Even to dare mention the lesson of Vietnam is to risk painting oneself as weak-willed and lily-livered — to say nothing about being old enough to actually remember Vietnam.
But I think there was a lesson, no matter how unlearned, nonetheless: We poured troops and weaponry into a unwinnable war in order to prop up a despotic government for reckless and unfounded political reasons — the domino theory, which stated that if we didn’t defeat the communists in Vietnam, we would someday be battling them on the Golden Gate Bridge.
As it turned out, after the deaths of more than 58,000 U.S. combat troops, we lost the Vietnam War and evacuated our embassy employees off the embassy roof in Saigon by helicopter in April 1975, in one of the most humiliating film clips in U.S. history.
The dominoes did not fall. Vietnam has bought nearly $2.5 billion in U.S. goods so far in 2014. The red menace is now our red trading partner.
So it goes. Having “left” Iraq after the deaths of 4,500 U.S. troops and an incredible $2 trillion spent, we are now heading back to prop up a murderous despot, who has carried out a religious war against his enemies in part by using U.S. arms.