60's Vietnam protest email forwarded

Discussion in 'Protest Advice' started by Paul Thomann, Jul 26, 2009.


Do you find our experiences to have any relevancy to your situation?

Poll closed Sep 24, 2009.
Yes, pass on more info especially from Civil Rights marches. 1 vote(s) 50.0%
Yes. We ask you and the world to bear witness to our struggle. 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Thanks for the story and nice thoughts. 0 vote(s) 0.0%
No, not really. But thanks for being concerned. 1 vote(s) 50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Paul Thomann Member

    During the 60's I was part of the Vietnam war protests.
    I recently received an email from one of my contacts who wished me to pass this along. Your struggle is of course entirely different, different goals and a different political and safety situation. I pass this along with my best wishes and dearly hope for minimal violence.

    Not sure if I can embed his email: if not I'll just cut and paste.
    If I can embed you'll notice his gmail account registers his name as Karl Marx and as far as I know that is his name. Even though we worked closely together neither of us knew the real name or face of the other. I suggest the same for your groups. Karl mentions all this so let me let him talk for himself.
    Not to worry if you find him pompous I always have.
    =========start of forwarded mail=======================
    From: Karl Marx <>
    Date: Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 4:26 AM
    Subject: Open letter to the Iranian protesters

    Please publish and translate.
    I wish that this be disseminated as widely as possible.
    Not that I have any essential truths but that I was there, made mistakes, the movement learned from those mistakes eventually getting what we wanted.

    Non-violence is the only way to effect the changes that you want.
    Violence is a vicious circle from which there is no exit.

    I know of 4 examples where a group was able to get what they wanted through non-violence.
    If they had chosen violence they would have lost.

    1> The expulsion of England from India
    2> The civil rights movement
    3> Vietnam war protests in America
    4> The velvet revolution.

    I can only speak to the one example that I participated in; the Vietnam war protest in America.
    As the movement matured we learned lessons about what worked and didn't work.
    I do not nor could I ever give you advice on what to ask for.
    Iran is your country and the only peoples that can make that determination are you as a people.
    Which is not to say that the government is the people. That is not nor has it ever been the case.

    What lessons did we learn?
    We had the great advantage of being able to read Gandhi and some of us knew Dr. King.
    From their examples we drew the strength to control our emotions in the service of our goals.

    The only control you have is over yourself and to a point those who share your convictions.
    You can not let your emotions or ego make your decisions for you.
    That knowledge took me about 2 years to learn.

    By far the hardest lesson that we learned was that it is useless to try to convince anyone of our cause by logic.
    Being largely students we thought that reason was how political decisions were made.
    Rather we found out that all political decisions are emotional of nature.
    To let the unconvinced know that you are willing to die for your cause; without killing back was our most powerful weapon.
    However this requires that you are dealing with a moral other.
    Gandhi made this point when he expressed relief that he dealt with the British and not the Nazi.
    The Nazi would have killed without compunction. You are trying to convince your own people so hopefully this should not be the case.

    Facing soldiers our men would look them in the eyes so that they would know our humanity. That we were just like them. We listened to the same music, struggled with the same problems. We knew that if they saw us like them that they would not fire upon us. This of course did not always work as Kent state showed.
    Facing soldiers our women would put flowers into the rifles of the soldiers. Saying in effect instead of death and bullets let us talk about flowers and beauty.

    Facing opposition when we marched we put the "Vietnam veterans against the war" at the front.
    Who was going to say to a man who had lost his limbs that he had no courage.
    And they always spoke softly so that they would get listened to.

    Regardless of who wins the election these principles will work.
    After all look at what happened to Richard Nixon.

    On the lines:
    If it looks like a confrontation it will be; better to choose your times and avoid those situations that you can not win.
    We always took coffee cans (with lids) to scoop up the gas canisters. Having a double layer of cloth with charcoal in it can work as a gas mask.
    Talk to your chemists: I only know that whatever they did worked well.
    If it escalates then withdraw. He who protests and runs away lives to protest another day.
    You will be called cowards by some. But the whole point is to win in the end, not day by day. The process is slow but if done right irreversible.
    Essentially by your actions you are educating. Arguement is possible with words. Moral actions educate, therefore there is no arguement.

    Dealing with infiltrators:
    If someone urges you to commit violence they are opposed to you. They and not the people you are trying to convince are the enemy. Before a march that I was involved in we had an individual with guns and explosives; spouting violence. We got him drunk & tied him up in the abandoned building we used for our meetings. Thus his violence was not part of our march. We always thought he was with the FBI. And yes we never went back for him. But we did not commit violence upon him. We just isolated him and rendered him ineffective.

    Now if he recognized us he could have had us arrested. Except that no one gave him their real name and as there was no hierarchy so no other group could be compromised.
    So shy away from and isolate all individuals who preach violence.
    It is only by non-violence that you can make the changes you want and anyone in the way of that non-violence should be isolated.

    You have the advantage of emails, SMS and twitter, which we did not have. Instead we met at Rock concerts to discuss what our goals should be.
    Never talk about particular actions but only about overall goals.

    Organizational structure look up how the Polish resistance set themselves up in cells that did not answer to a main leader.
    Structure looks like this:
    First a very loose knit group of people who can talk about goals and reach reasonable conclusions.
    Meetings don't have to be done in person a teleconference for instance would be just as good.
    Second a tight group where everyone has know one another since childhood; this is where particular actions will be decided on.
    A communal group that sets the goals. Individual cells would then decide on how to best achieve that goal in their area, school or workplace.
    Be like a worm instead of a snake. When the head of a snake is cut off the snake dies.
    When the head/tail of a worm is cut off you have just created two worms where there were just one.

    The task is never done.
    We are now focused on removing some of the sharp teeth of capitalism.
    So that we can effect real change we have chosen to do this in Europe and not America.
    Our aim is that everyone should have a place to stay, enough to eat, a job and the opportunity to make cultural contributions society. Wish us luck with this venture as we'll need it.

    Some of our members have reminded me that this is a coin.
    On one side reads:
    From each according to their ability to each according to their need.
    The other side reads:
    Those who do not work do not eat.

    We are moral not because we want to avoid punishment.
    We are moral because that's the world we chose to live in.

    Lastly with few exceptions never become known.
    Even 35 years later ;>)
    The cult of personality leads to dictatorship even in those with the best intentions.
    Which is why this message is from your uncle Karl.
    ===============end forwarded message==============

    My best friend yet I've never seen his face.
  2. Ray Murphy Member

    Does anyone here actually believe any of this?
  3. Your friend obviously knows nothing about legitimate self-defence.

    If a hungry mountain lion is prowling toward his children, would your friend then make cooing noises toward the lion, while his children were mauled to death?

    It is the nature of the lion to kill and devour. It is the nature of the regime to kill and devour. To engage the enemy without understanding the nature of that enemy is FOOLISH, NARCISSISTIC, and IRRESPONSIBLE.

    Wrong. They DID choose violence and they won.

    Millions died in the riots when England left. Also the Muslims were slaughtered without mercy on the road to Pakistan.

    Watts? For every MLK there was a Malcolm X. There were casualties and flashpoints in that struggle too.

    Oh, give me a break. Again, there was violence. The Cong were armed and organized and they had a will to win. The protesters were heedless of peaceful opposition. The American administration? Goodness alone knows where their heads were at.

    The "velvet revolution" is a term co-opted by regime stooges to marginalize the legitimate self-defence of the Iranian people.

    There has been armed struggle -- just because the minorities figure dimly in the news doesn't mean they have not been serious -- and there will be armed struggle again. People are banking on turning the army; is the army not armed?

    Evidently you learned NO lessons. Dr King was a great man. Ghandi was not.

    By saying this, you defeat your own argument.

    Ever hear of the song You Can't Talk to a Man with a Shotgun in his Hand? The regime have shotguns in their hands.

    Hence, the necessity of leverage. Leverage is violence. Economic sanctions are violence. Civil disobedience is violence. Armed self-defence is violence.

    Political decisions are economic in nature and have to do with the continuance of economic power. Moreover, there are always camp followers who are psychopaths.

    And the Iranians are NOT dealing with a "moral other."

    :rolleyes: Ireland?

    The minorities in Iran have not been treated as part of the Iranian people.

    One reality: Soldiers are trained. Protesters (so far) are not. Don't spread myths and fantasy. They are dangerous.

    Well, duh? And your point is?

    Exploiting the disabled by using them as a human shield is non-violent how exactly?

    None of you EVER spoke softly.

    These principles are built on sand. They will crumble at the first breeze. The regime and its stooges are counting on the reality that the principles you espouse will NOT work.

    Are you suggesting that the protesters created Watergate? You know this how exactly?

    No, just uninformed.

    Ah! We have reached the point you wish to make! At last! You wish to marginalize those who advocate legitimate self-defence. Not by evidence and logic. But by unsubstantiated OPINION. YOUR opinion. It has to be YOUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY.

    This was an act of violence.

    You actions were violent.

    There are different forms of violence.

    Some forms work to intimidate.

    Some forms work to entrap and immobilize (usually to interrogate at a later time).

    Some forms work to ensure that the enemy does not get up to attack again at a later date (lethal force).

    Just because lethal force does not occur, does not mean that the action is non-violent.

    You call your actions "non-violent" because you think you can escape RESPONSIBILITY for the harm which your actions caused; you think you can do whatever you want, say whatever you want and look oh-so-good doing it.

    You don't like getting your hands dirty; you like spouting off from the comfort of your armchair, blythely oblivious to the dust and grime and blood of the real struggle in the streets.

    Resistance is NOT comfortable. It can't be done from an armchair.

    Shy away from YOU then? Done. Easy peasy.

    As for tactics, obviously you have been reading NEITHER the titter NOR these forums. You just decided to spout off from your own bully pulpit, uncaring of dialogue. You came unprepared: your achilles heel.

    Wrong. Tasks ARE done by means of competent leadership.

    To say that the task is never done is to demoralize the people in their struggle, to say that it is impossible to achieve anything, so just give up.

    The people CAN and HAVE achieved much. They can gain their freedom. And they will. That's the big vision. The small goals along the way are well within the capability of the people.

    Oh geez, here we go. :rolleyes: Your trotskyist world-domination delusions-of-grandeur agenda emerges into the glare of the spotlight.

    Oh, you tried in America. You tried and failed. Eventually you will fail in Europe, as you did before.

    Your unspoken assumption is that people who oppose your polemic do NOT want these things. This is a false assumption.

    You'll need luck because reason is not going to get you what you want. What you want is unreasonable.

    This is non-violent toward the sick, elderly, disabled, and children how exactly?

    This is a circular argument. Worse than immoral, your polemic is unselfconscious, uninformed, and uncaring of the consequences of your actions. Uncle Karl is a sock-puppet, isn't he Paul? Uncle Karl Marx has always been a sock puppet for those who are ruthless and self-serving.
  4. Yeah, and that's what sent the Brits packing. Hindu-muslim riots that happened after they'd already left.

    So there was both violence and non-violent struggle. Now which do historians credit with actually effecting change? The "flashpoints"?

    Funny, I've often heard it told differently -- that the Viet Cong were a formidable enemy, but could have been defeated, if America had the will to see the war through.

    Um, Velvet Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Yeah, I tried to read the rest of that pompous condescending blather, but my eyes glossed over.
  5. Hechicera Member

    Wow, Bugs .. way out of line and off target.

    Get some coffee, a little food and consider some edits.
  6. Brilliant Post. Thank you for sharing it with us.
  7. Red herring. What is going ob with "Uncle Karl" is about control all right. But not about self-control. It is about controlling other people.

    I've already demonstrated that your actions WERE violent. It is optics only that you spread the propaganda that you believe in non-violence. Translated: what you say and do is non-violence; if people disagree with you then they are violent.

    One standard for you. A different standard for other people.

    There you go again, shifting responsibility for your actions to other people. Just because the disabled volunteered does not mean that you are guiltless for using them as human shields against the police.

    I don't believe you.

    Straight up Mr Paul/Karl: there is nothing of value in what yall have to say.

    This should not encourage anonymous posters on this forum to share their contact information with you.

    No one is saying that those who support the regime -- whether actively or passively or by means of sheer ignorance -- are not real people. Oh, they are real alright. Very real.

    Ah! I think you have a a lot of nerve coming on an anonymous forum and asking anyone for contact information. Do you completely not get what is going on in Iran? Do you completely believe that the protesters are too stupid to see through your long long-winded polemic?

    Irrelevant. You want too much. You want it badly. And you want everything for nothing.

    Ah! You know you have failed to persuade us; that you bring to this thread zero evidence, zero logic. So now you are getting personal. Predictable as the sun in the morning and the moon at night.

    The Iranians have a moral right to determine their own course of action. We have a moral duty to support them. Which is what we are doing.

    Everything you have said suggests a course of action which is: join you, give you contact information, don't challenge the regime in any material way.
  8. You're all grown up now, sir. You can get your own coffee and send for pizza.

    I have expressed my point of view logically. I have made no ad hominem attacks. I live in a country where free speech is protected.
  9. Ooooo... getting a little touchy. Can't take a little challenge?
  10. Paul Thomann Member

    RE: comments by Bugs Bunny

    Yes Bugs:
    Their are many circumstances in which violence is not only legitimate but it is the only course of action. I am thinking here of the Vietnamese, the Algerians, the Native Americans, the Aztecs and the Chinese during their occupation by the Japanese before and during WWII.

    Perhaps I should have made even clearer that I was talking about Gandhi when mentioning India's break with the English Empire. His work in South Africa is also useful although not successful.

    If we are talking about the situation faced by Iranian demonstrators then I sincerely hope that the case is much closer to how Gandhi felt about the English rather than he imagined using non-violence against the Nazis. Which case Iran is in can only be made by the actions of those in the streets. Do I understand the anger of Malcolm X? Of course I do but I think his most angry stage was his least effective.

    Getting what you want is the name of the game. If you want to placate your feelings—write a book.

    About the velvet revolution you are correct and as I know the least about it I should have exorcized the reference to the velvet revolution from the email sent to me. Now that you mention it most references to that have been in the negative sense by reactionary sources. About Gandhi I think you might have your own ax to grind there. Dr. King himself acknowledged his debt to Gandhi. Who we look to for examples of non-violence doesn’t matter in the end. Non-violence itself is much more important than any cult of personality.

    >> Political decisions are economic in nature and have to do with the continuance of
    >> economic power. Moreover, there are always camp followers who are psychopaths.

    I wish political decisions would be made for economic self interest, that way America would not have had a Republican President from FDR onward. Unfortunately that is not the case, in order to see the manipulations listen (briefly) to right wing talk radio. Psychopaths?
    Kid in Seventh Sense “Everywhere I look I see dead people,”
    Feel pretty much the same way about psychopaths.

    >> And the Iranians are NOT dealing with a "moral other."
    >> The minorities in Iran have not been treated as part of the Iranian people.
    I hope that you are wrong, but have to bow to the wisdom of those who are there?

    >> One reality: Soldiers are trained. Protesters (so far) are not.
    >> Don't spread myths and fantasy. They are dangerous.
    I am not on the ground and can not judge the situation. I have tried to make that as clear as I can.

    >> You wish to marginalize those who advocate legitimate self-defense. Not by
    >> evidence and logic. But by unsubstantiated OPINION. YOUR opinion. It has to be
    Of course these are our opinions. You are free to listen or not, I hold no power over you.
  11. On this we agree. :)
  12. Paul Thomann Member

    Bugs not interested in a flame war.

    I'm not interested in a flame war.

    My sense of it is that you will not convince me so there is no point in trying.
    Address your comments to those who might be undecided.
    Your use of me as a strawman is ineffective, indirect and boring.
    State what you have to say in a positive manner; it is much more effective that way.

  13. Hechicera Member

    Was a suggestion for you, unless you are implying I should order your coffee for you? I was suspicious of caffeine withdrawal in you today ...

    That's a good one. Something about this poster pushed all your buttons. Interesting.

    I'm far from a pacifist, but I can't figure out why you going off like a lit rocket this morning has anything to do with Iran. I think it has to do with you. What is your problem with non-violence as a resistance method? Why are you so sure violence is the answer? Do you think Scott Roeder was on the right track?
  14. Paul Thomann Member

    effective non-violent protest or why we all need EE's


    This is what I have in mind as effective non-violent protest

    It's located on this site.
    Brilliant idea, merely by getting people to turn on and off their home electricity you can bring down the whole electric grid. Specifically chosen to do the least damage to the people yet most effective. Refrigeration will be out as well as A/C for those who have it. And of course TV will be out. But who needs TV if all it shows are views that are opposed to yours?
  15. Hechicera Member

    I had read it already when it was posted, but thanks.

    Iranians had already thought of it and were using the tactic well before that post went up here. All in all, most Iranian tweeters seem to be happy for the support and very tolerant of us telling them to do this big idea (that we just figured out) that they were already doing last week. Someone posted somewhere (may not be here) that they used a similar tactic against the Shah decades back.

    As you are tuning in to this show late, read up on the

    Why We Protest - IRAN - Green Brief

    Nightly reports in the last month. It will give you an overview.
  16. Paul Thomann Member

    I've been forwarding the Green Brief to everyone I know


    I have been reading the Green Brief for about the last week or so and find it to be the most complete information available to me. I have no idea how much news from Iran reaches Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East or the rest of the Americas but in the USA there is very little news that gets to us even from the alternative media.

    I thank you guys for keeping the rest of the world informed.

    I believe that I have done everything I wanted to do with this thread. If you concur then I will close the thread.

  17. Speaking of the Green Briefs... I didn't see one today... Did I miss it or is Josh out of town again or something?

    BTW, Paul you mentioned something about removing the sharp theeth of Capitalism, is there somewhere where we can find more info on this?
  18. Paul Thomann Member

    The sharp teeth of Capitalism

    >> You mentioned something about removing the sharp teeth of
    >> Capitalism, is there somewhere where we can find more info on this?

    Not unless I get around to writing once again :)
    Which is possible due to unemployment :D

    The phrase comes from a story that a Russian woman I know tells:

    The set up
    She, her husband and her daughter moved from USSR (not Russia) to Germany there her husband stayed as he cared more for his addictions than his family. She then moved with her daughter and parents to Chicago.
    Necessary to the story is to know that Chicago has alleys for access where garbage is picked up and house the garages on residential streets.

    The story
    She was downtown meeting a friend for lunch and decided to take a shortcut through an alley. In back of a restaurant she saw the homeless picking through the garbage for something to eat.

    The quote
    "It was then that I realized I was seeing the sharp teeth of Capitalism and that even though the Communists lied to us about everything else about this they told the truth." She was quite upset even a week later when she told me the story. I had worked as a cook and knew you would put the eatable
    food in the cleanest place they could find in the large (2x2x1.5 meter) trash box.

    So the phrase comes from her. I have found it useful and so continue to use it. In a sense socialism is an attempt to moderate capitalism. Does it make it more palatable, perhaps. And every instance of socialism is different, each attuned to the culture they serve.

    My dream==>
    One day we will only need to own our clothes, software (books, records, movies etc), items that personalize your house (furniture) and of course the tools of ones trade. Everything else we just use house, car, bicycle etc and wouldn't get passed down from generation to generation. Most important to the dream is for everyone to have a job they don't hate.

    I know all the arguments it's unrealistic, people will take advantage and all the others.

    But it's my dream so I'm the only one who has a say. :cool:
  19. Ray Murphy Member

    [Huge rant snipped]

    Bugs, we are here to help - not to show how good we can fight.
    You mucked up a perfectly good opportunity to present some interesting facts and engage others - but who would want to get involved with someone who incessantly acts like a baton wielding basiji of the forum in a Bugs Bunny wabbit skin.
  20. Thanks for your post Paul.

    I thought it had a lot that was of real value in it. I'm too tired to give you the response that I'd like (and it certainly deserves a lot more than you received from your carrot eating friend)...but anyway.

    Thank you, and g'night.
  21. You know, non-violence worked in the Vietnam protests because the police weren't very violent, either. Sure, they were to a degree, but nothing even close to Iran. It is comparing apples and oranges. Both fruit, but it changes from there.
  22. Paul Thomann Member

    comparing apples and oranges--suggestion tangerines.

    "You know, non-violence worked in the Vietnam protests because the police weren't very violent, either. Sure, they were to a degree, but nothing even close to Iran. It is comparing apples and oranges. Both fruit, but it changes from there."

    Yes I agree (and was thankful) that for the most part the police weren't very violent. If you (or others) feel it would be helpful: I'll try and get someone who was there in the civil rights movement to post. I believe their experience would be much closer as they were opposed to violently by the individual states (not the federal government).

    In the poll there was one person who registered interest in getting civil rights input.
  23. Paul Thomann Member

    Ciphers and cryptography in general

    Probably already know this but if not pass it along.

    Problems with crypto in general are:
    1> Making sure if the message gets read in the middle that no one can decipher
    2> Making sure that message can be understood when it arrives where you want
    3> Having it NOT look like a cipher.
    The importance of this is that you obviously do not want to draw attention to yourself or the message.

    Good meathods for this are:
    1> Book page word. Here you have an agreed upon book and use the page and word to retrieve the encoded message. In order to have this less readable embed within a picture at a designated place within the picture. Another meathod is to use is to place the numbers using a letters = # of placement within the alphabet. Then using only numbers after say "al" or whatever.
    2> PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) beauty of this is that it also assures you of the sender as long as their key is registered. Bad part is that it always looks like a cipher. Again I would embed it within a jpeg or sound file.

    Hope this helps.
  24. Paul Thomann Member

    military on motorcycles

    I've been reading/viewing/thinking about demonstrations where military on motorcycles has played a great part. The obvious thing to do is to put an iron rod between the spokes thus causing the wheel to break throwing off the rider. However if you were caught with a metal rod during a demonstration the results wouldn't be to good. However someone on crutches wouldn't be noticed and if able to walk then they could get away and dissolve into the crowd. The only thing about someone on crutches that anyone sees is the crutches; no one sees their face let alone what they are wearing. Another possibility but much more dangerous is to put cloth between the wheels/spokes. Here you have to be very careful not to have the cloth entangled in yourself; because if you are you will be dragged along with the motorcycle. If the cloth looks like a woman's headscarf then as they go down a yell of "who did they run down" might be appropriate.

    Please note that these tactics are not by themselves violent. Much more effective is to down the motorcyclist disarm them and NOT do violence. The aim is to convert the police/military to your cause. When you have 5-10% of your demonstration wearing military garb this will nullify the military that opposes you. It is easy to lose yourself in emotion of violence, don't fall for that as that is weakness. Think of all your actions in terms of the end game.
  25. lemmesee Member

    Let's not forget that America was in Vietnam because of our belief in FREEDOM. If you remember the Communist North wanted to take over the Democratic South. The price of FREEDOM is BLOOD. There is no other way freedom can be paid. Being a child of a Vietnam vet and having served myself, I understand what the cost of freedom means. The Iranian people have a struggle ahead of them. Some may be judged, jailed or die. But you can't kill the message. Long live the people of Iran!
  26. Paul Thomann Member

    Do you really believe that the price of freedom is blood?

    Let's not forget that America was in Vietnam because of our belief in FREEDOM. If you remember the Communist North wanted to take over the Democratic South. The price of FREEDOM is BLOOD. There is no other way freedom can be paid. Being a child of a Vietnam vet and having served myself, I understand what the cost of freedom means. The Iranian people have a struggle ahead of them. Some may be judged, jailed or die. But you can't kill the message. Long live the people of Iran!


    I certainly respect that both you and your father made a choice to join the military. But there is a difference between having respect for your personal decisions and respect for your Politics.

    First learn history:
    From 1969 onward I worked to get the American soldiers out of Vietnam, I had friends who never came back (as did everyone of my age). However if anyone was fighting for freedom is was the Vietnamese, and yes they paid for it with their Blood. After the end of WWII Nguyễn Sinh Cung (Hồ Chí Minh) approached the state department under Eisenhower and asked for help resisting the French (actually more like "please don't assist the French"). He was turned down, the French lost and America made the ultimate faux paux of buying a used war from a Frenchman. The Vietnamese had been fighting since the Japanese had tried to take over Indochina. Looks to me more like war to create a Nation (and throw out a colonial power) and America was on the wrong side. You do remember who won that fight?

    Then eliminate your programming:
    Communist, Marxist, Fascist, Liberal, Conservative, Left, Right, Capitalist, Nationalist==these are all just terms that describe someone's belief set. None of them is any more moral (or correct) than the other. When these terms are used [by the powers that be] in order to elicit an automatic response and you react with the response they want YOU HAVE BEEN PROGRAMMED. At that point you have no perspective.

    Finally use words that point to meaning not words that only elicit emotion:
    Within any Political struggle sad to say--People die. They die because they feel that this struggle is greater than themselves and hence worth dying for. "The price of FREEDOM is BLOOD" is a slogan filled with confusion and naivety. Bleeding does not make one holy; living a good and just life does. I personally hope that the Iranian people are able to achieve their goals without excessive loss of life.

    Every culture changes and grows at their own pace as their people see fit.
  27. lemmesee Member

    I don't think you ever understood what it's like to believe in something greater than yourself. It seemed important to you back in the 60s to protect people from something that you wouldn't do yourself. That's your way, not knocking you for it. I understood when I signed up for service that I may be called up and have to, well die. That was okay because I understood and believed in something greater than myself.
  28. Jakomeyu Member

    cant really much say i can have much experience about this, but good article
  29. Ray Murphy Member

    It was actually about keeping the port of Singapore open for U.S. and allied shipping so the ships wouldn't spend extra weeks going around. The Vietnam war was a success in that regard, but for some strange reason hardly one ever talks about it factually.
  30. Paul Thomann Member

    History & Belief--Reply to lemmesse

    As this is a forum about Iran I probably should have lead with my last sentence.
    Every culture changes and grows at their own pace as their people see fit.

    The Iranians are involved in an internal struggle rooted in both ideology and power. As such depending upon the actions of both sides it has the possibility of becoming very violent. I first posted because it is my hope that their aims can be accomplished non-violently. If you have seen combat you know how that destroys the fabric of a nation. IF those goals can be accomplished non-violently then less will die and reconciliation between the two sides will not be necessary.

    You are absolutely correct when you point to the power that beliefs have in people. This is why the Iranian people have continued to demonstrate at risk to life and limb. It is my political analysis that the other side is just fighting for power and any ideology is just a mask for keeping the status quo. It is for this reason that I believe that non-violence will work.

    As far as what happened in Vietnam and why--we disagree about history and politics.
    However my reasons for not going to Vietnam were:
    I didn't want to get involved in a war of self determination as the outside force
    I didn't want to find out that I liked killing.
  31. Paul Thomann Member

    Thanks for adding my education about Vietnam

    Thank you for adding to my education.
    I had never heard that before, but it makes sense. A confusion to me then and now is the strategic reasons for the US to fight in Vietnam. I know that countries mainly fight wars for strategic interests (Realpolitik).
    Which leads to (at least) three versions for the actions of a country
    first what is internal consumption
    second what is external consumption
    third what is internal for the policymakers
    When paranoid I think that the third is the truth. When less so I think a blend of the three. However I know that without the third being the controlling factor countries do not take action.

    As shown by my posts I have tried to keep the thrust of my posting about Iran. The only reason I originally brought up Vietnam is because it is important to know politically where someones knowledge comes from.

    However the three versions is too important to keep tucked away in this thread. Therefore I'll be posting a more Iran relevant version on another thread. Everyone needs to know that non-intervention is not only normal but in your best interests. Best example of the horrors of intervention is eastern europe after WW II.

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