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Vung Tau cafe, 2017

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And so we’re in Vung Tau, a sleepy, seaside city at the mouth of the Saigon River. I’m staying in a hotel owned by an Army unit. My room is quiet, cheap and has an ample balcony with an ocean view. I’ve only stumbled onto two other guests, each sitting on a massage chair.

The beaches here are named Front, Back, Pineapple and Strawberry, with the last two the ugliest, despite their pretty names. I was at all four as a child. Each time I traveled to Vung Tau, I would pass a cemetery with hundreds of French graves. It was razed in 1983. Like all conquerers, the French never thought they would be expelled. Grabbing this land from the Cambodians in 1658, the Vietnamese established three villages named Thắng Nhất [First Victory], Thắng Nhị [Second Victory] and Thắng Tam [Third Victory].

Malay pirates established a stronghold here in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1960’s, Yankee and Aussie grunts relaxed on its beaches, then entered bars with names like Olympia, Flower, US Moon or Milano to pick up prostitutes. In the 1980’s, thousands of Russians and Azerbaijanis came to work for Vietsovpetro, a Vietnamese/Russian oil and gas exploration company. Now, there are around 600 Russians here, but most are walled off inside their own compound. Those who’ve ventured out have opened at least three restaurants, so don’t despair if you must have some decent borscht while in Vung Tau.

Near Front Beach, I saw a billboard advertising Paramount, a cable channel showing Hollywood flicks. I recognized Tom Cruise, Marlon Brando in the Godfather and some GI in a Vietnam War film. While the Pentagon can’t seem to beat anybody, Hollywood has colonized hearts and minds for decades, with Americans among its billions of abject victims.

The adjacent billboard pitched Imperial Plaza, a shopping mall. Nearly all the faces on it were white. Vietnamese billboards for upscale private schools also feature mostly white kids. Though they are gross distortions of their student bodies, they reel in Vietnamese parents who want their kids to mix with whites. It’s the way forward, upward and, hopefully, even out.

Two trustworthy Russian spies have relayed to me that all signs at the Moscow train station are in Russian and Chinese only. No English. It’s certainly a political statement. Constantly seduced by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, most Vietnamese are not buying it.

On my next to last legs, I’ve come to Vung Tau not to swim, shop or eat Russian but to hang out with my close friend, poet Nguyen Quoc Chanh. Before this Vietnam trip, I last saw Chanh in 2005 in Berlin.

Yesterday, Chanh, Vietnamese-American poet Hai-Dang Phan and I went up Núi Lớn [Big Mountain] to have some wonderful boiled chicken, rice gruel, gỏi and beer. We talked about mutual friends, societial trends, literary strategies, my Guam experiences, 1975, interesting locals and Chanh’s girlfriend in California, which he hasn’t visited, and may never, for he’s not all that interested. Thu-Huong Nguyen-Vo is a professor at UCLA.

In a dirt yard were dozens of empty beer cans and water bottles, ready to be recycled. Scrawny chickens scrutinized the dirt, pecked, reflected, moved on. Half a dozen hammocks beckoned. We laughed quite a bit, read a few poems. It was sweltering under the tin roof.

“Big brother,” Chanh said to the owner, “you should put some palm leaves over this roof, make it less hot! They don’t cost anything!”

“Yes, yes, I’ll get to it.”

The wiry, dark man and his wife have six children, three grown and moved out. They came to this mountain from Bến Tre, in the Mekong Delta. Hearing me and Chanh spew poems, his remaining kids ran out from the house to watch. One documented the odd happening with his cellphone.

Café owner, “Last year, some poets also came by. I’m always happy to see poets here.”

“Just by opening a café at the top of this forlorn mountain, you too are a poet!” I said.

Unable to publish freely in Vietnam and ignored by just about every critic, Chanh has turned to making pottery sculptures. Increasingly complex, elegant and fascinating psychologically, they’re approaching his poems in accomplishment. He will be heard from internationally as a visual artist, I’m convinced. Chanh’s dealer is Dinh Q. Lê, whose works have been collected by MOMA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. There’s a lot happening on this side of the globe.

Chanh’s grandfather, a nationalist, was jailed by the French at Hỏa Lò [Hanoi Hilton]. His dad was also locked up by the French, but on Côn Sơn Island, now a popular resort. Laughing, Chanh said, “When they brought me in for questioning a few times, I wondered if I, too, would be jailed on Côn Sơn Island!” For noticing and saying the obvious, many Vietnamese have paid a very high price.

Through Chanh, I found out the owner of The Sausage Factory is an Australian who drove a tank during the Vietnam War, that there’s an old lady who won’t charge more than 9 cents for her bánh tiêu, although it’s the best and most popular in town, with each one made only by her. There’s a sidewalk café that opens at 2AM to serve late night carousers, prostitutes and early risers, with each cup costing but 22 cents, “You’ll even see rich guys in suits sitting in the dark, nursing their cheap coffee. I told the lady she should charge more, but she said 22 cents were enough.”

The cup I’m drinking right now costs four times that, just slightly more than normal. Arriving this morning, I found the café’s doors wide open but no one around, so I simply sat down in the thin demilitarized zone between business and street, then shouted towards the back several times, “Selling coffee yet?!” No one answered. Suddenly emerging from an alley, a woman informed me, “She’s sleeping.” Fair enough. Making odd, touching noises, a deaf-mute looked at me with concern and pointed to a café across the street. Declining to move, I began this article.

Noticing a crucifix and a Madonna holding Child on the wall, I asked the owner about the clear Catholic presence in the neighborhood. Down the street, I had noticed a monastery, plus a humongous statue of the Virgin Mary holding a Baby Jesus. White, it poked out from the verdant hillside. “Our priest encouraged all of the Catholic families in this area to move here, so we could be closer together and establish a parish.”

“When did this happen?”

“Around 1960.”

Remarkably, this parish has survived everything.

While it’s obviously true that the essence of a place, its most meaningful incidents or secrets, are almost never told, this is particularly true of Vietnam. Beneath the white-washed official narratives is an infinity of stark, eye-opening or heart-breaking stories.


In 1975, Hai-Dang Phan’s father was a South Vietnamese Navy captain. Instead of escaping towards the Pacific, he steered his boat up the Saigon River, towards his family, and ended up spending 4 ½ years in a reeducation camp. A daughter of his was born and died while he was in jail, and he only saw this child for half an hour, during a rare prison visit. Escaping Vietnam by boat, he landed in Malaysia, where they stayed for six months, before resettling in Wisconsin. Now retired in Lawrenceville, Georgia, he’s writing a Vietnamese novel about the American South. In their continued humiliation springing from one defining defeat, he sees himself.

In 1975, a group of South Vietnamese soldiers refused to disperse but retreated to nearby Can Giờ to continue fighting. They were wiped out, of course. A group of teenaged navy cadets also fought to the death. Although the world is most contemptuous of these losers, some Vung Tau locals remember these incidents and men, until they themselves are flushed from memory.

A local, sanctioned hero is Võ Thị Sáu. According to the official bio, at 14-years-old, she tossed a grenade at a group of Frenchmen in 1948, killing one and injuring eleven, but some locals remember it rather differently. They say that she killed about a dozen Vietnamese, all innocents. In the end, though, it is the symbolism of the act that matters. Even if she had killed a thousand Vietnamese and no Gauls, she would still be lauded as a hero, because she was willing to sacrifice her life to massacre foreign invaders. Võ Thị Sáu was executed at age 18 in 1952.

I ranted to Chanh, “Or think of Nguyễn Thanh Trung. He was a South Vietnamese Air Force pilot who was really a Communist, so he killed thousands of his comrades just so he could make one symbolic act at the very end, by bombing the South Vietnamese Presidential Palace. Though he failed to kill Thiệu or anyone that day, he became famous, and the fact that he had killed thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers while posing as an ace South Vietnamese pilot is completely forgotten. It doesn’t matter. Only the symbolic act at the end matters. In that sense, Nguyễn Thanh Trung is a poet, and much more of a poet than either one of us.”

“Of course, of course,” Chanh laughed.

I wiped the unending sweat from my face with my bare hand, gulped some Tiger then finished off another bowl of rice gruel. Cradled by a hammock, the café’s owner’s wife had fallen asleep. Since boyhood, I’ve tended to sweat way too much when eating, so it’s interpreted that I would have a very difficult life. Vietnamese see signs everywhere. Onto the side of this mountain, the French planted several massive cannons in 1905 that would never be fired. They sweated for nothing. Many left their bones here.

Though I can ramble on, I’ll wrap up since I have to catch a high-speed boat back to Saigon. Just before this last paragraph, Chanh and I were interrupted on the street by a young madman. Retarded-looking yet filled with bravado, he approached Chanh while shouting, “Must hit Uncle Ho! Must hit Uncle Ho!” Walking along Chanh, he struck my friend repeatedly on the shoulder, and not at all in a friendly way. “Must hit Uncle Ho!”

“So he’s Uncle Ho?” I said to the deranged retard.

“Ha, ha! Must hit Uncle Ho!”

At a roadside café where we stopped for a few Tiger Beers, an old lady laughingly said, “His twin-brother is even more mad.”

As we stretched out and enjoyed our cheap iced beer, a guy came by on a motorbike to collect money for electricity.

Preoccupied with me, the lady couldn’t quite catch what her bill was.

Straddling his bike, the helmeted dude snarled, “I’ve told you several times already! Why do you keep asking?!”

“I can’t even ask without getting yelled at?!”

Smiling, he backed down, “How many times must you ask your husband a day, big sister?”

“It doesn’t matter. He’s deaf!” She laughed. Her husband was a heroic Viet Cong, I’ve been told, not to mention tall and good looking. While she sells coffee, beer, gasoline and pumps tires, he does almost nothing.

Laughing also, the bill collector rode away. Raised in Wisconsin, Hai-Dang couldn’t quite catch the nuances and dynamics of Vietnamese conversations, so I explained to the still young man, “The best compliment any Vietnamese can receive is to be considered có duyên, which can be loosely translated as being witty while pleasant and considerate to all those present. The opposite, a shameful faux pas, is to be perceived as vô duyên, which is to appear, even fleetingly, as an insolent moron.”

With 92.7 million citizens and rising fast, Vietnam will be increasingly devoured and trashed by its insatiable humans. Already in each urban area, one can’t take a step without being swarmed and swirled along, but in Vung Tau, there is still the serenity of a more eternal Vietnam. Walking down its relatively empty streets, one can still smell the fragrant vegetation. Fighting a desperate, rearguard battle, nature still rules here. While chattering with Chanh and Hai-Dang in yet another café, we didn’t have to pause munching for too long before ants overtook our table, so that our plates of shrimps and pork were crawling with the dogged, seemingly chaotic yet well-organized insects.

Dipping each morsel into the thin sauce, I watched many die and ate the rest.

Linh Dinh’s latest books are Postcards from the End of America (non-fiction) and A Mere Rica (poetry). He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Vietnam, Vietnam War 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I genuinely like your writing. You clearly show that you’ve got thinking going on, but there is also an immersion in the concrete world… and the human world. I aspire to be so good myself.

  2. jim jones says:

    Vietnam, a country so stupid they fought to impose Communism on themselves.

  3. m___ says:

    The whole of the series, so mum and pop, unappropriate of the site, contradictory to the principle of relevancy of the site, belongs in “Vanity Fair”.

  4. Randal says:

    While the Pentagon can’t seem to beat anybody, Hollywood has colonized hearts and minds for decades, with Americans among its billions of abject victims.

    The story of the second half of the C20th. The smiling pornographer America seduces to victory, while the iron fist America smashes innocents and guilty alike to little avail.

    How long will it continue into the C21st?

  5. Randal says:

    Dipping each morsel into the thin sauce, I watched many die and ate the rest.

    Admirable self discipline. I’d struggle with that, unless motivated by seriously advanced hunger.

  6. Very poetic, Mr. Linh Dinh.

    “The best compliment any Vietnamese can receive is to be considered có duyên, which can be loosely translated as being witty while pleasant and considerate to all those present.”

    A virtue appreciated in any society but assiduously cultivated in the Far East.

    • Replies: @Grace Jones
  7. You alluded to your “Guam experiences”. Can you expand? An acquaintance escaped to Subic Bay in ’75 thinking she would go back to Vietnam after the fighting ended, but the US had other ideas and she was sent to Guam and then Fort Chaffee and 42 years later has never been back.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  8. Randal says:
    @jim jones

    No they fought to free themselves from first direct foreign occupation and then from the collaborators left in charge by those foreigners, and the murderous foreigners who continued to back them. The communists were just the only ones that were strong enough to get the job done.

    More fool the Americans, for letting their government fool them into backing, with mass murderous methods, people who made the communists look the lesser evil.

    • Disagree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Wally
    , @Ace
  9. macilrae says:

    For noticing and saying the obvious, many Vietnamese have paid a very high price.

    This is not just happening in Vietnam – as UNZ contributors can attest.

    Linh Dinh, I love your expressive, unpretentious writing.

    I visited a sort of museum – just north of Ho Chi Minh I think – where on display were the intricate devices used by the Viet Cong for concealment and also for ambushing the enemy – tunnels and camouflage and then the most horrible anti-personnel traps: mostly involving impalement.

    I watched several over-weight American gentlemen having fun firing off AK47s and sensed the contempt that the elderly curators, probably former Viet Cong, had for these customers.

    The level of energy, so palpable in Vietnam, contrasted strongly with the laid-back style of Cambodia and Laos which I had recently left.

    Thank you for this cameo, Linh.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I really enjoy these many-layered travelogues.

  11. @m___

    “The whole of the series, so mum and pop, unappropriate of the site, contradictory to the principle of relevancy of the site, belongs in “Vanity Fair”.”

    I disagree … it fits into the category of “interesting” at the very least, and if you look a little deeper, you see people dealing with the fallout of contemporary topics we face today in the Western world.

  12. republic says:

    Linh mentioned the razing of the local French war graves
    Cemetery in 1983. I found out that the French government paid
    Vietnam a yearly up keeping fee until the 1980s when the Vietnamese said
    They needed the land for other uses. The French government then repatriated the
    Bodies to back to France. Vietnam made a lot of money from those dead Frenchmen. Paid
    Several million dollars.
    Another source of income for the Vietnam government were the missing US POWs
    Who were kept while the Vietnamese government waited (in vain) on the 3.5 billion aid package.
    McCain and the POW cover-up.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  13. neprof says:

    “Our priest encouraged all of the Catholic families in this area to move here, so we could be closer together and establish a parish.”

    Linh, I have enjoyed these articles about your recent visit to Vietnam. Could you comment on presence of the Catholic church in Vietnam. I’m guessing in the north it’s non-existent, but what about the south, specifically, urban areas like Saigon?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Uncle Ho and Co. had an assembly line too. Somewhat crude but effective, he was more or less copying the Ford Motor company. Besides, if you ask any of the executives it’s not about win or lose, commie or non-commie as much as it is the stories that are told so they can keep the machine runnin’.

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Linh had me until he invoked propaganda from Tom’s Dispatch: “The Pentagon hasn’t won anything” Strange from an author who gave us ‘Postcards’, unless I’m missing something, there is a cause and effect for masses hanging on to survival. It’s not how you
    destroy people to save them, as long as it’s being done.

    The “Pentagon” wins everyday of course. If you talk with the employees the Vietnam war was officially won by 1970. Show us where the millionaires live and explain that they aren’t bankers. Good views from the gutter if you can afford it.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  16. Wally says:

    You ignore the fact that the cowardly south Vietnamese simply didn’t do much ‘fighting to free themselves’. Ever.

    Yeah boy, they hated foreigners so much that they flooded OUT of Vietnam and INTO those ‘foreign’ nations.

    How’s your boy Ken Burns?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Ace
  17. JVC says:

    thanks for a pleasant reminder. I spent a quiet, peaceful day on the beach at Vung Tau in 1970. I had been TDY with the Australian survey at Nui Dat and had the opportunity to join with a group for a trip to the beach. One of the few good memories I have from my year there in Viet Nam. Another was an afternoon spent at the Saigon Zoo. Too often, those good memories are clouded by the bad, so thanks again for bringing one up.

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    He just put his latest MTV videos on PBS courtesy of Koch, Rockfeller and the Ford
    Foundation. Your girlfriend Jane Fonda is in there, but no recent facials. Identity politics man, the ones we love to hate!

    • Replies: @Wally
  19. britishbrainsize [AKA "britshitbrains1325cclol"] says:

    [Pick a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise all your comments may be trashed.]

    whats even more stupid is they welcome these same britshit americans, britshit australians , britshit, and britshit new zealandish veteran scum who raped their women and children, stupid fools should have these scum arrested for war crimes have them jailed and throw away te keys.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    , @Ace
  20. I appreciated this article. However, I would point out that the North Vietnamese lost the Vietnam warr. It was not until the US departed some two years later when the they knew the South would not be supported by the US that they conquered the country. Now they are clamoring for western style economies.

    I think it is very clear who won the Vietnam conflict. I find it interesting that Hollywood is credited with the win. I am violating the standard high context nature of how we currently view that lice of history.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @Ace
  21. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Though I wrote “While the Pentagon can’t seem to beat anybody,” you changed it to “The Pentagon hasn’t won anything,” then started bitching. Since you clearly don’t know how to read, please stay as far away from my articles as possible. Thank you.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    , @Anonymous
  22. @EliteCommInc.

    “However, I would point out that the North Vietnamese lost the Vietnam warr.”

    Yeah, that’s how we win wars these days … by dumbing victory down. Get over it, the rice-eaters beat us, and even though we pounded the shit out of them and killed a couple million of them, they still welcome us. Even if it’s only for our money, that is pretty big of them.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  23. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi neprof,

    The most Catholic area of Vietnam is Nam Dinh, my father’s native province in the North, and there are still many Catholics there today. Google “Catholic churches Nam Dinh” to see many rather astonishing structures, built more than a century ago.

    Churches are active throughout the country. My grandma’s old church in Saigon is packed each Sunday. I have several cousins in Tan Mai, a section of Bien Hoa, just North of Saigon. With a 20,000 population, it has 16,000 hardcore Catholics. My uncle, a South Vietnamese Marine killed in action, is buried in Tan Mai’s cemetery.

    Through the decades of Communist rules, many priests have been jailed, with the most prominent Nguyen Van Ly, who has been locked up for 15 years altogether.

    There are also Protestant churches in Vietnam. In Hanoi, I walked by one that had several billboards with Biblical quotations.


    • Replies: @TontoBubbaGoldstein
  24. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Faraday's Bobcat

    Hi Faraday’s Bobcat,

    I was evacuated from Saigon on a C-130 the evening of April 27th, 1975, less than a day before Tan Son Nhut was shut down due to North Vietnamese bombing. Arriving in Guam in the dark, I stayed in a refugee camp for a week, before being moved to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. I remember much from that week. I’ll write about my Guam experiences in a proper article one day.


    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  25. @jim jones

    Vietnam, a country so stupid they (sic)fought to impose Communism on themselves.

    USA, a country so viciously stupid it fought to impose Communism on large parts of the rest of the world during WW2 (Stalin and the Reds and their New York banking supporters “won” WW2 thanks to US help), then fought to keep “Communism” from spreading.

    Americans, a people so stupid they don’t have a clue as to how stupid and ignorant they are. They’ve been duped for over 2 centuries. Generations of vô duyên.

  26. @m___

    The whole of the series, so mum and pop, unappropriate of the site, contradictory to the principle of relevancy of the site, belongs in “Vanity Fair”.

    You the editor of the site or sumpin?

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  27. Joe Wong says:
    @jim jones

    Do you ever feel jealouse and resentful that the 1% can live a decadent live without lift a finger, and they get bailout their own screw-ups by the trillions of tax dollars while you have to work day and night to just keep yourself fed and a roof over the head, but you need to pray you won’t get laid off because the CEO wants to fatten his bonus, and you better not get sick otherwise the medical bill will wipe clear your life saving and send you to sleep on the street, meanwhile the 1% or all the capitalism believers like you will dispise you as a lazy couch potato?

    Do you ever wonder why the world is so unfair that the ons produce wealth cannot have a fair share of the wealth they produced and if they voice the unfairness they will be demonized as commie which is a kind yellow star label in the USA?

    • Replies: @jbwilson24
    , @Ace
  28. Notice to those who still argue about who “won” the war.

    The only winners were the war profiteers and the US generals who could pin a few more pretty ribbons and shiny trinkets on their uniforms.

    The rest of us paid, and a lot still are, especially the people of Vietnam, so kindly STFU about it.

  29. Joe Wong says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Anonymous is only doing what the American and western democracies do as a way of life, portraying others unfairly via manufactured consent; lies about their present, past and future; and distort facts and selective reporting to smear others. Are you saying these means are the privilege of the American Exceptionalsim, when the American and their lackeys use them it is necessary with good intention?

    • Replies: @Ace
  30. Joe Wong says:
    @Linh Dinh

    American did not carry the major burden of helping the Vietnamese refugees, HK China did, tens of thousands of Vietnanese refugees lived in HK for free on HK tax payers for decades. American help the Vietnamese refugee is like stabbing a victem repeatedly then patching up some cuts with bandages to show that he has empathy and cares about human rights.

    The American GIs massacred South Vietnamese village by village to make up their body counts quota, they ran over Vietnamese in the cities with tucks as a game of gook hockey, they spread Agent Orange all over South Vietnam to produce elephant faced new born even 50 years after they left Vietnam, they used Saigon as giant brothels that produced hundreds of thousands war time bastards in Vietnam.

    The Americans have never apologized the atrocities and war crimes they dealt to the Vietnamese, what you should write is asking the Americans to take up their responsibility to redeem the harm they have done to the Vietnamese.

  31. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Quoting Tom’s Dispatch, which sounded just like you at that point but not now. I know what you mean by stay away, that means come back for more. Much oblidged uncle, keep bitching!

  32. RJJCDA says:

    After military service beginning in Spring of 1965 in Pleiku, and later Vung Tau and Saigon, and a civilian contractor job building an airfield at Tuy Hoa, I arrived at Vung Tau for Vinnell Corp. in Sept. 1968. I stayed 18 months until March 1970, and have fond memories of the place and people despite previously (1965) almost drowning at one of the beaches. The major bar was in the Grand Hotel, and I was there almost nightly before heading for one of my apartments I successively lived in.

    Once I tried a business deal with a year older tall beautiful bar hostess (woman) who worked all over the country but based out of the Grand Hotel in Vung Tao. The deal was: she would by a bar which I would run, and I would buy a car which she would drive. Otherwise, I couldn’t outright own a bar myself, and the tariff for Vietnamese on auto imports was 100%, if memory serves. Alas, my company refused to allow me to import a car (duty free for Americans), and the deal fell through. But we had a relationship of lost fate as her dream was to get enough money so she and her son could go to live in Paris.

    In late 1969, she was killed in an auto accident (she was driving) and the luster of the place was gone for me, and I left upon expiration of contract. She had a five year old son via an American Major who left the country in 1964, and she used to go to Hong Kong every six months to buy gold with her US currency. Always wondered what happened to her son and the bank account in HK.

  33. Joe Wong says:

    You need to know those dead Frenchmen and Americans in Vietnam were war criminals and criminals against peace and humanity. The French could not build their grand scale decadent palaces, theaters, museums, and stations without the wealth they stole from Vietnam thru barbaric colonial rule nearly a hundred years, and yet you are bitching Vietnam asking some crumbs back?

    Only the servile Vietnamese will send those bodies back to France; the Vietnamese should set up a monument beside those bodies in Vietnam as reminder to the Vietnamese now and future the suffering the barbaric Frenchmen had brought upon them without provocation.

  34. Wally says:

    Huh? Not my girlfriend.

    She’s proof that all rich people are not smart.

    If she has one more facelift she’ll be wearing a beard.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  35. @Linh Dinh

    Visited Vung Tau in the mid ’90s.
    Was very impressed by that bit of Catholic architecture up on the mountain overlooking the city.

  36. @jim jones

    They won. Twice. That’s important, and what’s more, Vietnam is still Vietnamese.

    The people they fought are on the way to becoming Eurabia and North Mexico.

  37. For noticing and saying the obvious, many Vietnamese have paid a very high price.

    Americans, too. Heck, everyone in what used to be Western Civilisation….

  38. @Wally

    Hey Wally, I don’t wish to cause you any emotional distress but I do believe that beard joke was penned by Joan Rivers, a Jew.

  39. @linh dinh

    This is great writing and I thank you for it.

  40. @Joe Wong

    “Do you ever wonder why the world is so unfair that the ons produce wealth cannot have a fair share of the wealth they produced and if they voice the unfairness they will be demonized as commie which is a kind yellow star label in the USA?”

    What in #$##’s sakes are you talking about???

    Communist are demonized in the USA?

    Are you on drugs? Communism is completely mainstream. Antifa trashes the streets, Bernie Sanders has the millennials in his pocket, college professors who are openly communist tweet out offensive things about whites…

    Do you actually know anything about the USA???

    I was at a university book sale the other day and saw a table with a couple of old Jews schlepping communist literature. I told one that she should be treated like a Nazi peddling Hitler souvenirs, given that the Soviets killed even more people. But no, completely legitimate to hang out at a university passing out Trotsky’s works, while Mein Kampf would get you jailed.


    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  41. @The Alarmist

    The Us ha lost two wars in my view and may be on the verge of losing another.

    The war of 1812 and the war for Iraq. And should our gambit in Afghanistan fail that will be number three.

    The standard for winning a conflict is not very complex.

    Objective attainment: We had one objective — support an independent Vietnam. We did so. A treaty was signed and no further action to unite the country was to involve violence — not hard, not complex. fair and square deal. Should have stayed to ensure North Vietnamese trustworthiness, I think so. I think we suspected it wasn’t over for the communists, it never really is. All international agreements are dependent on trust. By the time 1975 rolled around, Pres Nixon was gone and any promises made became moot. Assured that the Us would not return, the North invaded and began what we hard fought to prevent, wholesale murder, mayhem and social. emotional intellectual and resource destruction.

    Communism and it’ goal of purging all that went before is why Vietnam is the place it is today. They can for sake of saving face, blame the Us , but the reality was and remains, communism requires such deep destruction of every aspect of human endeavor, a country’s entire being s sapped. The purging goes on until what remains is a dead nearly exhausted existence, a bare shell. Tragic.

    North Vietnam and North Vietnam alone violated that agreement two years after the US departed. The ultimate sign of that is their desire now for western capitalism. It is the ultimate humiliation that after expending so mush of the beauty of Vietnam that theory policy they murdered o many to to reject they now seek with vigor to restore all that they lot.

    I would be more empathetic if not for the fact that violated an agreement. No. The US won that conflict and the fact that they waited for our departure is clear evidence of the fact.

    Trying to cloak the matter in a “Well, it’s one country again.” Is like being thankful, I killed all my children to prevent a divorce.

    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @RJJCDA
  42. @Joe Wong

    This is the minority view and based on the data nothing lend me to change it

    Vietnam can ask til the cows come home. The US should feel not an ounce of guilt. — aside from poble criminal acts, S. Vietnam was an independent state recognized by the UN>

    North Vietnam could have heeded the desires of Ho Chi Mihn, and negotiated peacefully, but his counsel was ignored for those inclined to violence.

    There was war in Vietnam because the North wanted a war. From the 1950′ to the end, it was the North that initiated every act of violence for war.

    Caveat; minus criminal acts. No service member who fought to defend the right of S. Vietnam to be left in peace to determine their own destiny should feel an ounce of guilt. Vietnam was one of te few humanitarian efforts in cause of another.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  43. Che Guava says:

    Another interesting article, Linh.

    I would refuting the statement of the OP, claimimg large-scale settlement of people from South Vietnam state(s) in HK.

    As with the many tens of thousands to arriving in Japan on the same Black Curent, remnant population is a bit more than 5,000, very few have permanent residence, fewer citizenship., everybody else automatic caly sent to USA, Candidia, Australia, a few to France. HK must have been the same.

    Repeating myself, but it is nice to hearing that you were not to receiving much harassment from officials or functionaries this time, also to reading of your experiencing and of the history.

    If I am to braving or to having time for international air travel again, my preference would probably being to visit Laos.

    Always regards.

  44. @Joe Wong

    Public discussions of America’s role in Vietnam are laced with regret, and refugees and their descendants number in the millions in America.

    Perhaps if we had sunk every ship leaving SVN in 1975, you would congratulate us for being consistent.

  45. Che Guava says:
    @Faraday’s Bobcat

    As stating in my earlier reply to Linh, this Joe Wong is clueless, there was no mass resettlement in HK or Japan. Almost all were placed on conveyor belts to other places. No wonder, many were entitled violent types.

    A USA writer, Jim Goad, wrote many semi-naive articles in his magazine Answer Me, one was on recent (at the time)
    violent gang types from Vietnam, I am not knowing the Vietnamese word for Yakuza or Mafia, but it Is clear that those immigrants were to making a good fit with gang violence in California. Not nice to the kindly host nation USA.

    Also to running heroin trade, range from Candidia to Australia, for a time.

    No wonder that Japan and HK just were wanting to dumping as many as possible on other places. I would saying, in many places.

    Not to generalising, just a few random and accurate comments from lived observation and reading.

    Am not saying that you, Linh, are to having any part in what I am describing, but am having no doubt that is accurate in describing the reality for how many ‘refugees’ are or were behaving in your and their adoptive land.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  46. @EliteCommInc.

    Dude, there would have only been one Vietnam following WW2 if the elections that had been agreed to under the Geneva Accords after Dien Bien Phu had been followed as agreed to by all parties, but the US facilitated a coup that cemented the Republic of Vietnam as a political entity which then essentially ruled out a single, nation-wide election that the better organised communists would have likely won. To talk about the North violating agreements in absence of this earlier reneging on an international agreement is of dubious merit.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  47. @Faraday’s Bobcat

    ‘Public discussions of America’s role in Vietnam are laced with regret’
    ‘Perhaps if we had sunk every ship leaving SVN in 1975, you would congratulate us for being consistent.’

    I agree with your second statement quoted. Joe Wong seems to generalize a wee bit. Not so sure about your first statement. What is ‘public discussions’? Do you mean the media? If I say something to someone I know, or someone I don’t know… someone in a bar, for instance, is that public? It seems it is to me. If public just means the fucking shite on tv, what use is the word?

    Linh, another great piece, thank you.

    • Replies: @Faraday's Bobcat
  48. Joe Wong says:

    jbwilson24, have you ever questioned why do you have to carry a student loan that takes decade to pay off if you are lucky to find a job instead of flapping burgers, while the 1% got trillions tax dollar bail off for their own screw-ups? Have you ever questioned what has capitalism or the current political system done for you? Do you think for yourself? Do you ever ask for change so that you can have a fair share what you produced?

    • Agree: Che Guava
  49. Joe Wong says:
    @Che Guava

    Che Guava, American is notorious for claiming credit where credit is not due, neither denying facts is going to help the American improving their credibility.

    The reckless wars American waged in the ME and it caused another Vietnam War like human refugee disaster, instead of taking up the responsibility to help those war victims, the American negate their responsibility by labeling those war victims as terrorists, just like what you are trashing the Vietnamese refugees as violent gangsters and running heroin trade.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  50. Che Guava says:
    @Joe Wong

    Sorry Joe,

    I, never a junky, am only saying it from direct observation, also conversation with a Candidian.

    If you are wanting to making a riposte, you will have to doing better than that.

  51. @britishbrainsize

    Your username made me curious and I found this map of brain sizes:
    Vietnam might have the greatest range of brain sizes of any small country. The north seem to have the bigger brains. Perhaps it’s just that the bodies are slender in the hotter south.

  52. RJJCDA says:

    1) When Saigon fell in April 1975, the ARVN was down to 78 rounds per man per month – thanks to the hero of Chappaquiddick Kennedy and others. Every0ne in S.E. Asia and elsewhere read the signals that the US was abandoning S. Vietnam while others ramped up support for the North. Same thing happened in China in late 40s. A tried and true method.

    2) When Saigon fell, remember, the US had removed ALL combat forces between summer 1972 and early 1973. If the US lost Vietnam, well then if logic applies, because Britain went to war over the independence of Poland in 1939, logic requires that Poland’s loss to the Soviet enterprise by 1947 meant that Britain HAD LOST WWII. Right?

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  53. Che Guava says:

    You are clearly to having strong feelings on it, but the use of so many bombs, so much napalm, defoliants. Humanitarian? Please giving us more LOL

    I am understanding that it must have been very different for many like Linh, the CP was not at all all great.

    Re. Linh’s comments on european yuppies on signs, my fave instant coffee is the 3 in 1 (coffee and milk powder, sugar) from Vietnam. The couple depicted on the packets are surely yuppies, but they are Vietnamese yuppies.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  54. @daniel le mouche

    What I meant was this:

    Some people will say, “South Vietnam’s cause was unjust, and America should never have taken their side. So all the death and destruction was for naught.”

    Other people will say, “South Vietnam’s cause was just, but America betrayed them by cutting and running in 1973. So all the death and destruction was for naught.”

    But hardly anyone will say, “America did right all the way through, and all the death and destruction was totally worth it.”

    The above applies to anyone who still thinks about it, whether it’s a guy in a bar or Ken Burns.

  55. @Che Guava

    This will sound offensive.


    You are asking me to defend the brutality of war. War is a filthy, nasty, deconstruction of the human person. It is in my view such an insane proposition, one must be confounded that we engage in it at all.

    But when human being reach an impasse to their desired goal(s), they decide to fight and that fighting is is brutal, the mechanism we devise to kill each other are imagined and created and yet are unimaginable. Noting the horror of war has nothing to with whether one side lost or won.

    The US defeated N. Vietnam and the cost was and remains unfathomable, but as is clear by the record — that was the choice of North Vietnam. We chose to defend the right of S. Vietnam to determine their destiny.

    It appears that the “peace loving ‘ north Vietnamese were neither peaceful nor loving.

    Your references to Mr. Lihn are irrelevant, as nothing in my comments suggests the greatness of war. If they wanted more yuppies they could allowed the south to go their own way, and when communism collapsed as it has, their kindred North would have provided assistance in recovering the disaster that is communism Soviet-Chinese Style. It ha become increasingly evident that was Ho Ch Mihn’s preferred course of action – reunification via peace. He was over ruled.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  56. @The Alarmist

    I cannot nor will I address Vietnam as a French colony. The US always leaned on European powers to leave colonialism behind.

    I would encourage you to take a look at history. It is accurate that the Us believed that an election would result in a lo for democratic governance. However, the Vietnam government was not under the thumb of the US. They could have by choice rejected any US support and embraced the North.

    They chose otherwise. But the oft cited South Vietnamese puppet government just does not wash when examining the relationship with the S. Vietnamese admin. Furthermore, it is speculation tat the an election would have had the result you suggest. I would be ignorant to ignore the millions of S. Vietnamese who rejected and fought against the communists.

    Now back to issue. Despite every UN cease fire agreement, it was the North violated every one. And given the incursions by the North and the violence they used to control populations via intimidation and fear — an election under those circumstances would never have ruled fair. Now that I have entertained your comment (twice), the politics aside the Us and the . Vietnamese were uccessful in defeating N. Vietnam and achieving the stated objective — however difficult the task or muddied by political intrigue.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  57. @RJJCDA

    There is a reason we call the end of the Vietnam conflict in 1973 a treaty. There; a reason that the Us departed Vietnam in 1973 a treaty.

    I am not sure where you gained your understanding of reason —

    Your WWII post WWII rationale makes no sense. The two scenarios even locked in cold war logic ignore that Great Britain and the Soviet Union were allies. And there was no contention over the state of Poland until after the WWII and after the fact. About which there was never a contest of will or force.

    Britain went to war with Germany because Germany violated a treaty agreement.

    The Iron Curtain is a different scenario altogether and making any attempt to liken it to the scenario in Southeast Asia i more than a stretch. France did lose the conflict and gave up the Enterprise. And from that period forward, even before the US became involved directly South Vietnam asserted its independence. One need not have watched another series in Vietnam to get what is on the record.

  58. I recently read a book about the Vietnam war, from the Vietnamese perspective, called ‘The Sympathizer’. In one part of the book, the protagonist escapes from Saigon during the 1975 evacuation and ends up in Guam for a while, before relocating in America, something similar to your experience. I’m wondering, though, have you read ‘The Sympathizer’? It would be interesting to hear your opinion on it.

  59. @EliteCommInc.

    Fruit of the poisonous tree: violations of all subsequent agreements are moot given the first violation denied actual self determination. For you to assert the RVN was anything but a puppet is kind of funny, because the assassination of Diem happened precisely because he tried to operate somewhat autonomously from what was being pushed by the US, who found other RVN lackeys chomping at the bit to take him out.

    Ironically, the North saw the assassination of Diem as furthering their cause because Diem was pursuing political aims that likely would have stolen their thunder: Ho Chi Minh reportedly said, “I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid.”

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @EliteCommInc.
  60. 5371 says:

    Actually, according to the census the population growth rate in Vietnam has declined considerably, so there is still hope for wild nature. Any contrary impression is probably due to increasing prosperity, which makes people louder and take up more space.

  61. Che Guava says:
    @jacques sheete

    No, ‘it’ isn’t … and, depending on how much I drink or how tired I am, making bad mistakes in English at times, but would never saying ‘unappropriate of’, like that idiot. May well be the product of the US education system of now, glad to have never experienced it.

    ‘inappropriate for’

  62. Che Guava says:

    I could refuting you on many points, e.g. the consecutive governments of South Vietnam were never much good and never popular, never democratic, often installed by US-coordinated coups d’etat, serving only as US-occupation govts long before the end, finally abandoned.

    However, if you are wanting experts, please taking it up with Linh Dinh and jacques sheet, both having first-hand experience.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  63. @Che Guava

    There is only one argument, and you have not even come close and you won’t. A for all of the other side issues, whether S. Vietnam was an effective democratic government, popular, desirable are issues that ave no bearing on the my central point, despite your repetitious arguments couched in different rhetoric.

    They are convenient side issues to belabour discussion. I have no doubt that there are other opinions. I have no doubt that those who experienced the conflict will have various views. But two very distinct facts remain.

    1. North Vietnam agreed to an end of the war — bequeathing an independent Vietnam. That no attempt to unite would be include violence. Both objectives sought by the S Vietnam and the US. Even if it meant ceding some territory.

    2. N. Vietnam in violation of the 1973 peace treaty invaded Vietnam and on their second invasion were successful. The US having departed S. Vietnam in 1973 was not available for support and the . Vietnam was successfully invaded. In short, North Vietnam began a second war and the Us was not involved.

    And has been typical with post modern thought and rhetoric, the history has hinged on ignoring any objective reality — a particular useful tool by communist in order to advance their cause. I think, many experts have engaged me on this question — I am not inclined to ignore objective reality to suit the

    “we lost vietnam’

    self flagellation and guilt mongering that has the US and S. Vietnamese service as well as civil servants men who served there in the vice grip of self hatred and self recrimination. Unless involved in criminal activity — ner’y a one should be so compelled.

    By changing the subject as you have more than once — you make my case.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  64. Che Guava says:

    I have not changing the subject. I am checking my posts, guess you are watching my posts in other threads. Am seeing that you are having a heart, but, as I was saying. if wanting to go further, I was not there, you were not, Linh was, also jacques, also Jonathon. They are all making good posts, as for Linh, great articles.

    If by ‘changing the subject’ you are meaning my link to a worrying article on insect populations, thinking it was a different thread, but am to strongly recommend reading it.


    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  65. @Che Guava

    From whether or not the US won the conflict — they did.

    You have gone to (no particular order);

    1. assassination and it’s impact on N Vietnam
    2. puppet government – they were not
    3. democratic government
    4. well liked or not government
    5. only the experts know for sure — and you name two that you think are experts.

    In each of the above you have gotten the scenario or data incorrect and more than once both — as I have pointed out. And more than once your own arguments have supported my position.

    My position has been consistent and well supported. No experts worth their grain of salt would attempt to change the data sets I have put forward. I was not at the battle of the alamo, the revolutionary war, WWII, but I can certainly ascertain who won them based on the ends — how and why.

    And sadly in all of this the Vietnamese are suffering the ultimate humiliation, seeking a capitalist market system to restore all that they burned to the ground by communist purges. But given their history of adhering to agreements — I see no reason the Us should oblige.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  66. Dan Hayes says:
    @The Alarmist

    The Alarmist:

    I was aware of Ho Chi Minh’s statement that he could scarcely believe that the Americans were so stupid as to be the instigators of the Diem brothers assassinations.

    The Kennedy brothers and Henry Cabot Lodge among others formed the cabal which was responsible for this travesty of justice which inexorably and ultimately led to Vietnam’s tragic fate.

  67. @The Alarmist

    I Just to be clear, the choice not to hold elections rests on the shoulders of South vietnam. One can’t claim a violation against self determination if the state in question makes the decision on the course of polity.

    As with the arrests and assassinations, that rest on the shoulders of the S. Vietnam military command.

    I am going to back off one aspect of my comment. The admin supported the arrests. Whether they had direct knowledge and of or supported the assassination may be at issue. But make no mistake, this affair was eternal to the S Vietnamese. It essentially makes the case that S. Vietnam operated as to their own agenda and polity, independent of the US.

    So much for the poisonous tree attempt as it rets, a usual on false flag data sets concerning Vietnam.

  68. “The Kennedy brothers and Henry Cabot Lodge among others formed the cabal which was responsible for this travesty of justice which inexorably and ultimately led to Vietnam’s tragic fate.”

    Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  69. @The Alarmist

    There’s only one problem with this. There is nothing to support it.

    All of the evidence indicates that it was the S. Vietnamese that pushed for the arrest and engaged the executions. The U S admin gave their assent, in other word they would not pose any outward opposition, and nothing beyond that is clear.

    But your comment continue to refute that . the S Vietnam government was the puppet of no one, including their military. There were no more a puppet after the tragic events of the executions.

  70. Having once been a instrument of effecting policy in the low intensity conflicts of the late 70s and through the 80s, I think I can reasonably believe it was a US-run show. As I said, Diem was capped because he strayed too far from what the US policy makers of the time wanted. That the people who pulled the trigger were RVN is inconsequential… if you hire a hit man, you are still guilty of murder.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  71. Che Guava says:

    In the end, your comment is well said, but you seem also to be confusing mine with some from others.

    I was citing three (including Linh) as having a better idea than most, but not on that post I suppose, Jonathon also has personal experience.

    Also mention for Quatermaster, I was learning from him that the word has a different meaning in US Army watercraft from the usual one in navies. Several more things from him.

    Your reply. I stated almost none of the things you are listing.

    1. assassination and it’s impact on N Vietnam

    I said nothing abt. that, but that you are raising the point, a little CIA-army Op. Phoenix is coming to mind. You are also in need of learning how not to misuse apostrophes.

    2. puppet government – they were not

    Not all, but increasingly so until they were abandoned.

    3. democratic government


    4. well liked or not government

    I am unable to work out what you are saying there.

    5. only the experts know for sure — and you name two that you think are experts.

    So, you are thinking that Mr. Linh and Jacques (and the other two I am naming in this post) do not have a better idea of things than you or I, because they are only to going on lived experience?

    It is a shame that we don’t have older VC or Nth. Viet. people from that time to sharing their own perspectives, but that is natural, it is a US site!

    Anyway, I am valuing the perspectives of older commenters from the US side and of Mr. Linh.

    Your final comment, about sticking to agreements, is truly LOL.

    ABM treaty, support for ARVN, agreements with DPRK, agreement with former USSR about neutral Germany and no NATO expansion, many more, stretching back to breaches of territorial treaties with American Indians.

    Am thinking that you are having terrible problems with logic and comprehension.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  72. @Che Guava

    If in fact, I included the comments by others to you and such attribution was incorrect, It was not intentional.

    A. the issue of assassination I have addressed repeatedly and the matter is clear.
    1. not orchestrated by the US but by the S. Vietnamese – assented is tragic, but not the same thing
    2. completely irrelevant to whether the US and the S. Vietnamese won the conflict — they did so.
    3. utterly demolishes any suggestion that the S. Vietnamese were puppets pf anyone – explained
    B. Suggested and rebutted — and rejected by several contentions put forward by you and others. In
    fact, it is just the opposite, the Vietnamese and the US had many difference. Most important among
    them was the issue of the final treaty. Here I sided with the S Vietnamese, nothing about the N.
    Vietnamese warranted trust.

    C. I would be remiss, if I allowed myself to get caughtup in a discussion about the depth, level and
    breadth of democratic polity of the S. Vietnamese government. Nit because I have any doubt that
    they were and intended to expand said democracy but because — democracies vary in both depth
    and development. The US has claimed to be a democracy and yet, they enslaved millions of their
    population and expelled millions and subsequently deprived them of participation. Democracy is
    not a steady state polity, it has enough variance that varies as to application, and understanding.
    I am very comfortable recognizing . Vietnam early stages of democracy — often referred to as
    fledgling democracies. Despite, many problems in law, governance, and economy, in the US
    system — we recognize her as democracy. S. Vietnam was a functioning democracy, despite it

    D. I am responding to am issue which you apparently did not raise. It matters not whether the S.
    Vietnamese government was liked or not. excuse the mis-attribution, it was not intentional.

    E. I am fully respectful of the knowledge and experience of others. However, I measure the veracity
    of a position, not by one’s authoritative position as to expertise, but the content of what they
    contend. And I rely not on my own opinion, but by clear standards and definitions. As indicated
    by my comments. I am not swayed by side issues.

    No expert can refute,

    a. Ho Chi Mihn, did not want to fight the US. He knew that N. Vietnam would not prevail. He was
    b. He believed that peace was a better means of reconciling the matter — he was correct.
    c. Every act of hostility, every violation of the agreements regarding peace were broken by the N.
    Vietnamese. Ho Chi Mihn, the great leader was silenced by his own people .
    d. Despite multiple difficulties, the US and S. Vietnamese won the Vietnam conflict for Vietnamese
    right of self determination. The US carelessly trusted the M. Vietnamee to honor the agreement
    of peace — even should reconciliation were pursued. The N. Vietnamese agree and after the US
    departed from S. Vietnam launched a new war in violation of said agreement defeating S.
    Vietnam. All behavior by N. Vietnam is an indication of that fact.
    e. I take it you accept expert opinion that contends that whites are superior because they are white —
    many experts say so. Food for thought.

    I would gladly discuss those other issues, but they are inconsequential to this discussion, a clear indication that on the essential issues — the matter is clearly as I stated. it. It never fails as previously noted, communists in traditional fashion are ever expanding the lines of discussion. Very similar to the manner of discussion among liberals. Everything counts regardless of how irrelevant the matter to the issues, because one can always tie a thread around to some other point.

    It’s a conversations of “what abouts’ I think I have been gracious in entertaining all of these side matters to the essential point. Trust me, laughing is just mild compared to my level of entertainment. I think the record on this matter i clear as to our discussion.

    Again, any incorrect attribution of comments to you — was not intentional. L’est I too be accused of a ‘what about . . .”

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  73. @The Alarmist

    I have posted two in dept articles on this issue. And the evidence weighs heavily that it was teh S. Vietnamese who removed the government pres. In fact, there is some question whether the US even knew of the executions until after the fact.

    Also noted in the article is an indepth explanation as to why they wanted him removed. It had more to do with corruption, mismanagement, power grabbing and the order to shoot Buddhists – all internal politics and leadership issues.

    It’s often lamented the CIA in everything involving the US. And here, I will reference Mr. burns; documentary. It indicates that the earliest intel concerning S. Vietnam was to get out.

    That is something I did not know. But what I do know is that the US did not race headlong in some manner of cabal. Much to the disdain of conspiracy theorists.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  74. @EliteCommInc.

    Dude, I don’t dispute that RVN top brass did the deed. Mr. Burns series was secondary or tertiary source material at best, and a lot of it was spoon-fed to him to support the narrative.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  75. Che Guava says:

    As i was saying before, you are having serious problems of comprehension and interpretation.

    I will not be going point-to-point through this latest post, but you are to again attributing to me things I was never to having said or implied.

    You are also not able to expressing your disputable but interesting central point (Sth. Vietnam and USA won the war) with any clarity.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  76. @The Alarmist

    There is only one comment I made in reference to the series and that had nothing to do with my over all position (s). it was an observation. More importantly, the position I have expressed were held based n information out long before the PBS series.

    In fact, mot of what we know about N. Vietnam is based on the thin access to Vietnam’s archives. And that but barely a skim view. And that is first hand documentation.

    Our historical record on Vietnam isn’t much of a secret and hasn’t been for more than ten years. There was no CIA cabal. There was not deep state manipulation of S. Vietnam polity. This was a rare genuine attempt to shore up a friendly government sure, to buffet against communism, but support was no secret. After the revelations of Pres Johnson’s audio files, it was very clear what happened and the agenda. Long before Mr Burn’s series.

  77. @Che Guava

    There comes a time in a discussion when it has reached its end. My responses are direct response to your comments. The fact that I extend further details or analysis is something one will address or will not. You have come to the end of your ability to respond. Saving face by blaming some personal weakness on my part — won’t help your case.

    When the issue becomes the person as opposed to the issues. I consider the matter done. I have entertained your side issues. Made accommodation for possible incorrect attribution — no longer an issue, having responded on point and in depth to your last comments. Leaning again that pres is no longer valid.

    I won’t get further side tracked by the last series of unrelated matters to the Vietnam matter on the table.

    I consider the matter now closed.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  78. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s all about win, lose, commies, terrorists, trails, Tet, B52s, napalm, the AK, MIA, vet deification or defecation and maybe Rambo, to a certain generation of Americans. Fortunately, some of our younger offspring have decided to say without hostility but indifference: “give it a fucking rest old people. Man, we need a better on-off app for the brains of these schizophrenics” But the young ones are being worked over too, they’ll be talking about win, lose, firepower, flags and terrorists before they know what happened.

    Validating power through “superiority” has fascinated the elite since time eternal, not because they believe it. It is typically something they have weaponized and use to both rile a population against itself, and to monitor and control behavior to preserve power.
    Amerasians, a more obvious “mixed breed” in Vietnam than the population at large, were shunned with tacit approval of authority. Green eyes and red hair in China too, much earlier.

    Those that rule, even if the ideas are just made up bullshit from a lab somewhere, typically apply Nationalism with a big paint brush but not always. Consider first the Catholic colonists and then Ho Chi Minh, who Karnow described as a nationalist who allegedly used communism. Major NY publishing houses both distributed Ho’s poetry across the USA, at the same time the Pentagon Papers, so the resistance was managed by by the aggressors. That’s the way empire does it.

    So where is the war still being waged? Old burnouts? The ‘Riviera of the South China Sea’ or on the American people or both? Where are the real weapons? Same place they’ve always been. There’s Tom Friedman writing about pluralism aboard the imperial fleet, and there’s someone else writing to similarly catalyze the worst in readers. ‘Round the clock carpet bombing is what it takes.

  79. Ace says:

    You’re right. Wars should be fought with single-shot .22 rifles. Much more fair.

    • Replies: @Randal
  80. Ace says:

    One interpreter at my Mekong Delta A Team camp took a round in the stomach to save an American. Before my time but I saw the scar. I didn’t think he was a coward. Rather a pleasant gentleman.

  81. Ace says:

    I never heard of any rapes.

  82. Ace says:

    Frank Snepp has the story.

  83. Ace says:
    @Joe Wong

    It would be more profitable to work at restoring constitutional government and a resolute nationalism. Talk of “fair share” is for losers.

    No one gets tagged as a commie for objecting to anything. Nazi and racist are the terms de jour for critics of the foreign invasion and leftist insanity. The commies and traitors fly under the radar.

  84. Ace says:
    @Joe Wong

    That cleared up a lot for me.

  85. Ace says:
    @Joe Wong

    ** massacred South Vietnamese village by village **

    What crap. Utter and complete crap.

  86. Randal says:

    Well if you say so, but better just to be more selective (read less crassly stupid and/or corruptly manipulated) about which wars to get into, surely?

    Clearly, given Iraq and Afghanistan, a lesson the American nation still hasn’t learned.

    • Replies: @Ace
  87. Che Guava says:

    You are so full of rubbish. Incapable of making any point or argument.
    Nothing from you was direct, all just loopy suggestion.

    Then you are to accusing me of personal attacks, when it is only you that has been making a personal attack with no basis (your unsupportable arguments are too brilliant for anybody else, so I must be stupid to not understand your bullshit).

    What, you are from a Hasbara training course?


    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  88. @Che Guava

    I was sure is responded to this comment.

    I have responded in detail to your comment. I have in detail stated what I believe and why. Having reviewed our discussion, it is clear that you comprehended my position clearly as well as I why I hold them.

    So I can only conclude that your comments about my comprehension are in fact, personal in nature – a to mental acuity. Hence the issue is nor about my person, making it the third change of topic, at least.

    Given the meanings of troll,

    Of the three possible meanings of the term, I don’t fit any them.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  89. @EliteCommInc.

    Just a little clean up here.

    Hence the issue based on your comments, is about my person, making it the third change of topic, at least.

    Given the meanings of troll,

    • Troll: Che Guava
  90. Anonymous [AKA "Ederd"] says: • Website

    My only visit to Vung Tau was landing at one of the beaches in a small LSD off the USN Walker in June 1967. Then trucked to an air strip and loaded into a C-130 that was packed so tight we flew to Tan Son Nhut standing up.

  91. RJJCDA says:

    In fall of 1965, I almost drowned at the Back Beach. Later 68-70, worked as a contractor in Vung Tau. Loved the place,

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