Was the War In Vietnam UnWinnable?

drieux H. (drieux@wetware.com)
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 08:44:07 -0500

p1: I would have to dissent against Fritz V. Wilson
that the Vietnamese were Anti-American from the GitGo
as OSS teams were inserted into Vietnam and Viet Minh
personnel were Used to extract downed american crews
It should also be recaled that the 'vichy french' were
co-opting with the Japanese until the Japanese Coup in Mar. 1945.
{ One might take time to read Patti's Why Viet Nam? }

p2: there is a Thin Line between the WhiteRacistAttitudes of
the Right, who did not consider the Vietnamese to Be Human,
and that any form of Slaughtering was Acceptable, and the
WhiteRacistAttitudes of the Trendy Left who did NOT consider
the vietnamese to Be Human, because they were a Race of WarriorKillers.

Sources from Vietnam have been amused to note that there often
times more in common between the American Imperialist Storm Troopers
and their NVA/VC Counterparts, than between the American Imperialist
Storm Troopers and their State Side Wannabe's.

One snippet of a recent interview indicated that the Gentleman had been
seated on one side of an alley way, and was dealing with a Glaring
Vietnamese National, until an attractive young lady went by and they
both noticed that in spite of what may have happened during to War
of Liberation, they were now both old Men with Sexist Attitudes.

{ Having seen this routine played out twenty years ago with WWII
vet gatherings, I fear that one of the worst legacies of War remains
this unpleasant annoyance of WarMongers trying to Chat Up Birds. }

p3: I would also like to dissent against "JAR2" proposition that
the war was lost by the Washington Political Elite. I do complement
the efforts of noting that the North Vietnamese were far more effective
first off at retaining their 'stay behind forces' after the 1954 cease fire,
than the South Vietnamese had been with their Hodge Podge of French,
Vietnamese and CIA sponsored Stay Behind Forces. The North Had also done
a better Job of Counter-Intelligence Operations, and I would recommend

Secret Army Secret War
Sedwick Tourison
Naval Institute Press, c. 1995
ISBN 1-55750-818-6

As a useful source for information about the American/Vietnamese efforts
to Bungle Their Way towards a Failed "Guerrilla War" in North Vietnam.

What I find amusing about the 'blame the Washington Political Elite' game
is it's confusion about the Nature of Puppet States, and what a Puppet
really is in a NonEuroKentrikKulturallyMyopic Country. The Wacko's of the
Right Wing point out that since Diem would Not Follow American Orders, it
was clear that He Was Not OUR PUPPET. But then skip over the amusement that
the Murdering Of Diem would need an American Green Light to Procede. So by
singling out the 'Washington Political Elite' we play into the traditional
WhiteRacistLiberalGame that Washington Really Did Rule the Free World, the
bone of contention that MUST be addressed.

p4: One of the Unpleasant Questions that remains is why no one wishes to
talk about the Failure of the South Vietnamese Government to be able to
rally their own people, build their own armed force, and to secure their
own borders. The Counter Point to this of course is the Isreali's and
their ongoing wars both internal and external. As long as we keep taking
the South Vietnamese Government off the Hook, as we did for the duration
of american involvement in South East Asia, we were and are simply Enabling
their Dysfunctionality.

p5: Pissing and Moaning about the LiberalMedia and so much of the rest of
the Kvetching that goes on about Who Lost China, oops, Vietnam, is mere
Domestic Political Positioning. We either need to establish that there was
no Actual South Vietnamese Government that could be held accountable, and
as such we should do the analysis of the Failure of the American System to
be extensible as an Imperialist System, Or we must do the analysis of how
so much good intention went south so quickly.

p6: It is with some small amusement that I turn now to the Classic Ike
Quote that I too have used from time to time, namely to be aware of the
Military Industrial Complex. For reasons that remain unclear, folks seem
to want to forget that the adoption of the 'New Model Armed Forces' under
the Ike Administration, was to save the Tax Payers Money by providing a
better Bang for the Buck. At the other end of the Scale we had Lansdale
and the creation of the Kult of Counter-Guerrilla Warfare. Some folks may
even remember how successful the installation of the Shah of Iran had been
as a part of this whole developing 'covert operations warfare model' that
was the Step Child of the OSS Model and would become better known to folks
under the CIA Operations Directorate. What makes the Military Fiasco in
South East Asia so amusing is the convergence of these two basic models
with the Amusing Pentagon Budget Humping Game Lumbering Up the Middle. When
folks are throwing around Budget Numbers from the Vietnam Era, they tend to
overlook apriori the Big Ticket Items, such as the Nuclear Triad, Which would
finally settle down with Missiles, Heavy Bombers and Nuclear Submarines. None
of which are very useful in a low intensity warfare operation. We would also
watch the development of the F-4, the first All Missile Jet Fighter, and learn
the hard way, from the North Vietnamese Air Force, that having a Gun is still
a sound Concept in a 'knife fight'. But Barring the SR-71 that was developed
independently at the Skunk Works, none of the Marvels of Modern Warfare can
be blamed solely upon the EVIL KAPITALIST OVERLORDS, and rest in that amusing
balance between the Tax Payers Desire for 'safety' - and Machismo - and the
Military and it's desire to 'protect' - and to be Macho.

One of the Grave Complications of the Rise of the Technocracy, and the
abandonment of a "citizen's army" which comes about with the ending of
WWII, is this unpleasant habit of presuming that the New Consultants have
some special knowledge that actually prepared them for Command. Americans
would shy away from Critical Debate about the Military, it's Weapons, it's
tactics and strategies, in part because of the Need of SECRECY to protect
our new Plethora of SuperSekretDeathRays - but also as a part of the tacit
support which was being Fobbed Off As Patriotism.

Vietnam, in some sense, would unravel before the american eyes, as they
became aware that simply more Bright Sparkling Dazling New Widgets were
not going to be the solution!!!! Whether or Not the Civilian Community
has decided to return to active involvement about the Type, Nature, and
Organization of the Military remains to be seen. The Only Really Good News
that has fallen out of the Vietnam Conflict seems to be an uncertainty about
the Complete Effectiveness of Total Victory.


There were several places along the way from 1946 forward at which
the Americans could have 'Won' The War. But Clearly by the Sixties
too much water had already run over the Dam to prevent the Vietnamese
from securing their Own Country.


ps: we would also have the Unspeakable Lose during the Sixties
of Losing France to the French, but few folks seem to remember
the evacuation of American Military Personnel From France.....