Thursday, July 21, 2011

Commentary: Vietnam war a 'Haunting Legacy' -- will the same be said of today's American Imperialism?

f journalism is the first draft of history, the current phase of journalism with blogs, tweets and miscellaneous bells and whistles is once-over-lightly history that bears little relation to reality.

Mercifully, there are exceptions. Some journalists still spend five or more years researching a subject they already know well and that has already generated scores of books -- but the brass ring on history's carousel is infuriatingly elusive.

This time nonpareil journalist/scholar Marvin Kalb and daughter Deborah Kalb have documented how Vietnam's "Haunting Legacy" has spooked every U.S. president from Ford to Obama. And the richly deserved brass ring is in the family vault.

Most Vietnam War books have been written by journalists who were part-time war correspondents who had made up their minds -- many of them before their first reporting stint in the rice paddies or the highlands -- the United States didn't belong in Vietnam. They saw the United States as a clumsy, purposeless giant grinding up poor defenseless Vietnamese whose only ambition was freedom and democracy. (more)