Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

Vietnam: The Case for Immediate Withdrawal

- Abstract

ONE is embarrassed to add new words on Vietnam. Already there have been millions, and despite the good sense so many of them have shown, they have as yet, after all these years, been unable to sway the American government, through three successive administrations, to desist from a disastrous policy which can only be carried out, whatever the intentions of those at the top, by cruel and inhuman methods. Yet some of us try to convince ourselves that words can still-must still-play a role in persuading those who continue to prosecute the war that, for the United States, there is only one solution: immediate withdrawal.

Even if we overcome the sense of futility as to the possible effect of adding new words to the millions which have been spoken and written on Vietnam, many of us who value originality of thought, and who pride ourselves on writing only on the basis of what we ourselves especially know, remain embarrassed by our inability to contribute anything new to a discussion on which, it seems, everything there is to be said has already been said, and many times over at that. Yet when the government continues to defend its course with nonsense-a nonsense which men in power insist is wisdom, but immediately denounce as nonsense themselves the moment they step out of office-then even those of us who believe in the importance of a special knowledge and expertise we do not possess, may have a duty to speak out.

About the Author