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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War > Vietnam War Videos

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Vietnam War Videos Videos and documentaries about the Wars in Vietnam 1945-1975

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  #1  
Old 27 Feb 13, 19:11
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The Vietnam War: Reasons for Failure - Why the U.S. Lost



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  #2  
Old 28 Feb 13, 00:39
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Old stuff that's been debated for years. He lost me at 06:33 where he talked about the French and British colonial empires collapsing. It was hardly that simple, and most people in those governments recognized that the days of colonialism in Asia were over. The British were bowing out, and the French were thinking about bowing out in between governmental crises that preoccupied then throughout the Fourth Republic.
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  #3  
Old 28 Feb 13, 18:00
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the debate is not whether vietnam was a colony or not, really the debate is because North vietnam destroyed to vietnam in the South, its Government, its institutions, its armed forces, with that right the Communists destroyed to its neighboring country?
Since 1955 South vietnam was a free and democratic
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  #4  
Old 01 Mar 13, 04:45
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Is Maracaibo a neighboring country to Caracas?
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  #5  
Old 01 Mar 13, 12:38
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caracas + maracaibo is only country = venezuela
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  #6  
Old 01 Mar 13, 17:44
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Originally Posted by colonel kilgore View Post
caracas + maracaibo is only country = venezuela
Ditto with Vietnam, mate.
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  #7  
Old 01 Mar 13, 17:58
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Ditto with Vietnam, mate.
Venezuela has always been a country, without divisions
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  #8  
Old 01 Mar 13, 18:06
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Venezuela has always been a country, without divisions
What division?
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  #9  
Old 01 Mar 13, 19:37
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The US did not lose the war. US involvement ended in March of 1973 with the Paris Peace Accords and Saigon fell in April 1975. That's two years later. I don't know how many military personnel were still in Vietnam when Saigon fell but I'm sure those left were there in non-combat role. South Vietnam lost the war, not the US.
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Old 01 Mar 13, 22:33
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Since 1955 South vietnam was a free and democratic
The idea that South Vietnam was free and democratic since 1955 is absurd. But it was taking the first steps to get there. It took SOuth Korea over 50 plus years to develop into a free and democratic society. Ditto Taiwan. But both got there. Among the reasons they did was: One - pressure from the U.S. to recognize the principle of multi-party democracy in word, and in its forms, when the reality was otherwise. The problem with single Party states is the they never see any reason to bother with either words or forms, and thus any chance of political development slips further away. Two - we left a U.S. troop presence or a committment to U.S. troop reinforcement, when we pulled out.

Jack Torrance is correct on the face of his argument. But the total overthrow of twenty-five years of U.S. policy and diplomacy, not to mention 58,000 (+) lives, is nothing short of defeat. Yes, the blame lies largely with the Republic of Vietnam, but it also lies with us for the mismanagement of the war.

We overthrew Diem. Or, more correctly, we acquiesced in the overthrew of Diem when we may have been able to stop it. We did not overthrow Singman Rhee or Chiang Kai-shek. And we loved neither any more nor less than Diem.
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  #11  
Old 02 Mar 13, 17:36
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The idea that South Vietnam was free and democratic since 1955 is absurd. But it was taking the first steps to get there. It took SOuth Korea over 50 plus years to develop into a free and democratic society. Ditto Taiwan. But both got there. Among the reasons they did was: One - pressure from the U.S. to recognize the principle of multi-party democracy in word, and in its forms, when the reality was otherwise. The problem with single Party states is the they never see any reason to bother with either words or forms, and thus any chance of political development slips further away. Two - we left a U.S. troop presence or a committment to U.S. troop reinforcement, when we pulled out.

Jack Torrance is correct on the face of his argument. But the total overthrow of twenty-five years of U.S. policy and diplomacy, not to mention 58,000 (+) lives, is nothing short of defeat. Yes, the blame lies largely with the Republic of Vietnam, but it also lies with us for the mismanagement of the war.

We overthrew Diem. Or, more correctly, we acquiesced in the overthrew of Diem when we may have been able to stop it. We did not overthrow Singman Rhee or Chiang Kai-shek. And we loved neither any more nor less than Diem.
you're right, but up to a point, diem and his brother were killed when they were ousted, but they were not dictators were not bad, and Nguyên Van Thieu won all its presidential elections cleanly.
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Old 02 Mar 13, 23:02
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Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Jack Torrance is correct on the face of his argument. But the total overthrow of twenty-five years of U.S. policy and diplomacy, not to mention 58,000 (+) lives, is nothing short of defeat. Yes, the blame lies largely with the Republic of Vietnam, but it also lies with us for the mismanagement of the war.
US policy did not remain constant throughout our involvement in Vietnam though. Nixon's Vietnamization policy began early in his administration eventually leading to our reduction of ground forces to minimal levels from a high of over 500,000 during the last year of the Johnson administration. Our foreign policy also changed with the start of detente with the USSR and with Nixon's opening with Communist China. Also, Nixon's policy to attack the sanctuary in so called neutral Cambodia didn't win many friends in the media but it was effective and, while it spread the war it also made it safer in South Vietnam.

Yes, I will agree the US bungled in getting involved in Vietnam and the cost in lives and treasure was not worth the results (duh) but we did indeed fight the Communist Bloc there and by proving that our weapons were superior to those produced by the USSR I will venture to say that it's possible that it made the Soviets think twice before starting anything in Europe. I don't have any proof of this except for casual conversations I had with several field grade officers at the Officers Club and with a Colonel who was base commander at an overseas base.

Another positive factor was that US personnel received actual combat training. This may sound harsh but we had a pretty large core of trained men and women available in case there was a need to use them in a major conflict.
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Old 03 Sep 13, 09:37
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you're right, but up to a point, diem and his brother were killed when they were ousted, but they were not dictators were not bad, and Nguyên Van Thieu won all its presidential elections cleanly.
I can only laugh at this---there was only one presidential election and Nguyen Van Thieu won the "election" in 1968 because he was unopposed.
The reason he was unopposed was because the other side refused to participate.
It wasn't the unifying election of the country mandated in the Geneva accords so it meant nothing

"...But the total overthrow of twenty-five years of U.S. policy and diplomacy, not to mention 58,000 (+) lives, is nothing short of defeat. Yes, the blame lies largely with the Republic of Vietnam, but it also lies with us for the mismanagement of the war.
We overthrew Diem. Or, more correctly, we acquiesced in the overthrew of Diem when we may have been able to stop it. ...."

Absolutely right. To say we did not lose that war is the biggest copout going.
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Old 03 Sep 13, 10:44
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Exlrrp:

So, Nguyen Van Thieu ran unopposed because the other parties refused to participate. What about elections in the DRVN, were there opposing parties in those? (Answer: No, and that includes now)

Now, I assume 1968 this was an election for the President only. The elections for the Senate and Assembly were held in 1967 and those were contested by other parties, or more properly groups, for whatever that's worth. (source: http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports...BLIC_OF__E.PDF)

It wasn't the unifying election mandated in the Geneva Accords: No it wasn't. And the State of Vietnam had refused to sign those accords and its successor the RVN was not bound by them. Even assuming that such a plebiscite would have been possible in 1956, which is worth a chuckle or two.

But yes, agree that Vietnam was a loss for the U.S. beyond the lives of those who were sacrificed. What we failed to realize is that there was no 'Communist Bloc' once Stalin died. There was a USSR 'Bloc' in Europe and a China who had interests in Southeast Asia, but no single directing authority had existed since the death of Stalin.
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Old 17 Oct 13, 05:42
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I think anyone really interested in why USA lost the war (ok, they withdrawn before collapsing, but they lost) should read pulitzer winner book 'a bright shining lie'.
It is the story of a real 'american hero', and gives you many detailed account on many mistakes that were made.

In USA, many very important people near Kennedy were aware that Diem was a really violent 'one man regime', and that guerrilla warfare could have been a very hard to challenge, because South Vietnam armed forces were 'non existing' at the time.
A difficult war to defend a bad regime = USA public opinion really pissed off, and very soon.
Many people knew that from the beginning and what's worst, many people lied about the true situation, in order to mislead Kennedy toward war, and that caused many more troubles (you can lie about war, but the war will make you pay it, and very soon - if you know what I mean).

Kennedy had many people in his staff, with intelligence saying that the sacrifices necessary to win could have been tremendous, and the generals saying that the war would have been very short and easy using WWII strategies (which sounds REALLY stupid nowdays, but was somewhat an acceptable mistake at the time).

Some historians even say that Kennedy, just before death, was considering pulling out.
Lesson learnt: never let the generals take the decision to start a war... They will always say 'let's do it', it's in their 'nature'. This happens even nowdays, in every country.

Read 'a bright shining lie': as many other pulitzer winners books, it really is a literary masterpiece, and full of 'lessons to learn'
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