You are here

Tomgram | Christian Appy: "Honor" the Vietnam Veteran, Forget the War

  • Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War
  • How Thanking the Veteran Meant Ignoring What Happened 
  • The Long Reach of Vietnam War Deceptions

Christian Appy, you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

FITS-VN-Soldiers-300x222.jpgFebruary 8, 2015 | The 1960s -- that extraordinary decade -- is celebrating its 50th birthday one year at a time. Happy birthday, 1965!  How, though, do you commemorate the Vietnam War, the era’s signature catastrophe?  After all, our government prosecuted its brutal and indiscriminate war under false pretexts, long after most citizens objected, and failed to achieve any of its stated objectives.  More than 58,000 Americans were killed along with more than four million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians.

So what exactly do we write on the jubilee party invitation? You probably know the answer. We’ve been rehearsing it for decades. You leave out every troubling memory of the war and simply say:  “Let’s honor all our military veterans for their service and sacrifice.”

Christian Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, is the author of three books about the Vietnam War, including American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (Viking).

Full story … 


story_images/soldiers.pngPhoto Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/ 

The Long Reach of Vietnam War Deceptions, Todd E. Pierce, Consortium News

America’s war in Vietnam, which was authorized by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution a half century ago, had lasting consequences for the nation, including deeper public distrust of government and government’s determination to restrict the people’s right to know.

The Snowden Effect: This Is Still Not America