- October 27 - I feel that I'm waking up to the world I left 30 years ago, said Daniel Ellsberg during the run-up to the recent U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ellsberg was referring to the similarities between that process and the early stages of the U.S. war against Vietnam, whose secret history he disclosed by leaking The Pentagon Papers to the press some thirty years ago.
Those similarities emerge clearly from a new report on the ethical, legal and policy issues remaining from the Vietnam War-- one in a series resulting from the Environmental Conference on Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam held in Stockholm in July of 2002.
From the Preface:
"This report deals with issues that are subject to heated dispute. They include military aggression, violations of international law, war crimes, ecocide, imperialism, and responsibility for widespread, prolonged human suffering.
"It is difficult to avoid controversy when dealing with such matters, and it is virtually impossible in the case of the Vietnam War. For one thing, many of those directly involved are still alive and are emotionally committed to one or another interpretation of its history. "Another aggravating factor is that any discussion of these issues necessarily involves the most powerful nation on earth a superpower which exercises a degree of global hegemony that is without precedent. . . . "The current conventional wisdom regarding the Vietnam War, including its history and consequences, has been strongly influenced by the dominant interests of U.S. society. To a large extent, those interests are the same today as when the war was being planned and executed. "This report does not reflect those interests. . . . "
The full report is available under the heading of "REPORTS-- Ethics/Law/Policy" at: http://www.nnn.se/vietnam/environ.htm