Our vision of war is probably too influenced by the biggest one of all, World War II, where the forces of evil were so unambiguous and so relentless that there was no choice but to commit to total war and to demand unconditional surrender. Seldom, though, is it quite that clear cut. We went to war against Ho Chi Minh because he was a commie, having failed to discern, early on, that he was an admirer ofthe United States with whom we might have struck a deal. Now, all these years later, the heirs of Ho Chi Minh are fast becoming our allies. A lot of horror and pain could have been avoided if we had gotten to that place decades sooner.