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British Communists respond to Bush's comments about Vietnam

Posted by Alex Miller
From the Morning Star editorial (www.morningstaronline.co.uk):

Lessons and lies
(Thursday 23 August 2007)

GEORGE W Bush's invocation of the Vietnam war to counter calls for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is remarkable on at least two grounds.

The first is that any mention of Vietnam recalls his own cowardice in using family political influence to secure himself a bolthole in the Texas and Alabama National Guard instead of risking his own skin in a dirty war to which he was committed.

The second is that his version of what took place in Indochina bears no relation to what actually happened.

According to Mr Bush, US premature military withdrawal was responsible for adding to our vocabulary "new terms like 'boat people,' "re-education camps' and 'killing fields'."

By using these trigger words, the US president attempts to pin the blame for subsequent mass illegal migration from Vietnam and Khmer Rouge slaughter on the US occupation ending "without getting the job done."

In fact, both phenomena were directly due to the criminal actions of Washington.

The US war against Vietnam, including carpet bombing designed, as one US general observed, to return the country to the Stone Age, was a carnival of high-tech barbarism.

It killed 4 million Vietnamese and devastated the economy of this Third World country.

The US military-industrial complex surpassed itself in the profitable task of inventing and refining new weaponry, including napalm, white phosphorus, toxic defoliants, anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs.

It used Vietnam as a testing ground for its weapons of mass destruction.

At the end of its resistance war, Vietnam was independent but impoverished, yet Washington refused to hand over reconstruction aid promised at the Paris peace talks.

No wonder so many desperate people sought to escape from poverty in Vietnam.

Similarly, with Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge may have modelled themselves on a distortion of Mao Zedong's teachings, but they developed as the direct result of Washington's continual escalation, committing more and more troops in what would probably be called "surges" now and expanding its bombing sorties from South Vietnam to North Vietnam and then to Laos and Cambodia.

The dislocation of normal life in previously peaceful Cambodia opened the way to the barbarism of the Khmer Rouge, who were overthrown by Vietnamese armed forces after a series of unprovoked attacks on Vietnam.

Nor should it be forgotten that, for all their condemnation of Khmer Rouge genocide now, Britain and the US vetoed the new Hanoi-supported Cambodian government from taking its place at the United Nations for many years.

Their hostility to Vietnam for having the temerity to defeat the efforts of the mightiest imperialist state to subjugate it had no limits.

For Washington, the murderous Khmer Rouge were preferable to a civilised and dignified people who refused to bend the knee.

The US president's comments indicate that his administration still fails to respect the desire of the Iraqi people for independence and is prepared to lie to the US people, claiming that failure to press on with a disastrous military adventure will mean that "the enemy would follow us home."

Lies and phony history lessons will not avail this war criminal president. Iraqi resistance and US public opinion will force an end - the sooner the better - to the occupation of Iraq.

1 Com:

Peter Boyle | August 27, 2007

I wrote a comment on Bush's revisionism on Vietnam for Green Left Weekly here here.

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