Live and Don't Learn
Interviewer: Do you think we’ve learned anything from [the Vietnam War]?
Former Capt. Randy Floyd: I think we’re trying not to. I think I’m trying not to sometimes. I can’t even cry easily—from my manhood image. I think Americans have tried, we’ve all tried, very hard, to escape what we’ve learned in Vietnam. To not come to the logical conclusions of what’s happened there. You know, the military does the same thing. They don’t realize that people fighting for their own freedom are not going to be stopped by changing your tactics—adding a little more sophisticated technology over here, improving the tactics we used last time and not making quite so many mistakes. I think history operates a little different than that. That those kind of forces are not going to be stopped. I think Americans have worked extremely hard not to see the criminality that their officials and their policymakers have exhibited.
—from “Hearts and Minds” (1974), the Academy-Award-winning documentary by Peter Davis on the Vietnam War