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Author Topic: Has US foreign policy ever been anti-communist?  (Read 1376 times)
EnglishPete
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« on: January 12, 2017, 04:05:45 pm »
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Ronald Reagan has a reputation for having been a great anti-Communist. He started denouncing communism whilst he was still an actor and a Democrat, denounced it even harder when he became a Republican and spoke out loudly against communism as President. However did his policy match the rhetoric? A couple of very interesting articles I've found from the eighties indicate that Reagan's foreign policy was in fact following the standard State Department policy of the previous 40 years i.e. pretending to support anti-communists whilst selling out and undermining them at every opportunity.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1986/01/rhetoric-vs-reality-how-the-state-department-betrays-the-reagan-vision

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?416429-Reagan-vs-Reagan-Rhetoric-vs-Reality

So what is the truth? Was Reagan the anti-communist hero of his administration's rhetoric or did the Reagan fail to match the anti communist rhetoric with matching actions?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 12:43:42 pm by EnglishPete »Logged
EnglishPete
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 12:47:26 pm »
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I've changed the title of the thread to extend it to cover the whole of the last century. To illustrate the point I'm making I am copying and posting a few posts I made on the Ho Chi Minh thread

Ironically, Ho Cji Minh was a huge fan of the US Declaration of Independence and US Constitution
Well why shouldn't he bet grateful to the US? Firstly Truman, Marshall and all the various communist agents working in the State Department had completely sabotaged the war effort against the communists in China. Having stabbed Chiang Kai-shek in the back in the mainland they were about to do the same in Taiwan and South Korea when Joe McCarthy burst on the scene with his allegations about communists in the State department. This forced Truman to start to show some success against the reds and probably saved both places.

Nevertheless having a communist giant next door helping with your war effort whilst the US completely failed to help the French with theirs must have been a big help.

Then there was the war in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Now isn't it curious that a country that had succeeded in defeating the Industrial giants of Germany and Japan at the same time and their huge armies was, a few years later, unable to defeat a little country like North Vietnam. Could it not have won if it had used the same tactics that were used against Germany and Japan? Of course it could but in Vietnam a totally different set of tactics were used.

As I mentioned above a 'no win' strategy was carried out by Truman and Kissinger, which was designed to demoralise the American public to soften them up for detente with communist China and the Soviets at the same time as selling out the whole of Indochina to the communists.

Yes Ho and the Vietnamese communist party had every reason to be grateful to the US.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 01:08:35 pm by EnglishPete »Logged
EnglishPete
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 12:52:17 pm »
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For those here who are ignorant of the US military's Rules of engagement for the Vietnam war and how they (deliberately in my view) caused the US to lose the War here are a couple of interesting links

http://libertyunderfire.org/2010/08/fighting-with-one-hand-tied-behind-our-back-in-vietnam-and-afghanistan/

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According to U.S News and World Report, June 30, 1975 citing the just released, formally top secret, “Rules of Engagement for the Vietnam War” (Congressional Record June 6, 1975, pp. S9897-S9904) our men had to fight under horrendous conditions not imposed from the enemy but from our own State Department.  What follows are some of those rules. On-ground assaults in urban areas “known to shelter enemy forces generally had to be preceded by loud-speaker warnings and leaflet drops.”  Our troops could return fire “only when the enemy was positively identified and in close contact.  Sniper and mortar fire were not counted as ‘contact’ unless ‘such fire interferes with the scheme of maneuver or is inflicting casualties or damage to equipment.’ ”  Only flat-trajectory weapons (rifles, machine guns, grenades and recoilless rifles) could be used in civilian-populated areas, which largely exposed our men, and “then only if there was a specific, identifiable target.” Obviously on the ground, U. S superiority in firepower was deliberately not exploited.

Nor was it in the air.  Pilots were not allowed to fire where they thought the enemy was hidden- even when fired upon- until they were “sure the strike would be positively oriented against the source.”  And in many areas there was the nightmare of getting approval at higher levels even if you spotted the enemy or you were taking ground fire.  The chain of command often went through the “province chief, district chief, sector commander and a battalion or higher command” which by the time this was completed, the enemy had disappeared.  Enemy airfields were off limits if a “plane with a third nation’s markings was present.” Dams, locks, dikes and targets within 11 1/2 miles of the enemy’s major cities were “banned without prior approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”  Good luck on that one.

These rules actually aided the enemy, and it is because of them that this 14-year-long-war lasted so long and was lost.  

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1995/DM.htm

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Another part of the ROEs restricted pilots from attacking certain types of targets that were off limits; some of these were: enemy airfields, SAM sites, power plants, naval craft in some areas, a 30 mile area around Hanoi, and a 10 mile area around Haiphong.4 The inability to attack certain targets made it difficult to stop the flow of men and materialinto South Vietnam, and the requirements to spare North Vietnamese civilians limited the use of certain types of munitions, such as B-52s and napalm. Until early 1967, in many instances U.S. pilots were not allowed to engage enemy fighters unless they themselves had been attacked first. [.....]

American air losses over North Vietnam rose continuously with over 500 aircraft lost during 1966 and 1967. Crews began to see that it was highly unlikely they would survive a 100-mission tour in Southeast Asia.16 Many of these losses resulted from restrictions against attacking SAM sites or other significant targets in or around populated areas. The ROE restrictions allowed the North Vietnamese to continuously build up their air defense systems in the most critical areas of the region
 
The restrictive ROEs in North Vietnam aided the enemy by providing sanctuaries and restricted areas where they had the space and time to build up their air defenses to engage U.S. aircraft. The piecemeal approach to attacks in North Vietnam did not allow concentrated bombing and actually strengthened the will of the North Vietnamese as opposed to weakening it. American leaders made it clear in public statements that we had no intention of destroying the government of North Vietnam; the leaders in North Vietnam saw this as an opportunity to exploit an American weakness.
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 12:54:17 pm »
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Some interesting quotes from military experts in 1968 on the Vietnam war

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However, at the time of reporting, there is no evidence that President Johnson proposes to do the things which most American military experts are agreed must be done to achieve genuine victory.

A recent survey of the views of these American military experts reveals that they all agree that the number one priority is to blockade the North Vietnamese Port of Haiphong. This survey was undertaken by the monthly magazine Science and Mechanics, and a long report appeared in the March 1968 issue of that journal.
General Nathan F. Twining, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states "either we should hit the North of Vietnam with everything we've got, bring them to their knees fast, or get out. My own opinion is that we should declare a state of war and invade the North. Then we could legally blockade the Harbor of Haiphong - and sink any shipping that attempts to violate the blockade. Running the blockade would be a tacit act of war against us - and the Russians as well as Red China and any other nation supplying the North well know this."

General Twining is not concerned at all about the threat of Red China coming into the war. He is worried that the longer the war goes on, the longer the time available to the Communists to build up their strength." General Twining is satisfied that the Vietnam War can be won within a matter of months.
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, the only man to hold the position of Chief of Naval Operations for three successive terms, a member of the UN Truce Delegation which negotiated with the Communists in Korea, and at present Director for the Centre of Strategic Studies at the Georgetown University, warns, "At no time in the entire history of warfare has a war been won through minor escalations. Yet this is what we are doing in Vietnam…So the enemy must feel that he can hold out…At the present rate of minor escalation of the war, we'll be in Vietnam for another five or six years - or more."
In answer to the question about the possibility of the Soviet and Red China entering the war if America and allies applied to their total military strength against North Vietnam, Admiral Burke said, "Our Navy and Air Force could strike and destroy vital targets anywhere inside the great Chinese land mass…As for the USSR, their logistics would be formidable…
Asked how long it would take him to win in Vietnam. Admiral Burke said, " . . .considering the time required to mobilise and deploy the required forces, I would guess at from eight weeks to three months."

General George H. Decker, a former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army said in answer to the question, "What can we do that we are not doing now, to win the war in Vietnam fast?" replied "Invade the North and blockade the Port of Haiphong. "
General Decker stressed that, "We do not have to fire shots to blockade. We merely tell the Soviet Union, Red China, Britain - whatever nation is delivering supplies to Hanoi - to keep their ships out of the area, if they do not want them damaged or sunk. This would be an effective deterrent. We have to be credible. Because of our present position of weakness, neither Hanoi, nor the Soviet Union, nor Red China believes us. They do not believe that we are determined to win."
General Decker's summary was that "We have never won the war in Korea - because of our methods. We are not winning in Vietnam for the same reason"

[...]

Air Force Major-General Gilbert L. Meyers, one of those directing the war in Vietnam until just over a year ago, is bitterly critical of the manner in which the Vietnam War is being conducted. He said, "What we are doing now violates every principle of warfare that we in the military have ever known. You can't win wars necessarily by killing people. You've got to overwhelm the enemy. And when you overwhelm him, you kill fewer people than you do by picking at him day after day…Westmoreland and the Army people certainly feel the same way about this as I do."

http://www.alor.org/Volume4/Vol4No11.htm
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 12:56:41 pm »
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Here's what happened when some of the restrictive rules of engagement on air crews were lifted in late 1972
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In 1972, President Nixon authorized all of the targets that the JCS requested with the exception of three.  The results were reported by Admiral Stockdale, who was a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton at the time.

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At dawn, the streets of Hanoi were absolutely silent. The usual patriotic wakeup music was missing.  The familiar street sounds, the horns, all gone. In prison, interrogators and guards would inquire about our needs solicitously.  Unprecedented morning coffee was delivered to our cell blocks.  One look at any Vietnamese officer’s face told the whole story. It telegraphed accommodation, hopelessness, remorse, fear.  The shock was there; our enemy’s will was broken.  The sad thing was that we all knew what we were seeing could have been done in any 10-day period in the previous seven years and saved lives of thousands, including most of those 57,000 dead Americans.
http://blog.vvfh.org/2016/12/the-rules-of-engagement-in-the-2nd-indochina-war/
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 12:59:25 pm »
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Some might object, well the US shouldn't have been on the side of those terrible South Vietnamese oppressors. Who could forget this haunting image of the South Vietnamese police Chief and former general Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executing VC prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém (AKA Bay Lop)



what could this poor innocent prisoner have done to warrant such punishment, presumably it was just for being communist



Oh right, he had just killed Vietnamese Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tuan and massacred his entire family when he refused to cooperate with the VC. So the South Vietnamese police chief was executing an enemy spy caught out of uniform who had just massacred a group of civilians (which execution is not a war crime) whilst it was the North Vietnamese controlled VC agent who had just carried out the war crime.

But then that doesn't fit the narrative of 'oppressive South Vietnamese vs communist liberators' so its disregarded.
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 01:08:01 pm »
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Then there's the matter of pro-communist propaganda that appeared in the US mass media. here's an excerpt from an article on that subject

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What is the purpose of the L.A. Times expose? What is to be achieved by these revelations? Is it a concern for the people of SE Asia? A concern for justice? When all is considered, there seems to be no purpose beyond the desire to wallow in habitual masochism and national flagellation regarding U.S. involvement in SE Asia. It can't be a concern for the SE Asian people or justice. A content survey of the L.A. Times internet archives, extending from 1 Jan 1985 to the present, shows the following:

• My Lai-695 entries

• Dak Son Massacre(where 250 Montagnards were killed and burned alive in 1967 by NVA using flamethrowers-NO entries.
http://www.11thcavnam.com/main/dak_son.htm

• VC/NVA Assassinations(over 36,000 South Viet Namese teachers, district chiefs, agricultural extension advisors, civil servants were killed, often in hideously brutal fashion, by the VC. Another 60,000 or so were abducted with only several thousand returning, indicating tens of thousands others were assassinated. The 36,000 figure alone, given Viet Nam's 17 million population, represents a national mortality proportion that would equal about 420,000 Americans assassinated, exclusive of combat fatalities, of which South Viet Nam's military sustained 275,000)-NO entries

• Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thu, a Hoa Hoa Buddhist widow who immolated herself in 1999 to protest Hanoi's religious oppression-NO entries
http://www.pghh.org/news/hot_news/102699_ngthu_en.html

• Mr. Ho Tan Anh, a Buddhist who immolated himself in 2001 to protest Hanoi's religious oppression- NO entries.
http://www.radicalparty.org/vietnam/imolation_e.htm

• Thich(Venerable) Chan Hy, a Buddhist monk who immolated himself in 2003 to protext Hanoi's religions oppression-NO entries.
http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/local_news/mecklenburg/?ArID=49737&SecID=3

• The 2004 fatal beating of Buddhist Monk Thich Duc Chinh in a Hanoi prison-NO entries
http://www.queme.net/eng/news_detail.php?numb=640

• Hue Massacre, 1968, when the VC/NVA systematically executed as many as 5,000 civil servants, teachers, etc. who were sytematically rounded up and executed, some buried alive in mass graves, some tied up and shot in the back of the head, around Hue City during 25 day NVA occupation of the city-NO entries.
http://ngothelinh.50megs.com/Hue.html

• Oppression of Montagnards-systematic cultural genocide of the indigenous highland people, resulting in scores dead, scores jailed, scores beaten in past 2-4 years-NO entries
See Montagnard-Foundation.org

• Decimation of Hmong people in Laos by Pathet Lao and North Viet Namese troops
(See factfinding.org and http://www.huntingtonnews.net/national/060708-staff-laos.html)-NO entries

• Recent republication of North Viet Nam dissident poet Nguyen Chi Thien's book, "Flowers from Hell/Hoa Dia Nguc." Mr. Thien, dubbed the "Solzhenitsyn of Viet Nam" by author Michael Lind, spent 27 years in Hanoi prisons(12 years in solitary confinement) for writing anti-communist poetry. He recently in Garden Grove and spoke before a crowd of about 600 people-NO entries
http://www.newamerica.net/index.cfm?pg=article&DocID=43

• Egregious Hanoi Human Rights violations, documented by Human Rights Watch(hrw.org), Free Viet Nam Alliance(fva.org), Amnesty International (amnesty.org), Transparency International (transparency.org), Mother Land(queme.net), Global Witness(globalwitness.org), and scores of others.- NO entries.

• Hanoi economist Le Dang Doanh's revelation that Viet Nam's per capita income, 80% of Thailand's in 1950, was only 20% of Thailand's in 2000, all due to smothering dictatorial communist policies and endemic corruption-NO entries.
http://www.fva.org/2005/03Mar/story02.htm

• Inimical result of communist economic policies producing average infant and maternal mortality rates, for the three communist Indochina countries, twice that of the average for the nearby non-communist countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand(UN and World Bank data for 2002)-NO entries

The pattern is clear and evident: L.A. times stories for the past 21 years dwell disproportionately, and hence dishonestly, with American atrocities, and ignore far more lethal and wretched established behavior patterns, in the form of VC/NVA atrocities committed as a matter of routine. Were the L.A. Times, or readers sanctimoniously gloating over the recent article, even remotely concerned with the well-being of the Viet Namese, Laotian and Cambodian people, these topics would have been discussed, in excrutiating detail.
http://vnafmamn.com/VNWar_atrocities.html
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 01:14:21 pm »
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Now the point of posting the half dozen above posts is that they explain in detail how the US government, whilst pretending to have an anti-communist foreign policy has in fact had nothing of the sort. Also the establishment media has parroted pro-communist propaganda through the same period, following the government's lead.

Vietnam is the most stark example of this but similar points could be made about other times during the last century e.g. Korea, the Reagan era etc.

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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 04:17:39 pm »
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Some might object, well the US shouldn't have been on the side of those terrible South Vietnamese oppressors. Who could forget this haunting image of the South Vietnamese police Chief and former general Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executing VC prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém (AKA Bay Lop)



what could this poor innocent prisoner have done to warrant such punishment, presumably it was just for being communist



Oh right, he had just killed Vietnamese Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tuan and massacred his entire family when he refused to cooperate with the VC. So the South Vietnamese police chief was executing an enemy spy caught out of uniform who had just massacred a group of civilians (which execution is not a war crime) whilst it was the North Vietnamese controlled VC agent who had just carried out the war crime.

But then that doesn't fit the narrative of 'oppressive South Vietnamese vs communist liberators' so its disregarded.

And this single-handedly proves that South Vietnam was a free society how exactly?
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 04:44:32 pm »
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Has the pope ever been Catholic?
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EnglishPete
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 05:41:11 pm »
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Some might object, well the US shouldn't have been on the side of those terrible South Vietnamese oppressors. Who could forget this haunting image of the South Vietnamese police Chief and former general Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executing VC prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém (AKA Bay Lop)



what could this poor innocent prisoner have done to warrant such punishment, presumably it was just for being communist



Oh right, he had just killed Vietnamese Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tuan and massacred his entire family when he refused to cooperate with the VC. So the South Vietnamese police chief was executing an enemy spy caught out of uniform who had just massacred a group of civilians (which execution is not a war crime) whilst it was the North Vietnamese controlled VC agent who had just carried out the war crime.

But then that doesn't fit the narrative of 'oppressive South Vietnamese vs communist liberators' so its disregarded.

And this single-handedly proves that South Vietnam was a free society how exactly?

South Vietnam was clearly not a democracy. It was however a far more free and less repressive society than North Vietnam which was, and remains, one of the least free societies on earth. Fighting against communism in Indochina was a thoroughly just cause that was betrayed by the United States government.
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 09:23:39 pm »
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Part of the problem of thought like this is to conceive of the world in things like absolutes as opposed to a spectrum of actions. The potential for, or even the existence of, restraint by the United States in any host of situations in opposing communism would prove nothing either quantitatively or historically. I would beg you to ask a Marxist about America's actions abroad; they would insist detente--which you probably perceive as national and ideological betrayal--as merely another in a series of cloaks hiding a massive, nefarious conspiracy of international capital to oppose people's movements. The point is that seeing one side's restraint as unmitigated concession does not mean that the other side even has any sense of that. For the absolutist on either side of "something", compromise is betrayal, since what they seek is the globe.
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 06:31:57 am »
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Part of the problem of thought like this is to conceive of the world in things like absolutes as opposed to a spectrum of actions. The potential for, or even the existence of, restraint by the United States in any host of situations in opposing communism would prove nothing either quantitatively or historically. I would beg you to ask a Marxist about America's actions abroad; they would insist detente--which you probably perceive as national and ideological betrayal--as merely another in a series of cloaks hiding a massive, nefarious conspiracy of international capital to oppose people's movements. The point is that seeing one side's restraint as unmitigated concession does not mean that the other side even has any sense of that. For the absolutist on either side of "something", compromise is betrayal, since what they seek is the globe.

Its not simply a question of 'compromise' but of the US government actively taking steps to prop up communist governments. From the second article linked to above

Quote
Poland. On December 17, 1981, Mr. Reagan stated during a news conference that "it will be impossible for us to continue trying to help Poland solve its economic problems while martial law is imposed on the people of Poland, thousands are imprisoned, and the legal rights of free trade unions -- previously granted by the Government -- are now denied." In January 1982, when the Polish Government failed to repay the $71.3 million that it owed U.S. Banks, Mr. Reagan decided to have the Commodity Credit Corporation (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), which had guaranteed the loans, acquire the debt and pay the $71.3 million without first requiring the obligatory declaration of default.

In December 1984, the Reagan Administration lifted its objections to Polish membership in the IMF.

Romania. On May 20, 1981, Mr. Reagan determined that "it is in the national interest for the Export-Import Bank of the United States to extend a credit in the amount of $120,742,500 to the Socialist Republic of Romania in connection with its purchase of two nuclear steam turbine generators and related services and spare parts." (Presidential Determination No. 81-7.)

And this policy of economically subsidising and propping up communist power was not new to Reagan, it had been going on throughout the so called 'Cold War'

https://youtu.be/hBKuctwo3FQ?t=1570
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2017, 08:34:03 am »
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Roll Eyes

Convuluted reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

Grow a brain, thatcherite.
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2017, 10:00:45 am »
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Part of the problem of thought like this is to conceive of the world in things like absolutes as opposed to a spectrum of actions. The potential for, or even the existence of, restraint by the United States in any host of situations in opposing communism would prove nothing either quantitatively or historically. I would beg you to ask a Marxist about America's actions abroad; they would insist detente--which you probably perceive as national and ideological betrayal--as merely another in a series of cloaks hiding a massive, nefarious conspiracy of international capital to oppose people's movements. The point is that seeing one side's restraint as unmitigated concession does not mean that the other side even has any sense of that. For the absolutist on either side of "something", compromise is betrayal, since what they seek is the globe.

Also consider the behaviour of the US press. North Vietnam was one of the most violent and oppressive governments in the world at the time of the Vietnam war. It was certainly rather more violent and oppressive than any of the non communist dictatorships that existed in the world at that time. Yet the press discussed it and continues to discuss it as though they had a reasonable point of view and that their claim to be fighting to 'liberate' Vietnam from imperialist 'oppression' should be treated as a reasonable or even honest position. The idea was put about that North Vietnam had a just cause to engage in war against the South and against the US.

Now the establishment press, in the US as elsewhere, is the mouthpiece for the political and economic establishment. How are we to explain this extraordinary position taken by the media unless we admit that the US political and economic establishment is sympathetic to communism.
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 07:54:06 pm »
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Roll Eyes

Convuluted reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

Grow a brain, thatcherite.

He is not a thatcherite. I would call him "mosleyan".

And, BTW, I would challenge anybody to interpret this factual description into a term of personal abuse.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2017, 10:07:36 pm »
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Was Hitler ever an anti-semite?
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2017, 11:14:24 pm »
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and i thought breaking US laws re: dealing with islamist iran to make money for supporting anti-communist Contras in nicaragua without congress knowing was kind of "anti-communist".....i have so much to learn.
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 10:06:34 am »
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So, to sum it up, the Vietnam war, the Bay of Pigs, the coups against Mossadegh, Lumumba and Allende, Iran-Contra and the invasion of Grenada were just part of a giant smoke screen to hide the pro-communist agenda of the U.S. foreign policy? Give me an effing break!

 
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 01:28:24 pm »
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I suppose one point could be that often the goals of "anti-Soviet Union" realpolitik and "anti-communist" idealism conflicted, sometimes in relatively benign ways like support for Tito, sometimes in rather nightmarish ways like the apparent support for the Khmer Rouge.
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2017, 07:54:26 pm »
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It always was beginning half-way into WW2 (or even earlier back to WW1 if you count anti-Bolshevism in the US).

Bad ROE and blowback do not count as covert support.
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