The United States has pitched in for the first time to clean up part of the toxic legacy left by the millions of gallons of the chemical compound code named Agent Orange that it dumped on Vietnam during the war there in the 1960s and '70s.
More than 42 years after Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard L. Etchberger died on a Laotian mountaintop, President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded him the Medal of Honor, saying, "It's never too late to do the right thing. It's never too late to pay tribute to our Vietnam veterans and their families."
President Obama will award the Medal of Honor, the military's highest award for bravery, to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger for his valor in saving the lives of three wounded comrades at a then-secret base in Laos in 1968, the White House announced Friday.
"War is politics by other means," wrote the Prussian philosopher of war Carl von Clausewitz. The career and resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal drives home an updated and equally profound truth: "War is PR by other means."
After the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, U.S. Col. Harry Summers remarked to his North Vietnamese counterpart, "You know you never defeated us on the battlefield." After a moment, the North Vietnamese officer replied: "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant."