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Tom Nichols makes a compelling argument, but one that fails to note that it was the North Vietnamese who paid the blood price to "liberate" or subjugate their neighbor -- depending on your point of view. Soviet and Chinese casualties in Vietnam were -- it seems pretty clear -- insignificant. In short, these "murderous totalitarian regimes" did not see fit to murder their own servicemen (at least wholesale) to support the efforts of their ally. If, as Dr. Nichols would like to argue, North Vietnam was wholly a puppet, then it is worth noting that these "murderous regimes" got a lot more bang for their buck out of their puppet than the United States did out of its ally. And, frankly, the Cold Warrior's argument that Dr. Nichols makes has the unfortunate effect of obscuring a deeper an more significant question for the US now, which is why was that so. In the context of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, how did we get into a strategic situation where the Soviets were spending rubles and the Americans lives? Carrington Ward University of Chicago >From: Tom Nichols <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >I am always amazed at the argument that letting the Vietnam war take its >course was merely letting the Vietnamese people "determine their own >future." > >The North was supported and supplied by two of the largest and most >murderous totalitarian states the world has ever known. Letting the North >take over the South would be like arguing that intervening in the Korean >War was interfering with the Koreans "determining their own future." > >Tom Nichols >Naval War College