Thursday, January 6, 2011

When Night Fell In IndoChina

I haven't posted for awhile. I get this inertia going and it can't stop it. I will try to post at least once a week just to keep this madness going. Not that I get a lot of readers, but I do like the thought of having a blog.

So here is my favorite article on the web on the Vietnam War. I originally found it on the Nixon Library website. I think I got there from a link from the Powerline Blog. Then one day it was gone when they redid the website. I actually contacted them and asked them to put it back up. It took them a little bit to find it but put it up they did. Every so often I go back and read this article. It moved me then, and it still moves me now. The mark of a great article for me is the fact that I still go back to read it.

When Night Fell In Indochina
by Bruce Herschensohn

I am currently reading The Black Book of Communism. Just started actually. It is a big book and I think I will tackle some parts at a time in sections. I think I will read about Vietnam and Indochina and the massacres that happened there.

I think we need to rethink the history of the Vietnam war in respect to how history has played out for the region. We knew how bad communism was. We knew those people would get slaughtered. Get slaughtered they did. We promised them freedom, and we had blood on our hands. Thanks to shoving that history down the memory hole, we have washed that blood off for the next generations of Americans who don't know the history of the Holocaust of Indochina.

History, they say is written after we are all dead. It has been 35 years since the fall of Saigon, and I think it is time to write the real history of what really happened, what was at stake, what we were fighting for and what happened to those people after we left them to fend from themseleves alone.

A quote from the article above:

As the Khmer Rouge prepared to murder at least a million men, women, and children over the next two years, a New York Times editorial noted that further U.S. aid to Cambodia would “only extend Cambodia’s misery.”

Sidney Schanberg wrote directly from Southeast Asia: “I have seen the Khmer Rouge and they are not killing anyone…Wars nourish brutality and sadism and sometimes certain people are executed by the victors but it would be tendentious to forecast such abnormal behavior as a national policy under a communist government once the war is over.”

The situation looked different to our brave allies.

In Cambodia, General Sirik Matak of Phnom Penh wrote a letter to U.S. Ambassador John Gunther Dean on April 2, 1975, 15 days before the fall of that city, in which he thanked Ambassador Dean “for your order to transport me towards freedom,” but he said he would not accept the kind offer. “As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which have chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it…You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad [but] we all are born and must die [one day]. I have only committed this mistake of believing in you [America].”

General Matak was reported to have been executed three days after the fall of Phnom Penh, near the start of the genocide of Cambodians.

I printed this article years ago so that I would never lose it again. I read it at least once a year. Reading it today I still got emotional when I read the passage of the Cambodian General Sirik Matak. He could have had freedom for himself and his family. He choose to stay and fight for his country in vain. He loved his country and his people. He only mistake was actually believing in America. That stings. It hurts. But the wound for America is nothing like the wound for IndoChina. And we have largely whitewashed the pertinent facts of our history of the region out of American history textbooks. I guess their is only enough room for one Holocaust. Sphere: Related Content