Matus1976 Blog - Philosophy, Science, Politics, Invention

01 April

Millions died during the Vietnam war. Why do you never mention that?

[Nobody in particular] wrote:

"He's not citing it so that we may not be excited about the Iraq election, but to just be cautious and let us know there is a very long road ahead. If we can look back at past events we can hopefully know what to do next so as not to fail."

The lesson to be learned it to not abandon a people or a country in their darkest hour. That 80% of South Vietnamese people voted in that election and that they lasted for two years with NO US help against the Soviet Union backed North communists, and that 1.5 million fled in rafts after the fall of Saigon makes it clear and unequivocal that the people of south Vietnam wanted to be their own country, and would have been a successful country.

"Millions died during the Vietnam war. Why do you never mention that?"

And millions died during world war II, and millions died during the Korean War, does that make the war wrong? If we had not have fought them, millions still would have died. If we had kept fighting, millions fewer would have died. By citing the number of dead you are obviously presenting that as a utilitarian consideration either for or against war. If we can expect war to result in fewer dead, than we should undertake it, If we expect it to result in more dead, then we should not. Obviously, at least to you, the 'number dead', is not the only consideration, so lets not pretend it is. It is of great concern to me, and clearly fewer would have died if we continued to support the south.

From Rummel's site.

"Perhaps of all countries, democide in Vietnam and by Vietnamese is most difficult to unravel and assess. It is mixed in with six wars spanning 43 years (the Indochina War, Vietnam War, Cambodian War, subsequent guerrilla war in Cambodia, guerrilla war in Laos, and Sino-Vietnamese War), one of them involving the United States; a near twenty-one year formal division of the country into two sovereign North and South parts; the full communization of the North; occupation of neighboring countries by both North and South; defeat, absorption, and communization of the South; and the massive flight by sea of Vietnamese. As best as I can determine, through all this close to 3,800,000 Vietnamese lost their lives from political violence, or near one out of every ten men, women, and children.1 Of these, about 1,250,000, or near a third of those killed, were murdered."

That 3,800,000 figure does not include the 3,000,000 in Cambodia.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB6.1B.GIF

Between 1975 and 1987 the Vietnamese Communist government killed 2.5 million people (moderate estimates). The US was nowhere near Vietnam since March 1973. The war was over in April 1975. 500,000 people died at sea (10 times the number of American soldiers killed) The Vietnamese Communist government killed ANOTHER 1.5 million people in Cambodia and Laos in the same time period. Thatís 4.5 million dead, killed by Vietnam Communist government since 1975. The Khmere Rouge, a government put into power by Vietnamese Communist government and armed and supplied by them, would kill another 3 million people Thatís 7.5 million people since we left Vietnam. Not surprisingly this is not a statistic you hear very often.

How many people were killed during the US involvement in Vietnam? Rummel estimates 1.75 million war dead. How many more would have been killed continuing to defend the South? 1,000 ? 10,000 ? 1 million? We will never know, but 7.5 million people died because we did not continue to defend the South.

"By what right does our government have to tax it's citizens and send our military to fight for foreign nationals of a non-democracy in a region that posed no threat to American security? In Greece it's close proximity to Western Europe and NATO allies made sense to support their effort against the minority communist party trying to take over Greece. "

You are being contradictory. As if the communist party in Vietnam wasnít a minority. As if it wasnít close proximity to Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tawain, etc. As if we didnít sign a treaty agreeing to protect South Vietnam. As if 30 nations of the UN hadnít recognize South Vietnam as a sovereign state. As if South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and the Phillipines were not also allies during that war. As if 80% of South Vietnamese didn't turn out to elect their leader. As if 1 million didnít flee South before the war ended. Johnny's foreign policy is clear, never fight wars in other nations unless it was against the Greek communists in the 1950's. Either we go and fight communist insurgency in other nations during the cold war or we do not.

"Allowing Greece to fall to communism would have been disastrous to our national security by giving the Soviet's a warm water port and strategic bases to launch attacks against NATO."

Oh that's ridiculous. Unlike Indochina, which has no warm water ports, right? The people of Greece, by every standard of your attitude on foreign policy should be rotting in a communist hell whole just like the people of Vietnam are. You have perpetually asserted that the vast majority of the conflicts of the cold war were wrong, and that the Soviet Union would have collapsed on its own anyway, and its not right to use tax payer dollars to fight wars in other nations that are not critical to our self defense. Oh, but low and behold, Greece circa 1950 was absolutely critical to our national defense!!

"Sorry but Indochina war made no sense other than the general theory that all communist aggressions in any country ought to be stopped by the U.S. So ask yourself, by what right does our government have to ask its citizens to give up their wealth and blood for the only benefit of helping a charitable cause?"

You'll have to go a lot farther than the to prove there was no strategic interest in Vietnam, except of course by stalling communist aggression, which in this statement you simultaneously cite as a legitimate reason but then casually disregard by asserting it to have been a charitable cause. Was Vietnam a charitable cause or was it a legitimate act in stalling the spread of communism? Additionally, you'll have to go a lot farther proving that Greece was strategically in our best interest and Vietnam was not (and why Greece wasnít in our best interest in 1975) and whether Korea was. I seem to remember you asserting that we had no right to interfere in the growing democracy in Greece. Say it was in our best interest to instill a puppet regime in Greece in 1975, all of the sudden your criteria for foreign policy leaves you with a dilemma. The well being of other peoples rights are irrelevant when it comes to our self defense, so you assert, and it is not our responsibility to assure they have those rights, or any rights, anyway. Yet we cant sacrifice tax payer's dollars taken by coercion for charitable causes. Fostering a democracy in Greece is charitable, setting up a puppet dictatorship was much more in our self interest, and is easier and costs fewer tax payer dollars, and especially given the strategically critical nature of Greece as you present above, we would be morally demanded to setup a puppet dictatorship in Greece. Last I heard, you thought Kissinger was a war criminal, you should be lauding him for his actions as Greece as a true self interested American libertarian!

Michael


posted at 09:19:26 on 04/01/05 by Matus1976 - Category: General

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