World

Vietnam Lesson Endures, 40 Years Later

On April 30, 1975, a North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, signifying the fall of the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo)
On April 30, 1975, a North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, signifying the fall of the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo)

 

(Los Angeles Times) – Another Vietnam.

Those two words have become a cautionary mantra over the 40 years since the fall of Saigon indelibly etched images of U.S. foreign policy failure in memories and history books.

The post-Sept. 11 invasion of Afghanistan and the trillions of dollars spent in vain to rid that country of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants was another Vietnam, many argued then and now.

The occupation of Iraq in pursuit of its purported weapons of mass destruction was another Vietnam, having wrecked much of the Middle East country and sown resentment that still fuels Islamic extremism three years after the U.S. withdrawal.

“All-in” U.S. intervention has been averted in conflicts racking Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine, at least partly in recognition that wars fought on behalf of people who don’t share American values are destined to be lost.

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