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Was The Vietnam War A Tragedy?

Debate Information


58,000 Americans and 3.8 million Vietnamese killed; countless orphans and widows.

The U.S. government became involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and ’60s due to both a post-colonial period mentality and the pervasive Cold War mentality at that time.

The U.S. government propped up the government of Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem convinced the U.S. government that Ho Chi Minh, who had defeated the French, was a Communist and would take over Vietnam. All Diem had to say was the word “Communist,” and he knew that the American government would react with a knee-jerk reflex.

The American people were misled by their government, and Diem, indoctrinated that the U.S. must send economic and military aid to South Vietnam to defeat Communism, fed the propaganda of the domino theory: “If South Vietnam falls to the ‘Commies,’ the entire region would collapse like dominos.”

President Lyndon Johnson deceived the American people with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, claiming that North Vietnamese boats had attacked an American destroyer. Congress gave Johnson the authority to escalate the war. Only two senators voted against the resolution. There had been no attack.

The My Lai Massacre, where American soldiers killed more than 500 babies, children, women, and men, was not an isolated incident. Such wanton killing of civilians was not uncommon. Soldiers were brainwashed that Vietnamese were “gooks” and “dinks.”

America invaded a sovereign nation, killed its people, and decimated its infrastructure and land.



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    Arguments


  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Yes

    It was a completely unnecessary tragedy, caused predominantly by American paranoia and the belief that they could install a corrupt puppet government in South Vietnam -- which was openly in favour of communism -- and face no consequences. The Americans even went so far as to block an agreement between North and South Vietnam at the Paris talks which would have led to a full ceasefire and a democratic election, and the reason they did so is because they knew it would lead to a communist government and a united Vietnam -- something which happened anyway as soon as they left.
  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    i reckon that that is just what we did and that what the reel reason was that we have principal s because we don’t like commies and that that is why we went to war. Because even if the slopes wanted to be commie it doesn’t matter because we didn’t want it to spread at any cost even if we were going to loose. 
    Nomenclature
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    Even if the slopes wanted to be commie it doesn’t matter because we didn’t want it to spread at any cost even if we were going to loose. 

    I'm going to take a wild guess and assume you don't know that communism was invented as a solution to the working class being systematically oppressed and exploited by the ruling class?

  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature

    I'm going to take a wild guess and assume you don't know that communism was invented as a solution to the working class being systematically oppressed and exploited by the ruling class?
    Well no I don’t know because I wouldn’t want to know things that don’t make any sents any way because the reason why people turn to commienism is because they don’t want that sort of thing in the first place because what about the bolshies when they got sick of being told to eat some cake. And if you look at Marx he didn’t invent communism to control the people and it never says that any where any way.
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    And if you look at Marx he didn’t invent communism to control the people and it never says that any where any way.

    You're 100 percent correct. What the Russians had wasn't communism or anything within a million miles of communism. Marx came to believe education was the only way to a stable communist society, but Lenin decided to use violence instead. Then when Lenin died Stalin saw an opportunity to seize power for himself and that's when the possibility of communism was over. Even Lenin knew it would be a disaster if Stalin ever obtained power.

  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    Well yes it was communism and I looked it up sure enough that’s what it said and also that’s what the power points had. It was communism and it still is and it is still communism in Russia and North Korea. So if you think that they don’t have communism what do you reckon they have instead because I reckon you must be reading some real weird things to get it so wrong like that
    Nomenclature
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    Well yes it was communism

    No it wasn't. A communist state is one without a centralised government. Stop watching Fox News.

  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    i asked you what government do you think that they have if it is not communist because when I went to debating club you can’t just keep saying no it isn’t and that’s it you have to say what it is if it isn’t communism so the question is again what sort of government s do Russia and Vietnam and North Korea have?
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    i asked you what government do you think that they have if it is not communist

    And I asked you to stop watching Fox News. If a country has a centralised government it cannot be communist. See:-

    Communism—a society without class divisions or government

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/communism

    Stalinist Russia was either fascist or state capitalist, depending on your point of view.

  • just_sayinjust_sayin 90 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature @Barnardot
    Hey Barnardot,

    Nomenclature is trying the  weak argument that TRUE communism has never been tried.  Its a bogus argument.  The fact is communism was tried and was found to be poverty inducing and corrupt.  Korea was basically the same until it split into North and South.  Today the South prospers and the North is experiencing severe poverty.  Same for Cuba.  it was one of the richest Caribbean countries prior to the revolution, now it is one of the poorest.

    Nomenclature will tell you that those weren't real examples of failed communism, even though they were.  That way he doesn't have to explain that they were trying communism and it failed.  He'll hope you don't pick up on this point: if these countries were trying to be more communist and failed miserably, then either communism is bad, which it is, or else communism will only work in circumstances so precise that it makes it impossible to ever find a circumstance where it would work.   Ask yourself this "If communism works, then shouldn't the countries that are closer to being true communist, be the most prosperous and those furthest from it, like capitalistic countries, be the poorest?"

    The truth is the countries that are closest to "communist" are inevitably poorer than other countries in their region who embrace a more capitalistic approach.  
    NomenclatureDee
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @just_sayin
    Nomenclature is trying the  weak argument that TRUE communism has never been tried.

    Weak argument? It's a clear and objective fact that no state has ever reached communism. You'd know that if you'd ever actually read Marx's writing. The problem here brother is that you live smack in the middle of a country with a vested interest in lying to you about the theory of communism, and you're not intelligent enough to get your information from the source. The encyclopaedia literally proves what I'm saying is accurate, so you're delusional calling it a "weak argument".

    Marx identified two phases of communism that would follow the predicted overthrow of capitalism: the first would be a transitional system in which the working class would control the government and economy yet still find it necessary to pay people according to how long, hard, or well they worked, and the second would be fully realized communism—a society without class divisions or government.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/communism

    No country has ever even reached the first stage, let alone the second stage. Are you seriously sitting there with a straight face telling me the working class controlled Stalin's government? Don't make me laugh.

    Dee
  • ScivioScivio 2 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Argument Topic: Yes. But is that really all?

    War is always a tragedy no matter the way you choose to look at it. Not to denote the numerous deaths of men, women, and children in this war. However, one must begin to feel sorry for the men that went to fight. The Vietnam War was the longest in United States history and it messed with soldiers heads. These soldiers are famously known and berated for killing many children. What is not often not spoken of however, is a certain tactic used against U.S. soldiers during this war. To put it bluntly, the Vietnamese would use their own children as suicide bombers.
    Consequently, after the soldiers learned of this tactic the hard way, they were faced with a horrible, paralyzing choice. "Help the child and yet again risk their comrades lives?" Or, "Do the unthinkable to an innocent?"
    Upon arrival home, these soldiers were mistreated due to what was told they had done. However, so many trained soldiers do not go to war and simply wake up one day and massacre hundreds. These soldiers were likely manipulated by a number of tricks and tactics built entirely on the basis of getting into one's head.
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -   edited January 17
    @Scivio
    The Vietnam War was the longest in United States history and it messed with soldiers heads.

    I can entirely agree with you on that. Apologies if you've seen this already, but an absolutely fantastic interview with one Vietnam veteran can be found here:-

    https://youtu.be/tixOyiR8B-8

    It was (like most) a completely unnecessary war, and atrocities were committed on both sides, although that's not to say I necessarily believe them to be comparable. The US used Agent Orange to wipe out the Vietnamese food supply, and many similar massacres to My Lai went completely unreported.


    Dee
  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    Stalinist Russia was either fascist or state capitalist, depending on your point of view.

    How could my point of view make Russia fascist or state capitalist and how could Russia be fascist any way. I bet your not going to answer that either and just try to give people to thinking what you want them to think without saying anything at all. So, the question is is russia a communist government yes or no? And does Vietnam have a communist government yes or no And does North Korea have a communist government yes or no? And have you ever answered a question yes or no.

  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    How could my point of view make Russia fascist or state capitalist

    Because these two systems of control are so similar that in practice it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

    and how could Russia be fascist any way.

    Because it came to be run by a dictator who believed himself to be the ultimate form of law. 

    So, the question is is russia a communist government yes or no?

    No, the question is why are you incapable of understanding that you live in a place where the present leadership has a vested political interest in confusing you about the nature of communism. I have already demonstrated that Russia was not communist, by linking you to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. If that isn't good enough for you, then tough.

  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  

    America invaded a sovereign nation, killed its people, and decimated its infrastructure and land.
    Hello Jules:

    Yeah, it was a tragedy..  But, no more so than Iraq, Afghanistan, Granada, Nicaragua, and the dozens of conflicts we fight through our intermediaries.  Truth is, we LOVE to make war.

    Course, when we cry wolf for REAL, ain't nobody gonna believe us.

    excon
    NomenclatureDee
  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    No, the question is why are you incapable of understanding

    Correct me if im wrong but wasn't the question 

     So, the question is is russia a communist government yes or no?

    because i copied that word for word from my post and also you copied that word for word and put right there above okay so the question was so, the question is is Russia a communist government yes or no?

    And also you said

    I'm not avoiding any question. 

    and I copied that word for word from your post

    so if your not avoiding the question what does it mean when you say that its not the question and that it was something completely different?

  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature
    I'm not avoiding any question. 

    You just forgot to answer them right? 

    Except for the one where you said it was not the question 

    and the only one you answered was are you honest and your answer was dead wrong right?

    NomenclatureDee
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Barnardot
    You just forgot to answer them right? 

    Hi dopey. If you scroll backwards, you'll find I answered your question days ago, and included a quote from a well-respected encyclopaedia to support my answer. Asking me the same question over and over again doesn't require me to change my answer.

    Dee
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