The Wonkette Geopoliticker: U.S. Plotting Nostalgic Military Return To Vietnam

by John Schoenkopf

When Obama said our military would leave the Middle East and focus on the Pacific Region, he probably wasn’t kidding. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was in Vietnam the other day laying the groundwork for what will be America’s most important harbor (a fancy deep-water harbor, at that!) when it comes to circling our number one target, China. Cam Ranh Bay sits at a chokepoint for maritime traffic into the South China Sea, and Vietnam is just one domino to the south of the red foe. Setting up a permanent base there would be extremely annoying to China.

Vietnam for its part is totally willing to piss off China by letting us in if we’d only be so kind as to sell them some weapons, please. Makes sense, since we have the tyranny of distance on our side while they share a border with the offended.

This is just the latest move by the U.S. along these lines. So far, we’ve established a permanent marine base in Darwin, Australia (on the northern tip, facing China), are currently working to turn Guam into some kind of regional military hub, and the ink is barely dry on some new deals with the Philippines for military base access. Put them all together with the stuff we have in Okinawa and Japan and South Korea, and you’ve got China surrounded.

This is great news for the servicemen and women who get to hang out at the rad new Pacific bases instead of fucking Iraq in the middle of summer. Until, of course, it is time to go to #war with China. They just boosted their defense spending for the umpteenth time in a row including a hefty allocation for new nuclear submarines with over-the-horizon radar, the kind that can strike our fancy new bases-to-be. So enjoy the vacation while it lasts, which is probably until Mitt Romney gets elected and we go back to our traditional role of guarding the oil fields.

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 130 comments }

nounverb911 June 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Let's send Mitt and Cheney in first. They've never been there.

weejee June 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

If they go would they change the name then from Cam Ranh Bay to Draft Dodge City.

BarackMyWorld June 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Rachel Maddow had an interesting segment about this last night.
Guess what? Mitt has lied a few times about his draft exemptions! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-

nounverb911 June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

How can you tell that Mitt Romney's lying?

Pop_Socket June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

How? His lips never move.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Oh, that's easy. The LED on his CPU is on steadily, indicating he's powered up

fartknocker June 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I'll bet the seafood is wonderful.

DerrickWildcat June 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

No blood for genuine 3 Crabs Fish sauce!

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hey! You can GET 3 Crabs out there? I only found some here a couple years ago!

Callyson June 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

So much for 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia' yet again…

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Roger Daltrey clobbered Townshend with a mic stand for making him sing that tongue-twister!

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Yeah, that whole "Lifehouse" thing was a disaster from start to never-finish.

Maman June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I think we are assuming this will be a sea war. So, technically, this rule will not apply.

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Maybe we can take off and nuke the site from orbit. Just to be sure.

Antispandex June 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I think we're going to need a bigger boat.

anniegetyerfun June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Still, we've never gone in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

Infrogmation June 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Carlos Marcello may disagree.

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Uh, yeah. When the mob came back from the mattresses, the Kennedy Brothers were dead.

MosesInvests June 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Lucky Luciano libel!

Beowoof June 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Well MacArthur also said "I will return" so I see a contradicting quote fest here.

nounverb911 June 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Didn't they find oil in Vietnam?

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Spratly Islands. Claimed by just about every sovereign nation in Asia, except maybe Mongolia. Good info in this article, 3rd and 4th paragraph down. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Well, maybe oyster sauce, but I doubt there's much oil there, per se

GunToting[Redacted] June 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Peanut oil libel!

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I've seen this movie. It does not end well.

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Reanimated Colonel Kurtz in "Zombie Apocalypse Now"!

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

The whorers! The whorers!

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Dennis Hopper, too!

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hey man, he expanded my mind!

I mean, ate my brain!

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm

You are on fire!

Chichikovovich June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

In a just world ruled by Benevolent Providence, this post would have 200 thumb-ups by now.

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

You're too kind, Chichi!

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

The Horars of War.

Goonemeritus June 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Sweet maybe they will bring back China Beach.

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

And cheap heroin!

Goonemeritus June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’m told it’s already here, according to my in-laws it’s the drug of choice with those crazy kids on Long Island

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Yes, the old-timey kind who use it for their arthritis. Those kids.

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Well, the authorities are cracking down on prescription drug abuse. What else are junkies gonna do but find a different high?

Shit. It looks bad already. I don't like this.

Goonemeritus June 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I don’t want to sound like my father but I agree it stems from prescription drug abuse. I was in NYC in the 70’s and I still remember almost having to step over junkies on the sidewalks. It was a kind of plague and this is starting to feel the same way.

LetUsBray June 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Well, now we're respected in society
We don't worry 'bout the things that we used to be
We're talking heroin with the president,
Yes it's a problem, sir, but it can be bent…

BarackMyWorld June 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I'd settle for a DVD release.

Blueb4sunrise June 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

You are always marching with us, Uncle Ho!

Doktor StrangeZoom June 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Apparently, Charlie does surf now.

Pop_Socket June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

That works as both an Apocalypse Now joke and a a Clash reference.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1nUkSHRb80

scvirginia June 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I immediately thought of the Clash song, but then realized that they (the Clash & the Doktor) were probably referencing something else…

doloras June 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm

And a reference to the second Back To The Future movie. SURF VIETNAM.

chascates June 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

We fight you long time.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Dibs on Yerrow Gull!

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Having spent plenty of time in this part of the world, as well as the Middle East/Central Asia, I must say that liberty call in Thailand or the Philippines beats the shit out of R&R at Al-Udeid in Qatar.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Udeid what, now?

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Warren Zevon, is that you?

OneYieldRegular June 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Dad, get me out of this.

poorgradstudent June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

If Obama wants to go back to America's greatest hits this is totally wrong.

Why not mess with Germany instead? I hear they're back to their old tricks of trying to take over Europe.

Infrogmation June 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Germany? Hm, have they got a fresh crop of rocket scientists we can swipe?

poorgradstudent June 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

No, but they do have plenty of neoliberal economists who can devastate a country even more surely than a barrage of missiles!

Negropolis June 8, 2012 at 2:30 am

Yeah, but Vietnam has nice beaches.

DWW June 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

I still miss the good ol' days of Cold War…

Antispandex June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

" Cam Ranh Bay sits at a chokepoint for maritime traffic into the South China Sea, and Vietnam is just one domino to the south of the red foe. Setting up a permanent base there would be extremely annoying to China. "

It's been a while since I heard this, but I'm sure I have heard it before…Damn, where was I ? I remember I was wearing uncomfortable clothes, my head was shaved, there was an overbearing guy yelling about "communist world domination"….

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I'm tellin' ya, this is making me REAL uncomfortable.

Chill_Bill June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Perhaps Walnuts can finish the job this time around.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Blow up a few more aircraft carriers?

Wile E. Quixote June 8, 2012 at 1:49 am

Crash a few more American planes?

Negropolis June 8, 2012 at 2:31 am

You know, Hanoi is a bit more developed than when he crashed there, last.

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Hm, I think somebody's been playing solitaire with Senator McCain.

TheGyrus June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I've got an idea…. lets poke China with a pointy stick! Whats the worst that could happen?

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hey, according to Herman Cain, they aren't a nukular power! President Cain would man up and stick that sucker right up China's candy ass!

Chet Kincaid June 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

No iPads for you!!!

Antispandex June 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Um, well, don't we owe them lots of money? I guess they could ask for it back. Whoa…that would be embarrassing.

poorgradstudent June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Yeah, the one and only aspect of American foreign policy I could get behind was the "Not going after countries that could actually hit us back" part…

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Remember what Mao said to Nixon? I'm paraphrasing, and badly, but it ran something like "If you lose 150 million people, you cannot fight any more. If we lose 150 million people, we still have 800 million more."

China is the most powerful country in the world now. A refusal to accept that might well result in WW III.

Maman June 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Maybe we can go to war with India too, so we can have 1/3 of the world's population after us all at the same time!

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Pancetta (yeah, I know, but he looks like a piglet to me and not in a Baconzgood way) is already putting pressure on India to get involved in Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan have some ancient land disputes going back thousands of years and involving the tribal areas in the northwest. And India is the bugbear that TPTB of Pakistan use to distract the teeming, dispossessed, dirt-poor, ignorant masses of that failed state. This should end well. Not.

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Maybe music will get good again, too.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

And one reeeeeeeally shitty Billy Joel song

LetUsBray June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

As opposed to your averagely shitty Billy Joel song.

Antispandex June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

(psst…hey bro…who's billy joel?)

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Precisely!

anniegetyerfun June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Gah, you know, China is the only country that I am remotely hawkish on. I wish we spend more of our time trying to destroy their computer networks (and protecting our own from them), like we do with Iran, rather than attempting to piss them off militarily. There's more than one way to skin a cat and then stir-fry it.

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

US Numbah One! China Numbah Ten!!!

SayItWithWookies June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Cam Ranh Bay? Shit, the US military still hasn't gotten over Vietnam if they're trying to use that country's second best harbor. It's all one country now, and you big brass bitches should come to terms with it. See you in Haiphong.

Dashboard Buddha June 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Well, just as Houston…too close to New Orleans, Haiphong…too close to the Chinese border.

SayItWithWookies June 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

It would just be wonderful to see some of those REMFs finally having made it to Hanoi.

Pop_Socket June 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Only now the Ho Chi Minh trail is lined with fast food restaurants.

Chichikovovich June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Ho Chi Minh Trail Mix is a popular snack.

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

There's actually a guide book to the high spots of the Ho Chi Minh trail for tourists, published by the governmental publishing house. There's also a guide to the famous subterranean tunnels.

Dashboard Buddha June 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

US: Hey, let's let bygones be bygones.
Vietnam: Sure…how many F-16s will you give us?

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

And how about a little help with reforestation of the 25% of our land area that you denuded with Agent Orange?

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

And compensation and medical assistance for the hundreds of thousands of veterans of the war YOU FUCKERS wrought upon our country and also medical aid for the children deformed by YOUR use of Agent Orange.

WABishop June 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm

That really says it, doesn't it? The US is gaining access to Cam Rahn Bay by arming the North Vietnamese. Makes your head spin.

LetUsBray June 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

So… fighting a war there really was completely pointless. I mean, even losing made no difference.

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

In the end all the fighting and warring and death and destruction could have been avoided if the US had just responded positively to Mao's and Zhou's and Ho's many and repeated offers of friendship since 1940. Seriously. There would not have *been* a war in the Pacific theater if the US had listened to it's own fucking Generals, most notably Stillwell, who wrote a book about his misadventures there. We chose to support a fascistic gangster and dictator over two patriots who genuinely cared about their country and were willing, and even eager to work with us. And so China went to war with Japan and the whole bloody saga continued on down to fucking present times.

All those lives, all those tons of bombs, all that money, all that suffering and heartbreak. To end up in the US military being back in Cam Ranh Bay. Fuck me.

WIDTAP June 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Call me when we start setting up bases in Mongolia.

Dashboard Buddha June 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I came for the geopolitical influence…but stayed for the war!

scvirginia June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around…

Oh, rats! Did I misplace the T-Heads thread?

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

At Wonkette, every thread is a Talking Heads thread.

Doktor StrangeZoom June 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I thought every thread was a Zappa thread.

scvirginia June 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Oh, but are they mutually exclusive?

doloras June 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Adrian Belew played for both. And King Crimson. SO THIS IS NOW A KING CRIMSON THREAD. Innocents burned with napalm fire, 21st century schizoid man.

BaldarTFlagass June 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Your move, Jane Fonda.

James Michael Curley June 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Leon,
I lost a perfectly good arm and a couple legs in Khe Sanh. If you find them let me know.
Max

Infrogmation June 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

So, Vietnam is playing the America Card?

GunToting[Redacted] June 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Damn, now I'm hungry for a big bowl of Phở.

Doktor StrangeZoom June 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Phở shở

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Don't tell me you speak VietNamese too. Or did you just go find the appropriate diacritical marks by guesswork?

Doktor StrangeZoom June 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Ha! You read too much into my simple copy+paste. I never even learned the names of the dishes at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Tucson–all I know is that I really like the V-11. Sadly, other places have failed to use the same numbering system for their menus.

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I feel so much better now. I was beginning to despair after your lightning puns of recent days. Fluent Vietnamese on top of that would have been too much.

TribecaMike June 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Just a quibble, but Guam has been a "regional military hub" for at least 50 years.

qwerty42 June 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This is the end, my only friend, the end. Of all our hopes and dreams, the end …
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like … victory.

Beowoof June 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Build a nice new airport in Da Nang and it will be 1968 all over again. When does Tet come around on the calendar again?

OneYieldRegular June 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

It seems typically American that we'd try to counter China's might by putting a naval base nearby while ignoring that China provides us with nearly everything we use (including our economy).

notreelyhelping June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Leon…never get out of the boat.

randcoolcatdaddy June 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Obviously has something to do with Obama's secret socialist communist agenda. He's probably going to rescue workers at FoxxConn.

owhatever June 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

This just ain't right.

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?
Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir!
Colonel: Where’d you get it?
Private Joker: I don’t remember, sir!
Colonel: What is that you’ve got written on your helmet?
Private Joker: "Born to kill," sir!
Colonel: You write "Born to kill" on your helmet, and you wear a peace button. What’s that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
Private Joker: No, sir!
Colonel: What is it supposed to mean?
Private Joker: I don’t know, sir!
Colonel: You don’t know very much, do you?
Private Joker: No, sir!
Colonel: You better get your head and your ass wired together, or I will take a giant shit on you!
Private Joker: Yes, sir!
Colonel: Now answer my question or you’ll be standing tall before the man!
Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir!
Colonel: The what?
Private Joker: The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir!
Colonel: Whose side are you on, son?
Private Joker: Our side, sir!
Colonel: Don’t you love your country?
Private Joker: Yes, sir!
Colonel: Then how ‘bout getting with the program? Why don’t you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?
Private Joker: Yes, sir!
Colonel: Son, all I’ve ever asked of my Marines is for them to obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It’s a hard-ball world, son. We’ve gotta try to keep our heads until this peace craze blows over!
Private Joker: [Salutes] Aye-aye, sir!

elburritodeluxe June 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I think they do offer a better quality of hooker

Veritas78 June 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

The ping pong balls are imported from China, the Coca-Cola from US. What goes around, comes around.

extreme_left June 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Australian hookers are a high quality as well.

Ryy June 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

So apparently by invading and bombing a country, they fight us. But when left alone to mind their own affairs they come asking for trade and military bases. So the lesson for Afghanistan is more troops and bombs, obviously.

Steverino247 June 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Relax guys. Leon gets us back into Vietnam which becomes friendly (again) to us. Obama goes on TV and says it took a long time, but we actually won in Vietnam. Our businesses are there and our Navy is keeping them safe.

Sounds like victory to me. No need for that gasoline smell…

ttommyunger June 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

You do realize Panetta is just a leg man for our Benevolent Corporate Masters, right?

Schmegeg June 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Cam Ranh Bay. I can't believe we're back in Cam Ranh Bay.

extreme_left June 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

just a note to say Australia is also to have 3 b-53 peace bases, aircraft carrier and submarine bases, all in contravention of article 1 in the anzus treaty.

Negropolis June 8, 2012 at 2:27 am

We have always been awar with East Asia.

actor212 June 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Is that why people keep pissing on me? I've been wondering…

Beowoof June 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Naw that is the trickle down from the wealthy hitting you.

MittBorg June 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

We were watching Panic in Needle Park the other night, for nostalgia, and I just couldn't watch it any more. It's happening in the UK too, right now. A needle plague.

scvirginia June 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Oh, and now I've got 'Elephant Talk' stuck in my head. Hey, thanks!

George Skullfry June 8, 2012 at 12:16 am

Nicely done.

MosesInvests June 8, 2012 at 12:51 am

Talk, talk, it's only talk….

MosesInvests June 8, 2012 at 12:57 am

Talk, talk, it's only talk…Arguments. Agreements. Articulate announcements….

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