Re: The Invasion Plot

EDWARD P. MORGAN (epm2@Lehigh.EDU)
Fri, 26 Jan 1996 19:14:15 -0500

A couple things re. Vietnam, antiwar effectiveness, invasion, & levitation...

from drieux re. my suggestion that Tom Wells' book demonstrates a curtailing
effect of the antiwar movement....

>You will forgive me, I am unfamiliar with this text,
>does he help explain operations in Angola, Lebanon,
>the MiniInvasionComplexOfReagan, who may not have
>remembered Bombing a Variety of countries....

No. But my point wasn't that the antiwar movement brought about anything
like a "radical" change in American foreign policy; we agree, I think,
that U.S. foreign policy has remained essentially unchanged. Wells
provides evidence that the antiwar movement curtailed some administration
options during the war and helped build a domestic environment that made
it impossible to carry on an open-ended, escalating war (despite Nixon's
crimes during "Vietnamization").
You SEEM to acknowledge this curtailing effect (called the Vietnam
Syndrome by those geniuses --I always like Norman Podhoretz' definition: a
"sickly inhibition against the use of force....") here-

>And does he help explain What WORSE thing could
>have occurred had the Imperial Guard not been
>thwarted from interventions/invasions....

Now, on invasion, NO, it isn't an invasion when you were stationed in the UK.
You were not sent in support of a government the US had imposed on the people
of the UK (at least I haven't heard THAT interpretation), whereas you were
when in Vietnam.

>I find it rather interesting that you find the USA having
>invaded Vietnam PRIOR to the Gulf of Tonkien Resolution and
>then turn around and suggest that the USA did NOT invade
>Central America as if Operations in Gutamala and El Salvadore
>were in some way unique and distinct from the operations that
>were being conducted in vietnam PRIOR to the Gulf of Tonkien Resolution.
>An Anomaly in the use of the Term "invasion" that clearly complicates
>the Discourse one more time.

Point well taken! In a sense you're right. The U.S. had "invaded" both
Guatemala & El Salvadore (and Nicaragua via proxy forces), because in most
respects these were parallels to the "invisible" US war against South
Vietnam that preceded the war against the North. However, 1965 IS a
crucial date in South Vietnam also, as the US took the gloves off, so to
speak, in its attack on SV at the same time that it began bringing ground
troops & began the sustained attack on NV. But to be more precise about
terms, I'm not entirely sure I'd say the US INVADED SV (like El Salvador,
etc.) prior to 1965, just that the US was engaged in an assault against
the people of South Vietnam by various means (including flying bombing &
defoliation missions with US personnel --but also the creation & support
of the repressive Diem regime, training equipping etc. of SV forces,
counterinsurgency stuff, etc.). So WHEN the ground troops arrived, they
were an invasion force. Ok?

>But basically, I think we concur that the efficacy of Levitating
>the Pentagon may have been in the Mind of the Beholder....

Yup, on this we agree!

Ted Morgan