Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break the Silence

Cross out "Vietnam" and add the "Middle East" ~ this speech is just as relevant today as it was in 1967.


  1. Godwacker,

    The fundamental difference between Vietnam and the Middle East is that the U.S. had no real national security interest in who governed Vietnam or whether it was united or divided. The Vietnam War was the product of the most simplistic Cold War thinking, aided and abetted by a group of people, especially the Archbishop of New York, who insisted on backing a faction of Vietnamese who had fought on the side of the Japanese and French against the Viet Mihn and who were all Catholic in a majority-Buddhist country. LBJ didn't start our military involvement in Vietnam. Truman and mostly Eisenhower did.

    That said, the U.S. has vital national security interests in the Middle East. That W and the NeoCons decided to invade Iraq without a basis or reason, and without vital national security interests at stake, and without thinking through the consequences, does not eliminate that fact. Among the many disastrous consequences of W's actions to our nation is the fact that potential military action in the Middle East, if it were ever needed, will be made more difficult by his ineptitude and that of his advisers.

  2. Points taken, but...

    Stopping communism was considered a vital national security interest during the Vietnam War. What I see here is both the wreckage of colonialism and the disaster of neocolonialism. Observe now how we beat the drums for war with Iran, a nation that has not invaded another in modern times.

    What is the national interest of the U.S. in the Middle East today? Oil? Oil must be sold on the international market and the idea that an oil producing nation could long withhold that oil from the word's biggest customer is silly.

    Nations make bad choices and the final outcome of the Arab Spring has yet to be revealed. But the idea that one nation 'knows best' what government another nation should have is an anachronism with no place in a modern world.

    Now in North Africa we see colonialism unraveling again, and we see the blowback in the form of the fact that we are now fighting the rebels that just months ago we were arming.

    Smart? I think not. Unless of course you look to the neoconservative dream of perpetual war and revolution.

    The names and players might be different, but King's message of peace is universal.

  3. Ask- if you could- the millions killed by communists in Cambodia's Killing Fields how they would have felt if the civilized world had intervened and stopped the genocide.

  4. The ``fundamental difference between Vietnam and the Middle East'' is simply this: Vietnam had swamps, the Middle East has sand. I can recall back when we were busy arming the Taliban and deeming Afghanistan to be Russia's Vietnam.

  5. Yes Rummy, there are such things as humanitarian interventions. Too bad for Cambodia that there was no oil there to motivate our "humanitarianism".

  6. There was no oil in Kosovo and we intervened (albeit from 35,000 feet).

    There is no doubt that we have national security interests in the Middle East.

    We also had national security interests in Afghanistan (when OBL was tooling up for 9/11 in broad daylight), but, unfortunately, W was too busy gardening on his "ranch" to pay attention to the CIA's warnings.

  7. Kosovo has mineral riches that exceed many countries oil wealth. Perhaps we should have invaded Germany, Florida and Ohio ~ 9/11 was planned there too!


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