Vietnam documentary reopens conversations

October 13, 2017

Commentary writer Gregory Daddis seemingly hasn’t learned the basic truth about the Vietnam War from the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary (“Learning from ‘Vietnam’ documentary,” Commentary, Oct. 3) — nor was he supposed to, according to our rulers.

The first episode gives it away by stating that the war was “begun in good faith by decent people out of fatal misunderstandings.” Nations do not achieve imperial supremacy by being “decent people” acting “in good faith.” Imperial supremacy, including ours, is obtained by aggression, conquest and deceit. We still refuse to see what a monstrous act of aggression we committed by killing millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians.

President George H.W. Bush exulted in 1991 (after the Gulf War): “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all,” meaning that we would feel even freer to attack other countries. He, thereby, showed the imperial benefits of keeping the American people ignorant about the nature of the Vietnam War.

Roger Carasso

Santa Fe

No access

From what has been shown on the TV news, apparently if everyone in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and everyone at the Route 91 Harvest Festival had been armed, no one could have prevented the carnage. If the shooter had not had access to a gun, there would have been no problem.

Ken Kurtz

Santa Fe

Cultural comparisons

Regarding the article (“State’s most-visited museum arrives on ‘national scene,’ ” Oct. 9): The National Hispanic Cultural Center was claimed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs to be more attended than similar museums in the country including those in New York City and Chicago. I beg to differ with what is misleading assertion. The National Hispanic Cultural Center is primarily a concert hall venue, which accounts for the majority of its attendance. The other museums with which it was compared are just that, museums. This is a misrepresented case of apples and oranges.

Peter Gold

retired museum curator

Santa Fe

Brain science

The My View by Michele Herling, executive director of the Compassionate Touch Network (“Let’s eliminate prejudices about mental illness,” Sept. 30), illustrates an alarming trend in education and the sciences. When she writes, “Mental illnesses are neurobiological, brain-based illnesses … ,” she is confusing correlation with causation. Neither neuroscience nor biology, the parent disciplines, can tell us the genetic cause of mental illness nor isolate a single gene. Statements about such serious public health issues should be based on science, not psycho-phrenology repackaged as a statement of fact. Stigma is a social construct largely perpetuated by faulty logic; I assure you, it has nothing to do with the science of “neurobiology.”

Nicholas King

Santa Fe