Vietnam's Echoes 30 Years Later

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photoThirty years ago, on April 30, 1975, Vietcong tanks smashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon. Washington's South Vietnamese allies fell and U.S. helicopters retreated with the last loads of Americans from atop the U.S. embassy.

58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War, a war that they failed. More than a million Vietnamese died in the same conflict.

Hear about the fall of Saigon, the lessons of the Vietnam War and what those lessons say or do not say about the conflict in Iraq today.


David Greenway, longtime foreign correspondent for Time Life and the Washington Post. He was in Saigon when the city fell April 30, 1975. He is currently foreign affairs columnist for the Boston Globe.

Frances Fitzgerald, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her 1972 book "Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam."

James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. He served in the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam, where he was rifle platoon and company commander west of Danang.

General Barry McCaffrey, former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces Southern Command. When he retired in 1996 he was the most highly decorated and the youngest four-star general in the Army. He served two combat tours in South Vietnam as a platoon leader.

Jonathan Schell, he is peace and disarmament correspondent for the Nation Magazine and a fellow at the Nation Institute. He reported on the Vietnam War for the New Yorker Magazine. He is author of "The Real World: The Classic Reporting on the Vietnam War."

This program aired on April 29, 2005.


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