Why Tet Matters

Stanley Karnow, who wrote “Vietnam: A History” and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1991, talks about the Vietnam War in the Washington Independent. As Vietnamese people prepare for Tet and the year of the rat this coming Thursday, Karnow compares the conflict to the present day situation in Iraq,

I sensed that the war would drag on when I was chatting with a Communist delegate at a diplomatic conclave in Paris, in the spring of 1968. Chiding me for using the word “negotiations” to describe the sessions, he asserted, “To suggest that we are negotiating implies our eagerness to compromise, which we will never do. These are just talks.” The same theme was repeated to me in a conversation in Hanoi in 1991 with Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the legendary Communist commander, as we sipped tea in the parlor of his modest bungalow. I asked him how long he had been prepared to continue fighting. He replied in fluent French, “Ten, 20, 50 years, regardless of the cost, until victory.” link