Vietnam Remembers ‘Barbarous Crimes’

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung delivers a speech at the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Tokyo on April 21, 2012. Japan pledged 7.4 billion USD in aid over the next three years to help five Mekong states, in an attempt at fostering development in a resource-rich region also being courted by China. AFP PHOTO / POOL

As crowds gathered in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reminded the crowd of the role the United States had played in that war. “They committed countless barbarous crimes, caused immeasurable losses and pain to our people and country,” Dung told the audience in an address.

Given that Vietnam and the United States now enjoy a relatively stable and friendly relationship, it may seem a provocative thing for the prime minister to say. But it’s not hard to understand the reason for Dung’s sentiment.

American estimates say that as many as 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war, while 58,000 Americans were killed. In total, around 3 million North Vietnamese forces and civilians may have died, according to the government. There were acts of extreme cruelty committed by both sides, and American popular culture has established the war as a moral catastrophe.

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  • Sc00ter5111

    I was there. This man is telling the truth. Our atrocities were much worse than what they are accused of because they didn’t deliberately target babies, as we do. Of the 4.5 million we slaughtered: 80%+ were deliberate civilian casualties. In this “war on terror” the deliberate civilian casualty rate is well above 90%. If they did “body counts” as was policy in Viet-Nam; the body count in this illegal war is well over 9 million, including a boatload of babies, on purpose. This is why they said at the start of it all; there would be no “body counts”