Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Narrative: Vietnam edition.

Talking about the Tet offensive.

Though initially the attacks caught the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces off guard, they pushed back hard and inflicted massive casualties, all but crippling the North Vietnamese military. The failure of the North Vietnamese was so great that far from being a demonstration of their imminent victory, American generals such as William Westmoreland believed that, after Tet, the North Vietnamese army was so damaged that it was finally on the verge of defeat.

But that wasn't the narrative that would survive in the press. Earlier we referred to these versions of history as "wishful thinking," but it's not that anyone short of the Viet Cong were rooting for the Americans to fail. It's just that those who believed the war was a dead end finally had their proof, whether or not the facts on the ground supported it. This was the story everyone opposed to the war had been waiting to tell.

Sound familiar?

Oh Cracked you trend to the subversive. They also slam Live Aid because, "it's entirely possible that the horrible things done with the cash killed as many or more people than the food saved. In the real world, good intentions don't always stand a chance against a bunch of shitheads with AK-47s."

Cautioning against the naive good intentions and falling for a slick convenient narrative? Heavens.

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