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Old 12-25-2005, 01:21 AM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Who Said This About Vietnam?

The Secretary of Defense said that giving up would mean allowing the Communists to impose "their dark vision on the rest of the world.

"Let there be no doubt: if the United States were to withdraw from Vietnam today the Communists emboldened by their victory would attack us elsewhere in the region and at home in the United States, he said.

"We will win this war. It's a test of wills, and let there be no doubt that is what it is," he said. He told the troops that "generations before you have persevered and prevailed, and they too were engaged in a test of wills."
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:27 AM
xpokerx xpokerx is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

McNamara?
Rumsfeld?
Laird?
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2005, 03:20 AM
ACPlayer ACPlayer is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

The OP may have a different and very important point.
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:44 AM
New001 New001 is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

Here's an excerpt from a link I posted in the Defense Science Board thread. I think it's pretty relevant here, and the best read I've seen on the subject. Link (excerpt starts on page 41)

[ QUOTE ]
In the second half of the 20th century U.S. national security was driven by the Cold War. America and its allies faced a seemingly powerful adversary—the Soviet Union — whose strategic objectives were inimical to our own. During this long struggle we used the various elements of national power—diplomatic, informational, military and economic - to advance our interests. There is a conviction held by many that the “War on Terrorism” will have a similar influence in the 21st century. There are indeed similarities between the two struggles, and strategic communication will be as central to this war as it was to our Cold War strategy.





Throughout the Cold War the U.S. used a variety of informational and cultural means to weaken Marxist-Leninist regimes and keep alive the hope of freedom for tens of millions behind the “Iron Curtain.” Over the course of the Cold War era a suite of organizations — especially the Voice of America, the United States Information Agency, and a broad program of cultural and educational exchanges — spearheaded this effort. Several Presidential decision directives staked out the central role to be played by strategic communication. When Ronald Reagan stood in Berlin in June 1987 and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”, he was speaking to a live television audience of millions behind that wall. East Germans had been watching Western TV for years, but Reagan turned this reality into a powerful metaphor that the wall’s days were numbered.





The Cold War transformed the entire U.S. national security structure, and created what has been called the “national security state.” The National Security Act of 1947, the web of military departments and intelligence agencies that it created, and the overriding doctrines of deterrence and containment, were integral to the Cold War. But above all the Cold War represented a conservative strategy that nurtured a conservative mindset: its strategy spoke of change, but its pervasive charge in contrast was to preserve. Despite 34 seemingly black-and-white differences in governments and policies, over time we came to resemble our adversary, as our adversary came to resemble us. The U.S.S.R. generally acted like a normal nation state with which we could conduct diplomacy, conclude treaties, and engage in statecraft with a reasonably predictable leadership. By the 1960s the possibility of nuclear war declined as the terrible recognition of its apocalyptic consequences grew. In fact, both sides increasingly sought the assurance of stability to keep even the possibility of nuclear confrontation at arm’s length. But stability encouraged — even demanded — predictability, and thus the bureaucratic activities of both sides became highly routine. The Cold War evolved over time into a ritualized struggle that sought its own comfortable perpetuation. The very idea of “victory” slowly transformed from the idea of defeating Communism to the more perfect realization of “stability.” Thus the Cold War’s end and outcome, with Russia in the 1990s reduced almost to a client state of the U.S., came as a shocking surprise.





Our thorough inability to grasp the final dynamic changes that led to the end of the Cold War should be unsettling to us, but after all, the outcome was also a total victory. So the Cold War template was almost mythically anointed in the decade before 9/11. Thus, with the surprise announcement of a new struggle, the U.S. Government reflexively inclined toward Cold War-style responses to the new threat, without a thought or a care as to whether these were the best responses to a very different strategic situation.





The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the passage of the Patriot Act were two such representative organizational and legislative responses. There will surely be many more the longer the struggle goes on — because deeper expectations within the Washington policy and defense cultures still seek out Cold War models. There is an expectation that, like the Cold War, the U.S. will naturally create enduring alliances and coalitions. Moreover, if the Cold War could be described as a struggle against one form of totalitarianism — Marxist-Leninism — so too there is a desire to describe the “War on Terrorism” as a struggle against yet another form of totalitarianism — this time in the form of a radical Islamist vision. Thus the problem is presented as one of how to confront and eventually defeat another totalitarian evil. And as with the Cold War, many now also declare that it is incumbent on the U.S. to assume leadership in this struggle.





But this is no Cold War. We call it a war on terrorism; but Muslims in contrast see a history-shaking movement of Islamic restoration. This is not simply a religious revival, however, but also a renewal of the Muslim World itself. And it has taken form through many variant movements, both moderate and militant, with many millions of adherents; of which radical fighters are only a small part. Moreover, these movements for restoration also represent, in their variant visions, the reality of multiple identities within Islam.





If there is one overarching goal they share, it is the overthrow of what Islamists call the “apostate” regimes: the tyrannies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, and the Gulf states. They are the main target of the broader Islamist movement, as well as the actual fighter groups. The United States finds itself in the strategically awkward — and potentially dangerous — situation of being the longstanding prop and alliance partner of these authoritarian regimes. Without the U.S. these regimes could not survive. Thus the U.S. has strongly taken sides in a desperate struggle that is both broadly cast for all Muslims and country-specific.





This is the larger strategic context, and it is acutely uncomfortable: U.S. policies and actions are increasingly seen by the overwhelming majority of Muslims as a threat to the survival of Islam itself. Three recent polls of Muslims show an overwhelming conviction that the U.S. seeks to “dominate” and “weaken” the Muslim World. Not only is every American initiative and commitment in the Muslim World enmeshed in the larger dynamic of intra-Islamic hostilities — but Americans have inserted themselves into this intra-Islamic struggle in ways that have made us an enemy to most Muslims.





Therefore, in stark contrast to the Cold War, the United States today is not seeking to contain a threatening state/empire, but rather seeking to convert a broad movement within Islamic civilization to accept the value structure of Western Modernity — an agenda hidden within the official rubric of a “War on Terrorism.”





But if the strategic situation is wholly unlike the Cold War, our response nonetheless has tended to imitate the routines and bureaucratic responses and mindset that so characterized that era. In terms of strategic communication especially, the Cold War emphasized:
• Dissemination of information to “huddled masses yearning to be free.” Today we reflexively compare Muslim “masses” to those oppressed under Soviet rule. This is a strategic mistake. There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-U.S. groundswell among Muslim societies — except to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the U.S. so determinedly promotes and defends.
• An enduringly stable propaganda environment. The Cold War was a status quo setting that emphasized routine message-packaging — and whose essential objective was the most efficient enactment of the routine. In contrast the situation in Islam today is highly dynamic, and likely to move decisively in one direction or another. The U.S. urgently needs to think in terms of promoting actual positive change.
• An acceptance of authoritarian regimes as long as they were anti-communist. This could be glossed over in our message of freedom and democracy because it was the main adversary only that truly mattered. Today, however, the perception of intimate U.S. support of tyrannies in the Muslim World is perhaps the critical vulnerability in American strategy. It strongly undercuts our message, while strongly promoting that of the enemy.





Communicating authority and persuading others has been an essential tool of statecraft since ancient times. Three millennia ago Assyrian kings carved scenes of their power and majesty into stone tableaux meant to impress their authority on peers and subjects alike. In the mid 20th century all of the major powers made extensive use of radio as a means of extending information and influence across borders. Twenty years ago the Reagan Administration had a sophisticated grasp of the power of information — especially television — characterizing information as one of the elements of national power.





Yet the current national security strategy (October 2002) says nothing about the power of information nor does it allude to the necessity of integrating all of the forms of national power and authority. We now have national strategies for securing cyberspace, protecting national infrastructures, military strategy, and others, yet a national strategy for the employment of strategic communication does not exist. This blind spot existed throughout the 1990s, abetted in part by the belief that the end of the Cold War also ended our responsibility to continue strategic communication. This critical strategic mistake was made at the same time a new threat posed by radical Islam was emerging.





Strategic communication must be at the center of America’s overall grand strategy in this war. But how should we begin to move in this direction? The U.S. Government does not even have a coherent statement of the problem, and refuses to address the importance of strategic communication in addressing it. Moreover, it has adopted a Cold War style response in terms of activity and organization. So where to begin? (Continued)


[/ QUOTE ]
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2005, 05:09 PM
xpokerx xpokerx is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

Yes and no. He has another point, but it is not important.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2005, 05:47 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Apples and Oranges

Who said the below quote in 1938 after agreeing that Nazi Germany was entitled to invade the Sudetenland areas of Czechoslovakia in order to secure peace at any price at that moment, heedless of future consequences?

"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2005, 09:17 PM
natedogg natedogg is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

We have always been at war with Oceana

natedogg
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2005, 09:56 PM
Peter666 Peter666 is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

2 million dead Cambodians murdered by communists can't be wrong.
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2005, 10:46 PM
Rick Nebiolo Rick Nebiolo is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

Andy,

I see some trick wording here - I think you're quoting several different people, not all of whom are the Secretary of Defense.

My picks:

"The Secretary of Defense said that giving up would mean allowing the Communists to impose "their dark vision on the rest of the world."

Macnamara.

"Let there be no doubt: if the United States were to withdraw from Vietnam today the Communists emboldened by their victory would attack us elsewhere in the region and at home in the United States, he said."

Kennedy.

"We will win this war. It's a test of wills, and let there be no doubt that is what it is," he said. He told the troops that "generations before you have persevered and prevailed, and they too were engaged in a test of wills."

Johnson.


Regards,

Rick
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2005, 03:23 AM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Re: Who Said This About Vietnam?

Rumsfeld said this about Iraq on his recent visit: that giving up would mean allowing the terrorists to impose "their dark vision on the rest of the world."

"Let there be no doubt: if the United States were to withdraw from Iraq today the terrorists emboldened by their victory would attack us elsewhere in the region and at home in the United States."

"We will win this war. It's a test of wills, and let there be no doubt that is what it is," he said. He told the troops that "generations before you have persevered and prevailed, and they too were engaged in a test of wills."

Bluff This makes a good point: historical analogies can be iill-advised and inapt. I myself have pointed this out in previous threads.

Admitting that, the words of the current administration eerily parrot those of others I have heard in my lifetime who were going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. Peter666 has pointed out that Pol Pot was a monster; indeed he was.

But great evils were inflicted on the people of Vietnam by the United States. We were not a monster, but we acted monstrously because we failed to see local conditions and to understand local history in the context of what we saw as a worldwide battle against evil. This is not to say that that evil did not exist. It is to say that to see everything in terms of that battle only is to see only part of the picture and to miss the rest of the picture can lead to disaster, both for the United States and for the people it is trying to help.

The administration claims things are simple: a battle of good vs. evil. If you're not with us, you're against us. Two pictures I saw recently, Munich and Syriana try to show that a manichean world view of only black and white results in violence and nothing much else. It is very hard to export our values to others if we compromise them ourselves.
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