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French Indochina

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by GunSlinger86, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to state the obvious but it will be part of the premise to this post...World War II was a war that resulted in aggressor nations such as Germany and Japan wanting to acquire more territory and resources that they felt they deserved by force, and that the populations of such nations invaded/overtaken didn't matter with regard to civility... The Atlantic Charter and United Nations were ideas that were intended to protect smaller nations, and give the nations back to the will of the people, was supposed to put an end to Imperialism, Colonialism, etc.

    Was it not hypocritical for the US to support France both financially and with military advisers to "re-conquer" French Indochina by force after World War II? It seems antithetical to the Atlantic Charter, and France didn't even hold their own in 1940 and were steam-rolled by Germany, so why the need to support French military conquests of third-world countries after a war that was ideologically about territorial domination and subjugation?
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The US needed a strong France in post-WW2 Europe. This was weighed against an Indochina that France was not going to willingly give up. We know how the Truman administration called it.
     
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  3. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I understand that a strong post-war France important for Europe, but France using military force to subjugate a former colony, and keep a colony, doesn't really confide with the narrative of "self-determination of peoples." Also, the USA installing fascist hard-right dictatorships all over the third world and keeping them propped up doesn't really fit that narrative either, along with all the coups as a result of CIA interference throughout the third world.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yeah, it's not a perfect world. Well spotted.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I fear this observation lacks some context, let us consider France first. Prior to May 1940 France considered themselves, and was thought by others, to be a 'major' power. Their rapid defeat in 1940 shook this image at home and abroad. De Gualle was eager post war to restore the pre conflict image of France, this meant restoring her overseas empire. In hindsight we can see how daunting this would be, Indochina had been in quasi-rebellion before Japan took over and France was trying to rebuild after nearly 4 years of occupation and war. France gambled they could once again be a 'great' power, what ever the cost.

    France was not alone in this, Britain was in no hurry to see their empire dissolve either. Even before the end of the Pacific war both nations were acting in co-ordination to restore control over occupied colonies, only to suffer protracted rebellions across the globe. Empires do not easily give up on being a empire.

    The US faced different issues. It could send any nation it wanted back to the stone age but that would be like treating a blister with a amputation. Nor was the US public keen on too many military deployments, fearing any one could go 'nuclear' if mis-handled. The situation was not helped by the post colonial world not producing many Jeffersonian democracies.Throw in Russian and Chines efforts to forment communist insurrections across the globe, the US faced a complex and fluid situation. Often, perhaps too often, the US chose the simplest course.

    Did Britain and France post war make mistakes? Yes they did, as did the US. We should remember that all three were new to their respective positions.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Cambodia, Roumania, Bulgaria, etc., were the left wing version of the right wing governments the US set up. But they seldom get much air time in the endless rehashing of this period and the failures of the US.
     
  7. BFBSM

    BFBSM Member

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    Quite a few of the decisions made after the Second World War were based around the politics of the Cold War. Decisions in Asia were made to stop the 'Domino Effect Theory', to prevent the spread of communism south to those decolonised countries developing a democratic form of government. Decolonisation was a priority of the US Government, look at Indonesia in 1947/49, as long as the developing government was not coming under the influence of Russia.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    De Gualle...would be my answer. (Boo-hissss)
    Also, wasn't the statement made that all territory would be returned to the owners pre WW2? Done so that no one would think the US and UK were fighting for territory?
    Whilst the domino effect came later, it DID come as a result of not recognising the rightful owners of countries like Vietnam.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Every piece of ground on this planet used to belong to someone else.
     
  10. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Japanese can't conquer, loot, and murder Chinese but the French can conquer, loot, and murder Vietnamese is the oxymoron.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Stop all the bad and get back to me.
     
  12. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Not true...Here in Darwin for example, the Larrakia people were the first peoples to inhabit this land...no white man has ever taken it off them...they have owned this land for thousands of years and its still theirs...Long live Larrakia! (I was born on Larrakia land...played football with and against the current leader of the Larrakia people)
    HMAS Larrakia
    [​IMG]
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    ..."With MINOR EXCEPTIONS, of course..."
     
  14. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn Member

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    When US coerces an ally to do what it says = bullying
    When US doesn't coerce an ally to do what it says = abandoning moral principles

    Always nice to have a choice!
     
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  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    In this case, it was France telling the US we keep Indochina or we don't play ball in Europe. Dean Achinson called it "Blackmail."
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    France had already done that, hence the name French Indochina.

    While also paying no never mind that the Soviets did that to all of Eastern Europe.
     
  17. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Yes Stalin and Russia under his regime of "Communism" was brutal and they weren't saints in the post-war order, but Russia was attacked twice by Germany through Poland, and probably suffered more than any other country during the Second World War with regard to human loss and infrastructure loss. Poland and the rest of Western Europe were anti-communist, especially the Polish government-in-exile, though Stalin installed a government friendly to Poland after the war, which was part of the agreement during Yalta that was left purposely vague for that reason. The ideology of the Cold War from the Western standpoint would be more aligned with Nazism, along with many other US policies and views such as segregation/Jim Crow, The US Eugenics program, exploiting the Third World for US business interests.

    The West intervened in the Russian Civil War, and there was mistrust on both sides. Stalin signing a pact with Hitler and then invading the East of Poland along with Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia pre-war was not a good look for Russia either. There is a double standard though, but I guess that comes with all walks of life. The Russians were blockading themselves from another attack as they knew the entire Western World was anti-communist, especially the hard-liners in US government in the late-40s through the 50s.

    I'm not pushing a pro-Communist or pro-Russian narrative, just pointing out a double standard. The "will of the free peoples" as Truman stated in the Truman Doctrine in Indochina, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, etc. was decided and financed by US interests with Military and CIA assistance, not by "the will of the population." That is also said of the countries Russia turned into client states.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    One way to avoid all this, but my cats would miss humans. Or at least some humans.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Of course it is a double standard.
    Britain was not willingly going to give up it's colonies, and the US, despite claiming these lofty values, did not enter the war against Germany - Admiral Hyman G. Rickover called this "Say Do"(you say something and get all th accolades for it, then do nothing).
    Further, the Charter was only meant to apply to the Atlantic, hence the name, not Africa or the Pacific. Also, by the wording there is wiggle room to say that the Charter only applied to German occupied territory - such that the UK & US would make no claim on conquered territories unless the people wanted it.

    There is a reason we have the saying "Do as I say, not do as I do."
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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