First of all the name of the country is properly two words. Secondly the A is the flat long A, not the rounder short A that is appreciated in the west. But the people who live there and speak the language say the long flat A all the time. Also, did you see “Frontline” on PBS the other day. It was all about Senator John McCain. I was pleased to see that I remembered that first interview he did for the camera’s the right way. He had been beaten so badly that he could not stand up, or even sit up. He did that first interview lying on his bunk. Donald Trump says he’s not a war hero, i’d like to see just how long Trump would last under that kind of torture.
The next thing to remember is that when the war in Vietnam ended the first time, we had a treaty with North Vietnam. We were removing out troops under that treaty. When we got them down to a certain level that the North Vietnamese felt they could handle the troops that were left in the south, they attacked. That was when we had to evacuate Saigon.
It wasn’t until after the war was over for good that we discovered what Ho Chi Minh was really trying to do. If you think about it you can completely understand the man. He was trying to drive foreign invaders out of his country. He would have done anything to achieve that aim. He tried talking to the US about it and to the UN. He got nowhere with the west so he turned to the Chinese and the communists. The US took over the war from the French; recall that Vietnam was a French colony before WWII. The French have always seen themselves as the most civilized country on Earth. They have always thought it was their duty to bring civilization to the rest of the world. Can you imagine that ego, WOW! Even though WWII virtually bled them white, they refused to give up any of their colonies. In 1956 Algeria began a bloody conflict that gained them their freedom from France. It was due to these two factors that the French finally agreed to get out of Vietnam, but only if the US would get into Vietnam and we were not to give the Vietnamese their freedom. We were to maintain some sort of control over them because the French insisted they were still little more than savages. They had to be because they weren’t French. We actually started sending troops in there in 1958, under Eisenhower.
© Marilyn Kortemeier