The “girl in the picture,” Kim Phuc, was featured on a Sunday morning program recently. The story focused on the enormous pain and suffering she has endured since being almost burned to death with napalm during the Vietnam war. I met Kim Phuc some 20 years ago at the governor’s prayer breakfast in Olympia, Wash.
With Vietnam now 50 years behind us, the essential question is, “did we learn anything?”
I hope so, but maybe not. There appears to be an effort underway in America to explain away our Vietnam blunder as well intended but poorly managed. The truth is that Vietnam was no different than the foreign wars we are fighting today, we are involved because the military is the most influential industry in America and it needs conflict to practice, experiment, grow and prosper. We need to re-examine our involvement in Vietnam, yes, but more importantly we need to come to grips with why we continue down that dangerous path. Perhaps some day we can lead the world again, but not towards another major war, but towards a lasting peace.
Aaron Jones, Boise
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