A paleo-conservative stance on Vietnam by mattsteinglass
June 28, 2009, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Vietnam, War

Daniel Larison is exactly right about the Vietnam War.

What devoted anticommunists could not then and to some extent today still cannot admit is that Vietnam was basically unnecessary and irrelevant to the greater success of the West in the Cold War. They furthermore cannot accept that the millions who died in the war and the millions who perished in its aftermath most likely would not have died had there never been a “crusade” to save South Vietnam. This is a bitter truth, and there are not many people who would want to accept this. Being wrong about this does not change all of the things that Solzhenitsyn got right, but thirty-one years later we might note that we have listened more often than not to people who have said that the West was lacking in willpower, needed to show more “resolve,” had gone horribly awry in withdrawing from Vietnam, and in almost every instance in the last three decades those people have been as wrong as can be.


2 Comments so far
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There are several things wrong with the glibness of this assertion.
It may be correct but the writer cannot know this. He assumes because Communism in SE Asia did not spread the war in Viet Nam was futile in any case.
But this is an example of parmenides fallacy. The war lasted depending how you measure it from 1959 to 1975. Absent our commitment which peaked in the mid to late 60’s, who can reliably assert that Communism would not have spread? By 1975, possibilities may have been foreclosed on that otherwise could have come to fruition.
In addition, perhaps it is ‘revisionist’ to imagine that had the Congress not reneged on its commitments, the south could have resisted the North another few years by which time the collapse of international Communism as a movement would be manifest and the wholesale adoption-particularly in SE Asia- of capitalism and global trade would have been ascendent , that in such a case the amount of suffering that would have been prevented from the refugees killed on the beaches of Burma or caged in the Hong Kong Harbor or stuck into reeducation camps or just the poverty that would otherwise have been lessened as the capable South flourished, well, forgive us for dreaming….but don’t imagine that you know any better…there are few things worse or more permanently impoverishing then a Com revolution….

Comment by joe

I meant to write malaysia not Burma above…

Comment by joe

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