Re: Vietnam - What were our options? (fwd)

Thu, 4 Jan 1996 09:40:54 -0500 (EST)

Sender: epm2@Lehigh.EDU (EDWARD P. MORGAN)
Subject: Re: Vietnam - What were our options?

Peter Brush asks, in response to my suggestion that "advisors" is not an
adequate characterization of U.S. involvement in Vietnam during JFK's reign...

>What does Chomsky call them? I wouldn't call them regular combat
>troops, which is what we called the soldiers who arrived in 1965.

I think the point isn't what Chomsky calls the individual men in different
roles, but that the term advisors was used generally by the JFK administration
and media to characterize the overall U.S. role in Vietnam during these years
before Tonkin & ground troops. The implied meaning being that the U.S. was
not engaged in a war, when in fact the U.S. had invaded South Vietnam and was,
in Chomsky's view, engaged in a war against the people of South Vietnam, via
the Strategic Hamlet program, massive defoliation & bombing of South Vietnam
--all virtually invisible in the U.S. media. Thus the mythology that the war
somehow BEGAN in 1965 as the U.S. "responded" to North Vietnamese aggression.

Ted Morgan
>I'd call the pilots who trained and flew combat missions with the
>RVNAF trainers, but that's a lot like advisors. I'd call the advisors
>to the ARVN and Vietnamese Marine Corps advisors. I guess I'd
>call the Special Forces counterinsurgency forces. Advisors to the
>GVN Navy I'd call advisors.
>If I had to pick one term, I guess I'd come up empty. Is that the
>Peter Brush