- May 2014
For what it's worth, I think that the Vietnam War wasn't worth it for the U.S. due to its massive casualties, the incompetence of the South Vietnamese government, and the non-strategic position of South Vietnam. However, I could see why one would have believed that it was legitimate for the U.S. to prop up South Vietnam. True, the Vietnamese Communists might have won a free and fair election in Vietnam, but would they have subsequently allowed future elections or would they have still monopolized power for themselves? If the latter is the correct answer, then one could view the U.S.'s prevention of elections in Vietnam in 1956 as being similar to the Algerian government preventing an election in 1991-1992 so that forces hostile to democracy (in Vietnam's case, Communists; in Algeria's case, Islamists) would not win this election and would not be able to subsequently monopolize power. While South Vietnam was a dictatorship (at least to my knowledge), it does appear to have had more potential to democratize than North Vietnam did. After all, South Korea and Taiwan both democratized after a period of dictatorial non-Communist rule.Have the US not created South Vietnam in 1955 and prevented the expected general election in 1956, the Vietnam War would have never happened. Do you think that it is better if 58000 Americans and 1 millions Vietnamese are still alive?