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Thread: War shite (moved from Blank Canvas)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    I'm not too familiar with the rules of war, but a soldier is a soldier and a civilian a civilian. One is not supposed to kill civilians, and once again what threat was Japan to the U.S. at that time, what justified the killing of so many Japanese civilians? I suppose you think Vietnam was a good idea as well.
    Reminds me of that line from an old film (can't recall which one).

    'You can't do that, it's against the Geneva Convention!'

    'Yeah but this isn't Geneva pal.'

    The reason they have 'rules of war' and so forth isn't for the benefit of the soldiers. It's for the benefit of snowflake middle-class types who sit at home wringing their hands about what's being done in their name. It's so they get the impression that in general, war is a civilized business conducted by gentlemen and that it really isn't such a bad thing. When the reality is that it is brutal and hideous beyond comprehension.

    The only way to avoid it is not to have the war in the first place because once it starts all bets are off, all the rules of civilization are suspended.

    There is just no point in wringing you hands over the details or imagining that we could have still fought the war but been a bit more picky about how we did it, just, you know, to avoid upsetting the horses.

    Vietnam - well it seemed like a good idea at the time. They went in with the best of intentions. Once again context is everything and you can't morally judge the actions of the past from the point of view of the present. Unless you are some sort of lefty-revisionist historian of course in which case it is your raison d'etre. But IMO those sort of people want a good slap.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Reminds me of that line from an old film (can't recall which one).

    'You can't do that, it's against the Geneva Convention!'

    'Yeah but this isn't Geneva pal.'

    The reason they have 'rules of war' and so forth isn't for the benefit of the soldiers. It's for the benefit of snowflake middle-class types who sit at home wringing their hands about what's being done in their name. It's so they get the impression that in general, war is a civilized business conducted by gentlemen and that it really isn't such a bad thing. When the reality is that it is brutal and hideous beyond comprehension.

    The only way to avoid it is not to have the war in the first place because once it starts all bets are off, all the rules of civilization are suspended.

    There is just no point in wringing you hands over the details or imagining that we could have still fought the war but been a bit more picky about how we did it, just, you know, to avoid upsetting the horses.

    Vietnam - well it seemed like a good idea at the time. They went in with the best of intentions. Once again context is everything and you can't morally judge the actions of the past from the point of view of the present. Unless you are some sort of lefty-revisionist historian of course in which case it is your raison d'etre. But IMO those sort of people want a good slap.
    If you haven't already done so then I suggest you watch the BBC documentary 'Vietnam'. see how pure Americas intentions were. And there was plenty of opposition to Americas involvement at the time, you don't have to be a so called 'lefty revisionist' to question that.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    If you haven't already done so then I suggest you watch the BBC documentary 'Vietnam'. see how pure Americas intentions were. And there was plenty of opposition to Americas involvement at the time, you don't have to be a so called 'lefty revisionist' to question that.
    I've seen the documentary (and all the others). So what part of America's intentions would you say were not 'pure'. The original aim was to prevent the spread of Communism and so reduce the threat to the American way of life. They saw that as a good thing. They didn't intend to get sucked in the way they did and end up like a gambler chasing his losses.

    The lefty revisionist version would say that the entire conflict was orchestrated by the military-industrial complex so they could sell more bombs. Obviously the military-industrial complex did quite well out of the whole thing. But that's a side effect, not a cause.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've seen the documentary (and all the others). So what part of America's intentions would you say were not 'pure'. The original aim was to prevent the spread of Communism and so reduce the threat to the American way of life. They saw that as a good thing. They didn't intend to get sucked in the way they did and end up like a gambler chasing his losses.

    The lefty revisionist version would say that the entire conflict was orchestrated by the military-industrial complex so they could sell more bombs. Obviously the military-industrial complex did quite well out of the whole thing. But that's a side effect, not a cause.
    That very one you mention, to stop the spread of Communism, what right does America have to dictate what systems other countries live under? The whole Vietnamese escapade was an immoral shambles. With Nixon at the helm, that ended with Watergate. I mean they literally bombed the shit out of that country and Cambodia, all in the name of humanitarian intervention, same with the two Iraqi wars. Apart from Americas assistance to Europe in WW2, I can't think of one conflict where American intervention has done nothing but make matters worse.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Apart from Americas assistance to Europe in WW2, I can't think of one conflict where American intervention has done nothing but make matters worse.
    America's assistance to Europe in WWI?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've seen the documentary (and all the others). So what part of America's intentions would you say were not 'pure'. The original aim was to prevent the spread of Communism and so reduce the threat to the American way of life. They saw that as a good thing. They didn't intend to get sucked in the way they did and end up like a gambler chasing his losses.

    The lefty revisionist version would say that the entire conflict was orchestrated by the military-industrial complex so they could sell more bombs. Obviously the military-industrial complex did quite well out of the whole thing. But that's a side effect, not a cause.
    Well, the military-industrial complex had an interest in prolonging/extending the conflict, and undoubtedly put pressure on the politicians to keep going even when it was clear that US involvement wasn't achieving its aims.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    That very one you mention, to stop the spread of Communism, what right does America have to dictate what systems other countries live under? The whole Vietnamese escapade was an immoral shambles. With Nixon at the helm, that ended with Watergate. I mean they literally bombed the shit out of that country and Cambodia, all in the name of humanitarian intervention, same with the two Iraqi wars. Apart from Americas assistance to Europe in WW2, I can't think of one conflict where American intervention has done nothing but make matters worse.
    No-one has 'the right' to do anything but that doesn't stop them. 'The right' to do something only exists on paper and in the minds of armchair commentators.

    Did the Americans say 'Let's get involved in Vietnam, it will fuck up the Vietnamese and fuck us up as well', or did they say 'We need to get involved in Vietnam otherwise we are going to end up fucked up.'?

    Everyone always goes into everything with the best of intentions. Even the Nazis. Judging with hindsight is easy.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    Well, the military-industrial complex had an interest in prolonging/extending the conflict, and undoubtedly put pressure on the politicians to keep going even when it was clear that US involvement wasn't achieving its aims.
    Yes, that is certainly true but it wasn't the only factor in keeping the war going. That alone would not have been enough.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    No-one has 'the right' to do anything but that doesn't stop them. 'The right' to do something only exists on paper and in the minds of armchair commentators.

    Did the Americans say 'Let's get involved in Vietnam, it will fuck up the Vietnamese and fuck us up as well', or did they say 'We need to get involved in Vietnam otherwise we are going to end up fucked up.'?

    Everyone always goes into everything with the best of intentions. Even the Nazis. Judging with hindsight is easy.
    Ok having actually been to Vietnam and spoken with people who were caught up in the war, and next generation and both Vietcong and USA vets, I will pass comment.

    First the general consensus from both sides it was a war that should have never happened, Vietnam ended up being the pawn between two major powers Russia and USA who didnít give a f**k about Vietnam, all they wanted to do was flex their political muscles and show who was the super power.

    Vietnam went down the communist route to try and dig itself out of severe poverty, which has been seen in several other countries. The people of Vietnam still generally revere Ho Chi Min as a man who had the people at his heart, irrespective of their politics.

    The vets view in general was that the Vietnamese saw the US army etc as the invader of their country irrespective of what politicians said from either side, and this meant that the Vietnamese generally felt they should defend their country.

    The USA vets said of the USA troops realised what the situation was, apart from some die hard red necks who were as a result promoted up the ranks whether capable or not. So it was not where most wanted to be, also they felt it was immoral, the majority of the Vietcong were unarmed with modern weapons, they resorted to digging booby trap pits, medieval hand made weapons, and poison darts etc, all used in guerrilla ware fare, and living down tunnels. Later on they got limited supplies arms from Russia.

    A higher ranking US vet told me that 6 months before they left they were ordered to agent orange the Mekong Delta and then naphalm it, even though they knew they were already preparing to pull out. Quite dishonourable, and shameful in his view, this continued till the day they left.

    So to sum up a disgusting war which was completely unfounded, two meddling supper powers getting involved in another country, how many times have we seen this.

    By the way if you go to Vietnam today even though it is communist, it is in my view one of the most capitalist countries in the world I have ever visited. Also the people are lovely.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Ok having actually been to Vietnam and spoken with people who were caught up in the war, and next generation and both Vietcong and USA vets, I will pass comment.

    First the general consensus from both sides it was a war that should have never happened, Vietnam ended up being the pawn between two major powers Russia and USA who didn’t give a f**k about Vietnam, all they wanted to do was flex their political muscles and show who was the super power.

    Vietnam went down the communist route to try and dig itself out of severe poverty, which has been seen in several other countries. The people of Vietnam still generally revere Ho Chi Min as a man who had the people at his heart, irrespective of their politics.

    The vets view in general was that the Vietnamese saw the US army etc as the invader of their country irrespective of what politicians said from either side, and this meant that the Vietnamese generally felt they should defend their country.

    The USA vets said of the USA troops realised what the situation was, apart from some die hard red necks who were as a result promoted up the ranks whether capable or not. So it was not where most wanted to be, also they felt it was immoral, the majority of the Vietcong were unarmed with modern weapons, they resorted to digging booby trap pits, medieval hand made weapons, and poison darts etc, all used in guerrilla ware fare, and living down tunnels. Later on they got limited supplies arms from Russia.

    A higher ranking US vet told me that 6 months before they left they were ordered to agent orange the Mekong Delta and then naphalm it, even though they knew they were already preparing to pull out. Quite dishonourable, and shameful in his view, this continued till the day they left.

    So to sum up a disgusting war which was completely unfounded, two meddling supper powers getting involved in another country, how many times have we seen this.

    By the way if you go to Vietnam today even though it is communist, it is in my view one of the most capitalist countries in the world I have ever visited. Also the people are lovely.
    All agreed. My argument is that the conflict happened not because America was/is 'evil' but because they thought they were doing what was necessary. With hindsight we can see that it wasn't necessary, but they didn't know that at the time. And once you start a war, even with the best of intentions, lots of terrible things are going to happen.

    It's one thing to be a Monday morning quarterback and criticize the decision with hindsight, it's another to be the judge and jury of the morality of it. Morality is subjective, just like sound quality. The most terrible things are done by men who think they have the 'moral right' because they are completely untroubled by their conscience.
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