Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Marjorie Cohn: The Vietnam War is Over

The Vietnam War is Over


By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 24 May 2005
From: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/052405X.shtml

April 30th marked 30 years since the end of the Vietnam War. Yet, recently elected California Assemblyman Van Tran is pushing the California State Assembly to adopt the old flag of the Republic of Vietnam as the official and only flag of the Vietnamese-American community in the state, to be flown at state-sponsored Vietnamese-American events. That was the flag of the puppet regime in Saigon that consistently claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Vietnam. No government in either Saigon or Hanoi ever accepted Washington's claim that there were two separate countries.

Many of us protested US involvement in Vietnam, and its support of the corrupt regime. The Vietnam War claimed 3 million Vietnamese and 58,000 American lives. Subjected to the most intense bombing and chemical warfare in human history, the land has still not recovered, and new generations suffer from damage inflicted on the Vietnamese gene pool.

Although the US government has grudgingly recognized some of the diseases caused by Agent Orange in American veterans who were briefly exposed, it still refuses to acknowledge any of the effects of Agent Orange and other chemicals on the Vietnamese people who have been exposed for decades.

US veterans of that war continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, now a part of our national vocabulary. Many struggle with the lingering effects of drug addiction, homelessness, psychological and physical wounds, and one of the highest suicide rates of any demographic in our society.

In the last 30 years, Vietnam has overcome political and economic hardships to build a new society from the ruins left by the war. Official relations between the US and Vietnam are friendly, and billions of dollars worth of aid and investment are flowing into its economy from around the world.

The flag issue may seem but a symbolic gesture, honoring the undeniable contributions of thousands of Vietnamese refugees in the US. But there is a chilling undertone to this campaign, meant to silence and intimidate those in the Vietnamese community and outside of it who have actively worked towards normalization of relations between the US and Vietnam.

This sentiment was also reflected in the vicious right-wing attack on Senator John Kerry's military service during the presidential election campaign. The "Swift Boat Veterans" succeeded in convincing millions that Kerry not only aided the Vietnamese enemy but also betrayed our POWs.

Daniel Ellsberg, in the 1974 Academy Award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds, outlines how the American people were lied to about Vietnam by Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Once again, a US president is lying to the American people about the need to fight a needless and deadly war. George W. Bush is rapidly creating a new Vietnam in Iraq, with the tragic loss of American and Iraqi life.

Enshrining the old flag of the Republic of Vietnam in California would constitute still another lie. Flying that flag is tantamount to flying the Confederate flag in state buildings.

Californians should resist the passage of SCR 17, which will be considered by the Rules Committee of the California Senate on Wednesday.

*****************

Marjorie Cohn, is a contributing editor to t r u t h o u t, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news