Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Read what Chomsky said in Hanoi on April 13, 1970:

The people of Vietnam will win, they must win, because your cause is the cause of humanity as it moves forward toward liberty and justice, toward the socialist society in which free, creative men control their own destiny.

Seems eerily reminiscent of something Michael Moore has said recently:
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win.

Draw your own conclusions.

31 Comments:

At July 22, 2004 at 9:27 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Apart from agreeing with what was said in the Vietnam speech...

How do you know that speech was by Chomsky?

As for Moore...
We can only hope he's right. Unless of course you think Americans know better what is good for Iraqis than Iraqis themselves...

 
At July 22, 2004 at 12:14 PM, Blogger Vernunft said...

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At July 26, 2004 at 1:37 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Luka,

Barbarians who cut off the heads of innocent contractors are not minutemen. There is no revolution in that only a step backwards into what we call: barbarism. If you have trouble understanding that I am really at a loss of words.

BTW What's your proof that Chomsky didn't say it?

 
At July 26, 2004 at 3:21 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Barbarians who cut off the heads of innocent contractors are not minutemen."

Nor are these barbarians Iraqis. A huge majority of them [the ones cutting off heads, not the insurgents in general] are foreigners. We can only hope that the genuine Iraqi resistance can force them out, the US surely will not, it's making things worse.

"There is no revolution in that only a step backwards into what we call: barbarism."

And who made it happen? Was it there two years ago? How about 20 years ago? Who and what did the US support in the meantime? Why? What effect did it have on things turning out the way they are today? How much of the responsibility lies in Saddam's hands and how much in US hands?

I thought Saddam was as bad as it gets but this is worse.

The principle that one is responsible for the expected outcome of one's actions is a kind of a truism, no?

You cannot blame everything on other people.

"If you have trouble understanding that I am really at a loss of words."

Understand more than you obviousely think.
The US planners are not stupid (talking about the ones that planned the attack, not the incompetent bunch that carried it out). They knew this would happen (though the incompetent buch made it much worse than it had to be; so much worse actually that it seems they're going to be kicked out the white house for it). Yet they ALL supported the attack anyway. Why?

"BTW What's your proof that Chomsky didn't say it"

I don't have to present proof he said it, you do. And a link to an internet site is not enough. You can find anything on the net.

To save you time...
The speech was made by an English speaking man with an american accent in Hanoi in 1970 as you mentioned above. Chomsky was in Vietnam at the time. The text in the speech is very uncharacteristic of Chomsky, phrases and words are used that he doesn't use normally. But he did make a same discription of a bridge in his essay about his visit as the description we find in the speech qouted above. Chomsky does not deny making it nor does he confirm it. There is no audio of the speech. Nobody knows whether it was translated from Vietnameese or whether this is a transcript of the orginal (English) speech. It was made by a US military monitoring service.

That's the whole story, to my knowledge.



My point is why is everbody linking to this speech if Chomsky wrote an essay with let's say similar text, but with references and explanations. There is absolutely no doubt he wrote it as it is published in his book At War with Asia.

Why speculate if you have the real thing in your local library?

But if we stick to the speech the important thing about is that everybody seems to be omitting (and they have to be doing it intentionally) in their denounciations of it is that he is not praising the Vietnam state, he's prasing the _Vietnamese people_. The only mention of the term state in the speech is in reference to the US.

 
At July 26, 2004 at 5:00 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 26, 2004 at 5:01 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 26, 2004 at 5:02 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 26, 2004 at 5:51 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

I never called Iraqi's barbaric only the cutthroats. Actually the ones that cut off peoples heads have been there for a couple of years and have links with Osama Bin Laden.

I never knew American's could be blamed for heinous acts that terrorist; excuse me revolutionaries, as you and Michael Moore like to call them, carried out. I always was taught that people are responsible for their own actions, these words seem have an ominous ring to them, "you cannot blame everything on other people." But apparently the most atrocious acts can seemingly be brushed aside because they are under the banner of revolutionary or anti-occupation. As for the argument that America should not have gone to war with Iraq because a bunch of people were to being to act like animals the word bizarre comes to mind. As for your questions: yes, it was there for the past 20 years - no doubt - carried out by the same people Saddam's henchmen. As for you knowing very much, I never said you didn't but with statements like these, "I thought Saddam was as bad as it gets but this is worse" I am beginning to wonder if you know much about the Middle East or Iraq at all (I recommend you read Republic of Fear before you make such bizarre claims in the future). But then again it can't be all that bad aren't you the one who supports the revolution. You seem to like to through out a lot of wild claims out there with no proof. Since you think the planners of the Iraq War was an "incompetent bunch," why doesn't General Luka propose his own strategy shat should have been "carried out."

"Chomsky does not deny making it nor does he confirm it." I wonder why that it is. Why everyone cares so much about the Chomsky speech it's a simple thing called treason. Being in North Vietnam saying that you wish the Vietnam's beat America by killing American soldiers qualifies as treason in my book.

 
At July 27, 2004 at 6:06 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"I never called Iraqi's barbaric only the cutthroats."

Dhimmi, sometimes you should read what you qoute.

The qoute from Moore talks about Iraqis. Not the cutthroats which are, as I said already, predominantely _not_ Iraqis.

"Actually the ones that cut off peoples heads have been there for a couple of years and have links with Osama Bin Laden."

You are again not talking about Iraqis. And how many people did they behead in Iraq before the US attacked?

"I never knew American's could be blamed for heinous acts that terrorist; excuse me revolutionaries, as you and Michael Moore like to call them, carried out. I always was taught that people are responsible for their own actions, these words seem have an ominous ring to them, "you cannot blame everything on other people." But apparently the most atrocious acts can seemingly be brushed aside because they are under the banner of revolutionary or anti-occupation."

I'm not talking about the cutthroats but about Iraqis. You seem to keep confusing the two.

And I explicitly said:
"How much of the responsibility lies in Saddam's hands and how much in US hands?"

I did not say that only the US is to blame for the situation (and I don't see why you are distorting what I said if the opposite of what you claim I said is written above). But it does share the blame and I don't see why you don't want to aknowledge that.

"As for the argument that America should not have gone to war with Iraq because a bunch of people were to being to act like animals the word bizarre comes to mind."

The stated aim for the invasion was 'War against terror' subsection 'prevention of the proliferation of WMD'. The removal of Saddam was added (was quietly talked about before but not that much) after the WMD were not found.

What happened in practise was that the threat of terror increased, nuclear sites were not secured and the threat of dirty bombs was thus increased etc. which kind of goes against their rethoric.
And I'm saying the US planners expected this to happen yet advocated the attack anyway. So they must have had considerations which outweighed the downside of people acting like animals, and the threat of terrorism and dirty bombs increasing. What could that be?

"As for your questions: yes, it was there for the past 20 years - no doubt - carried out by the same people Saddam's henchmen."

Could you rewrite this sentence? I don't understand it. (What is 'it', what was carried out? by who?)

"As for you knowing very much, I never said you didn't but with statements like these, "I thought Saddam was as bad as it gets but this is worse" I am beginning to wonder if you know much about the Middle East or Iraq at all (I recommend you read Republic of Fear before you make such bizarre claims in the future)."

Thanks for the suggestion.
I was talking about Iraq, not the Middle East and in the present, not the past.
To clarify, I thought things couldn't get worse for Iraqis than they were under Saddam for the past few years but it unfortunately looks like they will.

"You seem to like to through out a lot of wild claims out there with no proof."

Examples?

'Since you think the planners of the Iraq War was an "incompetent bunch," why doesn't General Luka propose his own strategy shat should have been "carried out."'

I didn't say the planners, I said the ones that carried it out (meaning the current administration). I would not presume to know how one could illegaly occupy a country in a better way that was done in Iraq nor would I share this knowledge with the world if I did have it. But from what I have read, the 'Powell doctrine' -- overwhelming force -- would have been much better than 'doing it on the cheap' as Rummy did. Not to mention the screwups during the occupation.

There were voices against the way the attack and the occupation was carried out (meaning also the process leading up to the war - diplomacy) within the administration itself (Powell), within the CPA (Garner),within the military (generals wanting troop strength to be at a much higher level to be able to handle the occupation once the easy part of routing the army was over), within the republican party (Scowcroft&Co) and within the US elite (democrats). Not to mention other countries which warned what would happen.

And lastly not to mention the peace movement which had the crazy idea that you shouldn't attack a defencles country which threatens you in no way whatsoever. Especially after you helped its dictator wage war against its neigbour (using chemical weapons); after you blamed the gassing of the dictators' own people on Iran or at best ignored it; after you allowed the dictator to ruthlessly put down an insurgency that might have toppled him; after you introduced sanctions that hurt the people yet strenghtened the rule of the dictator.

'"Chomsky does not deny making it nor does he confirm it." I wonder why that it is.'

You don't have to wonder. His views on the matter are in writing and widely known regardless of whether he made the speech or not. In an honest argument one disputes the arguments another makes, not where he made them.

"Why everyone cares so much about the Chomsky speech it's a simple thing called treason. Being in North Vietnam saying that you wish the Vietnam's beat America by killing American soldiers qualifies as treason in my book."

1. for somebody to commit treason, one has to swear an allegiance to a state. Please show where Chomsky did so.

2. please show where in the speech Chomsky says that he 'wishes the Vietnamse would kill Americans'.

3. how would you suggest a people defend themselves from an attack by a superpower other than by shooting the invaders?

4. does a person in a free society not have the right to express his disagreement with state policy whereever and whenever he wants to?

 
At July 29, 2004 at 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3. how would you suggest a people defend themselves from an attack by a superpower other than by shooting the invaders?

Simple. Do what the South Vietnamese did. Get the United States to help you and pray to God that the Left doesn't sap their will to continue aiding in their resistance to an invasion from the North who's receiving ridiculous amounts of aid from the Soviets and Chinese. South Koreans shrewdly used this strategy as well which is why today their diet doesn't consist of the Socialism Special: leather shoes and grass soup.

 
At July 29, 2004 at 6:53 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

3. how would you suggest a people defend themselves from an attack by a superpower other than by shooting the invaders?Anonymous said...
"Simple. Do what the South Vietnamese did. Get the United States to help you..."

When exactly did the (South) Vietnamese hold a referendum where the population decided they wanted the US to help them?
Or do you just know that is what they wanted?
Shouldn't the US (and other powers) have let the Vietnamese themsleves decide about who their government should be and what it should do ?

It was the US that was attacking them. I don't see exactly how asking your attacker for help is going to help you.

Now if the US only allowed the planned 1956 elections to be held...

But since they knew their choice of ruler would lose as the communists had the most support among the people, they preferred violence where they were strong.

"... who's receiving ridiculous amounts of aid from the Soviets and Chinese..."

More or less than half a million soldiers?

 
At July 29, 2004 at 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But since they knew their choice of ruler would lose as the communists had the most support among the people"
Is this just a feeling you have, I guess you just know. How many reliable polls were conducted in Vietnam during the 1950's?
"Shouldn't the US (and other powers) have let the Vietnamese themselves decide about who their government should be and what it should do ?"
Yes, but unfortunately in the real world communists don't allow free and fair elections to go on which is why they had to be defeated first. We didn't allow the Germans and Japanese to have elections right away either after the war and they turned out not too shabby. Too bad for the Vietnamese though I guess being a beacon of hope for the poor and huddled masses fleeing capitalist oppression really showed us, eh? They're just beating back people in rafts trying to get in.
"More or less than half a million soldiers?"
Uh, there are other ways of giving aid besides sending in troops. Where did the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army get all those weapons? Where did the North Vietnamese get heavy armor, did they have some sort of industrial capacity to make such things in abundance that I have never heard about?
I wasn't alive then and can't say what my feelings would have been at the time. Obviously it was a disaster because we had three of the worst adminstrations ever right in a row who got us involved and the conduct of the war from both a military and civilian aspect was of course atrocious from the beginning. But, that doesn't mean that I'll accept the Leftist cartoonish version of events that we were the satanic capitalist oppressors trying to stuff our way of life down the throats of poor Asian peasants. It's not too hard to identify who occuppied the roles of invader and resister. Which way the refugees are flowing is usually the first indicator to look for in any situation. Large number of people escaping in boats and those poor souls trying to escape as the American Embassy was evacuated should at the very least give you pause about saying what the Vietnamese people wanted.

 
At July 30, 2004 at 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"unfortunately in the real world communists don't allow free and fair elections to go on which is why they had to be defeated first"

Happens all the time in India.

 
At July 31, 2004 at 7:31 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"But since they knew their choice of ruler would lose as the communists had the most support among the people"
Is this just a feeling you have, I guess you just know. How many reliable polls were conducted in Vietnam during the 1950's
?

As far as I know, no polls were conducted at the time.

But there are other sources. Let me quote the leading US government scholar who recognized that the only “mass-based political party in South Vietnam was the National Liberation Front and that the US must resort to violence to destroy it.” [emphasys mine - Luka]
Douglas Eugene Pike, Viet Cong: The Organization and Techniques of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1966).
Cited in Chomsky's Hegemony and Survival, footnote 6, which you can find here.

Another comment you can find online is:
[the qoute is from Chomsky's Rethinking Camelot.]

The basic problem that McCone had stressed in December 1963 was well understood. The VC "believe in something," Lodge reported in January 1964: "the Communists have conveyed to these men [a] clear picture of a program which they think will make life better. We have not. They are also well organized politically; we are not." The US client regime has overwhelming military advantages, but "the VC have simply shifted from military to political tactics and are defeating us politically," following "the old Mao Tse-tung maxim." "We are at present overwhelmingly outclassed politically." We must "enunciate a political program" and organize precinct workers. The US is militarily strong but politically weak, unable to enlist support for its plans for the Third World, a persistent problem in Indochina as elsewhere, always a mystery to the planners.


Another excerpt (from Chomsky's Year 501) that has relevance to our discussion:

Facts are commonly reshaped to establish that some intended target of attack is an outpost of the Kremlin (later, Peiping). On deciding in 1950 to support France's effort to quell the threat of independent nationalism in Vietnam, Washington assigned to the intelligence services the task of demonstrating that Ho Chi Minh was a puppet of Moscow or Peiping (either would do). Despite diligent efforts, evidence of "Kremlin-directed conspiracy" could be found "in virtually all countries except Vietnam," which appeared to be "an anomaly." Nor could links with China be detected. The natural conclusion was that Moscow considers the Viet Minh "sufficiently loyal to be trusted to determine their day-to-day policy without supervision." Lack of contact therefore proves the enormity of the designs of the Evil Empire. There are numerous other examples.


We can go on if you wish, but the fact is that one has to distinguish between two kinds of 'Communists'.
The first are (or were) Communists directed from the Kremlin whose supposed goal is to conquer the Earth etc.
The second are national Communists which still exist (look at Venezuela or India) whose goal is the improvement of the lives of the majoritiy of the population through a system different from the one dictated from the US.

The influence of the first kind in Vietnam was negligible. The second kind had its roots in the nationalistic resistance to the coloniser (France) and had a big support among the population. That is why all those 'strategic hamlets' (basically refugee camps into which people from the rural areas were foricbly moved so they could no longer offer support to the Viet-Cong) were established.


"Shouldn't the US (and other powers) have let the Vietnamese themselves decide about who their government should be and what it should do ?"
Yes, but unfortunately in the real world communists don't allow free and fair elections to go on which is why they had to be defeated first
.

An Anonymous already gave the example of India, where Communists have participated in democratic politics since independence. We can add Italy and France to that, as well as most Eastern European countries where the former Communists have changed their names and now participate in democratic elections.
To claim that you have to first defeat a movement to have elections is to put it mildly very undemocratic. One would think that including the movement into the political process would be the democratic thing to do.

"We didn't allow the Germans and Japanese to have elections right away either after the war and they turned out not too shabby."

Well, the Japanese attacked you, the Germans declared war on you. The Vietnamese did not. The war against the Germans&Japanese was a self defencive war. The war against the Vietnamese people was an agressive war.

"Too bad for the Vietnamese though I guess being a beacon of hope for the poor and huddled masses fleeing capitalist oppression really showed us, eh? They're just beating back people in rafts trying to get in."

Vietnam (as well as the rest of Indochina) after WWII was a poor peasant society. Then it suffered 30 plus years of war including more bombs dropped than on the whole of Europe and Japan during WWII, suffering millions of deaths (since we don't keep count, nobody knows how many exactly), devastation of their agricultural capacity (one example is that the people of Indochina had no water buffalos -- which are essential for rice production -- after the wars were over and the US prevented imports of them; another example is the utter devastation of irigations systems, dykes etc.) and devastation of the little industrial capacities they did have.
Contrast that with the prosperty of the US and you get the reasons why the flow of refugees is directed your way and not the other way around.
[there are many other factors into which we can get if you so wish]


"Uh, there are other ways of giving aid besides sending in troops."

Of course there are. I was merely contrasting the aid given to the South Vietnam dictatorship with the aid given to the North Vietnam dictatorship.

And I might mention that the first mention of the North Vietnamese army in the South is 1965; after the US entered the ground war and started bombing North Vietnam. Up to then, apart from sporadic sighting of border crossing from the North (of mostly South Vietnamese who fled to the North after the 1954 Geneva Accords), there was no direct Northern support in the South.


"Where did the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army get all those weapons? Where did the North Vietnamese get heavy armor, did they have some sort of industrial capacity to make such things in abundance that I have never heard about?"

Some from the Russians, some from the Chinese, some from the French, some from Americans. Probably from elsewhere in smaller quantaties also.
But as I said, the American problem was not with North Vietnam, it was with the population of South Vietnam which did not have any of the hardware you mention (or very little of it), yet the US dropped three times as many bombs on South Vietnam than it did on the North.

"I wasn't alive then and can't say what my feelings would have been at the time."

Neither was I.
But I think that gives us an opportunity to look at the happenings then objectively, instead of relying on the party line (whether the 'right' or the 'left').

"Obviously it was a disaster because we had three of the worst adminstrations ever right in a row who got us involved and the conduct of the war from both a military and civilian aspect was of course atrocious from the beginning."

The fact that your government practically destroyed a subcontinent was of course not a disaster...

"But, that doesn't mean that I'll accept the Leftist cartoonish version of events that we were the satanic capitalist oppressors trying to stuff our way of life down the throats of poor Asian peasants."

It's not you that was 'the satanic capitalist oppresor'.
One reason is that Communists wouldn't call anybody satanic as one has to be religious to do so.

And you have to make a distinction between your elite and the general population. It is the former that is the 'capitalist oppresor', within the US as well as elsewhere (and to be fair it's not just the US elite).

"It's not too hard to identify who occuppied the roles of invader and resister."

So if I follow your logic correctly, you are saying that the Vietnamese people invaded Vietnam but that the US did not invade Vietnam but defended it from the Vietnamese people themselves?
Wow. Now that has persuaded me.

"Which way the refugees are flowing is usually the first indicator to look for in any situation."

So the fact that there was quite a big flow of refugges from the US after it gained independece from the British Emipre in the directon of Canada and England shows that the American people were wrong to fight for independence from a foreign king?
I think not.

"Large number of people escaping in boats and those poor souls trying to escape as the American Embassy was evacuated should at the very least give you pause about saying what the Vietnamese people wanted."

Already partially covered the boat people but we can continue on this topic if you wish. I'll just add that most of the boat people going to China were ethnic Chinese who escaped after China attacked Vietnam in 1979 and that stirred all sorts of ethnical hatreds...

As for the people fleeing on American helicopters... If you are a supporter of a dictatorship which murders your own people and a supporter of the country that put that dictator in power it is very logical that you will try to flee. Most colaborators do. It would be ignorant not to expect some revenge, whether in the form of killings or other forms, from the people that were opressed on the people that oppresed them.

And this is not a cartoon version of events.
But don't believe me. Check it out for yourself.

 
At July 31, 2004 at 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I was going to respond to the rest of your argument but then you let your leftist genocidal sympathies get the better of you.

"As for the people fleeing on American helicopters... If you are a supporter of a dictatorship which murders your own people and a supporter of the country that put that dictator in power it is very logical that you will try to flee. Most colaborators do. It would be ignorant not to expect some revenge, whether in the form of killings or other forms, from the people that were opressed on the people that oppresed them."

The people slaughtered in Southeast Asia after the United States left were all "collaborators". Revenge was just logical. But the people who supported the VC that was all genuine right? Just like the Palestinian people who support Ararfat, no fear of violence if you don't submit, right?
And the people who remained loyal to the British crown who fled to Canada did so because they wanted to not because they feared being sent to reeducation camps or worse. And yes I am aware that there was some violence towards those people but it was not even in the same league as what the only “mass-based political party in South Vietnam" would do to people. Classical Chomskyism here, support for communists was all genuine and broad based. Communists were only attacking because of the presence of American troops there. No massacres were ever committed by communists, but just in case it did happen it was only for collaboration. How many elections has the the only “mass-based political party in South Vietnam" held since the United States left?

 
At July 31, 2004 at 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"An Anonymous already gave the example of India, where Communists have participated in democratic politics since independence. We can add Italy and France to that, as well as most Eastern European countries where the former Communists have changed their names and now participate in democratic elections."

Fortunately there were American and other Allied troops in France and Italy after the war there to act as a deterrent. In Eastern Europe the Communists have no choice but to play by the rules at this point in history because the Soviet Union is now gone and communism has been so discredited after hundreds of millions experienced life under that nightmare. The India case I'm not familiar with but I suppose that there is always an exception to the rule.

"To claim that you have to first defeat a movement to have elections is to put it mildly very undemocratic. One would think that including the movement into the political process would be the democratic thing to do."

As was proven after the United States left that movement was a lot of those things, but one thing that it was certainly not was democratic. Yes, if there is a movement that won't stand for elections then obviously it must first be defeated. There's nothing wrong with being under a period of transition as long it's gotten right in the end which is why I brought up the examples of Germany and Italy. IF America had been able to beat back the Communist invasion of South Vietnam like it did in South Korea, then I would bet that today South Vietnam would be similar to the democracy that South Korea is today.

 
At August 4, 2004 at 3:47 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"The people slaughtered in Southeast Asia after the United States left were all "collaborators"."

No. After two decades of propaganda and war some people left or tried to leave because of unjustified fear (believed crazy predictions of slaughters which never materialized) and some because of justified fear (either because they were collaborating or because they were part of the old elite). What the ratio of one or the other was, I don't know. I don't live under the illusion that the communists were saints and disagree with a lot of their actions. I was speaking from personal experience (Yugoslavia) where I know that the majority of killings after WWII (of people collaborating with the Nazis) were revenge killings, and not 'in the name of the revolution' or something similar. Though revolution was used as a disguise a lot of times.


"Revenge was just logical."

Sad but true.

"But the people who supported the VC that was all genuine right?"

No. See above.

"Just like the Palestinian people who support Ararfat, no fear of violence if you don't submit, right?"

Comparing a corrupt thug like Arafat with what was happening in Vietnam is, well, let's say unfair.

"And the people who remained loyal to the British crown who fled to Canada did so because they wanted to not because they feared being sent to reeducation camps or worse. And yes I am aware that there was some violence towards those people but it was not even in the same league as what the only “mass-based political party in South Vietnam" would do to people."

OK. Any numbers you can quote? Like in percentages of population that left? I'm not being lazy, I would do it myself but I don't live in the US and I don't have access to the material on the American revolution.

"Classical Chomskyism here, support for communists was all genuine and broad based."

This is not Chomskyism (whatever that is). I quoted what is generally recognised as 'the leading US government scholar' -- Douglas Pike. Are you saying you don't agree with him?

"Communists were only attacking because of the presence of American troops there."

The americans were the ones that were attacking. Or do you want my country to come to America and kill Americans to defend my country, even though Americans have done nothing to hurt us?
Some twisted logic you have there.

"No massacres were ever committed by communists, but just in case it did happen it was only for collaboration."

Never said that. See above.
Just stated what was in my opinion and experience the main cause for people fleeing.

"How many elections has the the only “mass-based political party in South Vietnam" held since the United States left?"

None. It became a dictatorship.
Now if only the US let the elections go on as planned in 1956... But I guess we will never know, will we?

Now you can reply to the rest of my post :)







Anonymous (the same one? - just write some name next to your post so I know who I'm replying to) said...

"Fortunately there were American and other Allied troops in France and Italy after the war there to act as a deterrent."

Now this is an interesting admission. So you support the US preventing certain groups participation in elections (Vietnam) or at least impeading them (Italy and France)?

"... after hundreds of millions experienced life under that nightmare."

I lived under communism and I can tell you it was no nightmare. More and more people are realising that since capitalism has returned.

"The India case I'm not familiar with but I suppose that there is always an exception to the rule."

There is no exception to the rule. In all countries I named, communists are participating in elections. My own (Slovenia) included.

"Yes, if there is a movement that won't stand for elections then obviously it must first be defeated."

So you agree that the US, who was preventing the promised 1956 elections from happening had to be defeated?

"There's nothing wrong with being under a period of transition as long it's gotten right in the end ..."
Now this depends on what you think is right, doesn't it?

"IF America had been able to beat back the Communist invasion of South Vietnam..."

Nobodby but the Americans invaded South Vietnam. At least not until Americans attacked North Vietnam also.

"... like it did in South Korea, then I would bet that today South Vietnam would be similar to the democracy that South Korea is today."

Note that South Korea has only been a democracy for the past 15 years. Before that it had a fascist dictatorship which was installed and supported by the USA. Why did the US not immediately hold elections, after in 'beat back the North'? Why did it allow fascism to flourish for decades, if it was spreading democracy? And democracy was won by South Koreans themselves, nobody gave it to them. So they got democracy despite US actions not because of them.

Look, I'm not trying to say that everything the communists did was good (a lot of it was bad) or that anything that capitalists do is bad (a lot of it is good). There are good things and bad things in both systems. I just think it is wrong to just reject communism as a whole on priciple. Just as I wouldn't reject capitalism (or what is today called capitalism) on principle. Praise the good stuff in both, scold the bad stuff in both.

 
At August 4, 2004 at 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Comparing a corrupt thug like Arafat with what was happening in Vietnam is, well, let's say unfair."
You're right that's unfair to Arafat he has very little blood on his hands compared to the communists of SE Asia.

"The americans were the ones that were attacking"
Which is why the fighting stopped when America left right?

"None. It became a dictatorship.
Now if only the US let the elections go on as planned in 1956... But I guess we will never know, will we?"
What do you mean we will never know, the totalitarian forces America was fighting formed a dictatorship through the use of violence.

"Now this is an interesting admission. So you support the US preventing certain groups participation in elections (Vietnam) or at least impeading them (Italy and France)?"
I have no problem with groups participating in elections at all, as long as they do it non-violently and work with the system instead of trying to destroy the system. As was proven after the United States withdrew from Vietnam the Communists had every intention of installing a totalitarian dictatorship by any means necessary.
The point about Italy and France is that thankfully we will never have to find out about what the Communists in Italy and France would have been like because the American military was there helping to rebuild those two countries after WWII. There was a deterrent to any violent Communist takeover of those countries backed by the Soviet Union.
And in what way did we impede them? They were allowed to participate in the democratic process.

"And democracy was won by South Koreans themselves, nobody gave it to them. So they got democracy despite US actions not because of them."
35,000 dead American soldiers might disagree with that.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 2:39 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"You're right that's unfair to Arafat he has very little blood on his hands compared to the communists of SE Asia."

We weren't talking about the communists of SE Asia, we were talking about the communists in Vietnam. And differently from Arafat (at least the Arafat of the 90s), they actually did a lot of good for their people. That's why I said the comaprison was unfair.

""The americans were the ones that were attacking"
Which is why the fighting stopped when America left right?"

Yes. Shortly thereafter.
It would have stopped sooner had the US not reneged on their 1973 deal and extensively supported and beefed up the South Vietnamese troops (which was contrary to the 1973 deal) and forced the North to invade the South en masse and finish of the fascist regime.

""None. It became a dictatorship.
Now if only the US let the elections go on as planned in 1956... But I guess we will never know, will we?"
What do you mean we will never know, the totalitarian forces America was fighting formed a dictatorship through the use of violence."

Let's just say that chances of a dictatorship by any party are much greater after a couple of decades of war, millions of your fellow citizens killed by a foreign superpower, etc.
What I was saying was that if the US had been interested in democracy it would have allowwed the promised 1956 elections to go through. But, as Pike noted (you didn't say whether you agree with his assesment or not), the only "“mass-based political party in South Vietnam was the National Liberation Front and that the US must resort to violence to destroy it.”"



"I have no problem with groups participating in elections at all, as long as they do it non-violently and work with the system ..."

This is exactly what the Vietnamese wanted and stated so repeatedly. The US would not allow it as it knew it's candidate had no support among the population.

Allow me a couple of qoutes. First Pike [by the way, all of these citations are from Chomsky's The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism Political Economy of Human Rights, Vol 1, which Amazon and the publisher have been kind enough to let us read over the net
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0896080900/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-7845913-8797761#reader-link
(the blogger links don't seem to be able to handle the amazon address, just copy and paste the above into a browser]:

It [the NLF - National Liberation Front = VietCong = the communists -- Luka] maintained that its contest with the GVN and the United States should be fought out at the political level and that the use of massed military might was itself illegitimate. Thus one of the NLF's unspoken, and largely unsuccessful, purposes was to use the struggle movement before the onlooking world to force the GVN and the United States to play the game according to its rules: The battle was to be organizational or quasti-political, the battleground was to be in the minds and loyalties of the rural Vietnamese, the weapons were to be ideas; ... and all force was automatically condemned as terror or repression.

But in the end, as the US and the Diem regime would not comply, "armed combat was a GVN-imposed requrement; the NFL was bliged to use counterforce to survive".
[http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0896080900/ref=sib_rdr_prev2_ex338/102-7845913-8797761?%5Fencoding=UTF8&keywords=non%20violent&p=S09X&twc=4&checkSum=sQaGbzlrUzs8uHGOSI8FxBNf9p%2F4rMa8u027PnQVDCM%3D#reader-page]

These two are from
Jeffrey Race, War Comes to Long An, University of California, 1971
What Chomsky calls "to date [the book came out in 1979], the best account of the origins of the insurgency under the U.S.-Diem regime."

By adopting an almost entirely defensive role during this period and by allowing the government to be the first to employ violence, the Party -- at great cost -- allowed the government to pursue the conflict in increasingly violent terms, through its relentless repraisal against any opposition, its use of torture, and particularly after may 1959, through the psychological impact in the rural areas of the proclamation of Law 10/59.

...

The lessons of Long An [the region near Saigon which was the focus of Race's study -- Luka] are that violnece can destroy, but cannot build; violence may explain the cooperation of a few individuals, but it cannot explain the cooperation of a whole social class, for this would involve us in the contradiction of "Who is to coerce the coercers?" Such logic leads inevitably to the absurd picture of the revolutionary leader in his jugle base, "coercing" millions of terrorized individuals throught the country... The history of events in Long An also indicates that violence will work aganst the user, unless he has already preempted a large part of the population and then limits his acts of violence to a sharply defined minority. In fact, this is exactly what happened in the case of the government: far from being bound by and commitments to legality or humane principles, the government terrorized far more than did the revolitionary movement ... [and] it was just these tactics that led to the constantly increasing strength of the revolutionary movement in Long An from 1960 to 1965
.
[http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0896080900/ref=sib_vae_pg_339/102-7845913-8797761?%5Fencoding=UTF8&keywords=race%20145&p=S09Y&twc=3&checkSum=9ncmsagJ2YTClD31RpvZPoWqs5WXGClvtxoxZYLoDDc%3D#reader-link]

Again, are you saying you disagree with this asessments?

Read the pages before and after the ones linked to see the context.

"As was proven after the United States withdrew from Vietnam the Communists had every intention of installing a totalitarian dictatorship by any means necessary."

By the time the US withdrew, the communists were the only ones left standing, unfortunately. In mid-50s, there were other forces with whom the communists would have to deal politically (Third Force, Budhists). By the time the US left, they were destroyed (by the fascist South regime and the communists).

"There was a deterrent to any violent Communist takeover of those countries backed by the Soviet Union."

It was not a deterrent. It was an active impediment of these legitimate parties who participated (or wanted to) in elections democraticly.

"And in what way did we impede them? They were allowed to participate in the democratic process."

Read this two pages:
The Smaller Workshops 1/2and
The Smaller Workshops 2/2from Chomsky's Deterring Democracy.""And democracy was won by South Koreans themselves, nobody gave it to them. So they got democracy despite US actions not because of them."
35,000 dead American soldiers might disagree with that."

I agree that they were misled, yes.
My point was that the 35,000 Americans who died were not fighting for democracy, or the US would have introduced it to South Korea after the war was over. But they did not get democracy till 1989. And they got it through organising, protests, etc. - the usual stuff - and not by some benevolent Americans.
And you did not answer my question:
Why did the US not immediately hold elections, after in 'beat back the North'? Why did it allow fascism to flourish for decades, if it was spreading democracy?

 
At August 5, 2004 at 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And differently from Arafat (at least the Arafat of the 90s), they actually did a lot of good for their people."
Wow, that brings it to a whole new level. You're even scarier than I previously thought.

"It would have stopped sooner had the US not reneged on their 1973 deal and extensively supported and beefed up the South Vietnamese troops (which was contrary to the 1973 deal) and forced the North to invade the South en masse and finish of the fascist regime."
How did anything or anybody force them to invade the South? America forced them?

"This is exactly what the Vietnamese wanted and stated so repeatedly"
Really, my poll data says differently.

"Why did the US not immediately hold elections, after in 'beat back the North'? Why did it allow fascism to flourish for decades, if it was spreading democracy?"
Well I'm no expert on South Korea but just because you use the scare word "fascist" doesn't make it so. We were fighting the Cold War and trying to prevent the spread of Communism. There was a dictatorship in South Korea that we helped survive against the invasion from the North. Technically you're right, the mission of the Korean War was not democracy it was to prevent the South from turning into the nightmare that the North currently is. I assume that the US didn't hold elections there because it wasn't the US, it was South Korea. Are you implying that you would have supported the US in "imposing" democracy on them? What actions would you have approved? But over time South Korea evolved into a democracy which certainly would not have happened if not for the actions of the American military in the early 1950's. If not for America the South Koreans would be enjoying a bowl of grass soup with a side dish of leather shoes in a wonder socialist paradise under the wise leadership of Kim Jung-Il.

But all that's pretty much irrelevant because the whole argument is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. America will always be wrong in your eyes. Communism is a nobble effort despite its rough edges. You see the government of South Korea that we fought with against the Communists as either the equivalent of or worse than the Communists themselves. Same with Vietnam. Any slaughter committed by the Communists either didn't happen, was justified, or was America's fault. And there's no possible response to any of that because it's just too far out there.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 11:32 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"Wow, that brings it to a whole new level. You're even scarier than I previously thought."

Just shaved my beard today so I shouldn't be as scary anymore :)

And contrary to what you think and/or have been led to believe, not everything that happened under communism was bad (feels like I'm repeating myself; wait, I am repeating myself). But I guess you have to belive what you have to belive to make your fairytale sound true.

"How did anything or anybody force them to invade the South? America forced them?"

The fascist South regime was killing its own people with US arms and kept doing so and was aided even after the US left. Read up on a bit of histry, might do you good.

""This is exactly what the Vietnamese wanted and stated so repeatedly"
Really, my poll data says differently."

Man, this pisses me off. I quote "the best account of the origins of the insurgency under the U.S.-Diem regime" and "leading US government scholar on the NLF [VietCong]".

You counter that with "my poll data says differently" without even qouting it and you're calling what I say "too far out there"?

You should invest in a mirror.

"... just because you use the scare word "fascist" doesn't make it so."

You are correct. The better term is sub-fascist as the original fascists actually had support among the people as oppsed to the people the US has traditionally supported. And so there's no confusion, the traditional US candidates had below 10% approval among the candidates.

"We were fighting the Cold War and trying to prevent the spread of Communism."

Yeah, right.
Read this chapter in the
Cold War: Fact and Fancy
part of Chomsky's Deterring Democracy and counter it; it persuaded me, but I'm open to any insights you have on the topic.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright now you are scaring me even wrose than before.
"You counter that with "my poll data says differently" without even qouting it and you're calling what I say "too far out there"?
When I said that I was joking, I was mocking you when you said, "This is exactly what the Vietnamese wanted and stated so repeatedly." You were attributing something to the Vietnamese without any evidence to back it up. I was mocking that absurd statement when I said my polling data doesn't back it up.

As for fighting Communism I haven't heard you deny that America was fighting communists in Korea and Vietnam so far. Although technically in the Vietnam War the term National Socialist would probably be more accurate.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 11:55 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

"When I said that I was joking, I was mocking you ..."

OK. My bad. Some sarcasms get lost on me.

"... You were attributing something to the Vietnamese without any evidence to back it up. I was mocking that absurd statement when I said my polling data doesn't back it up."

Well, I did back it up with "the best account of the origins of the insurgency under the U.S.-Diem regime" and "leading US government scholar on the NLF [VietCong]" and his assesment of the situation.

Apart from that, the Vietnamese resistance stated itself that it wanted elections in the 1954 Geneva accords which called for elections in 1956. Yet those never materialised because a certain superpower installed a client sub-fascist regime in the South.
So your mocking is uncalled for.

To add, there are statements by Ho Chi Minh calling on the US to stop its carnage all throught the war, but I'm not gonna go look for sources for this.

I've given you enough data with easily verifiable sources to prove my point, and you've not argued any of the data I presented; while you gave none yet you still stick to the original story. (except for admiting that the aim of the Korea war was not democracy)

"As for fighting Communism I haven't heard you deny that America was fighting communists in Korea and Vietnam so far."

Well, I'm not denying it. It did fight communists. My point was and is that the US (or any other country) has no right intervening in internal affairs of any country. There are some fictional examples of where one could imagine an intervention being benevolent, but not in real life. There have been some with benevolent effects (like the stopping of slaughters in Bangladesh by India; stopping of slaughter in Cambodia by Vietnam; removal of Saddam by the US) but the real aim of these interventions lay elsewhere, these were just side-effects (India's aim was to split Pakistan; Vietnam's was to stop cross border attacks; the US's, well don't want to open a new can of worms, let's just say it wasn't to remove Saddam).

"Although technically in the Vietnam War the term National Socialist would probably be more accurate."

National communist even more so if we're doing branding.

In your next reply, please supply some data to retort what I've presented.

 
At August 20, 2004 at 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LukaB,

If you insist upon claiming that the barbarians in Iraq are all foreigners, that will only support U.S. intervention in Iran and Syria.

 
At August 24, 2004 at 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of them are from Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia actually. So go after those firs. Wait, they are your allies...

--LukaB

 
At August 28, 2004 at 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Apart from that, the Vietnamese resistance stated itself that it wanted elections in the 1954 Geneva accords which called for elections in 1956. Yet those never materialised because a certain superpower installed a client sub-fascist regime in the South.
So your mocking is uncalled for."

The Geneva accords were not endorsed by any of the major parties, neither by North Vietnam nor South Vietnam, which was a sovereign state that had been endorsed for UN membership at the time of the accords. Given that North Vietnam was already a one-party totalitarian state, there was no prospect of free elections in the North, only the customary 99% vote for the Communist Party. As North Vietnam had a larger population, this would have ensured an automatic Communist victory. All further elections would have then have been conducted along the usual one-party lines, as indeed happened following the Communist takeover of the South.

 
At August 28, 2004 at 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the time the US withdrew, the communists were the only ones left standing, unfortunately. In mid-50s, there were other forces with whom the communists would have to deal politically (Third Force, Budhists)."

The Communists dealt with them "politically" in the same
way as they have always dealt with opposition, by executing them or starving them in "re-education" camps. Why do you think hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese preferred to risk death in rickety boats rather than live under the Communists? The Buddhist opposition still existed when Communists took over the South, but their opposition to the U.S.-backed regime did not save them from far worse persecution at the hands of the communists.

 
At August 28, 2004 at 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... just because you use the scare word "fascist" doesn't make it so."

You are correct. The better term is sub-fascist as the original fascists actually had support among the people as oppsed to the people the US has traditionally supported.

Chomsky is very free in his use of the epithet 'fascist' to describe pro-US regimes, yet there were no huge pictures of Hitler or Mussolini in South Korea or South Vietnam, much less any ideological inspiration from the writings of Hitler and Mussolini. Contrast this with huge pictures of Stalin in North Vietnam, which Chomsky conveniently forget to mention in his account of his visit there, or the open endorsement of the teachings of Stalin and Lenin by the Communist Party of Vietnan. Yet Chomsky will not even refer to such regimes as 'Communist' let alone 'Stalinist'. In Chomskyland, only people who criticize him are Stalinists! Only a fool would believe anything written by a hyprocrite like Chomsky.

 
At August 29, 2004 at 9:22 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"The Geneva accords were not endorsed by any of the major parties, neither by North Vietnam nor South Vietnam, which "

This just shows how much you know about the situation then.
Let me pose a factual question. Who was the signatory on the Geneva accords?

"Chomsky is very free in his use of the epithet 'fascist' to describe pro-US regimes,"

He described them sub-fascist. And he was describing the tactics and methods they used, and the totalitarian nature of their regimes, not the ideology they followed. What pictures were on the walls of South Vietnam?

"Only a fool would believe anything written by a hyprocrite like Chomsky."

Chomsky once wrote that 2+2=4. Am I a fool to believe it?
Yes. It must be wrong since Chomsky wrote it. Brilliant reasoning.

 
At April 16, 2005 at 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Geneva accords were an agreement made between the Vietminh and France. Neither the US, nor the sovereign state of South Vietnam, were a party to the accords.

If South Vietnam was 'sub-fascist' North Vietnam must be 'super-fascist' given that it murdered 20 times as many people as South Vietnam, according to RJ Rummel

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB16A.1.GIF

 
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