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News Link • WAR: About that War

For America, Life Was Cheap in Vietnam

• http://www.nytimes.com, By NICK TURSE
 The implication is that the United States lost the war in Vietnam because General Giap thought nothing of sending unconscionable numbers of Vietnamese to their deaths.

Yet America’s defeat was probably ordained, just as much, by the Vietnamese casualties we caused, not just in military cross-fire, but as a direct result of our policy and tactics. While nearly 60,000 American troops died, some two million Vietnamese civilians were killed, and millions more were wounded and displaced, during America’s involvement in Vietnam, researchers and government sources have estimated.

Enraged, disgusted and alienated by the abuse they suffered from troops who claimed to be their allies, even civilians who had no inclination to back our opponents did so.

Now, four decades later, in distant lands like Pakistan and Afghanistan, civilians are again treating the United States as an enemy, because they have become the collateral damage of our “war on terror,” largely unrecognized by the American public.

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