Ross responds on the domino theory, and I’m totally unconvinced.
I’ll just say it again. The case for staying in Vietnam had nothing to do with Mozambique (and I think Ross’s assumption of a tight causal link between events in Vietnam and events in Africa lacks evidence) and everything to do with American security. But as to the key issue of American national security, the hawks were completely wrong. Indochina going Communist had no deleterious effect whatsoever on the physical security or material living standards of Americans. The effort to prevent Indochina from going Communist, by contrast, had a large and very deleterious effect on the physical security of a huge quantity of Americans.
Communist victory in Indochina was, obviously, a disaster for Indochinese anti-Communists, but by the same token US military involvement in Indochina killed and maimed vast quantities of Indochinese people.
UPDATE: Check out Michael Hirsch’s column.