Skip to comments.The ‘napalm girl' image that haunted the world turns 40
Posted on 06/01/2012 9:54:15 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
...It only took a second for Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut to snap the iconic black-and-white image 40 years ago. It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of America's darkest eras.
"I really wanted to escape from that little girl," says the subject of photo, Kim Phuc, now 49. "But it seems to me that the picture didn't let me go."
...She worked hard and was accepted into medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. But all that ended once the new communist leaders realised the propaganda value of the napalm girl in the photo.
...Phuc travelled to West Germany in 1982 for medical care with the help of a foreign journalist. Later Vietnam's prime minister, also touched by her story, made arrangements for her to study in Cuba.
She was finally free from the minders and reporters hounding her at home, but her life was far from normal. Ut, then working at the AP in Los Angeles, traveled to meet her in 1989, but they never had a moment alone. There was no way for him to know she desperately wanted his help again.
"I knew in my dream that one day Uncle Ut could help me to have freedom," said Phuc, referring to him by an affectionate Vietnamese term. "But I was in Cuba. I was really disappointed because I couldn't contact with him. I couldn't do anything."
... While at school, Phuc met a young Vietnamese man...
The two married in 1992 and honeymooned in Moscow. On the flight back to Cuba, the newlyweds defected during a refuelling stop in Canada. She was free...
(Excerpt) Read more at heraldsun.com.au ...
If the Communists had ever cared about her as a person, they would've granted her freedom, rather than using her as a propaganda tool. The Vietnam War was long over by 1992.
Thanks for posting.
I remember this picture.
I had no idea the girl had survived.
It was great to read the article and know how her life has turned out.
Reading this story will always improve the dark sadness I felt when looking at that photo.
Thank you for posting this.
I had no idea she defected to the West. That is beyond ironic.
I wonder how 'little' Elian Gonzales is doing in the Cuban Utopia these days.
Thank you for your service.
My father fought communists in Korea.
Now we have commies running America.
If they want to recreate ‘68, I will happily kill a commie for mommie to protect innocent human life.
Kim Phuc joined a group of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers who were fleeing from the Caodai Temple to the safety of South Vietnameseheld positions. A South Vietnamese Air Force pilot mistook the group for enemy soldiers and diverted to attack.
They are fleeing the napalm from friendly fire in the company of soldiers. Just as the so-called "War in Iraq" ended with the fall of Saddam when the US then was fighting foreign trained/supplied/staffed "insurgents" alongside Iraqi soldiers.
She was an innocent victim. She was a pawn of international Communists for decades. If U.S. imperialism is so bad, why is all talk of global Communist imperialism "a Red Scare" and "paranoia"? The Vietnamese Communists dominated (and eradicated) South Vietnamese financed by the Soviet Communists and others. The Vietnamese Communists thought she would be okay in Castro's Cuba and the USSR.
But die hard American Reds insist "none of that is REAL Communism". It was good enough for Hanoi Jane to partner with it and wish its imposition on all of us.
I’m glad to read she has her health, a family, and her freedom (and even some sanity after an incident like that).
Quite a story though that turned out pretty well in the end though.
We should never have sent ground troops to Vietnam.
We should have dropped a single Mark 41 bomb on Hanoi in 1964. 25 Megatons.
500,000+ people dead and North Vietnam surrenders. Not a single American casualty.
Thank you for the post.
I saw a short on her several years ago. She is a wonderful, soothing, positive, inspiring speaker. There was no animosity toward anybody.
She had also switched gods.
I think she's a little too extraordinary to be just like everyone else. What a nation of whiners we've become.
The computer screen suddenly when all blurry.
I had heard that she got out but never knew the details before. It is good to see pictures of her as an adult.
Út means “youngest” or “least one.” Youngest child in a family is con út, con gái út is youngest daughter.
***We should never have sent ground troops to Vietnam.***
“I will NOT send American boys to fight a war that Asian boys should be fighting!”-Lyndon B Johnson 1964.
Goldwater to Johnson..”You know we will eventually have to send troops to Vietnam!”
Johnson...”I know Barry, but I am out to win an election!”
Though it's odd how these things work out sometimes.
Alot of American then troops have gone back there - including myself and my daughter - who in that porocess impart much about American values especially to those in the South where the majority of them served. This tends to reinforce the differences in the South which have always been different from the North and demonstrably, I believe, give them continued hope and opportunity which has been granted, albeit in stop and go fashion regularly from Hanoi since the "doi moi" ecconomic reforms of 1986.
I personally believe that Vietnam is worth it, and could eventually become one of our greatest allies in Asia. But the United States must retain its greatness for this to happen, and that is thre great question now in the current political enveronment.
Welcome to Free Republic. FYI, we generally don't support the use of the military to commit mass murder here. We also have a lot of FReepers who are VN vets who know that the problem was Democrats undermining the war effort from home, and not any innate military inabilities we had in-country.
However, I share your enthusiasm for the power of the B41. But even something that powerful has to be used at the right time, in the right way, on the right target.
Have a nice day.
58,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam and 153,000 wounded. Using nuclear weapons in 1964 would have ended the conflict and saved American lives.
“FYI, we generally don’t support the use of the military to commit mass murder here”
The firebomings of Japan in WW2 were mass murder. But they were effective.
You can look at the statistics here. Notice the huge drop in manufacturing that happens in 1945.
We will never know what the effect of going nuclear on Vietnam would have had on the Cold War and the world, but I doubt that it would have been pretty, it probably would have led to a massive acceleration and hardening of the global war footing and a more desperate search for a way to survive once an unstable, renegade America was revealed as a threat to everyone, and every city on the planet.
By the way, we had already lost 400 men before 1965.
They Soviets would have stayed quiet. In 1965 we had 854 ICBMs, 384 SLBMs and 650 strategic bombers. The Soviets had 281 ICBMs, 75 SLBMs and 163 strategic bombers. By retaliating for the nuclear strike in Vietnam, the Soviets would be commiting suicide.
I wasn’t saying anything about the immediate reaction to a 1964 nuclear attack by the united States, nor did I specify only the Soviet Union.
I think it would have had terrible consequences for the following years/decades and over the long run it probably would have been truly disastrous for America and the world.
I don’t see it resulting in the almost picture perfect result that we did get. After a 1964 nuclear erasing of Hanoi, the world would have gone into a long term reaction to find a way to counter us, to remove such an unstable, global threat, to subdue us in some manner, suddenly the internal politics and culture and unrestrained raw power of the United States would become all important to every nation on earth, even our allies.
“”We will never know what the effect of going nuclear on Vietnam in 1964 would have had on the Cold War and the world, but I doubt that it would have been pretty, it probably would have led to a massive acceleration and hardening of the global war footing and a more desperate search for a way to survive once an unstable, renegade America was revealed as a threat to everyone, and every city on the planet.””
Did the world try to counter us and remove us after we used nuclear weapons against Japan in WW2?
LOL, I wondered if you might ask such a silly question, and I instantly dismissed it as a possibility, but yes you did ask it.
You haven’t answered the question.
When we had a President Eisenhower, it might mean no troops, no nukes, no Vietnam War, a little election comes along of a JFK, and suddenly the world sees mushroom clouds in various places of interest to that current American politician.
Nukes on an enemy the United States had already defeated would have been less necessary than taking the enemy within the US who really lost it for us, and who are very much still here, and even elected to be in charge. Should we nuke them too?
You have more patience than I do.
The world has worked as well as it has for the post-WWII period simply because everyone assumes, regardless of their shrieking otherwise, that the USA is rational and “good.”
If the USA had a justified reputation for random use of nukes to avoid inconvenience, every other nation would have excellent reason to take us out.
The world would be a very different place, and not an improved one.
Recently finished a dystopic book, Caliphate, in which the USA more or less becomes this violent genocidal nation, after multiple US cities are destroyed by terrorist nukes. It ain’t a pretty picture.
“I’m predicting a GOP landslide.”
I’ll agree folks are fed up with the current regime, but the GOP (Going On Progressive) party cant seem to get any true small government conservatives to run for POTUS.
Romney is a socialist, and a socialist is just a patient communist to me.
“The world has worked as well as it has for the post-WWII period simply because everyone assumes, regardless of their shrieking otherwise, that the USA is rational and good.
People who understand events in the light of truth see the US as good. I saw a show about tank battles last night on the history channel. A French town has a Sherman Tank to commemorate it’s liberation from Nazis by America.
However, the world is full of folks brainwashed to hate America. They think Hiroshima and Dresden were war crimes just like the holocaust and the rape of Nanking.
People who value truth know that the US responses to stop war crimes were not war crimes themselves.
I hope her life is peaceful and simple and joyful as well as her husbands and her kids.....
I agree, and I plan on holding my nose and voting “R”.
My point is that continuing to vote “R” will get us to the same place Obama is taking us, only slower.
Conservative patriots must reclaim the Republican party.
The propaganda media did it’s job slandering the TEA party.
“That will help control whomever is in the WH.”
I hope you are right. Bush did nothing to hold the Clinton Cartel accountable for its crimes, and I do not have much faith that Romney will do much either.
Things like “Fast and Furious” and the New Black Panther voter intimidation case must be prosecuted and the perpetrators punished before I have any faith in the credibility of our government and the rule of law in this country.
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