Jim: Thank you , once again, for
your personal testimony and extensive historical commentary ( from "inside") on these important issues. It was, for a time before the current US aggression, fashionable to dismiss commentary on Vietnam as Americans attempted to forget our folly.
I heard Patrick Buchanan, an intelligent man whose political alignment I personally feel is insane and cruel and yet who tries to promote himself as a populist ( and does, in fact, vis-a-vis labor issues, have some scintillas of populist ardor) describe the Vietnam War as "the most moral undertaking of this country in the twentieth century".
Such bosh needs to be refuted, and often, by those who were really there in the jungles ( and flying over them).
Oddly enough, Buchanan, always full of surprises, gave a speech against the cruelty of sanctions as they affected Iraqi children in 1999:
and suggested other, non-military ways to deaden the influence of Saddam Hussein.
Here are some quotes from PB's book, "A Republic, Not An Empire", a curious mixture of views and themes:
US hegemony will backfire to create a less secure world.
Stalin & USSR caused Cold War; not Truman & US.
NATO was conceived as a temporary alliance.
We lost Vietnam because we fought on THEIR terms.
US never committed to Vietnam victory; as Great Power must.
No Pax Americana for post-Cold War.
New World Order ties down US without vital interests.
Soldiers volunteer to defend US, not UN.
UK, France, & Germany should defend Europe.
Transfer NATO Army to Germany & Navy to France.
I have dwelt on PB for a moment because he represents, to me, the right-wing ( some would claim, Libertarian . . .) theorist who loves to craft assertions about a war he never saw up close. Like George W. Bush, he led a sheltered and privileged life.
To read more about Pat, his aversion to military service and his views on sundry subjects, go, to an amusing and informative web page, here:
Again, thanks Jim.