The unthinkable occurred: two communist countries went to war with each other.
We had a military and political leadership at that period which was genuinely deluded.
These men were wrongfully rejected, the veterans. The fighting man should never have been blamed for Vietnam.
I went to Vietnam; it was my first assignment as a reporter for the UPI, and I never could get away from the war.
Just because you put higher-octane gasoline in your car doesn't mean you can break the speed limit. The speed limit's still 65.
We thought that whatever we wanted to do was right and good, simply because we were Americans, and we would succeed at it because we were Americans.
I never got away from the war. Not because I was obsessed with it in those years, but because it was the event of my generation and I started out covering it so I stayed with it.
At least I'm at peace with myself. I have done my best to write a book about what really happened there and why it happened and it's done, it's published. I won't write another book on Vietnam.
The destruction of civilian hamlets, the killing and the wounding of civilians, became vastly greater than it had been before, and it was very upsetting; but I still couldn't bring myself to understand that the policy itself was wrong.
World War II had been such a tremendous success story for this country that the political and military leadership began to assume that they would prevail simply because of who they were. We were like the British at the turn of the 19th century.