Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War

Aid and Comfort to Our Enemies

Day Four -- Thursday, July 29, 2004 First Session 0900-1045 (Click to See Video) (Click here to see transcript)

16. Aid and Comfort to Our Enemies – What is the Legacy of the Vietnam War. What is the Political Fallout and effects on our foreign policy from Vietnam. How does the perception of the lessons of Vietnam effect us today in Iraq and elsewhere? Is it possible to reinforce the American Will?

“Iraq: The Vietnam War We Cannot Afford to Lose — ironic thoughts on Vietnam’s legacy”

Speaker: Dr Timothy J. Lomperis

Speaker’s Biographical Information: Dr. Lomperis is the Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Saint Louis University. He is a former military intelligence officer who served during the Vietnam War, where he received the Bronze Star.

He has written extensively on foreign affairs and is the author of From People's War to People's Rule: Insurgency, Intervention and the Lessons of Vietnam. The book is based on 11 years of writing and research. Lomperis argues the ironic point that the lessons of American involvement in Vietnam are not to be found in any analysis of the war by itself. Rather, he proposes a comparison of the Vietnam experience with seven other cases of Western intervention in communist insurgencies during the Cold War era: China, Indochina, Greece, the Philippines, Malaya, Cambodia and Laos.

Website : 

Discussion Forum: Click Here to Discuss Session 16

Articles of Interest:

Vietnam In Our Heads By Charles Krauthammer Townhall.com April 16, 2004
Vietnam, Iraq, and the 2004 Election, by Senator Zell Miller, December 9, 2004
Vietnam Remembered, by Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 30, 2005
The Truth About Vietnam, by Dr. William L Stearman

Suggested Reading:

From People's War to People's Rule: Insurgency, Intervention and the Lessons of Vietnam, Dr. Timothy Lomperis,University of North Carolina Press, 1996.


One of the founders of the Société de Géographie Commerciale was the dynamic Francois-Xavier-Joseph-Honoré Brau de Saint-Pol Lias. Born in 1840, he had been trained as a lawyer and between 1868 and 1873 had worked in the Banque de France. Then he devoted himself entirely to publicizing the geographical and colonial movements. Brau ardently believed that France could restore her traditional place of prestige among European nations only by instituting a new program of overseas expansion, and he called for a firm colonial policy by the French government. “Colonization is the most effective spring from which the powers of a people can be refreshed,” he wrote, adding, “It not only produces wealth; it makes men vigorous and energetic; it tempers character.” He felt that colonization would not only provide a channel for excess manufactured goods, but it also would serve as a means of draining excess talent, education, and leadership from the society. Capable men, Brau argued, “finding nothing to organize at home are led by a fatal necessity into disorganizing something.”

Kingdom in the Morning Mist, Gerald Cannon Hickey, pg. 20