Iraq: Vietnam's lost lessons

Veterans still feel Vietnam scars

Vietnam is a 30-year nightmare, from which Jim Doyle is still trying to wake. Every week he sees a psychiatrist, but no-one can free him from the demons of war. The smallest things - like the smell of diesel - bring the memories flooding back. But it is the big things that worry him most. "Nobody who has ever been to war wants to see anybody else go there," he said. "So Iraq has been a very difficult time. "War is hell," he adds. "It has an impact on the people who take part that never heals."


Vietnam's lost lessons

Perhaps fittingly for a war as controversial as that in Vietnam, the last iconic images from the bitter conflict show the chaos, fear and confusion as helicopters evacuate Americans and South Vietnamese from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy and other locations in Saigon. Four hours after the last evacuees were lifted to safety offshore, the South Vietnamese government announced its unconditional surrender to the Viet Cong. The long, costly war had ended.


30-Year Anniversary Fall of Saigon: Vietnam and Iraq

SPRING HAS COME again 30 times since the last April agonies of the Republic of South Vietnam. None of us who were there in that final collapse are likely to forget it: The seemingly endless columns of refugees snaking ever southward, the infectious fear that ran through the streets of Saigon, the sudden suicides, some of them in public places, the rumors and pathetic false hopes that some kind of deal would be made, that the Communists would not come after all.



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Mai 2005

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