Watched two-thirds of Apocalypse Now last night. Had never seen it before, but since having begun watching it I understand why it is so highly regarded. It’s definitely a bit of a mind-fuck after having walked through the War Remnants Museum. I don’t know what it is about being here in Saigon, but I’ve suddenly developed a strong desire to learn more about The War. Perhaps it’s because here resides histories of four different governments from three different countries—French, American, South Vietnamese under the auspices of the United States, and the current Vietnamese government which took control after the defeat of the Americans and the South. One can find influences and historical artifacts from each and every one of them here. There is none of that in Hanoi. As well, in terms of historical attempts at influence abroad it may be the single biggest blunder in American history; and, being an American myself, and one who is here in Saigon, I am curious about how this came to be: what were the causes for the strongest military power’s on Earth defeat by such a small country with a middling economy and largely undeveloped urban areas? And that has caused me to reflect on the Iraq/Afghan war, and the the general state of politics in the U.S. today. One would think the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would stick, but frankly I think they’ve all been forgotten. Are there any students of history and war in the military today? Were there ever? Sunny thoughts on a sunny morning….