Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam War Memorials

From: William Mandel (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 19:45:53 CUT

  • Next message: Marty Jezer: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: [Fwd: sixties-l-Vietnam War"

    I was not concerned with those who were concerned with securing
    "the non-Communist coalition we desperately need to build in
    Europe or "hopefully mak[ing] some good money", but with the
    ordinary draftee or, for that matter, volunteer. He had the
    capacity to think about whether Vietnam was capable of hurting
    this country. [Under international law, he had the duty to, but I
    am putting it in terms of the ordinary guy who knows nothing of
    Nuremberg trials.] So either he was a good German: "when my
    country calls" or he believed that we had the right to tell
    everyone else how to behave. I will not honor either of those
                                       William Mandel
    > William Mandel wrote:
    > > Joe: Please explain something to me. Anyone who went to fight in
    > > Vietnam went to a country incapable of hurting the United States:
    > > no air force, no fleet. The simplest kid with any kind of
    > > morality whatever -- religious, you name it -- was capable of
    > > understanding that. So he was an invader, a killer of people who
    > > couldn't do anything to his country. Why should I memorialize
    > > such people?
    > > In all sincerity,
    > > Bill Mandel
    > While I can respect the sentiment, and in fact it may be such an overriding logical
    > concern that there isn't any need to discuss the details further--I think it's an
    > oversimplification.
    > Obviously we came into Vietnam as the last of a long line of invaders and
    > exploiters. The Chinese give way to the Japanese give way to the French. So here's
    > DienBienPhu, and there's suddenly a vaccuum of power as the French bandage up and
    > get out. A vibrant, charismatic Communist asserts control--pitching repeatedly for
    > OUR help, at the beginning--and so here stands our realpolitik decision. We're in
    > the first heat of the cold war, and we're presented with a cause that has three
    > seemingly reachable goals: staunch Communism, theoretically from China (although
    > this was a ludicrous mistake); show support (again) for a defeated ally and thus
    > secure the non-Communist coalition we desperately need to build in Europe; and
    > hopefully make some good money off a country with a pearl of a capital city (once
    > we got it back from Ho, of course).
    > It was a dumb decision, but when you're the ones making the decisions, it comes
    > down to a lot more than "can they hurt us."
    > --
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > Mark Bunster **It's a different kind of feeling
    > Survey Research Lab**you might not have felt at all
    > VA. Commonwealth U **makes me jump and touch the ceiling
    > Richmond, VA 23284 **if I fall well then I fall.
    > **
    >** --Chisel

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