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March 29, 1973

us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,320 ✭✭✭✭
edited February 2013 in US Military Veteran Forum
39 years ago on March 29, 1973 the last US soldier left Vietnam.
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln

Comments

  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I had a Irag vet call me yesterday, Mar. 29th and say welcome home.
    He told me it was welcome home Viet Nam vets day, I had no idea, but thanked him for the welcome home and for his service.
    W.D.
  • Smoky14Smoky14 Member Posts: 503 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by us55840


    39 years ago on March 29, 1973 the last US soldier left Vietnam.



    I hate to disagree but I was there a long time after that; all of 74 and into 75.
  • River RatRiver Rat Member Posts: 9,022
    edited November -1
    The Cease Fire after the Paris Accords was, what, February of '73? I can only approximate it because all the carriers in the Gulf got together for a group photo, and some ordnance was dropped from aircraft for a party of sorts. Only I didn't feel like cheerin', deep down inside.

    So March is a reasonable time to mark the "retreat" of U.S. Forces. No doubt advisors remained, until Murderin' Ted Kennedy got Congress to starve the ARVNs into defeat. One item on my bucket list is to pee on Teddy's grave.
  • john6012john6012 Member Posts: 97 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I hate to say that the United States lost the Vietnam "war" but I believe that we did just as sure as we lost the one in Iraq and we'll lose the one in Afghanistan. I say this because we pulled out of vietnam and we're pulling out of afghanistan. If the government would move over and get out of the way and stop being an impediment or guys and dolls could win the war easily and come home n victory.
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by john6012
    I hate to say that the United States lost the Vietnam "war" but I believe that we did just as sure as we lost the one in Iraq and we'll lose the one in Afghanistan. I say this because we pulled out of vietnam and we're pulling out of afghanistan. If the government would move over and get out of the way and stop being an impediment or guys and dolls could win the war easily and come home n victory.


    We pay teachers, build schools, pay for books and all some people do is eat the corners. Not since WWII has a "war" been fought by the US. All of the actions since 1945 have been political chess moves. Whether a "new=war" is considered won or lost requires a review of the reasons for the conflict and the results. In the Vietnam situation as with later conflicts, there is a war within a war. The initial problem was the attempt by North Vietnam to incorporate South Vietnam into one country. For this, the N.Vietnam government was willing to sacrifice every person and Dong in the country. This turned out to be sufficient for N.Vietnam to outlast the US commitment, which resulted in N.Vietnam "winning" their war. But they paid a cost so severe that the country was "lost" for an entire generation, and only in the last few years , forty years after the US withdrawal has Vietnam finally recovering from the war. Had they had less myopic leadership the goal of one country could have been obtained with very little bloodshed. So for Vietnam it's a win, but also a Big Loss. For the US the war within the war, or the "war by proxy" had little use for South Vietnam, particularly after Diem proved unsuitable and there were no suitable replacement. The US goal was to stop the encroachment of Communism, which in the early '60s appeared to be an unstoppable tidal wave. So the increments of manpower and firepower were increased in efforts to prevent the domino effect. The US did get a peace treaty, which N.Vietnam violated as soon as their army was rebuilt following the previous disaster. And without the US man & fire power, the South Vietnamese were rapidly overrun. With the exception of allowing a worthless South Vietnam to become Communist (the small war), the US gained victory in the large war. History shows Vietnam o be the high-water mark for Communism. Unstable countries that likely would have been taken over by Communism remain free, Countries that were Communist have overthrown the leadership and are closer to being free states. This was made possible because the man power and firepower sent to North Vietnam by USSR and China virtually bankrupted their countries. Following the additional losses in Afghanistan the USSR did crumble and Communist China has remained so only through the governments heavy thumb. So for the price of 60,000 dead and several billion dollars, the US won the big war- the stopping of Communism.

    As for Iraq and Afghanistan- again we need to look at the goals. The goals were 1. remove Saddam and his kind from power. He had used WMD on his own citizenry and was a problem such that anyone would be an improvement. Following the several terrorist attacks by radical Muslims against the "other" world it was clear that the status quo was not safe. So attacks were launched to remove the extremists base of power. One of the results of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is that terrorist have been so busy there, that they haven't been successful in continuing their attacks on the US & UK. Convincing the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to go against their traditions and heritage is not likely to be a result of US military involvement, so that should not be a goal. Convincing them that they are free to self-determine their form of government, provided it doesn't include attacks on others because of a difference in religious beliefs is about the best we can seek. However, if that is accomplished, then the "war" will have been won.
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