Sunday, April 14, 2013

Liz Shigetoshi - Week 2

It's really disturbing to me how easy it is to forget history, and how everyone can be capable of repeating it. While reading "The American Involvement in Vietnam" by Sucheng Chan, I was reminded of how US involvement in other countries doesn't guarantee the best options or the overall success for everyone. This article describes the US involvement with the events of the rise and fall of the Ngo Dinh Niem government, the Second Indochina War, the attack on the North Vietnamese on lunar New Year, and Nixon's Vietnamization policy. It's really hard for me to trust anyone capable of causing situations that are similar to those that occurred in Vietnam during the 1950's to the 1970's. But I suppose in the end, it makes me really grateful to have an education and to have access to several resources comprised of multiple perspectives and educated analysis.

I also thought it was really powerful to be reminded of a protest by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, on June 11, 1963. Personally, this event stuck with me throughout the whole reading. This is partially because it hit closer to home: my father was a Japanese Buddhist monk before he came to the US, and now he continues on as a Buddhist minister.

This made me wonder about the reactions of the Vietnamese. I was wondering: how did the North and South Vietnamese respond to this image in particular? The Southern Vietnamese government carried on with the raids on Buddhists, but did the Vietnamese people not question their leaders yet or were they not fully informed of all the events that were occurring at the time or were they too scared? I image this was very disturbing for the US to see, thus leading to the US giving the okay go on the assassination of their corrupted Catholic puppet Ngo Dinh Diem.

Infamous image of Thich Quang Duc protesting the prosecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese

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