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 Why was the US in Viet Nam?

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:36 pm

Just started a book by Mark Rudd, and he talks about Viet Nam being a war of imperialist aggression.  I’ve read all sorts of theories about why the US felt it necessary to intervene in the civil war in Viet Nam —the most common, to stem Communist dominos, being demonstrable bullshit — but nobody believes me when I say I saw an article in the late 1960s that claimed Viet Nam was one of the world’s only sources for titanium.

Turns out this is still true.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:00 am

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/266-32/15588-how-did-the-gates-of-hell-open-in-vietnam
Third Stone wrote:
There is an important element that helps to explain this war that is not mentioned in this review. Dwight Eisenhower said before the national governors conference that "if we lose Vietnam we lose the space race".
He said this because Vietnam has one of only a few supplies of titanium in the world, and important material ins space craft at that time. By the end of the war we had carbon fiber and no longer needed titanium.

I'm having trouble finding reputable sources to validate this Eisenhower quote.  They all seem to lead back to 2nd or 3rd-hand accounts.
Bruce Satow wrote:
Would you fight a foreign war in Vietnam, which is a country only a little bigger than the state of New York - which is extremely small compared to California or Texas so multinational companies in the US can profit from Vietnam's offshore oil or titanium mining Titanium at the time was a rare metal used in nuclear weapons and military aircraft and Vietnam was considered a large source of titanium.
Or
Would you fight a war to prevent communism from spreading because it might spread to the United States if communism was not contained?
So
If the US military and corporations wanted to get access and a foot hold in Vietnam and needed soldiers to fight for them, which reason would you tell the people? Which reason would you fight for?
Charles wrote:
the war in Vietnam was to overtake the greatest natural resource of Vietnam , Titanium. Thus the title of Stanley Kubrick's movie Full Metal Jacket ... The JACKET was the cover up off the knowledge of the pursuit of Titanium ,, and we here in the states ... minds were just simply washed away by tv and b.s. newspapers propaganda ... ‎Titanium.. ‬ it all starts to make sense. . . when we negate that which is false.  [Vietnam had] the greatest, most abundant source of Titanium in the world .
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071027214610AAdXqaT

Here Eisenhower speaks of "tin and tungsten" -- no mention of titanium.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/eisenhower-warns-of-ominous-situation-in-asia


Last edited by NoCoPilot on Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:33 am

Looking at articles on the internet about titanium reserves, Viet Nam is nowhere near the top of the lists, as well as having smaller reserves than the US. Of course, things may have changed in the past fifty years or so.

I can recall hearing tin and tungsten mentioned many years ago.


Titanium.com wrote:
Titanium is found in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, China, Australia, Russia, as well as other countries.Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the earth’s crust and 4th most abundant metallic element. In its natural state it is generally found as rutile (titanium and oxygen) or illmenite (titanium, oxygen and iron).

metalpedia.asianmetal.com wrote:
According to USGS, in 2013, the leading producers of titanium concentrates included South Africa (1.22 million tonnes), Australia (1.39 million tonnes), the US (300 thousand tonnes), China (950 thousand tonnes), Canada (770 thousand tonnes) and India (366 thousand tonnes).
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:37 am

Ah well, maybe the rumor I heard in 1966 has long since been debunked.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:56 am

I never heard that rumor. Of course, I was busy elsewhere in 1966.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:35 am

So if it wasn’t titanium, why WERE we in Viet Nam?
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:50 am

I don't know. They never told me.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:01 pm

Haven’t you wondered why 58,318 American lives were sacrificed?

Casualty estimates on the other side range from 1.5 million to 3.5 million.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:21 pm

Ken Burns has a 17-hour documentary running on PBS I understand, haven’t watched any of it. Reviews online say it’s mainly from the American viewpoint, doesn’t dwell on civilian casualties or the heinous defoliation and scorched earth policies.

But the reviews also say it never addresses, or hasn’t yet, the why of why were were in there. I think like Nixon’s resignation and Clinton’s impeachment, we need to understand the WHY to fully process what happened.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:49 pm

You need to read the history of the United States foreign relations following the second world war to get any understanding of why we did anything anywhere. It was a fight between capitalism and communism. Well, between western capitalism and everybody else.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:52 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Haven’t you wondered why 58,318 American lives were sacrificed?

That number is much too small. That only indicates combat casualties. The number of American lives that were lost from suicide or otherwise destroyed - the "walking dead" - is much bigger.


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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:21 pm

Doesn't include the devastation of our international reputation either.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:25 pm

You know, in my more cynical moments, I wonder if warfare is some politicians answer to unemployment figures.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:47 pm

You want to get really cynical, consider it a method of population control.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:56 pm

Early in the war African Americans accounted for 25% of the casualties although they were only 13% of the enlisted. Later the numbers fell, and by the end of the war black casualties were 12.5%.... but at the beginning "cannon fodder" was definitely a role for the poor and underprivileged.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:49 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Doesn't include the devastation of our international reputation either.

I'm not sure how bad that was. I have a feeling that America's international reputation was never as great as Americans thought it was.
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PostSubject: Re: Why was the US in Viet Nam?   Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:04 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Early in the war African Americans accounted for 25% of the casualties although they were only 13% of the enlisted. Later the numbers fell, and by the end of the war black casualties were 12.5%.... but at the beginning "cannon fodder" was definitely a role for the poor and underprivileged.

At the beginning of the war (and that is a vague date), a lot of the enlisted men were there by choice (well, not there, but in the military by choice). The military was the employer of last resort for the poor and working class, which had a higher than overall percentage of blacks. A lot of the enlisted men who were there early on had never even heard of Viet Nam, much less that we were going to war.

As the war progressed and the number of Americans in country increased from a few tens of thousand to several hundred thousand, the statistics tended to even out.

Only about twenty-five percent of the servicemen in country were draftees. And less than forty percent of draftees served in Viet Nam.
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