|Saddam Hussein has nothing on this.|
Afscme Local 444, retired
After I recovered from the news that Andy Griffith (Taylor) has passed away I was shocked back in to life reading the headline that informs me the US is reaching out to its old "enemy" Vietnam. The AP report also says that, "The bitterness on both sides gave way to pragmatism."
But why was, or is, Vietnam an enemy? The Vietnamese had not threatened the US, had never invaded the US. Why would there be "bitterness" on the part of the US? The Vietnamese have a right to be a lot more than bitter. The US architects of that war, those responsible for the deaths of some 3 million Vietnamese and the poisoning of their food that produces deformed children still today a half century later, also sprayed it on our own troops. These murderers have no need to be bitter; they profited from it. The folks who send working class youth to wars rarely if ever send their own. The Americans who have their investment portfolio's buried in the defense industry or are connected to the Carlyle Group and other nefarious gangs (Sorry urban gang members but you don't hold a card to the 1%'s gangs when it comes to violence.) made lots of money in Vietnam and are continuing to do so with the proliferation of US capitalism's wars under the guise of peace and democracy.
The Vietnamese should be bitter alright and I'm sure our equivalents, the folks who work, produce the wealth and die for the guys at the top in Vietnam are bitter and have no love for their historical relationship with the US. Every deformed newborn, a product of the the US government's generous Dioxin export program, reminds them of the relationship. In Laos, people had to live underground in tunnels due to the incessant US carpet bombing. An entire civilization was obliterated there. Have a read of Christopher Hitchen's short book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger to get an idea of the numbers. Kissinger tried to stop the publication of that book.
|Laos toad remnants of US bombing|
They also create the conditions beforehand that make the choice to join up more likely, unemployment, lack of opportunity or they raise the cost of education so they can entice them in with the promise of an affordable education when they return, if they return that is. Thousands never got the opportunity to use the GI Bill.
Obama will be visiting Vietnam as part of this new relationship and Nguyen Phu Trong, the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party is ecstatic as another of his engagements is at the US Chamber of Commerce, one of US capitalism's most notorious organized gangs. Do some research in to this outfit and its role in US history and see how ferociously it has fought to deny Americans every gain we have made over the years.
Trong's elation should come as no surprise as this is standard procedure for the Stalinists. The deaths of millions of Vietnamese and thousand sof US youth in that war was all for nought as the Stalinists have no problem with making deals with global capital. When it comes to the number affected we should include hundreds of thousand more in the US, those that lost their fathers, parents who lost sons and daughters, and those still dying form Agent Orange like two older friends of mine did in the recent past. The Vietnamese workers and peasants were fighting against Imperialist domination of their land and culture---The world will not be Starbuckized. The Communist Party bureaucrats have no problem being part of the plunder, sharing it with their US partners and making sure the state takes all necessary measure to hold back dissent.
The Vietnamese are among the cheapest of the world's workers to hire with some of the most oppressive conditions. Chinese workers are even moving production there as their working class manages to win higher wages. Protests a year ago that were only described as "nationalist" by the Wall Street Journal and other 1% journals, were much more than that. They were also class based and in opposition to the horrible conditions and low pay, lack of unions etc. In other words, the democratic rights the US spin doctors and media go on about. The mass media cannot make that apparent as the owners of capital won't invest in human beings there. They won' be cheap enough.
The US spin doctors cry crocodile tears about the lack of freedom and right to unions etc but that is just propaganda. Like Hilary Clinton's visit to Burma (Myanmar) a few years back, Obama, if he goes, will be accompanied by selected corporate leaders in order to get access to this cheap labor and source of profits for US retailers. It is a business trip. The Cambodian strikers that were shot two years ago trying to get more pay haven't had any help from the US or the giant corporations that buy what they make. If their incomes increase, WalMart and others will just move to Vietnam. Do we think that US capital will flow in to Vietnam in order to raise wages? What would be the point?
The US mass media talks of the lack of rights but that's show. When they use the word "freedom" they mean freedom for capital. Freedom to go anywhere regardless of borders. Freedom to exploit labor power and to purchase it as cheaply as possible. Freedom to use that labor power in order to extract surplus value from it which is the source of their profits and to so so without interference form independent unions state regulations and pesky safety procedures designed to protect workers.
We only have to look at one of US capitalism's most trusted allies, the Saudi family that rule a country, or the Bahraini Monarchy, another family business. The Saudis in particular are an exceptionally nasty bunch, very efficient beaheaders and hand removers. No matter, they support the freedom of capital and they're OK. The US 1% and it's spokespersons will have no problem making a deal with the Mullah's of Iran either. Every Taliban official was on the payroll of the US government up till 1999, women's right be damned.
Nope, there's no reason for Vietnam to be an enemy at all, never was.