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Old 02-21-2007, 11:51 AM   #91
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He is most definately not historically incorrect. Nor is "the rest of the world" saying that the VC was over as an insurgency by 1972.

PS, there's nothing wrong with the Pledge Of Allegiance or patriotism.


he most definitely is, and it's little more than the delusions the right has been feeding itself in regards to the falilure of US forces in SE Asia. we can't take realilty, so we make up our own.

we've all been through this before:

[q]Are congressional liberals to blame for Vietnam?
Legend of the Fall
by Rick Perlstein
Only at TNR Online | Post date 01.25.07

When Senator Hillary Clinton stepped up to the microphones Wednesday to introduce her new anti-surge bill, the language was so defensive you'd think she was proposing to outlaw Christmas--not to stop one of the most unpopular ideas a president has ever dared to propose. She framed her bill not as an effort to keep President Bush from adding more troops to Iraq (though a Newsweek poll suggests that only 23 percent of Americans support adding troops) but as a bill to add troops to Afghanistan. Most importantly, she made sure to emphasize, "I do not support cutting funding for American troops." (She repeated that on the NewsHour the next evening: "Instead of cutting funding for American troops, which I do not support because still, to this day, we do not have all of the equipment, the armored Humvees, and the rest that our troops need... .")

If Americans didn't think so irrationally about war and the politics of ending it, more people might have thought to ask: Who had suggested she had? Who was she defending herself against? Why would the most cautious politician in the Senate commit anything so morally enormous as "cutting funding for American troops" as they faced a dangerous enemy on the battlefield?

It was one of those Faulknerian moments where the past is not dead--it's not even past. In fact, no senator in history I'm aware of has ever proposed such a thing. It's just that we think they did. There is a popular fantasy that liberals in Congress, somehow, at least metaphorically, abandoned American troops in Vietnam--and that, if liberals had their way, they'd do it again in Iraq. This notion was nurtured in the bosom of popular culture--as when Sylvester Stallone, in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), sent back to the jungles of Vietnam by his old commander, plaintively asks, "Sir, do we get to win this time?" But it survives even in elite discourse--as when Nixon's former defense secretary, Melvin Laird, wrote--in a Foreign Affairs article called "iraq: learning the lessons of vietnam"--that "the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973."

The fact that Hillary Clinton has to sprinkle any Iraq speech with irrelevancies about how she won't leave American troops without armor is testament to the most perversely successful propaganda campaign in American history. And who's the figure most responsible for the absurdity? Our new, late, secular saint: the thirty-eighth president of the United States, Gerald Ford.

In 1970, during the Vietnam war, an amendment to the military procurement authorization act introduced by Republican Mark Hatfield and Democrat George McGovern proposed that, unless President Nixon sought and won a declaration of war from Congress, no money could be spent after the end of the year "for any purposes other than to pay costs relating to the withdrawal of all United States forces." Of course, withdrawing forces is not cutting funding for them (in fact, it might have turned out to be more expensive in the short term), and Hatfield-McGovern never got more than 42 votes in the Senate--even though, in its second go-round in 1971, 73 percent of the public supported it.

The first time the Senate actually voted to suspend funding for American military activities in Vietnam was in the summer of 1973, two months after the last American combat brigades left, by the terms of a peace treaty Nixon negotiated. That amendment passed by a veto-proof majority--encompassing Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals--of 64 to 26.

Peace was not quite at hand in Vietnam. The corrupt, incompetent, and hardly legitimate South Vietnamese government in Saigon was fighting for its life against the advancing Communist forces from the North. Early in 1974, Nixon requested a support package for the South Vietnamese that included $474 million in emergency military aid. The Senate Armed Services Committee balked and approved about half. A liberal coup? Hardly. One of the critics was Senator Barry Goldwater. "We can scratch South Vietnam," he said. "It is imminent that South Vietnam is going to fall into the hands of North Vietnam." The House turned down the president's emergency aid request 177 to 154; the majority included 50 Republicans. They were only, as I wrote in The New Republic ("The Unrealist," November 6, 2006), honoring what Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger privately believed. They had gladly negotiated their peace deal under the assumption that South Vietnam would fall when the United States left. What would it have cost to keep South Vietnam in existence without an American military presence? The Pentagon, in 1973, estimated $1.4 billion even for an "austere program." Nixon and Kissinger were glad for the $700 million South Vietnam eventually got (including a couple hundred million for military aid), because their intention was merely to prop up Saigon for a "decent interval" until the American public forgot about the problem. By 1974, Kissinger pointed out, "no one will give a damn."

Apparently, they didn't tell Gerald Ford. He addressed the nation in April of 1975, eight months after becoming president, and implored Congress for $722 million in military aid. The speech was overwhelmingly and universally unpopular--the kind of thing that made Ford seem such a joke to the nation at the time. Rowland Evans and Robert Novak called it "blundering." Seventy-eight percent of the public was against any further military aid; Republicans like James McClure of Idaho and Harry Bellmon of Oklahoma opposed the appropriation. Republican dove Mark Hatfield said, "I am appalled that a man would continue in such a bankrupt policy"--and Democratic hawk Scoop Jackson said, "I oppose it. I don't know of any on the Democratic side who will support it." The Senate vote against it was 61 to 32.

Leading up to the vote, however, Saint Gerald made extraordinary claims--saying that "just a relatively small additional commitment" to Vietnam (compared with the $150 billion already spent there) could "have met any military challenges." With it, "this whole tragedy"--the imminent fall of Saigon--"could have been eliminated."

So much for the Pentagon's claim that $1.4 billion would be an "austere program." So much for Nixon and Kissinger's belief that "South Vietnam probably can never even survive anyway." Ford's miraculous $722 million somehow became enshrined in public memory as the margin that assured American dishonor. As Laird put it in that Foreign Affairs essay, "[W]e grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory. ... We saved a mere $297 million a year and in the process doomed South Vietnam, which had been ably fighting the war without our troops since 1973."

The public memory of congressional votes on Vietnam from 1970 through 1975 is almost hallucinogenically jumbled. Republican propagandists rely on the confusion. This slender reed of a myth--that congressional liberals are responsible for the fall of South Vietnam--conflates the failed 1970-1971 votes to end the war in South Vietnam, and the overwhelmingly popular (and, on Nixon and Kissinger's terms, strategically irrelevant) vote to limit military aid to South Vietnam. It is but a short leap for a public less informed than Laird to reach the Rambo conclusion: that this was just the last in a comprehensive train of abuses--exclusively Democratic and liberal--that kept us from "winning" in Vietnam. And that, adding in the mythology about prisoners of war in Vietnam, American troops were, roughly speaking, "abandoned" there."

It requires some filthy lies to sustain. But the fact that a sad old man is allowed to propound some of them in the foreign policy establishment's journal of record shows how successful it remains. And the fact that the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination seems to take it as second nature that she has to defend herself against them shows it, too. Stop it now. No responsible American politician has ever cut funding an American troop needed to fight while he or she was in the field. No responsible American politician ever would. Limiting the number of troops in the theater of operations is not cutting funding for American troops. Neither, of course, is withdrawing them "over the horizon." Nothing's getting stabbed in the back here except reason.

Rick Perlstein is the author of Nixonland: The Politics and Culture of the American Berserk, 1965-1972, which will be published next year.[/q]
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #92
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Originally posted by Snowlock

And I believe it was a good thing we got involved in WWII as well. It disgusts me how most Europeans and even many Americans have come to diminish the US's role in the war. I'm just saying that I believe (and if history doesn't directly bear it out, it certainly strongly indicates) FDR was mighty happy to have a war to fight.
Any sources for this?
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:22 PM   #93
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega


Any sources for this?
Of course there are.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:26 PM   #94
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Originally posted by Irvine511




he most definitely is, and it's little more than the delusions the right has been feeding itself in regards to the falilure of US forces in SE Asia. we can't take realilty, so we make up our own.

we've all been through this before: [/q]
Why do you continue to take this sort of reference as fact? This is written as entertainment. You may as well be quoting John Stewart or Rush Limbaugh.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #95
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Originally posted by Snowlock


Why do you continue to take this sort of reference as fact? This is written as entertainment. You may as well be quoting John Stewart or Rush Limbaugh.

?
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:47 PM   #96
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Originally posted by Irvine511



please, regal us with stories about the greatness of public schools when you were a child.

also, please don't include anyone on the Left in your laundry list in the 2nd paragraph. most of those people align themselves with the Far Right.
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i was in elementary school in the 1980s and i stood and pledged to the flag every morning and started off each music class with a patriotic song -- maybe "50 Nifty United States" or "Under the Umbrella of the Red, White and Blue" -- and nowhere did i hear a note of humility.
Not sure I can top your Homeroom history of junior, jingoistic jingles. But let me just say, my parents taught me early on that I should feel very lucky and blessed to live where I live. And no teacher in any of the many schools systems in the several states I lived in, ever taught us otherwise. I really hope that's still true, but the rhetoric of some high-profile college professors and many in the fringe anti-war movement is full, just full, of the most vile believes about our whole military system, our heritage, our leaders, our history (of racism and sexism), our plundering of nature and our standard of living.

We know who Cindy Sheehan's favorite president is.
www.geocities.com/bigrussgus/sheehanchavez.jpg
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:57 PM   #97
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Originally posted by INDY500



Not sure I can top your Homeroom history of junior, jingoistic jingles. But let me just say, my parents taught me early on that I should feel very lucky and blessed to live where I live. And no teacher in any of the many schools systems in the several states I lived in, ever taught us otherwise. I really hope that's still true, but the rhetoric of some high-profile college professors and many in the fringe anti-war movement is full, just full, of the most vile believes about our whole military system, our heritage, our leaders, our history (of racism and sexism), our plundering of nature and our standard of living.

We know who Cindy Sheehan's favorite president is.
www.geocities.com/bigrussgus/sheehanchavez.jpg


so ... you let a few loud voices speak for the masses?

and simply feeling lucky about where you live is quite different from being taught that were you live is as good as it gets and everyone else wishes they were you.

as for the fringe anti-war movement, those are the fringe-of-the-fringe as they don't even represent the mainstream at the anti-war rallies i enjoy observing (less participation, more observation). of course there are idiots and fools on the left, but you're falling into the same trap that many accuse the left of doing in here -- i know that Fallwell/Robertson/Dobson aren't representative of all Christians everywhere; so why let, say, Ward Churchill speak for all college professors, everywhere?
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #98
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Originally posted by Irvine511



Ward Churchill speak for all college professors, everywhere?
According to the students I know and my own experience at the University of Arizona - this guy is the norm. Even in community college teachers that should be teaching typewriter maintenance go into long rants about the evil of W Bush and atrocities of the Crusades.

It's insanity.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:07 PM   #99
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According to the students I know and my own experience at the University of Arizona - this guy is the norm. Even in community college teachers that should be teaching typewriter maintenance go into long rants about the evil of W Bush and atrocities of the Crusades.

It's insanity.


have you really read what Ward Churchill has said?

can you give me any examples beyond the anecdotal and exaggerated-for-comic-effect?

are you really going to defend the Crusades?
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:39 PM   #100
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My favorite president has always been FDR. The New Deal was the best thing to ever happen to this country. Reagan is definitely overrated.
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Agree, 100%. He was an absolute gun...no one comes close. New Deal was the most essential piece of legislation at the second most critical of times. One wonders how long he could have gone on...

Jefferson was pretty cool, as was Clinton.

JFK seems a bit overrated. RFK would have been better.
Interestingly, it's been argued by many prominent economists that the New Deal policies actually extended the Great Depression and prevented the country from recovering faster than it did.

What of the relics of the deal that survive today? Social Security - which is an ancient giant about to collapse under its own collective weight, and national labour unions - which have ceased to be a necessity and block positive changes to the way American businesses hire and pay workers.

It's very easy to gloss over history with a glowing sheen.

As for me, gotta go with good ol' Teddy Roosevelt. A Republican president who was against big corporations and monopolies.... Wha-hey say what?
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:44 PM   #101
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are you really going to defend the Crusades?
No, but the Europeans were not the only ones fighting the war. And Islam is guilty of an atrocity or two (one million Armenian Christians slaughtered in what is now modern day Turkey).

Also, let's not forget that the Muslims invaded Europe, and almost won. Something that seems to be forgotten.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:53 PM   #102
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Of course there are.

Cool, got me interested.

Care to provide them?
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:53 PM   #103
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?
I guess if you can't tell the difference between historical fact and entertainment bias we don't have anything to discuss. It's not like I'm going to change your mind or I find the changing worthwhile enough to start digging up every minute fact over the course of the last 40 years of human history to do so. Especially when, someday, you'll come to that conclusion yoruself anyway.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:56 PM   #104
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Cool, got me interested.

Care to provide them?
Not directly. There's all kinds of biographical media on FDR, I'll tell you that much.
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:04 PM   #105
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No, but the Europeans were not the only ones fighting the war. And Islam is guilty of an atrocity or two (one million Armenian Christians slaughtered in what is now modern day Turkey).

Also, let's not forget that the Muslims invaded Europe, and almost won. Something that seems to be forgotten.
Plus the Muslims took Jerusalem for no other reason than cultural (some would even say nationalist) and religious expansionism.
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