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Vietnam War

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Upon reading the novel After Sorrow, written by Lady Borton, I have realized that my view of the Vietnam War was skewed. Although I didn't live through the Vietnam War unlike my parents and their peers, I thought I was close enough in age to fully understand what happened during that time in my countries history. This novel gave the account of the Vietnamese War told by the people of Vietnam who lived there during that time.

The American soldiers used bombs, napalm, Agent Orange and other horrible weapons to kill the "Viet Cong." The government justified the killing of the Viet Cong because they were under the impression that they were all communists. Reading this book described a totally different war, even the name is different. The American War, as the Vietnamese called it, was barely even fought by the Viet Cong guerilla soldiers. In actuality the war was fought in homes and market places by Vietnamese women and children. Another major misconception was that the Viet Cong guerilla forces were strictly communist; Lady Borton found that this was largely untrue.

After all of the terrible and disturbing stories told by the Vietnamese in this novel, the fact that Uncle Beautiful cannot blame Americans for their suffering. This quote is significant to me because of the obvious unwavering faith Uncle Beautiful has for Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh believed the Marxists view of the distinction between government and the people during wars of national liberation. He voiced to the Vietnamese people that the American and Vietnamese people were on the same side and were victims just as much as the Vietnamese were. Minh held that the US government, controlled by capitalists, made money off of the arms industry and therefore a war would be in their best interests. He made the Vietnamese people see through their suffering and not hold the actions of a few Americans against the entire nation.

I think it is remarkable how the Vietnamese could distinguish between the government and people of one nation. This could be explained by their puppet government under Diem. Since they knew that during that time their government didn't accurately represent them, they could believe that the American government isn't representing what Americans want. This can be related to the situation in Iraq because we rarely see the Iraqi side of the war. We can only imagine the truths that might be uncovered years from now when



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