You said, "After we withdrew our troops from Vietnam the democrats in Congress blocked Nixon and Ford from sending any possible aid to South Vietnam..."
This is false. You made this claim two months ago. I posted the information about how most EVERYONE in congress voted against aid at that time. Did...
Best answer: You said, "After we withdrew our troops from Vietnam the democrats in Congress blocked Nixon and Ford from sending any possible aid to South Vietnam..."
This is false. You made this claim two months ago. I posted the information about how most EVERYONE in congress voted against aid at that time. Did you read this or now have a comment on it? Here (again) is the voting information against funding (source in comments):
1973 Public law 93-53. Vote:
1973 Public Law 93-124. Vote:
1973 Public Law 93-50. Vote:
1973 Public Law 93-126. Vote:
House: Adopted by voice vote [basically overwhelmingly]
By the way, I have heard this argument many times from people who simply want to play revisionist history. I do not like Democrats and consider myself independent, but you can't blame this one on party. The American public had simply had enough of Vietnam and the congressional votes reflected that.
There were definitely communist sympathizers, but progressives today almost cut across all political stripes. Republicans are very big government today, as they were back then. Donald Trump actually resembles Nixon in that both are often very socially and economically liberal. Democrats and Republicans are often two sides of the same coin.
You have also given a small slice of history, but the war was long over before that time.
Public opinion had gone against what was basically perceived to be a civil war of which there should be no US interest. Turning points basically involved exposed deception by the US government in an area most Americans could not relate to because it was literally half way around the world.
The Americans also underestimated nationalistic fervor. The Vietnamese had broken of the chains of French colonialism. They were determined not to lose. This was known as early as Kennedy, if not sooner. There was a rising tide of nationalism, as displayed by nation-after-nation declaring independence. Many of these were African and Asian countries declaring they were independent from French or British rule. Many in the US hardly understood the powerful effects of this sentiment.
There were significant watershed events that eroded support for the war.
First, there was the 1968 My Lai massacre of civilians, which violated the sensibilities of Americans. Lesser known are the atrocities and war crimes committed by Tiger Force, a patrol unit that was part of the 1st Airborne Battalion. The were many soldiers who did nothing wrong; HOWEVER, there is an entire range of poor behavior in-between that sometimes alienated the Vietnamese people. There were no hard and fast alliances sometimes. Loyalties could quickly change due to corruption, frustration, etc.
Second, there was the secret bombing of Cambodia in 1970, which appeared to many to be a regional expansion of war, possibly blossoming into another world war. Remember, World War II ended barely a generation ago, and many, many people were in no mood for another potential global conflict.
A third watershed event was the leaking of the Pentagon Papers. These documents revealed the real reason for the war. It was not to help a struggling South Vietnam, which was the official line by the US government. The documents revealed that the war was significantly about containment of China. The area was rich in resources, in tin, tungsten, rubber, etc. Opium was a major black market product in which the CIA had a large interest. If you put this into the context that wars are mostly about economics, then it makes sense to see how much of this was a battle of resources over deep voids left by the imperialist Japanese after their second world war surrender.
A fourth watershed event was the Kent State shooting. Primary source documents there revealed there was also lying by the US National Guard about the danger, and therefore, the unjust firing upon unarmed students. Many questioned why the guard was there in the first place.
Media is also a big factor because television was burgeoning. Images were brought home to the US every night on the 6:30 news. American suppers were accompanied by an appalled and sickening sense of why so many of our boys were lost for no reason. It is somewhat ironic that people back then were more clued into these global events than people today. This profound awareness happened, even though there was no internet or alternative media.
Here is more information demonstrating economic factors:
Here are a couple of passages from the Pentagon Papers that refer to the opium trade:
Page 4 of this document discusses the "French controlled monopolies on salt, alcohol, and opium..." The next page (5) discusses Binh Xuyen, the gang that evolved from the Black Flag pirates. The CIA agent, Edward Lansdale, cited how the gang's leader, Le Van Bay Vien, colluded with the French and Bao Dai to control gambling and prostitution. He ran an opium factory and ran a distribution system. (Source in comments from [Part V. B. 2. a.] Justification of the War. Internal Documents. The Truman Administration. Volume I: 1945 - 1949 )
Another is a Truman administration document discussing Vietnam. There is a section discussing foreign trade, part of which reads: "The central government has derived its chief income from custom fees, excise taxes and monopolies, of which the opium monopoly is the most lucrative." (source in comments, page 185)
Some of this stuff is right in the open, but people don't seem to notice or care. The sentiment of the remarks made by Eisenhower are often really downplayed today, just like in the past. Wars often have several causes, but I always start with the economics. Many people downplay the economics or ignore it altogether.
Excerpts from President Eisenhower's Remarks at Governors' Conference, August 4, 1953, Public Papers of the Presidents, 1953, p. 540:
"Now let us assume that we lose Indochina. If Indochina goes, several things happen right away. The Malayan peninsula, the last little bit of the end hanging on down there, would be scarcely defensible--and tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming...., because finally if we lost all that, how would the free world hold the rich empire of Indonesia?........."So, when the United States votes $400 million to help that war, we are not voting for a giveaway program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of the most terrible significance for the United States of America--our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indonesian territory, and from southeast Asia."
2 days ago