Friday 16 March 2012: And she said " It was like . . . . . . "
Today we visited the Viet Cong's tunnel complex at Cu Chi, outside HCMC. Interesting and informative from a point of understanding how the VC physically defeated the USA using ingenious tools. Fiendishly clever stuff with all sorts of traps for the unwary US Army conscripts who were totall unprepared for this type of guerilla warfare. The tunnels were reputedly over 250 km in length, used to move VC, arms and equipment in behind enemy lines. I suspect a lot are still in use for nefarious purposes.
Our guide was young and a wee bit indoctrinated but also surprisingly willing to listen to some of the "historians" in our party who gently guided her back to rationality.
On our return to the city we went to the War Remnants Museum. Lots of US war paraphernalia on show outside the building, but much more significant stuff inside. I acknowledge that the story told was very much from a Vietnamese perspective, but there can be no denying the foul nature of what the US government and military hierarchy did with their experimental and highly illegal weaponry. Although how society can come up with a discriminatory line between methods of killing and maiming those whose politics don't suit your particular model, is beyond me.
Both of todays visits served to remind us, again, of man's inhumanity to man, but how to eliminate this demonstrably escapes us yet.
I was torn between several photos today. Holes in the ground, mechanical killing machines (Dated), the gory detail etc., etc. I finally plumped for this innocuous group of American 20 something's having a good old chinwag and laugh under the images of dead, dying, maiming and disfigurement caused by Agent Orange, Phosphorous bombs and a multitude of chemical weapons indiscriminately deployed. NB: No mention here of WMD.
If any of you in this group photo happen upon this blog and recognise yourselves then I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourselves and your actions here today. You were born after the end of the Vietnam, or American War depending on your allegiances, but that does not excuse the total lack of respect for those souls represented in this museum, nor your apparent lack of understanding of what your parents generation did. Not the GI's who mostly wanted to be elsewhere, on another planet for example, which many achieved, albeit only temporarily, but the powers that be / were, at the back of them, and their immoral abuse of almost absolute power.
Got to stop now or I'll probably annoy someone out there.