The U.S was not simply outfought. It was out-thought.
Wow! Just WOW! I have never seen an explanation parsed out so well. Much of this we knew on one level or another, but Freeman’s ability to arrange and display the pieces in such a short article is remarkable. It reads like a precis for a book.
Agree. A simple, concise, point by point summary of the Vietnam war.
And Ken Burns is a propagandist for amnesia.
The only worse attempt to explain the Viet Nam War I’ve seen so far is NPR’s CIA version. 26 months in Viet Nam, a Navy language school in Vietnamese, a few years in college studying Asian nations and having lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong for a couple years was a quest to understand why the government of the United States slyly invaded Viet Nam.
Country Joe and the Fish nailed it! General Smedley Butler confirmed it.
Why the US lost the Viet Nam War? “They” never intended to win it, but a lot of politicians got very rich pretending.
" They never intended to win it."
True, because the war profiteers always win every war. Smedley Butler nailed it when he said: WAR IS A RACKET!
There will come a time when history is told truthfully. The US sided with a vicious colonist regime that had been extracting wealth from Vietnam since the 19th century. That is our shame. That we then proceeded to try and force our version of capitalism down their throats is beyond despicable. We “lost?” You can’t have a “victory” when you are invading and occupying a nation and trying to decimate a portion of their population to force your economic system on them. What would “victory” have looked like? Complete submission by the people? A slave state? Come on!
Should have never been there in the first place. Chinese didn’t learn either, in the brief 4th Vietnam War in 1979. Vietnam has been fighting invaders since before the Mongols tried their hand at it in 1270.
The Media is Mightier Than War ©
As a Marine Vietnam Veteran for Peace, I find this article a bit lacking in Folly Policy analysis. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech encapsulates the primary reasons for failure:
The “Origins of the Vietnam War” are also detailed in the Council of Foreign Relations document: http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=classracecorporatepower
These facets of ground intelligence must be integrated into and Organize and Occupy Peace Strategy ~ ordinary citizens nationwide, NOT the foreign policy elites, must determine WHO DECIDES … Who Serves, Sacrifices, Suffers, Dies and Who Pays!
Wage Peace & Treasure Life,
NCO Assigned to Scouts
The USA lost the Vietnam War for the same reason the French lost the Vietnam War, and the Algerian War, and the British lost India.
Vietnam was the last of the 19th century colonial wars. The West had its time, then were pushed out.
Now, of course, we see the West back in all over the planet, this time disguised as corporatism.
The only question is, what type of war will drive them out?
“The Americans should have understood this. They had once fought a war of national independence to get the foreign occupiers out of their country.”
Wow. Never underestimate the power of propaganda.
The war of independence wasn’t a war against foreign occupation, as both sides were but different factions of the same foreign occupiers.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
Vietnam fought China for 800 years and then won. They defeated Japan on their soil during ww2.
Vietnam defeated us with half its forces waiting in ambush for a Chinese incursion.
When the Chinese did cross into Vietnam, as we were leaving, the Chinese were completely annihilated.
I agree with your well written assessment. You may be interested in reading my response to the article below.
I was drafted into the US Army in October of 1967. I was trained to be an infantryman. Known in the army as an “eleven bravo” or 11B20 which was the official army MOS number for infantryman.
I was in Vietnam from April to April 1968 - 1969. All this preliminary bullshit above just to say one thing: Robert Freeman’s article on Vietnam and why the US “lost” is probably the best one I have ever read. I agree entirely with what he wrote. I witnessed a great deal of the actions, policies and lies of the US military which he so aptly described. It was nearly all lies from the phony “body counts” on up. And we are still lying about war as we feed our young men and women into the machine for no reason at all other than it is a very profitable business for some.
You have to understand that the United States of America is no doubt the most corrupt nation in the world and has been for at least since WWII. And now we have the perfect head of government. The most corrupt, vile, moronic, pathological lying festering sore of a human being who so closely mirrors what this country really is and has been for so long.
I also agree. Youse guys are quite right about Freeman’s exposition of the details, but the root cause is:
An observant, wise man can learn much from the mistakes of others. We don’t even learn from our own!
Ah-Yup – our just desserts! Except that Tweetle-Dumb isn’t a dessert, he’s just the appetizer for what’s to come. 1984 IS Here At Last! And Tweetle-Dumb is just the down-payment. Just wait 'til he’s gone and DeVos, Pence, Prince & Sessions have taken over the reigns . . .
My thoughts exactly, skeezyks. Today’s menu features a panoply of intelligent, wee-written articles.
IMHO, one of the 3 or 4 greatest speeches in American history, April 4, 1967.
R.I.P. Man of Peace! I miss you.
maybe its toxins in the hair dye.
Damned straight, and now we are embroiled in several of the same genera of conflicts. What we should have learned from this failure was lost because the MIC won that one as well as each one since and I am including Somalia. Americans in body bags mean little more to the MIC than the profit derived from selling the bags.
When one is in denial over a failure, and interprets it as a success or blames others for it, one is also blind to repeating the mistake. The same is true from being in relationships with abusive people to being the abusive country causing the suffering of countries full of other people. Denying that one is causing suffering makes it almost inevitable that one will cause more. Denying that one is connected to someone else makes it hard to be connected to anyone; the mechanisms of connection are corroded, then eroded. Being unable to connect with people makes one unable to connect with the rest of nature; being isolated from all of nature, one feels alone, and begins to think that struggle against a harsh universe is all that’s real. One becomes a conservative, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a holder of class prejudice, a believer in hierarchical, patriarchal religion and society; one becomes a destroyer of people, groups, nature, societies, countries, the world.
Awareness is everything. Connection needs to be rekindled. Empathy and science are equally crucial for survival; we have to feel our way into knowing and use knowing to move forward into a society that doesn’t deny its connection.