Vietnam: A War to Remember

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Before the major outbreak of war, much of Vietnamese territory was under French rule. The basis for France ruling over Vietnam was that the French were bringing civilization to the Vietnamese. In truth, France was controlling the Vietnamese economy and government in an attempt to maintain underdevelopment in Vietnam and curb competition in the global market. France controlled the coalmines and rubber plants and monopolized the opium trade.

The United States remained in a neutral position between France and Vietnam until 1954 when the U.S began to “secretly” supply the French with weapons and funding for the military in an effort to destroy the Vietminh rebels. The decision by the Americans to collaborate with France was solely based on their fear of not receiving support from France for NATO. and was justified by accusing Ho Chi Minh, the father of the Vietnam Independence Movement and the leader of the Vietminh, of being a communist. This collaboration changed the American position from neutrality to pro-French.

By the end of 1954, the Vietminh had captured 6,500 French prisoners of war. This retaliation inspired France to negotiate with the Vietminh to end the war. The peace talks were called the Geneva Conference, and were held in Geneva Switzerland.

The terms of the pact temporarily divided Vietnam into North and South; provided for the Vietminh to hold elections in 1956 and stipulated that the United States “refrain from the use of force or threat to disturb the agreement”.

Determined to continue the alliance with France, the United States then fabricated a leader, Ngo Dinh Diem, to establish an independent South Vietnam. The Americans also committed to give military aid to the new government. This arrangement clearly violated the Geneva agreement and caused outrage in the north. The war officially began and the U.S under the guise of responsibility intervened militarily.

In 1965, the United States attempted to arrange peace talks with the Vietminh. They were refused and the war raged on.

In 1969, Richard Nixon, who was president of the United States at the time, devised a plan to defeat the “communists”. Vietnamization, as it was called, fully trained and equipped the South Vietnamese military in preparation for battle. These Vietnamese soldiers were to replace the American troops and continue the bloodshed.

By the end of 1969 the first US troops were withdrawn. 75,000 soldiers were finally sent home. They were only to be replaced with South Vietnamese soldiers fighting on behalf of the United States. In 1970 less than 40,000 American soldiers remained.

On April 30, 1975, the war officially ended. Vietnam had finally become an independent nation and the last remaining U.S soldiers had been withdrawn.

Few of these facts were ever documented in American history books. In addition, we can dig for the truth and uncover many more facts that are carefully omitted from the American account of the war.

50,000 U.S soldiers died and many more wounded, all due to the belief that they were fighting for their country. Hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent Vietnamese citizens including infants, were shot, tortured and murdered by delusional American soldiers. Many Vietnamese women were brutalized and raped to satisfy the U.S soldiers’ lust for dominancy.

Most of what is written about the Vietnam War is a fairytale account of American bravado when in fact, a countless number of human lives were physically and emotionally lost. It makes society wonder.