Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam War Memorials

From: Mark Bunster (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 13:43:54 CUT

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    William Mandel wrote:

    > Joe: Please explain something to me. Anyone who went to fight in
    > Vietnam went to a country incapable of hurting the United States:
    > no air force, no fleet. The simplest kid with any kind of
    > morality whatever -- religious, you name it -- was capable of
    > understanding that. So he was an invader, a killer of people who
    > couldn't do anything to his country. Why should I memorialize
    > such people?
    > In all sincerity,
    > Bill Mandel

    While I can respect the sentiment, and in fact it may be such an overriding logical
    concern that there isn't any need to discuss the details further--I think it's an

    Obviously we came into Vietnam as the last of a long line of invaders and
    exploiters. The Chinese give way to the Japanese give way to the French. So here's
    DienBienPhu, and there's suddenly a vaccuum of power as the French bandage up and
    get out. A vibrant, charismatic Communist asserts control--pitching repeatedly for
    OUR help, at the beginning--and so here stands our realpolitik decision. We're in
    the first heat of the cold war, and we're presented with a cause that has three
    seemingly reachable goals: staunch Communism, theoretically from China (although
    this was a ludicrous mistake); show support (again) for a defeated ally and thus
    secure the non-Communist coalition we desperately need to build in Europe; and
    hopefully make some good money off a country with a pearl of a capital city (once
    we got it back from Ho, of course).

    It was a dumb decision, but when you're the ones making the decisions, it comes
    down to a lot more than "can they hurt us."

    Mark Bunster       **It's a different kind of feeling
    Survey Research Lab**you might not have felt at all
    VA. Commonwealth U **makes me jump and touch the ceiling
    Richmond, VA 23284 **if I fall well then I fall.   ****          --Chisel

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