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I think Professor Tom Nichols' reference to "Northern aggression against the South" in Vietnam requires some qualification. I believe it fair to say that the Vietnamese movement for independence from imperial France dates at least to the 1930s, and included many Vietnamese of a variety of political persuasions. Japan's domination of Vietnam in the first half of the 1940's probably intensified this movement, and if the U.S. had not blocked the 1954 Geneva Conference national elections scheduled for 1956, Ho Chi Minh et al would have won....(and perhaps as much as 80% of the vote, as Dwight Eisenhower later said). Unhappy result or not, this probably would have reflected the weight of political influence at that time, although some will undoubtedly argue about this. Thus I think that one might say that the U.S. really brought on the post-1956 war for control of Vietnam, as well as whatever consequences one believes flowed from that war, although not all consequences are "inevitable" given that there are always opportunists about who manage to take advantage of a situation. It is also true that such U.S. intervention (or perhaps "aggression" in the eyes of some Vietnamese) was not unique to Vietnam, for the U.S. also ousted regimes it did not like in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, and tried to do the same with Castro in Cuba later on. Arnold Offner Lafayette College > From: Tom Nichols <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > This is one of those cases where the statement is true but built on a chain > of unspoken but vitally important assumptions. Note that it is not Northern > aggression against the South, but rather *resistance to it*, that is the > catalyst to genocide. I point this out not as a matter of politics or > history, but as a matter of logic. It is akin to saying that if the > Allies of World War II had simply just acquiesced in Hitler's demands > and handed over most of Europe, the whole Cold War, with its massive > human costs -- including the Vietnam War -- could have been avoided.