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That war is over. Your side lost. The U.S. failed. Only one campaign / series of battles counted -- the last one. The North had the better strategy and better leaders. They won, its over. Put it to bed, you are not going to change the results.
The U.S. should never have gotten involved in South Vietnam or Indochina. We should never have supported the French, Diem, or whomever. It was not our business who won that internal struggle in Indochina -- although the answer was pretty obvious by the early 1960's. Only in the mind of LBJ and his "clique" was it a proxy war between Capitalism and Communism. The American people couldn't have cared less. Dictators are dictators and nothing more. For the North Vietnamese it was a nationalistic effort no matter from whom they received their material support. The leadership of the South had fought for the French, that says it all.
And, if the South Vietnamese didn't want conventional US forces in their country, they should have told LBJ not to send any.
Neither should the U.S. have sent large scale ground forces into Iraq or into Afghanistan. The so called War on Terror does not rate that type of response. We have Special Forces, SOG units, as needed Ranger or Marine Corps Battalions, UAV's and aircraft, cruise missiles, etc to handle that small war effort.
Who funded Thieu's lifestyle after he left Vietnam?
Its over, your side lost and this country failed to secure its strategic goals in that area. One should learn from mistakes of the past, not try to cover them up else they will repeat them -- just like Petraeus and the other large scale COIN / Nation Building boys have been doing recently. You have plenty of company.
P.S. Several of the former ARVN Officers I am friendly with constantly return to Saigon and other areas of the country to do business. Their families have all their property and lost nothing. Their family members who stayed are doing economically well. They spend half their time there and now half their time in Southern France.
I am old enough to remember when the Southerners in this country still verbally re-fought the Civil War. Bobby Lee couldn't have been beaten. He won too many battles. Everybody else was to blame. I know that was before your time in this country. I found their conversations amusing. The lesson is that it is time for you to mentally move on. Or, if not, write a book on the subject.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
There are times when I enjoy Prof. Walt's articles, because I enjoy reading views often contrary to my own and most certainly the Palestinian Arabs have gotten a raw deal over the years -- despite much of that unfortunately self inflicted due to their insanely poor leadership.
Regardless, given the many and increasing problems economically rotting this society from within I find the fascination of at least a few with the events in parts of the Middle East with which they have no ethnic connection almost amusing. And I don't buy that it has anything to do with the amounts invested in foreign aid in the area -- which pale in comparison to this country's expenditures defending(?) Europe, Korea, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe it is Empress Helena's selected sites for the "Stations of the Cross" (which are smaller than two car garages) that provides the magnetism of the area. I prefer the food.
My humor aside, your statement above ("he simply didn't think he still had the political capital to sell it to his constituents, especially the nonsecular ones") is probably on point, but of course not in a Western sense.
As far as Arafat's supposed comment that he wasn't going to give up the Holy Sites on top of the Jewish Temple Mount because of his supposed role in the Islamic Religious world, that is simply political posturing. The Saudis are after all the de facto keepers of the religious faith they originated and their representative at the Camp David Peace negotiations advised Arafat to accept the deal. Don't you think the Saudi Representative communicated with his leadership before making that statement?
Arafat's problem was otherwise. Generally when a Revolutionary Group (such as the PLO or whatever they are called) take control of a country, or in this case part of the West Bank, a power struggle occurs and one group / one leader emerges in control of the government and the resulting armed groups is that which is loyal to that leader and the rest are disarmed. Arafat was a survivor, but a weak leader. He never took the chance to consolidate the armed groups of the Palestinian resistance and to remove any potential opposition. To this day they remain splintered, even in Gaza. Arafat feared that members of one or more of those groups would so object to his compromising away many of their goals and assassinate him. An assassination of that nature has happened many times, even in Israel.
Arafat was more concerned with his personal safety than becoming the Father of the Palestinian State. He lacked the moral courage of someone such as the Irish revolutionary leader Micheal Collins or even of Ehud Barak who would not be popular in Israel for his role in agreeing to the compromises needed for a Two State Solution. As fate would have it Arafat would die soon afterwards anyway.
It is difficult to go from a leader of a revolutionary group to being the leader of a nation. The demands are far greater and most revolutionary leaders fail and are replaced. Maybe Arafat was concerned that his embezzling of funds from the PLO (on a rather large scale) would be discovered if peace had broken out and he lost his status as a (more or less) dictator, at least over the political and financial processes.
As both key members of Hamas and his widow have informed the press, Arafat ordered the beginning of the intifada to draw the Palestinian's attention away from his failure at Camp David, but in all likelihood he never expected it to get out of hand or that the Israeli's would react so strongly. I am sure the fence came as a surprise to him and the PLO leadership.
Most do not realize that prior to that intifada (as I know from experience) the border between the Israeli and Palestinian areas (on both the West Bank and Gaza) were wide open. It was like then crossing the U.S. Canadian border. There were border checkpoints on key roads, but not on the countless side roads which most used -- or one could walk across the hills and open ground without observation. Tells of thousands of Palestinians did it every day going to work in Israel.All that ended because of the violence of the intifada.
Both President Clinton and the Saudi's blame Arafat for the failure of the Camp David negotiations. And like him or dislike him, President Clinton was no uninformed fool or dummy. The Palestinians will never receive better terms than those established at Camp David. Olmert's supposed ideas about an international group and force in Jerusalem were DOA or before. Israel will never allow an international force onto its territory or into Jerusalem. That is reality. They did however agree to split the Old City and that is as far as it is ever going to proceed.
When the Palestinians have a leader of the stature and courage of the Irishman (later assassinated) Micheal Collins then and only then will they have a State of their own, and not a day before.Just like President Obama recently told them, start the negotiations without preconditions and the settlements issue will be settled by the resulting borders.
Contrary to the opinions of many in the West who know few if any Arabs, the Palestinians are not a popular group among the leaders and upper / ruling classes of the Middle East. They are not going to sacrifice themselves or their economic or military well being for the Palestinians. The Jordanians will long remember Black September, the Kuwaitis and Saudis will long remember that the PLO publicly backed the Iraqi invasion of 1990, the Lebanese remember the violent treatment they received at the hands of the PLO forces driven onto their territory from Jordan, etc. I have spent more than a few minutes listening to military officers from several of those countries noting their disdain for the Palestinians..
That is reality in that area of the world, and again absent a Palestinian leadership awakening, things do not bode well for them.
P.S. Are you amused as I am with occasional and repeated system problems clearly resulting from the coding of the Livefyre System. Programming bugs, how things change language and capability wise in some ways, but produce the same problems. Apparently testing is no better today then it ever was, despite claims otherwise. It makes us now old timer observers, finally in the role of a complainer, feel right at home. Isn't it wonderful???? I know, it must be boredom.
@alexdavis059 @misaacm @smwalt
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
Perhaps you should spend your time worrying about the decline of your own part of the world rather than concerning yourself with the events in that rather geographically small area of the world between the Jordan River and the West Coast of the Levant. You probably are not very worldly, but you can rest assured that a party to that conflict welcomes your verbal support -- that is fine so long as you keep it at a distance, unless you want to come there (temporarily) and spend money then leave.
At the rate the U.S. and most European nations are economically and otherwise declining, you and your descendants have in store a bleak future. Try your wisdom at attempting to fix their economic and societal ills.
You need to read everything Soros noted, you are a little off base, not that I care about him
Regardless, the Jews and Israel appreciate your concerns for our well being and appreciate your prescription for preventing a future (European perpetrated) holocaust from recurring. However, along with many other nationalities, having experienced the historically consistent kind treatment of the nature we have over the millennium received from you Europeans or their descendants I suspect Israel will rely on its rather large number of nuclear weapons and testing delivery systems many of which have a 7800 mile range. That way, if there ever was to be another European perpetrated holocaust of the Jewish people it will be a shared experience. After all, sharing is the mark of kindness, is it not.
However, silly person, your absurd claims of paranoia aside, we all know it will never again occur because Europeans if they are nothing else, they are intelligent cowards.
They only attack the weaker nations of the world -- like Libya recently. And, it only took their combined military forces seemingly forever to take down that (not even) nickle / dime (so called) mercenary Army.
Its a free world, one can mentally do and dream as one wishes. Were I among the young of America or Europe I would be scrambling to find a way to reverse the Economic decline rotting those societies from within rather than dreaming about Jerusalem. Just a thought. Poverty sucks, but enjoy it if you wish.
Peace be with ya'all
@Tyrtaios I guess there were days when it didn't pay to be a horse -- aboard a sailing ship.
I trust the "Shellback" experience was from the days when it was actually worth remembering and repeatedly laughing about. Especially, when they segregated us Officers into a group (on a Carrier) and we went through those tubes with EM's having their only opportunity to beat on you and then washing you down with those fire hoses. Just one of their benefits.
I find it hard to believe the Navy has scaled back the Shellback ceremony declaring the activities of that tradition it to have been too brutal and constituting harassment. Isn't it funny that one didn't realize they were being mistreated. Oh well, too bad, this is the modern era. It was fun while it lasted.
I take it you were on a ship off the coast of Africa at one time that crossed at the Prime Meridian. I never knew many (or maybe any) that had that experience, but then again I was never in the Atlantic Fleet -- just East Coast Shore Duty.
Excellent reflective statement from the anti-Jewish mind set of today. You are half right about how the game is played. You and your ilk such as Pill Taker, AD, and others pound the keyboard exercising your fingers (not your palms) and believe statements in this virtual world actually have value. Sort of like others with mental problems mumbling to themselves on the streets -- instead of being institutionalized and helped. That is how your ilk "plays the game," albeit egged on by some of us on our quiet occasional days of instigation.
On the other hand the Professor / author of this piece actually is paid for his job. Think about it, you should try to find a job spewing your anti-Israel or anti-Jewish beliefs, but alas for your game there is but the virtual world paid in virtual coin.
However, fear not for the rest of us (as I know you kind souls must -- its the taught Christian way) or the Jews of Israel. Life is actual there not virtual. Their society continues to positively progress politically, intellectually, scientifically, economically, and in every way possible. Their beaches on the Mediterranean Sea are really enjoyable, the historical sights interesting to visit, and if one likes the desert it also is there for vacationing along with resorts in Eilat.Their military is sufficiently strong in all aspects to insure the State survives for eternity.
Reality versus virtual game playing. But we will fear not for you, as you and the Walt blog Madding Crowd will be motivated to pound the keyboard convincing yourselves your are making a difference and bringing down the State of Israel. De[ending on your age, you will have years or decades to enjoy your keyboard finger palming and I am glad that I can have virtually motivated "you all" along the way.
Also, don't worry -- I am a very fast typist so this only took a relatively few seconds, but like your virtual world provider (Walt and FP) I also (by desire not need) will go and obtain some real (not virtual) coin. Maybe next year again or maybe not.
Oh, for whichever of you noted "Exodus" by Leon Uris, My personal favorite of his was "Trinity." presuming you read -- you might enjoy it. My personal preference was for James Michener, Collen McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, Edward Rutherfurd, and a few others. I know whomever it was doesn't care, but they are in need of something well written and interesting to read, so this is my good deed for the day.
Its been fun for a day. Enjoyed it. Glad I helped you relieve your frustrations. Maybe next year as you can rest assured Israel will still be there prospering.
Shalom (at least virtually for you and your ilk)
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
Your fictional and prejudicial views are both ridiculous and absurd including that imaginary account about the Camp David negotiations. As for your comment that "Sharon strut[ed] up to Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem knowing it would trigger violence," that shows your prejudice and lack of knowledge.
The place you are referencing is the ruins of the Jewish Temple -- on top of which the Muslims built two Mosques. No one has stops Muslims from praying there, but they most certainly will not stop Jews from visiting one of their historical sites. It is called "sharing." A concept you anti-Jewish European ancesteral types don't understand as you believe you will decide where Jews can and cannot go.
All the Christian religious sties in Jerusalem are historically "phoney," locations which were selected by the arrogant Mother of (the Italian / Roman) Emperor Constantine when she visited Jerusalem. Of course she didn't concern herself with who owned the building she ordered replaced by a Church or whatever. No Israeli, however, bars Christians from keeping or visiting those sites. I wonder if the Muslims who built those two Mosques concerned themselves with the fact that they were building them on the roof of a Jewish site.
Only for those who live in a fictional fantasy
@Ben Enki @pedro bundol @misaacm @smwalt
@Diogo Jimmy Morgado @AServingOfficer
If one is interested in the 1973 War, I would recommend "On the Banks of the Suez: An Israeli General's Personal Account of the Yom Kippur War" by Avraham Adan. He pulls no punches when discussing the mistakes and misjudgments the Israelis made leading up to and in the initial phase of that conflict. Professionally written with detailed information by an officer who was there (as were most of the other authors) who criticizes his side far more than he did the Egyptians. One of those rare open minded views of how one's ownj side fought a war.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
A misinformed intellectually deprived individual worshiping at the feet of the prejudicially misinforming and calling it patriotism. Sounds like the start of a new faith. You will be / are certainly one of its gospel spreaders. Carry on -- its your patriotic duty.
@Ben Enki @pedro bundol @misaacm @smwalt
Are you living in the land of make believe or do you just have a prejudicial view of the Jewish State of Israel. Perhaps if you European types had minded your own business and stayed out of the Middle East over the centuries we wouldn't these problems there. We thank you for providing the guiding wisdom of the descendants of colonial rulers.
While your statements are completely incorrect about Israel, apply your warped logic to a situation accurately described by its content. One, for instance, that would allow the American Indians (bet they love that term) on reservations and elsewhere to fire on you and other descendants of the European who in fact did steal their land, conducted a genocidal level murdering of their people, stole their water, and of course stole their children so YOUR ancestors could civilize them.
Of course, if that isn't enough consider what you did to the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands, etc.
When you publicly apologize for and unmatched history of (European) depravity and establish a program of reparations then open your mouth (via keyboard) and maybe somebody will listen and consider your arrogant wisdom -- but not before that time.
@oldtanker @AServingOfficer A good (Israeli) friend of ours was a tank crewman with one of those two Brigades on the Golan in 1973 when the Syrians attacked doing his active service. A little older than most haven't spent a number of years living in other countries before going to Israel. He spent several months in the hospital afterwards luckily recovering from his wounds suffered when their tank was finally hit.
He has only ever remarked that it was a rather tough fight and that as it was starting their CO gave them quick guidelines including noting that they were facing a much larger force, would conduct a fighting withdrawal They were told they could retreat no further than some given line he mentioned, were ordered not to surrender, not to leave the Golan, and told that when (or if) they reached their designated final line of resistance (in his words in English) there they were to fight and die if necessary. No surrender, no retreat, and they might not be reinforced for up to 72 hours. Hell of a way to start one's military service.
@AServingOfficer An excellent notation in my opinion -- "Viscount Slim---DEFEAT INTO VICTORY." How often does one read a memoir where the writer critiques his own decision and defeats, noting his failures as well as his successes?
@Tyrtaios Bernard Fall's books themselves were excellent and well written. To bad, he died far to young. He led an interesting life. I will have to read this one -- which I haven't.
I never spent time aboard ship in the Atlantic Fleet or (obviously) in the Caribbean, but at one time the so-called Eastern Hemisphere Agonic Line -- where true north and magnetic north are in perfect alignment and thus there is no magnetic declination passed through the Bermuda Triangle. That line, however, moves and now goes through Alabama (?) into the Caribbean Sea. The Western Hemisphere Agonic Line ran through the so-called Devils Sea (Dragons Triangle.
I didn't see the article in the Proceedings, but perhaps the writer was having little fun, maybe it was a boring day.
Here is a summary description of an Agonic Line from: http://everything2.com/title/agonic+line
"In geophysics, an agonic line is an imaginary line drawn on a map connecting the points where the magnetic declination (the difference between true and magnetic north) is zero. Unlike the meridians of longitude that run directly from the north to south pole, the agonic lines can meander, reflecting variations in the Earth's magnetic field. Similarly, the agonic lines are not static; they can change position over the course of a year, requiring periodic mapping expeditions to confirm magnetic declination.
There is one agonic line running through each hemisphere. In the Western hemisphere, it runs roughly northwest to southeast, from the Great Lakes down through the Deep South. In the Eastern hemisphere, it runs down in the Pacific through an area called the Dragon Triangle. To the east of an agonic line, magnetic declination is west of true north. To the west of the line, the opposite is true. When navigating by compass, this declination needs to be accounted for in order for headings to be correct."
I lost count of the number of times I have been in the so-called Devils Sea and never saw anything abnormal there. While I never was in the Bermuda Triangle, I couldn't keep count of the number of time my Navy E-9 father, who spent all his Sea Duty in the Atlantic Fleet over 30+ years, steamed on surface ships, was on a sub, and flew as a crewman in various aircraft or blimps through the Triangle and seemed to keep coming back alive -- unless his ghost raised us.
The stories about the areas are myth, but good for Rod Sterling type shows.
Thanks for the entertainment, but I must go. Try solemn contemplation, maybe that will help.
I know you just want to be helpful, but the world has had enough benefit from the blessing heaped on it from Europeans and their American Cousins.
אנו מודים לך על כל מה שאירופים להמשיך לתת לאנשים בעולם.
The words that you stated and the meaning that you missed were:
"... the British rulers of the day." What gave the British the right to colonize, forcefully occupy the Jewish land of Israel or the Arab lands they also held under the gun?
Europeans and their American cousins need to do a lot of self introspection and carry out major apologies and compensation to the peoples of other lands (including those originally on the continental U.S.) that they forcefully occupied, stole from, murdered in mass numbers, etc. Clean up your own house and correct your way, pay compensation, return what you stole, and then worry about preaching to the rest of the world you have historically so harmed.
Getting angry are we. Do you often worship at and kiss the feet of professors?
So now you are a lawyer. Okay, we'll note that along with your other lifestyle deficiencies.
And lawyer, if Arafat had accepted the Two State treaty terms that President Clinton, Arafat's Saudi adviser, and Ehud Barak agreed to there would be a prosperous Palestinian State at this time and Hamas would not be destroying Gaza. Learn history and come back any time you wish.
@alexdavis059 @misaacm @smwalt
Yes, the nonsensical and inaccurate anti-Israeli absurdities and propaganda published by Walt and worshiped by his followers. I guess Israel's is a computer age "virtual" colonization of Gaza. Be interesting to see how that works out. Maybe this country can use the technique to virtually colonize the areas of China where they do all our manufacturing and thus restore our industrial economy -- which we sorely need.
@alexdavis059 @pedro bundol @misaacm @smwalt
Palestinian terrroism from Gaza occurred after Israel evacuated that area and, for your information, at that time the borders between Free Gaza and Israel were wide open and thousands of Palestinians from Gaza worked in Israel, crossing that border everyday just like people cross borders between states in this country. Also, the businesses the Israeli's left behind in Gaza were purchased by a U.S. foundation which gave them to the Palestinians and that commerce initially flourished -- pre-Gaza terrorism.
Second, the Intifada terror attacks on Israel that began in 2000 began after Arafat turned down the detailed two-State treaty offer that President Clinton, Ehud Barak, and the attending Saudi representative all agreed to. As Arafat's widow recently noted he ordered and began the intifada terrorist bombing campaign when he returned from Camp David. His actions resulted in the wall between the two areas. Prior to that there was no border fence. and tens of thousands of Palestinians crossed it freely every day to go to work in Israel without any harassment whatsoever.
Get your facts straight! Palestinian extremists started the campaign of terrorism which has led to the current situation. Arafat had the chance to be the Father of the Palestinian Nation which included a sharing of the Old City part of Jerusalem, etc. Instead he choose to be something else -- an embezzler and a coward. Too bad especially for the Palestinian people who deserve much better leadership. Like President Obama just told them, start the negotiations with no preconditions and the borders, settlement and other issues will resolve themselves. Otherwise, things will continue status quo.
And, by the way this anti-Israel rambling which permeates this blog has nothing to do with the subject at hand.