Vietnam Archive offers parallel to war in IraqBreaking News
With an obvious resonance to current events, the National Archives and Records Administration released 50,000 pages of previously classified documents from the Nixon administration today that reveal how all that president's men wrestled with issues that eerily parallel problems facing the Bush administration.
There are many significant differences between the wars in Vietnam and in Iraq - a point that senior Bush administration officials make at any opportunity. But in tone and content, the Nixon-era debate about the impact of that generation's war - and of war crimes trials -- on public support for the military effort and for White House domestic initiatives strikes many familiar chords.
As the Nixon administration was waging a war and trying to impose a peace in South Vietnam, it worried intensively about how the 1968 massacre at My Lai by American troops would hurt the war effort, both at home and in Asia.
My Lai "could prove acutely embarrassing to the United States" and could affect the Paris peace talks, Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird warned President Richard M. Nixon. "Domestically, it will provide grist for the mills of antiwar activists," Mr. Laird said.
Documents show how the Nixon White House fretted over politics and perception, much as the current Bush White House has during the Iraq war, and that the Nixon administration feared that reports of the mistreatment of civilians could be ruinous to its image.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump wants a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on July 4th
- What Happens When an Entire Campus Is Rooted in the Confederacy?
- Short film reveals the terrible history of No Irish Need Apply
- California Assembly votes to support censure of Trump over comments on Charlottesville violence
- New evidence of Viking warrior women might not be what it seems
- Decline in History Majors Continues, Departments Respond
- He’s 75 now. When he started teaching at the University of New Orleans students walked out on his class.
- ‘Fake news’ from 1738 offers lessons for modern historians, says Missouri scholar
- Peter Dreier calls on Americans to build monuments to liberal heroes
- Economics historian Joel Mokyr says it was culture that made the West rich