SHERYL GAY STOLBERG – It has been nearly half a century since a young antiwar protester named Tom Hayden traveled to Hanoi to investigate President Lyndon B. Johnsonâ€™s claims that the United States was not bombing civilians in Vietnam. Mr. Hayden saw destroyed villages and came away, he says, â€œpretty wounded by the pattern of deception.â€ Now the Pentagon â€” run by a Vietnam veteran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel â€” is planning a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. The effort, which is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $15 million by the end of this fiscal year, is intended to honor veterans and, its website says, â€œprovide the American public with historically accurate materialsâ€ suitable for use in schools. But the extensive website, which has been up for months, largely describes a war of valor and honor that would be unrecognizable to many of the Americans who fought in and against it.
TOM HAYDEN: The Lane Peace Center invites readers to this yearâ€™s peace symposium entitled â€œConfronting Militarism: Democracy vs. Empire.â€ The event will take place March 5 from 6-9 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) in the Center for Meeting & Learning at Lane Community College.