30 years ago we fled like rats from a burning ship. But was it a failure?
The "civil war between Vietnamese" is a misrepresentation of the Geneva Agreement of 1954 that, among other things, negotiated the removal of the French colonial power and separated North and South Vietnam at the 17th parallel, pending a popular election to be held in 1956 to determine a single government for them both. The majority of the population remained in the communist North, even after several million fled to South Vietnam. Sen. John Kennedy regarded the election as "obviously stacked and subverted in advance."
When, not surprisingly, it did not take place, the war began in the late 1950s with the return of communist cadres to what had now become South Vietnam as a "National Liberation Front" to create an insurgency against the Diem government. Better known as the Viet Cong, the NLF was not an independent political movement of South Vietnamese. According to an editor of the official North Vietnamese People's Daily, "It was set up by our Communist Party." So this was no civil war. North Vietnam began and supported a campaign of Viet Cong subversion of its sovereign southern neighbor.
Driving in downtown Orlando this morning I was surprised to see over 100 Vietnamese Americans protesting the slave-state of Vietnam. While John Kerry was sure that we were committing attrocities, these people are still protesting the attrocities that resulted from our departure.