Our wars should be examples to our leadership so that we do not make the same mistakes time after time…..the France had a long war and then the US came by and thought it would be a good idea to make same mistakes France did in Vietnam….oh sorry….Indo-China.
The First Indochina War…….
Ho’s efforts during this period were directed primarily at conciliating both the French themselves and the militantly antiFrench members of the ICP leadership. The growing frequency of clashes between French and Vietnamese forces in Haiphong led to a French naval bombardment of that port city in November 1946. Estimates of Vietnamese casualties from the action range from 6,000 to 20,000. This incident and the arrival of 1,000 troops of the French Foreign Legion in central and northern Vietnam in early December convinced the communists, including Ho, that they should prepare for war. On December 19, the French demanded that the Vietnamese forces in the Hanoi area disarm and transfer responsibility for law and order to French authority. That evening, the Viet Minh responded by attacking the city’s electric plant and other French installations around the area. Forewarned, the French seized Gia Lam airfield and took control of the central part of Hanoi, as full-scale war broke out. By late January, the French had retaken most of the provincial capitals in northern and central Vietnam. Hue fell in early February, after a six-week siege. The Viet Minh, which avoided using its main force units against the French at that time, continued to control most of the countryside, where it concentrated on building up its military strength and setting up guerrilla training programs in liberated areas. Seizing the initiative, however, the French marched north to the Chinese border in the autumn of 1947, inflicting heavy casualties on the Viet Minh and retaking much of the Viet Bac region.
The Vietnamese dealt a final blow with the battle of Dien Bien Phu…..a short video to explain what happened during this battle…..
After the France gave up the region the US thought it would be a good idea to get involved…..keep in mind the old “Domino Theory” fear mongering…..and then an incident gave the US its excuse for an all out invasion (not called that but a rose by another name thing)…..thinking Gulf of Tonkin incident….
Here in the US we have a selective memory and what they show on the tube as history of that war is not much that I saw during my 2 and half years in country….that is the key…selective memory……
The Vietnam War was obviously one of the most disastrous of this country’s past mistakes – and the Pentagon’s “50th Vietnam War commemoration” is a near-perfect example of how both national and military leaders and a willing public have avoided facing important truths about Vietnam and American wars ever since. That’s not just a matter of inaccurate storytelling. It’s dangerous because refusing to recognize past mistakes makes it easier to commit future ones. For that reason, the selective history the Pentagon has been putting out on Vietnam for more than six years, and what that story tells us about the military leadership’s institutional memory, is worth a critical look.
MY point is (I finally got there, huh?) we have made the same mistake in Afghanistan and Iraq that the French and then the US made in Vietnam….they, the leaders, did not learn from the history and we have repeated it…..