The tragedy of the PBS-Ken Burns version of the Vietnam War

Ken Burns, in his new PBS series, correctly points to the Vietnam War as a source of the polarization in our society today.  And he correctly urges us to revisit, understand, and come to grips with details making up that history through civil (as opposed to raucous) discourse.  He apparently believes he is presenting a fair picture of that history and that if we see it as the "tragedy" he paints, we will align our views with his so as to restore a more cohesive society. The problem for many of us is that Burns does not see the same tragedy many of us lived in person day by day.  Yes, the deaths of millions, American and others, mostly Vietnamese, was tragedy – but not tragedy in the classic sense, that being the human characteristic, the hubris to believe we can design policy, take actions to thwart an undesirable or uncomfortable development in the future that we believe awaits us. All the prime actors here exhibit that hubris, whether it was the...(Read Full Post)

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