Yes, the war was won by the Vietnamese DESPITE taking heavy losses, that, according to conventional wisdom, might ordinarily have caused them to lose the war. It’s not a matter of propaganda or ideology that dictates the U.S. exterminated millions of anti-american or potentially anti-american people, it’s just a fact inherent in not just all war, but this war in particular. That is what war aims to achieve often, though it is implicit in our thinking it is rarely expressed today in honest terms. In the context of the cold war where communism was synonymous with evil, they could justify almost anything — and indeed went on to try to justify the most horrific of atrocities. Yet in all the lessons of the Vietnam war, one of the most forgotten lessons today is that you can’t bomb a people to oblivion and expect them to back you when you stay. That’s what I fear we forget. and why I bring up the point that we sought to eradicate communism — in other words, an idea that people have in their heads. The country decided to do that not with the pen but with sword, and look what it brought us.
It’s important to note, this is from an American perspective, to the Vietnamese they were not “anti-american” but rather Vietnamese people who wanted their freedom to choose their own destiny. I will add, I don’t think us killing all the anti-american people is the reason for this upturn in relations. I merely am adding it as a contributing factor that has long been overlooked and is never mentioned when it should be.
We must as a country take responsibility for the catastrophe we wrought in the region. and the fact that justice remains elusive for the victims in all of this, is, quite frankly, by design. That is reprehensible, and I’m tired of us making excuses for it.
Out of curiosity, what do you think is the propaganda of the Vietnam war?