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June 25, 2010 - 8:03am

Today's Poll: What are your thoughts on the Vietnam War?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Laura Russell Ricci
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I wish there was just the "it was before my time" because I give a lot of thought. My father being a Vietnam Veteran influenced how I grew up and who I am today...even so far as joining the military myself.
Billie Owens
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Can someone tell me why it is supposedly correctly referred to as the Vietnam Conflict and not war?
Chris Charvella
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Because there was never a declaration of war by Congress. I'm sure the men who sacrificed their lives didn't care about the semantics though, nor do I. Whatever our feelings about certain wars, we should never forget them or their families. I've never been to the Memorial in D.C. and I'm looking forward to spending some time with the Moving Wall this weekend.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Technically speaking Chris, there has not been a "declaration" of war made by congress since world war 2. Contrary to popular belief the absence of a declaration of war does not make the use of military force illegal.
bud prevost
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That's right, there was never a declaration of war. It's just another instance of the US intervening in foreign affairs, and trying to impose our will upon the situation. This was a clear case of the US acting as the world's police, and nothing good ever came from it. A good example as to why the US should tend to affairs here at home, and let the rest of the world take care of themselves. We had thousands of troops die in Vietnam, and they died with no clear goal as to why they were there. We currently have troops in over 175 countries worldwide. We are involved in 2 foreign wars. And we are viewed by the majority of the world as arrogant and selfish. It's time to bring our service folks home, to America, and let's take care of business here. Secure our borders, assist in rebuilding OUR infrastructure, and be on alert for enemy attacks.
Chris Charvella
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I wasn't saying the Vietnam war was illegal Jeremiah, just that it wasn't officially a war. The President has the power as Commander in Chief to put US Forces anywhere he wants to.
Chris Charvella
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double
John Roach
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Billie, Viet Nam was called a "conflict" by the administrations in DC at the time because "war" had a more negative tone. That became the official title. Most people call it the Viet Nam War.Same thing for Korea, when "Police Action" sounded better to the administration than "war". And Chris is 100% right, it was never a declared war by congress.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Chris, I wasn't saying you were. Just wanted to point out for other readers. Some people get that impression especially with the most recent military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Bud, Where did you get your numbers from? For troops being in over 175 countries in the world.
Chris Charvella
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I didn't think so Jeremiah, I just wanted to make sure I was being clear.
Gabor Deutsch
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I found this website that says 150 countries : Published: Dec. 2, 2009 at 1:01 PM http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2009/12/02/Deployment-of-US-troops/U...
jonathan bell
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bud your comment is arrogent in itself? to say bring our troops home is th wrong thing to do. millions of civilians were killed in ww2 because of religion we stepped in because its the right thing to do for human rights. bosnias ethnic cleansing we stepped in and made the right move afghanistan i people ravished by war and poverty we stepped in ONLY after attacked. call me crazy but its american history to not only help those in need but to defend ourselves with w/e means necessary to let the world no attack our soil we'll come for you. name one time th US military was deployed without being first provocted. wether for human rights or to protect a people? the french helped us get freedom. what if they never did?
Howard B. Owens
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"name one time the US military was deployed without being first provoked." Mexican-American War. Philippines Revolution. Vietnam. Iraq.
John Roach
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Jonathan, Check your history book again. We didn't step into WW II because it was the right thing to do. Does Pearl Harbor ring a bell?
jonathan bell
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vitnam? vietnam stated as a UN mission iraq? saddam didnt kill a hundred thousand= kurds? mexican american war? how bout they tried to take texas. the philippines revolution was because the filipinos told the US they would allow troops to be stationed on its soil if the US Military helped them oust the spanish the same way the french helped in our revolution. mexican american war was because texas wanted to be its own country the us agreed then when mexico tried to take texas back (alamo) they asked for the US to help and agreed to become a part of the US again. you gave 4 examples of unprovoked wars yet 2 were the US being asked for help 1 was a united nations mission and the 4th was to oust saddam who had killed 100,000+ of his own people with mustard gas. oh and mr roach, pearl harbor was japan not germany. If you read a book youd know that pearl harbor actually tore apart germany and jjapan cause hitler didnt want the US in the war. he knew if the US entered the war to early his chances of winning were dismal at best. Before you tell someone to open a text book maybe you should know the person first. Im 6 months away from a military history masters so i do know the military us my life i love it i study it i know it
John Roach
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Jonathan, Get your money back. Our Viet Nam involvment was never a UN mission, ask the French. Where did you get that idea? Cite the UN resolution. Our involvement actually started right after WW II with trying to get allied POWs out and back home. Texas was part of Mexico. They had a revolution and became and independent county. By the time the Mexican War started, Texas had already joined the US as a state (the only independent country to voluntarily do so). We sent troops into a disputed area on the Mexican boarder and basically started a shoot out. By the way, Abraham Lincoln called it an unjust war. The Philippine insurrection started when we did not give them their independence in the early 1900's, after taking the islands from Spain. In fact, we never got around to independence it until after WW II (you knew that, right?). You said "we stepped in" WW II. We didn't step in, we were attacked. Big, big difference.
John Roach
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Howard, Add Lebanon (twice), Haiti, and Dominican Republic.
jonathan bell
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im gonna leave the rest of that alone and focus on ww2. yes we were attack and we responded. why complain about afghanistan and iraq? were we not attack on our own soil by terrorist? did congrss not vow to seek out terrorist anywhere and everywhere and bring them to justice or kill them? did congress not vow to go to war with any country that allowed terrorist safe haven? the war on global terror has proven they are doing just that. On D day alone there were over 9000 casualties and that was less then 72 hours. weve had troops in afghanistan since november of 01 and have half as many casualties. why not have soldiers die in 7000 miles away then have civilians killed in our own land. We take an oath to defend this country and ya defend and serve but i know for a fact that any person in a uniform would rather give their life fighting in a foreign land then have the enemy come to his house and kill his family and friends. that was our motto over there "get them before they get us"
Howard B. Owens
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Vietnam: Gulf of Tonkin was a lie. Mexican-American War: We provoked Mexico by annexing Texas. Philippines: We provoke revolutionaries by annexing the Philippines. As for Iraq, as tragic and evil as the Saddam Hussein regime was, you still didn't list anything that would be considered a provocation in regard to the United States. Iraq never attacked the United States. I also left out the U.S. occupation of Nicaragua. BTW: What was the provocation for the U.S. to enter WWI? Because Germany hoped Mexico would declare war on the U.S.? Did Mexico do that? Have you ever studied the propaganda machine (the birth of modern propaganda) Wilson unleashed to convince Americans to turn from isolationism into interventionists?
John Roach
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Why leave the rest alone? And I am happy to see you understand WW II now. As for Iraq of Afghanistan, I didn't bring them up and you said you wanted to "focus on ww2". Do so.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Philippines Revolution- The conflict began officially on June 2, 1899, when the Philippines declared war against the United States and it officially ended on July 4, 1902 I would venture to say that a declaration of war against America from another country constitutes provocation. In 1836 the Republic of Texas declared it's independence from Mexico. The Republic of Texas was recognized by Britain, France and the United States of America. America annexed Texas in 1845, Mexico who refused to recognize the independence of Texas back in 1836, then declared war against the United States. Once again, a declaration of war against the United States from another country constitutes provocation. Vietnam, no out right provocation. All kinds of complications resulting from French colonization, Japanese occupation, resumption of French colonization, Communist expansion until finally the US intervened. So you're right on that one Howard it was unprovoked. Even if the South Vietnamese Government requested American help. And America thought it was prudent to get involved to stem the expansion of Communism. As for Iraq, we should not have invaded them in 2003. President Clinton should have done his job back in 1998. When Saddam expelled weapons inspectors in violation of UN sanctions. The funny part about all the opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a lot of those same Senators and Congressional representatives that were so adamant about their opposition to the invasion and how they were lied to were the same ones demanding that President Clinton remove Saddam from power even if it required the use of Military force.
jonathan bell
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we werent provoked into iraq? he killed a hundred thousand people and trained terrorists thats proven. I've personally interviewed insurgents or iraqi decent that were al queda trained. vietnam was a UN at the begining the french asked for help we helped. great presidents use their military to protect the united states and its allies. if you dont use the military it will wither away. im so sick of these liberals and thinking everything is a big lie. i said it before in a post if your sick of the country there is one 45 minutes away bye!everything thats been said here is you think america is a bully. if thats the cas so somewhere else even if america is a bully good. whens the last time a COUNTRY attacked the US? its been 69 years because the world knows we will respond whats wrong with that? if your punched in the face do you offer to by the guy a coffee and discuss your differences or do you hit him right back in the mouth and or call the police? well america is the police. if a country is bullied of a people is bullied we respond like a big brother to the rescue. how many millions of people has america helped over the years ww1 ww2 korea serbia bosnia kosovo iraq afghanistan. the us military almost by itself saved an enitre continent. millions and millions of people try to get into this country every month but the people here do nothing but complain about things that go on here about our government. i hate obama but i only have to deal with an elected official till the next election. iraqis had no choice it was saddam and saddam only. afghanis had no choice taliban or death. we have more rights we complain about then most countries have at all. this website for example more specifically these comments. go to china and post that stuff or iran or pakistan. say good bye to your hands
Howard B. Owens
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Jonathan, you're bringing in a lot of extraneous stuff. First, I'm no liberal. Second, nothing in what I've said have I questioned the freedoms of the United States or the quality of life in the United States, or raised any doubt as to my thankfulness of my own freedoms. I'm merely pointing out quite factually that the United States hasn't always acted militarily with the purest of motivations. In 2003, I supported the neo-con position on Iraq and bought into the justification for war, which to me -- no matter what liberals will tell you -- wasn't really about WMD (I've never bought into the "Bush Lied" meme). It was about what an evil person Saddam was. As my knowledge and maturity has grown, I've come to see the fallacies of that line of thinking. The only role the United State military should play is to protect us against direct attack from other nations. We should have no troops overseas short of this direct mission, ever, anywhere. The examples I cited are examples of U.S. Imperialism, not national defense. From Mexico to Nicaragua, from the Philippines to Vietnam, and including Iraq -- these were wars of conquest, not wars of protection. A democratic nation should not be an imperial nation. America is not the police. It has no business arrogantly proclaiming itself the police. One of the greatest national security postures we could take would be to stop this insane and ludicrous posturing as the world's police. What you state above is a classic neo-conservative position. I once referred to myself as a neo-conservative. Do you know the history of neo-conservatism? The original neo-conservatives were liberal Democrats who thought the Democratic party wasn't sufficiently hawkish. So they became Republicans with the specific goal of pushing the GOP from its traditionally isolationist positions toward a more interventionist foreign policy, especially in regards to Israel. They were thoroughly liberal in their thinking, including the idea that the government can solve all problems. The true conservative doesn't look to the government for solutions, including when it comes to solving problems of other countries. The neo-cons rejected that non-interventionist philosophy and totally remade the Republican party in their own image. You don't have to be pro-War to be pro-American. In fact, it is far more conservative to care more about your local community first, and let the rest of the world worry about itself. We have huge debt, crumbling infrastructure, rising taxes, more and more jobs being shipped over seas, inner cities with rising crime rates, and we waste $6 billion a year that could be better spent on problems at home rather than supporting a military stretched too thin over the entire globe. How is that patriotic? How is that being a good American? How is that making the world safe for democracy? If the home front collapses, will overthrowing Saddam be worth it? I care a lot more about Batavia than I care about Baghdad.
jonathan bell
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i agree with alot of what you said. giving haiti as much aide as we did was wrong same thing with the typhoons. give aide in the way of man power but giving haiti money to rebuild when our country has starving and homeless is wrong but when someone asks for help or we see a wrong being done arent we all taught from an early age to help if we can? i joined the Army to help people which is why i enlisted for the job i did to help people. Some people in this world wont respond to sanctions or stern talks by politicians some need to see youll respond in force. Alls we hear about is whats being done COMBAT wise because the media only reports what will get peoples attention and face it casualties get attention. I love Fox news but even I admit its biased. you hardly ever hear about an old taliban training camp turned into an ophanage or a school because the media puts there own spin on things. I love new york it will always be my "home" but i could never go there because the government in ny thinks that because they spend more then they make instead of cutting the budget theyll just raise taxes on everything and then tax the tax. i have 14 years left in the service before i retire and as much as i love this country and hate socialism me and my wife have decided if things dont change were retiring in germany. we need a president that will stand in front of that podium and not care about the latest polls and ust tell americans "You elected me because you wanted me to lead" and lead thats it nothing else just lead the country and do what you think is right. isnt that why we vote the way we do? dont lie dont flip flop to get approval just do what a president does and that makes our country stronger healthier and safer.
jonathan bell
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i too care more about this country then any other country in america i bled for it. but i believe everyone should have the same opportunities that we as americans do. it doesnt matter where you live here or what kind of money you make we all have the same opportunities so why not try and take that and give it to other people? my wife and child are safe when im getting shot at and blown up and thats what drives me take the fight to them dont wait for the fight to come to you
John Roach
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Jonathan, For the record,the Philippines did not declare war on us, ever. We declared war against Spain, which owned the Philippnes. As a result of wining the war (The Spanish American War), we took the Philippine Island from Spain. The people there thought we would leave, but we didn't. An insurgent movement started against us that lasted years. Mexico, We declared war on Mexico, on May 13, 1846, not the other way around.
Jeremiah Pedro
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John, Mexico did declare war on the US following the annexation of the Republic of Texas. Mexico never recognized Texas as an independent republic. They viewed Texas much as China views Taiwan. Just a rebellious province. Mexico even warned the US that they would declare war if the annexation was offered to Texas. So what you said is factually in correct. The Republic of Texas was recognized as such by France, England, as well as the United States. France and England both pleaded with Mexico to refrain from hostilities with the US.
John Roach
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What was the date you say they declared war on us?
bud prevost
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Jonathan, I'm sorry if you find my views as arrogant. There may be some that argue the US suffers from the same affliction. Who or what gives us the right to determine how other nations should act? When was our great nation deemed "sheriff of the world"? My thoughts are, and continue to be, our troops are best utilized here in America, and on foreign soil if we are provoked. Jeremiah, here is a link to view: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_military_bases We need to shore up our own borders, get tough on illegal immigrants, and get back to being the USA. The amount of manpower and money that is wasted on our nation's ego is mindboggling! That money would be better spent on new roads, bridges, electric grid, hospitals, and a secure border. I am not anti-American. I am anti-everyone else, especially anti-illegal immigrants.
bud prevost
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We declared war on Mexico May 13,1846, and Mexico in turn declared war on us July 7 of the same year.
John Roach
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Bud, Thank you. That was the point I was making to Jonathan. We declared war on them first, not the other way around.

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