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Tags genocide charges , Vietnam War

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Old 18th November 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
NWO Sentryman
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Exclamation Was the Vietnam War Genocide?

As above, because i was reading Amazon reviews on Vietnam:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-...R1LK67CZEIXX6S

Basically, the reviews are saying the US committed genocide throughout the cold war.

Is anything he writes in his reviews true?
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Old 18th November 2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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I dunno, it wasn't a conscious genocide, as in "let's kill all the southeast asians", so its a little hyperbolic.

Still, 4 million of them dead. Carpet bombings of villages, agent orange - clearly there was a callousness there and an undervaluing of their lives.

Also: the 4 million figure includes those killed from all causes, whether that's asian versus asian or american versus asian.
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Old 18th November 2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
I dunno, it wasn't a conscious genocide, as in "let's kill all the southeast asians", so its a little hyperbolic.

Still, 4 million of them dead. Carpet bombings of villages, agent orange - clearly there was a callousness there and an undervaluing of their lives.

Also: the 4 million figure includes those killed from all causes, whether that's asian versus asian or american versus asian.
I thought it was 3 million (John Stockwell) including Cambodia and Laos.
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Old 18th November 2009, 09:42 AM   #4
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It's not genocide when Americans do it, that's called collateral damage.
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Old 18th November 2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Talby View Post
It's not genocide when Americans do it, that's called collateral damage.
Yes, of course bigotry is acceptable when it's aimed at Americans, because we USians are so EVIL.
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Old 18th November 2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NWO Sentryman View Post
I thought it was 3 million (John Stockwell) including Cambodia and Laos.
4 millions seems to be the number I've come across but its been a while... either way the number is atrocious...

Nonetheless the policy aims of the war were related to anti-communism and spheres of influence. There was no policy predicated on eliminating people based on race.

There was however a policy of eliminating people based on ideology - and it was carried out with quite a strong degree of ruthlessness.

Surely, the enemy was ruthless also.
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Old 18th November 2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Let's see...

... no indication of any formal or informal policy of eradicating the Vietnamese people as a race, culture, or ethnicity.

... substantial numbers of Vietnamese people alive and well today, including over 1.5 million Vietnamese-Americans, many of them refugees or descendants of refugees, living here since shortly after the end of the war.

Yeah, I'm gonna have to say the Vietnam War was not a genocide, either in principle or in practice.
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Old 19th November 2009, 01:46 AM   #8
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Let's not forget that most of the Vietnamese victims of the Vietnam War were killed by other Vietnamese...

In which case it would be genocidal suicide perhaps...?

The only examples I'm aware of in which a concerted effort was made to eradicate a particular ethnic group was the efforts of the Viet Cong against the South Vietnamese.

If you want to argue that Communism is a distinct ethnic identity (I'd love to hear that argument!), the Cold War is a pretty clear-cut attempt at Genocide, although a dismally unsuccessful one.
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Old 19th November 2009, 05:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
[Nixon] ended by saying, "Right now there is a chance to win this goddamn war, and that's probably what we are going to have to do because we are not going to do anything at the conference table."

Mr. Kissinger immediately relayed the order: "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves."
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/27/po...415b85&ei=5007
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Old 19th November 2009, 05:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
Which has nothing to do with genocide.

Kissinger is describing a perfectly reasonable and effective military strategy of focusing overwhelming firepower on the enemy supply line. This is precisely how wars are won.
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Old 19th November 2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Which has nothing to do with genocide.

Kissinger is describing a perfectly reasonable and effective military strategy of focusing overwhelming firepower on the enemy supply line. This is precisely how wars are won.
I was considering picking up Christopher Hitchen's Book "The Trials of Henry Kissinger"...I'm curious how any of you folks feel about the accusations that he's a war criminal from one of our fellow skeptics.
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Old 19th November 2009, 02:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which has nothing to do with genocide.

Kissinger is describing a perfectly reasonable and effective military strategy...
Sure, it probably wasn't racially motivated and thus not technically genocide. Atrocious nonetheless though.
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Old 19th November 2009, 03:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sunray Breaker View Post
I was considering picking up Christopher Hitchen's Book "The Trials of Henry Kissinger"...I'm curious how any of you folks feel about the accusations that he's a war criminal from one of our fellow skeptics.

A lot of us think that Hichens can be brilliant one day and full of s--- the next.
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Old 19th November 2009, 04:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
Sure, it probably wasn't racially motivated and thus not technically genocide. Atrocious nonetheless though.
Bombing the enemy's supply line, in order to weaken their army and bring the war to a swift, victorious conclusion? Sure it's atrocious, but only in the sense that "war is hell". What do you think was happening in Cambodia at that time, for Kissinger to single it out for such treatment? Hint: It was hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers, moving under cover by foot through the jungle, transporting food and ammunition and other supplies to the front lines, enabling daily continuation of wartime atrociousness. What would you have done to win the war? Mindlessly continue to fight a constantly-replenished enemy, while leaving your vastly superior air arm idle when it could be used to more quickly end the fighting?
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Old 19th November 2009, 04:21 PM   #15
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there were some tribal people who were victims of the reds
h-mong and the mouti-yards
didn't the usa export most of them to avoid a genocidal results
and numbers killed post war will bump those numbers
esp mr pots score
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Old 19th November 2009, 05:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Sunray Breaker View Post
I was considering picking up Christopher Hitchen's Book "The Trials of Henry Kissinger"...I'm curious how any of you folks feel about the accusations that he's a war criminal from one of our fellow skeptics.
Historically, "war criminal" only has any meaning when the victors are in a position to make it stick to the vanquished. Everything else is rhetoric.
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Old 19th November 2009, 06:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Bombing the enemy's supply line, in order to weaken their army and bring the war to a swift, victorious conclusion?
If you equate "[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesnt want to hear anything. Its an order, its to be done. Anything that flies, on anything that moves. You got that? to "bombing the enemy supply line", then yes it is atrocious.
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
If you equate "[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn’t want to hear anything. It’s an order, it’s to be done. Anything that flies, on anything that moves. You got that?” to "bombing the enemy supply line", then yes it is atrocious.
Have you considered what the Ho Chi Minh Trail actually was? Have you ever wondered just what was involved in shipping enough military supplies from China to south Vietnam to sustain a war against the United States for several years? Do you actually have any idea at all what Kissinger was talking about? Did it really never occur to you that the North Vietnamese Army might actually have been capable of a logistical effort that merited such a response?
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:40 PM   #19
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I was about to invent a new word there: "Ideolocide"

Unfortunately, I googled it and one single damned person beat me to it
http://pjw-truth.blogspot.com/2007/11/ideolocide.html
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Old 19th November 2009, 07:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
If you equate "[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesnt want to hear anything. Its an order, its to be done. Anything that flies, on anything that moves. You got that? to "bombing the enemy supply line", then yes it is atrocious.
Oh, come on. If people like you had been in charge, we probably would have lost the Vietnam War, rather than bringing it to a swift, victorious conclusion.

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Old 19th November 2009, 08:12 PM   #21
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Which Vietnam war? The war against the Americans, who invaded Vietnam because the US populace sincerely thought this would make the country a better place in which to live? Or the one against the French, who marched into Vietnam and ruled the country for over a hundred years?

Oh, wait, they weren't American...

Oh, and genocide?! The determined effort to wipe out a country's people, culture and language? Are you serious?
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Old 19th November 2009, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Which Vietnam war? The war against the Americans, who invaded Vietnam because the US populace sincerely thought this would make the country a better place in which to live? Or the one against the French, who marched into Vietnam and ruled the country for over a hundred years?

Oh, wait, they weren't American...

..................?

You forgot the war with the Japanese, the Cambodians, and the Chinese; wait, they weren't Americans either.
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Old 19th November 2009, 09:29 PM   #23
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If defending a sovereign nation from from an invasion by a neighbor without a concurrent counterinvasion or specific policy of social/cultural group elimination is now considered "genocide" then I think that term has now lost all useful meaning. It can join "socialism" on the dustbin of once specific terms destroyed by overuse through hyperbole.


All you might want to know is this: when did the boat people appear? While the US was there or after the Communists took power?
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Old 19th November 2009, 11:16 PM   #24
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Well Capitalistholocaust also uses declassified records to say the US committed genocide in vietnam:

"United States of Holocaust Deniers"
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Old 19th November 2009, 11:40 PM   #25
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Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

Certainly there was genocide in the sense of killing large numbers of people just because they were Vietnamese and in the war zone. My Lai counts as genocide in that sense.

One view of the Vietnam was that's been expressed is that the mass killing of the Vietnamese people was seen as desirable by US policy makers, because the intention was to deter further communist revolutions in the region. The theory was that they were far more interested in making an example out of Vietnam than they were interested in a positive outcome for the Vietnamese people. Lacking mind-reading skills I don't know whether this theory is true or false. I'd class it as plausible, and at the very least more plausible than the "aw, shucks, we had the very best of intentions, but we done screwed up again, can't we have points for trying?" theory of US overseas intervention.

The genocide of the Iraqi people by means of bombing and sanctions between the two Gulf Wars has certain similarities.
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Old 20th November 2009, 12:38 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

Certainly there was genocide in the sense of killing large numbers of people just because they were Vietnamese and in the war zone. My Lai counts as genocide in that sense.

Have you actually thought about the above statement? I wonder if you can spot why it's such utter drivel.
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Old 20th November 2009, 04:51 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

Certainly there was genocide in the sense of killing large numbers of people just because they were Vietnamese and in the war zone. My Lai counts as genocide in that sense.

One view of the Vietnam was that's been expressed is that the mass killing of the Vietnamese people was seen as desirable by US policy makers, because the intention was to deter further communist revolutions in the region. The theory was that they were far more interested in making an example out of Vietnam than they were interested in a positive outcome for the Vietnamese people. Lacking mind-reading skills I don't know whether this theory is true or false. I'd class it as plausible, and at the very least more plausible than the "aw, shucks, we had the very best of intentions, but we done screwed up again, can't we have points for trying?" theory of US overseas intervention.

The genocide of the Iraqi people by means of bombing and sanctions between the two Gulf Wars has certain similarities.
great post... "aw shucks..." deserves a gold star specifically!
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Old 20th November 2009, 04:56 AM   #28
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To what degree was South Vietnam a "sovereign nation"?

Wouldn't "pseudo-colonial construction of great powers" be a more accurate description?
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Old 20th November 2009, 05:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
I dunno, it wasn't a conscious genocide, as in "let's kill all the southeast asians", so its a little hyperbolic.

Still, 4 million of them dead. Carpet bombings of villages, agent orange - clearly there was a callousness there and an undervaluing of their lives.

Also: the 4 million figure includes those killed from all causes, whether that's asian versus asian or american versus asian.
While there were incidences of atrocities like Me' lai the americans generally kept to the geneva Convention. When Americans were caught killing civilians they were put on trial. Actually many Amercians who should have been punished weren't and many who were punished like Lt. William calley weren't punished enough. Genocide wasn't part of American policy.

The american performance aside I have to add this. The communist forces committed far more atrocities than we did. At a city called Hue the North Vietnamese killed I believe 6000 civilians when they lost the battle for the city. There were other massacres and they were worse than ours.

Overall the american soldier was a decent human being. Many soldiers who were ordered to "waste" civilians refused to do so. Those that followed the orders for the most part regretted it for the rest of their lives.

America must have done something right. Millions of Vietnamese now call America home.
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Old 20th November 2009, 05:43 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Which Vietnam war? The war against the Americans, who invaded Vietnam because the US populace sincerely thought this would make the country a better place in which to live? Or the one against the French, who marched into Vietnam and ruled the country for over a hundred years?

Oh, wait, they weren't American...

Oh, and genocide?! The determined effort to wipe out a country's people, culture and language? Are you serious?
I have no opinion on the topic here, I know next to nothing about the US vietnam war, except for one "massacre" and i doubt it is representative of anything whatsoever except the evilness of the guy doing it.

But I *DO* want to point that "we are as bad as the other guys, why don't you poo-poo the other guys too?" isn't really a good defense.
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Old 20th November 2009, 06:06 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Have you considered what the Ho Chi Minh Trail actually was?
Yes. I never claimed there was no military objective behind it.

Quote:
Did it really never occur to you that the North Vietnamese Army might actually have been capable of a logistical effort that merited such a response?
Killing 100,000+ civilians in order to try to damage a supply line supportive of legitimate military action is not merited in my opinion. Nor was our invasion of North Vietnam in the first place.

Originally Posted by Travis
If defending a sovereign nation from from an invasion
There was no invasion of South Vietnam. There was an insurgency against South Vientam's brutal government.

If you'd like to know more about the South Vietnamese government and how the insurgency started:

"The elections were held, with Diệm's brother and confidant Ng Đnh Nhu, the leader of the family's Can Lao Party, which supplied Diệm's electoral base, organising and supervising the elections.[12][13] Campaigning for Bảo Đại was prohibited, and the result was rigged, with Bảo Đại supporters attacked by Nhu's workers. Diệm recorded 98.2% of the vote, including 605,025 votes in Saigon, where only 450,000 voters were registered. Diệm's tally also exceeded the registration numbers in other districts.[12][14] Three days later, Diệm proclaimed the formation of the Republic of Vietnam, naming himself President."

"Diệm's rule was authoritarian and nepotistic. His most trusted official was his brother, Ng Đnh Nhu, leader of the primary pro-Diệm Can Lao political party, who was an opium addict and admirer of Adolf Hitler. He modeled the Can Lao secret police's marching style and torture styles on Nazi designs.[18[16][17]"

"Diệm was also passionately anti-Communist. Tortures and killings of "communist suspects" were committed on a daily basis. The death toll was put at around 50,000 with 75,000 imprisonments, and Diệm's effort extended beyond communists to anti-communist dissidents and anti-corruption whistleblowers.[26]"

"As opposition to Diệm's rule in South Vietnam grew, a low-level insurgency began to take shape there in 1957. Finally, in January 1959, under pressure from southern cadres who were being successfully targeted by Diệm's secret police, Hanoi's Central Committee issued a secret resolution authorizing the use of armed struggle in the South. On 20 December 1960, under instruction from Hanoi, southern communists established the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam in order to overthrow the government of the south. The NLF was made up of two distinct groups: South Vietnamese intellectuals who opposed the government and were nationalists; and communists who had remained in the south after the partition and regrouping of 1954 as well as those who had since come from the north, together with local peasants."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngo_Dinh_Diem

Lovely, eh? And by Eisenhower's estimate 80% of the Vietnamese would have voted with the north had the 1954 Geneva Convention elections taken place.


Quote:
by a neighbor without a concurrent counterinvasion or specific policy of social/cultural group elimination is now considered "genocide" then I think that term has now lost all useful meaning.
I conceded not calling it "genocide".

Quote:
All you might want to know is this: when did the boat people appear? While the US was there or after the Communists took power?
So more people started leaving Vietnam country after we blew it to ******

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Old 20th November 2009, 06:34 AM   #32
Kestrel
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
I have no opinion on the topic here, I know next to nothing about the US vietnam war, except for one "massacre" and i doubt it is representative of anything whatsoever except the evilness of the guy doing it.
Lt. Calley didn't massacre all those civilians by himself. The soldiers willing to follow his orders were also evil, even if they were never prosecuted.
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Old 20th November 2009, 06:44 AM   #33
Darth Rotor
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Response to the OP.

War != genocide. Killing large numbers of people is not, by definition, genocide. Genocide is a narrow subset of killing, typically in large groups, for a specific purpose of extermination. The purpose of the war in Viet nam was not extermination, it was the typical struggle of two political factions for political control of a particular bit of turf. War. Nothing to see here beyond that grisly habit of mankind.

The continued abuse and misuse of this term, genocide, will in time rob it of meaning. Quite frankly, I find that insulting to the actual victims of actual programs of genocide.

Your pandering to this intellectual dishonesty is pathetic.

Cue David Bowie:

This an't Rock 'n Roll, this is Genocide!
Quote:
Lt. Calley didn't massacre all those civilians by himself.
True. He was the critical link in the chain that was supposed to prevent actions like that from happening. He failed. (As did, IMO, his company commander).
Quote:
The soldiers willing to follow his orders were also evil, even if they were never prosecuted.
Stupdest thing I've ever seen you post.

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Old 20th November 2009, 07:12 AM   #34
Kestrel
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Stupdest thing I've ever seen you post.
See part IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950.

Quote:
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
The moral choice in this case would have been refusing orders to shoot unarmed civilians.
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Old 20th November 2009, 07:56 AM   #35
Travis
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

Certainly there was genocide in the sense of killing large numbers of people just because they were Vietnamese and in the war zone. My Lai counts as genocide in that sense.

One view of the Vietnam was that's been expressed is that the mass killing of the Vietnamese people was seen as desirable by US policy makers, because the intention was to deter further communist revolutions in the region. The theory was that they were far more interested in making an example out of Vietnam than they were interested in a positive outcome for the Vietnamese people. Lacking mind-reading skills I don't know whether this theory is true or false. I'd class it as plausible, and at the very least more plausible than the "aw, shucks, we had the very best of intentions, but we done screwed up again, can't we have points for trying?" theory of US overseas intervention.

The genocide of the Iraqi people by means of bombing and sanctions between the two Gulf Wars has certain similarities.
There is so much wrong with that post that I have to believe you are just pulling our leg.

Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
To what degree was South Vietnam a "sovereign nation"?

Wouldn't "pseudo-colonial construction of great powers" be a more accurate description?
So you exclude all post-colonial nations from being considered "sovereign?" Very odd.

Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
Killing 100,000+ civilians in order to try to damage a supply line supportive of legitimate military action is not merited in my opinion.
You realize that civilians were moving the military supplies?

Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
Nor was our invasion of North Vietnam in the first place.
So we are dealing with an "alternate reality" Vietnam War. Of course, in hindsight, if the US actually had invaded the North it would have ended the war much sooner and far fewer might have died.

Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
There was no invasion of South Vietnam. There was an insurgency against South Vientam's brutal government.
Absolutely wrong. US troops did battle with North Vietnamese troops many times inside South Vietnam. Perhaps most famously in the battles at Landing Zone X-Ray and Albany where US forces fought the 33rd, 66th, and 320th Regiments of the North Vietnamese Army. The Tet Offensive was organized, staffed and logistically supplied by the NVA.....and who do you think it was taking Saigon that necessitated those helicopter evacuations?


Originally Posted by cornsail View Post
So more people started leaving Vietnam country after we blew it to ******
No, they started leaving the country after it was apparent the Communists had no interest in "freedom" and started trying to "reeducate" the population forcibly. More Vietnamese died in the first few years of Communist rule than in the entire "shooting war" when the US was there.
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Old 20th November 2009, 08:27 AM   #36
Kestrel
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
More Vietnamese died in the first few years of Communist rule than in the entire "shooting war" when the US was there.
In the future, it would be a good idea to check your facts before posting.
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Old 20th November 2009, 08:39 AM   #37
Praktik
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
So you exclude all post-colonial nations from being considered "sovereign?" Very odd.
That would be odd wouldn't it?

See cornsail's post above for where my perspective is rooted (re: sham elections, despotic rule by a clique of self-enriching ne'erdowells, the fact that there was supposed to be an election on unification, etc).
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Old 20th November 2009, 09:08 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
great post... "aw shucks..." deserves a gold star specifically!
You must be kidding.
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Old 20th November 2009, 09:09 AM   #39
boooeee
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No, it wasn't genocide. It was terrorism. Because these semantic debates are oh so important.

You can debate the merits of the US intervention in Vietnam, and the tactics employed. But you don't get to "win" the debate by shoehorning those tactics into a pejorative term like "genocide".

You might as well call capital punishment "pre-meditated murder", or the imprisonment of criminals "kidnapping".
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Old 20th November 2009, 09:15 AM   #40
Praktik
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Originally Posted by imjohn View Post
You must be kidding.
frayed knot - thought he could get some backup after gumboots reply.

A little nervous about the term "genocide" but the characterization I thought was fair, especially when it comes to the "we had the best of intentions" line..
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Last edited by Praktik; 20th November 2009 at 09:17 AM.
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