The Bright and Shining Lie(s)

drieux H. (
Fri, 22 Nov 1996 20:31:01 -0500

] But, what do you mean by "bad military tactics and strategies," because this
] sounds a little like the Right's OTHER campaign that the "politicians didn't
] let the military [do what it had to do to] win." Try to be precise about
] WHAT military strategies and tactics would or could succeed in a "war" that
] was really a struggle of imperial power and its client/puppet autocracy in an
] externally-sustained artificial entity called "South Vietnam" against the
] determined anti-colonialist/anti-imperialist movements of masses of "the
] people" of Vietnam. How do you win a war that increasing numbers of American
] soldiers came to recognize was really a struggle against "the people of
] Vietnam." And what does it look like when you win? And what does that mean
] about "us?"
] Ted Morgan

Shehaan does a lovely job of laying out John Paul Vann's
basic model of how one goes about winning in
such a condition. And the First Pre-requisite
is to steal the social revolution away from
the communists and to form a focal point for
the nationalist element to coalesce around that
is not merely a continuation of the previous
JuntaIsms of the old regime. Which of course
presupposes that one's notion of warfare is not
dominated by the Great Black and White News Reels
of WWI and WWII and that one can concieve of warfare
as more than just a lot of pretty pins being pushed
around on even prettier maps.

I will agree with Ted, though, that the Mythological
Belief in american technology is almost as bad, if not
worse, than the institutional racism that presumed that
the mere presence of our glorious american armed forces
would in, of, and by itself carry the day. More Troops
is not a solution, if all they do is drive the peasants
into the hands of the Viet Cong.

] As a source, I cite the writings of
] Col. Larry Guarino, air force veteran of both wars. His personal experience
] indicates that his commanders were aware of the hostility of the Vietnamese
] to us/British/French/anyone else I forgot even in the 1940s. Of course, the
] military tends to be discreet about disclosing such information, so it is no
] wonder that politicians were ill informed about the conflict from the beginning.
] Fritz V. Wilson

Perchance I do NOT understand this notion that
the President and his/her Cabinet and the Key
Members of the Congress/Parliment should be
considered EXTERIOR to the 'discrete disclosing'
of classified information.

As the Classic Line from the Vietnam Era would point out,
when JFK recieved two apparently opposing reviews of the
war in vietnam,

"Did you both visit the same country?"

So you will of course forgive me if this Problem of
Analyis And The Promulgation of Policy remain on the
Other Side of the Line with the Civilians where it belongs
and lets not have any more of this Will_o_Da_WASP Dung about
the SuperSekretMilitaryKliqueThatRulesTheUSA.

Part of the Trouble, and it all seems to be swept under
the carpet all too readily, was the Institutionalized
Racism that Leaked out all over the place from nice white
concerned LIBERALS. We install Diem as the counter balance
to Ho, and never pause to notice that catholics are a minority
in Vietnam.... We embark upon the Basic Classist Model that does
not take into account the Problems of the Peasantry, and try to
sell ourselves that they will support Whom Ever has the Guns. And
ALL of this LONG BEFORE JFK has even Bothered to worry about the
Off Year Elections!!! Let alone even thought of campaigning in Texas!!!!