56 Years Afterwards

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56 Years Afterwards

Post by Pconlon on Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:15 pm

******* One of the Senior Editors & writer of the NeoConservative weekly Standard run by Fred Barnes and William Kristol is one Robert Messenger. A still fairly young individual of Great ability & substantial logic and Historical perspective. His recent lenghty contribution on the Legacy of Diebienphu and subsequent events Worldwide is truly a Gem of writing, and a rarity in today's Journalistic circles. It actually alters the accepted History and forces an ex post facto reality on the reader. It shows how the the long accepted easy comfortable views can be shown false, and that the "Hinge of Fate" sometimes occurs by a sheer lack of will by the Strong as opposed to a Steely determination of the lesser side.

****** The entire article is like 9 magazine pages and I do not have a link even , but if someone can find it then it would be worthwhile all around for it presents harsh reality and the legacy's for generations later. For example the French Military never psychologically recovered from Dienbienphu anf the Algerian War & mistakes were in large part a result of the Indo China failure. It also shows how the Fall of China in the late 40's to Mao DID directly affect the Franch War in Indo China - how Ho and Giap were losing by 1949 against superior French Union forces and that the larger Korean War probably refocused the US away from the then growing support of the French . How in early 1954 even 4% of the French Army in Indo China had 65% or more of the Viet Minh tied into the setpiece battle at Dienbienphu , but could not prevail . How Eisenhower set the stage for later resentmant's en masse from the French Military & how outright Communists in France sabotaged the war efforts between 1948 & 1954.

******** It also reflects on the later Vietnam War (61/75) and later events in Iraq & Afghanistan. It is all in all an amazing compilation of material and it shows a heroism on the part of the French that is now all but forgotten. They literally (Generals in Hanoi & Paris) let Victory slip away for a failure to really engage with an upscaled effort while those there fought on a constantly reduced/enlarged/reduced perimeter until the Wounded outnumbered the Fit. No army could have performed better.

****** Once again I reccomend it be fully read & contemplated.


Last edited by Pconlon on Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:44 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Mispelling)

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Detonate95 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:48 am

It's interesting to speculate on how a French victory at Dienbienphu would have changed our own history. Would there have been a US Vietnam war? If not, without the focus on the war, would the liberal movement of the 60's have been able to take root? If you find that article I would like to read it.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Jerry Bell on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:57 am

The title of the article is: Theirs but to do or die; It is subtitled: Dien Bien Phu and the twilight of the Warrior, by Robert Messenger.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Pconlon on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:31 am

Detonate95 wrote:It's interesting to speculate on how a French victory at Dienbienphu would have changed our own history. Would there have been a US Vietnam war? If not, without the focus on the war, would the liberal movement of the 60's have been able to take root? If you find that article I would like to read it.



***** Odds are that even IF Ho Chi Minh and Giap were defeated in the early 50's a later insurgency would have tied down the French and the French public would not have had the stomach for a decades long struggle. Exclamation Algeria consumed France for 9 years and over 10% of Algeria was French. Two Government's fell - 2 coup's were tried with a few assasinations. Raoul Salan the last Commander in Indo China eventually broke with DeGaulle, led the OAS and was imprisoned for a good 7 years.

***** The US out of presumed necessity filled the void in Vietnam- and the perception of monolithic Communism was not a fallacy in the 50's. The Diem's on paper looked good and they were maintained for 9 years. The 11/63 coup ousting them was the Rubicon for the US in Vietnam and JFK tacitly let it occur. 2 weeks later He was dead.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Detonate95 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:40 am

Jerry Bell wrote:The title of the article is: Theirs but to do or die; It is subtitled: Dien Bien Phu and the twilight of the Warrior, by Robert Messenger.

Jerry, do you have a link?

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Jerry Bell on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:49 pm

I just googled his name and found the title and several reviews and references, but could not find a link that went straight to the article. Sorry, not much help.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Pconlon on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:24 pm

***** Sorry about the misspelling- I am too quick/too often - obviously it's Weekly Standard - Dienbienphu Exclamation Just Google it Exclamation A b& w photo of some French Officers is on Page 1.


Last edited by Pconlon on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Detonate95 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:42 pm

I can spell OK, but I sure can't type worth a hoot. Everything I write requires numerous backspaces and corrections before posting. Sure is great to use a browser with a built in spell checker. I had to make five corrections just to post this.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Chris_Bowman on Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:13 pm

Been a few days since I checked by here. I don't have time to read it now, but here's a link to your article.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/theirs-do-and-die

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Detonate95 on Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks for posting that, Chris. Very good read. I'm thinking of a movie that starts with some Legionnaires at DienBienPhu and moves to Algeria. I think it starred Anthony Quinn.

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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Detonate95 on Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:32 pm


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Re: 56 Years Afterwards

Post by Pconlon on Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:05 am

****** Lost Command was based on a book called"The Centurians" The book has more of Indo China in it than the movie.

****** Not to be confused with"The Lost Command (1955) which was another Alamo tale starring Stirling Hayden & J.Carol Naish.

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