21 Jan 2017
One idea from Kill Anything that Moves that stands out to me is how the United States’ imbued the National Liberation Front, whose “tactics were driven more by nationalism than by communist ideology.” (Turse 9) In other words, there is arguably a dislike of American involvement in the Vietnam War by local Vietnamese. Yet, I found it somewhat difficult to come to this conclusion, based on the reading, because there were not many explicit examples of the local Vietnamese admitting it. For example, Nguyen Van Tam testified that, “[U.S. troops] entered the road and said we must all leave . . . My mother cried. They took matches and burned our house. Then they shot our buffaloes.” (Turse 67) But that is all—emotion, without Van Tam’s direct opinion. But it is clear how some troops felt about the Vietnamese whom they consider are the “asshole of the world.” (Turse 49) This is all to say that such depictions resonate with the silenced Vietnamese narratives that is also central to our past readings as well, which testifies to it as a significant issue. Exposing the unjust realities of the war is a major first-step, especially after the War when the Vietnamese Veterans Against the War (VVAW) unified in solidarity against United States involvement, but why not have the Vietnamese voices heard in these testimonies? Moreover, it is important to hear the voices of the “victims” themselves, for it may exemplify for successful future international diplomacy with the United States listening to the ideas of Vietnam’s people.
For United States involvement in a country may not set well. Since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, multiple stories of the Filipino President cutting ties with the United States are surfacing. In short, the Duterte believes that the United States should not be guiding many of the Philippine’s policies against drug offenders, exclaiming, “Do not make us your dogs”, to President Obama back in October 2016. The parallels are noticeable, and in many other cases where the United States have intervened with other country’s local and international endeavors. Perhaps the US can learn from the stories of the Vietnam War to better grasp the potential detriments of their actions.
Image source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-4-VRsD3Ugc/maxresdefault.jpg
"Philippines' Duterte to US: 'Do not make us your dogs'" CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.
Turse, Nick. Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.Henry Holt and Company. New York: 2013. 20 January 2017.