Comment by archaeopteryx on September 10, 2013 at 2:11pm

The Vietnam war started because the French were getting their asses kicked out of a country they were exploiting and had no right to colonize in the first place, but because we and they both belonged to NATO, we felt treaty-bound to support them, so we sent in advisors to train the S. Vietnamese troops to hold their own, along with a shitload of weapons, but hungry men fight harder than ones that are well-fed.

Then, the French pulled out and left us to it, and near the end, De Gaul had the unmitigated Gaul to criticize our involvement! The French haven't involved themselves in a war since their white flag factory burned down.

Comment by Unseen on September 10, 2013 at 4:05pm

If you're literally talking about when the Vietnam war started, it started long before the US got involved.

Comment by Unseen on September 10, 2013 at 4:09pm

@archie

De Gaul had the unmitigated Gaul to criticize our involvement! The French haven't involved themselves in a war since their white flag factory burned down.

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." — General Norman Schwarzkopf

Comment by Arcus on September 10, 2013 at 4:19pm

The Vietnam war started because the US foolishly demanded that the weakened European imperial states make a disorderly withdrawal from their colonies. Such is the foolishness of dogmatic anti-imperialism. The French fought communist rebels in Indochina until they ran out of foreign blood to sacrifice. At that point the US anointed its logical, yet probably erroneous, domino theory, assuming that if Vietnam fell to the communist it would cause a domino effect ensuring communist dominance over the population and resource rich south east Asia, and most likely India and then Persia and the Arab countries. 

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 10, 2013 at 6:16pm

Gosh, I'm sure I speak for everyone, Dave, when I say I'm sorry to see you rush off --

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 10, 2013 at 6:16pm

UnOne - I like that!

Comment by Unseen on September 10, 2013 at 6:17pm

@Dave Mann

I wish Christopher Hitchens were still alive so he could put all you pacifists and isolationists in your place


“If the counsel of the peaceniks had been followed, Kuwait would today be the nineteenth province of Iraq. Bosnia would be a trampled and cleansed province of Greater Serbia, Kosovo would have been emptied of most of its inhabitants, and the Taliban would still be in power in Afghanistan. Yet nothing seems to disturb the contented air of moral superiority of those that intone the "peace movement".”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

“Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down.”
― Malcolm X

“Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.”
― George Orwell

“Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.”
― Thomas Jefferson

"Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …”
― George Orwell

"(S)o-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting forward a ‘case’, obscuring the opponent’s point of view and avoiding awkward questions.”
― George Orwell

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 10, 2013 at 6:24pm

@Milos - yeah, but the Afghans had a chance o practice on the Russians, and that's a tough crowd to play to!

Comment by James Cox on September 10, 2013 at 6:48pm

If Pacifists would really do their honest work, the few remaining fascists would be reduced to throughing rocks at each other. The rest of us enable fascists to obtain power, promote fear, exercise control via media, and access to the public purse!  

Comment by RobertPiano on September 10, 2013 at 7:25pm

The short-term US style leadership puts our government at a severe disadvantage when we noodle in lands and wars we do not understand. We do not have the stamina to see things through and our government changes hands before we can finish the job. Seventy percent of the violently killed in Iraq were civilians and 3 or 4 times that many died as a direct result of war. Two trillion dollars and over 4,000 US dead and 32,000 US wounded just to kill the guy we once supported. Geez, that's way better than  a 2 trillion dollar investment in solar power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

The United States supported the Taliban through its allies in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia between 1994 and 1996 because Washington viewed the Taliban as anti-Iranian, anti-Shia and pro-Western.[273] Washington furthermore hoped that the Taliban would support development planned by the U.S.-based oil company Unocal.[274] For example, it made no comment when the Taliban captured Herat in 1995, and expelled thousands of girls from schools;[275] the Taliban began killing unarmed civilians, targeting ethnic groups (primarily Hazaras), and restricting the rights of women.

http://revcom.us/a/076/husseinus-en.html

The U.S. program of arming Iraq was facilitated by Donald Rumsfeld, who traveled to Baghdad to meet with Hussein in December 1983 and again in March 1984, as Reagan’s special Middle East envoy. He assured Hussein of U.S. support and its readiness to restore diplomatic relations, which Iraq had broken after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Over the next eight years, the U.S. gave Iraq some $5 billion in economic aid and encouraged its allies to provide billions of dollars worth of arms. The British sold Iraq tanks, missile parts, and artillery; the French provided howitzers, Exocet missiles, and Mirage jet fighters; and the West Germans supplied technology used in Iraqi plants that reportedly produced nerve and mustard gas.

U.S. firms directly supplied Iraq with biological weapons, and the U.S. and its allies helped provide Iraq with chemical weapons

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