Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Lesson of Afghanistan is the Lesson of Vietnam We Forgot

David Schultz, Counterpunch

Philosopher Georg Hegel declared the only lesson of history is that we do not learn from history. As the US prepares for the final pullout from Afghanistan and what will soon follow as the fall of the country to the Taliban an entire generation of us wonder if this is not Deja vu all over again and that what we thought we had learned from the Vietnam War proved to be a fleeting lesson.

For those of my generation who grew up during or served in the Vietnam War a thousand images cross our mind.  A naked girl scurrying away from Napalm, the execution of Nguy n Văn Lém, American flags draped on caskets in rows,  a woman next to a dead body at Kent State University. But for many it is helicopters evacuating the US embassy in Saigon in 1975 as the city and South Vietnam fell to the Vietcong.  The domino we fought so hard to prevent from falling, costing America 58,200 lost military lives hundreds of thousands wounded, and tens of billions of dollars, fell, nonetheless.


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