Vietnam War: Winners, losers, and consequence.




 
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September 22nd, 2004  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 

Topic: Vietnam War: Winners, losers, and consequence.


It has always bugged me that, by and large, that most people misunderstand the Vietnam war. Both in it's purpose and execution. The victories and the defeats. And the consequences, the shift in political thinking, not only in Asia, but around the world too. So I would like for you all to shed some light on this dark era in American/Vietnamese history.

People often put much emphasis on the fact that the US, the great super power, lost to a poor country, sparing much life and suffering in the proccess, for absolutely nothing. While I'm hard pressed to challenge the latter with a hard arguement, I have some serious issues with the first.

What defines a lose? When the faction's goals are not met? A free south Vietnam was the goal of the US. This goal did not hold indefinately. Quite simply because of one undeniable reason: The south Vietnamese would not fight for themselves, they would not challenge the great red threat that was consumeing them. It's true some south vietnamese wanted to stay democratic, but the majority would just as easily bend, or even convert.

The US military did it's job in Vietnam, it kept the country from turning communist by military force the entire span of their occupation. But as the war dragged on, and the guerilla war strategy of Mao Zedong of China was takeing it's toll on the US military. Thus, we quickly turned to another strategy: Vietnamization. This strategy was working well, and more and more US troops began comeing home, without major communsit takeover. And finally, in March 1973, the US withdrawls the last of her troops from Vietnam. The North signed a agreement with the US and the South, ending the war.

However, the communist violated this treaty in January 6th, 1975, and ignited the war once again. The US, while Nixon gave his word the US would come back if the North invaded again, Nixon had resigned by then, and obviously the US had confidence the South would win. We were wrong, as history plainly accounts, the south gave a weak hearted resistence. They nearly gave themselves up.

So did the US win the war? No, the South Vietnamese lost it.

The question now remains of the fruition of both sides:

Vietnam was taken by communism, and enjoyed it's true brutality for a good decade or so. It still does, just not as harsh.

The US haulted communist advancement for a mild amount of time. However, I would appreciate it if someone could perhaps explain to me the longstanding effects on the regions acceptence of communism. Was the domino theory false? Was it correct, and the Vietnam conflict was the model of which communism was thereafter percieved?

Thank ya'll for reading!
September 22nd, 2004  
AsianAmerican
 
 
My dad was born in South Vietnam and him and my grandpa fought side by side with America .... In their opinions they lost the war because the #1 reason for the war is to have freedom. They say America tried their best but their were many things happening in America like protest and a lot of governmental things that made America leave the country. So the fact is we lost!
September 22nd, 2004  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
It's true protest and such did factor into the change of strategy. But I'm very sorry if I offended you by my statement. I'm sure, no, I KNOW there were those that wanted freedom and fought with honor such as your father and grandfather.
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September 22nd, 2004  
AsianAmerican
 
 
hahah no u didn't offend me, i dont see anything that you wrote that was offensive :P .... An American Soldier during Vietnam once said, and i quote "We lost to a bunch of peasants" :P
September 22nd, 2004  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
Hundreds of thousands of peasents armed to the teeth with modern soviet weaponry and a hardcore guerilla warfare strategy.
September 22nd, 2004  
03USMC
 
 
To history the Vietnam war was lost because we failed in our stated mission. To keep South Vietnam noncommunist.

Did the military lose it? No it was lost by politicians.
September 22nd, 2004  
serbianpower
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer
Hundreds of thousands of peasents armed to the teeth with modern soviet weaponry and a hardcore guerilla warfare strategy.
and bamboo sticks, booby traps made of coca cola cans, and old russian rifles. they did not have hi tech gear, air force bla bla bla just will to fight and die for things they believed.
September 22nd, 2004  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
I'm well aware of the booby traps and mosin nagnant rifles they used. But a lot of their weaponry was modern soviet small arms. And while I know their airforce couldn't help their ground troops, they tecnnically had one. I also should have mentioned they were blessed with probably the #1 terrian for guerilla warfare.

But I should also point out your description fits the Viet Cong more than NVA. Let's define here.
September 22nd, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
One interesting statistic is this: At the point of US withdrawal, 70% of the guerilla forces fighting in South Vietnam were members of the NVA and not Vietcong. The Vietcong had been so thoroughly decimated by then that they had come to rely on the North reinforcing them in order to continue. The North didn't exactly play the game by the rules.

The Cold War and the business of dividing nations into Communist and non-Communist halves was messy. Many Vietnamese saw Ho Chi Min as their own George Washington, having lead the Vietnamese in their successful overthrow of French control.

There is a topic on this already by the way.
October 15th, 2004  
BigBert96
 
The NVA did have modern Soviet equipment. What the hell was shooting down our Air Force? It sure as hell wasn't old Russian rifles or bamboo sticks! (Sam Missiles.) Best at the time in the World. The NVA was also equipped with T-54 and some T-62 or 64 tanks. They were pretty modern too.