Pattern of US Cold War Interventions Comparing the patterns of Korea, Cuba and Vietnam
Pattern of US Cold War Interventions
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- Now that we've done a series of videos on America's interventions during the Cold War
- in Korea---Korea and Cuba and Vietnam, I thought it would be fun
- to just think a little bit of the patterns here
- and just as in all of these History videos
- you have to take anything I say, or really
- anything anyone says about History with a grain of salt
- even when it comes to the facts
- obviously the facts can only be written by the people
- who survive, who knows what might have gone on
- behind the scenes that never got documented by historians
- so you have to take everything with a grain of salt. And even when
- you know, in this video, I'll talk about maybe some patterns
- some themes that I have seen
- don't take that as just the truth
- think about it for yourself. If it makes sense, it makes sense
- and if doesn't, try to look into it more
- and try to come up wth your own themes or your patterns or things that you can learn from
- So the general pattern across all of these is that
- before the US got involved and before a kind of a-- a Communist-leaning regime got involved
- these were all in some ways subjugated populations.
- In Korea, it was subjugated by the Japanese
- It was the Japanese colony.
- In Cuba, it was subjugated by the Batista government.
- And this was a dictatorship, a corrupt dictatorship and it was
- heavily influenced by the United States. You could almost view it
- as United States influence--a United States colony. They had so much
- influence with Batista.
- And in the case of Vietnam, it was a
- French colony. So you can imagine in all
- of these situations, the existing rulers were not that popular.
- People were looking for rulers who could
- kind of liberate them from the messes they were inside of that.
- On top of that, and this comes to the whole
- discussion of Capitalism versus Communism
- you can imagine that when you are colonized
- or when you are in a corrupt regime, you do have people
- accruing wealth. So there are people accruing wealth. Some
- of whom who get it without
- without being kind of that legitimate.
- And so these circles are kind of the size of different people's wealth
- So you can imagine, in Korea under Japanese rule, maybe there were a few people
- who were successful by being legitimate entrepreneurs.
- But there were probably a whole bunch of people
- who were successful by just...kind of...sucking up to
- the colonial powers. In the case of a corrupt regime,
- doing things that were corrupt with the regime, using
- the regime to get undue power in a certain market,
- And it's always a combination.
- In any of these countries, there were probably
- some entrepreneurs and some other people and some others who got wealth
- with good means and then some other people who, under these regimes
- who got wealth under questionable means. Maybe because
- they sucked up to the corrupt regime
- or maybe they even did outright criminal activity
- which was probably the case of the Batista regime
- probably they did have people who were outright criminals
- doing very well for themselves. Same thing in Vietnam,
- maybe the Vietnamese, some of the Vietnamese, who really kind of
- were aligned with the French probably got extra favors, so their wealth wasn't necessarily
- due to innovation or competence.
- But really just were they fitted into the political order.
- Maybe some other people did have legitimate wealth
- So you imagine when any of these types of
- situations start to emerge, from subjugation
- So, you start having independence movements
- In all of these situations. You can imagine it's a very
- popular notion to run on, and depending on how true it is
- but its a very popular notion to run on, to tell people look
- "You've seen all of these people who've gotten
- questionable wealth and maybe some of these
- people who got questionable wealth got it by
- being aligned with our subjugators
- By being, to some degree, traitors
- to our people. And once again,
- maybe not all of the people, but you can see how it's a popular line
- for someone coming to power when you're
- emerging from independent...or when you're
- emerging into independence, to say, "Why don't we redistribute wealth?"
- "Why don't we take the wealth from this person from right here who
- got it in questionable means, and redistribute it, and
- redistribute it to the rest of the society?
- Why don't we take it from this person over here, and redistribute it to the rest of society?"
- "Why don't we do that with this person here, and redistribute that wealth to the rest of society?"
- And, if you're looking for a political ideology that seems to
- fit with this idea of trying to correct things that
- maybe looked wrong during the
- colonial or subjugated rule, Communism
- seems to fit that. It's kind of a
- redistributing of wealth, or maybe the state
- takes over all wealth. Or maybe something in between where it's Socialist
- where the state is redistributing wealth fairly aggressively
- but you still have kind of underpinings of Capitalism
- And so you can imagine that Communism
- especially to a population that---where you have many many many poor people
- wealth concentrated in a few people, many of whom are
- aligned with the older regimes, Communism at least seems
- like a popular notion. And you have people
- who ride this Nationalistic, Communistic feeling
- and in the case of Cuba, you have people like
- Fidel Castro, people like Fidel Castro.
- In Vietnam, you have people like Ho Chi Minh
- And then Korea's a little bit different because
- you did have a Communist, Nationalist independence movement, but
- Kim Il Sung wasn't necessarily the leader of that movement
- the Soviets didn't actually want any of those people in charge
- any of the kind of the Natonalist Communist the leaders of those
- movement, they kind of marginalized them and installed Kim Il Sung
- probably because he was more aligned with them, but he was Communist
- Now the reality is, these guys
- come in under these very egalitarian, you know, equality for all
- let's get retribution for the wrongs that were done to us before
- But probably all of them start to not just redistribute wealth from people who
- might have gotten it in bad ways, but they're also
- just redistributing wealth generally
- Maybe because it's just a popular thing to do
- Or maybe because these people didn't give them proper support
- So they're getting retribution on their political enemies, and
- as opposed to just kind of doing it for social good
- So you know they might do it from people who have
- legitimate wealth and so those people aren't
- too happy about it. And
- they ride kind of this Communistic, egalitarian movement
- to install themselves and, instead of being a purely Marxist state
- they kind of want to be more Marxist-Leninist
- where you have this Communist party that has
- this continuous revolution, which
- is a justification for them to never hold real elections, and always stay in power
- So, by no means is this kind of a rationale why these people
- are legitimate. But what happened in every one of these cases
- is that the United States was in the middle of the Cold War
- They feared the spread of Communism.
- Communism tended to correlate with non-free state.
- It doesn't have to be that way. But every time Communism was implemented, it also
- was these kind of authoritarian rule, no democracy. And you can also
- imagine there were many capitalists in the United States who
- for their own selfish reasons, were afraid of [Communism] spreading to the United States
- because maybe their wealth would be redistributed.
- But regardless of what the justification, whether it was a more noble
- wanting people to have freedom of expression
- freedom to hold property, or whether they were selfish
- "Hey we don't want our own wealth to be somehow taken away."
- Or it just might have been a balance of power between the US
- and the Soviet Union, that every time a country fell to Communism
- that somehow, the US was losing some power in the world.
- Regardless of the US's rationale, they always say,
- "OK, These guys are Communist, we're gonna take the other side of the equation
- So the US ends up supporting
- Sig Muh Ree in South Korea
- whom we know was not the best character in the world.
- They end up supporting Diem in South Vietnam
- whom we also know was not the necessary the most savory person in the world.
- In the case of Cuba, the US at least
- they did support Batista while he was in power
- but we saw in that video
- Kennedy came on later saying, you know, Batista was pretty bad
- dude, and it was probably a big mistake for the US to
- support him. But the US goes on
- the other side and they support the exiles against Fidel Castro
- And here the Cuban exiles, they're not in the category of Sig Muh Ree or Diem
- they probably favor democracy and overall
- good people but what they probably
- did feed Kennedy is a story that Fidel Castro
- wasn't as popular as he actually was
- And he probably was more popular
- especially after the Revolution
- because he had this egalitarian, people were getting over the Batistas
- kind of anybody but Batista they would be happy about
- Fidel Castro was this charismatic leader who kind of
- working for the poor, at least it looked like he was working for the poor
- So at least in the get-go
- especially the Kennedy administration might have been fed
- an overly optimistic view that kind of got them
- involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion and all of that
- But this is just the general pattern that happened every time
- And every time, it ended up in either a US defeat
- or a stalemate, and you know
- Take whatever lessons there are from this
- but it is kind of an interesting pattern that happened multiple times
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