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News Link • WAR: About that War

The Best Way to Honor a Vet is With the Truth

• By Danny Sjursen

Stop me if you've heard this: American soldiers didn't lose in Vietnam. In fact, our brave troopers had the commies whipped by the late '60s; that is, of course, before a conspiratorial cabal of cowardly hippies, anti-war protestors, and dovish liberals pulled the rug out from under an all-but-victorious U.S. military. It's quite a tale, replete with heroes, villains, and glib moral lessons. It is all wrong of course, faulty and fallacious.

Others—debunked historians and enthusiastic military officers among them—posit an altogether different, and even more insidious myth. The U.S. military could've won, almost did win; it's just that dusty old World War II vets like General Westmoreland remained fixated on conventional war when they should've applied counterinsurgency tactics. One young military officer you may have heard of—then Major David Petraeus—argued as much in his Princeton doctoral dissertation. Later, as General Petraeus sought to apply the lessons of Vietnam to Iraq, he spawned a generation of so-called soldier-scholar "COINdinistas"—young Iraq and Afghan vets keen to win hearts and minds throughout the Islamic East. Counterinsurgency could work, they vociferously asserted (perhaps the "lady doth protest too much?"). Their favorite case studies: Malaya and Vietnam.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

What are/were we doing over there anyway? Are we such a great and noble people that we can understand which are the correct causes to take up on behalf of other people and fight their enemies for them? When we became a nation, we did it for freedom. And a great part of that freedom was freedom of religion - 1st Amendment. The peoples of Viet Nam and Iraq do not have the same religion. IF they did, God would take up their cause for them as He did ours for us. How did He do it for us? We won and became great. The wars we fight over there are for purposes other than the right kind of freedom. They are for the profit of our businesses who sell "parts" in the wars. Sure, God is working through what we do to bring the right religion to them. But like God won our freedom for us, He is winning their freedom for them only when they turn to Him. If WE win for them, it is only an incidental thing.

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