Vietnam to Iraq and America’s Empire of Stupidity

September 5th, 2007 by Andy in America: Republic or Empire?

This is one of the best pieces I’ve yet read on the history of the Vietnam War, its futility, and its being resurrected as a comparative example to the current situation in Iraq, by George Bush and his acolytes no less. Tom Engelhardt, whose body of work is already impressive, lays out this tour de force of an analysis. It is insightful, with historical depth and perspective, tragic in its implications and desperately hopeful in its plea. This should be a must read in America’s high school history and social studies classes these days. (Do they still teach those?)

I can’t even begin to find a highlight from this work. I just recommend the entire piece, which is lengthy, but well worth the time. (They only flaw being his inadvertent reference to the end of the Vietnam War being 40 years ago, when it is actually only over 30, unless he is referring to the time of our big buildup period in Indochina).

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  1. Ken Larson said,

    on September 7th, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    You are correct. This is a very good piece.

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

    It made no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

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