple fact that to stand up against the US government, the US military, requires a strength of conviction that most don’t have. I certainly don’t have that.

I’m not saying anyone has to respect those who served in the war, but I am saying you have to respect context and reality.

mufi1008 replied to your post “On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important” …

mufi1008
replied to your post
“On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important”

@karagin12 the reason OP and many LGBT people that serve in the military want to show this topic its because historically this group of people have been discharged for their sexuality even in cases were they were honored for their sevices with the military. Also this work serve as a incentive for you LGBT to serve in the army.

Personally, I can’t say that I hope studies of LGBT service members throughout history encourages any LGBT+ youth to serve in the US military.

karagin12 replied to your post “On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important” …

karagin12
replied to your post
“On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important”

Can we stop forcing this on to everything? Who cares about their sexuality? IF they do the job of their MOS and do what needs to be done as a service member WITHOUT putting anyone at risk then who cares what they do in their bedroom, I don’t. So please STOP telling us about their problems, no one cares, no one wants to hear how hard it is to get a date and I can tell you NO ONE in the military is special. Do your job and keep your personal life to yourself. Simple, easy

You just saw the title and decided to go off, didn’t you? Read the post, then come back to me as it addresses exactly what you said here.

I would like to add that plenty of men and women were absolutely keeping their personal lives to themselves, yet were still run out of the military despite stellar service records.

armedandgayngerous: enrique262: “As Jim [Spahr, Office of Naval Intelligence] learned his job…

armedandgayngerous:

enrique262:

“As Jim [Spahr, Office of Naval Intelligence] learned his job better, he was astounded at the variety of intelligence gathered on homosexuals by the police and government. The FBI followed people to gay bars, checked license numbers of cars parked outside, and followed people home to see with whom they had made an assignation. The San Francisco police, like police in may other cities, freely shared with the FBI and military police files of men and women they arrested in raids on gay bars, so that everyone had up-to-date lists of deviates.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 51.

See this quote for more information on Jim Spahr’s job with the Office of Naval Intelligence.

(via vietnamwarera)

no kids, no wives, dead to their families; can’t be threatened: dangerous

Actually, a central point of the military’s argument was that gay service members would be vulnerable to blackmail by enemy agents/military. In other words they believed that they very much could be threatened as most were not out to family and friends. They stood to lose those relationships, and if outed as gay, it would also affect their job prospects in the civilian world. Especially if they were discharged from the military because of it.

tur80: Found this picture from Nam, I have no idea we brought…

tur80:

Found this picture from Nam, I have no idea we brought some Broncos there, must have been for some special people. 

Check out this article.

Of the Ford Bronco: “A few 1966-1967 models were sent to Vietnam as well, but seemed to stay around the military bases and likely never saw combat.”