Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

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Re: Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

Postby IndependentProfessor » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:44 am

Philly wrote:And now he's defending the Vietnam war lmao


I'm defending our reason for going to war. Our method for carrying out the war was highly questionable. But, the facts prove that we were winning the war, even using those bad methods (centralized C&C, allowing politicians to make tactical decisions, etc.). The reason that the public was against it had nothing to do with us winning or losing, but rather with Water Cronkite's horrible reporting that we were losing the war (during the Tet Offensive, which was a massive defeat for the North, he reported that we were losing).

Take a look at his words:

Walter Cronkite wrote:Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet Offensive against the cities? I'm not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout but neither did we.

Then, with as much restraint as I could, I turned to our own leaders whose idea of negotiation seemed frozen in memories of General McArthur's encounter with the Japanese aboard the Battleship Missouri.

We've been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders...

Both in Vietnam and Washington to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. For it seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.

To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, if unsatisfactory conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.

But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.


Here are the main problems with his little speech.

1 - The Vietcong were summarily routed and died by the tens of thousands, failed to accomplish even one of their tactical objectives, and were pushed back to a point even further than which they started. (They did, however, achieve their strategic goal, which was to drive a wedge between the military leaders and the military people . . . accomplished very well by Mr. Cronkite.)
2 - "Been disappointed by the optimism of military leaders"??? Really? I guess he was referring to the optimism of Washington, who thought he could defeat a much larger Hessian army with his own starving group of soldiers. Or perhaps the optimism of Lincoln who thought he could bring an end to slavery and form a better union. Or, most glaringly, the optimism of John F. Kennedy who said, only 7 years previous, we would send a man to the moon - an optimistic promise that was proven true only 17 months after Cronkite's speech.
3 - He wanted us to be a nation that "did the best they could". He wanted us to be a nation of "Well, I tried - do I still get a ribbon?"
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Re: Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

Postby NAB » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:17 am

Comparing the difficulty of US internal struggles to a foreign engagement? Now now....
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