WASHINGTON - Revisionist history is to be understood as a consciously falsified or distorted interpretation of the past to serve partisan or ideological purposes in the present.
The prime example of this kind of history is the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. History, for him was a cavalcade of national heroes and glorification of the military whose achievements would appeal to the Russian people rather than anything to do with the truth and critical analysis.
Following in his footsteps is Vladimir Putin today, seeing to it that "positive history" or patriotism is taught in the public schools. Positive history also embodies the notion that conflicts and severe problems in Russian history be "written in proper Russian, free of internal contradictions, double interpretation and difficult questions."
Now the Obama Administration is planning a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Part of the effort is a very extensive website which says it is to, "provide the American public with historically accurate materials "suitable for use in schools.
But the site largely describes a war of valor, heroics, and honor that would be recognizable to many of the Americans who fought in and against it. It gives tiny attention mention to grievous mistakes by generals and the years of violent protests and debate at home.
Said activist Tom Hayden, "America's Vietnam debacle is sanitized by the website when it should be an example to stop unnecessary intervention in foreign lands now."
"You can't separate this effort to justify the terrible wars of 50 years ago from the terrible wars of today," said Phyllis Bennis, a Middle East expert who agrees with Hayden.
But Obama Spokesman, General C.P. Waste, said " It is true that President Lyndon Johnson, who greatly expanded the war, said in private that the Communist insurgency in South Vietnam posed no threat to America and that our website says nothing about it. "
"But we have to remember that it gave the opportunity for Americans over there to win a lot of medals. That side of the story needs to be told, even if it neglects the truth in its analysis and is a wobbly account of the past," said General Waste.