Guide Late Thoughts on an Old War: The Legacy of Vietnam

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Vietnam War

Beidler brings back the war he knew in chapters on its vocabulary, music, literature, and film. His catalog of soldier slang reveals how finely a tour of Vietnam could hone one's sense of absurdity. His survey of the war's pop hits looks for meaning in the soundtrack many veterans still hear in their heads. Beidler also explains how "Viet Pulp" literature about snipers, tunnel rats, and other hard-core types has pushed aside masterpieces like Duong Thu Huong's Novel without a Name. As Beidler takes measure of his own wartime politics and morals, he ponders the divergent careers of such figures as William Calley, the army lieutenant whose name is synonymous with the civilian massacre at My Lai, and an old friend, poet John Balaban, a conscientious objector who performed alternative duty in Vietnam as a schoolteacher and hospital worker.

Beidler also looks at Vietnam alongside other conflicts-including the war on international terrorism. He once hoped, he says, that Vietnam had fractured our sense of providential destiny and geopolitical invincibility but now realizes, with dismay, that those myths are still with us. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. No cover image. Read preview. Wallace's memoir is generally sympathetic to Westmoreland, although he makes it clear he disagreed with him on issues surrounding the Vietnam War and the Nixon Administration's policies in Southeast Asia.

Thomas Smith Jr. By his own admission, by early , I think, he had lost, what, a half million soldiers? He reported this. Now such a disregard for human life may make a formidable adversary, but it does not make a military genius. An American commander losing men like that would hardly have lasted more than a few weeks. Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient. And as the philosophy of the Orient expresses it: Life is not important. Turse said that many of the Vietnamese killed were actually innocent civilians, and the Vietnamese casualties were not just caused by military cross-fire but were a direct result of the U.

He concluded that, after having "spoken to survivors of massacres by United States forces at Phi Phu, Trieu Ai, My Luoc and so many other hamlets, I can say with certainty that Westmoreland's assessment was false". He also accused Westmoreland of concealing evidence of atrocities from the American public when he was the Army Chief of Staff.

In more than a decade of analyzing long-classified military criminal investigation files, court-martial transcripts, Congressional studies, contemporaneous journalism and the testimony of United States soldiers and Vietnamese civilians, I found that Gen. William C. Westmoreland, his subordinates, superiors and successors also engaged in a profligate disregard for human life.

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Historian Derek Frisby also criticized Westmoreland's view during an interview with Deutsche Welle :. General William Westmoreland, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War, unhesitatingly believed Giap was a butcher for relentlessly sacrificing his soldiers in unwinnable battles. Yet, that assessment in itself is key to understanding the West's failure to defeat him.

Giap understood that protracted warfare would cost many lives but that did not always translate into winning or losing the war.

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In the final analysis, Giap won the war despite losing many battles, and as long as the army survived to fight another day, the idea of Vietnam lived in the hearts of the people who would support it, and that is the essence of "revolutionary war". For the remainder of his life, Westmoreland maintained that the United States did not lose the war in Vietnam; he stated instead that "our country did not fulfill its commitment to South Vietnam. By virtue of Vietnam, the U. Westmoreland first met his future wife, Katherine Kitsy Stevens Van Deusen, while stationed at Fort Sill ; she was nine years old at the time and was the daughter of the post executive officer, Colonel Edwin R.

Van Deusen. Westmoreland met her again in North Carolina when she was nineteen and a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Westmoreland died on July 18, , at the age of 91 at the Bishop Gadsden retirement home in Charleston, South Carolina. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the final years of his life.

The General William C. Westmoreland Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina , is named in his honor. Westmoreland award. The award is given each year in recognition to an outstanding SAR veterans volunteer. United States Military Academy class of Retired from active service in July From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. William Westmoreland. Archived from the original on Retrieved Troops in Vietnam".

The New York Times.

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Retrieved 14 May University of South Carolina. The Independent. Louis, Missouri. Joined 12 Oct Detailed in G. Primary Duty: Chief of Staff". At thirty-eight, he was one of the youngest generals in the Army. Vietnam: A History. Retrieved 29 July Presidential Recordings Program. Retrieved 16 March Columbia University Press, , pp. Retrieved 4 December October 6, US Army War College.

Retrieved 19 Oct The Penguin Press. June 14, Chicago Tribune. August 17, CBS — further readings". Cornell University Press. Museum of Broadcast Communications. In Blaney, David L. Claiming the International.

Ho Chi Minh: Bio, Vietnam War, Book, Facts, Education, Ideology, Legacy (2000)

Abingdon: Routledge. Westmoreland Is Dead at 91".

Related books and articles

The Milwaukee Sentinel. William Childs Westmoreland Papers, ca. Pacific Stars and Stripes. AVN, American Sportscasters Online. South Carolina Senate. Westmoreland Award". National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.