[quote name='RSL' date='Mar 27 2010, 02:18 PM' post='356093']
Point 1. The U.S. lost in Vietnam because of an absence of political will. I was there when our craven politicians jerked the rug. What happened after that makes it clear that it was a just war. We won that war during the Tet offensive, but thanks to the likes of Cronkite and his cronies our politicians lost their nerve and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.
Reply 1. Exactly, and Vietnam falling totally under the reds didn't make a lot of difference to the area and made a huge difference to those who died.
Point 2. But you may have noticed that South Korea is still not under the thumb of the north, in spite of the immense military buildup in the north. At the moment it looks as if the sinking was an accident, though I'll withhold judgment until I hear more.
Reply 2. No, it isn't under the thumb of the northern part, but perhaps if it were, the entire joined up country would have crumbled by now since it is probably easier to keep a small place going on nothing than it is to pull that trick with a larger one. Post USSR that's perhaps why Cuba is still breathing. But it does have a great medical service. ;-)
Anyway, the justification for much of the messing around in the far east at the time was the 'domino' theory, which was supposed to lead to the fall of that entire section of the globe to communism, with Australia following suit at the end. Well, Korea was never resolved and the war still, I believe, is officially unfinished; Vietnam is communist and further southwards they are mainly strongly Moslem and Australia still obsesses about cricket, booze and getting melanomas on Bondi; I think New Zealand still consists of two major parts. So the communist threat was somewhat overcooked, to say the least. Where it probably was and might still be a real danger is within Europe, where it masquerades under a variety of sweeter appellations today.
Point 3. As the duke said, "Madam, if you believe that, you will believe anything!" The Chinese are a wonderful people -- as Churchill said, "a serviceable people." They're extremely capable and most of Asia's merchants are Chinese. But as long as their dictators have the guns, they're screwed.
That's the saving thing -- so far. But China's military is like the Japanese military prior to WW II: a big club, and awfully close to being in charge. Taiwan is the big question mark.
Reply 3. I think China is going to be the new America because the people have the same materialistic urge as, for that matter, have the Indians, regardless of the poverty in great chunks of both countries and even despite the religious renunciations of possessions. Both countries are on a path upwards and have the huge area and population to achieve much. The current political leaders will all die out in time and then new minds, coupled with the appetites once frowned upon, will create the kinetic energy to drive the mometum that is all it's going to take for the burgeoning new wealth to flower. I think it unavoidable, and nothing more than the repetition of the old truth of every dog having his day coupled with the other idea that nothing is as certain as change.
And in like manner, the old dogs will fade and die. Of course, as photographers we shall be all right: we only go out of focus. (Groan quickly followed by apology.)
Point 4. And it might also "have resolved itself on the basis of" who has the nuclear weapons. The problem with, say Iran getting nuclear weapons isn't just that they may blow up Israel and start WW III. The problem is that as soon as that happens, or gets very close to happening, all the other Arab nations are going to need nukes too. Somebody had better have the might of someone "at his beck and call" or things are going to get out of hand rapidly.
Reply 4. That might still happen - Israel has them. Do you want to believe that they are any less likely to commit suicide than Iran? I don't think any of the leaders want that; the trouble lies with the follower-idiots who buy into the propaganda, either political or spiritual, and cease to see or realise that any God worth believing in is about love and not destruction. But then, centuries have passed in which the men of violence have cornered the market in press space.
Point 5. As is often the case we agree completely.
Reply 5. Absolutely.