American point of view

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ájík, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. Ájík

    Ájík Well-Known Member

    A war in Vietnam : the longest military conflict in U.S. history – more than 58,000 Americans died - another 304,000 were wounded.
    I’m asking You US natives, maybe yourself or your parents or relatives were in the V war, I want to know your point of view, please write me your honest opinion. And tell me about the Vietnam war Veterans- how they're living today, how they're accepted today? Does they living with a honor or the folks don’t care … .
    How was the public voice between years 1965-1975? What did the children teaching at school about the war (during the war).
    And today… what is the imagine in your mind when You're hearing : „Vietnamese" or "Vietnam“?
    Your former President Nixon said :
    „No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.“ --Richard M. Nixon, 1985
    …do You agree??
    And further- do young Americans any interest for the past?
    Thanks 8)




  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well the age group of those who fought in the war or protested the war are now the ones running the country, teaching our children, and so forth. So I would say that the sentiment toward the vets is pretty good. I believe Vietnam Vets are honored like those from WWII or the Korean War. The Vietnam War was talked about a lot when Bush was running for president against John Kerry, due to the fact that in the 60's Kerry went before Congress and made several horrid accusations against the American soldiers. There was a group here called "Vietnam Vets against John Kerry” I believe his accusations had a lot to do with him loosing the race. (Thank God he lost, or we'd all be in trouble! :) )

    I can't personally answer your questions about what children were taught in school during the war because I was born in 1971. However, when going to school in the 80's, I can tell you we weren't taught a lot of history about that era. When we discussed that era in school, we mostly focused on the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. King rather than the war. At least at the school I attended.

    I can tell you that I've read and heard that the Vets were treated very poorly and spit upon as they came home. I also know a man who can never have kids because he got some sort of poisoning while in Vietnam. I guess it was some chemical that we dropped on the country and it even affected our own soldiers. I could have some of that messed up though because that's only hear say for me, since I wasn't alive then.

    Well there's my opinion, perhaps some older Americans can be of more help. However, I know we have a lot of movies about that War if you are interested. There is a movie called "The 60's". It gives a pretty good insight to what was happening during the 60's in the US. There is also a sequel called "The 70's" which just continues. There are several more movies about the war. There is also a movie called "The War at Home" but it is with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez and it's pretty liberal (anti-Vietnam War) so it gives a skewed perspective. Although it good to watch to see one perspective. I don't like a lot of violent movies so perhaps someone else would know of some good movies that really portray the War. I think "The Deer Hunter" was about the Vietnam War as well, but it was pretty graphic. I didn't like it.
  3. Ájík

    Ájík Well-Known Member

    thank you Katka, in fact I don't really know what should I think about the VW. Recently I have been listening many anti-American voices because of the Iraq (Afghanistan) conflict.
  4. Diane

    Diane New Member

    I am an older American. I was in my twenties during the time of the Viet Nam War. It was a horrible war and gained nothing for the United States. This is as the Iraq hostilities are gaining nothing for the United States.
    The negative receptions for vererans returning from the Viet Nam war were limited to certain areas. They were not spread all over the country. Make no mistake, I DO NOT approve of spitting on or taunting veterans.
    The other poster said John Kerry gave horrid statements against "the American soldiers". This is inaccurate. He related what he was told by some fellow soldiers. He was "swift boated" by a group claiming some of his military service was misrepresented. Those of the swift boat affair are themselves misrepresenting what happened.
    Instead, we have a president who is not only inexperienced and secretive, but was quick to plunge America in an unending war for extremely suspicious reasons. Further, his military service is very questionable. Living in Texas, I know about the favors that were extracted so that he could not only join the National Guard instead of regular military, but to get easy assignments.
    Back to how Viet veterans have been viewed. The ones that I have known did not experience any protests against themselves. They hate to talk about the war and some seem to have emotional problems.
    BTW, I did not serve in the war. I was busy giving birth to two wonderful children.
    The polls I see say that 60% of Americans are against the Iraq "war". I am definitely one of them. While I never wanted to invade Iraq in the first place and wish the hostilities were over, I don't blame the soldiers. I wish them God's speed and hurry home.
  5. Ájík

    Ájík Well-Known Member

    thanks a lot Diane, I appreciate your post.
  6. jkks

    jkks New Member

    i'm the daughter of a vietnam vet and while i will always stand up to defend diane and her right to free speech, i do not believe that same right includes unopposed speech...the poster asked about the VN war, not your personal viewpoint on the current to stay on topic i can offer this perspective...4 generations of military in my family and my dad is the only one who arrived home to find a less than grateful nation for his service...he was called and asked to serve and did so proudly for whatever the cause and at whatever the cost and yet, though he offered not only his service but also was willing to give his life, the thanks was nearly 20 years i have 4 generations of servicepeople in my family - and they have served in every war and conflict that the US has been involved in - i can tell you that his experience upon returning home was vastly different than that of even his brother who served in Korea...the political climate at the time, the changes in our social structure and expectations along with a mis-understood mis-directed conflict added to the stressors when he came back...this was the first war where the media was invited to share the pictures and stories from the front lines - and they shared what they felt were the most compelling pictures and images which led an unprepared population to react as one would expect them to - war is war, it's the most horrific example of humanity that exists...given that these oftentimes unfiltered images were coupled with the verbalization of the sentiment and pain we all feel when faced with the reality of humanity, the American public reacted appropriately in some cases and inappropriately in challenge any government's decision to assist another in their quest for freedom is a right of any free people, to demoralize and demonize those called into service for that cause is to what the current history books have to say about the conflict, my choice of the word conflict is pretty telling - they do not consider it a war, the history books gloss over that time period as a mistake in the course of the American development of "exporting freedom" and choose to continue to promote the idea that this "loss" was the result of an unwilling populace, an inept military and an unjust cause...the reality that is often missed in the history books is the US was asked to join a war already begun on behalf of the Vietnamese - a war that was headed by the French Government and their Military - we were asked to assist France and then were left to not only continue what had begun, but bear the brunt of the blame for what occurred...the war/conflict was mismanaged, the agenda was never clear, the process for leaving the country was not complete and did not take into account the decades of rebuilding and stabilization that were necessary...because of that, the US learned that they cannot just "bug out" when the big guns aren't needed anymore...unfortunately for those in the military who must stay behind, time is necessary in order to give the newly free nation an opportunity to grow and change and feel it's way toward it's own governance...this was never taken into consideration for dad is only recently willing to discuss what occurred with him there during his 2 tours (sub and riverboat)...his continued health problems - lung related - are due to exposure to chemical warfare and are not covered under the current VA act...he sleeps sitting in a lounge chair and has for as long as i can remember...he still has rations and keeps a month's supply of everything he needs in a room in his basement...he only recently has been able to sleep in an unlit room because his tour on a riverboat so traumatized him - gun fire from the darkened jungle in the middle of a starless night, night after night for months is not something one ever forgets...this war was unlike any previous war and was fought in a manner that our troops were unprepared for...there was no accounting for the trauma experienced by the men and women and no allowances for the proper medical and psychological attention once they returned...the generation who served in Vietnam are affected by it unlike the others, just as those who lived and grew up at that time are affected by it...speak with any other Vet and they tear up with pride, go to a VFW and you will find guys who served in WW2 and Korea playing cards and swapping stories, but it is rare to find a Vietnam Vet who will talk so if you find one, please tell him or her to keep talking - the stories should not be lost to the changes of the 60s and there is much we do not know about what happened and what truly did go wrong and we as a people need to learn...i did visit Vietnam within the past decade and was struck by the beauty of the country and culture and fell in love with the food...the women there are some of the most beautiful in the world and the pride in their freedom - though it was a long time to stabilize - is evident and i look forward to returning.
  7. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    It's a wise choice to create this post. It's essential to get all points of view. Getting "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say is extremely important. I understand from my husband, who reads CR online news, that the perspectives given over there are very anti-american.

    Since you know English, perhaps you could check out American online news to get another perspective. However, I must warn you, there are also many American news channels who continuously give a screwed perspective. I suggest Fox News. You can check them out at

    Although this post is about the VW and I don't want to debate the current administration, I simply would like to remind you Diane that in the 8 years Clinton was president, he also claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    See these websites:
  8. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

    About the first photo: My Lai 1968 or short around that period when I am right.
    Not to blame the USA (indeed the French were first involved) but a bad period in history for the USA.

    Hopefully it will be not repeated in Iraq. I can not support their actions overthere nevertheless history shows that these kind of wars have no winner, neither the conflict between Hezbolah/Palistine and Israel. Innocent people are always the victims and it seems to be that nobody has learned from the past. Sometimes it seems to be incredible complicated how to solve these problems in the world.

    Bring them home before it's too late. Just an opinion from an European citizen. (And still thankfull what you did for us in WWII)

  9. Diane

    Diane New Member

    I feel that I must apologize. After I posted my opinions, I worried that it might provoke a debate over American politics. Apparently that is what happened.
    I would hope that our friends and relatives in the Czech Republic can form their own opinion.
    However, may I caution that most American mainstream media is very often not objective. Certainly any Fox television site is biased. The only medium that really tries to remain objective is National Public Radio, online at
    Thanks for your patience,
  10. jkks

    jkks New Member

    i find the whole discourse on the proper behavior for the US gov. when it comes to international conflict quite interesting...i'm not targeting anyone here in this thread, just expanding the topic a WW2 the US was criticized for delaying their involvement until the war was brought to them and until there was a compelling self-interest (don't you care what goes on in the rest of the world?) and then subsequently criticized for leaving an unstable eastern europe to be overtaken by the USSR (you only take care of your own)...the US heard the criticism and in the Korean War made the decision to stay until the country was stable enough to protect their own borders and we all know that the US still defends the borders of S. Korea on their behalf because although there is a cease fire, the War has never actually been brought to a resolution, the DMZ is still in place between N and S Korea...the S. Koreans are understandably resentful but also have a sense of obligatory respect for the situation but after nearly 50 years still cannot provide for their own military protection to ensure their country actually stays their own...again, international criticism ensues that the US overstayed their mandate and there are suspicions of the motives (you must have some compelling self interest because you can't possibly care about what goes on in the world, uhm, you told us we should care, so we're showing we do)...Vietnam and the US is again embroiled in a war to secure freedom but during the war the US realizes that the opposition has not yet been determined because there is so much internal Vietnamese conflict that the true "enemy" is undefinable and therefor this is an "unwinnable" criticism is now joined by internal criticism that we came in for suspicious reasons and bugged out for suspicious reasons and left a nation unable to fully recover for nearly 30 years (see you only care about yourselves or you would have stayed to clean up your mess and our mess) Iraq 1 - invited to assist the Kuwaitis, given a clear mandate by the UN, in and out and get this job done...the US complies with the mandate and is criticized for not actually finishing what they started by not adding Saddam into the mix even when the UN said 'no way, not part of our deal, just help the Kuwaitis'...suspicions that the US is involved in some other kind of dealing in the area and didn't really want to hurt their position are raised (you didn't finish the super secret job that we really wanted you to do even though we told you, wink wink, don't do it ok? and why do you care so much)...Iraq 2 - international anti-American criticism is now in full force but remember the UN determined that 3, 4, 5, 6 and even 7 warnings should be issued when after warning number 2 the UN resolution was passed that full and complete military force would be used to subdue a rogue government with designs on expanding their borders whether by force or coercion, a government also involved in the systematic genocide of it's own people...though the US and a few other nations stand up and ask 'why aren't you enforcing the UN resolution?' no clear answer is given...compelling evidence is asked for, given and reviewed by an independent UN panel and a reluctant 'well we won't stop you if you want to help them, but what's really in it for you'...and now criticism that the US is in an unwinnable situation because the opposition has not been determined because of so much internal conflict and is overstaying their welcome and should just leave the country to figure it out (you should have left them alone to implode and clean up their own mess, why do you care so much and why now saddam when you didn't do it the last time when we told you not to, and we know you listened to the UN the last time and were mocked for it, but now when you don't listen to the UN we're going to get really mad and oh, by the way - you're overstaying your welcome again)...meanwhile in N. Korea questions are being asked why the US is not militarily forcing the issue with the weapons of mass destruction and allowing the UN process to proceed through it's steps (well, you all told us we had to listen to the UN or you'd get really really mad this time so we're listening) and in North Africa questions are being raised why the US isn't properly assisting with military force in helping a nation where the government of the day is interested in expanding their country's base and this same government is also involved in the systematic genocide of it's own people (see you don't really care, not really, if you did, you'd step in here even though when you stepped into Iraq we all hated you for it)...each war the US does listen to the international community, it does alter its involvement both pre and post conflict or war and then is summarily bitch-slapped for doing the wrong thing...stay, don't stay, help these people, don't help these people, why are you helping them, why aren't you helping them, you're too interested in yourself, you're too interested in other nations...make up your mind people cuz we have our own messes inside our own country that don't get nearly as much attention as they should
  11. Ájík

    Ájík Well-Known Member

    thanks Diane! Just show me an objective medium... :? :? ... there is NOT. Perhaps "Vox populi" may be the best media. I need to hear from Americans not from any american media. I have heard enough about Vietnam war from the media. Unfortunately I'm living in the middle of Europe and I don't meet many Americans every day :D :D ... that I could ask them.

    thank you all
  12. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well that's why it was such a good idea to create this post. You've gotten a couple sides of the story. One American says Fox news is fair and balanced, another American says it isn't and you should listen to NPR. I personally think NPR is very bent toward the left. I must admit, there are opinion shows on Fox that are very right winged but the actual news broadcasting shows are in the middle.

    Anyway, I don't blame you for wanting views from actual Americans instead of the media. We need to give props to this website for creating such a forum where one can find other's opinions.

    I must say, I'm surprised GlennInFlorida and GoodSirJava have not given us their views yet. I was quite curious to see what they would have to say about the Vietnam War.
  13. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    Well, I read some of the thread yesterday but was running late to get to work so I didn't have time to weigh in.

    Vietnam was a troubling time for everyone here. I didn't fully support the political motives behind the war, but fully understood the hardships and sacrifices our troops were making. I felt the utmost respect for all the women and men who were over there and never understood why the government, if we were going to be in Vietnam at all, didn't commit complete support for "winning" (whatever that may be). I also never understood the people who expressed their opposition to the war by degrading returning troops. I am glad the Vietnam Vets are now getting the recognition they deserve and only hope that in some distant day we won't have to discuss pros and cons of any war.

    My personal feelings towards the Vietnamese now are removed from the war and propaganda and are quite positive. On a lighter note, Lord knows I love a good Spring Roll.
  14. Ájík

    Ájík Well-Known Member

    :D :D :D

  15. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I share much of the sentiments jkks has written, particularly about the way the international community loves to criticize the U.S. , no matter what we do.

    With regards to the Vietnam War (I won't call it a "conflict"), I would say that Americans are still quite divided. Treatment in the press has generally become more balanced over the years, due particularly to the relatively recent campaigns for Americans to support U.S. troops, regardless of one's political view of the wars they fight. Many would still say that the Vietnam War should never have been fought, they the U.S. had no reason to go there in the first place. Some (I for one) would argue that the war served a purpose to resist the expansion of communism, in spite of the eventual outcome. As jkks pointed out, the U.S. was there answering a plea for help, so I would argue that the initial reason was valid. At the same time, war in any place at any time is an ugly thing, and it is generally difficult to answer the question of whether or not the loss of life (and quality of life) is justified, or whether the ideals and outcome were worth fighting for.

    Note, I am of the same generation as dzurisovak, so my perspective is also "after-the-fact."
  16. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Me Too!!!! :lol:
  17. gypzy

    gypzy Well-Known Member

    I was born soon after Nixon brought the troops home so obviously I don't know too much first hand knowledge about this topic. I do know that my mom actually ran away from home after an argument with my grampa about Vietnam. She came home the next day. My dad's mother was going to make plans to send my dad and his older brother to Canada if they were to get drafted.
    I have heard the stories about returning vets getting spit on and stuff thrown at them.
  18. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I don't think you need to think about it, unless you're very interested in American history or military history. We just barely touched on the Vietnam Conflict in my American History class in the 10th grade, and my teacher also mentioned the hostility towards returning soldiers and the mental problems, flashbacks and depression, soldiers came back with. Whenever people think of Vietnam vets, they usually think of paranoid, angry, unshaven alcoholics, unless they know some of the many vets who didn't end up like that. For some reason, that particular conflict has a lot of emotional drama attached to it, although we had "shell shock" in the World Wars and "soldier's heart" in our civil war. Must be those whiny boomers, they're so much more evolved than any other generation, only they can experience the full psychological horrors of war... :roll: Anyway, despite most Americans having barely any knowledge of history, Vietnam has left its mark on American culture; the anti-war side before our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq said both conflicts would turn into "another Vietnam". I even saw an editorial cartoon with Dubya standing in front of a map saying it was a map of the New Middle East...and the map showed Southeast Asia.
  19. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Don't know if you're still interested, or whether you will even find this.
    I didn't come of age for draft until right after the war, but was old enough to follow some of it..
    So I remember watching the nightly news with all the death counts. How many soldiers were killed that day.

    That war went on for over ten years and that is a long time for any population to put up with constant bad news and no significant well defined victories.
    The war became very unpopular in the late 60's., and it was unpopular because some people did not see a direct threat to America.
    The college campuses I think were the heart of the protests becuse the students coming to draft age did not want to be drafted. The wae was ten thousand miles away.
    Global politics, stop communist expansion, international power struggles.
    These were not good enough arguments for the students.

    No war is really popular, I don;t think. People always have to die.
    Sometimes force is necessary though.
    And sometimes decisions in hind sight don"t look like good choices, but at the time seeemed to make very good sense.
    No matter what, I hated that the soldiers were blamed by some.
    They served their country, and should be honored for that.
    If a war is unpopular, debate the issue wirh the government, not the troops. But it was a small minority who was so radical that they could spit on the troops, I would like to think.
    Soldiers in Iraq are getting much more support from home, as they should. So maybe at least that lesson was learned from Vietnam.
    There are some who would never fight a war no matter what, but I don't think they would have their liberty long.
  20. BMoody

    BMoody Well-Known Member

    I think most of us Americans from my generation (born around the mid/early 1980s, "1985" for me) learned about the war from our parents. The history channel helps too, lol.

    My family, like the one miss who posted earlier, is a military family:

    Father-Vietnam, Gulf War 1, Afghanistan (1980s advisor) (Combat sniper, Drill Sargent, and Combat arms instructor)
    Mother-Gulf War 1, Grenada (Supply & Trans)
    Brother-Afghanistan, Iraq War (82nd Airborne)
    Grandfather- WW2 Pacific theater, Korean War (P38 pilot, West Point Grad)
    Great Grandfather- WW2, WW1, Mexican Punative Expidition (West Point Grad)
    Great Great Grandfather- Civil War (Confederate)
    and so on... our last name actually means "Impetuous and Brave" and we pride ourselves on being warriors... quaint note...


    My father expressed to me the "domino theory" of the Vietnam War. Most people will stop right here and suddenly put my father's, and consequently my, opinion into a box, yet it is more complicated. After the conflict escalated, and after we sided with the French to keep their colonial holdings, Chinese and thus Russian influence spread into Vietnam as Ho Chi Mihn looked for aid. America screwed up and should have helped Vietnam become a democracy but we sided with the French. So then, once the Chinese and Russians were involved, we were stuck fighting the "communist" factions instead of the "nationalist" factions which the French encountered. We then had an outlet for all the Cold War tension and a battlefield to employ our weopons. Our show of force in Vietnam gave the Russians something to think about and might have detoured conflict elsewhere. It's a wierd train of thought, and I really question if it's just a justification, but it does make sense to the "domino theory" commonly expressed by hawkish government administration lackies of the time.

    On a personal note, my father experienced a lot of killing, death, and destruction, yet he says he has never regretted his actions. In spite of all the "bullshit" going in politics justifying it all, my father seems to really not care while in Vietnam. For him, the Vietnam War was the battlefield and faces of friends and foes. He was 21 and high on combat and adventure. Coming back, he stayed in the military and didn't have to transition to civilian life so quick so the anti-war stuff didn't get to him. (Even though he has expressed to me about running riot control as a national gaurdsmen before he enlisted and beating hippies up. :-/ ) He saw the war as "necissary."

    I do not. We should have supported Ho Chi Mihn in his first nationalist movement and not the French. And later, diplomacy might have actually worked!! We only tried the stick method however. War might have been unavoidable though, but peace was not considered enough. I know absolutely most of the soldiers did not commit atrocities, and I know that most soldiers in Vietnam actually had signed up. But I also know that conscription brought the unwilling along, and that drugs, sex, and burocracy were a constant for many. It's a wierd time, but I feel like I get a good caption through my father, and the many people I've talked to about it. I could go on for hours on war stories, before and after too, but I'll leave it at that now.

    Bottom line
    For my father: The war was necissary for geo politics.
    For me: The war could have been avoided, but perhaps used to further the U.S. war machine and policies against the USSR in arms and spheres of influence race.

    See the movies: "We were soldiers", "Good Morning Vietnam", "The Killing Fields"(Cambodian conflict but related),"Full Metal Jacket", "Hamburger Hill", "Coming Home", "Green Barrett"(A John Wayne propoganda film for the war), "Air America", "The Deer Hunter"(Anti War Drama), "Nixon", "13 Days"(A good shot of U.S. Presidential Reactions during the time), and "Apocolypse Now". Every one of them is slanted pro or against the war in some way, yet they show different parts of it. They are all good!!

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