Not a damn human thinks that 50,000 or 100,000 or a 150,000 is going to end that war…

Another gem from UMW Blogs. Professor Mara Scanlon’s Asian American Literature class is currently reading lê thi diem thuy’s novel The Gangster We Are All Looking For–a tale about a Vietnamese family that moves to the U.S. soon after the end of the Vietnam War.

One particular student shared with the class in the form of a blog post contextualizing a clip on YouTube from Errol Morris’s Fog of War. The excerpt from the film deals with the fundamental breakdown in any cultural knowledge that the US had about Vietnam history more generally (sound familiar?). The scene from The Fog of War that this student links to traces Robert McNamara’s (the Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War) assertion that the war was being fought on each side with a completely different understanding of what they were, in fact, fighting for: ““We [The U.S.] saw Vietnam as an element of the Cold War, not as they saw it: a Civil War.”

Can this nation’s political and military history be understood in terms of a progression?

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2 Responses to Not a damn human thinks that 50,000 or 100,000 or a 150,000 is going to end that war…

  1. Tony D'Ambra says:

    plus ca change plus ma meme chose…
    McNamara in 1995 was creating yet another fog. The origins of the Cold War, the Vietnam tragedy, and all of  the heinous US aggression since WW2, was inherent in the post-war strategic agenda of  the US oligarchy, as ably  documented by Noam Chomsky. To put it all down to some "tragic misunderstanding: is hogwash.

  2. jimgroom says:

    I knew we could agree on something Tony, you comment so quickly that I have a hard time keeping up. Just commented on your Tarantino comment. More to come…

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