Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho, have a lump of coal

When life deals you a communist dictatorship, the going can get rough;
Trieu Tran's one-man show, "Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam," is a harrowing account of his journey from Vietnam to successful life in the U.S.
Which had its ups and downs, no doubt, but can an artsy theater critic be excused for ignorance of history;
This is a rare opportunity to hear, from the source, how the U.S. miliary adventure impacted the people we were allegedly saving from Communism, and how we treat our disoriented, battered war immigrants once they're among us.
Well, we did save the South from the terrors of Communism (thanks to Richard Nixon and our B-52s)...until we didn't.  In 1972, after almost all American combat forces had been withdrawn from South Vietnam, the North launched a huge invasion (the Easter Offensive) of the South, which the Vietnamese repelled, after initial gains by the Communist forces.

Then the South had the support of America, especially the so-called Christmas bombing of Hanoi--which, according to American POWs there, profoundly changed the attitudes of their guards.

But, by 1975, Nixon had been forced to resign due to Watergate ineptitude, and the 'anti-war' Democrats were firmly in control of congress.  They passed laws prohibiting any more support of our South Vietnamese allies, so new President Gerald Ford had to sit helplessly as a second military invasion from the North overran the South.

A few of the left-wing critics of what the Seattle Times' theater critic called, America's 'military adventure', have been honest enough to admit that they were badly mistaken at the time.  The British journalist William Shawcross for one;
Those of us who opposed the American war in Indochina should be extremely humble in the face of the appalling aftermath: a form of genocide in Cambodia and horrific tyranny in both Vietnam and Laos. Looking back on my own coverage for The Sunday Times...,I think I concentrated too easily on the corruption and incompetence of the South Vietnamese and their American allies, was too ignorant of the inhuman Hanoi regime, and far too willing to believe that a victory by the Communists would provide a better future. But after the Communist victory came the refugees to Thailand and the floods of boat people desperately seeking to escape the Cambodian killing fields and the Vietnamese gulags. Their eloquent testimony should have put paid to all illusions.

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