Re: academia/organizing (multiple posts)

Sun, 17 Aug 1997 14:22:48 EDT

Just a couple brief comments on James Cummins' latest:

> Viet Nam was necessary to prevent further communist expansion in Asia.

Two immediate, on-the-surface problems with this. (a) So, "communism" didn't
expand? Seems the US was "drawing the line" at the 17th parallel, and failed.
(b) Even the father of "McNamara's war" now realizes that this "objective" was
a misapplied misreading of the situation in Viet Nam (see the NYT Magazine
article this past Sunday, Aug. 10, about McNamara's return to Viet Nam).
This, of course, doesn't even take into account what I consider the two most
fundamental problems with it: (a) it obviously is a form a amoral "neutralism"
that could be applied similarly by the Nazi leader: "X was necessary" to
prevent Y --where X involves the massive assault against the indigenous &
peasant population of Viet Nam and their countryside (and progeny) and Y is a
combination of the misapplied misreading of Viet Nam communism and the
propaganda demonization of a nationalist movement --which, yes, did have its
ruthless side, especially as the war waged on and on-- that pose no real threat
to the United States, but REPRESENTED a threat of a contagious example if it
succeed in developing a just modern state independent of the US and global
capital. Beyond this, there's the question of" what, exactly, was the THREAT
of communism? It clearly wasn't that communism was a system of brutal
oppression (which it was), since the U.S. has not only tolerated many of
these, it has helped to create and sustain many. No, there's alot below the
surface here.

And on this:
>I might agree that the we should not have fought in Viet Nam if you can
>convince me that the Sovit Union would have collapsed without it.

It would be interesting to see what you would offer in the way of hard
evidence that the U.S. assault in Viet Nam had ANY effect, speeding up (or that
its absence would have prevented) the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ted Morgan

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