There are always two sides to a story, and if the story is about a war, surely it has various dimensions. For a historian, it is not an easy task to keep track of the motives and intentions behind certain acts of war. There are no two opinions about investigating the causes and effects of a war. However, the insight one could get from those who lived through a war has a distinct position above all other tools of inquiry.
Any professor of history teaching in the United States would tell you that ‘Vietnam War’ took place to protect the ‘good folks’ of the south from ‘bad people’ of the north. Despite losing more than 58, 000 troops, and withdrawing after a humiliating defeat in Vietnam, the United States still considers the war in Vietnam as ‘just another mistake’ in the Cold War.
Nevertheless, America’s campaign in Vietnam, which lasted more than a decade, had a profound impact on millions of Vietnamese. For these people, this war is not the Vietnam War: they call it the ‘American War’.
There is a whole generation of people with vivid memories of days and nights of war. For a large number of Vietnamese, the war was just another USA campaign, to serve its own interest. People still remember the times when there were non-stop radio broadcasts about how ‘American Wolves’ were tearing apart their beloved land.
The Vietnamese people lived under war and oppression for a very long time. When asked about their opinion on the war, a common question that comes from many Vietnamese is ‘which war?’ There is sill a whole generation of people who spent their childhood learning about the atrocities committed by the French, when Vietnam was a colony of France.
The dispute with the French ended with a split of the single Vietnam into South and North units. However, different political affiliations of the governments of the two units paved the way for another war, a more deadly war – the ‘American War’. And then after 15 years of hell, a border dispute with China brought another war for the Vietnamese people, The Atlantic reports.
Although Vietnam is not the only nation on this planet to have been profoundly shaped by wars and chaos, the impact of war on the lives of people was incredible and long-lasting. Caught in a tussle between Communist North and Capitalist South, the common Vietnamese had absolute no idea what were they paying for.
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