Re-fighting the War in Vietnam

Fall of Saigon
Some people just can't let it go: We could have won in Vietnam, they insist, if only we had tried harder. It was a "failure of will", a "stab in the back" -- on the part of civilian leaders, members of the public, etc.

Philip Carter catches Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez engaging in this form of faux nostalgia and responds with the obvious:

We lost because we failed to see the strategic environment correctly, and we chose a war of a time, place and manner that we could not win.

The original reason for going into Vietnam was if we didn't succeed in installing our guy (whoever that was at the moment), we'd be fighting to protect the next set of "dominoes" in Thailand, the Philippines and ultimately in Hawaii.

Added to this were the constant reassurances year after year that all was going well and "light was at the end of the tunnel".

Both the original rationale and the ongoing happy-talk turned out to be pathetically untrue. Any discussion that tries to detach these from the eventual outcome is totally a-historical and irrelevant.