For instance I consider myself a democratic socialist in that I believe Scandinavian social democracy to be an example of a society that does a pretty good job of promoting social justice while not stifling economic activity and wealth creation. It doesn't mean that I think such a system will ever be implemented in the US, at least in the near future. It would require drastic cultural and societal change for something like that to happen but it's still an ideal.
- Colonel Paul YinglingNobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.
Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.
All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
If I were to say that without American intervention the Taliban might not have come to power in Afghanistan, it doesn't justify the Russian Invasion of that country. The same applies here.
The Communist eventually came to power, after the initial purge and everything has stablised, Vietnam got itself together and is now growing at a phenomenal rate. If the war was shorter and smaller in scale, then they could have stablised faster.
Even China now has the second highest GDP in the world, and very soon will overtake the US.
So the South Vietnamese are aggressors like the Japanese and the Germans?on the same vein, it occurs to me that fewer southerners would have died if the North had let them succeed after the first battle of Bull Run. fewer Japanese would have died if we had just let them have China. fewer Germans would have died if we had just let them have france and spend themselves duking it out against the USSR.
If America had succeeded in keeping the South from falling under the North, than I would not say that American involvement might have worsen the killing, but that's not what happened. The South fell under the North and the revege killing might have been worsened by continued resistence.
It's like cancer surgery/therapy. If after going through it you're alive, then it's worth it. If you still die after all the surgery and chemo and what not - then the patient sufferred more for having gone through the surgery/therapy than if we left the patient alone. Of course, when we decide to go through the surgery/therapy, we always hope for the best and won't know that the pain would be for nothing.
Take, for example the belief in the so called "domino theory", that the whole of SE Asia would "go Communist" if we were to let the Vietnamese control their own destiny. Nearly two decades of war and a stinging defeat later, followed by nearly three decades of peace , not only is SE Asia not Communist, but not even Vietnam is Communist.
Yet, you can still find people who will maintain that the US defeated Communism by having invaded Vietnam. That's how difficult it is for people to change their belief systems to conform to reality.
Can't we just turn Congress off and then turn it back on again?
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb
Boston = City of Champions: Bruins 2011; Celtics 2008; Red Sox 2004, 2007; Patriots 2002, 2004, 2005
Jon Huntsman for President