As employed by the Reagan administration, it presumably means that America’s failure in Vietnam and the backlash from it have been primarily responsible for the malaise that has allegedly reduced the United States to a state of impotence in a menacing world.
Doctor Reagan and his associates seem determined to cure the disease.
From all appearances, to apply an Oriental usage, 1981 is the year of the hawk.
It seems particularly urgent, therefore, that we examine this view critically in terms of the following very difficult questions: was Vietnam a just and necessary war as is now being proclaimed?
During the past few months, a new phrase has entered the American political vocabulary.
It is called the “Vietnam syndrome.” It was apparently coined by Richard Nixon.
Scholars had begun to revise conventional dovish views of the war well before Reagan took office, and films such as the significant is that this now seems to be the official view and is also a partial basis for major policy decisions.
Equally important, it is getting little challenge from Congress and the media, the centers of respectable dissent in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
But it touched a responsive chord, and this is not surprising.
The charges of American atrocities and war guilt that echoed across the land just a few years ago ran across the grain of our traditional sense of our own righteousness.