Vietnam: How Could The U.S. Have Been So Misguided?

Your book review "McNamara speaks--but still doesn't see" (Books, May 1) was very incisive and analytical as to what took place in Washington during the Vietnam era.

The closing paragraph focused precisely on the root of the Vietnam disaster: "America's ignorance of the politics and culture of an Asian peasant society." Dean Rusk even wrote off Vietnam by labeling it a "water buffalo economy." How wrong he was.

America's ignorance precipitated this incredible failure--58,000 of our sons and daughters were sacrificed over 10 years--by ignoring the lessons of history and the culture of a people who have resisted intruders for 2,000 years.

Raymond L. Kammer

Naperville, Ill.

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