Friday, 3 July 2009

Welcome to Vietnam

WHEN I was a teenager I can remember sitting watching the news with my parents. It was the late Sixties and almost every bulletin seemed to have a report from the war in Vietnam.

I could have stepped back forty years in time last night when I saw the report about the British and American offensive in Afghanistan. Same strategy as used in Vietnam - flying out to a village, dropping troops to secure it, then leaving a token force to hold it against the Viet Cong.

I have read a few hundred books on the Vietnam war and at one time had a collection of over 3,000 books which I bought and sold via my website Booksonvietnam.

In all the recollections and history books on the war the message was the same - the war couldn't be won. The French couldn't win in Vietnam before the Americans tried and the Chinese couldn't win after the Americans.

Afghanistan is the same. The war can't be won so every British serviceman or women who loses their life there has done so for nothing. It make me want to cry when I think of the grief felt by those families, and then it makes me angry that Blair and Brown have squandered British lives in this way.

Well done to Peter North for his 211 votes in last night's local council by-election in Sutton. He polled more than twice as many votes as the Labour Party's candidate.

The full result was:
Sutton Council
Nonsuch Ward
Thursday 2nd July 2009
Gerry Jerome (Lib-Dem) 1665
Chris Dunlop (Con) 1329.
Peter North (BNP) 211
Marcus Papadopoulos (Lab) 88
BNP Percentage: 6.4%

If you fancy a weekend campaigning in Norwich in this lovely weather, then let me introduce you to Julia Howman and her team (above) who will no doubt be delighted by any offers of help.

And as it's Friday what about a Kinks' classic. This is a shortened version of Shangri-la for a BBC programme on Ray Davies from about 15 years ago. This was one I my Kinks favourites but sadly it wasn't a hit at the time because it was probably too melancholy.


alanorei said...

“America should never get engaged in a war on the Asiatic mainland” - US Army General Albert Wedemeyer, 1948.

According to Wikipedia and associated references:

General Wedemeyer, 1897-1989, served in WW2 as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander of the South East Asia Command (SEAC), Lord Louis Mountbatten. In October 1944, with the dismissal of General Joseph Stilwell, Wedemeyer was selected as Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and commander of American forces in China.
The term ‘Asiatic mainland’ encompasses both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US and the UK are reaping the consequences of ignoring General Wedemeyer’s advice of 60 years ago. For as long as a non-BNP government is in power, the UK will continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

Martin, I would have said "He polled nearly three times as many votes as the Labour Party's candidate." However, on checking, 3x88=264-211=53; whereas 2x88=176 and 211-176=35, so you are more correct without the use of BODMAS (brackets, of, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction) being required. Always nice to beat Fascist Labour if only by even one vote. I remember Vietnam as well - a real nightmare like Afghanistan is turning out to be. The BNP and God will revenge it I'm sure.

alanorei said...

Also re: Vietnam, an insightful resource is Vietnam, Why Did We Go?, by English historian, the late Avro Manhattan.