April 30, 1975 brought independence thirty years after President Truman cruelly went back on Roosevelt's promise that colonies freed from Japanese occupation would not be given back to European powers, and treacherously turned against Ho Chi Minh, America's decorated ally during the Second World War.
Truman used Nationalist Chinese, British and even Japanese troops to thwart the the independent nation Ho had proclaimed from the balcony of the Hanoi Opera House with high American and British Officers standing alongside him. Then Truman brought back the French colonial army in U.S. ships.
The same heartless capitalist-imperialists who convinced Truman to frighten the Soviet Union by atom bombing Japan twice wanted to help the capitalist parties of France improve their position with voters by regaining its Indochinese colonies. The Communist party in France was extremely popular for its war time heroics against the Nazi occupation.
No point in going over the napalm, the heavy high altitude carpet bombing, biological warfare and the atrocities committed on the ground in villages all over South Vietnam. What is not so well known is is the even greater suffering during the post 1975 monstrous economic warfare practiced viciously with the same disregard that it bombed and butchered before 1975.
Today, too many Americans still hail anyone who willingly went to Vietnam and followed orders to kill Vietnamese as Communists. The Communists are still there but the U.S. is now a "friend' in keeping with its money making investments.
When that happens the Vietnamese will not have to hold their tongue in deference to their trading relationship with a United States able to punish it again at will.
Sweet and pleasant natured destiny accepting Buddhist though they be, the Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians will be able to freely express their holding the capitalist society of Americans accountable for its many years of senseless, ignorant and merciless horrific and beastly insanity toward a people on the other side of the world which had expected quite the opposite behavior.
And out of this sick body-count nation of an America asleep to the most minimum decency toward its mass media designated enemies, will be born a nation of much kinder Americans feeling similarly awakened as did Germans when forced to realize their nation's holocaust guilt.
But Americans might go deeper to the source of such widespread insanity, namely, a pathetically desperate capitalists, controlling media to maximize accumulation of private wealth with absolutely no moral impediment permitted.
Think how many Americans were never on the United States side during the U.S. war in Vietnam? How many of us were completely on the side of the Vietnamese just as Jane Fonda dramatized? How many of us are informed enough to see that the roots of imperialist wars are in the capitalist political economy all around us?
We will appreciate the Vietnamese not letting the rest of us forget what was done to them in the name of anti-Communism. or to put it positively, in the name, and for the urgencies, of Capitalists.
P.S. Jay Janson was Assistant Conductor of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi for eight years and on tour playing all the Brahms symphonies, and Beethoven, Prokovieff, Shostakovitch, Haydn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, dozens of Overtures and concertos including both Chopin concertos with the only Asian winner of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Dan Tai-son, who practiced for it in a Hanoi bomb shelter. The orchestra was founded by Ho Chi Minh, and it plays most of its concerts in the Opera House, a diminutive copy of the Paris Opera. In 1945, our ally Ho, from a balcony overlooking the large square and flanked by an American Major and a British Colonel, declared Vietnam independent. (By the way the little hotel, where I stayed in the 90s, lay just across from our American Embassy in Hanoi, and the Ambassador was just so happy to be arranging business contracts with the same government our Veterans died trying to defeat, by killing as many of their patriot soldiers and volunteers as possible.) Everyone in the orchestra lost family, "killed by the Americans", they would mention simply, with Buddhist un-accusing acceptance.
This writer wishes the Vietnamese a happy holiday. His heart never left them nor their beautiful country.