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Anti War Demonstrations Shorten Vietnam?

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    Posted: 19 Feb 2015 at 03:24
I'm old so I witness the Vietnam War.  Most of my life though I have wondered if the Anti War Movement really made any difference.  Lyndon Johnson clearly never wanted the war nor did the average people I knew personally.  As best I can tell all the Anti War Movement really accomplished was to polarize the issue and push more conservative people away from a quick resolution.  What do you think?     

Edited by wolfhnd - 19 Feb 2015 at 03:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2015 at 07:44
They definitely polarized the issue.

 
Students in Washington D.C.  Holding the North Vietnamese flag. (Note the sweet cherubic face of the chairman looking on approvingly.Dead)

Students in Chicago holding North Vietnamese flags in 1968.




Edited by Panther - 19 Feb 2015 at 07:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2015 at 18:08
The Viet Nam War may have been shortened had the US government known the true state of play, instead of pandering to Gen. Westmorelands continual demand for more troops, based on falsified body counts.
 
But of course, everyone benefitted from the War, except those who had to fight it and their families.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2015 at 20:05
Certainly the demonstrations shortened the war. Before mass protests, it was business as usual. Johnson built up an army of a half million in Vietnam, kept awake at night with visions of tumbling dominoes, and crazed communists coming ashore in California. Nixon was damned if he was going to give in to a peasant state, and did everything he could to prevent it, including covert operations in Laos and Cambodia, and massive bombing campaigns. He finally settled for a "peace treaty" with so many twists and turns in it a chiropractor was on duty for those with the fortitude to read it.

It was the anti-war movement that forced the political establishment to accept the distasteful truths that they previously could not, or would not see.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2015 at 22:24

Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Senator Richard Russell, Washington, May 27, 1964,

Johnson: What do you think about this Vietnam thing? I'd like to hear you talk a little bit. 

Russell: Well, frankly, Mr. President, if you were to tell me that I was authorized to settle as I saw fit, I would respectfully decline to undertake it. It's the damn worse mess that I ever saw, and I don't like to brag and I never have been right many times in my life, but I knew that we were gone to get into this sort of mess when we went in there. And I don't see how we're ever going to get out of it without fighting a major war with the Chinese and all of them down there in those rice paddies and jungles. I just don't see it. I just don't know what to do. 

Johnson: Well, that's the way I have been feeling for six months.

 Johnson: Well, they'd impeach a president, though, that would run out, wouldn't they? 

Russell: I don't think they would. 

Johnson: I've got a little old sergeant that works for me over at the house and he's got six children. And I just put him up as the United States Army and Air Force and Navy every time I think about making this decision. I think about sending that father of those six kids in there, and what the hell are we going to get out of his doing in? It just makes the chills run up my back. 

Russell: It does me. 

Johnson: I haven't the nerve to do it, but I don't see any other way out of it. 

Russell: It doesn't make much sense to do it. It's one of these things, heads I win, tails you lose. 

Johnson: Well, think about it, and I'll talk to you again. I hate to bother you. 

Russell: I feel for you, God knows I do. It's a terrific quandary that we're in over there. We're in the quicksands up to our very neck, and I just don't know what the hell the best way to do about it. 


Johnson never wanted the war he just wanted to build his "great society" and the people I grew up with were against the war until the protests started.   Once the protest started they turned a lot of people against any kind of compromise.  The older adults were not so stupid as to not see the communist influence amongst the protesters.  They were also aware of what most of the protesters were not and that is that after WWII Stalin almost provoked WWIII.  

My take on it is that what the protesters really accomplished was to drive Johnson out and give us Nixon. 

The protest did get rid of the draft but by 1973 it made little difference outside of returning us to a system that makes poor boys fight wars.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2015 at 01:12
I don't suppose Johnson, or any other rational person really wanted the war. I suspect thought that Johnson and his advisers lacked a historical and geopolitical depth in understanding events in that part of the world, and also probably a good grasp of the concept of guerrilla warfare. Wanting some sort of positive outcome, I can see where it would be easy to send in just a few more troops, and (hopefully) put an end to things. A few more became a half million, and one of the major conflicts of the latter half of the 20th century. 

This was never really about communism. It was a tragic case of a lack of knowledge of the region, compounded by poor decision making, groupthink, militarism, and nationalist hubris, which created a war where there should have been none.

I don't really see your point about protesters turning others into pro-war sympathizers. If one can see that the war was ill conceived, and on the wrong track, then there should have been some feeling of solidarity with the protesters, if not with some of their methods, admittedly foolish at times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2015 at 02:34
The tone of this discussion has been cordial up to this point so I hope I don't drive anyone over the edge with my next comment.  My argument is primarily that the complexity of history doesn't allow for any group or position to be exclusively in possession the "truth". 

The majority of American people wanted out of Vietnam.  The older generation however had experience to draw a few conclusion that the younger generation missed.  If you were around at the end of WWII and had witness Stalins occupation of Eastern Europe you probably also knew that Stalin had killed 30 million in Russia and could see the same thing happening in Southeast Asia.  The argument that the protesters were better informed is not born out by history or their positions.

The underlying salient point is that neither the pro nor anti war segments of society actually cared about Vietnam.  This is classical American politics and can be witnessed in the socialist anti war movements on campuses prior to WWII.  There is a similar anti war movement prior to WWI that clearly establishes a historical milieu.

The tragedy of Vietnam does not begin or end with American military involvement.  The fact that America had asked the French to take a new approach in their colony after WWII denies the kind of naivety of foreign cultures that is suggested as the hallmark of the "establishment".   The peaceful transition to independence in the Philippines also indicates some degree of competence in foreign affairs and a lack of interest in out right imperialism. 

I would argue that the more competent foreign analysts actually saw what was coming after American withdraw and they will not to be found amongst the protesters.  There were 1,040,000 political deaths following the Hanoi victory and it could have been much worse.  That also doesn't count the  2 million the Khmer Rouge killed.  I don't recall a single protest of either of these atrocities. The obvious truth is those kids had no idea what they were talking about.  The center piece of American foreign policy has always been "why do I care about a bunch of foreigners and I don't want to die in a foreign war".  The Vietnam protests were in no way unique accept in the minds of the protesters and the demographics that made youth culture potent.

None of this really addresses my question however.  I admit that the answer is necessarily subjective or speculative.  Having lived through the events doesn't seem to have helped me to come to a conclusion.  

The anti war movement ended the draft is the only clear conclusion I can come to.  It also  prevented other direct military involvement in civil wars for a time.  Iraq certainly suggests that it had no long term historical significance other than a policy of crush your enemy decisively before the American public loses interest.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2015 at 21:56
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

The tone of this discussion has been cordial up to this point so I hope I don't drive anyone over the edge with my next comment.  My argument is primarily that the complexity of history doesn't allow for any group or position to be exclusively in possession the "truth". 

The majority of American people wanted out of Vietnam.  The older generation however had experience to draw a few conclusion that the younger generation missed.  If you were around at the end of WWII and had witness Stalins occupation of Eastern Europe you probably also knew that Stalin had killed 30 million in Russia and could see the same thing happening in Southeast Asia.  The argument that the protesters were better informed is not born out by history or their positions.

Indeed, truth can be an elusive target, but in this case there were some fairly well recorded historical "truths" that were either unknown at high levels in Washington, poorly understood, or known but disregarded. 

In the earlier years of the war, the American people did not want to get out of Vietnam, they supported the war effort, according to polls, and many of whom, if we are to read or listen to statements made at the time, had some fixed notions of why America was in there, similar to your item on Stalin above. In stead of contemplating Vietnam's individual circumstances, many saw only a black and white issue. N Vietnam was communist, all communists were bad, therefore we are against them. 

France and Italy have communist mayors and other local officials, Canada has a communist party that runs candidates in elections, Cuba has a communist party that has lifted millions out of poverty, etc. We have at least 50 shades of grey so to speak, or should we say 50 shades of red. Are there some horrible people in there? You bet there are. So too in El Salvador, Guatemala, Brazil, S Africa, Saudi Arabia, and countless other "free" capitalist countries. But the fact is, they are here, and we more or less have to do business with them. Vietnam is still communist today, and guess what, America is doing business with them, just as though nothing had happened. It would be nice if we could transform all nations into modern liberal democracies overnight, but it is not going to happen.

Ho Chi Minh appealed to the US to do just that in 1946- recognize and do business with them, but he was rejected. In other words, one could be a murderous thug, but just not a communist murderous thug if they wanted to do business with the US.


Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

The underlying salient point is that neither the pro nor anti war segments of society actually cared about Vietnam.  This is classical American politics and can be witnessed in the socialist anti war movements on campuses prior to WWII.  There is a similar anti war movement prior to WWI that clearly establishes a historical milieu.

The tragedy of Vietnam does not begin or end with American military involvement.  The fact that America had asked the French to take a new approach in their colony after WWII denies the kind of naivety of foreign cultures that is suggested as the hallmark of the "establishment".   The peaceful transition to independence in the Philippines also indicates some degree of competence in foreign affairs and a lack of interest in out right imperialism.

Imperialism shifted in style after WW2. Formal colonies had little value, and in fact could be more of a drain of resources than an economic advantage. The Great Game was still afoot however, in that the major powers still jockeyed for strategic superiority. No one gave a damn about Vietnam or the Philippines, other than to look at a map and speculate, if the bad guys came ashore here, then they might end up there, or then again if they.....And that was about the size of it, intellectually speaking. The US wasn't about to waste time with a colonial administration in the Philippines, but definitely did want to contain China with military bases there and in other places.

Vietnam was thought to be some sort of domino that would start others in the region tumbling. It was a theory, but had no real historical or political basis. China had already split with Russia, Vietnam was about to go to war with China, Vietnam also took on Pol Pot in Cambodia, Thailand wasn't interested, Malaysia had already had its go around with this, etc, etc. The "dominoes" were not lined up to hit each other, or anything else.


Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

I would argue that the more competent foreign analysts actually saw what was coming after American withdraw and they will not to be found among the protesters.  There were 1,040,000 political deaths following the Hanoi victory and it could have been much worse.  That also doesn't count the  2 million the Khmer Rouge killed.  I don't recall a single protest of either of these atrocities. The obvious truth is those kids had no idea what they were talking about.  The center piece of American foreign policy has always been "why do I care about a bunch of foreigners and I don't want to die in a foreign war".  The Vietnam protests were in no way unique accept in the minds of the protesters and the demographics that made youth culture potent.

I wouldn't try to support the actions of the north post war, but on the other hand it must be said that when the dogs of war are let out, havoc is usually the result, to loosely paraphrase an old saying. How many Germans were killed at the end of WW2? How many Japanese civilians died before the end came? For Vietnam, it was Armageddon, 35 years of war that ended in a ruined landscape. If it was America, how civilized do you think the end would have looked at that point?

And at any rate, the US not in Vietnam because of a worry about future atrocities. It was there because strategists had determined that a line in the sand should be drawn there, for military reasons. If it was about atrocities, then why not dive into Saudi Arabia, or the Congo, or Rwanda, or the Sudan, or Guatemala, or any of the other centers or barbarism seen in recent years? The answer is, they are not on that (imagined) line in the sand.

Some may have seen the future in Vietnam, but I'd wager most did not, as predicting the future is difficult, an many in positions of power at the time seemed to be having enough trouble just understanding the present.

Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

None of this really addresses my question however.  I admit that the answer is necessarily subjective or speculative.  Having lived through the events doesn't seem to have helped me to come to a conclusion.  

The anti war movement ended the draft is the only clear conclusion I can come to.  It also  prevented other direct military involvement in civil wars for a time.  Iraq certainly suggests that it had no long term historical significance other than a policy of crush your enemy decisively before the American public loses interest.    

Ending the draft in a way cleared the path to again engage in military adventure. Now, no kid is shipped home in a plastic bag unless he agreed to take the risk, and make it his or her profession. War need no longer affect Mr and Ms average in America, because it does not involve them personally. No small bit of irony there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2015 at 00:27
Let's examine one item at a time.

According to a Gallup Poll, the percentage of Americans who thought the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam...  http://www.shmoop.com/vietnam-war/statistics.html

... in August 1965: 24%
... in March 1966: 26%
... in May 1966: 36%
... in November 1966: 31%
... in January 1967: 32%
... in April 1967: 37%
... in July 1967: 41%
... in October 1967: 47%
... in December 1967: 44%
... in February 1968: 46%
... in April 1968: 48%
... in August 1968: 53%
... in September 1968: 54%
... in January 1969: 52%
... in September 1969: 55%
... in January 1970: 52%
... in April 1970: 51%
... in May 1970: 56%
... in January 1971: 59%
... in May 1971: 50%
... in January 1973: 60%
... in January 1993: 68%
... in April 1995: 71%
... in November 2000: 68%

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2747894?sid=21105407955261&uid=4&uid=2

In the second poll you will see that the older people not the youth were more opposed to the war.  The older people were the ones that actually voted and had political power.

Here is a quote from another article.

"There was, by the way, substantial support for a stronger war effort, especially early in the war.  For instance, in a poll conducted in February 1968, 25 per cent wanted to "gradually broaden and intensify our military operations", and 28 per cent wanted to "start an all-out crash effort in the hope of winning the war quickly even at the risk of China or Russia entering the war".  Just 24 per cent wanted to "discontinue the struggle and begin to pull out of Vietnam gradually in the near future", and 10 per cent wanted to "continue the war at the present level of military effort".  So, much of the dissatisfaction about the war came, early on, from the belief that not enough was being done to win it."

"Other common beliefs about public opinion on the Vietnam war are also false.  Educated people were more likely to support the war, not less.  There is not as much data on the subject, but draft status did not seem to affect opinions on the war."

http://www.seanet.com/~jimxc/Politics/Mistakes/Vietnam_support

Even early in the war the Hawks and Doves seem to be fairly evenly distributed.  What the polls tell me  is that Johnson's worries about being impeached if he pulled out were not a reflection of public opinion but his very deep understanding of his former legislative colleagues especially on the republican side.
 
By 68 when the anti war movement was reaching it full strength public opinion had long since gone over to opposition.  It should also be remembered that society was more conservative in the 60s and even a 24% opposition to the War in 65 is kind of amazing after 15 years of intense anti red propaganda.

If we now look at the Iraq war we can see that no massive demonstrations were needed to create an anti war atmosphere.

All in all, do you think it was worth going to war in Iraq, or not?

Worth
going to war

Not worth
going to war

No
opinion

%

%

%

2006 Dec 8-10 ^

37

62

1

2006 Mar 10-12 ^

37

60

3

2006 Jan 6-8 ^

46

52

3

2005 Nov 11-13 ^

38

60

2

2005 Sep 12-15

45

53

2

2005 Aug 5-7 ^

44

54

2

2005 Jul 7-10

44

53

3

2005 Jun 29-30

46

52

2

2005 Jun 6-8

42

56

2

2005 Apr 29-May 1

41

57

2

2005 Apr 1-2

45

53

2

2005 Feb 7-10

48

50

2

2005 Jan 3-5

46

52

2

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

44

54

2

2004 Sep 3-5 ^

49

48

3

2004 Aug 23-25 ^

51

46

3

2004 Aug 9-11 ^

49

48

3

2004 Jul 8-11 ^

47

50

3

2004 Jun 21-23 ^

46

51

3

2004 Jun 3-6 ^

46

52

2

2004 May 21-23 ^

45

52

3

2004 May 7-9 ^

44

54

2

2004 May 2-4

50

47

3

2004 Apr 16-18 ^

52

46

2

2004 Apr 5-8

50

47

3

2004 Mar 26-28

56

41

3

2004 Mar 5-7

55

43

2

2004 Jan 29-Feb 1

49

49

2

2004 Jan 9-11

59

38

3

2003 Dec 15-16 ^ †

65

33

2

2003 Dec 14 †‡#

62

33

5

2003 Dec 5-7 †

59

39

2

2003 Nov 14-16 †

56

42

2

2003 Nov 3-5 †

54

44

2

2003 Oct 24-26 †

54

44

2

2003 Oct 6-8 †

55

44

1

2003 Sep 19-21 †

50

48

2

2003 Sep 8-10 †

58

40

2

2003 Aug 25-26 †

63

35

2

2003 Jul 25-27 †

63

34

3

2003 Jul 18-20 †

63

35

2

2003 Jun 27-29 †

56

42

2

2003 Apr 14-16 †‡

73

23

4

2003 Apr 9 †‡#

76

19

5

2003 Apr 7-8 †‡

67

30

3

2003 Mar 24-25 †‡

68

29

3

2003 Jan 3-5 †‡

53

42

5

^ Asked of a half sample

† WORDING: All in all, do you think the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, or not?

‡ WORDING: All in all, do you think the current situation in Iraq is worth going to war over, or not?

# Polls conducted entirely in one day, such as this one, are subject to additional error or bias not found in polls conducted over several days.

   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2015 at 03:05
Not quite sure what you are getting at here Mr W, as the first poll you listed is completely in line with my line of reasoning- support for the war was significant, more than half likely, until it became clear that the "light at the end of the tunnel" was either a long way off, or worse yet, a train coming in the opposite direction. Many of these feelings coalesced around the time of the Tet offensive (1968), which although not a military victory for the communists, was a disaster for America, because it illustrated that: there was no end any time soon, many, many more kids were returning to the US sealed in plastic bags if things continued, most of what the military leadership was telling both ordinary Americans and also top leadership was highly suspect. Support for the war plummeted after Tet.

If you are suggesting here that those young people of draft age, and also academics in universities, where more in favour of the war than others, I can only conclude that you weren't there, or if you were, were not paying attention. Vietnam divided America as no other historical event. It was young against old, academia against hardhat workers, left against right, militarists against peaceniks. 

I think both Johnson and Nixon realized that they had to do something to wind things back, or the alternative might be revolution. It was coming close at it was. Draftees dodged the draft. Solders took drugs, and throw grenades at officers issuing inconvenient orders. Hundreds of thousands regularly marched in cities and protested.


With Iraq, yes opinion turned against it, when it became more widely known what a reckless adventure it was. Opposition was still not as vocal as in Vietnam days however. I think this is partly due to the volunteer nature of the armed forces for one thing. No one is forced to go to war today, and in fact many of the personnel in Iraq were civilian contractors- adventurers and profiteers who could hardly wax philosophical at a later date. The rest were military professionals- that was their career. Altogether they represented an infinitesimal proportion of US society, and so whatever policies were enacted, the personal impact on American society was minimal, if indeed noted at all among the hype of outlets like Fox News, hubris of the sort representative of a society that has rejected intellectualism, and the spin of the White House communications PhDs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2015 at 04:20
"If you are suggesting here that those young people of draft age, and also academics in universities, where more in favour of the war than others, I can only conclude that you weren't there, or if you were, were not paying attention. Vietnam divided America as no other historical event. It was young against old, academia against hardhat workers, left against right, militarists against peaceniks." 

I was there and I didn't see the pattern you are suggesting, both on an off campus only a small proportion of my personal contacts were pro war and in general on campus opinion closely followed main street.  A very small percentage of students were actively anti war in the early 60s.  More importantly the in depth analysis following the war consistently show "Contrary to popular perceptions, younger Americans tended to take a more hawkish position on the war than did older citizens."  This observation is fully in line with my personal experience when talking with people not directly involved in the anti war movement. 

  www.polmeth.wustl.edu/media/Paper/berin01.pdf


I don't want to suggest that the above table is anything other than a guess at what the "silent majority" felt but it is in line with
 my personal attempt to find out what people thought at the time in private conversations where people felt they could be honest.
It is also a scientific approach and the validity of Elite Rhetoric is fairly widely accepted in the academic community.  I would suggest that media coverage and the desire of people to always be right distorts post war memories.  (this last comment is not directed at you) 

Even if you don't accept the information I present here we will still have to establish what effect the demonstration had on policy.  I want to go over some of the other points you made first.



Edited by wolfhnd - 21 Feb 2015 at 07:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 02:07
I believe I may still be missing your point. It's true that in the '50s and early '60s, few questioned prevailing wisdom or authoritarian pronouncement. Such were the times. 

It was the Vietnam War itself that was so instrumental in changing society, from the complacent '50s to the revolutionary '60s. When masses of middle class kids began to be drafted, shipped off to some unknown backwater, and then sent back in a body bag, the questions and doubts began. These were evident by '67, and '68 was a critical year, one in which the majority of Americans disapproved of what was going on. After that it was all backpeddling and spin, up to the Paris Peace Accord, which provided final relief for American agony and division.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 02:15
Captain:
I agree with your comments. Not only was the USA polarised by the Viet Nam War, all of the western world was polarised, and I think that this added to the US woes.
 
In Australia, opinion was similarly divided between supporting or troops who were over there, and wanting them home, now. Australia was there only to show our friends in the USA that we were prepared to stand alongside them, we we under no threat.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 03:08
Let me put it another way.  My generation is very good at thumping their chests and saying look at all we accomplished.  They however were not as revolutionary as they like to think.  Anti war sentiment before WWI and WWII was at least as strong and in my view equally ineffective.   I could make a long list including women's rights, civil rights, sexuality etc. but that would be off topic.   The central theme of American foreign policy history outside the western hemisphere is isolationism.  The fact that America was thrust into being a "super" power is kind of ironic considering the degree of disarmament following WWI.  I think that it is disingenuous of non US citizens to at once criticize the US for delaying innering to world wars and then criticizing the US when it gets involved in world affairs.   If you look at how the other "super" power handled it's foreign diplomacy I think you get a better idea of what a difficult position it really is.   

What drew America into Vietnam was ho chi minh's refusal to have UN supervised elections in 1954 and what got us out was defeat at the hands of guerrillas.  The effectiveness of guerrillas is reestablished when Russia was forced out of Afghanistan.  The role of anti war demonstrations was not irrelevant but a minor player in the policy decisions.  I grant this is a huge oversimplification but we are not writing books here :-)

The effect of demonstrations on a population already dovish on foreign wars is easy to misjudge which is why I linked the revised poll data.  People I knew who were publicly pro war were privately anti war making me suspicious of a lot of assumptions that have been made.  

I'm still a bit undecided if the position I have outlined above is accurate but to have this discussion some traditional assumptions have to be put aside and the facts reexamined.

I have been doing a bit of reading and honestly it's a quagmire of books and papers.  Even the quantitative data is all over the place.  I think this discussion was to broad so perhaps I asked the wrong question.  Go ahead and reply but I think I will approach the topic with a simpler question in another thread.  If I don't reply it's not because I lost interest in your opinions :-)

Thanks for you help 


   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 12:00
America wasn't thrust into being a superpower - it earned that by taking part in WW2. America ended the war without serious threat to its homeland, with huge surpluses and considerable wealth from war production. Britain was effectively almost bankrupt after VE Day.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 12:44
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

America wasn't thrust into being a superpower - it earned that by taking part in WW2. America ended the war without serious threat to its homeland, with huge surpluses and considerable wealth from war production. Britain was effectively almost bankrupt after VE Day. 

Can we unearn it, it's not been fun :-)   I think the Bretton Woods agreement more than paid the US back for the WII expenses and post War too.  Thanks World. 

 I would  be more than happy to go back to just being the colony and let Western Europe pay for being the other "super" power.   I have even considered moving to Canada because this superpower thing isn't what it is cracked up to be.  All I have to do is move a few hundred miles and being a white male will no longer make me the lowest form of life in the universe.  From the average Americans point of view, trust me we feel it was thrust on us.  The only reason we have been spared the worst military disasters in human history is the "pond".   That is how we earned it, big fat and far away.

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2015 at 13:11
This is off topic completely now and that is my fault and I apologize.

Here is the thing if I had been around in the 18th century I would never have been in favor of splitting from England.  We could have saved ourselves a bloody civil war to end slavery and maybe two world wars.  I'm not blaming the colonies because clearly the English crown was being an ass.  On the other hand every time these Empires break up the world suffers and that goes for the Soviet Union too.  Right when there seemed to be real reform in Russia Reagan takes credit for destroying the "evil" empire and we get Putin.  Reagan's military spending is also why we can't afford public health care.  Now we are going to pay for the crime of exporting our pollution and slave labor to China I don't know how but I know it's coming.  Sins of the fathers you know.  The US is still paying for slavery 160 years later so this stuff can go on a long time.  

Yes that is a rant but I just came from a long discussion on another board about what a science paper was saying and it was extremely frustrating to explain. 

Again I'm sorry for the rant but I'm old and tired.


Edited by wolfhnd - 22 Feb 2015 at 13:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2015 at 01:57
The supervised elections of 1954 were along the same lines as the Paris Peace Accords of 1973. The former allowed a slightly more graceful exit for defeated French forces, the latter served a similar purpose for departing US elements. The north did not take the elections seriously, neither did the south. Neither Hanoi nor Washington, I'd bet my pension, saw the Paris Accords as anything but a face saving bit of PR.

As for the 1777 spat with Britain, yes it would be interesting to think how things might have evolved if it never happened. It might have been Pax  Britannia Max- North America and the UK, with an early start on the industrial revolution. History has an odd way of running off in tangents however. At first, Britain was not so keen to expand westward, at least not as much as later US visionaries. What would that have meant? Maybe Russia would still be in the far NW. Maybe Mexico would still extend to the Oregon border. Would Napoleon have been so free and easy with the Louisiana Territory if he was selling it to Britain, rather than Britain's smarting and revengeful offsprings? Neither nature, nor history, enjoy straight lines.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2015 at 02:40
I'm now mostly interested in the Polls and if I find something that is interesting I will share it with you guys.  This topic is just to out there somewhere and thousands of authors don't agree so why should we Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnchoriticSybarite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2017 at 10:01
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:



The Viet Nam War may have been shortened had the US government known the true state of play, instead of pandering to Gen. Westmorelands continual demand for more troops, based on falsified body counts.
 
But of course, everyone benefitted from the War, except those who had to fight it and their families.


Tell that to the hundreds of thousands who fled S Vietnam after the fall.

And may I remind you that Westmorland's greatest success, Tet resulted in the destruction of the VC in S Vietnam. From that day onward until the eventual loss of Saigon was an external invasion from N Viet, no different from Hitler rolling into Poland in 1939.

The greatest defeat the VC/N Viet ever encountered was turned into victory by good old Uncle Walter Cronkite who told the American public that a great victory was in fact a sign of the US inablility to win.

Can you imagine Westmorland's anguish as the N Viet army rolled down Rte 1 straight to Saigon. They could have been wiped off the face of theearth in minutes had not Congress tied Ford's hands.

So yes the demonstrators decided the course of the war.
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