Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October 31 to November 2 - Good Morning Vietnam!

On Halloween, we landed in Dan Nang, Vietnam. Yes, that Da Nang and that Vietnam. I first heard the word Vietnam in 1964 from television reporter Walter Cronkite, who brought words and images from what seemed like an imaginary jungle to my 10 year old eyes. For more than 10 years, that word - Vietnam - would reverberate constantly through mine and all Americans consciousness, as our country became involved in an ever deepening cycle of useless destruction and horror. And as this place now becomes more tangible to me (well, as much as two nights on a private jet trip can make things tangible), I simply have to ask the question: What did our country actually achieve in those 11 years in Vietnam? What benefits do we as a nation still enjoy because of that foray into god knows what? Does anyone care to ask that question today? It’s really all I can think about as we tour what otherwise seems like just another easy-going tropical destination on our planet. 58,000+ American lives lost and probably at least 10 times that for the Vietnamese. And for what? What tangible benefit do we as a nation enjoy today because of that war? Please post anything you can about this and enlighten me. If the sheer idiocy of this does not strike you as horribly absurd, perhaps you should check your pulse or start asking questions of our so-called “leaders”. My comments are not meant to provoke a response with respect to what your present political beliefs are. I’d just like to know what was accomplished with that war.

When we landed at the airport yesterday, this was the scene we saw. A troupe of little girls and boys dancing for us as the carnival music blared from on old tape machine. Quite a contrast indeed from what that word, Vietnam, has formerly meant to all of us in the U.S.

3 comments:

Earl Ranney said...

Nov. 2 Wayne you write so well you make us want to join you. Kyoto sounds beautiful. In Vietnam, the military learned how to make better bombs and weapons. If we lost 58,000 dead, think how many more were maimed and injured.
Keep posting your comentary. We're becoming addicted. Earl Ranney

Heather said...

Wayne,
Reading your comments on Vietnam makes me think of the "secret war" where the plain of jars area in Laos received daily bombings by American planes for nine years and Laos was neutral,supposedly receiving protection under the Geneva Convention!
The metal from one of the downed planes has been turned into knives and forks! (They use chopsticks), but I used the fork!
These people are so resilient and inventive, and likely you have noticed how forgiving they are.
When might we mature enough to do no harm.
Heather

Ron Hansen said...

In answer to your question:

What tangible benefit do we as a nation enjoy today because of that war?

We kept people employed making war supplies so they could keep our materialistic economy going, like we are doing now in Iraq.

Not a good reason. Things don't make people happy.