Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I think we won in Vietnam…a long term perspective from the 60’s to today

Why should I even bring this subject up? We all know America lost the war in Vietnam…right!

Losing the war is written and in pictures and video, so it must be right! The evacuation pictures and video of Saigon says it all, right! The shots of panic are particularly disturbing, right! The North Vietnamese conventional army won, right! The South Vietnamese government was corrupt enough to deserve to lose, as it did! In the end the nationalists from the North won this civil war through determination and nationalistic objectives when throwing off the colonial restraints, right!

And back then the western “falling dominoes idea” had validity as part of a “containment of communism strategy” we were acting on. The communist politicians, mostly in the USSR, were aggressively trying to expand their influence and political power in the world. In hindsight, this seems hard to believe knowing the problems they had. The North Vietnamese were being used as pawns by China and the USSR to try extend communist hegemony over the entire South East Asia area. This meant Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma should fall to the North Vietnamese.

Now that reason for the USA engaging in war is long forgotten and seldom taught to younger people educated in conventional history.

And I will never forget Douglas McArthur’s advice about avoiding a general land war in Asia.

Fast forward to today.

Maybe the South took over the North. The entrepreneurial instinct bred in the South has taken over the whole country. Vietnam as a whole seeks to enter the world wide economic market, the communists and their dictatorship and failed ideas from the North be dammed. But the old nationalists and communists are the same today, I think, and did win; so today’s entrepreneurs must work through the obstacles the old time leaders continue to put up.

Just become friends with young Vietnamese forced to live and work in the USA. They communicate with family and friends in the “Old Country”, and many would generally go home but for the stupid communist dictatorship’s ruin of “their” country through its policies. Fortunately this dictatorship group is aging, and will die off. I also don’t think nepotism will survive against the entrepreneurs in this tribe.

Let’s go on. My suspicion back then that the North Vietnamese communist leaders were as much imperialists as civil war nationalists was confirmed when they did not stop in South Vietnam. Their successful efforts to take over Laos and Cambodia confirmed this to me. Thank goodness time and North Vietnam’s limited strength caused them to leave later, and the people of Laos and Cambodia threw off their latest yoke. Apparently, North Vietnamese civil war fervor was best appropriate to themselves, and not the neighbors.

Are these communist party people starting to sound like imperialistic politicians and not nationalists?

One thing really does bother me in all this discussion. It is the waste of all the mostly young men from North Vietnam whose lives ended in the war. In my mind a big chunk of a whole generation of young people died in this war. It is on such a scale that there are profound impacts decades later within the Country. What a waste. And Vietnam is still suffering from this gap in number of young men being killed in the war. Damn the old French Vietnamese revolutionaries who sent these young men to their deaths.

And the Vietnamese are a sharp tribe. As a retired Marine, I can say in my opinion that they are respected.

And we Americans are a sharp tribe, too. I think that all who went in harms way, to include those killed, injured, maimed, and served without injury should be thanked. They "done good".

If war is imposing one’s will, then I think we won from today’s perspective. The “falling dominoes” never came to pass, and Vietnam is becoming more prosperous and an economic ally of the USA. We have more in common than not. The nationalist forces deserve some credit (some in the South I would say), but so do some of our USA leaders at the time.

They imposed the USA’s will in their political judgment, and I think most of us are pleased with the results.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The American political world has changed, and DC and pundits don’t get it…yet

I would not even write about this except for two headlines I scanned today. One implied Kerry thinks his boo boo about troops is just a bloop in his coming 2008 campaign. He has a position he often points out about Reagan failing on his first try (in this case a Republican nomination). The second headline implied some Republicans are plotting an expose of Nancy Pelosi to gain some advantage by embarrassing her. Don’t they know most of us have figured her out, already. In this case, let her be herself, and that should work just fine.

I am from the common citizen view that we did vote, and sent a message along the way. Mostly, though, we voted locally. In the end, most of us citizens voted people to represent us, Party be dammed. Part of the vote is a return to civility in Congress. That means, in my simple citizen’s mind, being cordial, debating, and voting. To take this farther, I am a selfish citizen, and how people vote is more important than some Party affiliation.

I am particularly disgusted, not frustrated, at the inside the beltway pundits discussion of the Iraq war. Perhaps the General in charge there is correct when he said he senses despair when he comes to DC, but senses better things in Iraq. Since I think most pundits write and read to each other, and not JQ citizen or the people on the ground, his idea is plausible. I too am frustrated at the progress of our war, but most of my frustration is with the DC types. If any of these men and women in DC leadership positions had any practical experience in prosecuting a war in a third world place such as Iraq, I think things would be much simpler. Perhaps I am not intellectual enough to understand why we should lose this war. Losing a war means the objectives set by our President are not achievable, so come home and let them (the locals) kill themselves. I respectfully disagree.

I think most of us voted “centrist”. Whoa be to those who do not perceive the American change in DC, and are probably from the old 1990’s school. America is returning to its national personality. It is still an ugly picture, but civility and debate and voting are coming back. Most importantly, the nation’s interest is coming back. The recent ideas of Party power, control of the treasury, focus group policy, and dirty politics are fading. It will take time. One cannot turn the aircraft carrier around immediately is my naval analogy.

So where do we go as Americans. I have been trained never to complain unless I can offer a solution. Otherwise bitching is a waste of time.

My solution is too see what happens in Congress. I will also watch what our President does. I expect some semblance of returning to our national character and method of governance.

If they cannot govern because of all the past dredges, then in two years I get a chance to vote again. If they cannot ruin our county in the next two years, then God help them when the vote comes.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hope for our future…the American people have voted for it

Boy, have I been surprised! I always assumed if the Democratic Party took over Congress, then the ultra-liberal leftist wing of the Party would run things lock step. Well it looks like the Democratic Party is changing towards the center of American politics, and we Americans may benefit.

It appears the almost evenly split Congress, in both houses, will have to cooperate to get things done. And getting things done is on the many Democrats and Republicans minds. The ultra-liberal Democratic process of just saying no is passé. It never was a policy, often called hate is not a policy.

The recent Democratic squabbles over leadership selections is a good example of their problems of the ultra-liberal leftist leaders against the rest of their Party. Business as usual the way they grew up is over. The countries interests come first.

Not that many seats changed on a percentage basis, so I think there is a latent desire to be civil, debate ideas, and vote.

Any statements out of the new Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, are suspect, especially in regards her leadership of the Democratic Party. Most of what she says reflects her San Francisco political background. The school board there just booted Junior ROTC from high schools, a citizen training program, by the way.

So I have hope for our future at the national level.

If the criminally and ethically challenged new Senate Majority Leader Reid thinks he can dictate how his people will vote, I think he has another thing coming. Let him plunder until he goes to jail. Somehow I expect Senators of both parties to vote for our countries interests and this will cross Party lines. Good luck telling Senators Leiberman and Webb how to vote.

When I read between the lines, the era of Arkansas politics as brought to our Nation’s Capitol by former President Clinton is almost over, also. He has been out of governance for now six years, and it is about time we return to our national personality of the talking, debating, and voting. The national interest has superceded his egotistical interest using the Democratic Party, I think.

If I am wrong, then the next vote is in two years.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Going down the tubes…and we voted for it

We have a wonderful country compared to the rest of the world.
We can screw our country up, as in make it fail and be replaced. Just read about Rome.
This article is about our future, not our past.
We do have foreign enemies, believe it or not. Our foreign enemies are motivated by both our decadent excesses, mostly cultural; and envy of our system that promotes our common citizen, and not theirs. And many are just despots trying to advance and protect themselves, their families, and their tribe until they can collect the loot and then leave. Unfortunately, our western nation-state legacy even gives these despots political cover that we presently respect. And most global companies deal with these despots just to get through the local loops.
We do have domestic enemies, believe it or not. These people represent a scattering of objections to our way of life. Some are idealistic, some are anarchists, and some are politicians who thrive on power. Almost all know the power of control of the national treasury is important.
I think our most recent 2006 election provides we citizens a path to our future. And things in the media have changed, also.
I believe the fear that we citizens are too stupid to do the things that are best for us is just wrong. I also believe that the media cannot manipulate we citizens in order to favor one group or opinion or even a Presidential candidate. We citizens can see through all this, I think. And last, I think most of us do think long range, mostly for our progeny.
I think the change in Party control of Congress is a big yawn for me. It is how they vote that is very important to me.
In this I am enjoying the friction I read about within the Democratic Party. The friction I read about is between the leftists and the more conservative centrists. Let me say that again, just in case you can’t believe it, the Democrats can also have more conservative lawmakers. I enjoy this because I am selfish, and want a choice of who to vote for when the time comes. The Republican Party no longer owns the centrist idea, I think.
The media, in this case the Associated Press (AP), shocked me with its investigative report about Senator Reid’s (Nevada and soon to be Majority Leader of the Senate) criminal and political use of his power to make money for himself. While this story was later suppressed leading up to the election, it will not die if the AP example is followed up on, which it will be, I believe. He can use all his new power to suppress ethics investigations within the Senate, but he can’t run from the law. And don’t leave out the House lawmakers such as John Murtha’s ethics problems; and Alcee Hastings congressional impeachment and integrity problems. Just how will the latter get a security clearance given the same rules that apply to we common citizens?
Within the Democratic Party, it will be interesting for this common citizen to observe the friction between the leftists and the centrists.
If the leftists take control, then we are potentially going down the tubes, in my opinion. Only the Presidential veto and override votes are up for grabs as I read the tea leaves. For Iraq, the cut and run idea, now stated as a “an announced phased withdrawal by the leftist Democrats”, will bring on the invigorated bad guys. God help us and our children and our way of life. And if we pass an amnesty law for the illegals, then God help us again as our way of life and customs and laws change. As I said before, it is not the Party, but how they vote.
I am personally pleased the Republican Party got the boot in 2006 in Congress. Spending excesses via earmarks and corruption is a non-starter. And if the Democrats do it again in during the next two years and in their own way, then they will suffer the same fate from our smart voters, I believe.
Sometimes we are not sure who to vote for, but we can often be certain about who to vote against.
While this article has focused on the national parties, the importance of state and local lawmakers serving us common citizens is just as important. For example, I have personally had children in both private and public schools. I today support public schools because the private schools have let me down. But with Gwinnett County Schools in the Atlanta metro area having an annual budget of well over a billion dollars, this is a big deal, and a good example of local lawmakers importance to our children’s future.
This article is about the future for we common citizens, and not the past.