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Author Topic: Flags of Our Fathers
EDanaII
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*** Be Warned, this thread COULD produce spoilers ***

I saw "Flags of Our Fathers" this last weekend, and found it eerily relevant to the discussion that is occuring in the Embedded Reporter thread. The main theme of the story was the importance of the photo of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima as propoganda to help us win that war. Losing that propoganda war, it was quite possible, although I, personally doubt it, that we might have lost that war.

Which is why I've taken the position I have in this war. A photo can make or break this one, just as one did during the Korean War. And the irony of that photo is that, the Korean's actually LOST the Tet Offensive, but we gave up and won the war for them.

Now, because of that, look at what we're dealing with today.

Pay now, or pay later... [Frown]

Ed.

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Adam Masterman
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Umm...

Tet was the Vietnam war. Which I would assume was a typo, except you seem to imply that we are having problems today (Kim's nukes) because of the media perception surrounding Tet. Obviously this is not the case, unless Vietnam has jumped into the nuclear game over the weekend. And, incidentally, your implication of how Tet cost us the war is just plain wrong:

http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=009306;p=1&r=nfx

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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Remember the Maine!

There is no doubt that propaganda can be an essential ingredient of a war. Why, in 1898, it was used to help START the Spanish-American War. (The evidence points more toward an accidental boiler room explosion of the USS Maine, but at the time it was widely touted as the result of deliberate Spanish hostility.)

More recently, Judith Miller of the NYTimes provided information about Iraqi WMDs that proved false but helped move us toward war and provide early support for it.

Lotsa propaganda out there helping to start wars, effect onging wars, helping to end wars.

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
*** Be Warned, this thread COULD produce spoilers ***
Uh, how exactly can you spoil HISTORY? [Smile]

You were one of those people who got pissed when someone told them the ending of Titanic, weren't you? [Wink]

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EDanaII
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Ummm... no. How did the Titanic end?

In any case, Adam, the movie centers around history but it's a story few people know. It concerns itself with the importance of propaganda in war. In this case, the flag raising at Iwo Jima and the battle to use it to continue the war.

The problem was, as stated by the film, war funding was down. We were about to "lose" the war simply because people were tired of it and unwilling to buy bonds in order to fund it. Enter the photo at Iwo Jima, a photo that, while not staged, was not what it was purported to be. Still, it was a great boost to our morale and used to help our confidence that we could win that war.

Imagine what might have happened if that photo were never taken? Is it possible that we might have quit and let the Axis win? That's what one has to wonder after seeing the film. [Smile]


@ Adam Masterman

Yer right, Adam, I got some of my facts wrong. However:
quote:
And, incidentally, your implication of how Tet cost us the war is just plain wrong
Wikipedia:
quote:
The Tet Offensive can be considered a military defeat for the Communist forces, as neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese army achieved their tactical goals. Furthermore, the operational cost of the offensive was dangerously high, with the Viet Cong essentially crippled by the huge losses inflicted by South Vietnamese and other Allied forces. Nevertheless, the Offensive is widely considered a turning point of the war in Vietnam, with the NLF and PAVN winning an enormous psychological and propaganda victory. Although US public opinion polls continued to show a majority supporting involvement in the war, this support continued to deteriorate and the nation became increasingly polarized over the war.[1] President Lyndon Johnson saw his popularity fall sharply after the Offensive, and he withdrew as a candidate for re-election in March of 1968. The Tet Offensive is frequently seen as an example of the value of media influence and popular opinion in the pursuit of military objectives.
[URL=]Oliver North[/URL]:
quote:
The war in Vietnam wasn't lost during "Tet '68" no matter what Walter Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses -- and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington. We need to pray this war isn't lost the same way.
You'll forgive me if I take the opinion of an expert at war, over yours. [Smile]

And that is the irony of that war. The enemy didn't break our morale, we did.


@ kenmeer livermaile:
quote:
There is no doubt that propaganda can be an essential ingredient of a war. Why, in 1898, it was used to help START the Spanish-American War. (The evidence points more toward an accidental boiler room explosion of the USS Maine, but at the time it was widely touted as the result of deliberate Spanish hostility.)
Very true. I'm inclined to believe that using propaganda to START a war is improper, but to use it against ourselves is just plain stupid.

Ed.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Imagine what might have happened if that photo were never taken? Is it possible that we might have quit and let the Axis win? That's what one has to wonder after seeing the film.
Considering we were preparing for an invasion in the continental United States, I believe that possibility is way overblown. WWII was the last war where we felt there was a serious possibility that we could be conquered. You think one photo had that much impact in those circumstances?

It makes for a good story, but that's as far as it goes.

quote:
And that is the irony of that war. The enemy didn't break our morale, we did.
I suspect that what the Tet offensive showed was that the North Vietnamese weren't going to quit.

After all, it took a little less than 5 years of war for the U.S. to defeat the Axis powers in the greatest war the world had seen. And now, after about 8 years of our involvement, the North Vietnamese launched a major offensive? How did that happen?

Although the Viet Cong technically "lost" the offensive, I think we began to realize that this war wasn't going to end. Because after losing, what happened? Not much. The Viet Cong retreated back into North Vietnam and began gathering more troops. Did we go in there and defeat them? Did we end this war once and for all? No. We let them prepare to do it again...

If we could defeat the Nazis in five years, how was this piddly little country staying afloat? Because we couldn't really fight it. Because we were afraid of it escallating into a real war, not a "police action" (as it was called at the time). Because if we invaded, Russia might have come to their aid, and we would suddenly be at war with the other great nuclear power. And no one was willing to risk that.

I believe that Tet was when many people suddenly realized that the Vietnam War might go on for years, if not decades. That there really was no end in sight. That their new-born babies could be drafted to fight in this war. That there was no end in sight.

And what would we lose if we quit? Prestige, certainly. South-East Asia, where all the countries would fall to communism like dominoes. A few did, but not all, not as many as were predicted. Our pride.

Yes, our morale broke. But that was because we weren't fighting for our country. We were fighting for someone else's. And eventually, love of our children--which, after all, is our country--became more important than our love of theirs. Which is sad and wrong, especially when you consider what happened to South Vietnam, Laos and especially Cambodia. But Tet showed us that we weren't winning the war. And in war, when you aren't winning, you're losing.

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kenmeer livermaile
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" a) The war in Vietnam wasn't lost during "Tet '68" no matter what Walter Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses -- and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington. We need to pray this war isn't lost the same way.

b) You'll forgive me if I take the opinion of an expert at war, over yours"

Oliver North?!?!?

That's sweet, Ed.

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Jesse
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Ed, way to rebound from that confusion!

However, your confusion is some what understandable, given that pushing ground troops farther into North Vietnam would have had a result at LEAST as bad as pushing near the Yalu did.

See, them Chinese get mighty itchy when Western Armies get within striking distance of their home turf. In spite of the fact they didn't get along with Ho, and had historically atagonistic relations with the Vietnamese, and were in a state of conflict with the USSR...they weren't about to put up with us sitting on their border.

We couldn't move any substantial numbers of troops into the northen reaches of Vietnam without risking a million chinese "volunteers" crashing into us. Without putting those boots on the ground in the enemies home territory, there was no way to stop him from rebuilding.

Yes, the Vietnamese were short of men, and they were short of material, but they weren't at all short of hatred for foreign occupiers. I have never seen a shred of evidence that crushing their conventional military would have resulted in anything other than the situation we now face in Iraq--you know the Vietnamese DID use suicide bombers, right?

Do you really think the American War of National Liberation from the Crown would have ended if Washingtons field army had been crushed?

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EDanaII
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@ Wayward Son

I think that's an excellent analysis of the situation. However, regardless of the truth of your analysis, we still gave up when the battle may already have been one. From my PoV that's like giving up on a marathon when the finish line is just around the corner.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't, I'm merely questioning the wisdom of such a choice. [Smile]


@ Jesse:
quote:
Yes, the Vietnamese were short of men, and they were short of material, but they weren't at all short of hatred for foreign occupiers. I have never seen a shred of evidence that crushing their conventional military would have resulted in anything other than the situation we now face in Iraq--you know the Vietnamese DID use suicide bombers, right?
You make a lot of assumptions in that statement, Jesse. [Smile]

The important point for me, however, is that the Viet Cong had been crippled by their own offensive, and, yet, we may have stopped just short of the finish line. I.e. we may have given up too soon.

quote:
Do you really think the American War of National Liberation from the Crown would have ended if Washingtons field army had been crushed?
In order to answer that, I'd have to speculate. If, in crushing Washington's army, our belief that we could win (morale) was also crushed, then, yes, it would have ended.

Ed.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Tet Offensive can be considered a military defeat for the Communist forces, as neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese army achieved their tactical goals. Furthermore, the operational cost of the offensive was dangerously high, with the Viet Cong essentially crippled by the huge losses inflicted by South Vietnamese and other Allied forces. Nevertheless, the Offensive is widely considered a turning point of the war in Vietnam, with the NLF and PAVN winning an enormous psychological and propaganda victory. Although US public opinion polls continued to show a majority supporting involvement in the war, this support continued to deteriorate and the nation became increasingly polarized over the war.[1] President Lyndon Johnson saw his popularity fall sharply after the Offensive, and he withdrew as a candidate for re-election in March of 1968. The Tet Offensive is frequently seen as an example of the value of media influence and popular opinion in the pursuit of military objectives.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[URL=]Oliver North[/URL]:

quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The war in Vietnam wasn't lost during "Tet '68" no matter what Walter Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America's newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses -- and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington. We need to pray this war isn't lost the same way.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You'll forgive me if I take the opinion of an expert at war, over yours.

How about, instead of "taking someone's word for it", you actually think about the issue yourself. I showed specifically why the claim that the media cost us the war was false, using real historical examples. You "counter" by appealing to the authority of an expert who just happens to be a Fox news correspondant (not to mention a war criminal). Sorry, but I'm not impressed by his credentials.

The two points of fact in your wiki article are that theTet offensive failed to achieve its tactical objectives, and that public support for the war dropped significantly after Tet. Since these facts are included in my argument, in what sense do you think they refute me? Did you even read what I wrote?

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"yet, we may have stopped just short of the finish line. I.e. we may have given up too soon."

Your use of the word 'may' reclaims your position on this mater from the dustbin of exaggerated possibilities.

It also acknowledges the other side:

we may have stopped just far, or even much too far, of the finish line.

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Jesse
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Our belief, Ed, not Washingtons belief, neh?

Whether or not Vietnamese commanders thought their military would have been finished had we pressed harder doesn't adress whether or not the Vietnamese people would have given up the struggle, and submitted to the rule of the proxy Government we had installed in the South.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Let's assume for a moment's pondering that, had the Brits crushed Washington's army in one of the MANY opportunities that fate somehow managed to steal from thgem at the last minute, and had thus won an easy victory against the colonial rebels, the following peace might have been as bad for the reputation of King George the 3rd as the peace in Iraq has been for that of King George the 2nd?
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EDanaII
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@ Adam Masterman:
quote:
How about, instead of "taking someone's word for it", you actually think about the issue yourself. I showed specifically why the claim that the media cost us the war was false, using real historical examples. You "counter" by appealing to the authority of an expert who just happens to be a Fox news correspondant (not to mention a war criminal). Sorry, but I'm not impressed by his credentials.
Adam? Will you stop and take a few deep breaths?

Where did I mention the media? You did, not me. My thesis was that we "broke our own morale" which includes the media,

Furthermore, consider your statement "And, incidentally, your implication of how Tet cost us the war is just plain wrong:"

You laid that out pretty black and white and sorry, I don't agree, which is why I cited Wiki and Oli, because they demonstrate that my assertion is not "just plain wrong."

Finally, in your argument, all the reasons you cite _affect morale._ So, how is it you state all the reasons that allowed our morale to break and then declare that I'm "just plain wrong" when my statement was about how we broke our morale?

Oliver North is a war criminal? Really? What war crimes did he commit? Oh. You mean "he committed crimes involving a war. Wait, no. He didn't do that either. Oh! I know! He committed crimes and is a warrior! Therefore, he's guilty of "war crimes!"

Except that his conviction was overturned on appeal, so you can't even call him a criminal.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Whether or not Vietnamese commanders thought their military would have been finished had we pressed harder doesn't adress whether or not the Vietnamese people would have given up the struggle, and submitted to the rule of the proxy Government we had installed in the South.
"Proxy Government?" Right...


@ kenmeer livermaile:
quote:
Your use of the word 'may' reclaims your position on this mater from the dustbin of exaggerated possibilities.

It also acknowledges the other side:

we may have stopped just far, or even much too far, of the finish line.

I never said otherwise. [Smile]

quote:
Let's assume for a moment's pondering that, had the Brits crushed Washington's army in one of the MANY opportunities that fate somehow managed to steal from thgem at the last minute, and had thus won an easy victory against the colonial rebels, the following peace might have been as bad for the reputation of King George the 3rd as the peace in Iraq has been for that of King George the 2nd?
So much propaganda, so little time...

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Except that his conviction was overturned on appeal, so you can't even call him a criminal."

Ah, to have friends in high places, especially friends on whom you have even more dirt than has so far been shown...

Denial, I see, endureth.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Where did I mention the media? You did, not me. My thesis was that we "broke our own morale" which includes the media,


Your response to my post was to appeal to the authority of Ollie North, who claims that the media cost us the war by portraying Tet as a victory. Are you disagreeing with the very quote you used to butress your point, the so called "expert on war"?

quote:
Furthermore, consider your statement "And, incidentally, your implication of how Tet cost us the war is just plain wrong:"
You laid that out pretty black and white and sorry, I don't agree, which is why I cited Wiki and Oli, because they demonstrate that my assertion is not "just plain wrong."

The implication I was referring to is the idea that we could have won Vietnam militarily, but were hamstrung by loss of public support, due in part to inaccurate reporting. Its a standard right wing myth, and its false. Vietnam was not winnable militarily, for the reasons I discussed. Therefore, falling morale didn't cost us the war, it simply expediated our exit.

If, as you claim, you disagree with this assertion, by all means make a counterargument.

quote:
Oliver North is a war criminal? Really? What war crimes did he commit? Oh. You mean "he committed crimes involving a war. Wait, no. He didn't do that either. Oh! I know! He committed crimes and is a warrior! Therefore, he's guilty of "war crimes!"
Except that his conviction was overturned on appeal, so you can't even call him a criminal.

Oliver North committed crimes while prosecuting an illegal military action. He funded terrorist groups in Central America by selling arms to Iran (oh, the irony), and lied to congress about it. So maybe we can't call them war crimes, because it involved terrorism instead of a legitimate war. How about "enemy combatant"? Oh, and lets not be mysterious about WHY that conviction was overturned. North confessed to the criminal activities he was convicted of. It was thrown out because he was granted an implied immunity to testify. Prosecutors let him off to go after bigger fish, then changed their mind when his crimes were revealed. In another hindsight irony, it was the ACLU that saved him, and rightly so, because he had been granted imunity (wrongly so). In any case, him avoiding legal consequences in no way implies that he didn't actually committ those crimes.

If a man committs a rape, but his case is thrown out on a technicality, is he no longer a rapist? Ollie North is a criminal who managed to dodge responsibility for his crimes. Hardly something to admire.

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"selling arms to Iran (oh, the irony)"

or

'selling arms to Iron (oh, the irany)'

When dyslexia is a fun toy.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Whether or not Vietnamese commanders thought their military would have been finished had we pressed harder doesn't adress whether or not the Vietnamese people would have given up the struggle, and submitted to the rule of the proxy Government we had installed in the South.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Proxy Government?" Right...

Are you implying that Diem's government was in any way legitimate? A Catholic who criminalized the practice of Buddhism, the overwhelingly dominant faith in the country? What do you think all those burning monks were protesting?

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"So much propaganda, so little time..."

Slight correction: fictional historical propaganda. Suggestive hypotheses based on invitation to exercise imagination along a certain line of copnjecture.

Oh, the hypnosis, the hypnosis... stay away from the bright light, ed!

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kenmeer livermaile
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Adam M.:

I'm afraid that Ed will cite Ollie North's pardon as being 'good for the (undeclared/illegal) war effort' that was Reagan's central American Iran/Contra boondoggle.

*ahem*: 'Can you show me how it would advance the Contra war effort to convict and sentence Ollie North? Just because we KNOW illegal covert wars create war criminals doesn't mean we have to be SHOWN one.'

Somp'n like that.

[ November 03, 2006, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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EDanaII
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@Adam Masterman:
quote:
Your response to my post was to appeal to the authority of Ollie North, who claims that the media cost us the war by portraying Tet as a victory. Are you disagreeing with the very quote you used to butress your point, the so called "expert on war"?
Read my first post. I was arguing about morale, of which the media can play a part, but the point was about MORALE, not the media.

quote:
The implication I was referring to is the idea that we could have won Vietnam militarily, but were hamstrung by loss of public support, due in part to inaccurate reporting. Its a standard right wing myth, and its false. Vietnam was not winnable militarily, for the reasons I discussed. Therefore, falling morale didn't cost us the war, it simply expediated our exit.
And, yet, morale still played a role, regardless of whether or not YOU think it could have been won militarily.

quote:
If, as you claim, you disagree with this assertion, by all means make a counterargument.
What? And effectively derail my thread? [Roll Eyes]

quote:
If a man committs a rape, but his case is thrown out on a technicality, is he no longer a rapist? Ollie North is a criminal who managed to dodge responsibility for his crimes. Hardly something to admire.
And yet, even a rapist can be an expert at something. Possibley even more so than you.

Ed.

Was that the response you were expecting, kenmeer? [Razz]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Read my first post. I was arguing about morale, of which the media can play a part, but the point was about MORALE, not the media."

DO you ever tire of ducking and switching?

The entire point of this thread and your argument about it has been about the use of media on infuencing morale.

Words that startg with 'm' for $50, please.

"Was that the response you were expecting, kenmeer?"

No. I was being facetious. I wouldn't expect you to see the irony that my 'faux Ed presumptive quote' was based on. INstead, you continued your classic modus oprandi: "but you misunderstand me; I said x not y" to be shortly followed by ""but you misunderstand me; I said y not z" to be shoirtly followed by ""but you misunderstand me; Let me restate for those unwiling to read what I've so clearly written; I said z not a"... ad infinitum.

Wish I had that graemlin of the [CymbalCrashingWind-UpMonkey]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Read my first post. I was arguing about morale, of which the media can play a part, but the point was about MORALE, not the media.

Didn't we already go over that? Your first post made a nonsensical claim that "giving up" after the Tet offensive led somehow lead to the problems we face today with Kim Jong Il. This is false for 2 reasons:

1. You got your wars confused

and

2. Victory in Vietnam wasn't a simple matter of defeating the NVA and the Vietcong.

I don't disagree that morale played a big part in us leaving Vietnam when we did. The part that I am rejecting is the wistful "if only..." premise that we could have won if we had stayed. That premise you still haven't managed to address. I don't know how many times I have to say that "because Ollie North says so" isn't a compelling argument (to me, anyway, does anyone else find it convincing?). Shall I quote a familiar passage of my own:

quote:
We aren't impressed by your credentials, Dr. This or Senator That. We aren't going to take your word for it, we're going to think it through for ourselves.
Adam
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Jesse
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Refusing to learn the lessons of Vietnam is exactly why we face the largest problem actually confronting us today - The only issue that matters this election according to our Crazy Uncle Orson. It's too bad some refuse to learn those lessons, as if admiting our past policy mistakes would undermine their belief in our ideals.

Had we truly acted to create a democratic, free, and prosperous society in South Vietnam, do you think hundreds of thousands of it's people would have joined the Viet Cong? Do you just think the Vietnamese are stupid?

You need to find a source other than Ollie, gain a little understanding about what actually happened in this war (suggestion google "Ngo Dinh Diem").

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kenmeer livermaile
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"And yet, even a rapist can be an expert at something. Possibley even more so than you. "

In Ollie's case, he is an expert war criminal. I suppose that *does* count for something....

[ November 05, 2006, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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EDanaII
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@ kenmeer livermaile:
quote:
DO you ever tire of ducking and switching?
Do you ever tire of coloring and painting?

quote:
The entire point of this thread and your argument about it has been about the use of media on infuencing morale.
And, yet, the movie concerned itself with the _Government sponsored campaign_ for war bonds, so... figure it out.

I'm arguing with you about media in the other thread. The purpose of this thread was to argue about the importance of morale, as characterized by the movie.

quote:
No. I was being facetious.
No!!! Really???

quote:
I wouldn't expect you to see the irony that my 'faux Ed presumptive quote' was based on. INstead, you continued your classic modus oprandi: "but you misunderstand me; I said x not y" to be shortly followed by ""but you misunderstand me; I said y not z" to be shoirtly followed by ""but you misunderstand me; Let me restate for those unwiling to read what I've so clearly written; I said z not a"... ad infinitum.
I'll take my modus operandi over your constant trying to repaint and mischaracterize those who disagree with you.

At least I'm honest and direct in my efforts.

quote:
In Ollie's case, he is an expert war criminal. I suppose that *does* count for something....
Paint, paint, paint... Paint, paint, paint...

Ooo! This one needs MORE red!


@ Adam Masterman:
quote:
Didn't we already go over that? Your first post made a nonsensical claim that "giving up" after the Tet offensive led somehow lead to the problems we face today with Kim Jong Il. This is false for 2 reasons:

1. You got your wars confused

I admitted my mistake. Are you going to continue to "lord" it over me? Not terribly gracious of you if you do.

quote:
2. Victory in Vietnam wasn't a simple matter of defeating the NVA and the Vietcong.

I don't disagree that morale played a big part in us leaving Vietnam when we did. The part that I am rejecting is the wistful "if only..." premise that we could have won if we had stayed. That premise you still haven't managed to address. I don't know how many times I have to say that "because Ollie North says so" isn't a compelling argument (to me, anyway, does anyone else find it convincing?). Shall I quote a familiar passage of my own:

And that's all I care about for this discussion.

The point of this topic is the IMPORTANCE of morale. That was the focus of the movie. When I referred to the photo from the Tet offensive, the only point I raised was how it broke our morale.

Get of yer soapbox.

quote:
We aren't impressed by your credentials, Dr. This or Senator That. We aren't going to take your word for it, we're going to think it through for ourselves.
That would include yours, Adam.

Of course, the irony of your position here is that you focus on Ollie and continue to ignore the Wiki article.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Had we truly acted to create a democratic, free, and prosperous society in South Vietnam, do you think hundreds of thousands of it's people would have joined the Viet Cong? Do you just think the Vietnamese are stupid?
Ngo Dinh Diem:
quote:
... [Ngo Dinh Diem] returned to be appointed Prime Minister of South Vietnam by former Emperor and then-current Chief of State Bao Ðai in 1954.
This makes South Viet Nam an "American proxy government..." how, exactly?

Ed.

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kenmeer livermaile
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" a) No. I was being facetious.

b) No!!! Really???"

No. Really. Yes. Really.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Get of yer soapbox."

Actualy, it;s yours. He just borrowed it from you while you weren't looking.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:

quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
We aren't impressed by your credentials, Dr. This or Senator That. We aren't going to take your word for it, we're going to think it through for ourselves.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
That would include yours, Adam.

[Roll Eyes]

Please tell me what credential I've toted in this argument. Just one would be sufficient. Us elementary school art teachers don't often rely on credentials for arguments, but if you can show that I have, I will retract my observation that you pulled this accusation out of nowhere like a petulent child.

Adam

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Jesse
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Ok, Ed, what happened to Diem?
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kenmeer livermaile
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I'm fascinated (up to as point, after which it bores me, a point I've reached tongiht) by how Ed's discussions on a topic come to resemble line-by-line retorts, comebacks, and become overwhelmingly driven not by his original arguments but by the rebuttals of his critics.

And, ever and ever, the same refrain: you don't *understand* me. If you *did*... but you don't, so *there*.

[ November 09, 2006, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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EDanaII
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Paint, paint, paint...
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kenmeer livermaile
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You look all red, Ed. Skin condition? Corneritis?
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Marinero
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This is in no way a reply to any of the previous discussion, just something I wrote after watching the movie. Enjoy, and by that I mean scrutinize and tear apart as you see fit. I wrote it on Nov 10th, the birthday of the Marine Corps.

This year an unintentional tradition was started. I went with my wife to watch “Flags of Our Fathers.” It didn’t occur to me how important that was until we were watching the beginning of the movie. From now on I am going to watch that movie every Marine Corps Birthday I can.

The movie was great. It illustrated the inability of most people we call heroes to share the same opinion of themselves. Ira Hayes was especially tormented by the idea of being a hero, especially knowing that 3 of his buddies were left on Iwo Jima. The movie also showed how strangely false the picture was compared to the idea people had about it. It wasn’t a victory shot, nor was it the first flag on Iwo. Yet people all over the country saw it and took a new hope in the possibility of victory. Knowing the whole story about the flag, and having read the story I disagree with the critics of its importance. Many would snottily say it wasn’t the first flag or even a victory photo so all of the importance the country has placed on it are false and should be re-thought. I disagree, the circumstances of the photo are a distant second to the impact the photo had. It was spur of the moment, it showed the struggle of war and the team-work required to win. It inspired people and made them want to support the Marines they saw in the picture. Like many historians and critics, no one pays attention to those who agree with previous conclusions or that support the popular views of an event or icon. The ones who get the press and attention are those that challenge established views, I call “sociologist’s syndrome.” One of sociology’s main tenants is the debunking of common knowledge. Sometimes I wonder I the desire to debunk leads to some pretty questionable study techniques and overstatements of findings. Just listen to “Fresh Air” on NPR a couple of times and you are bound to hear an author interviewed whose new book on a historic figure sheds new light on who they really were. Often a new document or paper is found, or revisited and someone writes a lengthy book on how it disproves the myths surrounding someone or an event. I have trouble believing that 90% of those books are filler needed to surround the few really new facts found.

Anyway, my point is this: that photo was amazing, it still hypnotizes me every time I look at it and I get carried away to other places where Marines are fighting and dieing for each other. Regardless of the circumstances, it will symbolize the Marine Corps for decades to come.

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