The purpose of the US in Vietnam was to oppose communism, not to colonize the country

A few days ago I happened – with great surprise, I confess – to read an article in the Corriere della Sera written by one of our prestigious ex diplomats, now retired. Former ambassador of Italy first to NATO and then to Moscow, the aforementioned diplomat argues in his article that the real purpose of the US intervention in Vietnam was to colonize the southern part of the country, to replace France, the previous colonial power on site .

Beyond my surprise, which I still believe entirely legitimate, I find the former ambassador's theory at least amusing. It is not clear, in fact, why the United States wanted to colonize a country that was geographically marginal.

The real intent, in reality, was another. A full-fledged communist regime had settled in Hanoi, albeit closer to Moscow than to Beijing. It was led by Ho Chi Minh, the famous "Uncle Ho" exalted in the West by many left-wing intellectuals, and whose name was articulated in countless processions, students and not.

The fact is that Ho, despite his persuasive and somewhat mysterious smile, was by no means the "good-natured uncle" that leftist hagiography loved to paint. Tempered in Moscow at the famous Stalinist school of the Comintern, Ho Chi Minh immediately showed what he was made of as soon as the party he headed took power in the northern part of the country.

These were scenarios already seen elsewhere. First of all, repeating five-year plans which, however, just as happened in the USSR and in China, never reached the set objectives because they were drawn up at the table, without taking into account the will of the workers who should have carried them out. Secondly, a granite one-party system. The Communist Party alone was admitted, and any other political formation absolutely excluded.

Thirdly, resorting to mass terror and the creation of gulags throughout the nation in which all opponents, without exception, were imprisoned. Fourthly, systematic recourse to the public confession of one's "mistakes", thanks to which one could be reintegrated – but always under close surveillance – into civil life.

In short, “Uncle Ho's” North Vietnam was a Stalinist country in all respects. And, after defeating the French, the North Vietnamese decided to extend their model to the entire nation.

The United States of that time, however, was not the one dominated by politically correct and cancel culture today . Instead, they were engaged in a global battle to defend freedom and to prevent communism from conquering new squares.

They intervened and, as we all know, lost. Engaged in a classic guerrilla war, they reacted with the air force and tanks , without understanding that the Communist soldiers they were fighting against were strongly ideologically motivated. Young US conscripts weren't quite as bad, even though many signed up as volunteers.

Once the victory was achieved, it was clear to all that many South Vietnamese did not want to live under a communist regime. Those who could do so left the country. But thousands and thousands of boat people sought refuge at sea, ending up drowned, captured by pirates or devoured by sharks.

The united Vietnam of today is different from that of "Uncle Ho". While maintaining a rigid one-party system and even forced labor camps, it has led to economic reforms similar to those of Deng Xiaoping in China. It is therefore a little richer than before, but in any case it remains a dictatorial state without fundamental freedoms.

The speech I gave may seem "out of date", as I argue that the Americans went to Vietnam to defend freedom. Although, upon their return, the young veterans received very bad treatment as everyone wanted to forget Vietnam. Sylvester Stallone, impersonating the figure of Rambo , put his finger on the sore because the veterans were actually treated like this. However, I believe I can say, and with full knowledge of the facts, that our former diplomat is wrong by attributing colonial intent to the US intervention in Vietnam. If we continue like this we will be condemned for ever to be submerged by the slogans that today exalt Fidel Castro, and yesterday Stalin, Mao and Ho Chi Minh.

The post The purpose of the US in Vietnam was to fight communism, not to colonize the country appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Thu, 22 Jul 2021 03:50:00 +0000.