Allright, get out on the campus again, pick up that sign, do you remember where you put those anti-war buttons?

Was it really worth the loss of thousands of American lives to prevent the spread of Communism?

I have just two questions:

  1. Was that our goal?
  2. Did we accomplish that goal?

I suppose we could ask the South Koreans.


I’d have to say that that was our only semi-understandable given reason for joining the war, we lost the war, but Communism went into “self containment” after that with the eventual fall of the U.S.S.R. pretty much shutting down any new attempts to spread Communism. I don’t think Nam had much effect on our fight against Communism, if anything it helped Communism. Economic reasons really caused the fall of the spread of Communism (not Communism itself i.e. China or less signifigantly Cuba).

Any other ideas?

If by We you mean the United States of America, then no, we did not lose the Vietnam War. The South Vietnamese Army and South Vietnam lost the Vietnam War. most of the American troops were pulled out by the time it all went horribly bad in 1975.

Besides, we won the war. Nixon said so, back in 1973, with that whole Peace with Honor bullshit of his and Kissengers.

I look at it this way, having US troops over there fighting only put off the inevitable at a cost of 100,000’s of lives both US & others.

clayton: I spent the past Sunday with about 200 people who are quite glad that our country prevented the communist North Vietnam from taking over their county for as long as we did. They’re free and living in a free country.

No doubt they have a different point of view than yours. Many also feel that our country abandoned theirs and did not honour our treaty obligation to them.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a link to the comic online, but there was a Doonesbury strip some years back in which one of the main characters, a Vietnam veteran, returned to Saigon. As he was being driven to his hotel, he remarked on the Pepsi logos, McDonalds, et cetera that he saw on the streets. His in-country friend replied, “Yeah. We won the war after all.”

Wars are hardly ever really ‘won’, are they.

Ah, so this is sarcasm.
At least, I hope so.

Stopping the spead of Communism certainly was our goal. In particular, stopping its spread into Vietnam, into South East Asia, and worldwide.

We failed to accomplish the first, may have partially accomplished the second, and eventually accomplished the 3rd, except for PRC, North Korea, and Cuba.

Would we have ended Communism worldwide without Vietnam? I don’t know.

Why look back at the Cold War by focusing on its most unsuccessful bit?

It has to be sarcasm Latro… right?

And two million Vietnamese lives, that strangely enough are sunk in oblivion most of the time.

good morning friends,

i was jailed four times protesting that war.

IMHO, we had no business there, and 58,191 americans lost their lives in support of one corrupt south vietnamese government after another. did these brave american soldiers stop the world wide spread of communism? i don’t believe that to be true. saigon fell, vietnam was united under a communist government. it was inevitable. our leaders sent americans to die in a lost cause.

robert s mcnamara, secretary of defense under mr. kennedy and mr. johnson wrote in retrospect

reading this will give you a more accurate picture of just what our objectives were. on july 21, 1965 secretary mcnamara sent a report to mr. johnson:

  • General Westmorland’s Request in a cable sent to the Pentagon on June 17, 1965:

No, it’s something called “truth,” which is a damn rare commodity these days.

Praytell, whatever gave you the idea that I was being sarcastic?

Hmm, so the BEF actually won the battle for France against the Germans.It was the French that lost, the British just boarded a couple of boats, at Dunkirk, before they were actually defeated.

Napoleon didn’t loose the 1812 campaign, he just felt like going home.

Come off it, the U.S. went home, they ran and left the South Vietnamese to the mercy of the North.

People have a habit of seperating the military and political sides of an armed conflict. They see military victory as the only measure of a conflict, and let there be no doubt: the US armed forces won.

However, politically, Vietnam could hardly have been a worse loss for the US. Support was started out of paranoia and posturing under Truman and ended under the paranoia and corruption of the Nixon administration. Every presidential administration in between compounded the mistakes of the past and usually added pearls of their own.

I leave it to the Vietnamese people to decide if their millions of people lost was worth it. I honor their dead as I honor our own.

However let me make my stance clear: The US never had any business funding the French, ignoring international agreements, not allowing the electorial will of the Vietnamese people, making the communists in northern Vietnam more powerful by militarily occupying the south, proping up puppet regimes, and any number of other stupid political actions taken during the conflict.

Quite simple really.

O.K. then.
Please explain how the Vietnam war was won by the U.S.

J: The communist government certainly considers the loss of life worth it as they won and part of their strategy was "as many sacrifices as it takes.

See my post above to see what the citizens of the South thought.

The North Vietnamese government is seen way too communist. Sure, Ho CHi Minh was a communist, but he didn’t dream of spreading the World Revolution. His policy was more nationalist Vietnamese, and that’s what American strategy at the time misunderstood.

The communist insurgents in both Laos and Cambodia were completely dependent on the North Vietnamese. Ho Chi Minhs idea of nationalism was a greater Indochinese empire under Vietnamese rule.

Quote: “The Vietnamese Party reserves the right to supervise the activities of its brother parties in Cambodia and Laos…later, if conditions permit, the three revolutionary Parties of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos will be able to unite to form a single Party…”

from a document released by the Indochinese Communist Party, Second National Congress.


I believe the U.S. understood Hos intentions perfectly well. But I’ll agree with you that our strategy did not take those intentions into account. There was virtually no way we could limit the fighting to South Vietnam when the enemy was active in all of Indochina.