Subject: RE “The War That Never Ends (For The U.S. Military High Command) And It’s Not The War On Terror,” By Danny Sjursen
RE “The War That Never Ends (For The U.S. Military High Command) And It’s Not The War On Terror,” By Danny Sjursen (BeyondChron, January 30, 2018):
The author wrote, “McMaster…he still suggested that the Joint Chiefs should have advocated for a more aggressive offensive strategy – a full ground invasion of the North or unrelenting carpet bombing of the country.”
The U.S. government and military unleashed all of the armaments and weapons it possessed on Viet Nam and the Vietnamese people.
The U.S. bombed all regions of Viet Nam, including the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.
Hong Nguyen, who was born and raised in Haiphong and lived there during the war, now lives in San Francisco where she owned a nail salon for many years. Hong remembers the U.S.’ bombings of Haiphong vividly.
Hong states, “I was a young woman at that time. The B-52 bombers and the other bombers dropped countless tons of massive bombs on my city of Haiphong. I will never forget it. The bomb sirens would go off up to half an hour before the bombers arrived. We would run to our bomb shelters. Some shelters could only fit one person. Some shelters could hold several people. We could only stand in the shelters. The bombers would approach from the direction of the sea. We could hear them. We could know exactly where they were. The noises they made as they approached were unmistakable. They lowered in altitude before they dropped their bombs, and regained in altitude after they dropped their bombs. We could hear and feel the bombs as they were being dropped. When the bombs hit, the whole ground shook, the entire earth shook loudly and violently. You cannot imagine it unless you were there. The violent shaking of the ground and earth and the explosions continued for a long while. I felt terrified, but I had to survive. We had to survive. When it was time to exit from our bomb shelters, I saw the terrible destruction. I could see dead bodies everywhere, children, women, men. Feet and legs, arms and limbs chopped off, severed heads, strewn everywhere, flung on to tree branches and rooftops, and thrown and scattered everywhere on sidewalks and streets. Crushed bones and skulls, split open bodies and human organs, raw human blood and flesh were everywhere. The smoke from the bombs, the physical destruction they left, the houses, buildings, streets and roadways, bridges, schools, and hospitals that they destroyed. After each bombing, there were people whose jobs were to collect the dead bodies. We could not stand there in the street to watch them for long, for we had to get back to our jobs and to our families. We had the task as survivors to get back to our jobs and to our families. The bombings were indescribably cruel and inhumane, but our task was to survive and to live. And we had to survive. We did survive. But many others, from those as young as babies to the elderly, were killed from the bombings.”
Hong states, “Toi rat la dau kho luc do, nhung ma toi phai chui.” Translated, Hong says, “I felt deep sorrow at that time, but I had to acknowledge the situation.”
Hong survived the bombings. Countless others perished.
In the Viet Nam War, over 58,000 Americans died. Approximately 4 million Vietnamese children, women, and men were killed. Countless Vietnamese were orphaned and widowed.
The consequences of the U.S.’ use of Agent Orange and other herbicides in Viet Nam are still being borne by Vietnamese, with severe birth defects, cancers, monstrous deformities. Agent Orange and the herbicides are in Viet Nam’s lands, rivers, and waterways, and Viet Nam’s food supplies. The consequences of the chemical war perpetrated on Viet Nam and the Vietnamese will be borne by the people of Viet Nam for generations to come.
What lessons have we learned from the Viet Nam War?
Have we, in fact, learned any lessons from the Viet Nam War?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his sermon at the Riverside Church, declared that he could no longer remain silent while bearing witness to the children, women, and men in Viet Nam who were being killed and slaughtered by the U.S. waging war in Viet Nam. Dr. King called for the immediate stopping of the bombings over Viet Nam, and for the end of the war.
Let us remember the War in Viet Nam.
Let us not forget the Holocaust of the Viet Nam War.
Let us reclaim our belief in the sanctity of human life.
Let us turn swords into plowshares. As human brothers and sisters, we all deserve to live in peace.
Chuc Nuoc Viet Nam Hoa Binh Mai Mai! May Viet Nam Live In Peace Always!
Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Happy New Year!
ANH LEFiled under: Letters to the Editor