[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Forward one pageLast Page


Post 0

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Just a hypothetical: if the Vietnam war were not "canceled", would US have won?

I'd say no. Because US sided itself with the losing party. 




Post 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 10:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong can you elaborate on what you mean? Which side one should support should be answered with who is moral and who is immoral, not who is winning or who is losing. I would reject the idea the South Vietnamese were losing anyways. For a full two years with only material aid and support the South Vietnamese were successfully defending their territory against the NVA that was receiving massive amounts of Soviet material aid and support. The choice in Vietnam made by the Democrats was simply to cancel the war, and let the Soviets win that proxy war by default.



Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 2

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 11:44amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
It is way too simplistic to say that at that particular historic moment, that one side was moral and the other was immoral. Things were never so clear-cut. There is also an issue of point of view. For many Vietnamese, the thought of repelling American imperialist invaders was probably enough for them to be sympathetic to Viet Con. US can choose which side they support based on their values, but any war fought in a foreign country has to be won by the people of that country and not by outsiders. US support is only an auxiliary factor and never a determinant factor.

I think there is a parallel between situations in Vietnam and that in China after WWII. Chinese Communists won over the Nationalists, because at that time the sentiment of the majority of Chinese people was on the side of Communists. Such turn of tide was achieved by the communists with their mass propaganda, deception, ruthless persecution, etc., and was helped in no small measure by the vast corruption of the Nationalist government. While the memory of humiliations and unfair treaties with Western countries were still fresh in many Chinese people's mind, US support did not really help Nationalist cause.

It is interesting that US people always talk about those wars such as Vietnam War as if it were their own war, and that it would be won or loss by a different US policy. It was not.

 
Don't get me wrong. I whole heartedly believe that US people and government should not adopt an isolationist stand on international issues, and should support morally or materially the just causes in those conflicts. But US simply can not won (or loss) other people's war for them.






Post 3

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 11:55amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Maybe the Germans are thinking the same thing--"World War Two was cancelled, not lost."




Post 4

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 12:54pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
No, Chris, they thought that about WWI. The Great War ended in an armistice, no German territory having been conquered. The Germans, not feeling defeated, and having had ruinous terms imposed on them after the fact, harbored the grudge that broke out as WWII. I can't imagine any sane German thinking that WWII wasn't finished properly, and we could still nuke them if they want.

Ted

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 5/30, 5:37pm)




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 2:11pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong wrote:

It is way too simplistic to say that at that particular historic moment, that one side was moral and the other was immoral. Things were never so clear-cut.


7.5 million murdered by the Communist Vietnamese government and its proxies after the United States abandoned Indochina is pretty clear cut to me.





Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 6

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 2:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well, hindsight is always 20/20.



Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 7

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:10pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong, no one could claim ignorance for what the communists had in store for Indochina once it would be abandoned. I'm actually stunned you would've given the communists the benefit of the doubt they wouldn't continue in the tradition of communist democide. Nixon himself warned if Vietnam was abandoned a massive slaughter would ensue.

Sure Hong, hindsight is 20/20, but prior to 1975 we had ample evidence of the cruelty of communism. Tens of millions dead from Stalin, tens of millions from Mao Tse-Tung and many more dead from the North Korean communists.







Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 8

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:45pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
No, the real magnitude of democide under Mao only came to light in the 1980s. Before that Communist China is a completely closed system. As to the victors slaughter their defeated enemies, that was pretty much expected in those countries. South Vietnam would have done the same if they had won. The White Army's killed just as ruthlessly as the Red Army before they were finally defeated by the Bolsheviks. China's Chiang Kai-shek also killed millions in the name of eliminating Communists.

It is not that I would've given the communists the benefit of the doubt. I just try to look at things from a historical perspective, and not with the all-knowing eyes of the knowledge of several decades worth of aftermath. Actually I think that like millions of people in those countries -Russia, China, Vietnam, etc.- I'd also be a follower of Communism under the circumstance, even if only passively. There wasn't much US can do about it.
(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/30, 4:37pm)




Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 9

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 7:13pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong, the West knew damn well by 1975 the cruelty the communists were capable of. If people were claiming ignorance of what the communists were capable of by this time, they were either blind, mentally insane, or unwilling to look at reality. That Nixon predicted a massive slaughter if Vietnam would be abandoned was not from some crystal ball he had in the Oval Office. Nixon himself witnessed the cruelty of communist oppression during Hungary's uprising in 1956. The North Vietnamese government between 1953 and 1956 had a 5% execution quota for each village resulting in 150,000 people dead. Eyewitness accounts of summary executions of men, women and children were pouring in from the North during the war. Nguyen Manh Tuong stated at the 1956 National Congress in Hanoi:"It is better to kill 10 innocent people then let one enemy escape"

People knew of the atrocities committed by Mao, Stalin, Kim Il-Sung, Ho Chi Minh etc by this time, actually they knew for a long time before 1975, perhaps they didn't have as accurate a figure as we do now of how many innocent souls were extinguished from this planet, thanks only to people like R.J. Rummels who gave enough of a damn to even make an accurate analysis of the figures that we are now aware of the extent of these democides. Whatever the figures were, the West knew by 1975 whatever it was it was too high. No one could rationally claim ignorance considering the mountain of evidence present at that time. To claim ignorance would be just as bad as denying the Jewish Holocaust of WW2. That the United States and the rest of the western world was in a cold war with the Soviet Union and its proxies immediately after WW2 was not by accident. That Winston Churchill characterized Soviet conquered Eastern Europe as being behind an iron curtain was not born out of conjecture.

There was no excuse. Indochina was abandoned to thugs and criminals and we can thank the Democrats of 1975 for their depraved indifference to Indochina.

As to the victors slaughter their defeated enemies, that was pretty much expected in those countries. South Vietnam would have done the same if they had won.


There was absolutely no comparison between North and South Vietnam. Your assertion the South would've just the same murdered 7.5 million people in Indochina had they had power is utterly ridiculous. You cannot seriously consider them morally equivalent? The North was backed by the Soviet Union, recognized at this time as the most evil empire on the planet. Why did 500,000 Vietnamese try to immediately flee Vietnam when Saigon fell? Why didn't they flee before when the South Vietnamese government was still standing? Where were the South's murder quotas like the NVA had? This assertion the South was morally equivalent to the North is as ridiculous as saying if South Korea had control over the whole Korean peninsula it would be like Kim Jong Il's regime today. One only needs to look at a nighttime satellite to image to see the futility in that argument:



It is interesting that US people always talk about those wars such as Vietnam War as if it were their own war, and that it would be won or loss by a different US policy. It was not.


Hong, thank Galt the US saw fit to meddle in the affairs of foreign civil wars. Had Truman not aided Greece in their civil war with the communists which lead to the communists ultimate defeat, I probably would not be alive today living in the greatest country on this plant. Whoever claims ownership to these proxy wars I really could not give a damn. So long as the country that is more free wins.



Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 10

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 11:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John, an excellent post. I did a term paper on Mao in 1983, I imagine I must have been aware of his evil at least from the Carter/Ford campaign of 1976.

These posts of Hong's asserting moral equivalence between isl@m and Christianity, Arab in-fighting and the opponents in the World Wars, and so forth appear either ignorant, cynical, amoral, insincere, or based on a desire not to admit that one should have known better. I see no reason for the behavior which fits any of these "diagnoses" but this continued defensive moral equivalency is bizarre.

Although we may not have acted to prevent them, the genocides from Armenia to Ukraine to the Nazi death camps to The "Great Leap Forward" and the "Cultural Revolution" were never secrets, even as they happened. As Germany fell in WWII, did people try to make sure they were on the Soviet side of the occupation? Even the Nazi's knew how bad the Russians were. Perhaps much of the problems in China can be laid at the feet of the British Opium trade of the 19th century. But it would be better to make such a claim like that than to plead - or worse to assert - ignorance, when ignorance was possible only through wilful denial.

Ted Keer



Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 11

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 7:53amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John and Ted,
Your outrage is completely unfunded and showed an utter lack of historic perspective to the extend of twisting historic facts. Read my posts more carefully. I've never said that it is unclear who is more evil or who is the lesser evil knowing what we know now  However, please remember that at those particular historic moments, it was the Russian people who had chosen Bolshvek, the German people who had chosen Hitler, and Chinese people who had chosen Mao, and Vietnamase people who had chosen Hu Chi-ming. All these would never have happened if the choice was as simple and clear as you have wishfully imagined.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/31, 7:53am)




Post 12

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 9:06amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong, you are fond of referring to my outrage, emotionalism, muddle-headedness, etc.  You have done this before when challenged.  I'll provide the links if you or anyone doubts this.  When I am outraged, it is quite obvious, but I am not, and my criticisms stand.  I enjoy your posts on many topics, and have no reason to behave other than civilly toward you.  If you do not feel able to engage in this discussion without offense, I don't wish to further provoke you.

Sincerely,

Ted




Post 13

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 9:23amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John and Ted,

"These posts of Hong's asserting moral equivalence between isl@m and Christianity, Arab in-fighting and the opponents in the World Wars, and so forth appear either ignorant, cynical, amoral, insincere, or based on a desire not to admit that one should have known better."

I consider this an unfortunate attack on one of the finest and most sincere thinkers on RoR.

One of my all time favorite writers and thinkers, Thomas Sowell, admitted to being a Marxist until he experienced FIRST HAND how liberal policy was really made when he worked for the government as a young economist. Hong simply argues for understanding that judgements made without the advantage of first hand information are inevitably flawed. EVEN for people like Thomas Sowell who have excellent critical reasoning skills and an unparalleled desire for understanding.

Like it or not the historical progress of mankind will continue to be a tragic tale.



Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 14

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 11:31amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong either please demonstrate I am twisting historical facts or please withdraw that comment as I find it unfair you would accuse me of that without giving the effort to offer evidence as a refutation. Dismissing my analysis as mere outrage quite frankly I find to be a cop out.

I've never said that it is unclear who is more evil or who is the lesser evil knowing what we know now


Hong, we knew then as well and yes even by 1975 we knew what communists were capable of. Ignorance as I said before is not a valid excuse.

Mike:

I consider this an unfortunate attack on one of the finest and most sincere thinkers on RoR.


Mike I didn't make the comment to which you are referring to here so why are you referring to me as if I said it? And if you consider challenging Hong's comments as an unfortunate attack, I find it quite unfortunate anyone should get a free pass here. Let me know if there are certain posters on RoR that get to make any arbitrary statement they want to make to go unchallenged and I'll make sure to never post here.

Hong simply argues for understanding that judgements made without the advantage of first hand information are inevitably flawed.


I'm sorry Mike but I thought I made it clear there was no excuse of ignorance to be made by the Democrats in 1975 what the communists had in store for Indochina considering the already known track record of communist atrocities by this time.








(Edited by John Armaos
on 5/31, 11:43am)




Post 15

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 12:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John,
Could you tell exactly what facts did you know at 1975 (not 1990 or 2000 or 2007), say, about what happened in China?




Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Post 16

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 12:52pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong just so I don't misunderstand your question, why would China, only one of many communist nations, be the litmus test here for knowledge of communist atrocities by 1975? The NVA was backed primarily by the Soviets actually, and just to give only one example, the Hungarian uprising in 1956 was known to the west and the slaughter that ensued after. I also mentioned the 5% murder quota that the North Vietnamese government had as a policy in the 50's. The Berlin wall where anyone caught trying to escape was gunned down by Soviet guards in plain view of West Berliners. There is actual film footage of this. And when you say what did I know in 1975, do you mean to say what did the west know? I was born in 1975 so I didn't know anything at that time. My reference is to what the Democrats who were elected to congress in 1975 should've known. The anti-life idealogy of communism, a system that establishes a totalitarian government, should've been apparent to anyone at that time as well. Eyewitness accounts of communist atrocities were abound. Ayn Rand herself escaped the misery of communist Russia. My own father escaped the communist civil war of Greece.


Here is a good site dispelling some of the myths about the Vietnam war and briefly discussing some of the NVA atrocities known at that time:

http://www.rjsmith.com/war_myth.html

...very little attention was paid to the horrendous atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong on their own people. One of the end results of the 1968 Tet offensive was the deliberate roundup and murder of as many as 5,000 South Vietnamese civilians--doctors, teachers, lawyers, businessmen--by the NVA/VC during the periods that they held territory. The most widespread atrocities occurred in the Imperial city of Hue. There alone the Communists killed over 3,000 South Vietnamese. This behavior was not widely reported by the press, and either ignored by the anti-war movement at best, or justified by them as necessary in a socialist revolution.




Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 17

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 1:26pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Again, where's the outrage on my part or John's?  I am well aware that Hong has a lot of fans, I'm one too.  But I went through this before when I asserted that isl*m is uniquely evil.  She taunted me as if I were afraid to use the word.  Then she asserted moral equivalence between isl*m and Christianity, Europe and Araby.  Maybe she was just being facetious?  I provided 15 points for her to refute, she called me emotional and muddle headed and ran away saying she wasn't having fun any more.  If fun means making absurd assertions of moral equivalence without being challenged, then I guess she really wasn't having fun.  I didn't keep pursuing those points.  But here again, I am apparently "outraged."  Well, no, I'm not.  But neither will I accept unearned guilt.

I said "These posts of Hong's asserting moral equivalence between ...appear either ignorant, cynical, amoral, insincere, or based on a desire not to admit that one should have known better."  They do indeed so appear.  John's asked her for facts.  She can respond to him, and make me look the bully.  But simply referring to our supposed outrage is ad hominem.  Neither John nor I will cry if we are refuted, or even politely answered with facts. 

Ted






Post 18

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John said, 
> I was born in 1975 so I didn't know anything at that time.

Ah, I see.

> My reference is to what the Democrats who were elected to congress in 1975 should've known.

Should have? Would have? So it's all presumption instead of factual for you then. Perhaps you should talk to people who were there in 1975 and ask them what did they know, and what were their sentiment then.

Ted,
I stand behind everything I said before and here about your posts. Your misunderstanding and misinterpretation of my points is your problem and not mine. And I do chose to ignore them.





Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 19

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:55pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike,
> Like it or not the historical progress of mankind will continue to be a tragic tale.

Gosh, how I agree with you here! And yet people are reluctant to look deeper into the human conditions that led to those tragedies and prefer simpler and easier explanations. Thus tragedies continue.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/31, 3:00pm)




Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.