Cutter wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 13:47:
Said by someone with obviously no knowledge of history. And what, pray, do you think precipitates all these Revolutions to begin with?
What in the actual fuck did you proceed to ramble on about here? You started talking about the 1%, social inequality, and other crap that did not address the history of Vietnam directly. I'm not addressing abstract concepts, unless you consider "reeducation" camps and government-imposed famine to be abstract.
Quboid wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 15:06:
Handle with care ... or exploit for cheap publicity. Get kicked off Steam for 24 hours, that should get people listening.
That's the real problem with I have with any games (or movies) based on war. Or hell, just talking to people on the street about war. They never get it quite right, and it's infuriating.
jdreyer wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 17:35:
The South Vietnamese government and military was rotten and corrupt. It was a military dictatorship. So there really was no good option for the people of Vietnam.
Fair enough, although I don't believe they would have been quite as bad as the communists had they won, but no one can say with certainty. However, even accepting for the sake of argument that they would have been as bad as the North Vietnamese government, I just have a problem with folks saying that the communist forces "deserved" a victory. Regardless of how the revolution to kick the French out began and its initial intent, I just can't celebrate communist victory.
As an Afghanistan veteran, and as a husband to the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I admit I can be a little sensitive when it comes to depictions of war in the media/games (as I said above). This is especially true with regards to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Vietnam. For whatever it's worth, I challenge anyone to find an older Vietnamese immigrant in America who is not angry at the communists and who isn't a fan of the US military in general (and yes I know this is a personal anecdote and not a big enough sample to apply a single worldview to an entire ethnic subpopulation). That said, even when I listen to my older in-laws tell stories of the Vietnam War or its aftermath, I know there are more sides to it.
Mostly I grow tired with polar depictions of each side; combatants on either side are not all barbarians OR noble heroes serving a higher cause. They're all just normal people who join the military or join a group for as many reasons as there are troops in the service. Some a great people (on both sides) and some are terrible people (on both sides).
Flatline wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 18:01:
If you have a Roku, PBS has a Frontline episode on the clusterf*ck that is Iraq and how we basically screwed up as badly as you could imagine there. We almost literally grabbed the first Iraqi who didn't want to spit on us and said "hey how'd you like to lead the country?"
But yeah, we're terrible at counter-insurgency. Part of it I think is that we're a culture that doesn't understand that other cultures are so oppressed, or in such a crappy quality of life, that dying fighting is culturally preferable to rotting in misery. We think that inflicting an obscene amount of casualties will win wars, but as we saw in Vietnam that doesn't always work. We killed well over a million people in that war and it didn't achieve strategic victory.
I honestly don't know if there *is* a military solution to insurgency. The popular thought is that there only is within the scope of giving a government time to establish itself and develop infrastructure and a military. Which, you know, works on paper, but finding someone to lead a government, relatively fairly, who is friendly to us, and is liked by the people, and isn't corrupt, is something we really haven't learned how to do yet. If it can be done at all.
Edited because I looked up casualties for Vietnam.
The main correction I'd like to make here is that our strategy in Afghanistan had been to AVOID inflicting massive casualties. Rules of engagement were specifically designed with this in mind, and the approach we took was to leave infrastructure in place (while building and improving it) and to generally tend to the needs (for security, for resources, etc.) of the disparate* local populations in the hopes of gradually building a coalition. For most of the war, US and Coalition forces didn't roll into villages looking to raid, but rather to build relationships. Those that were targeted specifically for raids (most going down without shots even being fired) or for airstrikes were higher-ranking terror network leaders and such. And we did a good overall job keeping civilians out of it when possible.
The way to end an insurgency is to remove the culture that allows it to grow. If military occupation is what's pissing off the locals, then the solution is to remove the military. If it's something else (ruined infrastructure for example), then change that specific condition to the benefit of the locals. At any rate, you're essentially correct that the military can't do much to end it with direct action.
*The Afghans were especially "disparate" compared to the Iraqis.