Friday, December 03, 2010
Vietnam: The Last Battle
This was not unusual, for there is no place like Vietnam. Within my lifetime, Ho Chi Minh’s nationalists had fought and expelled the French, whose tree-lined boulevards, pink-washed villas and scaled-down replica of the Paris Opera, were facades for plunder and cruelty; then the Japanese, with whom the French colons collaborated; then the British who sought to reinstall the French; then the Americans, with whom Ho had repeatedly tried to forge an alliance against China; then Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, who attacked from the west; and finally the Chinese who, with a vengeful nod from Washington, came down from the north. All of them were seen off at immeasurable cost.