Sunday, August 20, 2017

Whose War Was It? By Carie Uyen Nguyen…/08/18/opin…/whose-war-was-it.html…
Excerpt: Perhaps no one came out of the Vietnam War with a reputation as tarnished as the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Since well before the war ended, ARVN soldiers were made an easy and ready scapegoat for America’s losses, a stereotype that found its way into academia and popular culture. We’re told they were incompetent cowards who often shirked their duties, leaving the hard work to the Americans. As a Vietnamese student at an American university with an extensive archive of Vietnam-era oral histories, both written and tape-recorded, I’ve had a unique opportunity to dig deeper, to find all the ways that this story is flimsy and unfair. Unique because it’s not about showing that American soldiers were wrong — rather, I’ve come across account after account from American veterans talking about the courage and effectiveness of their allied brothers, the South Vietnamese soldiers. Of course, I’ve come across many Americans with negative attitudes about ARVN. But a lot of them were rear-area personnel, people who never fought alongside ARVN and, I imagine, drew inaccurate conclusions from secondhand accounts they’d hear on base. Other negative accounts focused more on cultural differences than anything else.(Finally someone speaks up and gets publicized in a major media about the bravery of the RVN military!  So long overdue, but at least finally where it can be seen, thought about, understood better.  I want to find an address for this young woman and send her my congratulations and thanks. --Del)

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