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    For class we are discussing whether the US intervened (directly and covertly) for security tensions or economic interests? What security tensions existed surrounding Korea and Vietnam? I can see why America intervened surrounding Cuba but in my opinion it seems to be economic interests that dictated intervention during the Cold War in terms of Latin and Central America


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    There was a significant and justifiable concern about the domino effect. One country turns communist and the neighbouring countries get turned
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    (Original post by oasis12)
    For class we are discussing whether the US intervened (directly and covertly) for security tensions or economic interests? What security tensions existed surrounding Korea and Vietnam? I can see why America intervened surrounding Cuba but in my opinion it seems to be economic interests that dictated intervention during the Cold War in terms of Latin and Central America
    There were no security issues. All US interventions have been strategic in nature, and any fear which may have existed concerning the 'Domino effect' was an inherently economic fear, not a security fear, as they wished to protect capitalism (and the dictators enforcing capitalism), which is a rival economic system. Hence, these US interventions often constituted crimes against humanity.

    If we take the example of Vietnam, there were no "security tensions". The wars in Indochina started off with the subversion of the democratic process. That is, in light of what the U.S. State Department called the “unpleasant fact that Communist Ho Chi Minh is the strongest and perhaps the ablest figure in Indochina” and the fact that Ho Chi Minh had established himself as a “symbol of nationalism and the struggle for freedom to the overwhelming majority of the population”, the U.S. installed a brutal authoritarian regime, which had killed tens of thousands of people in state terrorism and had “crushed all opposition of any kind, however anti-Communist it may [have been]… because of the massive dollar aid [it had] from across the Pacific” – its supporters were “found in North America, not in Free Vietnam”.

    Thus, in Vietnam, the US subverted the democratic process which would have unified Vietnam, installed a dictator there, and then intervened when its preferred tyrant was under threat.

    Now let's take Cuba. There were no real "security threats" that would have existed as a result of the Cuban revolution, certainly nothing which the US army couldn't handle. It was all about economics: large American corporations were once free to exploit Cuba; suddenly, they weren't, and the US government didn't like this.

    Ironically, Cuba wasn't even allied with the Soviet Union until the US sent terrorists in to try to regain control of Cuba - after this, Castro had no choice but to appeal to the Soviet Union for help. Thus, no initial 'Domino effect' fear should have existed.

    What about Iran? Well, Iran had a democratically elected President who wanted to nationalise certain industries (oil, for instance) to ensure that revenues were passed onto the people. The British and US governments representing the oil companies didn't like this, so they initiated a coup against the leader in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator. In this case, the democratically elected leader wasn't even Marxist-Leninist. Clearly, this was an intervention to secure strageic resources - an economic intervention.

    What about Guatemala? Same story. The democratically elected President, Jacob Arbenz, ensured that brutal labour practices were stamped out and implemented a land reform program which confiscated unused land owned by the American United Fruit Company and redistributed it to peasants who were in debt slavery. Capitalists in the United States liked slavery for obvious reasons, so the United States, on behalf of the United Fruit Company, overthrew Arbenz and supported a series of brutal dictators who were to commit genocide over the next 42 years. Once again, this example clearly shows that it was economic interests - this time mostly the interests of the United Fruit Company - which ensured that US intervention took place.

    As you point out, in fact, the US supported a series of totalitarian capitalist regimes in Latin America. In Chile, on September 11th 1973, the democratically elected President was overthrown and Pinochet, the free-market capitalist dicator adored by Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher, was installed. Again, clearly, economic interests - Chile wasn't going to do anything to threaten the security of the United States. How could it?

    Same story in Nicaragua. There was a revolution and a free and fair democratic election was held. Ronald Reagan continued to support terrorists in Nicaragua despite this and, again, what was Nicaragua going to do to threaten the security of the United States, which had the most powerful armed forces in the world?
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    There were no security issues. All US interventions have been strategic in nature, and any fear which may have existed concerning the 'Domino effect' was an inherently economic fear, not a security fear, as they wished to protect capitalism (and the dictators enforcing capitalism), which is a rival economic system. Hence, these US interventions often constituted crimes against humanity.

    If we take the example of Vietnam, there were no "security tensions". The wars in Indochina started off with the subversion of the democratic process. That is, in light of what the U.S. State Department called the “unpleasant fact that Communist Ho Chi Minh is the strongest and perhaps the ablest figure in Indochina” and the fact that Ho Chi Minh had established himself as a “symbol of nationalism and the struggle for freedom to the overwhelming majority of the population”, the U.S. installed a brutal authoritarian regime, which had killed tens of thousands of people in state terrorism and had “crushed all opposition of any kind, however anti-Communist it may [have been]… because of the massive dollar aid [it had] from across the Pacific” – its supporters were “found in North America, not in Free Vietnam”.

    Thus, in Vietnam, the US subverted the democratic process which would have unified Vietnam, installed a dictator there, and then intervened when its preferred tyrant was under threat.

    Now let's take Cuba. There were no real "security threats" that would have existed as a result of the Cuban revolution, certainly nothing which the US army couldn't handle. It was all about economics: large American corporations were once free to exploit Cuba; suddenly, they weren't, and the US government didn't like this.

    Ironically, Cuba wasn't even allied with the Soviet Union until the US sent terrorists in to try to regain control of Cuba - after this, Castro had no choice but to appeal to the Soviet Union for help. Thus, no initial 'Domino effect' fear should have existed.

    What about Iran? Well, Iran had a democratically elected President who wanted to nationalise certain industries (oil, for instance) to ensure that revenues were passed onto the people. The British and US governments representing the oil companies didn't like this, so they initiated a coup against the leader in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator. In this case, the democratically elected leader wasn't even Marxist-Leninist. Clearly, this was an intervention to secure strageic resources - an economic intervention.

    What about Guatemala? Same story. The democratically elected President, Jacob Arbenz, ensured that brutal labour practices were stamped out and implemented a land reform program which confiscated unused land owned by the American United Fruit Company and redistributed it to peasants who were in debt slavery. Capitalists in the United States liked slavery for obvious reasons, so the United States, on behalf of the United Fruit Company, overthrew Arbenz and supported a series of brutal dictators who were to commit genocide over the next 42 years. Once again, this example clearly shows that it was economic interests - this time mostly the interests of the United Fruit Company - which ensured that US intervention took place.

    As you point out, in fact, the US supported a series of totalitarian capitalist regimes in Latin America. In Chile, on September 11th 1973, the democratically elected President was overthrown and Pinochet, the free-market capitalist dicator adored by Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher, was installed. Again, clearly, economic interests - Chile wasn't going to do anything to threaten the security of the United States. How could it?

    Same story in Nicaragua. There was a revolution and a free and fair democratic election was held. Ronald Reagan continued to support terrorists in Nicaragua despite this and, again, what was Nicaragua going to do to threaten the security of the United States, which had the most powerful armed forces in the world?
    Out interest, why when America gets involved at the request of a host nation that is being subverted through force by a neighbour, why do you class the Americans as over rising the democratic process?
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    There were no security issues. All US interventions have been strategic in nature, and any fear which may have existed concerning the 'Domino effect' was an inherently economic fear, not a security fear, as they wished to protect capitalism (and the dictators enforcing capitalism), which is a rival economic system. Hence, these US interventions often constituted crimes against humanity.

    If we take the example of Vietnam, there were no "security tensions". The wars in Indochina started off with the subversion of the democratic process. That is, in light of what the U.S. State Department called the “unpleasant fact that Communist Ho Chi Minh is the strongest and perhaps the ablest figure in Indochina” and the fact that Ho Chi Minh had established himself as a “symbol of nationalism and the struggle for freedom to the overwhelming majority of the population”, the U.S. installed a brutal authoritarian regime, which had killed tens of thousands of people in state terrorism and had “crushed all opposition of any kind, however anti-Communist it may [have been]… because of the massive dollar aid [it had] from across the Pacific” – its supporters were “found in North America, not in Free Vietnam”.

    Thus, in Vietnam, the US subverted the democratic process which would have unified Vietnam, installed a dictator there, and then intervened when its preferred tyrant was under threat.

    Now let's take Cuba. There were no real "security threats" that would have existed as a result of the Cuban revolution, certainly nothing which the US army couldn't handle. It was all about economics: large American corporations were once free to exploit Cuba; suddenly, they weren't, and the US government didn't like this.

    Ironically, Cuba wasn't even allied with the Soviet Union until the US sent terrorists in to try to regain control of Cuba - after this, Castro had no choice but to appeal to the Soviet Union for help. Thus, no initial 'Domino effect' fear should have existed.

    What about Iran? Well, Iran had a democratically elected President who wanted to nationalise certain industries (oil, for instance) to ensure that revenues were passed onto the people. The British and US governments representing the oil companies didn't like this, so they initiated a coup against the leader in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator. In this case, the democratically elected leader wasn't even Marxist-Leninist. Clearly, this was an intervention to secure strageic resources - an economic intervention.

    What about Guatemala? Same story. The democratically elected President, Jacob Arbenz, ensured that brutal labour practices were stamped out and implemented a land reform program which confiscated unused land owned by the American United Fruit Company and redistributed it to peasants who were in debt slavery. Capitalists in the United States liked slavery for obvious reasons, so the United States, on behalf of the United Fruit Company, overthrew Arbenz and supported a series of brutal dictators who were to commit genocide over the next 42 years. Once again, this example clearly shows that it was economic interests - this time mostly the interests of the United Fruit Company - which ensured that US intervention took place.

    As you point out, in fact, the US supported a series of totalitarian capitalist regimes in Latin America. In Chile, on September 11th 1973, the democratically elected President was overthrown and Pinochet, the free-market capitalist dicator adored by Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher, was installed. Again, clearly, economic interests - Chile wasn't going to do anything to threaten the security of the United States. How could it?

    Same story in Nicaragua. There was a revolution and a free and fair democratic election was held. Ronald Reagan continued to support terrorists in Nicaragua despite this and, again, what was Nicaragua going to do to threaten the security of the United States, which had the most powerful armed forces in the world?
    Out interest, why when America gets involved at the request of a host nation that is being subverted through force by a neighbour, why do you class the Americans as over riding the democratic process?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Out interest, why when America gets involved at the request of a host nation that is being subverted through force by a neighbour, why do you class the Americans as over riding the democratic process?
    Just a friendly piece of advice. Do your own reading on history and make your own mind up. On here you will find a lot of one sided bias.
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    (Original post by jco19)
    Just a friendly piece of advice. Do your own reading on history and make your own mind up. On here you will find a lot of one sided bias.
    So North Vietnam never tried to undermine South Vietnam militarily?

    Taiwan never sought American help?

    South Korea wasn't invaded by North Korea.

    Why no comment about how bad communist states were in the Cold War?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Out interest, why when America gets involved at the request of a host nation that is being subverted through force by a neighbour, why do you class the Americans as over riding the democratic process?
    In which of the cases I mentioned did this happen?

    Are you referring to Vietnam? Is it not the case that, from 1954, the Americans ensured that democratic elections across both North and South Vietnam could not take place and instead installed a brutal dictator in South Vietnam?

    If this is the case you are referring to, then clearly the United States was overriding the democratic process (as they were in the numerous other cases I mentioned), and was essentially "invited" in by itself, seeing as the dictator of South Vietnam was simply a tyrant propped up by the United States.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    There was a significant and justifiable concern about the domino effect. One country turns communist and the neighbouring countries get turned
    Somewhat debatable if that was a justiable concern isn't it? Just because your neighbour went red doesn't mean your country will unless your communist party starts getting a butt load of weapons from the USSR such as in Vietnam or China in Korea... arguably the other countries that went communist were pushed there by the U.S. such as it carpet bombing every surrounding country of Vietnam, if you're a peasant and that's what you see of the capitalist dream hell fire from the heavens i'd go communist. Plus ironically enough they even were good for the area like Vietnam deposing that little tosser polpot, no?
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    Latin and central America were simply considered to be in Americas sphere of influence much like SE Asia was Chinas and eastern/central Europe was the USSRs, any action taken would be to maintain the status quo, as it were, and maintain American interests there. Economically speaking I wouldn't say factors in much given that back then the area was poor as dirt and didn't really hold any tangible benefits, whilst now of course theres huge amounts of oil, meat, timbre etc. etc.
    But yes as I said personally i'd say the main reason for intervention in any countries would be purely political and to keep communism as far away as possible if say Mexico had gone red the yanks would have **** a brick especially if Russia or China [depending which one Mexico hypothetically liked] decided to play tactical WMDs there well...

    Although economically speaking I guess Panama was still a key American interest.
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    (Original post by Soldieroffortune)
    Somewhat debatable if that was a justiable concern isn't it? Just because your neighbour went red doesn't mean your country will unless your communist party starts getting a butt load of weapons from the USSR such as in Vietnam or China in Korea... arguably the other countries that went communist were pushed there by the U.S. such as it carpet bombing every surrounding country of Vietnam, if you're a peasant and that's what you see of the capitalist dream hell fire from the heavens i'd go communist. Plus ironically enough they even were good for the area like Vietnam deposing that little tosser polpot, no?
    Eastern Europe, Korea etc all showed the domino effect.

    The Americans were very close to winning in Vietnam. General Giaps autobiography mentions that had they carried on operation rolling thunder a few more days then North Korea would've folded.

    Vietnam however was well intentioned but poorly executed. Thai, Taiwanese, South Korean, Australian and New Zealand troops did a phenomenal job.

    Americas command and control was as much a problem as anything.

    Even looking at britains end of empire wars, many 'nationalist' organisations were soviet backed.

    I know of military historians that have said the battle of Mirbat was one of the most pivotal battles of the Cold War.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Eastern Europe, Korea etc all showed the domino effect.
    Eastern Europe wasn't exactly a domino effect it was the red army marching in and installing puppet governments? As for Korea and so forth I stand by my point that if the US and the west in general hadnt ballsed up so badly it may have turned out differently Vietnam well the vietcong and the communists were better than the American alternative so you can see why they won out, Korea was interesting though something that could never be won, as shown by them nearly winning as soon as they drove the reds back to the North they walk into the iron sights of the largest army in the world :L

    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    The Americans were very close to winning in Vietnam. General Giaps autobiography mentions that had they carried on operation rolling thunder a few more days then North Korea would've folded.

    Vietnam however was well intentioned but poorly executed. Thai, Taiwanese, South Korean, Australian and New Zealand troops did a phenomenal job.

    Americas command and control was as much a problem as anything.
    Debateable, I'd put it more like the situation in Afghanistan unless they killed everything in the north they would have had a never ending insurgency gorilla war which they werent prepared to handle not to mention as I said the leader they propper up was such a vile figure it wasn't going to work as shown by them issuing an executive actions order against him... I still find it amusing as soon as they offed him though the south fell between a crack pot and a communist not a good position... even Ho Chi minh or whatever his name was said cheers for getting rid of him :L
    Maybe but then again I take anything any military commander says with a salt pot, bombing the hell out of SE Asia didn't really do much but make the locals hate the Americans, to this day you'll find bombs left and right thanks to that.
    Don't disagree about the Asean and ANZAC troops though albeit its still regarded as a huge mistake going anywhere near it.

    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Even looking at britains end of empire wars, many 'nationalist' organisations were soviet backed.

    I know of military historians that have said the battle of Mirbat was one of the most pivotal battles of the Cold War.
    Mmm true but the difference is we won, well in the Malay emergency anyway which was nice the USA never forgave us for not going in with them since we were busy there and we actually beat the communist forces.

    Aye the policies of the U.S. and USSR went from supporting their respective ideologies to anyone who didn't like the other, not exactly a brilliant policy.

    Interesting battle I wouldn't agree it was pivotal but certainly an interesting one to view, bittersweet irony being we were propping up a fairly nasty government and with regards to the Yemeni issue the communist half was better than the alternative it was a lot more free in terms of equality and so on, even women had rights but as with all of these places look what happened when communism fell, Yemen imploded...
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    (Original post by Soldieroffortune)
    Eastern Europe wasn't exactly a domino effect it was the red army marching in and installing puppet governments? As for Korea and so forth I stand by my point that if the US and the west in general hadnt ballsed up so badly it may have turned out differently Vietnam well the vietcong and the communists were better than the American alternative so you can see why they won out, Korea was interesting though something that could never be won, as shown by them nearly winning as soon as they drove the reds back to the North they walk into the iron sights of the largest army in the world :L


    Debateable, I'd put it more like the situation in Afghanistan unless they killed everything in the north they would have had a never ending insurgency gorilla war which they werent prepared to handle not to mention as I said the leader they propper up was such a vile figure it wasn't going to work as shown by them issuing an executive actions order against him... I still find it amusing as soon as they offed him though the south fell between a crack pot and a communist not a good position... even Ho Chi minh or whatever his name was said cheers for getting rid of him :L
    Maybe but then again I take anything any military commander says with a salt pot, bombing the hell out of SE Asia didn't really do much but make the locals hate the Americans, to this day you'll find bombs left and right thanks to that.
    Don't disagree about the Asean and ANZAC troops though albeit its still regarded as a huge mistake going anywhere near it.


    Mmm true but the difference is we won, well in the Malay emergency anyway which was nice the USA never forgave us for not going in with them since we were busy there and we actually beat the communist forces.

    Aye the policies of the U.S. and USSR went from supporting their respective ideologies to anyone who didn't like the other, not exactly a brilliant policy.

    Interesting battle I wouldn't agree it was pivotal but certainly an interesting one to view, bittersweet irony being we were propping up a fairly nasty government and with regards to the Yemeni issue the communist half was better than the alternative it was a lot more free in terms of equality and so on, even women had rights but as with all of these places look what happened when communism fell, Yemen imploded...
    Eastern Europe. Read up on
    Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

    Vietnam. Huge area of South Vietnamese were clear of communists. But hey, if you want to ignore what North Vietnamese military leader says and go with your own opinion then full your boots.

    Malay and Borneo. Peole always forget about Borneo and Kenya and Aden and Oman. All against communist backed freedom fighters .
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Eastern Europe. Read up on
    Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

    Vietnam. Huge area of South Vietnamese were clear of communists. But hey, if you want to ignore what North Vietnamese military leader says and go with your own opinion then full your boots.

    Malay and Borneo. Peole always forget about Borneo and Kenya and Aden and Oman. All against communist backed freedom fighters .
    Im aware of both of them but both of them still fall under my previous point about the red army and stalin installing friendly leaders?

    What do you mean sorry? Of course it was it was being defended by the Americans until they fled with their tail between their legs, a superpower spanked by a bunch of peasants brilliant strategy by the North and that you cant deny. Either way you cant say that Vietnam was worse off for Communism, the alternative like in South Korea was an evil *******...

    True i've never got why they forget those ones well Oman for instance was a fairly low key war it wasn't any rolling thunder, more low impact ops, what do you mean about Aden though that was a thorough disaster for Britain where we were ejected swiftly? I would say the replacing government was good albeit red but none the less. Although im not sure which side you're arguing for the communists or western backed regimes?
    One thing is interesting though all of these countries were former colonies and these wars were mostly started as independence movements whilst the Brits won most but granted independence the French and Americans were truly evil in what they did take Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria and tunisia as some examples.
 
 
 
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