Tuesday, December 13, 2005

An Interesting Chat

I had an interesting chat with a fellow this morning at work. We started talking about the GWOT and the Democratic leadership’s insistence that it wasn’t winnable. He mentioned that these were the same tired people from his generation. Anyway, the part that resonated with me was that – in describing his recent visit to Vietnam – he believes that we ultimately DID win the war. He described Vietnam today as bustling, economically advancing, and technologically savvy. While still technically a communist country, he said that people appeared to be living well. I asked if he thought that this was due to communism and he replied, “no!” He mentioned that even the Vietnamese who fled the country during the fall of the South Vietnamese government are allowed to return at will (his wife is one of them, therefore the trips) and that the country is advancing towards an amalgam of capitalism very quickly. So maybe victory in these vastly different cultures can’t be compared to the Great Wars. Maybe only the lens of time can really bring consequences to focus. Hmmm.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
--Thomas Paine