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John Mihalec’s recent column in the Connecticut Post (50 Years Ago: The Start to Vietnam War, February 7) is good for laughs but is seriously lacking as history. Here’s some history that Mihalec, a former speech writer for President Gerald Ford, conveniently left out of his fanciful account.
Pinpointing where US aggression in Vietnam began depends on how one determines how a war starts. It’s silly in the extreme, however, to claim it began in 1965, as tens of thousands of Vietnamese were already dead at US hands by that point. Better to trace the origins to 1945 when the United States refused to recognize the new government established by Vietnamese independence forces. Japan had invaded Vietnam some years earlier and the French colonialists ran away and ceded the country to the Japanese.
That left it to the Vietnamese to do all the heavy…
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