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Was America's involvement in the Vietnam War justified?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Was America's involvement in the Vietnam War justified?

-Yes
23
24%
-No
72
76%
 
Total votes : 95

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America-1960s
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Was America's involvement in the Vietnam War justified?

Postby America-1960s » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:12 pm

So, the Vietnam War, it's obviously a controversial topic in my country, many sides believe different things about the war, and there's also a lot of misinformation thrown around about the war too, I'm not going to name a few for the sake of trying to prevent a flame war, but I'm sure y'all know what I'm talking about. Anyways, it's often the source of debate among Americans like me on whether or not we should have intervened in the conflict on behalf of South Vietnam (the democratic side, obviously), some say that we were wasting our time and lives trying to keep Vietnam free of communism, others say that it was noble to fight for people in another country. If you want my opinion, I honestly believe we were justified in fighting that war, not only did we have a reason to fight in it because of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, but we were in a Cold War with members of the communist Warsaw Pact and other communist nations in at the time, I will agree that we shouldn't have enacted the draft in that war, but that's more of a debate on our military strategy than the question at hand. Now that I've given my opinion, what do y'all think? I'm open to your thoughts and I promise not to belittle you if you share a different opinion than mine so long as you do the same for me.
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Sanghyeok
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Postby Sanghyeok » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:16 pm

As with most American military intervention to spread "democracy", it was based on false pretenses and without any justification.
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Langenia
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Postby Langenia » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:17 pm

Personally I believe that it was justified simply because we were fighting against communism and autocracy, something I am against irl. Yes, there were things we did wrong in the war, but I feel the South (if there had been no war), would've been a better place to live in, with freedom of speech, religion, etc.
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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:18 pm

Wasn’t the Gulf of Tonkin incident literally a false flag-oh wait yes it was
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:18 pm

No.

Wilson should have listened to Ho in Paris in 1919.

And as an FYI, American ground forces involvement started long before Tonkin gulf
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America-1960s
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Postby America-1960s » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:20 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:No.

Wilson should have listened to Ho in Paris in 1919.

And as an FYI, American ground forces involvement started long before Tonkin gulf

You're right, we were involved before the incident, but we were more or less there as "advisors" than anything, it wasn't like the major combat operations you would see later in the war.
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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:21 pm

Absolutely not. Getting involved in the Vietnam War was one of the most horrible things the United States has done, and that's really saying something.
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Geneviev
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Postby Geneviev » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:23 pm

It was a terrible idea, but I honestly believe that they didn't realize how terrible it was back then.
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Adamede
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Postby Adamede » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:25 pm

No not really. Communists aren’t the good guys but we had no good reason to get involved, let alone send tens of thousands of conscripts to their deaths.
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Tsaivao
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Postby Tsaivao » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:25 pm

America-1960s wrote:So, the Vietnam War, it's obviously a controversial topic in my country, many sides believe different things about the war, and there's also a lot of misinformation thrown around about the war too, I'm not going to name a few for the sake of trying to prevent a flame war, but I'm sure y'all know what I'm talking about. Anyways, it's often the source of debate among Americans like me on whether or not we should have intervened in the conflict on behalf of South Vietnam (the democratic side, obviously), some say that we were wasting our time and lives trying to keep Vietnam free of communism, others say that it was noble to fight for people in another country. If you want my opinion, I honestly believe we were justified in fighting that war, not only did we have a reason to fight in it because of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, but we were in a Cold War with members of the communist Warsaw Pact and other communist nations in at the time, I will agree that we shouldn't have enacted the draft in that war, but that's more of a debate on our military strategy than the question at hand. Now that I've given my opinion, what do y'all think? I'm open to your thoughts and I promise not to belittle you if you share a different opinion than mine so long as you do the same for me.

I disagree, there's many problems and motivations involved in the war that should be mentioned that makes me feel as though the war shouldn't have happened.

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident is certainly an interesting topic. For the North Vietnamese fleet to randomly open fire on American vessels in international waters would be one thing, but how exactly did the VC manage to strike the superstructures of American naval vessels when all they had were improvised vessels and torpedo boats? It seems rather convenient that unless the VC somehow developed torpedoes that jump up out of the water, the only people who could have created superstructure damage consistent with 5-inch gun impacts would either be China or the United States itself. I don't think that the US would strike its own vessels to provoke war, but it does put the Gulf of Tonkin incident into a weird lens that should be investigated further.

Now with the semi-conspiracy out of the way, no, I don't think it was justified. The reason we were involved in the war in the first place was at France's request, once their colonial forces had been forced to fall back. The pro-colonial, pro-western South Vietnamese government was quite hated by the civilian population in both halves of the nation, and while civil conflict could have been avoided, the ultimate reason that Vietnam was in that situation was less due to communism vs capitalism, but Vietnam vs France. They wanted to cast off ties to their European overlords, even if it meant war or accepting an ideology that's not palatable to us. You can argue if that's justified, but Vietnam has since been a pretty remarkably stable and competent nation since the end of the war, and the dreaded "Domino Effect" that was feared to occur never actually did happen.

In short I think it didn't need to happen, and US should not have been involved in the affair to begin with. From a purely pragmatic perspective, the Tet Offensive proved that the South Vietnamese government was on the verge of collapse with or without the Americans helping. We dropped more air-ordinance on them in a single month that we did on Nazi Germany for the entirety of WWII, and they still kept fighting just as hard. It was a vain attempt to beat back the spread of communism; whether or not it was a pointless endeavor, I don't know, but I don't think that its justification has held up.
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Postby Page » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:26 pm

To say that South Vietnam was democratic is like saying that Donald Trump is thin. Like there are definitely way fatter people, but... The more I learn about the history of Vietnamese struggle against colonialism, the more sympathetic I am to the north and the Viet Cong. Which is not to say I think they were "the good guys" per se, the war was a tragedy and there were horrors and atrocities all around.

Also going to point out that communist Vietnam are the ones to thank for removing the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime from power, to give America credit for saving Europe from Nazi Germany and not give Vietnam the same credit would be quite hypocritical. (Edit: Also, the communist USSR did most of the work in defeating Nazi Germany anyway.)
Last edited by Page on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:27 pm

Given that people in 1975 generally tried to flee from communism as opposed to flee towards it the anti-communist side was justified.
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Postby Anatoliyanskiy » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:27 pm

No. war is never justified. Period.
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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:27 pm

Adamede wrote:No not really. Communists aren’t the good guys but we had no good reason to get involved, let alone send tens of thousands of conscripts to their deaths.

The conscripts are your primary concern? How about the Vietnamese people who had their country ravaged by the United States and continue to develop birth defects to this day?
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Postby Senkaku » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:27 pm

No it wasn't and later I might do an effortpost since I just came off writing a long Vietnam-related paper

long story short, all of our leaders knew at the time that it was unwinnable and pointless too
America-1960s wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:No.

Wilson should have listened to Ho in Paris in 1919.

And as an FYI, American ground forces involvement started long before Tonkin gulf

You're right, we were involved before the incident, but we were more or less there as "advisors" than anything, it wasn't like the major combat operations you would see later in the war.

This is sort of misleading, since almost nothing before or since in military history compares to the major combat operations seen later in that war (like where we dropped as many bombs on Hanoi in a week as we did on Berlin during the entire war, or invented containerization to meet the vast logistical demands of our army)

as for our "advisory" capacity, did you know we stuck American pilots in South Vietnamese planes (which we gave them) to fly missions directly with untrained South Vietnamese pilots as passengers, and then when they got shot down and killed we just claimed it was a training accident
Last edited by Senkaku on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Monsone » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:27 pm

No. Not one bit. Just ask any American who actually remembers the Vietnam War and ask them if they thought the intervention was justified. A significant amount will say no because of the sheer amount of carnage the war caused in the name of a lofty hypothetical called: stopping the spread of communism. And unlike in Korea where the US deployment was fairly limited and didn't require mass drafts, Vietnam was characterized in the American psyche as being defined by drafts and senseless carnage because politicians demanded that the nation's young fight against the overblown boogeyman of communism.
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:29 pm

Cordel One wrote:
Adamede wrote:No not really. Communists aren’t the good guys but we had no good reason to get involved, let alone send tens of thousands of conscripts to their deaths.

The conscripts are your primary concern? How about the Vietnamese people who had their country ravaged by the United States and continue to develop birth defects to this day?


What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from communism in 1975? The only moral action would have been a lot more involvement. The war should have been much shorter and much more decisive to minimize human cost.
Last edited by Nekostan-e Gharbi on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Adamede » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:29 pm

Anatoliyanskiy wrote:No. war is never justified. Period.

I wouldn’t go that far.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:30 pm

America-1960s wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:No.

Wilson should have listened to Ho in Paris in 1919.

And as an FYI, American ground forces involvement started long before Tonkin gulf

You're right, we were involved before the incident, but we were more or less there as "advisors" than anything, it wasn't like the major combat operations you would see later in the war.

True, advisors and special forces, Johnson used the resolution as his cover for his escalation of the war effort.
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Cordel One
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Postby Cordel One » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:30 pm

Nekostan-e Gharbi wrote:
Cordel One wrote:The conscripts are your primary concern? How about the Vietnamese people who had their country ravaged by the United States and continue to develop birth defects to this day?


What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from communism in 1975? The only moral action would have been a lot more involvement.

What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from the United States? North Vietnam was a popular revolution. Also, see the below post.
Last edited by Cordel One on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tsaivao
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Postby Tsaivao » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:30 pm

Nekostan-e Gharbi wrote:
Cordel One wrote:The conscripts are your primary concern? How about the Vietnamese people who had their country ravaged by the United States and continue to develop birth defects to this day?


What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from communism in 1975? The only moral action would have been a lot more involvement.

Many South Vietnamese also fled to the north as well.

This was less an ideological conflict and more an anti-colonial one. South Vietnam was going to lose whether or not we intervened on their behalf.
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Super Cool Florida
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Postby Super Cool Florida » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:31 pm

Not really. I mean, Vietnam was very far away from the United States. And the United States got pretty much nothing from the war expect looking very stupid afterwards and traumatizing it’s soldiers, all for what...eradicating..communism?
I can understand that because of the U.S being insanely capitalist in the 1950s and 60’s, and I know it engaged in international affairs even then, but couldn’t the U.S have used its resources on something else?
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Postby Insaanistan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:31 pm

Were we justified in wanting to curb Communist influence in the world? Most certainly.

Were we justified in the placing of a ruthless incapable dictator on the country simply due to the fact he was anti-Communist, leaving so many mines that people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are still getting blown up by them today, causing birth defects to coming Vietnamese babies, burning the skin of Vietnamese people with napalm, allowing the rape of so many Vietnamese women, bombing scores of Vietnamese civilians at a time and gunning down many more on simply the suspicion they were Viet Cong, and making African-American and Latino boys go out and die for the country when country you darn well it had done nothing and wanted to continue to do nothing for them?
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Postby Nekostan-e Gharbi » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:32 pm

Tsaivao wrote:
Nekostan-e Gharbi wrote:
What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from communism in 1975? The only moral action would have been a lot more involvement.

Many South Vietnamese also fled to the north as well.

This was less an ideological conflict and more an anti-colonial one. South Vietnam was going to lose whether or not we intervened on their behalf.


How was South Vietnam after 1955 a colony?! You are mistaking the First Indochina War from the Second.
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Page
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Postby Page » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:32 pm

Nekostan-e Gharbi wrote:
Cordel One wrote:The conscripts are your primary concern? How about the Vietnamese people who had their country ravaged by the United States and continue to develop birth defects to this day?


What about the Vietnamese people who hurried to flee from communism in 1975? The only moral action would have been a lot more involvement. The war should have been much shorter and much more decisive to minimize human cost.


At the end of a war, people who were part of the losing government generally try to get out of dodge because the winning faction tends to hold them accountable for the actions of the defeated government. This happens in basically every war. The Confederates fled at the end of the US Civil War, the nazis fled occupied Germany, Saddam's government all ran out of Baghdad in 2003, it's not a unique phenomenon of "fleeing communism."
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