I am not a

October 20, 2003

I am not a historian of the Vietnam War.

I study the nineteenth century, and I study ideas and culture rather than war and diplomacy. Still, I teach the surveys and so I have a passing familiarity with Vietnam. Why do I feel impelled to mention this?

There has been a recurring theme in the punditsphere comparing the Vietnam War with the Iraq War. So far I have seen the comparison in Op-Ed pages, on blogs, and in editorials. Some comparisons are better than others.

The next time I have brain energy and am not getting work done I will answer these questions, for now I leave them to the readers and to the punditsphere at large. I shall phrase it in the form of a student exercise.

In what ways is the Iraq war like the Vietnam War?

In what ways does the Iraq war differ from the Vietnam War?

What lessons from the Vietnam war are most appropriate for the Iraqi reconstruction?

My answers in a day or so after I write them up. (And after I dig up some of those things that I remember reading.)

Grading done, and so to fetch the little man from daycare, and then to buy more coffee.

Posted by Red Ted at October 20, 2003 05:00 AM | TrackBack