Day By Day

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Other Side of Vietnam

There are stories the politicians and ideologues tell about Vietnam. Some tell us it was an unjust war directed by paranoid Presidents and fought by pathological losers against an aroused populace who hated us and were finally liberated from colonial oppression when the Americans were driven from their land in disgrace. For others it was a noble endeavor in which the American military, at great cost, protected the people of South Vietnam from communist aggression and temporarily halted the fall of South Asian dominoes. Ultimately, though, anti-war politicians betrayed the effort and forced the abandonment of our Vietnamese allies. The result of this "stab in the back" was the death and oppression of millions.

Then there are the stories that veterans tell each other. One of these is recounted in the Atlantic by Robert Kaplan. It is a side of the Vietnam experience of which few in the general public are aware.

Read about it here.