History Fridge / ApocalypseNow

24th Oct '15 1:49:23 PM Crackshot1994
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** The book is Dispatches by Michael Herr, by the way.
6th Oct '15 1:24:30 AM SeptimusHeap
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** I always interprated it as being about how no one is completely good; everyone has the potential to commit [[MoralEventHorizon grossly evil acts]] if subjected to the right circumstances, and thus the Viet Cong are neither better nor worse than the Americans.
** I seem to remember that what he says is something like they were moral enough to give them the right kind of motivation but immoral enough to be sufficiently ruthless to get the job done. In that context all "moral" really means is [[WellIntentionedExtremist "motivated by their own morals"]], and that kind of balance can, I'm sure, be useful in warfare.
** I've always thought that the Viet Cong were just trying to [[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry be able to live in Vietnam free of the Americans]], and the Americans were just trying to help the people of South Vietnam, who the [[DirtyCommunists North Vietnamese regime]] were mistreating and oppressing.
*** Except North Vietnam was never occupied by the Americans. It is akin to justifying the invasion of Poland by claiming Stalin wanted to free Russia of Polish oppression.
** Plus Kurtz is batshit insane.
** I always thought that the point Colonel Kurtz was getting at was that in warfare it is insane to be placing objective morality of right and wrong on the battlefield where the point of war has and always will be to murder each other until one side is destroyed or gives up, petty preconceptions of morality shouldn't exist in war. The Vietcong and the NVA were willing to do '''WHATEVER''' it took to achieve victory regardless of the morality of their actions and didn't let "judgment" based on those societal/moral preconceptions defeat them; the Americans ''weren't'' and that is why Kurtz felt that they were eventually going to lose the war. Americans were nowhere near as dedicated as their enemy. We may have been vastly more well-equipped than our enemy but to us it was just a matter of containment based on the larger Cold War--for the Vietcong/NVA, getting rid of the Americans was a matter of life and death to which they were willing to dedicate every last man, woman and child to defeat. Had America given such dedication the war would have been over in just a few short years. Kurtz realized that it is important to be a moral, good-natured person but at the same time be able to tap into your instincts and kill the enemy without passion, judgement or remorse, because that is how wars are won. Kurtz isn't insane, [[CombatPragmatist he is just realistic about how harsh war is and how harsh you have to be in return to win a war]].
*** The above seems to be the most substantiated interpretation, as Kurtz places great emphasis on the fact that the Vietcong are motivated to commit horrible acts out of the deep love they have for their families.
*** Under the terms of the Paris Peace Accord, North Vietnam '''surrendered'''. It was a conditional surrender but a surrender nonetheless. North Vietnam agreed to relinquish all territory within South Vietnam and remove all troops from South Vietnam. It was only lost two years later when Congress voted to default on its obligation to resupply South Vietnam.
** Important to note is that the US was not oppressing North Vietnam, just trying to keep South Vietnam free from North Vietnam. Additionally, accidents happen in war, and there are always rotten apples in every military. Furthermore, the highly publicised and famous friendly fire incidents involved ARVN troops, not US.
*** No, the US dropped thousands of tonnes of bombs on North Vietnam, and the most famous war crimes of the war--including the My Lai Massacre--were indeed committed by US troops. The US played dirty, and it can be argued they played much, much dirtier than North Vietnam because they intruded on a civil war they were never asked to be in. They were just in it to stop the communism spreading--which didn't happen anyway--and killed millions in the process.
*** With all due respect, My Lai was a mere preschool playground spat compared to the atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong. The best words ever stated on this issue was on the now-defunct [[http://web.archive.org/web/20041230164533/http://www.geocities.com/mnussitch/gossip.html A List]] (celebrity gossip) website when it chastised Jane Fonda: "We [the U.S.] sure weren't saints during that [Vietnam] war, but the North Vietnamese and Chinese were a damn sight worse."



** If they kept him, he would be nothing but trouble. If they sent him, he would kill the Colonel or get killed himself. Either way, one less problem
** It seemed more like they were fighting fire with fire, by sending a mentally unbalanced individual to assassinate an insane, rogue colonel.



** ''Dispatches'', by Michael Herr.



** The real fridge horror sets in when you realize we need people like Kurtz to make war, and still manage to think war is something that should be done.
*** [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Only when necessary.]] [[WarIsHell And never enjoyed.]]

to:

** * The real fridge horror sets in when you realize we need people like Kurtz to make war, and still manage to think war is something that should be done.
*** [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Only when necessary.]] [[WarIsHell And never enjoyed.]]



** Part of the theme; the generals aren't overtly crazy like Kurtz is, but nobody involved is completely correct, right, or sane.
** The voiceover seems to imply that it's at least partially an ego thing - Kurtz is making the US Army look bad because his tactics are more effective than theirs.
** Letting a soldier operate on his own on neutral territory is never a very wise choice. As for his death being irrelevant, very likely intentional.

to:

** Part of the theme; the generals aren't overtly crazy like Kurtz is, but nobody involved is completely correct, right, or sane.
** The voiceover seems to imply that it's at least partially an ego thing - Kurtz is making the US Army look bad because his tactics are more effective than theirs.
** Letting a soldier operate on his own on neutral territory is never a very wise choice. As for his death being irrelevant, very likely intentional.
6th Oct '15 12:03:17 AM mdwinkler
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

**''Dispatches'', by Michael Herr.
30th Sep '15 12:32:39 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

*** Under the terms of the Paris Peace Accord, North Vietnam '''surrendered'''. It was a conditional surrender but a surrender nonetheless. North Vietnam agreed to relinquish all territory within South Vietnam and remove all troops from South Vietnam. It was only lost two years later when Congress voted to default on its obligation to resupply South Vietnam.
30th Sep '15 12:09:29 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** Except North Vietnam was never occupied by Americans. It is akin to justifying the invasion of Poland by claiming Stalin wanted to free Russia of Polish oppression.
** Pluser that Kurtz is batshit insane.

to:

*** Except North Vietnam was never occupied by the Americans. It is akin to justifying the invasion of Poland by claiming Stalin wanted to free Russia of Polish oppression.
** Pluser that Plus Kurtz is batshit insane.
30th Sep '15 12:09:00 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** It's vital to note that the US never occupied North Vietnam, nor had any intention of doing so, just removing them from South Vietnam and maintaining its freedom.
** It's also important to remember that Kurtz is batshit insane.

to:

*** It's vital to note that the US Except North Vietnam was never occupied North Vietnam, nor had any intention by Americans. It is akin to justifying the invasion of doing so, just removing them from South Vietnam and maintaining its freedom.
Poland by claiming Stalin wanted to free Russia of Polish oppression.
** It's also important to remember Pluser that Kurtz is batshit insane.
29th Sep '15 2:47:13 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message


*** Kurtz's death actually is a good comparison for every soldier that died during the Vietnam War. America ended up losing the war when they finally gave up on achieving victory and went home. The Vietnam War was a meaningless war and all of our objectives failed. The lives of 58,000 men were wasted. Men like Kurtz did what was necessary to win, but since their commanders were not willing to take that extra step, men like him ended up having their lives wasted. The public reception to the Vietnam War was bad enough--now imagine if the public knew we had killed one of our own for a war that ended up failing anyway. It would be a public-relations disaster for the U.S. military. Yet "[doing] what was necessary" to win the war would've meant JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope, crossing the MoralEventHorizon, etc. Call it what you like: Kurtz was ''not'' meant to be admired for his actions. He became a monster because he saw it as the only way to fight equal monsters. the resolve to "[do] what was necessary" was irrelevant in deciding the outcome of the war. The Tet Offensive effectively destroyed the Vietcong's ability to put up a resistance, but the perception of the attacks was that despite all the work done thus far, nowhere in South Vietnam was safe from NVA/VC attack.

to:

*** Kurtz's death actually is a good comparison for every soldier that died during the Vietnam War. America ended up losing the war when they finally gave up on achieving victory and went home. The Vietnam War was a meaningless war and all of our objectives failed. The lives of 58,000 men were wasted. Men like Kurtz did what was necessary to win, but since their commanders were not willing to take that extra step, men like him ended up having their lives wasted. The public reception to the Vietnam War was bad enough--now imagine if the public knew we had killed one of our own for a war that ended up failing anyway. It would be a public-relations disaster for the U.S. military. Yet "[doing] what was necessary" to win the war would've meant JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope, crossing the MoralEventHorizon, etc. Call it what you like: Kurtz was ''not'' meant to be admired for his actions. He became a monster because he saw it as the only way to fight equal monsters. the resolve to "[do] what was necessary" was irrelevant in deciding the outcome of the war. The Tet Offensive effectively destroyed the Vietcong's ability to put up a resistance, but the perception of the attacks was that despite all the work done thus far, nowhere in South Vietnam was safe from NVA/VC attack.
29th Sep '15 2:44:21 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** This is definitely true. By 1969 the U.S. military was taking anyone willing to wear the uniform; if it wasn't for the war, they wouldn't have looked twice at men like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Calley William Calley]]. It also makes a certain amount of thematic sense to send Willard to hunt down Kurtz; Kurtz is what Willard has the potential to become.
** Actually, there was nothing about Calley, prior to joining the Army that suggested the atrocity he would ultimately order.
29th Sep '15 2:43:25 PM maxwellsilver
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Leaving aside the issue of atrocities, the USA started out by sending dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of 'military advisors' to Vietnam, as part of its own ideological campaign to "contain the spread of Communism", even though that meant interfering with the affairs of a foreign country. Vietnam was only partitioned in the first place because the communists had occupied the North and the French were occupying the South for colonial reasons; when the French were defeated the Americans entered the country in what, when any other nation does it, is described by America as an "invasion". The Americans were hostile troops occupying a country that didn't want them; in short, they were the bad guys, and the good guys won when the Americans were driven out. If you want proof, consider that Vietnam today is not a totalitarian hellhole like North Korea. Its human rights record is far from perfect, but since the passing of post-9/11 anti-terrorist laws prohibiting assembly and authorising wiretaps, so is the USA's. Vietnam is a growing country with a healthy economy, and most of its problems are due to the legacy of the occupation.
18th Jun '14 3:21:36 PM SomeRandomBastard
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

** Letting a soldier operate on his own on neutral territory is never a very wise choice. As for his death being irrelevant, very likely intentional.
This list shows the last 10 events of 51. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Fridge.ApocalypseNow