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Nicke Davies : Vietnam 40 years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption [The Guardian]

[ndlr] A l’approche du 40e anniversaire de la fin de la guerre du Viêt-Nam, signalement d’un article de Nick Davies sur l’horreur de la guerre (vue exclusivement de son versant américain et sud-coréen), le poids des destructions et les conséquences inattendues du conflit (capitalisme, corruption, inégalités sociales). Un survol partial et partiel (quid des années d’après-guerre, des Boat people, de la guerre au Cambodge et de la réconciliation manquée ?) qui amène le lecteur à s’interroger sur les raisons profondes d’un incroyable désastre humain et social. En fin de billet, liens vers d’autres articles publiés par The Guardian.

After the military victory, Vietnam’s socialist model began to collapse. Cut off by US-led trade embargos and denied reconstruction aid, it plunged into poverty. Now its economy is booming – but so is inequality and corruption.

VNWar_USArmyHelicoptersMarch1965
US army helicopters provide covering fire for South Vietnamese troops as they attack a Vietcong camp near the Vietnam-Cambodia border in March 1965 © AP/Horst Faas

Early one morning in February 1968, when the fighting in central Vietnam had reached a new level of insanity, a group of South Korean soldiers swept into a village called Ha My, a straggly collection of bamboo huts and paddy fields about an hour outside the city of Danang. They were from a unit called Blue Dragon, which was fighting alongside the Americans, attempting to suppress the communist uprising.

For weeks, they had been herding farmers and their families into a crowded compound that the Americans called a “strategic hamlet”. By taking the farmers out of their villages, they hoped they could starve the communist guerrillas of food and shelter. And for weeks, the farmers and their families had been escaping, trailing back to Ha My, loathing the captivity of the strategic hamlet, needing to farm their land. Now, the Blue Dragon soldiers had had enough.

In the hour that followed their arrival, the Koreans herded the waking villagers into small groups and then, methodically, opened fire. An hour later, they had killed 135 of them. They then burned their homes and bodies, and bulldozed the whole mess into mass graves. For years the truth lay buried, too.

Now there is a monument to that massacre, built 30 years later at the expense of Blue Dragon soldiers who came back offering genuine remorse. But there is something wrong. The monument stands proud, as big as a house, with ornate roofing that shelters two collective tombs and a large gravestone carrying the names of the adults and children who died. But there is no explanation for their deaths.

[…]

“We traded millions of lives for independence and equality. When I was in prison I imagined the country would be clear of corruption after the war, but it didn’t happen. The development of the country should proceed, so we don’t go against those who make money legitimately. But we can’t allow those who make illegitimate money to continue to make poor people poorer.” (Nguyen Cong Khe)

Lire la suite / Read more : The Guardian, 22/04/2015.

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