Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam? (multiple responses)
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 17:05:49 -0500


Sender: Bill Terrier <>
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

Dear Amy,

I first learned it from Robert Heinlien:

When there isn't an obvious reason, the reason is probably money.

Offshore oil?

Check out the Spratley Island Group. Halfway between Bugsuk in the
Phillipines and Saigon. See whats been going on there....

Think about it.

Best of luck with your research & your life




Sender: Elizabeth Gips <>
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

Amy, all wars have "behind the scene" politics. In the United States
more than 52% of the budget goes towards the military, and that doesn't
count associated industries such as the iron industry etc. etc. etc.
In order to appropriately answer your question, it would be necessary
to unravel the workings of our educational system and the many forces
that keep our country involved in one war or another, whether directly
as in Vietnam, or indirectly as in Nicaragua or even currently as in the
Civil War/Inquisition called The War on Drugs.
Your question is complex as are the answers that involve policies
designed to keep industry profitable in both countries. Both the United
States and Russia are colonial powers, both actually based on systems of
state capitalism.
I hope that you continue to ask such relevant questions, and that you
are never satisfied with easy answers. Without understanding the
economic forces behind war, one can get lost in unending seas of
propoganda justifying this side or that.
Even Hitler could easily have been stopped in the Spanish Civil War, a
fact that is rarely taught in school. Good luck with your inquiries!
love, Elizabeth Gips

Sender: "Richard C. Crepeau" <>
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

On Thu, 31 Oct 1996, sutton amy a wrote:

> Hi there,
> I am a sophomore at the College of William and Mary and I am
> writing a 20 page research paper about Vietnam. I am trying to figure
> out a puzzle. Why did America remain involved in the war when there
> seemed to be many reasons to withdraw (i.e. protest at home, military
> defeat, casualties, etc.). Was the sole reaon to remain in battle to try
> and stop communism? Or were there behind the scenes politics? Or did
> America just not want to appear weak to the rest of the world? If anyone
> has any insights or arguments for either side, I would appreciate them.
> Thank you very much!
> Amy Sutton
> The College of William and Mary

A short glib and not entirely inaccurate answer to your qeustion is that
Americans turned out to be as concerned, or perhaps more concerned, about
saving face than all the Far East and Southeast Asia combined.

Dick Crepeau


Sender: "Mark S. Goldstein" <>
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

Someone better studied in this area may be able to explain the
economic reasons we wanted control of yet another area of the world. When I
faced the draft, the cry was, "I won't die fighting for oil." This
generation cheers "Desert Storm" - strange.
Were offshore oil leases one of the reasons America sacrificed so
many of it's children, or was it the sickness of needing control in Asia as
in South and Central America, as here at home.

Mark Goldstein
"Everyman dies, not everyman really Lives, your
heart is Free, have the courage to follow it"



Sender: (TED MORGAN)
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

Re. your question. Depends whom you ask, "insiders" or "outsiders." For the
former, see Roger Hilsman, Paul Kattenberg, etc al (books by); has alot t do
with "credibility," and the ultimate objective (which insiders couldn't see as
contradictory & impossible) of having an independent, non-communist
"democratic" state in South Vietnam. For outsiders, see the excellent work of
Noam Chomsky, or Marilyn Young's excellent history, The Vietnam Wars.
Actually the latter would probably include both perspectives, but you'd have
to poke around in it. It also depends when you are talking about.
good luck.
Ted Morgan

Department of Political Science
Maginnes Hall #9
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA 18015
phone: (610) 758-3345
fax: (610) 758-6554



Sender: (Joseph T. Miller)
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

As a good starting place, I would recommend Noam Chomsky's
*Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture* (South
End Press, 1993). This will give you some insight as to the political and
strategic decisions made concerning the war *against* Vietnam.

Peace With Justice,
USN, 1961-1968
National Co-Coordinator, VVAW, Inc.
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| Joseph T. Miller | "Remember the dead, | / | \
| Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. | and fight like hell | | | |
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Sender: "Kathleen Rout" <>
Subject: Re: Why did the U.S. remain in Vietnam?

Try Robert McNamara, In Retrospect. He was the Sec'y of Defense who quit in
l968 over the war.