Skip to comments.Welcome to Vietnam
Posted on 07/29/2014 6:21:43 AM PDT by C19fan
Ho Chi Minh would be appalled if he could see Vietnam now.
submit to reddit inShare EmailEmail PrintPrint Well, perhaps not appalledhe was less doctrinaire than the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Fidel Castro, and even hard-line ideologues can become more flexible over timebut he certainly wouldnt recognize it.
The Doi Moi market reforms that began in 1986 (a mere eleven years after the fall of Saigon and national unification under the Communist Party) and a general slackening of state micromanagement have transformed the country out of all recognition.
(Excerpt) Read more at worldaffairsjournal.org ...
“The Vietnamese never wanted to fight Americans anyway.”
Yeah, they just wanted to kill priests, teachers, and other intellectuals with impunity.
Ho chi min would be appalled by today’s Vietnam, just as President Reagan would be appalled at the current collapse of America.
Vietnam was thankfully late to the communist “party.” Things were bad when the commies took over, but they were, at least, spared the worst excesses of fervent red-guards, cultural revolutions, or mass political famines that overtook Russia and China. China’s invasion in 1979 was a blessing, in that it made the Vietnamese rulers realize they couldn’t afford political chaos for the sake of ideology.
One result is that Vietnam (at least the South) still has thriving religious and social life and traditional culture. The churches in the South are nearly as numerous (and certainly more busy) than churches in the USA.
Good article. I saw the same things in China - “Communist” is a label the authoritarians choose to pin on their uniforms, but it has nothing much to do with the actual anarcho-capitalist-corruptocracy that holds sway in the country. Real Communist countries like North Korea and Cuba and now, sadly, Venezuela, are easily identifiable as genuine basket cases.
It’s like China, the old farts running things knew they had to adapt to keep their power.
During the early 20s, Lenin initiated production merit pay. Workers that made 40 widgets a day made twice as much as workers that made 20 widgets a day, and so on. It worked extremely well at increasing production and hero-workers were recognized for their high levels of output. Then the Bolshevik machine realized that they were reinforcing free market principals and shut down the piecework pay system.
For real Leftists, ideological purity is always more important than results.
These "successful" communist states, have in fact embraced fascist socialist economics. The state is the prime contractor, but businesses are allowed to act in the sub-contractor role, with limited autonomy to make money within the conditions set by the state. Hmmm, sound familiar?
And it was Vietnam that got rid of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
Ho Chi Minh was a Comintern agent from the days of the Russian Revolution and a founding member of the French Communist Party. He was a “Nationalist” out of convenience.
Ho even patterned the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence after the American model. I believe we had him but for Truman’s support of French re-colonialism.
There is a Vietnamese restaurant I frequent which is filled with recent arrivals to America. All of them from Vietnam and most having arrived in the last 10 to 20 years with a few exceptions.
During my last few visits I brought my copy of ‘ black April ‘ which us about the very end of the Vietnamese war. As the wait staff is very friendly to me many approached me when they saw the cover of the book.
These people are all from the south and each of them expressed su h hatred and anger towards communism and the people from the north. A few got visibly angry about what had happened to their families. It was sad to see this.
The antiwar movement has a lot to answer for.
This was my exact impression of Saigon when I visited for three days in 2004.
I went to Vietnam a few years ago...long story why I went but I didn’t serve there while in the Armed Forces.I was in the south...didn’t venture all that far from Saigon.I was surprised by the courtesy...even friendliness...I encountered.It certainly could have been phony but it seemed to be genuine to me.And I look very European so that might cause the typical Vietnamese person to at least suspect that I was American...or Australian (they fought there along side the US).
I visited Vietnam a few months ago, and a few things struck me
- The North/South divide, although less than before, is still prominent. The North is closing the gap, catching up with the relative prosperity in the South, since they reversed some of their socialist policies. There are some world-class electronics assembly plants outside of Hanoi, like the world’s biggest Samsung plant, and a major Foxconn facility.
- The communist party is a lot more in your face than it is in China. Hammer and sickle party banners line many streets, and loudspeakers blare strident-sounding propaganda in small villages in the Mekong Delta. Southerners show a clear restraint in what they say about politics or the government. Tourists are funneled through an over-the-top propaganda museum of the Vietnam War (the American War in their telling). For example, they show horrible pictures of children and adults with the characteristic “flipper arm” birth defects from thalidomide, and attribute it to American chemical warfare against civilians (i.e. agent orange defoliant).
- The period after the Vietnam War was a period of harsh oppression and poverty, whose story is largely untold because it was closed to media, and because of the left’s avoidance of this embarrassing truth. Millions were imprisoned long term for “re-education”, and hundreds of thousands executed or worked to death in confinement. Former civil servants from the Southern government and Catholics are still banned from government positions to this day, and are discriminated against in many ways.
- The poverty imposed by the communists extreme policies was dramatic. One of the guides shared that his meat ration was only 100 grams (~1/4 lb) per month while he was growing up, and his family was among those favored by the regime. They still eat rats and bugs, having developed a taste for them.
-I got no bad vibes for being American, and saw several Vietnamese sporting scooter helmets or t-shirts decorated with American flags, in both Hanoi and Saigon. There were a few old-timers around Hanoi wearing the old NVA pith helmets, but time and the crowds have passed them by. The American War seems to have been eclipsed somewhat in the popular consciousness, relative to independence from France, the 10 years in Cambodia, and the short intense war with China, which still looms as a threat.
- Clothes are really cheap there (you have to haggle a bit), and a lot of clothes sold in the US are made in Vietnam, like Columbia sportswear. Saigon is not a bad place to hang out with nice restaurants and massage parlors all over downtown.
-If you go to Hanoi and need to skip something, skip the water puppet show
Not true...He always was a Soviet agent.
If Vietnam had been left a French possession, eventually, like all other colonial possessions of other European countries, it would have achieved its independence and free-market economy. But without the millions of deaths and oppression thanks to the communists. Ho Chi Minh was a villain.
and millions of other people the democrats allowed them to murder.
Archimedes Patti, “Why Viet Nam?: Prelude to America’s Albatross” (1982) and William J Duiker, “Ho Chi Minh: A Life” (2001)
...and from having been there, 1968-69, and again in 2000, including Hanoi.
Vietnam is like a sieve where Liberty percolates from South to North, where by the time it gets there it’s state totalitarianism again. Yet the North allows this, under the illusion that communism works.
But I still say Ho was malleable at Vietnam’s initial independence. And that 55,000+ Americans would have otherwise led normal lives.
But then, for history, I would never have known Vietnam, which as been one of the great privileges of my life.
I know it sounds crazy in today’s world, but I still have great hope for the Vietnamese.