User talk:Buffs/Archive 1

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Welcome!

Hello, Buffs, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Again, welcome!  Johntex\talk 17:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

PS: Howdy and Hook 'em, by the way. Johntex\talk 17:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Marching band pic

I was in marching band in high school, so I'll try finding a decent picture to add onto the page. Thanks for the comment... are you an Aggie by the way? --Blueag9 08:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks

Thanks for all the great work you've done on all the articles relating to A&M. About how much time to you dedicate to wikipedia articles? -- Hut101 07:10, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Congrats

A Barnstar!
Award

I, Blueag9, award this Barnstar to BQZip01 for his great efforts in improving Texas A&M-related articles. Gig 'em!

--Blueag9\talk 21:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Question

300px Who does this truck belong to?? Have you seen it before? Blueag9\talk 22:56, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Re Electoral College

Thanks for the brief summary. I got it now. But being more specific, am I right in understanding that each state has one electoral college vote, and that the state vote is determined by the majority of electoral college members vote. Is that correct? Berserkerz Crit 10:34, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Kyle Field Page

Hi BQZip. I'm sorry that I kept overwriting your changes to the Kyle Field page. I didn't realize that anyone else was working on it while I was or I would have been more careful to not just copy and paste the info I was writing out of notepad. It had nothing to do with the content of your changes -- hope I didn't offend! Karanacs '00 Karanacs 18:29, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

License tagging for Image:KyleField2.jpg

Thanks for uploading Image:KyleField2.jpg. Wikipedia gets thousands of images uploaded every day, and in order to verify that the images can be legally used on Wikipedia, the source and copyright status must be indicated. Images need to have an image tag applied to the image description page indicating the copyright status of the image. This uniform and easy-to-understand method of indicating the license status allows potential re-users of the images to know what they are allowed to do with the images.

For more information on using images, see the following pages:

This is an automated notice by OrphanBot. If you need help on selecting a tag to use, or in adding the tag to the image description, feel free to post a message at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. 07:07, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

BTW, I noticed the topic above and went to view the image. Images created by the US govt are generally public domain. However, this does not necesarily apply to the states. Florida has a law releasing most govt works into the public domain but to my knowledge Texas does not. In any case, even with the US govt the public domain status does not extend down to works made by contractors and the like. Therefore, this image is almost certainly not a free image. I suggest you try adding a fair use rationale if you want the image to be kept. Please see WP:Fair use for more information. Best, Johntex\talk 19:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorting

Hi BQZip01, thanks for your help with List of Division I-FBS college football stadiums. Are you sorting by attendance? There is some discussion at Talk:List of Division I-FBS college football stadiums that perhaps alphabetical would be better. Please chime in. Best, Johntex\talk 20:01, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Registration

It is a very interesting question.

This has been discussed numerous times. Some people seem to have a philosophical opposition to the idea. They say we have to remain the encyclopedia that "anyone can edit" and that requiring registration would scare people away. Others have done small studies that seem to show that most IP edits are vandalism at worst, or misguided edits at best. However, the question is: if we keep registration easy, will it be so easy that vandals just go ahead and create an account in order to vandalize? I don't know if there is a happy medium between keeping out vandals and keeping out contributors.

I personally would have no objections to requiring everyone to register to edit. I think it would cut down on some vandalism. I think a lot of vandalism is spur-of-the-moment, and that the vandal probably will not go to the trouble of creating an account. Even more importantly, usernames help you know who you are dealing with. When 5 IP addresses comment on something, you don't know if they are really 5 seperate people or just one person who is changing IP addresses. Also, if you leave a Talk page message for someone, you want to know the right person is going to recieve the message. IP address editting gets in the way of that.

We have been moving towards less access to unregistered users. We now have "semi-protection" for some articles to prevent unregistered users from editting them, and you do have to have an account in order to start a new page. This was not always the case.

Also, as a result of the Essjay controversy, there may be pressure for additional changes to our system. We will see, I guess. Best, Johntex\talk 16:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Stadium Page

Sorry for the mangled page. My touchpad is a trite sensitive and I saved the page on accident. Pepto gecko 21:44, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

USAF article

Horray to you for finally sorting out what has been a terrible eyesore for a while! I would have done it, but seeing as how I'm the main editor over at the Air Force portal, I was afraid it would be seen as too much "self-interest". By the way, if you want to pop over to the portal and put in your two cents worth (or more....), please feel free! I'm ALWAYS trying to find fresh victims editors and authors and people generally in the know! - NDCompuGeek 09:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Gunship

Thanx brother!

I knew that I didn't have the call sign listed, but I was being lazy at the moment, and was saving the trip to the basement file cabinet to look it up...

I have been working on this list for a buncha months, and I feel like Seabiscuit coming around the final turn... After wading through the war in Southeast Asia, the final two decades are gonna be a cake walk!

Bless you, my Herky-bird Son!

Sub*

Mark Sublette 05:12, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 05:12, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Me Band Geek, too

Just checked yer bio - I marched proudly in the Clemson Tiger Band for six years - also extended plan - mellophone, French Horn, and proudly wear my retro 1978-1986 band uniform at Homecoming each year in Death Valley, marching with Alumni Band!

Sub*

Mark Sublette 05:21, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 05:21, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Hard facts

Absolutely should you list this gunship fact ! I have been trying to identify Hercules benchmarks for the various listings, (1st loss, 1st loss in SEA by service, last loss in SEA, et al), so any distinguishing identification you care to add - please be my guest! I am practically a plank-holder for this page...

Mark Sublette 05:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 05:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Jack rabbit

Hey - you were PDQ on adding the callsign - how did you come across my 20-min old entry? Just cruising - or do you have a Hurlburt alarm bell?

Sub*

Mark Sublette 06:10, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 06:10, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Ivan Gotasecret

Yuh - I know - life-long AF brat - best friend from Choctaw High now lost in the war on terror for some agency or other...

Mark Sublette 06:16, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 06:16, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

B-1 Lancer

Uh, why did you revert my productive edits to the B-1 Lancer page? No references were deleted at all! Are you sure you got the right page here? We all make mistakes, and I honestly see know relationship between my edits and the reason you gave for the reversion! If I got something good by accident (it was after 3AM!), I'm sorry, but wholesale reversion of your part is not the answer either. Thanks. - BillCJ 16:36, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

TAMU Rivals

Dear Sir,

I've posted my reasonings for my deltion of the statement on the Texas Aggies Talk page, please review them at your convineince.

Thom Katt Class of 2010 Theturtlehermit 22:02, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I appologize, my earlier note was not very clear, in part because of poor punctuation on my part. What I ment to say was that I was the one who had delted the "Other significant..." statement on the Texas Aggies page, which you reverted, I posted my reasonings for deletion on the talk page. You have looked at them and adressed them already. I had posted this just to make sure you saw it, in case the talk page wasn't on you watchlist.

Theturtlehermit 06:29, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Corps Stack

Thanks for the description of the Corps Stack. I never knew that had an official name. I don't suppose you have a picture of your old one that we could put in the Corps of Cadets article? If not, I'll ask some of my friends who were in the Corps if they can find one. Karanacs 16:52, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Great picture! Thanks for adding it :) Karanacs 19:05, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism

Hi BQ Zip, I notice you deal with some of the vandalism in the articles. I don't know if you're aware of this, but you can report lunatic vandals to admins here: Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. I got to do my first report after this one guy kept vandalizing Acie Law IV. (Obviously, if you mess with the Law, you're in trouble) Just letting you know. --Blueag9 (Talk | contribs) 07:46, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

SOCCENT?

No, I never was in SOCCENT. I'm in the Army, though - 2/23 Infantry, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis, Wa. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how you knew I was in the military at all until I remembered that I had posted that bit about wingtip vortices on the A-10 talk page.

I noticed you're in flight training currently; what kind of aircraft are you training on at the moment? --Molon Labe 00:25, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I've seen a few T-37's at airshows in Oshkosh. My dad's a retired airline pilot and the family used to go up there every other summer for a week at the EAA airshow. I'm actually in the Army right now, getting ready to deploy to Baghdad very soon. My MOS is 11B - infantry. It's interesting work, to say the least. I've been with my platoon for about two years now and I'm getting a little impatient with waiting now that deployment is so close.
Good luck with the medical situation; hopefully it's nothing too serious. And good luck with the flight training. I've decided that as soon as I get back from deployment I'm gonna make it a priority to take lessons and get my private license. The new sport pilot license ought to make it a bit easier to actually get some time behind the stick, I think. If you had your choice of aircraft after you graduate from the Tweety Bird what would be your preference? --Molon Labe 02:51, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - I'll take all the good luck I can get. Wasn't it a fighter pilot that said "I'd rather be lucky than good any day"? I agree with you, BTW about the Iraqis providing their own security. The training going on over there right now is the key; hopefully it'll pay off soon. It would be nice if the Iraqis could shoulder more of the load themselves - we might need to use the troops elsewhere these days, what with Iran starting to push things to a critical point and much of Somalia, inclulding Mogadishu, in the hands of an extremist Muslim government - although that's probably in the line of the Special Operations guys.
Good luck with getting the aircraft of your choice; having the job you want and getting the kinds of missions you're interested in performing is crucial. I think. In the Army if you enlist for the infantry, you generally (not always) have to enlist as an 11X - infantry, but you could end up as 11C (mortar infantry) or 11B (direct fire infantry) which is what most people seem to want. The thing is, even if you end up as 11B you could still end up in any number of jobs; you could end up doing staff work, being a driver for a battalion commander or a First Sergeant, being a crewman on a TOW Stryker, or you could end up in a line squad in a line platoon, kicking down doors on raids. I suppose you officers have it even worse, though; I know you tend to have to rotate between schools, command jobs and staff jobs. So long story short - good luck with flight training and with your assignment, and if I ever have to call in fire from your AC-130, shoot straight. ;)
I'll have to put something up on the user page soon. I suppose I should just check out various user pages to get an idea of how the good ones look. --Molon Labe 05:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Minot

I noticed you have been to North Dakota. Any chance it was at Minot AFB? By the way - great userpage! - NDCompuGeek 22:52, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Image thumbs reply

By setting a fixed size, you aren't necessarily making them bigger, what you are actually doing is disabling the User Preferences feature. I'm guessing you aren't familiar with this. Under "My Preferences", you can set the size that thumbs are displayed. This is so that people can set the thumb display size to look best on whatever monitor they're viewing. If they're viewing on a high-res screen, you might very well be making the images look smaller to them. For folks who view on a very small screen, by fixing the images at a certain size, you can overpower the article. That's why WP:MOS says "Specifying the size of a thumb image is not recommended". So, if you think the images need to look bigger when you view it, please don't fix the pixel size, adjust your user preferences. Thanks. Akradecki 00:39, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect, you can't arbitrarily decide to ignore the Manual of Style, deliberately disable user preferences for everyone else, and force your view of how pictures should look on everyone else. Please respect the guidelines around here. The CV-22 article is a part of the Aircraft Project, and you need to respect the way we have standardized the articles, and the guidelines we follow. If you choose to deliberately contravene the MOS, that could be considered vandalism. I know you're fairly new around here, and I'd rather not go the vandalism warning route, instead, I'd rather see you become an active part of the project, so please respect the system that you're coming in to. Akradecki 04:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Loved your latest post on this. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed. I wasted 5 minutes of my life following that link and reading about bicycle sheds. That's five minutes of my life I will never get back. I'm sorry to see you being dogged on this. Don't let it drag you down. Johntex\talk 06:39, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Aggie Thought

Bearbarnstar.jpg Your Barnstar Was EATEN BY A BEAR!
THANK YOU for the pic and the laugh. I was having an awful day and now I'm in a much better mood :). Gig 'em! Karanacs 18:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Non-breaking spaces

Regarding this edit, I put in all those annoying " " non-breaking spaces because the semi-automated peer review script looks for non-breaking spaces. There is a policy at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Units_of_measurement that says there should be a non-breaking spcace between a number and a "unit of measure". I'm not entirely sure whether "points" counts as a "unit of measure" or not. I'll put a query on the policy talk page. Johntex\talk 21:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

While I was there, I noticed that there seems to have been a change in the wording to the policy about two weeks ago with respect to spelling out numbers. It used to say something like "spell out numbers less than 12". Now it says to use digits when talking about uits of measure. I have a lot of "three yards" and "eight yards" in articles I am working on. I may now have to convert them all to "3 yards" and "8 yards". Don't you just love when the rules change during the game? Aaarrrggghhhhh.
We'll see what response comes on the policy page. Best, Johntex\talk 22:20, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Hello again. I don't have a strong feeling about it myself, but please note that Wikipedia:Fair use (point 9) prohibits fair use images outside of the main article space. Personally, I think sports logos should be treated differently because they are typically trademarked as opposed to copyrighted, but I haven't been able to win that particular battle. That is why none of our userboxes contain team logos. I just thought I'd let you know. Johntex\talk 23:46, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I think Zero U is very clever. I haven't heard that one before. Did you come up with it? I had not heard the one about why OU vs UO either, but I think that is a good one. The "land thief" quote I have heard before and I totally agree - what an odd name to choose to call yourself. I think it is even worse than calling yourself the Cornhuskers. Actually, that might be a good one for your list - did you know they used to be called the Bugeaters? You could write something like - "Corhnhuskers might seem like an odd name until you realize it is an upgrade from Bugeaters".
They are not a Big12 team, but when I see those USC Trojans fans with two fingers up, all I can imagine is them chanting "We're number two".
Best, Johntex\talk 17:21, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Also for Oklahoma State - the 'other' OSU
And you may not like this one, but we call Tech fans "sand aggies".  :-0 Johntex\talk 17:24, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I Wanted Wings

Thank you so much for your kind bestowal of WikiWings. I will wear them proudly.

Mark Sublette 04:17, 4 April 2007 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette 04:17, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Texas A&M

Hi BQZip, is there any way you can get more Aggies to improve A&M articles? I would like the A&M article to be a featured article, and I think we would need more people for that to happen. I just posted on TexAgs, and I don't know whether I'll get any luck out of that.
By the way, don't you think it's a bit odd that only Michigan universities seem to be on the featured university list? --Blueag9 (Talk) 00:23, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits to Texas A&M Aggies basketball and comments on your user page

For Billy Gillispie's departure date in the Texas A&M Aggies basketball article, I changed the format back to Month DD, YYYY since that format is used for the other 50+ dates shown on that page.

As far as your user page goes, it is ironic that you make fun of supposed poor spelling by those from Tech on a page containing multiple spelling errors of your own. (If you need help fixing them, let me know.) And, on the subject of irony, your use of the word "ironically" on the page is also wrong. It might be ironic had you been born on a base named after a "tech tard" since Texas Tech is a rival. However, I would think that you would consider it fortuitous being born on a base named for a fellow Aggie.

Ah well, all in good fun, I suppose. Go, Big 12, and God bless the USA!

-- Wordbuilder 15:08, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

In response to your reply... I suppose the only question that remains is, who has more viewers-- TBS or ABC? Spelling lessons at mTa! --Wordbuilder 14:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, the bellringer is a classic. Unfortunately. If you ever find the picture with the cheerleaders' flags, let me know. I'd like to see that one. --Wordbuilder 02:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Under Secretary of the AF

Hi. The official bio lists "Under Secretary" as two words. So does the paperwork sent up to Congress. Regardless, uniformity is required, and you only changed some references. Suggest you leave it as two words. Journalist1983

Headings and pics

Serious question: I noticed you placed some pics on the B-2 page before the headings "IAW wiki policy". I'm well familiar with the guidelines on thumb sizings, but I hadn't heard that one. THere's not really any consistency in applying that guideline either, but the majority of the articles I've worked on usually have the pics below the headings. DO you have a link to that? Again, serious question, not picking a fight, I promise. - BillCJ 05:38, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Please consider posting right aligned images under subheading. It's not against WP:MoS#Images and make editing / tweaking articles and sections much easier. When someone put wrong description of such image I can edit subsection where this image is displayed. With posting image above subheading I have to edit previous section - it's not natural and harder to edit. Of course left aligned images have to be posted above subheading. Piotr Mikołajski 15:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

No problem, you've made a lot of good job and everyone can make mistake from time to time. I agree that someone could fix that display issue and I hope that it will be fixed in next software update. Regards, Piotr Mikołajski 06:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Manners

I thought it was very rude of you to leave me a talk message stating that while I had not revealed any classified information, I should be careful not to. The presumption that I cannot differentiate between what is classified and what is not classified is out of line. The presumption that, while I had not revealed any classified infromation -- but I might without a timely reminder from you is simply rude. The presumption that as the owner of the largest single webiste dealing with gunships would suddenly feel compelled to reveal classified information in a Wiki is absurd. When and if I reveal any classified information concerning the AC-130 gunship, then we can discuss the matter, but until then, please do me the favor of recognizing that a former AC-130 combat crewmember, who earned his stripes over the HCM trail, has enough sense to understand and appreciate the importance of not revealing classified tactical information. Please also recognize that there are folks other than you who are fully qualified to determine what is or is not classified concerning the AC-130, its mission and its tactics. Spectregunner 03:49, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:AIV

Please don't report IPs to WP:AIV if their last edit was days ago. IP addresses are sometimes shared or regularly rotated so unless we're dealing with a school, we don't exactly want to block them unless we have to. In the case of 217.117.225.17 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log), this IP is actually the proxy server for a Dutch ISP which explains the sporadic vandalism originating from this address. --  Netsnipe  ►  19:43, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Now you know why I don't usually bother to warn IP vandals at all. Remember, the purpose of the Wikipedia is to advance human evolution. And here we thought it was to be a repository of knowledge! You see, IP vandals are the lastest step in human evolution, and we must do nothing to prevent that evolution from occurring, even if it means our knowledge is damaged in the process. ;) - BillCJ 20:06, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Signature

Did you hear the one about the Aggie and the Wiki-signature?

An Aggie, a Longhorn, and a Sooner walk into Wikipedia...  :-)
Johntex\talk 21:36, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

LIEUTENENT! I NEED HELP!

This article is going to be deleted. Please give an opinion. --Defender 911 00:41, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your opinion. Was it really necessary to snap at me, though? I've been through a lot today. --Defender 911 01:01, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you.

Thank you for contributing a half-mast flag to Branch One. I'm sure many visitors will be pleased. :) --Defender 911 19:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

P.S. Have a WikiCookie. :) :) :) :) --Defender 911 00:52, 19 April 2007 (UTC) Choco chip cookie.jpg
P.P.S. Why did you put the "geek" userbox? You're not a geek! --Defender 911 21:05, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

"We Tappa Kega"

What is it and why is the userbox on my userpage? --Defender 911 20:50, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

What do we do in the "We Tappa Kega"? --Defender 911 21:07, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
You're funny! :D But for meaningful clubs go here or here. --Defender 911 00:27, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Vietnam Comments

Vietnam ... the Saga Continues

Your point about the war being a political, rather than military defeat, is an interesting one. What is war, if not politics? As Carl von Clausewitz put it "war is an expression of politics." War is not simply a contest of firepower. Wars have always been associated with higher political causes: "the war to end all wars" (WWI), "the war to set men free" (U.S. Civil War), "the war to liberate the Holy Land" (the Crusades). War is a contest of political ideas, articulated through firepower. Clausewitz made the argument for "total war," in which an entire society is in some form or another linked to the conflict. In the case of the Vietnam War, to argue that there is a difference between a political victory and a military victory, shifts responsibility away from the military. The Pentagon had: 120 billion dollars, 3 million men, superior firepower, command of the seas and skies, overwhelming technological superiority, well trained troops, the best educated officer corps in U.S. history, a South Vietnamese ally with an army twice the seize of North Vietnam's, other allies, support of most Americans for most of the war and an eight year period in which to win. But even with these overwhelming advantages, all the Pentagon achieved was a stalemate with a Third World Nation. Bruce Palmer, Deputy Commander, Vietnam (1967-1968) and Chief of Staff of the United States Army, said in his book that at no time did the Pentagon inform the Whitehouse that the strategy being followed in Vietnam was doomed to failure. In other words, the generals dodged their responsibility for not winning the war, by conveniently forgetting that, when they were cadets, they had read von Clausewitz's book. The leadership of the Pentagon knew full well that the homefront and the battlefront are the same front. They knew that war is as much about "hearts and minds," as it is about batllefield success. But when things did not go according to plan, they developed amnesia. The Pentagon brass proved themselves to be the best politicians in Washington, when it came to avoiding blame. In a conflict, ideas are often more decisive than firepower, because very few wars actually end with one opponent attriting the other. Few armies fight to the last man. Most wars end with a negociated political settlement. During the Vietnam War, the political objective of Vietnamese reunification and independence, prove to be a more powerful weapon than all the B-52s in the U.S. arsenal. The leadership in Hanoi always argued that the political and military struggle were interwined and, like von Clausewitz, they were right. --Hughstew April 23 2007.

And ... Continues

Your points are well taken. Almost all of the bombing campaigns (including Linebacker II), however, had a primary political objective: to force N.Vietnam to the negociating table. With the bombing of Germany during the Second World War, the only objective was to decimate the opposition. But U.S. bombing campaigns in Vietnam had interlinked military and political goals. I do accept the argument that the U.S. was not militarily defeated in a narrow sense. The British were not militarily defeated (ie. attrited) during the American War of Independence. Nor were the French at the Battle of Agincourt. But the Germans were militarily defeated (ie. attrited) during the First and Second World Wars. You mentioned MacArthur and Korea (where I used to live). But it doesn't just start with Old "I Shall Return" (great soldier though he was). It starts with the First World War. If you have the time, have a look at the Dolchstosslegende article or the Stabbed in the Back Legend. At the end of WWI, the most common explanation for Germany's defeat, was betrayal from within (politicans, gays, Jews, women, gyspies). Hitler was a big fan of this bogus rationalization. So much so, that if you look at who the vicitms of the Holocaust were, they basically mirror the people accused of betraying Gemany during WWI. Wars are a national effort, as Clausewitz pointed out. So when a country loses a war, it is an extremely traumatic psychological event. So much so, that it is often impossible for some to face up to it. To cope with the lose, easily digested myths are created, to deflect responsibility and ease very real national pain. With Vietnam you have two Stabbed in the Back Myths: the politicans did it and the media did it. The historical record does not bare any of this out. As I pointed out, the Pentagon had more than ample resourses to win. What the historical record does support is this: the responsibility lay with both the politicans and the soldiers. The politicians made the political commitment to go to war and the soldiers guaranteed a victory, (Lemay promised to bomb the Vietnamese back to the Stone Age and Westmoreland even gave a timetable for victory) which they failed to deliver in a timely fashion. Pointing the finger at the media is an especially interesting myth. What it implied is that the reason for the lose of the war was that Americans were conned into defeatism by the press. In other words, it was the fault of the average American that the war was lost. There are other betrayal myths. The Japanese have a similar explanation for their defeat during the Second World War. They also argue that they were not militarily defeated. And in a narrow sense that it true (attrition). But it doesn't take away from the reality that they lost. War is politics or as Mao said "all power flows from the barrel of a gun." To argue that the U.S. was politically defeated, but not militarily defeated, minimizes the significance of America's lose. In war there are no silver or bronze medals (OK stars perhaps).

There's nothing on my page, because I don't like to advertise. I'm an educator (M.A. History) and I'm also involved in business. I live in Hong Kong. -- Hughstew April 24, 07

Clausewitz

Are you saying he was wrong? --Hughstew

Clausewtiz 2

I mean no disrespect to U.S. military personnel or the present U.S. military. When I lived in Korea, I had many friends in the army. Some of them are no longer with us. When I say that the military bore a share of the responsibility for the outcome of Vietnam, I mean the top leadership. For example, I don't think that being ambushed by the Tet Offensive was a particularly stirling example of military intelligence gathering. The soldiers who fought in Vietnam generally did their jobs well. I know some of them. They wouldn't call themselves heroes, although I would. I've also been to Vietnam and I've seen some of the terrain they were confronted with. I'm also quite familiar with the Vietnamese mindset. But both Earle Wheeler (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) and William Westmoreland (Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army) blamed the politicians and media for Vietnam. Doesn't Westmoreland bare any responsibility for letting a hundred thousand insurgents sneak into South Vietnamese cities undetected and launch a surprise attack? Whatever happened to command responsibility? Doesn't Earle Wheeler, America's highest ranking soldier, have to carry just a little of the responsibility? The leadership of the military is paid to advise the President on military matters. What if they fail? --Hughstew

Insurgency/Guerilla Warfare

The only insight I can offer you: If you asked a Sioux warrior 150 years ago, "when did the war start between you and the Crow Indians?" he would have looked at the questioner as if he were insane! Guerilla warfare was and is a permanent part of tribal societies. If you have tribes or clans with male members who identify themselves primarily as warriors, a permanent state of low level warfare (insurgency) must exist. These struggles played out over decades and sometimes over centuries. This strategy has been converted into a cheap and effective way of defeating expensive modern armies and it is used all over the world. The father of modern guerilla warfare (as far as I know) was the Chinese leader (and history's greatest mass murderer) Mao Zhedong. One of the things that guerilla warfare usually emphasises is indoctrination (political or spiritual) abover military training. The equation is this: morale, political or spiritual, plus time, wins wars. --Hughstew

My responses

Fabulous (and very well researched) points, BUT, I think to state that Vietnam was a military loss does a huge disservice to history. The best example of this is the Linebacker II bombing campaign. In 11 days, the US bombed Hanoi into submission and brought them to the negotiating table (the stated objective). Air Force planners had been demanding this for years! Prior to the Linebacker II campaign, the target list that would have shortened the war substantially was denied by the White House for varying reasons, but the result was always the same: the areas were built up to a point where they were very heavily defended and only then did they open fire on the Americans. When we finally went all out on the North Vietnamese, they were decimated and came to the negotiating table...but we relented to the point that they built up their armies and defenses once again.

This all started in the Korean War when the Chinese were supplying weapons and support for the North Koreans across the Yalu river. In addition, the Chinese were massing troops at the NK border. MacArthur had to ask permission to bomb the bridges between the two countries' borders. He was denied permission because he might bomb the wrong half of the bridge. This attitude and micromanagement by the politicians crept into Vietnam in such a manner that the White House was deciding what type of bombs to use on which targets.

In short, I believe we lost because of extremely poor decision making by the politicians; their choices as leaders for the military was one of their poor choices. BQZip01 talk 14:30, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

BTW, edit your userpage. Doesn't say ANYTHING about you. BQZip01 talk 14:34, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I must assume that you were the one who added comments to my talk page. Great points overall. I agree with your premise that the US military had the arsenal, training, and overall ability to defeat the Vietnamese, but I think that proves my point: the reason that the military (and the Air Force in particular) didn't defeat them is that they were hampered by politicians. War isn't pretty.
Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it: The other problem is that 3rd World countries (I do not mean this in the derogatory sense, only in the sense that they are not an industrial/military power able to span the globe) have realized that Americans are fickle (sp?) and will not tolerate a long war. The number of deaths is insignificant; that we are losing soldiers is the primary problem. The solution is guerilla warfare (IMHO, guerilla warfare that targets civilians is terrorism and links directly to today's wars, but that's another topic for another day), a system by which their enemies cannot establish a victory because every loss is considered failure (a sentiment that seems to continue to this day). I've been to many funerals of fallen heroes, but what irks me most is those that discount their sacrifice and point to the deaths of our soldiers and say, "We are losing." Unfortunately, death is the price of victory. Until the US public learns that, we will never win an insurgency/guerilla war.
What it implied is that the reason for the [loss] of the war was that Americans were conned into defeatism by the press [and] it was the fault of the average American that the war was lost. I don't say that the press conned anyone and the public is not to blame. I place the blame squarely on the politicians (the political appointees in the Pentagon, the President, and Congress). They didn't do a good job of educating the public or highlighting the successes (much like today...those who do not know history...).
The Japanese have a similar explanation for their defeat during the Second World War. They also argue that they were not militarily defeated. And in a narrow sense that it true (attrition). But it doesn't take away from the reality that they lost. Their military was crippled and the unconditionally surrendered. To say that they wouldn't have eventually drawn us to an untenable standstill on the Japanese mainland is speculation (but a reasonable possibility). The difference is that they decided to stop fighting as a nation, the North Vietnamese didn't.
To argue that the U.S. was politically defeated, but not militarily defeated, minimizes the significance of America's [loss]. I couldn't disagree more. It denegrates our military and negates the fact that the political leadership lacked the ability to do what it took to win.
Glad to know you've been to Korea too. If you'll look at my main page you'll notice that I've been to both North and South Korea. I was also a liaison to the ROTC unit in Kyong-gi University in Suwon. I've had the privilege of spending a day in the life of a South Korean soldier (I remember spending hours doing South Korean Ranger PT chanting, "U Kyuk Te" or "Ranger PT"), rappel out of a South Korean helicopter simulator (absolutely fascinating), and visit several of the discovered North Korean tunnels in the DMZ (North Koreans, "What tunnels?").
There's nothing on my page, because I don't like to advertise. I'm an educator (M.A. History) and I'm also involved in business. I live in Hong Kong. Heck, just put that on your page. It let's everyone know a little about you. Have a pleasant day! BQZip01 talk 04:32, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying Clausewitz was wrong, but your conclusion is. Though war and politics are inextricably entwined and war is merely politics by other means, that doesn't mean that the military is to blame for the loss. Ultimately, our political leaders are responsible for the outcome of any war; that will never change, but placing the blame on the military in this case does them a disservice and wrongly asserts that the military was the one that failed. BQZip01 talk 05:38, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
"I mean no disrespect to U.S. military personnel or the present U.S. military." None taken and none should be taken. This is an abstract discussion removed from today's situation.
"When I say that the military bore a share of the responsibility for the outcome of Vietnam, I mean the top leadership. For example, I don't think that being ambushed by the Tet Offensive was a particularly stirling example of military intelligence gathering...But both Earle Wheeler (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) and William Westmoreland (Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army) blamed the politicians and media for Vietnam. Doesn't Westmoreland bare any responsibility for letting a hundred thousand insurgents sneak into South Vietnamese cities undetected and launch a surprise attack? Whatever happened to command responsibility? Doesn't Earle Wheeler, America's highest ranking soldier, have to carry just a little of the responsibility?...The leadership of the military is paid to advise the President on military matters. What if their advice is poor? Isn't that their responsibility?" Agreed. This was not a shining moment, but intel can't get everything. This is especially true when they are hampered by unreasonably restricive rules of engagement (e.g. can't fly over Laos or Cambodia). Since both Westmoreland and Wheeler fought to loosen the rules, I fail to see how you can blame them for anything other than not demanding forcefully enough that the rules should be loosened, but even then, the President, and much more importantly the SecDef, need to heed the calls from their subordinates. If they choose not to, as I believe happened, then they bear direct responsibility. You also need to consider (in the case of Wheeler) that the Joint Chiefs serve an advisory role, not command authority, but on top of that the SecDef overrode them in the Vietnam era. This was fixed somewhat with the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 which gave the Joint Chiefs a direct advisory role to the President. To support these assertions, I gov eyou the following:
A direct quote from Westmoreland[1]:
I was in Vietnam during that politically turbulent period and I recall no discussion of our withdrawal. President Johnson was obsessed with his "Great Society" program...In the Spring of 1964, I had a long 1-on-1 talk in Saigon with Secretary McNamara and warned him that it would probably be a long war that would challenge public support.) There was no question about our national objective. It was bipartisan. But the strategy was another matter. There was no agreement. It was based on wishful thinking and some faulty assumptions, particularly as to the nature of the threat and the character of leadership in Hanoi...The counter...was pacification...The objective of both of our political parties was to defeat aggression (not conquer North Vietnam) and to bring the enemy to the conference table. I do not recall that that objective was never clearly and publicly stated.
The will and toughness of the leadership in Hanoi was greater than expected. The bombing campaign was intended to break that will but restraint on the exercise of our capability was too much and only lifted in 1972 - 4 years too late. (I did not have responsibility for the air campaign in the north. That responsibility was vested in my military boss, the Commander-in-chief, Pacific - Admiral Sharp.) our military efforts were politically restrained by several considerations:
a fear of bringing the Chinese Army to the battlefield
a fear of escalating and geographically expanding the war on land and to the seas, thereby involving other countries. (1 of the first official policy statements by our President was that we would not geographically expand the war. Militarily that boxed us in.)
faith in Ambassador Harriman who presumably had influence with and an understanding with the leadership in Moscow.
a desire to reduce the cost of the war.
finally, there was a fear of arousing further the well-organized and growing anti-Vietnam war movement at home and abroad.
"The soldiers who fought in Vietnam generally did their jobs well...They wouldn't call themselves heroes, although I would. I've also been to Vietnam and I've seen some of the terrain they were confronted with." I agree, but how does that explain the lack of intel then? I would consider them heroes regardless of terrain. The conditions in which they fought only makes them heroes even more so.
If I may be so bold, the Tet Offensive was a tactical defeat for the North, not a success. That they surprised us merely goes to show how well prepared we were. They mass troops and we say to ourselves, "Surely they won't attack. They'll be slaughtered!" But they did and we fought back and won. As another example, Iran can attack us right now and they will likely have some success, but will inevitably lose a substantial portion of their forces. Douglas Pike wrote, "The American military's performance in Vietnam was particularly impressive. It won every significant battle fought, a record virtually unparalleled in the history of warfare."
BQZip01 talk 15:46, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Autobiographies

Are not considered legitimate sources by historians. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hughstew (talkcontribs) 17:08, 24 April 2007 (UTC).

Terrain

I was in the overgrown canals of the Mekong Delta. A very hard place to even glimpse an opponent. You mentioned the tunnels in Korea (which I'm familiar with and the DMZ ). I went down the ones near Saigon - five levels.


Tet

Unfortunately was an intelligence failure. That is what they teach at West Point and other service academies. Intel can't cover everything (agreed). But it should be able to pick up the movement of "one hundred thousand people." Really! What colour must the elephant be?

Surprise, big surprise.

Your argument is well intentioned. But what is your point? The ARVN and U.S. military were lying in ambush for the Tet Offensive? Just waiting and wanting to be assaulted? If true, not good tactics.

Douglas Pike had an Interesting Take on the World

He could have similarily argued that the German Army in the Second World War was a great fighting force, because most other armies would have collapsed long before it. But war is not a contest of the suffering which fighting forces can endure. Armies should and must win relatively quickly (if only for the soldiers), otherwise, what is the point? The quicker, the better, is often thought of well. Bad generals take too long. Douglas MacArthur told Truman that poor generals take too long and turn in too high casualty rates.

The Lack of Intel, ie. Lookay, lookey

Cultural differences: Understanding these cultures is hugely important. Because you come from the U.S., you probably think that most cultures are similar (ie. White/European). But they are not. There are massive differences. There was a U.S. officer during the war who said that "inside every Vietnamese is an American trying to get out." What racism. What stupidity! What unprofessionalism.[—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hughstew (talkcontribs) 19:28, 24 April 2007 (UTC).

I Can Fly ... I C~n't Fly

The neutralization of Cambodia and Laos were agreed to under international law. That was the deal. It wasn't American politicians who restricted anyone. It was the international community and the U.N. But the U.S. bombed both anyway.--Hughstew 04:25, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Constraints

There are constraints in every single conflict: political, financial, technological, geographical ... you name it. I suspect that if the Pentagon had been given an absolutely free hand, short of killing all the Vietnamese, the outcome would have been much the same. Only the Brass would have complained that the politicians didn't give them the necessary leadership they needed to win. I think Westy is just covering his behind. What were the politicians supposed to do? Militarize the entire economy, declare war and call up the reserves? For what? A third world country of little strategic value, whose most important export was fish sauce? I fail to see under what obligation America was under to make this huge sacrifice, when China and the Soviet Union were targeting it and the rest of the world with thousands of ICBMs. Ho Chi Minh's strategy was to wait the U.S. out, just as he had the French, and fight to the last man if necessary. --Hughstew 07:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Arlington National Cemetery Website

I thought that this might interest you. It is from the source quoted above:

"Our war in Vietnam continues to haunt our consciousness. This is not only because 58,000 Americans lives were lost .... Nor is it because we were defeated, for most Americans eventually came to prefer even that to the endless bleeding for a cause their own leaders could not explain. Rather it is because Vietnam is the graveyard of an image we held of ourselves: America as the defender of the oppressed. In Vietnam we were confronted with ourselves as an imperial power, fighting not for democracy, but to demonstrate that Communist-led 'wars of national liberation' were not the wave of the future."-28k —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hughstew (talkcontribs) 16:20, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Lecture series

BQZ, how did you sign up for the lecture series? I'd like to know - so I don't make the same mistake! ;) - BillCJ 16:34, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Congratulations

Disambiguated a couple of links on your page today and later noticed that you're now a captain. Congratulations! --Wordbuilder 20:15, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Joke and Story

The joke I get. The story is virtually incomprehensible, but that makes it funny in its own weird way. Thanks for the laughs. Johntex\talk 21:24, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

That's a hilarious joke!! Oh, the Good Bull story is great, though I didn't realize fish could get away with so much. -- Hut101 05:23, 6 May 2007 (UTC)