Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eddie Truong - Week 3

The Vietnam War left an indelible mark on contemporary American history, such that a psychological condition for the state was named after it: the Vietnam Syndrome. The Vietnam Syndrome describes the reluctance of American military intervention after the end of the Vietnam War. In Genocide and Justice by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Schlund-Vials coined the term "Cambodian Syndrome" in order to describe the phenomenon of revising the Vietnam Syndrome in order to justify and legitimize contemporary U.S. and Cambodian governmental power relations. As such, the experience of Cambodia can be looked upon to describe how the U.S. utilizes this situation in order to further promote American Exceptionalism in the Southeast Asia region after its devastating defeat in Viet Nam.

It would appear that the United States was not "traumatized" in any sense of the word after the Vietnam War, if the Cambodian Syndrome can so easily revise the symptoms of Vietnam War trauma. In another intepretation, these terms suggest that another psychological condition is merely replacing another, as if the United States were some kind of unstable entity. A quick look at recent U.S. military intervention suggests that the country has an obsession with military occupation throughout the world. To this end, I wonder if the Cambodian Syndrome suggests a different psychological state for the United States or if it is a reversion back to the original state of mind. If the latter is true, the Cambodian Syndrome may suggest that the America has a psychopathic condition, evidenced by its military occupation of regions around the world.

Discussion Question: How does the Cambodian Syndrome describe U.S. exceptionalism?

No comments:

Post a Comment