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Robert Mann, in A Grand Delusion: America’s Descent into Vietnam (New York: Basic Books, 2001), expresses a similar view, writing “that millions of deaths might have been averted had the American people and their leaders opened their eyes to the delusions leading them progressively deeper into the morass of Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s – a national crusade undertaken to defeat an enemy that had once been our ally and that had originally wanted nothing more than independence from brutal colonial rule. From beginning to end, America’s political, military, and diplomatic leaders deluded themselves, accepting a series of myths and illusions about Vietnam that exacerbated and deepened the ultimate catastrophe.” (p. 2)

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In the aftermath of the war, the country was renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The new government imposed three-to-ten-year prison sentences on former South Vietnamese military officers and government workers, and generally sought to “re-educate” all southerners in the ways of socialism. Hundreds of thousands of southerners fled the country, many eventually settling in the United States, Australia, Canada, or France. Millions of others set about the task of reconciliation after so many years of warfare. The U.S. reneged on Nixon’s promise to provide reconstruction funds as the Vietnamese sought to rebuild their country and heal the division between north and south.

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ARGUMENT FROM NECESSARY FAIRNESS
(1) If there is no God, then the death of a little girl would be unfair.
(2) It's also just not fair that so many millions of people suffer every day of their lives.
(3) There's got to be more to life than the veil of tears we experience.
(4) Our sense of justice demands that these wrongs be righted.
(5) Only God could do that.
(6) Therefore, God exists.


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The intimidating effects of the Phoenix interrogation program were compounded by the mass arrest of political prisoners, of which there were at least 100,000 at the peak of the fighting. Under the army’s small wars doctrine, effective prison management was seen as crucial to counter-insurgency as it provided a symbol of government authority and means of winning political converts through reeducation. The State Department consequently spent $6.5 million between 1967 and 1972 for the maintenance and renovation of the forty-two major prisons run by the government of South Vietnam, and built three additional facilities and a juvenile reformatory. The U.S. provided generators and handcuffs, built special isolation cells for hard-core “Vietcong,” and oversaw the construction of over thirty state-of-the-art detention centers (Provincial Interrogation Centers). Many of the supplies, however, were resold on the black-market by local authorities, usually cronies of Vietnamese Generals Ky or Thieu, or kept until wardens paid a bribe.

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Among the advanced weapons used in Vietnam were B-52 bombers that could carry ten times the load of bombs as WWII models; AC-130 gunships, nicknamed “Puff the Magic Dragon,” capable of sensing ammonia in human sweat and urine, and firing 6,000 rounds per minute; Huey and Cobra attack helicopters with rapid-side fire capability; Raytheon and Hughes wire guided missiles with built-in path-correcting devices; swift boats equipped with twin .50 caliber machine guns; surface-to-surface rockets capable of operating at a range of over 100 miles; blockbuster bombs that could destroy enough jungle vegetation to create a “bald spot the size of a football field”; bombs laden with a proximity fuse with a 75-millisecond delay so they would detonate below the jungle canopy but above ground; camouflaged electronic sensors and land mines for use along the Ho Chi Minh trail; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) capable of conducting surveillance over North Vietnam and China; and computerized navigation, mapping and communications systems linked with space-based satellites.

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Between 1961 and 1971, the United States Air Force sprayed an estimated seventy-three million liters of chemical agents over central and south Vietnam. Of that volume, more than forty-five million liters consisted of Agent Orange, a mixture of herbicides containing a heavy concentration of dioxin, a long-lasting toxic chemical linked to birth defects, cancers, leukemia, and other debilitating diseases. The nickname was derived from the orange identification band painted on 208-litre storage drums. Other concentrated mixtures included Agent Blue, a quick-acting defoliant used to destroy crops, and Agent White, a long-enduring toxic mix used to destroy forests. In all, the U.S. sprayed these toxins on five million acres, about twelve percent of the land, with some areas hit repeatedly.