From a reader in response to today’s column:
Good column — keep up the good work.
I think personally the origin of this image goes back to the Vietnam
era. The anti-war folks said that was a civil war, to criticize the
domino theory that it was a war against international communism. If
it was just one set of Viets fighting another, there wasn’t any
critical need for the US to get involved, the logic went.
But as you say, that war may well have been a civil war, and the wrong guys won.