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James DiEugenio

Vietnam Declassified: Kennedy, Johnson,Nixon

51 posts in this topic

I think beyond helping the poor South Vietnamese "democracy" defend themselves from a communist takeover the main reason I remember reading, hearing or being taught we were there is the Domino Theory.  I imagine most posters here are at least somewhat familiar with it.  Maybe a younger newer reader or two is not.  I did not realize that, at least according to this article, some US clandestine support went as far back as Truman.

http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/domino-theory

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As a great industrial and military power, the United States has an interest in the region because it is an important source of strategic materials. Southeast Asia produces two-thirds of the world's tin and over 75 percent of its natural rubber. While its output of oil is not large in terms of total world production, American Policy 285 it is nevertheless of great strategic importance because so little oil is produced in South or Eastern Asia. In 1954 Free Asia (which for these particular commodities meant chiefly Southeast Asia) supplied the United States with 99 percent of its imports of copra, 91 percent of its natural rubber, 67 percent of its Manila hemp, 61 percent of its spices, and 58 percent of its tin. The loss of these supplies of strategic materials to the West would be serious but probably not irreparable. But free access to them by Communist countries would greatly strengthen the Red orbit. Before the war, the region also produced 65 percent of the world's copra, 40 percent of its palm oil, 85 percent of its pepper, 90 percent of its quinine, and 70 percent of its kapok. Burma, Indochina, and Thailand are also capable of producing tremendous quantities of rice.

The loss of Southeast Asia would have serious economic consequences for many nations of the free world and conversely would add significant resources to the Soviet bloc. Southeast Asia, especially Malaya and Indonesia, is the principal world source of natural rubber and tin, and a producer of petroleum and other strategically important commodities. The loss of Southeast Asia, especially of Malaya and Indonesia, could result in such economic and political pressures in Japan as to make it extremely difficult to prevent Japan's eventual accommodation to communism." 

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Martin, that reads like some really hardcore CFR propaganda around 1965?

 When they were endorsing Johnson' buildup?

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58 minutes ago, Martin Blank said:

 

As a great industrial and military power, the United States has an interest in the region because it is an important source of strategic materials. Southeast Asia produces two-thirds of the world's tin and over 75 percent of its natural rubber. While its output of oil is not large in terms of total world production, American Policy 285 it is nevertheless of great strategic importance because so little oil is produced in South or Eastern Asia. In 1954 Free Asia (which for these particular commodities meant chiefly Southeast Asia) supplied the United States with 99 percent of its imports of copra, 91 percent of its natural rubber, 67 percent of its Manila hemp, 61 percent of its spices, and 58 percent of its tin. The loss of these supplies of strategic materials to the West would be serious but probably not irreparable. But free access to them by Communist countries would greatly strengthen the Red orbit. Before the war, the region also produced 65 percent of the world's copra, 40 percent of its palm oil, 85 percent of its pepper, 90 percent of its quinine, and 70 percent of its kapok. Burma, Indochina, and Thailand are also capable of producing tremendous quantities of rice.

The loss of Southeast Asia would have serious economic consequences for many nations of the free world and conversely would add significant resources to the Soviet bloc. Southeast Asia, especially Malaya and Indonesia, is the principal world source of natural rubber and tin, and a producer of petroleum and other strategically important commodities. The loss of Southeast Asia, especially of Malaya and Indonesia, could result in such economic and political pressures in Japan as to make it extremely difficult to prevent Japan's eventual accommodation to communism."

Apply the negative template: what is left out of the above analysis of SE Asian commodity markets?

Opium.

In the 50's heroin was weaponized, flooded into minority urban communities in a mass exercise of eugenics.

Apply the negative template: what is commonly left out of Vietnam war analyses like Jim's here?

Kennedy's policy in Laos.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 7:37 PM, Paul Brancato said:

Joe You're draft story reminds me of my own in a way. I think I'm a little older. My draft number was 45, and like you I went to Oakland for my exam, probably in 1970. I passed the physical, but before I went for my psyche exam I put a 'get out of Vietnam' sticker, which someone there was handing out, on my papers. I did have a letter from a Quaker org that supplied psyche exams for draftees. I ended up getting a psychological deferment. My examining psychologist told me he agree with my anti war sentiment!!!!

Joe and Paul maybe you can relate to this.  I just finished reading an article in the latest issue of Rolling Stone on Greg Allman.  "Greg also had no use for the Vietnam War.  One night he got drunk and shot himself in the foot.  He was then exempt from the selective service."

Edited by Ron Bulman

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I agree about what it did to this country.

But man, what about Vietnam?  Those poor people had just fought the French for eight years.  They finally won, and then the Dulles brothers, Nixon and Ike decided that they really had not won.  So they switch out Bao Dai for Ngo DInh Diem, and have him cancel the 1956 unification elections.  Nineteen years later, after about three million civilian casualties (and another 1.7 million if you throw in Cambodia) then the country is finally independent. 

And BTW, it did not take that long after for us to establish relations with them.  

Aas C Wright Mills once said, American foreign policy during the Cold War was really crackpot realism.

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