No Satisfactory Answer
Last updated 10/13/2021 at 12:52pm
In 1988, I traveled to the Philippines to conduct research on Filipino languages and cultures. Before I went to my field site in a remote province, I met and had dinner with numerous scholars, businessmen and government officials—members of the Philippine educated elite.
These meetings eventually got around to one question, which surprised me: Why did America lose the Vietnam War? When this question was asked, I detected a sincere desire in the questioners to have an answer that could explain away such a monumental debacle. Hubris and political ineptitude seemed an inadequate respon...