And ultimately, we didn't really lose it strategically. Việt Nam is the closest thing to a useful ally in the region that we have. If we had a Nixon or a Reagan or a Clinton as president Việt Nam would be eager for status as an American protectorate They are wary of Obama, tough. The people love Americans. They have the sort of government- authoritarian- that is to be expected in a clan based culture. South Korea is the only such culture that has ever broken out of that mould to develop a democracy that works past the 2nd election. Japan had such imposed on totally a broken society and so it works there. At the household level the government impinges on people's lives somewhat less than does our government here.
posted on 05/01/2015 10:31:17 AM PDT
(Khach san La Vang hanh huong tham vieng Maria)
I remember how sad I was on May 1, 1975. Thought about my Vietnamese friends (they were able to escape) and all those lives lost in vain.
Veteran in Viet Nam Cong Hoa 1971-72
posted on 05/01/2015 10:38:29 AM PDT
("O Muslim! My bullets are dipped in pig grease.")
I took my wife with me to Vietnam in 2000 to visit the places I patrolled back then and I was struck by how most of the people were happy to see me and a couple even remembered me.
At one of the villages - An Trach - a local Catholic church had been rebuilt since the war. The priest asked me if I could help him buy a tractor for that village complex so the kids could attend school instead of tend buffaloes. The government wasn’t going to help them Since they had a Catholic school.
I went home and raised the money from the Marine Corps Base Quantico chapel (both Catholic and Protestant congregations) on one Sunday and we wired it to that priest. I cherish the photo he sent me of their new tractor.
posted on 05/01/2015 11:37:50 AM PDT
(A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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