The war in Vietnam - was fought by two forces - the American soldier and the American media. It could be argued that the soldiers lost and the media won.
The Vietnam war was like no other before it. It certainly was not a war embellished with all the glamour of the World wars that came before it.
Unlike the first and second world wars and even the Korean war, the Vietnam war seemed to be a war of blurred lines. Like the current war in Bosnia, there seemed to be a problem in identifying just who the bad guys were, when all along, one might argue, they [the bad guys] were really us, the Americans, taking advantage of another catastrophe. slipping ourselves into a favorable imperialistic, profitable position, under the guise of anti-communism.
There was a certain amount of patriotism involved in the Vietnam war, but nothing like the all-out fervor that consumed Americans in the other wars. No one seemed to question whether or not we should go to Europe and fight the big wars. They were not only good for Europe, but good for America. Vietnam on the other hand was just some little country, of people that really were foreign to us. We could not relate to them.
Vietnam did not seem to be a good fight. One in which the enemy was clearly marked and the odds in our favor.
We had to go and we had spirit. We were this big baby of a nation and we had hardly had a chance to spread our wings and show our might. The big wars put us on the map and solidified our stand on the way we saw the world - preferably one without communism.
Vietnam is a small country. But even in a small country the threat of communism seems to make such a place blossom into an ugly bloom, of which America must crush.
American involvement in Vietnam, in Southeast Asia had been of peripheral interest to the American government for many years. We were there only as a consequence of having been somewhere else. We had an interest in the affairs of other countries and they had an interest in Vietnam - so we were there.