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View Full Version : 50 years ago it was logical, JFK said so, and we listened, then we acted



pefjr
05-21-2011, 03:37 PM
on the logic of The Domino theory.

John F. Kennedy (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAkennedyJ.htm) was elected president of the United States in November, 1960. In the first speech he made to the American public as their President, Kennedy made it clear that he intended to continue Eisenhower's policy of supporting Ngo Dinh Diem (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/VNngo.htm) and his South Vietnamese government. He argued that if South Vietnam became a communist state, the whole of the non-communist world would be at risk. If South Vietnam fell, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia would follow. If communism was not halted in Vietnam it would gradually spread throughout the world. Kennedy went on to argue: "No other challenge is more deserving of our effort and energy... Our security may be lost piece by piece, country by country." Under his leadership, America would be willing to: "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty."


Today 2011 looking back, the Domino Theory is considered insanity. Yet not long ago , we were told by President GH Bush that we would defend Kuwait as it was in our National Interest. We bought that, and over 20 years later now, we are told that we are fighting in Afghanistan to prevent al gaeda from having a safe country to operate from.



How many generations before our descendants look back at the insanity of this war effort. It may sound logical today as almost 400 Congressmen vote to fund it, and a previously liberal President is now a hawk and waging the war.



Pearldog referenced a sniper shooting in Afghanistan by a Canadian. A record distance for a sniper shooting. I read it, and others may have read it, but... did it register? Did it mean anything to a generation that knows little of the logic of VietNam. All we know today is the insanity of VietNam.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKSI7MQhB0o


Today, this sniper shooting is looked at only because of the record distance, not because of anything else. A record distance(broken not long ago). I don't know the sniper, I only know that a person was shot. The sniper must justify the killing, but then there were sniper kills 50 years ago too, when the logic of the Domino Theory justified the kill. How is this Canadian gonna justify this kill when the next generation calls it insanity. The logic and the insanity are separated only by years, but then blend together and become the confusion of continued wars.

zertgold
05-21-2011, 04:02 PM
All this trouble we get into is because our presidents runs around unchecked. It doesn't matter what party the man has bowed towards: democrat or republican; War is part of their regime. Maybe we should pick a guy who doesn't have a stomach for unnecessary war. It is always the President that gets us twisted into these stupid confrontations. We need to change that, or someone else will.

Waddie
05-21-2011, 04:13 PM
All this trouble we get into is because our presidents runs around unchecked. It doesn't matter what party the man has bowed towards: democrat or republican; War is part of their regime. Maybe we should pick a guy who doesn't have a stomach for unnecessary war. It is always the President that gets us twisted into these stupid confrontations. We need to change that, or someone else will.

Ron Paul ???

regards,
Waddie

leikec
05-21-2011, 04:32 PM
Calling the Domino Theory "insanity" is an application of 20/20 hindsight at best...and most historians would remind you of the context of the times and the reality of post-WWii American politics.

Applying these ideas to an argument (presumably dismissive in nature) about the present day situation in Afghanistan is specious.



Jeff C

PhaseLockedLoop
05-21-2011, 05:33 PM
Calling the Domino Theory "insanity" is an application of 20/20 hindsight at best...and most historians would remind you of the context of the times and the reality of post-WWii American politics.
Jeff C

Just what reality was that, slick?

It's certainly understandable that whacko interventionists like Kennedy, Rusk, McNamara and their ilk did what they did--they were were full of themselves as winners of WWII and thought they could impose whatever they wanted on whomever they wanted. Jack Kennedy was a big counterinsurgency enthusiast. When he sent advisors to Vietnam, he said they could inculcate the ARVIN with the "elan and style needed to win." The chucklehead thought style was enough, since his had won him the Presidency. He didn't care whose country it was.

There were plenty who could see that the communism of Vietnam was not similar to Soviet Communism, and that the domino "theory" was not a theory but a paranoid dream. Don't tell me it needs 20-20 hindsight.

The same bully-boy attitude rules today. Our "interests" justify our killing all over the world. And we still don't care what that means for anyone else.

leikec
05-21-2011, 05:42 PM
Just what reality was that, slick?

It's certainly understandable that whacko interventionists like Kennedy, Rusk, McNamara and their ilk did what they did--they were were full of themselves as winners of WWII and thought they could impose whatever they wanted on whomever they wanted. Jack Kennedy was a big counterinsurgency enthusiast. When he sent advisors to Vietnam, he said they could inculcate the ARVIN with the "elan and style needed to win." The chucklehead thought style was enough, since his had won him the Presidency. He didn't care whose country it was.

There were plenty who could see that the communism of Vietnam was not similar to Soviet Communism, and that the domino "theory" was not a theory but a paranoid dream. Don't tell me it needs 20-20 hindsight.

The same bully-boy attitude rules today. Our "interests" justify our killing all over the world. And we still don't care what that means for anyone else.


Sounds like you have it all figured out.

Jeff C

WX
05-21-2011, 05:51 PM
The US had the chance to go a different route. Uncle Ho asked the US for help in setting up Vietnam as an independent country but the US supported the French instead. The US supplied the Vietnamese communists in the fight against the Japanese. The communists did it on the understanding they would be supported by the US after the war in their bid to gain independence from France. The failure to honour this led to a decent into hell that still affects a number of SE Asian countries. We the countries that were involved, failed them.

seanz
05-21-2011, 07:41 PM
Today 2011 looking back, the Domino Theory is considered insanity.

No, it's just wrong, not insane. USSR, China, Korea.......there was no doubt that communism was spreading, and at the time the switch to communism was assumed to be permanent.

"We had to destroy the village to save it"

That was the insane part.


Now, in a blatant attempt to undermine the thread.......We know what JFK did, if the election result had of been different, what would Nixon have done?

pefjr
05-21-2011, 08:57 PM
"We had to destroy the village to save it"

That was the insane part.

We know what JFK did, if the election result had of been different, what would Nixon have done?If the Queen had balls.........Stay focused. The insane part was repeated by Obama with the escalation of Afghanistan. The insane part was repeated again when the drone war was increased. More insanity when Congress orders a larger supply of rubber stamps to pursue war and train killers. But the insanity is not yet recognized as insanity. One, two generations yet. Just a few years, then a different logic for a new generation. What will the new sniper distance be then?

zertgold
05-21-2011, 09:04 PM
Nixon would done the same exact thing, and he would have done a better job of invading Cuba, but I am not sure that is what America needed. America needs to focus, and concentrate hard on picking a president who won't lead them into war. Its always the presidents who take us in that direction. You would think by now we would pick someone a little more enlightened.

seanz
05-21-2011, 09:14 PM
If the Queen had balls.........Stay focused. The insane part was repeated by Obama with the escalation of Afghanistan. The insane part was repeated again when the drone war was increased. More insanity when Congress orders a larger supply of rubber stamps to pursue war and train killers. But the insanity is not yet recognized as insanity. One, two generations yet. Just a few years, then a different logic for a new generation. What will the new sniper distance be then?

That's completely distracting.......:D

On a scale of 1 to 10, how insane was the invasion of Iraq? How insane is the continuing war in Afghanistan?

For added distraction points.....how insane is it that the USA has taken the British Empire's place in The Great Game?

Phillip Allen
05-21-2011, 09:23 PM
I'm thinking: the 10,000 and 1 day war"

pefjr
05-21-2011, 09:24 PM
Its always the presidents who take us in that direction.That's the duty of Congress. No declaration of war, no responsibility. Congress slides, soldiers die, presidents become the scapegoat, then give speeches for 15 million a year, write books for fame. Meanwhile the snipers get better at killing, innocents die from drone attacks. International Law is broken, but the insanity is not recognized yet. Today it's logical, ask Obama.

seanz
05-21-2011, 09:27 PM
Today it's logical, ask Obama.

That's just his Vulcan heritage, show some respect.
:D


I do like that you've come over to the side of light and truth Pefjr......war is insane. Why now? You've not expressed this before, have you?

Dr. Arthur Trollingson
05-22-2011, 12:03 AM
If the Queen had balls.........Stay focused. The insane part was repeated by Obama with the escalation of Afghanistan. The insane part was repeated again when the drone war was increased. More insanity when Congress orders a larger supply of rubber stamps to pursue war and train killers. But the insanity is not yet recognized as insanity. One, two generations yet. Just a few years, then a different logic for a new generation. What will the new sniper distance be then?

About 12,000 miles, just like it is today. From the Nevada desert to Central Asia and points beyond, with pinpoint accuracy, at the push of a button.

Dr. Arthur Trollingson
05-22-2011, 12:05 AM
I do like that you've come over to the side of light and truth Pefjr......war is insane. Why now? You've not expressed this before, have you?

He actually has, quite a few times... the man's a paradox.

Meli
05-22-2011, 01:16 AM
Um.. Does the U.S.A still have economic sanctions on Cuba?
Just askin'

ishmael
05-22-2011, 01:32 AM
Complexity. We don't deal well with complexity. Yet to say the Marxist/Communist philosophy wasn't on the march in much of the world, and that it wasn't anathema to our freedoms, is naive.

Was Vietnam the place to make a stand? Probably not.

Looking back there is the skein of history. Looking back there are the 50,000 American dead, and countless Vietnamese dead, in a struggle that neither side really wanted. A tragedy.

What is going on now? Capitalism, the great bugaboo of the Communist regimes of that era, seems alive and well -- yet not the values of dissent so much.

JFK, bless his Irish heart, was a reasonably complex thinker on these issues. While he talked a good game about fighting Communism, I think he'd have steered clear of this one. He didn't fit with the "agenda" and it may well have gotten him killed.

The Bigfella
05-22-2011, 01:53 AM
I think the figures are something like 3 million dead... of whom 2 million were civilians.

Not exactly our finest hour.

purri
05-22-2011, 01:55 AM
our...

ishmael
05-22-2011, 02:26 AM
Purri,

Aussies were there, on the ground and in the pulpit. Not so many as we Yanks, but I think "our" is appropo.

pefjr
05-22-2011, 02:37 PM
"To pour money, material, and men into the jungles of Indochina without at least a remote prospect of victory would be dangerously futile and self-destructive."

"I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, "an enemy of the people" which has the sympathy and covert support of the people."

John F Kennedy, Senator 1954

When John F Kennedy was elected President, and became CIC of the strongest military in the World, with free reign from the Congress, he suddenly became intoxicated with the Power, and took his country into the very jungles he had said would be self-destructive. He secretly supported, and the US paid for, an increase in ARVN troops, he sent in 300 Helicopters, 1000 advisors and ignored all warnings and the 1954 Geneva agreements. "Strategic Hamlet" failed and he sent in 12,000 more troops. He ignored De Gaulle's warnings and better yet ignored his own advice as a Senator. He then gave an OK to a V/N Presidential Coup with a guarantee that we would not protect Diem and so Diem was assassinated. Cable 243:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_243

Remind you of anyone?

pefjr
05-22-2011, 02:44 PM
Was Vietnam the place to make a stand? Probably not.


Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and Vietnam is the place. --John F. Kennedy, 1961

purri
05-22-2011, 06:19 PM
Purri,

Aussies were there, on the ground and in the pulpit. Not so many as we Yanks, but I think "our" is appropo.
I would have been class of 66, I wasn't, friends were. What came after our... was an implication that it wasn't very fine.

PhaseLockedLoop
05-22-2011, 06:26 PM
Sounds like you have it all figured out.

Jeff C

You bet. Plenty of others did too.

ishmael
05-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the references and corrections, Purri. I was aware that the US had a military presence under JFK, but I'd forgotten the size of it.

I'm not one who says if JFK had lived our involvement in Vietnam wouldn't have happened, but I do think it would have been handled differently than it was under Johnson.

There's a story, perhaps true, of that old war-horse Mac sitting down with the newly-elected president and advising him not to escalate our involvement. Of course people have different ideas before and after they get their hands on the reins.