Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Vietnam Reminder

Due to a showing of Ken Burns' documentary of the Vietnam war, and a couple of news items, Vietnam seems to be having a bit of a resurgence in the news lately.  As the people of the United States have never come to accept the truth about our nation's involvement in Vietnam, I feel called upon to remind them of a couple of facts about that war, or in reality to tell them for the first time, as the American press and government have so thoroughly erased what I am about to say from our memory that not one person in a thousand knows this.

First, I want to quote a little recognized section of the Constitution, from Article VI, section 2:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land"

That is to say, treaties entered into by the United States government have equal legal standing to the Constitution.

Now, I want to turn to one of those treaties, the Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference on the Problem of Restoring Peace in Indo-China, entered into on July 21, 1954, the full text of which (if you are interested) can be found here.

Here are the sections I want to particularly point out today:

"4. The Conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Viet-Nam prohibiting the introduction into Viet-Nam of foreign troops and military personnel as well as of all kinds of arms and munitions.

5. The Conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Viet-Nam to the effect that no military base under the control of a foreign State may be established in the regrouping zones of the two parties, the latter having the obligation to see that the zones allotted to them shall not constitute part of any military alliance and shall not be utilized for the resumption of hostilities or in the service of an aggressive policy.

6. The Conference recognizes that...the military demarcation line is provisional and should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary."

In other words, the entire notion that the area of today's Vietnam was then made up of two hostile countries, South Vietnam and North Vietnam, was a lie- a piece of propaganda directed at the populace of the United States to very successfully make them believe that the United States was coming to the defense of one country against another one.  In fact there was, as we accepted in this treaty, only one country of Vietnam; our supposed ally, South Vietnam, never had any existence aside from U.S. fantasies.  Further, once one realizes this, one can see that every single soldier, every gun, every fighter plane that the United States introduced into Vietnam, every military base we established, was a war crime, in violation of our sworn commitment; while the military activities of the other side- the NLF, the Viet Cong, call it what you will, were the actions of a true national liberation movement, which did not violate this treaty.

To be blunt, the US action against Vietnam was nothing but an open and blatant war of aggression, violating both international law and, in line with what I quoted above, the United States Constitution. What's more, it was a war of aggression in which between two and four million civilians were murdered by our troops.

We have endless screams from the right that every Muslim in the world needs to take personal responsibility for every act of violence committed by any other Muslim.  We, on the other hand, need take no responsibility whatsoever for the most abominable acts of our own government, preferring instead to see to it that we just remain ignorant of what was done in our name- the millions slaughtered in Vietnam, the million or so slaughtered in Iraq in an act of criminal aggression that was equally a blatant war crime, our endless interference in Latin America over the last century, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and on and on.  This is why people around the world hate us, not our "freedom," something which a large part of our populace is enthusiastically giving away anyway.  And there isn't a chance in hell that the malignant cohort of voters the Republican party has created, which can't even see the open treason of their chosen President, will ever acknowledge that.

And that is why history repeats itself- because so may evil, depraved people want it to.


Sofla said...

I agree with your point in general, but not the specifics that we had a treaty obligation in those accords.

I do not think we were signators to the agreement (although we did engage in the discussion, as it details).

Also, no treaty, even if signed, becomes a legal obligation on the US until it is ratified. So to show that we had a legal obligation to honor it, you'd need to show the ratification vote date.

I think your point is still correct, though. Just a bit oversold. Regards!

Green Eagle said...

" the United States stated that it "took note" of the ceasefire agreements and declared that it would "refrain from the threat or use of force to disturb them."