Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, August 05, 2002

In the wake of some grumbling in Australian anout the 'wrongs' of Vietnam, the federal president of the Vietnamese Community in Australia tells us what lesson he learned fromthe Vietnam War.

Of course before he learned his lesson he understood well the course material, something the nay-sayers have yet to do truthfully.

Some say that the Vietnam War was not for a good cause, it was American expansionism in disguise. But the Soviets and Chinese poured in billions of dollars and several hundred thousand military personnel to help North Vietnam invade the South.

Some say that the "domino theory" about the spread of communism was just a scare created by Washington. But even the official biography of Ho Chi Minh says: "He deemed it his task to spread communist doctrine in Asia in general and in Indochina particularly." Hanoi-friendly regimes in neighbouring Laos and Cambodia are proof of his zeal.

Some say that the Vietnam War was not a good cause because the West killed innocent civilians. But anti-Saigon journalists did not reveal that communist guerrillas posed as civilians, to ensure that civilians were killed. And, while they highlighted the hundreds of My Lai victims, they were silent about the thousands massacred in Hue in 1968 by the communists. Some say Ho Chi Minh rightly invaded the South, because the South avoided holding a national reunification election that he was certain to win. But in North Vietnam there would have been only communist candidates, because Ho had assassinated all nationalists who fought alongside him against the French. And in the South, his cadres were ready to assassinate non-communist candidates.

What is the lesson learned?

What is this lesson? For me, it is this: the Vietnam War was for a good cause, and if we fight a war, we should not fight half-heartedly.

If we do not learn this lesson he warns well what follows such delusion and loss of will to defend what is right.

...a million people were thrown into concentration camps, where thousands were killed.

In the central highlands, political dissidents among the Montagnards, Vietnam's Aborigines, are tortured and killed and their churches outlawed.

Hundreds of political and religious prisoners remain throughout Vietnam. I have a list of more than one hundred nuns, monks and priests, many of whom have rotted in prison for at least two decades. Unless some have died from maltreatment, the list is growing because new arrests and imprisonments take place often.

< email | 8/05/2002 09:54:00 PM | link

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