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Vietnam


  • Originally published 06/13/2014

    No End of a Lesson - Unlearned

    We should ask: what have we learned about ourselves, our adversaries and the process in which we have engaged?

  • Originally published 03/31/2014

    US History Books that Won in Vietnam

    With typical clarity of purpose, our 8th-grade textbook, America: Land I Love, explains exactly why America had to fight in Vietnam.

  • Originally published 03/25/2014

    The My Lai Massacre Just Got Worse

    CBS News has an article that shows that President Richard Nixon sought to cover up the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.

  • Originally published 09/25/2013

    Searching for Madame Nhu

    Lyndon Johnson flirted with her. JFK hated her. Historians blamed her for South Vietnam's downfall.

  • Originally published 07/29/2013

    Col. Bud Day, Heroic Pilot in Vietnam War, Dies at 88

    Col. Bud Day, an Air Force fighter pilot who was shot down in the Vietnam War, imprisoned with John McCain in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” and defiantly endured more than five years of brutality without divulging sensitive information to his captors, earning him the Medal of Honor, died on Saturday in Shalimar, Fla. He was 88.His death was announced by his wife, Doris.Colonel Day was among America’s most highly decorated servicemen, having received nearly 70 medals and awards, more than 50 for combat exploits. In addition to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, he was awarded the Air Force Cross, the highest combat award specifically for airmen.In a post on Twitter on Sunday, Senator McCain called Colonel Day “my friend, my leader, my inspiration.”...

  • Originally published 05/15/2013

    Why Students Should Stop Interviewing Vietnam Veterans

    Credit: Vietnam Veterans Against the War.It’s that time of the year: Hi, my name is Emily and I’m supposed to interview a Vietnam veteran for my AP history class. Hello, I’m Chris and my senior project is on the Vietnam War. Do you know any veterans I could talk to? Dear Veterans, I’m studying the Vietnam War and I would like to know how you were treated when you came home. Could I ask you some questions? Thank you for your service, Jason.Sometimes the inquiries arrive through the listservs of veterans’ organizations; others find their way to me more directly. They become more frequent in the months when the high school history curriculums reach the spring events that ended the war in 1975. The approach of Memorial Day in late May sustains interest in the war through the end of the school year.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Philip Short describes Vietnam’s relationship to Khmer Rouge at UN tribunal

    PHNOM PENH — British historian Philip Short took the stand for the second day at the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal Tuesday, as he continued to describe the relationship between Vietnamese communists and their Cambodian counterpart. Short, the 68-year-old author of “Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare,” told the court Tuesday that the Vietnamese had an “undeniable” interest in the Khmer Rouge, providing support and training for the communist insurgency in its early days. Short is testifying in the atrocity crimes trial of Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. Much of his testimony on Tuesday was centered around the relationship between the regime and Vietnam, which would eventually become its enemy....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Frank Snepp: The Vietnam Syndrome

    Frank Snepp is a Peabody-award winning investigative journalist and the author of two CIA memoirs.Thirty-eight years ago last week, I was among the last CIA officers to be choppered off the U.S. Embassy roof in Saigon as the North Vietnamese took the country. Just two years before that chaotic rush for the exits, the Nixon administration had withdrawn the last American troops from the war zone and had declared indigenous forces strong enough, and the government reliable enough, to withstand whatever the enemy might throw into the fray after U.S. forces were gone.

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Fredrik Logevall wins Pulitzer for history; Tom Reiss and Gilbert King win for biography and non-fiction

    Fredrik Logevall, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam, published by Random House last year.Embers of War, which the Washington Post called a "product of formidable international research ... lucidly and comprehensively composed," is a study of France's war in Vietnam, from the end of World War II to the eventual French withdrawal in 1954.Though the war was foughtly primarily between the French and their colonial auxiliaries on one side and the Viet Minh on the other, Logevall argues that the conflict was truly international in scope and American policymakers had great influence over French decisions from the very beginning. In particular, he maintains that Franklin D. Roosevelt, long an advocate of decolonization, would have pressured the French to exit Indochina in 1945, had he lived. But with Roosevelt's death and Harry Truman's de-emphasis on decolonialization and his policy of vehement anticommunism in Europe and Asia, the seeds were sown for a long, bloody conflict in Southeast Asia.

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Jane Fonda's "unforgivable mistake"

    “I made one unforgivable mistake when I was in North Vietnam, and I will go to my grave with this,” Jane Fonda says on the Oprah Winfrey Network.The actress and activist made an infamous trip to North Vietnam in 1972 where she was photographed singing with members of the North Vietnamese military as she sat on an anti-aircraft gun.She was criticized then — and ever since — and says she understands the anger....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Confronting the Ugly Truth about America's Dirty War in Vietnam

    Victims of the My Lai massacre. Photo credit: Ronald L. Haeberle/U.S. Army.When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  I was moved to tears as I encountered the names of more than 58,000 of my fellow Americans etched in stone. "What a waste," I thought, "but at least they died for their country, and at least we didn’t forget their sacrifice."To be honest, I don’t recall thinking about the Vietnamese dead. The memorial, famously designed by Maya Lin, captures an American tragedy, not a Vietnamese one. But imagine, for a moment, if we could bridge the empathy gap that separates us from the Vietnamese and our war with them and against them. How might their suffering compare to ours?

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Stanley Karnow, Journalist and Historian of Vietnam, Dies at 87

    Stanley A. Karnow, a nationally acclaimed author and journalist whose seminal books about Vietnam and the Philippines during times of war have been taught in many college classrooms, died in Potomac, Md., on January 27. He was 87 and had been suffering from congestive heart failure.For more than a decade and a half, Mr. Karnow worked in Southeast Asia as a correspondent for Time, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, The London Observer, The Washington Post, and NBC News.In 1983, Mr. Karnow published a 750-page book, Vietnam: A History, that focused primarily on the United States' role in that country. Mr. Karnow's work was praised for its straightforward and thoughtful account of a war that began with an attack on a French garrison in 1954 and ended in 1975, soon after the final withdrawal of U.S. service members....

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    The Paris "Peace" Accords Were a Deadly Deception

    Richard Nixon addressing troops in South Vietnam. Via The New Nixon."The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam," signed January 27, 1973, never looked like it would live up to its name. Four decades later it stands exposed as a deliberate fraud.

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    The Hagel Hearings

    Via Flickr/Secretary of Defense.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 01/17/2013

    How Did the Gates of Hell Open in Vietnam?

    American soldier burning a dwelling during the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968. Credit: U.S. Army.For half a century we have been arguing about “the Vietnam War.” Is it possible that we didn’t know what we were talking about? After all that has been written (some 30,000 books and counting), it scarcely seems possible, but such, it turns out, has literally been the case.

  • Originally published 08/12/2014

    I Can't Help if I'm a Libertarian

    It’s not easy being a libertarian. I am not looking for sympathy when I say that. I just mean to point out that rejecting the conventional wisdom on virtually (do I really need this adverb?) every political question, current and historical, can be wearying. Life could be so much simpler if it were otherwise. No doubt about that. I really don’t like conflict, especially when it can quickly turn personal, as it so often does. (I embrace the advice that one can disagree without being disagreeable.) But for a libertarian, disagreement with most people is not an option. We can’t help it.

  • Originally published 06/29/2014

    Ed Lazear's WSJ op-ed on California's water problems

    Ed Lazear had an outstanding op-ed, "Government Dries Up California's Water Supply," in the June 26 Wall Street Journal. It brings me back to 1982, when I first moved to California from Texas. Less Antman had the California Libertarian Party hire me as research director, and one of the biggest political issues at the time was water. The fight was over a ballot initiative authorizing construction of a Peripheral Canal around the San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta to divert more water to Central Valley farmers and southern California. It would have been an enormous, expensive boondoggle that united environmentalist and libertarians in opposition. I ended up not only writing but speaking before all sorts of audiences about the issue. My studies made me quite familiar with the socialist bureaucracy, much of unelected with taxing power, which manages California's feudalistic water system, severely mispricing and misallocating water.

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