For some reason I find myself thinking about the Vietnam War.
I’ve read a total of three books on the subject: A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo, and Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried, both by Tim O’Brien. I suppose I’ve probably read some other things, like parts of Kissinger’s Diplomacy and numerous other works by numerous other authors.
Even knowing what happened, I feel like there’s something missing. Some vital piece of the puzzle. Oh, yeah. The piece that was missing since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (aspects of which are very scarily turning up in current events): why it happened.
Who knows why people resort to war? Large public upheavals. Mob psychology. It all plays a part. I’m sure the definition might be a bit enlightening.
1. A conflict carried on by a force of arms, as between nations or parties within a nation.
2. A state or period of armed hostility or active military operations.
Never mind, then. There is no reason for war, other than the contention between ideas that some people believe must be solved by violence.
But that’s general war. What about Vietnam? Why did the United States interfere in what had previously amounted to a civil war? Was it communism? Honest fear of Soviet expansion? Or was it something else?
It certainly isn’t communism now.
Now, it’s “human rights.” Apparently, we have the obligation to make sure others’ rights are well-secured. So we send troops overseas, to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. Because there are revolutions going on there, and human rights are being neglected. Or is it because we’re still fighting for allies in a Cold War fashion?
If we’re so concerned about human rights, then why is no one interfering in Rwanda?
If the Cold War is over, then why is this still happening?