Tuong Vu : The United States isn’t the only country still trying to figure out the Vietnam War

[ndlr] Article de Tuong Vu sur la signification et le poids de la guerre pour le Viêt-Nam d’aujourd’hui.

Forty years ago this month, the savage war in Vietnam ended dramatically with North Vietnamese tanks crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon. As Americans continue to struggle over the legacies of the Vietnam War, it may surprise many of us that our former enemy who won that war is confronting a crisis over its meaning.

Ever since the end of the war, Hanoi leaders have sought to capitalize on their military victory to legitimize their rule. Every year the event is celebrated with great fanfare, as “the day when South Vietnam was liberated and the country reunified.” The victory on that day, Vietnamese are told again and again, epitomized the 4,000-year history of Vietnamese struggle for independence. Its greatness validated the eternal mandate of the Communist Party to rule the country.

Yet public opinion inside Vietnam about the meaning of the war has quietly shifted in the last two decades as Vietnamese gained the freedom to travel abroad, as scholars gained access to previously classified documents, and as the internet broke the government’s monopoly on access to information. The internet has been the government’s chief adversary more than anything else. Most Vietnamese were born after the war, and without the internet they would not have been able to know what really happened during the war and in its aftermath.

VietnamWar_DongXoai1965
In this June 1965 photo, South Vietnamese civilians, among the few survivors of two days of heavy fighting, huddle together in the aftermath of a battle to retake a Vietcong-held post at Dong Xoai, Vietnam © AP Photo/Horst Faas.

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Much to the government’s chagrin, Vietnamese now view the war as a proxy war and civil war rather than one for national liberation and unification (Tuong Vu).

Lire la suite / Read more : History News Network, 20/04/2015.

A native of Vietnam and an associate professor of political science at the University of Oregon, Tuong Vu has authored many books and articles about the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Vietnamese revolution. He can be reached at thvu@uoregon.edu.


Citer ce billet
indomemoires (2015, 24 avril). Tuong Vu : The United States isn’t the only country still trying to figure out the Vietnam War. Mémoires d'Indochine. Consulté le 12 juin 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/q5e2