AS IT TURNS OUT, WE DO NOT reserve all our tears and rage these days for battles over the flat tax and tort reform. Sometimes matters of more tragic consequence command our passions. That was the case last week when Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson, expressed shame over America's conduct of the Vietnam War. Suddenly, hot arguments over the justice of that war resumed as if interrupted only by a pause for breath, rather than the passage of decades.

Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, but Vietnam is still with us. A politician's war record--or antiwar record--evokes...

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