Do we learn?

One of the more heartening behaviors, at least to an educator, is the topic and nature of the discussion. One such topic is the mid 20th century history of Vietnam and the lessons it has for us today. Sol W. Sanders, an Asian specialist, describes how such a history is nuanced by many many little things that reach farther back in time and have influence farther forward. Many platitudes or simple conclusions are missing key features that have lessons to understand. These are what make history different from the present. History may not repeat itself but what was can guide what will be. That effort is why learning from history is important yet not trivial.

Yes, all wars in the end are settled politically. But selling out friends and American honor in a withdrawal which would only feed the insane frenzy of this enemy which fights not for turf and power but for liquidation of its non-conforming enemies in an obscure and not a peaceful faith, would produce another catastrophe just as the cutoff of funds and support for a model little army [but totally dependent on American logistics] did in Vietnam in 1973.[Authors of disastrous Vietnam policy have still not been called to account]

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