I think it was wrongly closed. It's very very clear what the author is asking. Presumably, he is seeking a parallel (or a lack thereof) with the Supreme Soviet's resolution that had condemned the Afghan War.

The question surely has an answer - why close it?

Am I missing something?

  • Excellent question and I'm glad you raised it. I will provide an answer, but I want to think through some issues first so that I answer clearly.
    – MCW Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 15:55
  • I agree and I'm not sure how people think this is a strange question: it is perfectly fine to ask it and the answer should be straightforward.
    – o0'.
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


See Mark Wallace's answer to the Why did I get a downvote meta question. This particular question is a classic example of a "When did you stop beating your wife" question.

There's an implicit assumption in the question that it was something worthy of condemning. Merely trying to answer it would validate that assumption. In my experience, questions of that type tend to tick users of this site off, and are thus much more likely to get closed.

  • 1
    But you do agree there is a bona fide factual yes/no issue at heart here, right? If so, perhaps the question can be formulated in a more neutral way. (Though I personally don't think it's that loaded - most Americans seem to think Vietnam was a mistake, don't they?) Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 16:09
  • @FelixGoldberg - Americans feelings on the Vietnam war are really all over the place. This isn't about hurting US feelings though. I believe at least two (if not more) of the closers are non-US. Trying to reformulate the question is a good idea (and in fact part of what getting put on hold is for).
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 19:02
  • But the edit button is greyed out! Why so, actually? I assumed it was a feature, but maybe it's a bug? Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 20:35
  • @FelixGoldberg The question is locked (thus no edits, comments or votes are possible) because it's a rejected migration (it was originally asked on Politics). If you have a good edit in mind, please post it here as an answer.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:40
  • @YannisRizos Ah, I get it. I'll try my hand at it. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:45
  • 2
    @FelixGoldberg If we decide here that we want the question, T.E.D. (or another mod) can unlock it and we can then apply the edit. Unlocking it now wouldn't work, because there's a bizarre (and I think unintended) consequence: the question will also be re-opened. So, the first thing to do is reach consensus that we actually want it re-opened.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:49

I wrote a long essay and just deleted it, because I think I'm not coming to a conclusion; the core things that made me uncomfortable with the question are:

  1. I'm not sure what "condemn" means,
  2. I'm not sure what "officially" means, and
  3. I'm not sure what the precendent is that would cause us to condemn one action of the US government separate from all the other actions that turned out in retrospect to be unpopular.

Although superficially the question is objective, answerable, and historical, my doubts about the meaning of the words lead me to doubt that the answer would be meaningful. I believed that this question would be a better fit for a site which encouraged a more discursive response. I believe that the answer to this question would mislead as many as it enlightened, infurate as many as it clarified, and insult as many as it educated. I feel obliged to acknowledge that I did not know that the Supreme Soviet had condemned the Soviet involvement in their Afghan actions. I'm not sure that that would have changed my "close" vote, but honestly compells me to admit that the fact should be taken into account. If the question is re-opened, I suggest that this fact (appropriately cited) be documented.

Aside 1: The Vietnam war is not an era of history that particularly compells my interest. I feel obliged to acknowledge my limits and my ignorance.

Aside 2: I also want to thank @FelixGoldberg for questioning the close vote. I think that my participation is more educational for me, and more enjoyable if I know that I will be held to account for my opinions/votes/actions.

  • 2
    "Supreme Soviet had condemned the Soviet involvement in their Afghan actions." - even if that happened, that was a political move (placate populace that en masse hated the war, and condemn prior regime). Since both considerations are a bad idea for US government, US Govt won't take such a political step so far (not everyone was against that war; AND with exception of one specific president, they care about such condemnation tying down US policy in the future)
    – DVK
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:17

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