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Thread: CNN Celebrating Former Enemies: "Vietnam general who beat U.S. dies."

  1. #1

    CNN Celebrating Former Enemies: "Vietnam general who beat U.S. dies."

    Report: legendary Vietnamese general dies


    By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux

    updated 1:18 PM EDT, Fri October 4, 2013

    (CNN) -- Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, a man credited with major victories against the French and the American military, has died, according to local media reports. Giap was 102.

    Giap is credited with the Tet offensive and the siege of Dien Bien Phu.

    Born into a family of rice farmers, Giap got involved in politics at an early age. At 18 his politics got him thrown in jail, under suspicion of revolutionary agitation.

    He earned a doctorate and students remember him as unusually passionate about military strategy. Theory became reality for Giap in the early 1940s when he joined Ho Chi Minh and battled French colonial forces.

    Photos: People we lost in 2013

    In 1954, Giap led an operation known as the siege of Dien Bien Phu. The battle lasted nearly two months and claimed thousands of lives but at the end, Giap emerged victorious. The French left Vietnam that same year.

    When American forces became involved in Vietnam, Giap championed guerrilla tactics, a fighting style that became one of the hallmarks of the conflict.

    Giap also planned the Tet offensive against American forces in 1968. The surprise attack targeted dozens of cities in South Vietnam. The U.S. Embassy was briefly overrun. Both sides suffered heavy casualties before the offensive was eventually repulsed. The Tet offensive is thought of as a major turning point in the conflict.
    Wonder if any of our Vietnam Vets would agree that this General "beat the USA" or that Tet was as they describe it here.

  2. #2
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    CNN are idiots. No matter how many people with accents they put on the air they will always sound stupid.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Wonder if any of our Vietnam Vets would agree that this General "beat the USA" or that Tet was as they describe it here.
    As is often the case...headline doesn't really match article.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    As is often the case...headline doesn't really match article.
    News Web Sites routinely provide Two "Headlines".

    1. The Front-Page Link to the story (in this case, "Vietnam general who beat U.S. dies").

    2. The Article Headline (in this case, "legendary Vietnamese general dies".)

    What we can take from this, is that a "Legendary Vietnamese General Who Beat the U.S." has died.

  5. #5
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    TET was not a military victory for the VC, but thanks to American media, a propaganda victory; esp Cronkite's famous editorial.

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    Who here thinks we should have been in Vietnam?

    If the answer is no, then why can't we respect a former enemy from a war most Americans believe was not justified?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Who here thinks we should have been in Vietnam?

    If the answer is no, then why can't we respect a former enemy from a war most Americans believe was not justified?
    ummm, because of his tactics? Killing your own people who may or may not have cooperated with US soldiers?

    Really dude?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Who here thinks we should have been in Vietnam?

    If the answer is no, then why can't we respect a former enemy from a war most Americans believe was not justified?
    (D) voter desiring to celebrate Communists at the expense of Americans.

    Shocker.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    (D) voter desiring to celebrate Communists at the expense of Americans.

    Shocker.

    "Defeat" America.

    "Fundamentally Change" America.

    No difference.

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    How many of you thought Vietnam was a just war?

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    Here's that liberal rag the WSJ..

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...hatsNewsSecond

    Fifty-nine years ago, Vietnam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap rang a death knell for Western colonialism in Asia, masterminding the defeat of France's armed forces at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam. He later went on to play a crucial role in forcing the U.S. out of Vietnam, burnishing his standing as one of the 20th century's most important military leaders.

    But at the time of his death—in a Hanoi military hospital Friday at the age of 102—Gen. Giap was engaged in a fresh battle: This time, to protect Vietnam's fragile ecology from the strip mining driven by its fast-growing economy and that of its giant neighbor, China.

    Gen. Giap's re-emergence as an eco-warrior in his twilight years was typical of his unconventional style, and demonstrated how he never quite fit in with the Communist Party ideologues who later came to run Vietnam, even as they promoted the nationalist cult that soon grew up around the feisty commander.

    "There's no doubt the Vietnamese authorities have made the most of his reputation," says Carlyle Thayer, a Vietnam expert and emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. "But Gen. Giap has also run into political trouble in the party. After Vietnam was partitioned into north and south, decisions were made collectively and one can discern moments when he was left on the outside."

    A schoolteacher and journalist in his 20s and 30s, Gen. Giap had no military training prior to joining Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam's nationalist Viet Minh forces in China, to evade French colonial authorities. While Gen. Giap was in exile, his wife was arrested and later died in prison, he told historian Cecil B. Currey in 1988. His sister-in-law and grandfather were executed.

    He returned to Vietnam in the 1940s as a top military commander, hoping to take advantage of Japan's defeat to prevent France reasserting control. A close student of Mao Zedong's guerrilla tactics in China, he argued for gradually wearing down French colonists before abruptly switching tactics at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in the far north of Vietnam, near the border with Laos in 1954. It was the battle that would make his name.

    Gen. Giap executed a ruse, sending Viet Minh forces toward Laos to lure French troops into the area in a bid to cut them off. The general then built a series of trenches around the French garrison to starve his opponents of food and ammunition, in a brutal 57-day siege. The French artillery commander, overcome with guilt at underestimating the Viet Minh's prowess, blew himself up with a grenade.

    The battle of Dien Bien Phu was, many historians say, a turning point in post-World War II history. Gen. Giap himself said in a 1999 interview with the U.S. Public Broadcasting System that it was "the first great victory for a weak, colonized people struggling against the full strength of modern Western forces. This is why it was the first great defeat for the West. It shook the foundations of colonialism and called on people to fight for their freedom."

    Later, he drew plans for the 2,000-mile-long Ho Chi Minh trail—a snaking series of roads and jungle paths that became one of the most-bombed stretches of land in the history of warfare and a vital supply chain from northern Vietnam to the Viet Cong guerrillas fighting U.S.-backed forces in the south of the country. People win wars, Gen. Giap was fond of saying, not weapons.

    Still, Gen. Giap had his rifts with other leading members of the Communists' ruling politburo. One of the most serious was over the planning of the Tet Offensive in 1968, which eventually helped turn the course of the war—although not in the way Gen. Giap and other top generals intended.

    A number of historians say Gen. Giap wasn't as keen as some of his colleagues on the plan, which called for a massive land assault on the southern Vietnamese government in the hope of provoking a popular uprising and bringing a rapid end to the war against the U.S.-backed forces. Instead, Gen. Giap and other moderates preferred to build up the North Vietnam economy and gradually wear down the enemy by engaging in a protracted, guerrilla-style and political campaign.

    Conservatives in Hanoi overruled Gen. Giap, who was by then defense minister, and he was left to oversee the implementation of the plan.

    The Tet Offensive was, at many levels, a failure. It didn't trigger the uprising that the Communist Party mandarins in Hanoi had hoped for. It also cost the lives of several tens of thousands of troops, not to mention the many thousands of civilians who died. The offensive did, however, undermine U.S. public opinion toward supporting the war in Vietnam and, as southern Vietnamese forces retreated to defend the cities, the countryside was left for the Viet Cong guerrillas to control. The war dragged on for another seven years.

    One of Gen. Giap's main antagonists, U.S. Gen. William Westmoreland, who died in 2005, was critical of his counterpart's apparent readiness to send tens of thousands of his own men to their deaths. "Such a disregard for human life may make a formidable adversary, but it does not make a military genius," Gen. Westmoreland told George magazine in 1998.

    Nonetheless, in his later years, Gen. Giap began to focus heavily on environmental causes. Like other older Vietnamese, he worried that the breakneck pace of modernization in the country was uprooting traditional ways of life. He also was concerned about China's growing economic and political influence on Hanoi.

    His particular grudge was against open-cast mining for bauxite, an ore used in the production of aluminum, which is highly sought after in China. Vietnam's Communist leaders for years have pushed the extraction and export of bauxite as a means of developing the economy of the remote Central Highlands region, an area that is home to many ethnic minorities and in which travel is severely restricted. Gen. Giap wrote a number of open letters to the government protesting the development of bauxite mining, and emerged as the symbolic patriarch of Vietnam's fledgling green movement, which is also supported by bloggers and other online activists.

    Vietnam's leaders have been reverential toward Gen. Giap's efforts, going out of their way to refer to him as "a national treasure."

    Gen. Giap's last stand could end in defeat, however: Vietnam's government says it is determined to pursue its mining plans.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    How many of you thought Vietnam was a just war?
    The War was over before I was born, so it's safe to say my feelings on it's being "just" at the time or not is quite irrelevant.

    But since you ask, I think the cause "defeating Communism" was and is a worthy goal.

    Communism, in every real-world form, is an evil as horrible in my view as Nazism. Communists, like Nazi's, should be ostricized or worse.

    The failure of Vietnam (and I'd say also Iraq and Afghanistan) is one of a POLITICAL nature, not Millitary.

    Generally speaking, it's not the discussion of the General's millitary skills that I find objectionable, it's the description of "beat the U.S.", which is simply factually inaccurate.

    Hell, I've read books written by men like Gudarian, so discussion of General Giap's views and tactics on War are fine IMO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    But since you ask, I think the cause "defeating Communism" was and is a worthy goal.
    .

    I agree. And what a difference 50 years makes.

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    The cause of defeating terrorism is a worthy goal too, but that doesn't mean every time it's cited as a reason for invasion that the war is just.

    But hey, first this thread was about CNN "celebrating" former enemies, now that the WSJ also "celebrated" this thread is about what exactly?

    But hey it's cool, Churchill - "The War was over before I was born, so it's safe to say my feelings on it's being "just" at the time or not is quite irrelevant." - I'll remember that the next time you bring up any part of our history before Vietnam.

  15. #15
    Why are they called a news program?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Wonder if any of our Vietnam Vets would agree that this General "beat the USA" or that Tet was as they describe it here.
    Well, he did "beat" the USA didn't he? What exactly is your point here? I know you're a fan of military history. Military strategists evaluate past events by looking at them with objective eyes, judging the performance/outcome dispassionately. But here you seem to be reacting emotionally to a headline you've decided is "anti-American" because it credits an adversary with achieving an outcome you don't happen to like. Or put another way:



    I don't get the outrage. Or is it not outrage but just trolling. If so, I'm cool with that.
    Last edited by BushyTheBeaver; 10-05-2013 at 02:04 PM.

  17. #17
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    News Web Sites routinely provide Two "Headlines".

    1. The Front-Page Link to the story (in this case, "Vietnam general who beat U.S. dies").

    2. The Article Headline (in this case, "legendary Vietnamese general dies".)

    What we can take from this, is that a "Legendary Vietnamese General Who Beat the U.S." has died.
    Right. The link does not match the article...just there to get clicks. The new journalism.

  18. #18
    Giap was brilliant military strategist and yes this may not get taught to our future generations of children who read Tea Party textbooks but the NVA did in fact win the Vietnam War. I'm not a Vietnam vet but I am a US Army combat veteran and am mature enough to understand not every brilliant military tactician has always been on our side. Cue the "oh your just a libtard moonbat" garbage.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    The cause of defeating terrorism is a worthy goal too, but that doesn't mean every time it's cited as a reason for invasion that the war is just.

    But hey, first this thread was about CNN "celebrating" former enemies, now that the WSJ also "celebrated" this thread is about what exactly?

    But hey it's cool, Churchill - "The War was over before I was born, so it's safe to say my feelings on it's being "just" at the time or not is quite irrelevant." - I'll remember that the next time you bring up any part of our history before Vietnam.
    Robert E. Lee was one of our country's greatest Generals. He betrayed the Union and sided with the Confedarates who were fighting to preserve the instiution of slavery yet it's ok for entire monuments to be built to celebrate him. I wonder how many Southern Conservative Republicans would criticize people for celebrating Robert E. Lee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detjetsfan View Post
    Giap was brilliant military strategist and yes this may not get taught to our future generations of children who read Tea Party textbooks but the NVA did in fact win the Vietnam War. I'm not a Vietnam vet but I am a US Army combat veteran and am mature enough to understand not every brilliant military tactician has always been on our side. Cue the "oh your just a libtard moonbat" garbage.
    If you believe that there is such a thing as "Tea Party textbooks", that they would exist in public schools, or that the current crusade of fiscal conservatism has anything to do with Vietnam, then yes, you are in fact a moonbat libtard.

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