Monday, August 28, 2017

War in Vietnam

Today I met a Vietnamese family, mother and two daughters. The elder daughter awaits results of an MA in law at Bristol. She told me it was rare to find a British person who could talk about Vietnam's history.  I explained I had been a young graduate when Vietnam was constantly in the headlines. It turned out that her grandfather was a war hero, decorated for rescuing a Vietcong fellow soldier when under fire from the American enemy. I said how grateful I was that the UK was not involved in the war as it was my American contemporaries who were drafted or dodging one way or another. Like the Presbyterian who could claim he was still a Mennonite and so join the peace corps instead. I think it was the working class, black and white who were drafted. I found out the reasons the two sides fought were very different. I remember the great American fight to stop the spread of communism. My Vietnamese friends said it was all about American colonialism and imperialism. 'Wad some power the gift tae give us tae see ourselves as others see us.' I said the way the war was conducted was unpopular here and eventually in US too.

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