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Page 49
Download PDF of this full issue: v48n1.pdf (140.6 MB)

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Vietnam: A History of the War

By Allen Meece (reviewer)

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Vietnam: A History of the War
by Russell Freedman

(Holiday House, 2016)

This concise history book is a well-rounded insight into the 10-year-long atrocity of the "American War" in Vietnam. They gave it that name to distinguish it from their previous revolt against imperialism during the "French War." Both wars were manifestations of capitalist insane hatred for socialism and the Vietnam liberation movement because it stood for the common good of working-class citizens. After World War II, as it revolted against the post-war resumption of French colonialism, North VN fruitlessly asked America for help. VN's Prime Minister, Ho Chi Minh, figured the US would approve their anti-colonial revolution since that was exactly how America was started in 1776. Wrong. We may love freedom but recently we've been submitting to the over-control of the owning class much more.

Our version of "help" was to sail in and set up a puppet government so that US corporations, not the local "socialists," would have first dibs on the country's raw materials, tungsten, and oil deposits. The resistance of the VN people was phenomenal and our troop build-up reached half a million but no dice. Didn't work. No winning. The only question became when to call off the invasion and leave them alone. Behind the political scene, the commercial US establishment, known to millions of war protesters as the "Power Structure," enforced the war until 1975. Then we just shipped out or flew away without apologizing for what we'd done.

Russell Freedman is an excellent writer who clarifies the politics of death. He writes in a conversational way without any academic babble so the reason for an extended, international crime becomes clear to the reader of his great summary. It was about money.

Allen Meece was a sonar technician on a destroyer offshore of Vietnam and has written a novel about a fictional Tonkin Gulf Incident titled The Abel Mutiny, along with other books on Vietnam, available at Amazon.com.

Seaman Allen L. Meece on the Deck Force of USS Edwards, DD950, 1966, 4th from right, back row.

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