Friday, December 3, 2010

Vietnam: The Last Battle

by John Pilger, December 03, 2010

".....In his seminal, Anatomy of a War, the historian Gabriel Kolko says that the party of Ho Chi Minh enjoyed "success as a social movement based largely on its response to peasant desires." He now says that its surrender to the "free market" is a betrayal. His disillusion is understandable, but the need to internationalize a war-ruined country was desperate, along with building a counterweight to China, the ancient foe. Unlike China, and despite the new Gucci emporiums in the center of Hanoi and Saigon, the Vietnamese have not yet gone all the way with the brutalities of "tiger" or crony capitalism. Since 1985, the rate of malnutrition among children has almost halved. And tens of thousands of those who fled in boats have quietly returned without "a single case of victimization," according to the EU official who led the assistance program in 1995. In many parts of the country, forests are rising again and the sound of birds and the rustle of wildlife are heard again, thanks to a re-greening program initiated during the war by Professor Vo Quy of Vietnam National University in Hanoi....."

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