Memories of a lost war

Forty nine years ago, almost, one of the most defining moments in world history was enacted. Saigon surrendered. The capital and the last bastion of US supported Republic of Vietnam was taken over by the communist guerillas and the North Vietnamese army. Despite losing the war, yes US did lose this war although they continue to manufacture technical jargon to deny it, the US felt a sense of collective closure of a traumatic experience. 

The long war had brought profound changes in its society and culture. The effects of that war still reverberate through its foreign policy decisions having an impact for the larger world. The vietnam war is still the prism through which american think tanks and self professed experts view conflicts and their perceived resolutions. The images of US helicopters ferrying its citizens and allies from Saigon rooftops to US navy ships waiting in the South China Sea while the "enemy" closed in, is a military lesson that continues to torment generations born much later. For the society at large in the US, it means many things often contradictory. 

Meanwhile on Ground Zero, at Saigon, renamed Ho Chi Minh City after its capitulation, life goes on regardless. Its young population has almost no memories of this day. Saigon and Vietnam continue to live on in the US much more emphatically than they do in Vietnam itself. 



Anonymous said…
Wonderful! I had always wanted to read about the Vietnam war. This is the perfect appetiser. Reminds me of Le Carre stories… would love to read more, do suggest some books. Ironic reaction of the victor and the defeated..

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