Viet Nam All Over Again

Last week as I watched Bill Moyer’s Journal and re-experienced the horror of the Vietnam War-as the generals continued their military requests for more and more troops, and President Johnson made the unwise and futile decision to send thousands and thousands of our young people to die for a lost cause in a faraway land-I was struck by the thought that this current president might be the one not to make that same mistake.

I was hopeful: President Obama was taking his time and listening to many “advisers,” both military and civilian, but which of these would he believe had the right answer? Would he send more of our young people into harm’s way or make the right decision, in my mind, that there is no military solution to Afghanistan? Did he think, like I did, that our continued military presence only exacerbates the suffering and deaths of innocent Afghan civilians and causes more and more of their young people to hate America and become the very terrorists we hoped to eradicate from their country? What was he thinking?

As it becomes clear now that Obama will send more of our young people to suffer and die, I am devastated. In my mind he is making a horrible and irreversible mistake just like President Johnson did with Vietnam. The best and the brightest among us have come to the wise conclusion that there is no military solution! We need to reverse course and spend much fewer of our tax dollars (which, by the way, are desperately needed at home) for humanitarian and reconstruction aide and pay the Afghanistan people to do the labor and help rebuild their nation. We are in the middle of a Civil War, supporting a corrupt regime, and devastating both Afghan and American families in the process. Why can’t our president see this? Why did he choose to use the same misguided logic of Lyndon Johnson? Why didn’t he do the right thing? I am sick with disappointment.-Lois Hamilton

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