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#1 May 14, 2022 9:46 pm

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Vietnam: Background to adolescence

I grew up with Vietnam, the first war to be brought into our living rooms through television. During our American year of 1966/67, we learned first-hand from returning GIs of the ingenuity of the Viet Cong in setting booby traps to kill American soldiers. Tom and Gerry’s high school friends were rightly afraid of getting the dreaded low draft number, some of whom were subsequently sent to fight. By the time we returned to England the war was in full swing, every evening we watched graphic television footage of aerial bombings and deadly street-to-street fighting, in place names that would resonate through history: Khe Sahn, Da Nang and the Ho Chi Minh Trail – by eighteen I was a certified war junkie.

Just when you thought it was settling into a slow and deadly stalemate, North Vietnam pulled off its masterstroke: the Tet Offensive. Launched over the Vietnamese New Year in January 1968, North Vietnamese regular troops and guerrillas swarmed across the South, catching the Americans completely unawares and capturing several key cities. Although the American forces regrouped and eventually beat back the invading forces, the Tet Offensive played a major role in shaping public opinion against the War.

The best part of the Vietnam War was the ending: America’s ignominious defeat at the hands of ‘a bunch of rice-eating Gooks’. After such a long, deadly and senseless war, there was something grimly satisfying, about the sight of American soldiers, burning documents and desperately clinging onto the last chopper lifting off the US Embassy in Saigon, as the victorious North Vietnamese troops closed in. The word is: schadenfreude.

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#2 May 15, 2022 9:05 am

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Re: Vietnam: Background to adolescence

America has learned their war lessons in Vietnam.

They are not going to make these mistakes again.

It is astonishing when you see the retired Generals saying on CNN what Russia's next moves will be, and exactly what they predicted, Russia does.

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#3 May 15, 2022 1:16 pm

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Re: Vietnam: Background to adolescence

" America has learned their war lessons in Vietnam.

They are not going to make these mistakes again."

Excuse me? They didn't just leave Afghanistan after 20 years, hundreds of thousands of lives and endless trillions of dollars?

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