Vietnam-The Misunderstood Conflict

Lea Brannon


On May 6th the History Department at Grossmont College gave a lecture at the Griffin Gate about Vietnam, called “The Misunderstood Conflict.” This is just one talk of a series called American Military History.
Professor Joe Radzikowski, who’s a military historian and retired Vietnam veteran, explained that a goal of his for students was to help them understand the foreign policies of the Vietnam war and how it started. Radzikowski told the story of the war through a series of maps and powerpoints and gave personal testament to social conditions from his own experience as a young soldier.
Radzikowski stated Vietnam was the first televised war. Meaning that seeing the war footage gave the world moving propaganda and a kind of insight never before experienced by those back home. During the question and answer period, Radzikowski was asked what America could do to avoid the same mistakes that were made in Vietnam. Radzikowski stated that  Americans should watch some of the Vietnam war footage and read the facts. He said: “We need to read our history, we fill up great volumes and never read them.”     Lastly, Professor Radzikowski also believed that not only can Americans learn from their mistakes, not repeat history, but can learn to make peace. He stated that diplomats can work most anything out if countries work with each other, rather than fighting. Finally he told the group, “As long as we are talking it is better than shooting.”