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  • Saturday, April 30, 2005

    Reflecting on US defeat in Vietnam 30 years on

    C S Monitor reflects on the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and of US defeat in Vietnam:

    Yet amid all the pomp and circumstance, there's little sign of distaste for the United States, whose troops waged war here from 1965 until their final withdrawal after the signing of the Paris peace treaty in 1973. "We have too much work to do," says a young man who, like more than half of Vietnam's 80 million people, was born after April 30, 1975. "My parents talk about these things. We don't think about them." The lessons learned in school about the revolution - the defeat of the South Vietnamese and US forces - and the rise of the new order seem hardly to permeate the outlook of most people as they fight to survive in what, to all outward appearances, is a free-wheeling environment. The communist government may control the economy through large state-owned corporations, but private entrepreneurs are everywhere, running everything from restaurants to Internet cafes.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts


    At 4/30/2005 03:45:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A young official from Hanoi talks of the happy life of the people and the freedom they now enjoy in comparison to the "brutality" of the US-backed Saigon government.

    What do you expect "a young official from Hanoi" to say ?

    At 4/30/2005 05:41:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    The official being a stooge doesn't make the U.S. role in Viet Nam any more palatable.

    At 4/30/2005 10:45:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    South Vietnam was doing quite well until Hanoi took over after the (Democrat controlled) US Congress betrayed their ally.
    The subsequent workers' paradise led to the "boat people" exodus and spilled over into Cambodia and the killing fields.

    At 4/30/2005 11:29:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


    At 5/01/2005 03:22:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    What was the "quite well" part?

    The startegic hamlets?

    My Lai?


    Chemical weapons?

    Carpet bombing?

    Civilian casualties so high that they are not really know to the nearest million?

    Operation Wheeler Wallawa?

    Operation Speedy Express?

    At 5/01/2005 04:26:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Also, I knew the NY Post was vacuous, but that link is ridiculous. 35 words. Wow.

    At 5/01/2005 05:15:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Read what was said - "until Hanoi took over after .." i.e. after the US military was gone. Their economy was going well, the South being very entrepreneurial, oil had been discovered offshore and so on. Replaced by a murderous dictatorship egged on by cynical pseudo-intellectuals in the west, the very kind who are first to go to the gulags if their countries were to be overrun, but no of course they operate from a comfortable safe distance. Despicable.

    At 5/01/2005 05:18:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    NY Post Column

    At 5/01/2005 12:32:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    Before Hanoi took over, the country was (and still is) largely an agrarian society (measured by employment, not GDP). In recent years it has experienced rather rapid growth as the country has reformed its economy somewhat.

    All that said, read what was said - " What was the "quite well" part? The startegic hamlets? My Lai? Nampalming? Chemical weapons? Carpet bombing? Civilian casualties so high that they are not really know to the nearest million? Operation Wheeler Wallawa? Operation Speedy Express?" All this was before Hanoi took over and all of it was despicable.

    History without the facts ignored.

    At 5/01/2005 04:32:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well if you only read Chomsky's garbage I guess one can understand your attitudes. Try the "Black Book" and similar for balance.

    At 5/01/2005 05:15:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    Nice well poiosoning. Say, speaking of the "Black Book," try Amartya Sen, namely his work with Jean Dreze in Hunger and Public Action. In this work they find that with India's excess of preventable deaths of 4 million a year that "India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame." Seems if one is to read the Black Book, they'll need to read a bit more than just it to find that "balance" you speak of.

    At 5/01/2005 08:15:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    From the New York Times, no less
    - not only to unify Vietnam under Communist Party rule, but also to support the victory of Communists in other nations. They saw themselves as the outpost of world revolution in Southeast Asia and desired to help Communists in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and elsewhere.

    At 5/01/2005 08:19:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The Black Book was written to document crimes committed by communist regimes while it was still possible because the leftists in the West were all too quick to sweep them under the rug. In this goal it succeeds.
    The communists collectively made Hitler's lot look like raw beginners in comparison.

    Why you introduce something irrelevant about India is presumably just a distraction.

    At 5/01/2005 09:26:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think that djeb is a wannabee 'intellectual', and he's not far off. I'm sure that he'll take that as a compliment, but what is an intellectual?
    'Intellectuals' have traditionally sat around cafes in Paris, Berlin and London and they discuss 'ideas': not normal ideas like useful concepts and inventions, but things like 'dictatorships of the protelariat' where anyone who isn't a 'worker' gets 'eliminated', the abolition of money (Tariq Ali) but not the utter chaos which would reign. Occasionally, one of their number gets into power somewhere and puts these 'ideas' into practice. For example, the idea of 'year zero' was put into practice by a french-trained 'intellectual'. It sounds like a great thing to discuss on the left bank on a nice summer's evening, bit of wine, bit of brandy, with all the other 'intellos' from the local facultes. In reality, it meant the elimination (murder, to decent people) of anybody who had education. But hey, as the 'intellectuals' say, "you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs".
    As for me and my peers and colleagues, we're too intelligent to be taken in by such drivel.
    Marxism, Communism, Nazism, PC. All the same and all absolute s**t.


    At 5/02/2005 04:19:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    First I shall address the "Black Book" issue yet again.

    I find it quite ironic that you claim that the "Black Book was written to document crimes committed by communist regimes while it was still possible because the leftists in the West were all too quick to sweep them under the rug." First of all, the crimes of the communist states have been denounced by by plenty of leftists, including such scholars as Noam Chomsky, whose work the brave anonymous poster called "garbage without explaining why it is so, and Bertrand Russell.

    New York Times reviewer Alan Ryan said of the book that it broke "the silence over the horrors of Communism". Wow. I'm not sure when there was silence over the horrors of communism. When I was a child, I routinely heard of the horrors in the media - news, and entertainment - and in school. Furthermore, watching old news reels reveals that routine mention of the horrors did not begin in 1969 along with me. I was thus rather surprised to hear of "the silence" of which both you and Ryan speak.

    Secondly, had you read the book and read my comment, you would have recognised that there are mass deaths on the hands of more than the communists. The Black Book correctly mentions the Chinese famines from 1958 to 1961 which, with a death toll of 25 to 40 million, make up a very large piece of the 100 million deaths that the book blames (quite accurately) on communism.

    In comes the work of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen cited above. As Sen points out, democratic nations do not have a problem with famine. His home nation of India never had such a problem in its democratic history. The citizens have the right to dissent and that dissent carries the message of the problem of hunger to the centers of power who, in response, deal with the situation. In China, this safety check is non-existent. Dissent is suppressed and the politicians responsible for the problem are capable of covering it up to the point that disaster ensues.

    However, Sen does not end his observation there. Sen points out that "there is little doubt that as far as morbidity, mortality and longevity are concerned, China has a large and decisive lead over India." And point out that in comparing China and India, India had 4 million excess, preventable deaths per year over China. Hence he observes that "India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame." In other words, China's nationalised system of healthcare and education does a better job that the capitalist model. Yet, we are still waiting for the Black Book of Capitalism. Indeed, the poster above is likely to demand it on the grounds that we have "balance".

    Now this is in regard to one point made in the book. The book also mentions Afghanistan, among others. Curiously enough, the book does not mention the U.S. role in trying to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan, or in funding madrassahs to train fundamentalist jihadis. Nor does it mention the worldwide legacy of those jihadis.

    Self-adulation and lamabsting against official enemies do wonders for the ego, but they do next to nothing when it comes to improving the world we live in.

    At 5/02/2005 04:21:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Allan, thank you for yet another vacuous post. Although it does contain a rather humorously colourful attack against me, it is utterly lacking in substance.

    Perhaps I should not be so harsh though. It does provide some insight into the workings of your mind. We know know that you have a thing against sitting in cafes and discussing ideas. Although I don't drink coffee myself, I must remember to warn my friends against that. Is discussing ideas on their own ok, or are they only objectionable with the addition of coffe served in a cafe? Similarly, can I drink wine or brandy if I avoid discussions of politics? I know that I am permitted to discuss inventions (and luckily for me, I often do), but could you please make a list of all the acceptable topics of conversation? I wouldn't want to make any mistakes. Finally, I've always rejected the saying that "you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs." Does this mean I can go to a cafe?



    At 5/02/2005 08:28:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    His home nation of India never had such a problem in its democratic history.

    Famine in India ? Been more than one famine in India in my lifetime.

    At 5/03/2005 05:46:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Democratic history, as I wrote.

    At 5/03/2005 04:05:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Bihar in 60s was a huge famine, I don't remember India being non-democratic then. There's been others too.

    At 5/04/2005 08:33:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    This is Sen's argument. There are arguments supporting your point. Some also argue there was a famine in Maharashtra. As to whether the deaths in these events are attributable to starvation rather than malnutrition seems to be the subject of debate, but I think it is worth posting information that supports your point.

    Supposing that Sen's assessment regarding famines is incorrect, however, lends more support to China and takes away from the Black Books condemnation of the Chinese famines of the lates fifties to early sixties - condemnation that I think is accurately made.

    At 5/04/2005 04:12:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Isn't starvation an extreme form of malnutrition ?

    If thousands are dying of malnutrition that would be a famine in my book.

    At 5/05/2005 04:48:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Again, that is the argument. I think that that point could be made, and I think that's what Thomas L. Myhrvold-Hanssen was saying.

    I'll try and save the Black Book's argument a little by saying that Sen is right in part in that famine is much easier to fight in a democratic nation. If not, we have to reduce the Black Book's 100 million figure to 60 million, 75 million tops.

    The point either way is that, yes, 60, 75 or 100 million is shocking; but what is really shocking is how just one free nation has managed to rack up 232 million preventable deaths and no one even thinks of condemning the state capitalist model. Condemning, rightly I think, the state communist model is perhaps great for the west's collective ego, but to improve the world, a mirror might be in order.

    At 5/08/2005 11:43:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    DJEB...looks like you're the only one with anything to really back-up your argument here.

    I'd have to declare you the winner if that was the point. But quite frankly, the argument against the opponents who prefer to use fallacies in their defence, actually helped you to shed more light on the subject. Any mind with the faculty of logic would have to see that indeed a mirror is in order, and past-due. Thanks for putting an effort into it.

    -Biff the logical by-stander

    At 5/08/2005 12:17:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Just thought I'd say, that I browsed through this site just a little recently, and wanted to say just a little something to Allan@Aberdeen...

    Allan, I believe it is, in fact, you who is the "wannabee 'intellectual'"

    You aspire to be intelligent, but suffer from a complete lack of anything that might even remotely resemble intelligence.

    You're arrogant arguments, and your fallacies prove that you are probably one of the shallowest and most logically inept people in the world.

    I might go so far as to think that you slept through school and received nothing more than a brainwashing into a right-wing totalitarian cult.

    How's THAT for an Ad-Hominem! You should know this fallacy well Allan, it's about the only fallacy you can use well.

    Until you have the intelligence to debate without using fallacies, I suggest you abstain from using words that you do not understand...words such as "intellectual."

    Intellectual-adj. 1a. Of, engaging, or requiring use of the intellect. b. Rational. 2a. Having a superior intellect. b. Given to abstract of philosophical thought. n. An intellectual person. -THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY

    *note...there's no mention of cafe's on the Left Bank here. Get a grip, you f#*kin' idiot.

    Your arguments are the equivalent of what you think of Marxism, Communism, Nazism, PC. "All the same and all absolute s**t."

    By the way...I get the feeling that you were a "priviledged" child...or perhaps, I should say, "special."

    Did you ride the short-bus to school, or a Limo? (Allan: name the fallacy, I dare you)

    -Biff the logical by-stander

    At 1/04/2006 01:32:00 am, Blogger DJEB said...

    Thank you Biff. Pity I had to put so much of my time into attempting to enlighten these commisars.

    At 12/14/2006 07:12:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    So the "Black Book" argument was shown to be a dead-in-the-water red herring. There is still something missing, so I shall repeat myself.

    What was the "quite well" part?

    The startegic hamlets?

    My Lai?


    Chemical weapons?

    Carpet bombing?

    Civilian casualties so high that they are not really know to the nearest million?

    Operation Wheeler Wallawa?

    Operation Speedy Express?


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