June 30, 2010

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(Another in a series of painfully bad ideas)


In 1965 the "official" shooting war was less than a year old and already a growing number of people were starting to question what we were doing in Vietnam in the first place. The logic behind waging a war where there seemed to be no clear solution, other than hearing the fear card played over and over that it was part of the "domino theory" of Communist domination over the far east, that India could fall under the influence of the Kremlin and that, if India went, would Japan be far behind were the constant warnings being trotted out in order to justify escalation.

1965 was a pivotal year for the war in Vietnam because it signified a point where America would either be bogged down in a protracted war and propping up a corrupt and ineffective government or it would go in, makes it point and leave.

Unfortunately it was a situation that had a long history and one which wasn't going to be settled anywhere near 1965.

There is an eerie similarity to our current state of affairs in Iraq and Afghanistan and those in Vietnam. In 1965 the fear card was Communism and in 2002 the fear card was Terrorism. Both are situations we've found ourselves in where there was no easy way to extricate ourselves - a hopeless tumor that hemorrhages lives.

In late June 1965, ABC Radio aired a special "Dialogue And Decision". Hosted by a young Ted Koppel, the program tries to give some background (and try to make sense) out of a war that was quickly spiraling out of control with seemingly no solution at hand.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

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