Saturday, March 06, 2004

I remember

Salon.com | Another crude slur: "The free-fire zones, the use of napalm, the carpet-bombing and the assassination programs were all aspects of a guerrilla conflict that could not be prosecuted without killing thousands of civilians. Only by falsifying history -- and assuming that nobody will remember the truth -- can Kerry's right-wing critics claim that he somehow misled the country about what was happening in Vietnam. The smear depends on historical amnesia. "
My husband and I were agreeing the other night that no one younger than 55 (our age) can actually remember the Vietnam War anymore -- as one of the American professors at our university called it "that goddammed war". Even at the time, there were stupid, so-called patriotic movies like The Green Berets that glorified it. But there have been a few since that told it truthfully - The Deerhunter, Apocalypse Now. But I think most people under 40 think of the war as a personal story, like Good Morning, Vietnam, rather than a national horror. And I wonder now that the first rotation of troops are coming home from Iraq, what stories we will hear from them and whether they were doomed to repeat the history of Vietnam because it hasn't been remembered.

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