Michael Moore’s absolutely right here you know

“Where to Invade Next” begins with the observation that the United States has not won a war since World War II.

Entirely and absolutely true.

As is also entirely and absolutely true that the US hasn’t declared war since WWII.

Could be some connection there, difficult to tell really.

37 thoughts on “Michael Moore’s absolutely right here you know”

  1. I disagree. The U.S. won the Viet Nam war, then packed up and left.

    Similarly, we won the Iraq war, then left.

  2. Didn’t one of the presidential assholes declare war on drugs? S’pose they haven’t actually conceded defeat, though..Set to rival the 100 Years War, that one. Without les filles francais, regretably

  3. Well he’s also wrong if you count conflicts or things called ‘war’ that technically weren’t. Gulf war in ’91 objective was to kick Iraq out of Kuwait – job done. They did the business in the Balkans. The 2nd Gulf war they won so quickly if you blinked you missed it. It was the occupation that was the utter cluster fuck.

  4. Correct, bis. We also have Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. After spending $22,000,000,000,000.00, poverty is still winning.
    It has been clear for decades that giving people stuff doesn’t end poverty.

  5. Gamecock,

    The USA did not win the Vietnam war, the Vietcong were not defeated. The USA got tired fighting a war it could never win, just as France had done, and withdrew from the battlefield, precisely the outcome the Vietcong were fighting to bring about.

  6. The part that involved American combat troops was won because they successfully prevented northern forces taking over and bombed Hanoi back to the negotiating table. When the north reneged on the peace agreement and re-invaded, the Americans were not there and too busy with domestic issues to intervene again.

  7. Depends what you mean by a war.

    It is strange that the might of America have always been its the dollar, its culture and it s democracy, not its might at arms. It was its production that beat Japan and Germany, not their individual prowess. And if you lookout the world post 1945, the “American way of life” has blown away communism both in Russia and China and its culture is seen on the streets of Bejing and Moscow as much as London. In the words of one historian, ‘we are all Americans now…”

    America did win almost every war it entered, just not with the tools its politicians chose……

  8. “On the other side of the fence, many on the left vote against the right, not for anything.”

    Strangely this is the most important thing. As Moore demonstrates it is extremely easy for even a stupid person to make a big critique of any political view, but I’ve yet to hear him suggest a viable alternative.

    After seeing his declaration of faith recently I though a film titled “Where to invade next” would be about his new favorite religion as invading has been what it has been doing for 14 centuries.

  9. I saw his We are All Muslim crap just as I was cooking a 7lb ham for Christmas. The fat fool is hardly right about anything.

  10. In war its usually military and political objectives used to define winning. Can end up with both sides winning by having different objectives.
    As I recall the Vietnam war had 73 objectives at one point – no idea if that was the highest number it had for that war. Thats not necessarily all in the same direction, can have mutually exclusive objectives from different people.
    The military won battles, they were not allowed to win the war.

    We can’t say anything good, we invaded Iraq 3 times and Afghanistan 4 times!

  11. VC 1 US 0, agreed. NK 1 US 0, agreed.

    But Gulf Wars I and II, US 1 Saddam 0.

    So, really entirely consistent with MM’s modus operandi. The facts don’t really support the argument, but the soundbite’s good.

  12. “Moore is a self-important bladder of lard and a waste of space.”

    I disagree – lard and bladders are both useful. I’m with you on the “waste of space” bit though.

    On the subject of wars, the world will continue to be a shithole until the West figures out how to win a war-and-occupation against an insurgency.

  13. “NK 1 US 0, agreed.”

    More like a goal each for NK, SK, US, China and the USSR. You can’t say the North won that one when they almost had the whole peninsula.

  14. Korean war was definitely a score draw. Both sides at times totally occupied the peninsula and the war ended roughly where it started.

    Two unregarded US wins; Grenada 83 and Panama 89.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    You know, if Moore was a little bit more honest, he would reflect on how this proves America is not particularly militaristic.

    America could invade anyone. By and large it doesn’t.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    DocBud – “The USA did not win the Vietnam war, the Vietcong were not defeated. The USA got tired fighting a war it could never win, just as France had done, and withdrew from the battlefield, precisely the outcome the Vietcong were fighting to bring about.”

    On the contrary, it was a war America could never lose. The Vietnamese Communists were never ever going to defeat the United States. All they had to do was hold on. The problem was that the Communists paid their fellow Communists in the West to organise against the war. Which was highly successful. They managed to persuade a lot of people that the Americans were the bad guys and Pol Pot the good guy. But without that Treason Lobby, the US would not have lost.

    Ideally they would not have escalated it into a conventional war. It would have been better to use smaller, more policing-oriented units. Cheaper too.

    In the end, remember the Philippines has been fighting their Communists since 1945. Not showing the slightest signs of losing so far. The Burmese have been fighting their minorities since about then too. The Colombians have been fighting FARC for two generations. Guerrillas never win unless the government they are fighting is spectacularly corrupt and incompetent. Or the Left commits treason.

  17. I seem to recall military interventions in Grenada and Panama that achieved their objectives. That Moore dislikes those objectives doesn’t mean the military part of the exercises weren’t successful in getting the political part done.

  18. “On the subject of wars, the world will continue to be a shithole until the West figures out how to win a war-and-occupation against an insurgency.”

    Anyone have any ideas bar killing all the locals? You can offer democracy – its not wanted. You can offer welfare – it will never be enough….

    “Guerrillas never win unless the government they are fighting is spectacularly corrupt and incompetent. Or the Left commits treason.”

    Have a think about that statement in the context of the war our children will end up fighting against radical Islam in the west.

  19. Runcie Balspune,

    It’s a sadder and less successful story than that, unfortunately. After successfully stopping the North’s invasion attempt of Easter 1972, the US negotiated and signed a deal in October that allowed it to make a more-or-less dignified exit, offering guarantees and money rather than actual presence. President Thieu of South Vietnam, rightly suspecting they’d be left for the wolves as soon as the US were out of the country, threw sundry toys out of prams and refused to sign up. The US went back to Hanoi and demanded a renegotiation and a change in terms, which was refused: the North had negotiated and signed in good faith and saw no reason to give ground simply because the US had forgotten to clear the deal with Thieu before signing it.

    Nixon tried to force the renegotiation and in December, launched a concerted attack on Hanoi. Linebacker II was meant to be three days of concentrated, irresistible violence that would leave the North begging for peace.

    Unfortunately, despite flinging a sizeable force of B-52s at Hanoi for several nights (including a major reinforcement of the force at Andersen AFB on Guam – Operation BULLET SHOT, “the herd shot around the world”), they failed to coerce the North into accepting a renegotiation: and because of some very poor tactical and operational decisions, losses became serious enough that, for what may be the only time in USAF history, a wave of bombers already en route to target were recalled (ironically, the North Vietnamese had fought so hard against the previous wave, they had literally shot off every surface-to-air missile they had available; and the recalled raid would have been virtually unopposed). The third wave that night did take off and press on, but those hours of grace had allowed the Vietnamese to assemble and fuel enough S-75s to greet it with their accustomed vehemence.

    The US switched the B-52s away from Hanoi for a few days to hit lesser and less-defended targets, before returning with adapted tactics; the North Vietnamese, after a few more days of fighting bombers over Hanoi and with their missile stocks running out, offered to accept (or was it re-accept?) the October deal; the US agreed, told Thieu he was on his own, signed the ceasefire and left with celerity; having lost a lot of aircraft (fifteen B-52s and a fair few other types) and many of their crew to… achieve the deal they’d rejected in October.

    The North Vietnamese were so downheartened by the experience that they refer to that fortnight as “the Dien Bien Phu of the skies” and celebrate it as a decisive victory.

    (And, as we all know, not long thereafter four divisions of NVA armour assisted in the renaming of Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City)

    An excellent read on the subject is “The Eleven Days of Christmas” by Marshall Michel III, who was flying Phantoms for the USAF at the time but researched extensively in Vietnam as well as on his own side.

    However, it’s very hard to see how the North achieving its strategic goals in 1975 is anything but a win for them: and if preventing that wasn’t the US goal, then what was the point? While Clausewitz is cited far often than he’s read (and usually read properly only in the aftermath of a nasty loss), he did nail a few fundamental truths: war is a means for states to get what they want, if you don’t know what you want you probably won’t get it. And even if you have a clear aim in mind, the “holy Trinity” of the military, the government and the people need to be aligned with the goal if you hope to succeed (compare the UK with Germany in 1918, for example – we had that alignment, Germany didn’t, and we withstood some nasty shocks while they collapsed, mutinied, surrendered and had several abortive revolutions)

  20. Matthew L,

    I’d call Korea a win for the US (with some UN support, but it was mostly their show) in the same way that Kuwait 1991 was; the declared goal was to turn back the invasion and restore the attacked state and that was achieved.

    The Chinese got a score-draw, maybe a win: they would have liked to see the North seize the South, but their main priority was preventing North Korea’s destruction and keeping a buffer state.

    The Russians won: they just wanted to test some kit and train some crews in a proxy war whose outcome didn’t matter much to them.

    North Korea lost: their goal was to conquer the South, they were pushed back to an approximation of their start line where they’ve remained since.

  21. SMFS,

    The Philippines, Burmese and Columbians are also showing no sign of losing, but they don’t have the luxury of walking away as the USA did in Vietnam. The Vietcong and NVA set out to make the war unpalatable back home in the USA. This was the objective of the Tet Offensive.

    There have been numerous successful guerilla campaigns, including the Cuban Revolution, the Indonesian Revolution, the Rhodesian Bush War and the Partisans in Yugoslavia. It is also helps if you can persuade world leaders desperate for a war that you are the good guys as the KLA did with Blair and Clinton. Albanian Kosovans had been trying to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of Serbians since the 1980s. Serbia naturally fought back but along came Blair and Clinton on their white chargers of righteousness to gift the KLA an unjust victory and deprive Kosovan Serbians of their home and nationality.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    DocBud – “The Philippines, Burmese and Columbians are also showing no sign of losing, but they don’t have the luxury of walking away as the USA did in Vietnam.”

    Sure. Guerrillas always win against European colonial powers because in the end they can and will go home. Against anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to, like Israel, not so much luck.

    “The Vietcong and NVA set out to make the war unpalatable back home in the USA. This was the objective of the Tet Offensive.”

    Indeed. As I said, they paid traitors in the West.

    “There have been numerous successful guerilla campaigns, including the Cuban Revolution, the Indonesian Revolution, the Rhodesian Bush War and the Partisans in Yugoslavia.”

    The Soviet Army took Belgrade. Not Tito’s men. The Rhodesians got screwed by the West and eventually South Africa pulled the plug. It wasn’t that they lost to Mugabe, it is that they were forced by outsiders to surrender. Castro was lucky to have such a spectacularly incompetent regime to fight against. And the Netherlands got lent on by the US while trying to cope with a collapsed economy.

    These are exceptions that prove the rule rather than actual challenges to the rule. Even dirt poor, incompetent, quasi-Third World Portugal was not defeated in Angola or Mozambique. Their Army carried out a coup.

  23. And the British, French and Russians have hardly fought at all since WWII?

    The Chinese and Indians have been busy too, and would have been more so if they weren’t so poverty stricken for most of the period.

    It’s what empires do.

  24. The US won the Cold War. Perhaps Moore never got the memo? Or perhaps, in their naivety, the US didn’t follow through with ensuring some jumped-up prick couldn’t come to power again in Moscow (didn’t we learn this lesson before?) and start defenestrating all those in their own senior ranks (particularly academia) who supported the USSR throughout its existence. They won the war but lost the peace to traitors in their own ranks, Moore included.

    One of the principle reasons the US lost in Vietnam was that the South Vietnam government was brutal, corrupt, and detested and the South Vietnamese themselves unwilling to fight for it. They thought they could subcontract out the fighting and dying to the US indefinitely, and boy were they wrong.

  25. “However, it’s very hard to see how the North achieving its strategic goals in 1975 is anything but a win for them: ”

    I’d agree the North won the overall war, the OP is about US activity, post-1973 the US was not involved any more, it can hardly be a “loss” if you aren’t even fighting. When the US _was_ involved the North failed repeated to invade the South, it was two countries with an agreed border when they started, and that remained until the US disengaged, that’s a “job done”.

    If you need to spread objectives beyond military involvement to decide who won, then the fact that world communism has been roundly and permanently defeated is a sure win for the US.

    Fascism – done
    Communism – done
    Religious Fascism – in progress

  26. SMFS
    “They managed to persuade a lot of people that the Americans were the bad guys and Pol Pot the good guy.” I know the KR and VC where in cahoots, but I didn’t realise the VC rooted that strongly for PP ?

  27. @ Tim
    I didn’t notice the USA declaring war in WWII. I was told that Japan declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbour and the Hitler declared war on the USA in support of his ally.

  28. Congress then declared it back: that’s the way it generally works, someone declares war on you, you declare it back.

  29. Congress formally declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbour (and Roosevelt’s day of infamy speech).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK8gYGg0dkE

    A few days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the USA (seen by some as a strategic blunder by Hitler) and Congress formally declared war on them.

    The last formal declarations of war made by Congress were against Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania (in the Second World War), when those countries formally joined the Axis bloc, six months after the declarations of war on Germany and Italy.

    Since then, Congress has authorised and funded a number of military engagements and funded other engagements authorised by other entities.

  30. @ Tim & ukliberty
    Thanks
    OK: I see now. Congress’ declarations were formality rather than reality and when I was a kid the media/books only talked about Pearl Harbour and Hitler’s colossal blunder, without mentioning the subsequent formalities. (I was never taught WWI, let alone WWII, in History lessons because it was too recent to count as History).

  31. The US is capable of winning battles but not of winning wars. So the first Gulf War was won, being only one battle long.

    Ditto the one-air-battle wars of Kosovo and Libya. (An aside: the US fought those two wars on the side of the moslem terrorists, just as she was on the side of the terrorists in the war against the IRA. And damn near took the wrong side on the War Against Argentinian fascism. She has been longing to take the wrong side on the Syrian war, and might yet do so.)

  32. Quite well hidden in the article praising this slob to the skies was his failure to keep President Bush from being re-elected because “The forces of conservatism mobilised their voters”. In simpler terms that even SJW’s should be able to grasp: MORE People voted for Bush where and when it mattered. How very dare they not listen to the guidance from the High Priest of the Ministry of Truth, off to the re-education camps at once!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *