As in Vietnam, the U.S. military and civilian effort in Afghanistan is led by a toxic mixture of deep ignorance and imperial arrogance
Mr. Margolis “tells it like it is” once more, and he doesn’t mince words!
The 'Nam remains one of the biggest quagmires US foreign policy blunders of the 20th century, actually the biggest. 3-5 million deaths including over a hundred thousand here almost half of which happened on US soil after they returned. I’m guessing the new PBS series doesn’t mention the utter devastation on the three countries bombed past rubble, the napalmed children and women, the chemical warfare that killed or injured thousands and have three generations, and counting, of birth defects and cancer, the dead people I knew coming in boxes, the CIA running smack in coffins, all the other horrors to numerous to list; were any of these given their due in the film? I didn’t watch as the memories are flooding back anyways as they always do anytime the 'Nam comes up, and I watched enough carnage for a lifetime on TV and Life Magazine. I think it’s time again for discussions, meaningful discussions to end US imperialist wars, pursue peace and solve the global poisoning/warming crisis or there won’t be a world left that supports life, as we know it anyway.
The Vietnam war was not about the U.S. helping an ally from aggression by another nation.
Neither was it the U.S. getting involved in another country’s civil war.
Neither was it about the U.S. standing up against Communist expansionism.
North Vietnam was not a separate nation from South Vietnam. Nor was the conflict a civil war between different factions of the one nation of Vietnam. Nor was the main reason the U.S. became involved was to stop a Communist threat from Russia and China.
From the start it was about Imperialism, keeping the Third World under the West’s control. The U.S. was fine to have a junior partner, France, be the colonial master as long as France was willing to do it
In 1945 the leader of the Vietnam resistance to the Japanese occupation asked for American help in establishing a post war independent Vietnam and declared the nation’s independence using the same language as the U.S. Declaration of Independence. This leader had already been working with the U.S. in fighting the Japanese.
Who was that America influenced and ally who asked for help? Ho Chi Minh. What did America do? Ignore him and support the French re-establishment of colonial control. They used locals to help them, the same folk who’d cooperated with the Japanese.
The Vietnamese resisted. The same resistance that had fought the Japanese. By 1954, despite the U.S. helping the French, the resistance, called the Viet Minh, won and the French left.
Then the winners turned to the U.N. and asked for direction. The U.N. declared that their would be national elections to choose a government. Everyone knew who’d win- Ho Chi Minh.
What did the U.S. do? It immediately switched from helping the French keep the colony going to helping the collaborators keep control of the south. Against the U.N. direction the U.S. created a puppet state of South Vietnam and imported a U.S. educated collaborator, Ngo Dinh Diem, who lived in the U.S. to be the ‘leader’ of this puppet state. Then the U.S. kept the puppet state from participating in the election.
Of course the Vietnamese fought against this. Now they were fighting the collaborators who were armed, financed, and controlled by the U.S. The puppet state was incompetent and corrupt. So in 1963 the U.S. did a coup to remove Diem and replace him with someone they thought would work better: Nguyen Van Thieu.
But that didn’t help much. So finally in 1965, after getting the authorization for whatever LBJ needed to do in Vietnam from the phony and fake Gulf of Tonkin incident, clearly a false flag operation and one know by U.S. leaders to be a false flag, the U.S. began sending in their own troops to fight.
No mistaken honor. No sense that this was to fight communism. No helping one nation defend itself from another. No getting involved in a civil war. The U.S. created the phony distinction of there being two countries. The U.S. created the phony sense of their being a civil war. Was the French resistance in WWII part of a civil war?
It always was out and out capitalistic imperialism.
“Stay alive, avoid combat, and smoke another reefer.”
War is Hell.
It was viewed as a hot battle in the ongoing Cold War. We lost and then Nixon decided to try and deepen the split between the SU and China by trying to make peace with Mao.
No. It was sold that way. Maybe Nixon thought way. Maybe LBJ thought that way. But that’s not what it was about.
From the very beginning it was about imperialism.
“I don’t for a moment believe that the saintly president John Kennedy planned to end the war”.
This author might want to do a little research, the proof of this is out there.
“this is a charming legend”
What a right wing tool.
You do realize that JFK was a right winger among Democrats? He mainly ran in 1960 on the made up “missile gap” and promised to build up the US strategic force. He invaded Cuba. His economic policy was about tax cuts. His advisers on foreign affairs invented the idea of “brinksmanship” that almost got us into nuclear war in the missile crisis, and his brother, RFK, who was his Attorney General, despite his later being a more leftist candidate, was all about law and order, fighting the mafia and busting unions.
So stop calling a person who critiques JFK, who did the Thieu coup in Vietnam, and who tells us how the Vietnam War was not a well intentioned mistake a ‘right wing tool,’ okay?
That’s what I was saying. The political leadership saw it that way and
that’s why they had such a hard time withdrawing or admitting defeat. If
you weren’t there you wouldn’t understand that the general public all
thought America had never been defeated in a war. That’s what the great
majority of American’s thought. You were taught that from day 1 all the way
through to College.
You know, I’ve watched in horror as James Hansen and George Monbiot went nuclear - and now Margolis revceals his true colors with this bs about what actually happened in 1963 and 1968 (JFK & RFK taken out).
Now it’s clear - all those pics of Margolis with a gun - just another Hemmingway pretend warrior - in the final analysis - a writer - like a photographer - like a critic - like “a dog who knows the way but can’t drive the car”.
Where are the real men ?
Guys like Bill Tilman, JFK & RFK - where ??
Instead we have Bloomberg and Obama, and now this joke in the White House - it’s a f*** disgrace to mankind.
When we left the small tribes - and went to pastoralism, agriculture and modern civilizations - we left something infinitely valuable behind - our individuality and our basic humanity.
I’m not saying we were saints then - but I’ve realized that’s what I’ve tried to recapture in my life - the patch is essentially tribal, where I spent eighteen years, and my small mountaineering group was definitely tribal - shared adversity - and the instantly recognized need for each other - not virtue - but at least human. And it worked - we brought home the bacon (oil), and the summit, and it was worthwhile doing both.
I replied to ReconFire - might be of interest.
I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Eric.
I don’t think Trump’s puppet-masters would permit it.
I agree with your assessment that imperialism was the main motive, though I think the anti-communism motive might have brought along a few more players. What you point out and what Margolis leaves out is that there is plenty of presidential blame to apportion to Truman and Eisenhower and not just Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon. Truman sowed the seeds and Eisenhower may not have been watering vigorously but he certainly wasn’t pulling the plant out by its roots as would have been the ethical and pragmatic path forward. No point in ever revering these people (Robert Scheer seems to like Eisenhower way more than deserved for some reason). As much as people complain about Sanders’ imperfect view of foreign policy, he doesn’t seem anything like anybody we’ve had before.
In addition, I believe that many, if not all, of the Presidents that you mention were duped and/or manipulated by Dulles and the CIA.
JFK did in fact resist the Joint Chiefs who were pushing a complete invasion of Cuba and wasnt at all involved in brinkmanship( nor were his advisors who realised a response was necessary) but rather seeking throughout to help Kruschev find a way out without losing face…Its just as well he did as Russian short-range nuclear weapons had been activated when the CIA insisted they hadnt been and may well have been fired at incoming US troops despite Moscow taking over full control …JFK did the least he could.and held back the jackals of war, he had of course inherited the Bay of Pigs from Eisenhower and was assured by Dulles and Bissell that the Cuban people would rise up against Castro an obvious nonsense.for which he hugely unusually for any President took full responsibility and thereafter sought the return of prisoners… Theres also no doubt that he wanted out of Vietnam as NSAM 263 clearly shows but to achieve his aim against rancid Republican resistance and trouble-making…realised he had to wait for a 2nd term .His assassination permitted the warmongers under LBJ who really represented the Democratic Right …to make vast profits from an entirely false prospectus using the domino theory to beguile naive Americans into supporting it until Tet when even Cronkite saw its insanity…
Too bad you did not do the Vietnam, documentary instead of Ken Burns.
First let me say that I’m not on this site to agitate or cause divisions among posters.
Do you realize you left out a lot of important facts in you’re history lesson?
After the fear mongering of the red scare and McCarthyism of the 1950’s almost all politicians leaned right a little to be elected at that time. It didn’t take pres. Kennedy long to see the error of his ways. Was he infallible - of coarse not, who is, we are all human. It must be mentioned that he had to work within these confines to get anything done in congress.
I disagree with you’re take on “brinkmanship”, I believe this was more of a product of the Joint Chiefs and the CIA.
Yes RFK had his mistakes also, but I don’t consider the situation with Hoffa (I don’t defend his tactics), union busting.
The author took a pretty good story on the failings of our involvement in Vietnam war and trashed it with his falsehood and smearing of the only president in my lifetime to attempt world peace (Pres. Carter is a good 2nd.). It makes me wonder who he’s writing for. Some of the followers on this site might be offended by my analogy of this story (not my intention, and I apologize if you were)
To answer you’re question, no it’s not ok, I will not censor my comments to appease others on this site. If this is to much for the posters on this site, I’ll understand and move on.
I hope we can respectfully agree to disagree on this subject.
Well let me say my intent was not to censor you. I support you in stating what you think.
My intent was to convince you to change your thinking. Of course to do that I must be willing to listen to you and be open to changing mine.
So I regret not expressing myself clearly on that so it seemed i was trying to get you to censor yourself.
Once the crisis happened, it is true that JFK resisted the brinksmanship of the Joint Chiefs. But that doesn’t change it was a policy of brinksmanship of his administration that led to the crisis in the first place. JFK was a different president after the crisis. That is true.