War effects on vietnamese society socially economically and politically

Pulag, Philippines [Photo by adventureinyou. Mean-spirited men and women haunt the hallowed halls of government and our public space every day, offending our sense of decency and fairness. There is a way out.

War effects on vietnamese society socially economically and politically

The gruesome sequence of atrocity, frantic cover-up, unintended expose, hypocritical expression of humanitarian concern by commanders and rulers, and desperate public relations efforts to confine the blame to the triggermen is manifest in both settings.

Americans are fascinated by the Mafia, but very few citizens of this country believed until recently that the brutalities and deceptions of organized crime were also characteristic of government operations. We can be thankful, I suppose, that the United States government is not yet as efficient as the Mafia whose skill has been built up over generations and whose personnel have been conditioned from birth when it comes to hiding the traces of their crimes, cutting short the investigative trail, and screening out the occasional honest and principled operative.

This monograph by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, both renowned and careful scholars who have struggled over the years to present the truth about the Vietnam War, makes a major contribution to our understanding of the present posture of American foreign policy in general and the character of the persisting involvement in Indochina in particular.

Their account of the role of falsification in official presentations of facts and interpretations designed to maintain public support and discredit anti-Vietnam criticism is part of a larger canvas of distortion that is characteristic of U.

The specific subject of this book is the systematic manipulation of the facts surrounding war atrocities, but its implications are far broader.

War effects on vietnamese society socially economically and politically

Such manipulation of horror stories seems cynical beyond easy belief, even for those of us who have gradually become hardened critics of government behavior. Chomsky and Herman document beyond serious question the extent to which the United States government has engaged in and hidden crimes on our side in the Indochina War and fabricated a bloodbath myth to explain why we must continue to kill on a massive scale.

Such a pattern of double deceit intends to convince the American public that we fight as men of conscience to protect our threatened friends from a horribly cruel enemy who is poised to massacre.

Professors Chomsky and Herman present convincing evidence on four principal concerns: First, that this double deceit has been a systematic element in the official policy of our government over the years of American involvement in Indochina, although it has been carried to new extremes of blatancy during the Nixon presidency.

Secondly, that this pattern of distortion is imposed so effectively that it even envelops most citizens who oppose the war.

Fourthly, that these morbid realities of distortion and participation have led to a widespread poisoning of the language of political discourse and the overall ethics of governance, making the public swallow official lies and numbing euphemisms about bloodletting of the innocent as integral to national security.

Indeed, it almost seems as if a prominent war critic loses his credibility if he questions or rejects official orthodoxy on questions of atrocity and bloodbath. It is noteworthy that such widely acclaimed and influential war critics as Bernard Fall and Frances FitzGerald blandly transmit official deceptions on such issues as the land reform purge of in North Vietnam or the Hue massacre.

I do not mean to suggest that these usually reliable authors are willing instruments of such deceptions, but only that the official lie has been told so commandingly that it is troublesome for even honest and dedicated journalists to set the record straight. What is at stake here is more than the possibility of reasoned discourse in a liberal democracy.

The veil of secrecy and deception used to invert the identity of criminal and victim in Vietnam also underlies the basic pattern of American involvement everywhere in the Third World, and, as well, characterizes government relations with minority peoples in the United States.

It remains almost impossible to make this case of pervasive distortion in any influential forum and, as a consequence, there is almost no present hope of repudiating these most reprehensible aspects of American foreign policy.

The people who brought us the Indochina War are each day quietly achieving the same disastrous results in a score of other hapless countries around the world. Chomsky and Herman make it clear that this wider orbit of terror, sponsored and financed by Washington, persists even in Vietnam despite the illusion that we have ended our involvement there.

And who would dare speculate confidently on the extent of our role in the daily horrors inflicted on opponents of repressive regimes in such countries as Greece, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Uruguay, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, Iran? Even now, amid the furor over Watergate, Nixon refuses to disclose the grisly statistics on sorties, tonnage, and targets in the Cambodia air war.

Donald Dawson unwillingness to pilot any further B missions over Cambodia: One consequence is that all elements in the governing process are disabled and the polity as a whole dispirited. The moral rot is so widely dispersed by now that it seems likely that a full revelation of the ugly truth about American bombing in Cambodia would be greeted by one more shrug of the shoulders, as if genocidal policies are just about what we have come to expect from our leaders.

Unless we can overcome this sense of helplessness and indifference there is no prospect at all that the forces of evil which have held sway for so long can be removed from power, or at least dissuaded from following their impulses. We formally accuse him of being the sole person responsible for the war … He is the arch criminal with the death of tens of thousands of Cambodians on his conscience.

The main purpose of Chomsky and Herman is to expose in convincing form the Big Lie as it has been told by the United States government in relation to atrocities.

This Lie has been told by our leaders because they were either embarrassed by the truth or fearful of its political consequences.The Great Republic: Presidents and States of the United States of America, and Comments on American History.

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