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View Diary: Collapse of The Military--Vietnam's Lesson of What's To Come (75 comments)

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    I would disagree with your analysis in terms of some of the specifics. For example, the willingness to use violence came from the military itself. Fragging, in one form or another has existed for centuries, while radical groups "willing to use violence" such as the Weathermen were about blowing up buildings, not people; and the Black Panthers carried guns for defense. It was the police who routinely initiated violence against the Panthers, not the other way around.

    But your larger point is certainly valid. It was less the specifics than the spirit, the zeitgeist, that carried over, and the difference in zeitgeist--and social composition of the military--are not wholly reducible to the legacy of Vietnam.  Nor am I foretelling a Vietnam-style breakdown. (Although we have already seen specific refusals of missions.)  

    I am foretelling that a larger ongoing historical process is unfolding. That the lessons of Vietnam are not limited to those that official Washington and the Pentagon tell.  And that knowing hidden history is very important in understanding the history that is being made today.

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