Ngo Vinh Long : After the Fall of Saigon [The Cairo Review of Global Affairs]

[ndlr] Publication en ligne d’un article de Ngo Vinh Long sur le destin du Viêt-Nam contemporain notamment à travers le rôle des Etats-Unis entre 1945 et 1975. Les relations complexes entre les deux pays depuis la réunification est analysé, le poids des contraintes mesuré et les progrès soulignés.

The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War—known in Vietnam as the American War—was one of the most destructive conflicts in history, and ended with a triumphant victory for Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces and the most humiliating military defeat the United States has ever experienced. If a single image represents the historical drama, perhaps it is the one of the Huey helicopter evacuating American personnel and Vietnamese associates from a U.S. embassy building rooftop. Ho’s Communist forces and their southern allies in the National Liberation Front had succeeded in toppling the U.S.-backed southern government of the Republic of Vietnam, and driving American troops, numbering a half million at the peak of the war, out of the country. The conflict between 1955 and 1975 left more than two million Vietnamese dead, and some 58,000 American troops perished.

USEmbassySaigon_April1975
Evacuation from a U.S. embassy building, Saigon, April 29, 1975 © 1975 Hubert Van Es/Bettman/Corbis

Outside Vietnam, it is sometimes forgotten that the United States had also been deeply involved in the First Indochina War from 1946 to 1954, and would also become involved in the Third Indochina War from 1979 to 1989. These three wars brought enormous physical, economic, social, and moral dislocation to Vietnam, and caused deep antagonism between the governments of Vietnam and the United States as well as polarization among the Vietnamese themselves.

Forty years after the Fall of Saigon it may seem surprising that the United States and Vietnam have not only reconciled but their bilateral relations are thriving in many respects. And the Vietnam-United States rapprochement has helped foster a growing reconciliation among bitter Vietnamese adversaries, too.

Lire la suite / Read more : The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, 06/04/2015.