The direct war by the United States and its allies, including Australia, against the people of Vietnam lasted for 10 years, beginning with US air strikes against North Vietnam in February 1965 and the landing in South Vietnam in March 1965 of 3500 US combat troops. Over the next seven years US warplanes dropped a total of 7mn tonnes of bombs on Vietnam, 3½ times the amount dropped by US warplanes during all of World War II. Despite this, by the end of the war on April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese people had defeated the mightiest military power in human history. But this victory came at the cost of at least 3 million Vietnamese dead.
Imperialist War & Aggression
For those who believed that the overwhelming demonstration of US military power in Afghanistan and Iraq would “shock and awe” the rest of the world — and particularly Washington’s foes and aspiring rivals — into accepting its goal of making the 21st century a “new American century” of US political and economic global domination, 2006 was not a good year.
Sydney – Fairfield City Council has caved in to pressure from the right-wing Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA) and agreed to the group hoisting the defunct flag of the old Saigon regime on council land on three occasions each year.
Comrades, I bring warm greetings of solidarity from Australia on behalf of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, our youth organisation Resistance, and our newspaper Green Left Weekly. We warmly salute the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, when Comrade Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam’s independence to hundreds of thousands gathered in Hanoi on September 2, 1945. After years of fighting the French colonialists, and then five years of Japanese occupation, Vietnam was free. But full liberation was to take another 30 years of suffering and sacrifice, and fierce fighting.
The anti-communist Vietnamese group calling itself the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA) has been rebuffed in its scheme to have the flag of the US-imposed Saigon regime – overthrown by the Vietnamese national liberation movement in 1975 – officially recognised in Australia.
A major diplomatic incident could be triggered by a diehard right-wing Vietnamese group in Sydney, with the naive complicity of the Fairfield City Council.
Washington’s quick and apparently easy military defeat of the Iraqi Baathist regime – instead of putting the US political and business elite’s drive for global domination on a more secure and longer-lasting footing – is threatening to turn into a political debacle, exacerbating the very problems the US rulers hoped it would decisively help to overcome.
For a year now, US President George W. Bush’s administration has had as its top foreign policy goal achieving violent “regime change” in Baghdad. Sometime between late January and mid-February next year, the US military will attempt to achieve that goal by launching a massive bombing assault and ground invasion of Iraq. On the basis of a leak from the White House, the October 22 New York Times reported that the goal of the bush administration is to install a US military proconsul in Baghdad – along the lines of General Douglas MacArthur’s six-and-half year rule in post-1945 Japan – before handing Iraq over to a puppet government.
On September 20, the Bush administration released a new National Security Strategy (NSS) document. The document justifies US aggression on a world scale – pre-emptive strikes, “regime change”, unilateral action. “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre-emptively”, it states.
Bush’s National Security Strategy document – his “manifesto” for imperialism – justifies aggression on a world scale, pre-emptive strikes, “regime change”, unilateral action. “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively.” It demands – asserts – total rule of the globe by US imperialism.