|Abstract||The fundamental principle is that "we are good" -- "we" being the state we serve -- and what "we" do is dedicated to the highest principles, though there may be errors in practice. In a typical illustration, according to the retrospective version at the left-liberal extreme, the properly reshaped Vietnam War began with "blundering efforts to do good" but by 1969 had become a "disaster" (Anthony Lewis) -- by 1969, after the business world had turned against the war as too costly and 70 per cent of the public regarded it as "fundamentally wrong and immoral", not "a mistake"; by 1969, seven years after Kennedy's attack on South Vietnam began, two years after the most respected Vietnam specialist and military historian Bernard Fall warned that "Vietnam as a cultural and historic entity... is threatened with extinction...[as]... the countryside literally dies under the blows of the largest military machine ever unleashed on an area of this size"; by 1969, the time of some of the most vicious state terrorist operations of one of the major crimes of the late 20th century, of which Swift Boats in the deep South, already devastated by saturation bombing, chemical warfare and mass murder operations, were the least of the atrocities underway. But the reshaped history prevails. Serious expert panels ponder the reasons for "America's Vietnam Obsession" during the 2004 elections, when the Vietnam War was never even mentioned -- the actual one, that is, not the image reconstructed for history.|
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