Golf Course Proves Big Lie About Vietnam

Guest Columnist

 sam fields
When I first heard the name of this particular golf course it seemed as improbable as a synagogue name B’nai Himmler.  I was sure it was a gag, an early April Fool’s joke.

That there any golf courses in Vietnam seems weird. That the premier course is called The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail seems as absurd as anything Mel Brooks ever put on the silver screen.
But it is real.  

The club’s website describes it as a “très posh club that “delivers the ultimate in golfing adventure.  Golf Magazine refers to the club as “luxury hotels, A-list course designers and a marketable name with a whiff of danger.
“Adventure?! “Danger?! 
Are the sand traps mined?  Do the waste bunkers have Agent Orange? Are the O.B. markers maintained by punji sticks and snipers?
For twenty years the American people were conned that the Vietnamese were the equivalent of the Borg.  They were the Commie shock troops that, if not stopped over there, would soon be on the beaches of San Diego.
That bright shining lie lead to the death of 58,000 of America’s best.  It turned a generation of idealists into cynics.  Over a million Vietnamese killed.  The collateral damage included a destabilized Cambodia and Pol Pot’s genocide of another 2 million.
And it was all lies.  The worst kind of lies. The ones we told ourselves. 
The answer to the Vietcong and the NVA was not the Marines or B-52s. It was not DOD’s big bombs.  It was Calloway’s Big Bertha.
It was the American lifestyle

15 Responses to “Golf Course Proves Big Lie About Vietnam”

  1. Phil Heck says:

    “For twenty years the American people were conned that the Vietnamese were the equivalent of the Borg. They were the Commie shock troops that, if not stopped over there, would soon be on the beaches of San Diego.”

    Please cite your authority for the proposition that American involvement in Vietnam was predicated on the idea that the Vietnamese, North Vietnam, or the Viet Cong were an invasion threat to the United States.

    We can argue to the end of time about the Vietnam War, but let’s do it on an accurate reading of history.

  2. Jerry Williams says:

    An accurate reading of history will reflect that fear of the “Domino theory” was, in fact, one of the primary reasons that George Kennan, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Bob Mcnamera decided to draw a line in the sand in Vietnam. They may not have expected the first communist shock troops aground in the US to be Vietnamese, but they indeed feared communist invaders.

  3. Sam Fields says:


    The domino theory was the WMD lie of it’s day.

    Let me add before someone else does. The Vietnamese government then and now is hardly a bastion of personal freedom.

    The only issue that matters is whether they were a threat to us.

    They are not and more importantly they were not.

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar irony which is what this golf course makes of the entire war.

  4. Phil Heck says:

    I am well aware, Mr. Williams, of the domino theory. The domino theory did not hold, as suggested by Fields, that if South Vietnam were to fall to the communist regime in the north, that Vietnam would invade the U.S. Our continued involvement in Vietnam, which incidentally preceded the war by many years and actually by decades, was a strategic decision to contain communist influence in the region. It had nothing to do with a ridiculous notion that Vietnam would itself pose a threat to the territory of the U.S. as clearly stated by Mr. Fields.

    Mr. Field’s overall point is valid in hindsight, but it could have been made without a gratuitous revision of history and trivialization of the complex history of Indo-China. In fact, the core premise of American war planning in the ’60’s and ’70’s was that the Soviet Union was positioned to attack Western Europe and some countries in the Middle East (not that it necessarily would) which would necessitate a nuclear response by us, a counter nuclear attack and possibly a preemptive nuclear strike on the U.S., and the likely involvement of China in the Asian theater. If there were any concern about a physical invasion of U.S. territory in the early stages of such a catastrophic war, it would have been of Alaska by the Russians, not San Diego by Asians.

    Yes, Mr. Fields, I understand the irony of the golf course, if that’s what the last sentence in your response is supposed to mean. But obviously I am more familiar with the history of the Vietnam War than you and that’s why I asked you to justify your statement.

    After all, if you have misstated the facts, it isn’t very good journalism, is it?

  5. Sam Fields says:

    I was not only right in hindsight I was right in foresight.

    The US ideological analysis (communists v us),which you seem to have bought into, is the reason then and now why we are in trouble.

    All politics are local!!!!

  6. Phillip Tetsori says:

    It is easy to see how we got in Vietnam. At the time, Communists were shaking their fists at us all over the world. The Russians were putting missles in Cuba, which was extremely disturbing to Washington since Cuba was always in the US’s sphere of influence. The east Germans were threatening west Germany. The Communists were stirring up the new states of Africa and Cuba was actually putting troops there.
    Hindsight is 20/20 and it is easy for Fields to say today what he says here.
    Yes, Fields things change.
    Jeez, I’ve got a shirt on that’s made in Vietnam. That’s just as ironic as a golf course.
    France and England, who were enemies for generations, fought together through the 20th Century.
    China is Communist and our biggest trading partner.
    To discount the job we believed we were doing at the time with the phrase that you always knew it was wrong is a dishonor to those who served. I guess you are smarter than several presidents and many advisors, but only in hindsight.

  7. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Mr. Testori,
    I was hardly the only one who perceived our policy toward the Soviet Union, China et. al. was wrong.

    The problem was that those who spoke the truth were pilloried as disloyal if not traitors. e.g. Owen Lattimore, Joseph Stillwell,

    “Soft on communism” was the intimidating watchword.

    Less any readers think this is ancient history I note that Mr. Tetsori suggests that pointing out the folly of Vietnam “is a dishonor to those who served. ”

    It is his attempt to silence critics of the military industrial complex by interposing the memory of those who served, and too often died, in this folly.

    I don’t owe them an apology. It is those who sent them on this fatal fool’s errand that do.

    As Santayana observed: Those who are unwilling to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  8. Point In Time says:

    Capitalism only works when someone gets screwed. It worked great when there were slaves. It worked great when there was a third world.

    But as the world evolves and fewer are willing to be screwed, we screw ourselves in order to make it work. Fewer jobs, reduced quality of living. That becomes the cost we pay for allowing so few to live above the financial level of so many. That’s just an economic fact, it is not a political comment. Capitalism has flaws and they are increasingly visible.

    However, communism is an even worse system not just politically but economically as well. It has a basic misunderstanding of human nature and is at odds with it. It expects the many to work for the many, when the many really only want to work for themselves. There is no incentive for those workers to produce. And so that system is failed.

    The Cold War accomplished the task of buying American capitalism time to study the trackrecord of communism as it played out in a controlled number of countries. We tried as best we could to screw with the success of each such nation. I don’t consider it unfair that we did so, if the program was truly viable it would have survived it. Only China was able to make it work, while Cuba was simply best at perseverance. But it is China that offers the new model. Only they were smart enough to discover that communism is a flop unless capitalism is also mixed in to offer counterbalance.

    The economic example of that success, of policial evolution, is inevitably going to grow in popularity. But not if the totalitarianism of communism or the injustice of capitalism are allowed to survive the transformation.

  9. Point In Time Wrong says:

    If China made it work, I don’t want any of it. They are successful by paying workers subsistence wages. These workers are already demanding better salaries and someday that will put China at a disadvantage.
    China remains a dictatorship that would never allow this blog. They have a great economic success while very little of the money reaches the majority of the population. Most of the Chinese are poorer than anybody in the U. S. or other parts of the west.
    China only started interacting with the west once Mao was dead. Mao would have never sold out the revolution for economic gains, just like Castro won’t. When Castro and his brother dies, the country will have Cubans sewing sneakers or whatever for a few pesos and importing the goods to the west and call it progress.

  10. Sam Fields says:

    Correction to Jerry Williams

    George Kennan opposed the Vietnam War and so testified before Congress in 1966

  11. Jerry Williams says:

    Mea Culpa, Sam. But his political theorizing about communist containment formed the basis for American involvement in Indo-China.

  12. China says:

    I am an American and have no interest in living in China. But let’s get the facts straight.

    First, there are lots of blogs and personal computer use in China. It cannot be said that they are a model of human rights. But it is nothing like what it used to be under Mao. China has come a long way and is wanting to progress more.

    Second, they are a major US financial creditor now and are growing their economy in a very prudent and saavy way. America owes them a ton of money and they are producing high quality goods while maintaining a strong hand in technology.

    It will take time, but there is already a growing list of Chinese millionaires and in time the quality of life of China will improve.

    Meanwhile, the US is asleep at the switch. We long ago gave up trying to manufacture things because we priced ourselves out of being a viable manufacturer. Instead we focused on being the world’s technological leader. That strategy worked for a while, but not anymore. Lots of countries are producing goods and services, including tech services, in ways that put us more and more into trade deficit.


    Capitalists are not patriots. That’s why. Capitalists seek to make money for themselves, and fuck how they get it done. China is not about doing it that way. Let’s let time decide who is playing this game better. Us or them.

  13. Fort Lauderdale Lawyer says:

    Sam should spend more time defending his clients and less time on this blog.
    He walks around the courthouse, telling everybody who will listen he is somebody because of this blog.
    Pull the plug on him, Buddy. He is dragging you down.

  14. mustbecrazy says:

    It is obvious that there are those that love to hate Sam. And then there are those of us that love to read his musings, even if we don’t always agree with him.
    You may think he is a fool, a windbag or an idiot for expounding on his personal opinions about religion and politics or letting us in on his musings of the day.
    But you’ve got to admit; doesn’t it make you feel good to get on these blogs and impart all of your knowledge and opinions on a particular topic, such as Viet Nam , while debating with Sam.
    Doesn’t it give you a tingle to banter back and forth with Sam about his views all the while demanding that your version is right and his is wrong?
    Where else could you do all of that; anonymously mind you and then feel so good afterwards? Right here, that’s where. You would miss him if he were gone.

  15. anonymous says:

    negative, I come here to read about Broward local politics and business, not about Vietnam, and a hater, preach about atheism and or a guy that mouths off just to be provacative and go agaisnt the grain, without any real substance, knowledge or integrity.. Sam is a clown, by merely what he post and why.. If Sam wants to do actual journalism about Broward and its politics, with out his constant liberal atheist garbage, that would make his blog somewhat relative to what I thought this website claims to be about…