When I see in articles like this one
Stations to Boycott ‘Nightline’s’ List of the Fallen (washingtonpost.com)
that people think that honouring the soldiers who have died in Iraq is “motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq”, I have to wonder if the American public, or at least some part of it didn’t learn the wrong lesson from Vietnam.
It seems to me that these people think the US didn’t lose in Vietnam because they went in with no clear plan, were backing one oppressive regime against another, were so afraid of provoking the Soviets and the Chinese that they saddled the fighting forces with ridiculous rules of engagement (especially when bombing Hanoi), and that both Johnson and Nixon micromanaged the war like they were playing with toy soliders. Oh no, the whole reason for the defeat was that we didn’t totally stifle any discouraging words at home. So as long as we censor any attempts to bring home the full cost of this Iraqi venture in lives and money, we’ll be fine.