As a student of history, I frequently refer back to the past in the hopes that it might provide some degree of clarity that I might be able to apply to the current day. While I know better than to engage in the historical fallacy that deceptively promises that the past neatly and exactly dictates the future, I do find it interesting to observe the patterns and the events of a different age and how these intersect ours own times. What deeply troubles me, however, is that I have begun to hear rumblings and impulsive chantings of division and acrimony. I have begun to notice some alarming similarities between these times and other instances in our nation’s history where we eschewed logic and reason for emotional excess and mutual paranoia. Such points in our past inevitably created terrible conflicts, the likes of which we are in many ways still dealing with into the current day. Irrationality, emotion in place of reason, illogical accusations, and a building animosity bordering on violent hatred between ideological poles was present then and seems to be swelling in intensity now.
Sep 13 2009
Jan 25 2008
In August of 1967 General William Westmoreland claimed to have hurt the enemy so badly that “their major efforts” were limited to the periphery of South Vietnam.
“We have reached an important point when the end becomes to come into view,” General Westmoreland said in his speech to the National Press Club in Washington on November 21, 1967. “We are making progress…it (success) lies within our grasp, the enemy’s hopes are bankrupt.”
General Vo Nguyen Giap explained how and why the Hanoi leders had enticed the American forces to the borders of the South in an extended two-part article published in Quan Doi Nhan Dan (The Army of the People) published in September 1967. Giap cited the fighting along the DMZ and in the Central Highlands as principal examples of Hanoi’s strategy at work.
Quoted from A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan
The Offensive began on the eve of the lunar new year, 30 January 1968. In it’s early hours Westmoreland still contended that the Tet attacks were a diversion and that the real objective was Khe Sanh.