The Vietnam War ruled 30 years of the country’s history in the 20thcentury. US Military invaded between 1965 and 1973 and sent hundreds of thousands of US soldiers into the war. The excuse was to prevent a Communist takeover of the whole country which was divided into the communist North, and the pro-American South. In1975 the North won the war and the last Americans left the country.
Forty years after the war there are no more foreign troops in the country but platoons of tourists visiting the old battlefields and tunnels excavated by Viet-Cong guerillas. There is a market selling old military stuff and even faking it. The Defoliation Spray called “Agent Orange” is still affecting the people and causes disabilities. During the war US Airforces dropped 7 million tons of bombs on Vietnam and there are still remaining bombs and landmines below ground. Even though America lost the war, capitalism finally triumphed and the remains of the war serve its prosperity. So we are looking at a country that has just opened up and the new generation is being exposed to a growing Western influence.
Roughly 40 years after the conflict ended, the absurdity of war and its consequences are more obvious than ever. - Hahn Hartung