How many dead would have been enough?

Among things asserted in the letter, “Our failure to learn from the past”: 1) “The lesson we learned in Vietnam was that when politicians run the war they try not to lose, rather than trying to win, but you take casualties and in the end you lose.” 2) “Wars are won when you kill enough of the bad guys to make them stop, not through negotiation.”

Gen. Giap, who led the North Vietnamese forces, viewed human life as being of no value and was prepared to send hundreds of thousands of his men to die for the cause. Unencumbered by democracy, he was free to pursue his goals without regard to the will of the people. Thus, it seems probable that we would have needed to continue our efforts for quite some time before we could “kill enough of the bad guys to make them stop.”

As a Vietnam veteran, I would pose the following questions to the writer: Had the decision been his to make without any political restraints, how many more of us would he have been willing to sacrifice in pursuit of uncertain victory? How many more children, killed or running aflame in terror from their napalmed villages, would he deem acceptable? With all due respect, offering callous and overly simplistic solutions to this complex issue is an affront to any responsible discussion of the topic.

Dan Postema

Everett

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Jan. 23

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Judge rightly applies records law to legislators

As the very name implies, the Public Records Act, first adopted in 1972, applies to state lawmakers.

Editorial cartoons for Monday, Jan. 22

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Don’t break the link between tests and graduation

Ending the testing requirement for a high school diploma would be a disservice to all students.

Robinson: Trump means whatever his people say he means

Will he sign a DACA deal if Congress passes one? Better ask his immigration hard-liners, first.

Milbank: Trump and the art of indecision

Trump appears to side with the last person he met with, complicating talks over the shutdown.

Harrop: Ansari’s ‘bad date’ shows problem of outing bad behavior

The comic actor has been smeared by an anonymous date’s charge that he ignored her “nonverbal cues.”

Marysville voters should support both school district levies

Education is a great equalizer in a world in which children live… Continue reading

Linking test to graduation saps soul of students

I disagree that “ending the testing requirement for a high school diploma… Continue reading

Most Read