Viet­nam doc­u­men­tary re­opens con­ver­sa­tions

Santa Fe New Mexican - - OPINIONS -

Com­men­tary writer Gre­gory Dad­dis seem­ingly hasn’t learned the ba­sic truth about the Viet­nam War from the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick doc­u­men­tary (“Learn­ing from ‘Viet­nam’ doc­u­men­tary,” Com­men­tary, Oct. 3) — nor was he sup­posed to, ac­cord­ing to our rulers.

The first episode gives it away by stat­ing that the war was “be­gun in good faith by de­cent peo­ple out of fa­tal misun­der­stand­ings.” Na­tions do not achieve im­pe­rial supremacy by be­ing “de­cent peo­ple” act­ing “in good faith.” Im­pe­rial supremacy, in­clud­ing ours, is ob­tained by ag­gres­sion, con­quest and de­ceit. We still refuse to see what a mon­strous act of ag­gres­sion we com­mit­ted by killing mil­lions of Viet­namese, Lao­tians and Cam­bo­di­ans.

Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush ex­ulted in 1991 (af­ter the Gulf War): “By God, we’ve kicked the Viet­nam syn­drome once and for all,” mean­ing that we would feel even freer to at­tack other coun­tries. He, thereby, showed the im­pe­rial ben­e­fits of keep­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple ig­no­rant about the na­ture of the Viet­nam War. Roger Carasso Santa Fe

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