“The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?” [Review of John Marciano’s Book]

Hits: 1354

In classical mythology, the Acheron is one of the rivers of the Underworld. It marks the boundary between the living and the dead. The ferryman Charon ferries the dead across the Acheron to a place where they lose memory. Nothing of what made them human remains—happiness, suffering, love, hatred, guilt, regret, redemption, betrayal, forgiveness.

From Gilgamesh to Odysseus to Aeneas, the living heroes of the epic descend into the Underworld at a point of despair in the sense of their quest. Burdened by a fate that requires momentous courage and tragic self-sacrifice for the sake of their people’s survival, they resent the absurdity of their lot. Down there on a visit, they return from the shadow land strengthened. They recognize that the business of living is not oblivion but action.

 

John Marciano’s recently published book, The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration? functions as such a Charon in reverse. It ferries readers back to the realm of remembering. This slim volume could not have come at a more opportune moment. American political culture is punch-drunk with the pursuit of war. The altered state is reaching the point of delirium tremens. Thwarted in the neocolonial scheme of annexing Syria by Russia’s legal intervention, the American elite are pushing for confrontation. Though it is hard to think the unthinkable, the nuclear holocaust may happen if not by intention then by spontaneous combustion from over-intoxication with the fumes of war.

This reckless confrontation results from decades of accumulated unaccountable power. Its boldness reflects a cumulative experience of impunity for aggressive behavior by soft and hard neocolonial postures since the end of WW II. The war in Vietnam, as Marciano suggests, should have functioned as the lesson that checked the nation’s historical thrust for conquest, but the turning point would have required a national effort to relinquish the myth of the Noble Cause, the delusion that America is vested with a divine mandate to assimilate the people of the world to the American image–for the people’s own good. Britain had its White Man’s Burden; France its mission civilatrise; America its Manifest Destiny.

This timely volume traces the war to the apocalyptic finale of the most powerful military in the world defeated by the determination, courage, and self-sacrifice of a peasant people unwilling to be enslaved. But this is as much a book about the past as it is about the present. It reminds us, with Tolstoy, “The reality of war is in the killing, “ a realization officialdom would like to block. In fact, they have prepared a falsifying celebration of that moral and military debacle.

As Marciano writes in his introduction,

In May 2012, President Barack Obama and the Pentagon announced a Commemoration of the Vietnam War to continue through 2025, the fiftieth anniversary of the conflict’s end. Among the Commemoration’s objectives, three stand out: ‘to thank and honor’ veterans and their families . . . ‘to highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during’ the war; and to ‘recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies’.

President Obama claimed in the commemoration announcement speech that the war had been “an honorable cause.” Marciano challenges this notion. America’s historic ideology of the Noble Cause, he writes, rests on the belief that the United States is

A unique force for good in the world, superior not only in its military and economic power, but in the quality of its government and institutions, the character and morality of its people, and its way of life.

This is the mystical bigotry of a messianic faith typical of empires. Imperial militarism seeks in a Noble Cause the justification for subjugating large chunks of humanity. In the distant past, the Noble Cause may have received the sword directly from a god—as it did in postcolonial America when it sought to exterminate the native inhabitants. By the anointment of the sword, the divinity also endowed, supposedly, the conquering “race” with moral superiority. Thus, imperialism, in the perverse arrogance of its twisted psyche, contains the germ of genocide. As a result, the superstition of a superior “race” has been endured by most of the “races” on the planet as a most Ignoble Cause. In Vietnam alone, the Big Lie of the Noble Cause sent four million Vietnamese to their death.

Marciano leaves us in no doubt that the White House and the Pentagon are commemorating a crime. They are falsifying history in order to shape the future, which will be and is the reenactment of the war against Vietnam on a global scale. They want to establish the altar for a “sacred union,” the nation united behind the Noble Cause of war. On the altar will sit the fetish of the export of the “miracle of democracy, ” in reality the imposition of regimes of terror such as the Vietnam War planners established in Saigon. We see today in Ukraine that the “miracle of democracy,” brought to Kiev by the US in 2014 to the tune of five billion dollars, amounts to a handful of dry dust, collected from the WW II graveyard of European Nazism, inciting a lot of blind, anti-democratic and noxious nationalism.

As through a glass darkly, Marciano shows us that in the war crime against Vietnam we can see reflected the crimes perpetrated today from Afghanistan to Yemen, from Iraq to Syria, from Yugoslavia to Libya and across the African continent. As in Vietnam (the fakery of the Gulf of Tonkin incident), today’s war are based on fabricated pretexts; as in Vietnam (napalm and agent orange), today’s wars are chemical wars (depleted uranium for Yugoslavia and Iraq; phosphorus for Falluja); as in Vietnam (Hanoi and Haiphong) the bombings destroy urban life, vital infrastructure, schools and hospitals; as in Vietnam (Laos, Cambodia) the bombings spreads out (today to Yemen); as in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) the leaders who resist US penetration are demonized (Milosevic, Saddam, Qaddafi, Assad) as enemies of humanity. As in Vietnam, all the wars of today are fought mostly to prevent or reverse independence and self-determination of former colonial places.

Finally, as in Vietnam the USSR, today’s Russia is emerging as the displacement of all the guilt that weighs on the shoulders of the Noble Cause. The Washington Post recently wrote “the Kremlin annexed Ukraine.” I read it twice—not “annexed Crimea,” the standard disinformation, but the whole of Ukraine! Does one laugh or weep? Does one have to take a hallucinogenic to see Russian flags and images of Putin blanketing Kiev instead of Neo-Nazi emblems and images of Bandera?

The next president will certainly be Hillary Clinton, whom I call “the centripetal president.” From Republicans to Democrats to Neo-Cons, all converge on endorsing the war candidate. In her consensus war regime, the elite will decide everything. We will not be consulted. This is why The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration? is a vital read. It calls for our re-democratization–to question our leaders, to be skeptical of the media, to avert our eyes from the petrifying stare of the Medusa decked with the aegis of the Noble Cause; to challenge—even ridicule– the vaunted humanitarianism of an elite of bloodhounds baying for war; to refuse to commemorate war crimes and to work to stop them.

Above all, we need to remember that the crimes of other governments are the responsibility of the people of those governments—not of our bombs. Though our elite have abrogated to themselves the power and the right to remake the map of the world by force, we need to reassert the legal principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign states if we are serious about peace. We, citizens, do not have the right (or the power, unless we line up behind the power of the militarist state) to change the practices of other states, but we do have the right to demand change for those of our own. Let’s start exercising that right. We did for Vietnam; we can do it again. Commemorate the people who protested the war in Vietnam, not the crime the governing elite committed there in our name, as Marciano’s book amply documents.

The US government is now engaged in waging eight wars. We better get busy.


About the author: Luciana Bohne is co-founder of Film Criticism, a journal of cinema studies, and teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. She can be reached at: lbohne@edinboro.edu

READ MORE!
Donald Franciszek Tusk: “Blood is Thicker than Water”?!
Donald Franciszek Tusk, (born 22 April 1957) is a Polish politician and historian. He has been President of the European Council since 1 December 2014. Previously he was Prime Minister of Poland (2007–2014) and a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) party.Tusk began his public career as an activist in his home town of Gdańsk, supporting Solidarity and organizing his fellow university students. With the exception of one four-year stretch, Tusk has served in the Third Republic Sejm (parliament) continuously since its first elections in 1991. He was Vice Marshal (deputy speaker) of the Senate from 1997 ...
READ MORE
A Fascist Hero in “Democratic” Kiev
The incoming Ukrainian president will have to turn some attention to history, because the outgoing one has just made a hero of a long-dead Ukrainian fascist. By conferring the highest state honor of “Hero of Ukraine” upon Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) on January 22, Viktor Yushchenko provoked protests from the chief rabbi of Ukraine, the president of Poland, and many of his own citizens. It is no wonder. Bandera aimed to make of Ukraine a one-party fascist dictatorship without national minorities. During World War II, his followers killed many Poles and Jews. Why would President Yushchenko, the leader of the democratic ...
READ MORE
Trump’s Win wasn’t Ideological?
CNN explained well “5 surprising lessons from Trump’s astonishing win”, and the historic crushing failure of traditional Presidential-year American politics, but it really boils down to one simple fact: In the battleground states, where most of the advertising dollars and get-out-the-vote money was being spent, the Trump organization made use of the Republican-Party organization in those portions of the campaign-operation that benefited from those established contacts and its tried-and-tested methods and techniques, but not in the portions of the campaign-operation that needed to be improved and to function better than in all prior U.S. Presidential elections. The simple fact is that ...
READ MORE
Blowback: Afghanistan and Bosnia
As the U.S. and NATO casualties rise from the war in Afghanistan, with 2010 being the deadliest year of the nine-year war for the U.S., the question needs to be asked of how we got involved in that interminable and unwinnable conflict? The Afghan war has been dubbed Barack Obama’s War but its origins go back much earlier. Is the U.S. military disaster in Afghanistan an instance of blowback? What is the standard definition of “blowback”? The U.S. intervenes illegally in a volatile and unstable scenario and over time the consequences of that criminality come back to reek havoc on U.S. ...
READ MORE
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement
There are 3 Apartheid Israel-related centenaries this week, namely (1) the victorious 31 October 1917 charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba that led to conquest of Palestine by Britain and massive famine, (2) the nefarious and racist UK Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917  that gave Palestine to Zionists as a Jewish Homeland as an inducement to help keep Russia in WW1, and (3) commencement of the Palestine Genocide (2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since WW1). History ignored yields history repeated and genocide ignored yields genocide repeated [1]. Anniversaries are useful ...
READ MORE
Remember March 24th-June 10th, 1999
Remember NATO's aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from March 24th to June 10th, 1999 when several principles and articles of the Charter of United Nations were blatantly violated by the NATO's gangsters led by the US' bandits. Serbia is the only country in the whole world that was bombarded by Germany (1941), US/UK (1944) and NATO (1999). Here, you can see a basic photo collection of the event: PHOTO COLLECTION Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, ...
READ MORE
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
Seeing through the Official Lies on Ukraine. “We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Poland to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – Polish mobilization.” (Adolph Hitler, 1939)  These are the words of Adolph Hitler just before invading Poland and then the Soviet Union. I have replaced Poland with Russia (see below) to show the analogy of US and Nazi pretexts. “We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Russia to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – ...
READ MORE
A Clinton Presidency: Humanity’s Worst Nightmare. Hillary’s “Rage for War”
Since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, successive US administrations governed increasingly lawlessly and recklessly – Bill Clinton worse than his predecessors, Bush worse than him, Obama worst of all, at war with multiple invented enemies throughout his tenure – from inaugural day to the present. A neocon Hillary Clinton presidency succeeding him risks the unthinkable – possible WW III. America’s rage for dominance, its wanting planet earth colonized, and increasing belligerence toward Russia and China points to eventual confrontation. Unknown is to what extent, but when conflicts begin, they take on a life of their own. Starting them is easy, resolving them another ...
READ MORE
The First NATO: British and French Joint Aggressions in the Mid-19th Century
The two most militarily powerful nations in the West, both free to project naval power and maritime domination anywhere in the world, get together to punish and overthrow regimes they find guilty of human rights abuses and political repression in the name of human rights and promoting democracy: What could possibly go wrong?It is of course NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s new call for NATO, which has already over the past decade exercised its nation-building and promotion of enlightened regime policies with such brilliant success in Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan to spread its mantle of protection, enlightenment and peace over ...
READ MORE
“Russiagate” is Actually “Israelgate”: Trump as “Agent of Israel”, not of Russia?
The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s main evidence thus far in his “Russiagate” probe is not actually about possible Russian collusion with Trump to win the Presidency, but instead about definite Israeli collusion with Trump after Trump had already won the Presidency but before he became inaugurated. As a lawyer explained on the day when Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was indicted in a plea-deal: “Mr. Flynn has just become the prosecution’s star witness.” What Flynn had pled to was his trying to obtain Russia’s support for Israel’s Government, against the Palestinians. Russia said no; Putin said no to Flynn’s request, ...
READ MORE
Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?
The foreign policy of the United States in the post-Cold War era, driven by a doctrine of Exceptionalism and managed by a neoconservative strategy, has been responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Nato’s war on Libya in 2011 and the covert war waged in Syria using Islamist proxies. It was also at the root of its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014. But the geopolitical advantage intended in each enterprise has brought the proverbial blowback.The results are plain to see. Libya is now certifiably a failed state. Accompanying the destruction of ...
READ MORE
Farewell Message from Donetsk to President Obama
Truth on the war in Euromaidan Ukraine in photos.The people of Donetsk sent a farewell message to ex-President of the US (POTUS) Barack Obama with proper photo evidence of the result of his policy in the region.See the truth not presented on any global Western corporate mass-media!Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on ...
READ MORE
These are all the Countries where the US has a Military Presence (in 2015)
On Mar. 24, US president Barack Obama announced that all 9,800 US troops currently stationed in Afghanistan will remain until the end of 2015. This generated a fair amount of criticism: it was, after all, Obama’s promise that the last American troop would leave the country in 2014.How have Obama’s plans for pulling out of Afghanistan fared so far?Those expecting the US to leave Afghanistan, however, should take a minute to consider this: the US still hasn’t left Germany. In fact, there are quite a few places the US hasn’t left, and while certainly most of them don’t pose a threat to American soldiers, ...
READ MORE
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Media narrative: Hateful protestors stormed the Macedonian parliament after an ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi was elected speaker for the first time. Truth: Protestors stormed the parliament because Xhaferi was declared speaker in an illegal, unconstitutional manner as part of an ongoing coup d'état. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his ethnicity. Even though Xhaferi was "elected" in an irregular manner, the US and EU have already stated they recognize his appointment. This now paves the way for ethnic Albanian parties and the smaller of two main Macedonian parties (Social Democrats) to proclaim a government without the constitutionally required go-ahead from the President of the Republic. The latter has defied ...
READ MORE
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
Note: First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks. The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR. In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, ...
READ MORE
If this Haitian was Superstitious Like the Clintons
“malè ou swete bèlmè, se manman ou li frape” – the evil you wish upon your mother-in-law strikes your mother, Haitian wisdom The other day, I saw a video excerpt of an October 2012 speech in which Bill Clinton was telling an audience in New-York how his wife, Hillary, possesses the extraordinary psychic ability to speak regularly with the dead, in particular, with the spirit of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.* Today, some U.S. citizens who are still stunned by the election of Donald Trump may be seeking extra insights to help answer many troubling questions. However, I doubt the dead are in any way equipped to help them understand what is  happening in the so-called “land of the free and home ...
READ MORE
The Untold History of U.S. War Crimes
In this exclusive interview, Prof Peter Kuznick speaks of: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagazaki; US crimes and lies behind the Vietnam war, and what was really behind that inhumane invasion; why the US engaged a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and how that war and the mainstream media influences the world today; the interests behind the assassinations of President Kennedy; US imperialism towards Latin America, during the Cold War and today, under the false premise of War on Terror and War on Drugs.Edu Montesanti: Professor Peter Kuznick, thank you so very much for granting me this interview. In ...
READ MORE
Kosovo History – Fourth Part
The Serbs stepped again onto the historical scene in the years of the European wars that swept the continent from the forests of Ireland to the walls of Constantinople in the late 17th century. The Turks finally withdrew from Hungary and Transylvania when their Ottoman hordes were routed outside Vienna in 1683. The disintegration of Ottoman rule in the southwest limbered up the Serbs, arousing in them hope that the moment was ripe for joint effort to break Turkish dominion in the Balkans. The neighboring Christian powers (Austria and Venice) were the only possible allies. The arrival of the Austrian ...
READ MORE
The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
The Nation  published an outstanding article on March 9th, by James Carden, which described the remarkable extent to which the Obama government (and virtually all of the Washington Establishment) are supporting (financially and otherwise) fascists who want to destroy Russia.  One such example was a recent event in Washington. According to Carden: It featured the deputy speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, Andriy Parubiy. According to the program bio, Parubiy served as the “commandant” of the Euromaidan (why did an ostensibly peaceful protest require a “commandant” anyway?) and, later, as secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. The bio provided to attendees might fairly be described as selective. ...
READ MORE
The Refugee Crisis and the New Holocaust
The world has suddenly realised that there is a “refugee crisis”. There are more refugees now than at any time since World War II. The number has grown three-fold since the end of 2001. The problem is treated as if it arose just recently, but it has been a long time coming. The pressure has been building and building until it has burst the dams of wilful ignorance. Death and despair has migrated to the doorsteps of Europe. But tens of millions of people do not simply abandon home and native land for an insecure dangerous future of desperate struggle. The ...
READ MORE
Donald Franciszek Tusk: “Blood is Thicker than Water”?!
A Fascist Hero in “Democratic” Kiev
Trump’s Win wasn’t Ideological?
Blowback: Afghanistan and Bosnia
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement
Remember March 24th-June 10th, 1999
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
A Clinton Presidency: Humanity’s Worst Nightmare. Hillary’s “Rage for War”
The First NATO: British and French Joint Aggressions in the Mid-19th Century
“Russiagate” is Actually “Israelgate”: Trump as “Agent of Israel”, not of Russia?
Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?
Farewell Message from Donetsk to President Obama
These are all the Countries where the US has a Military Presence (in 2015)
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
If this Haitian was Superstitious Like the Clintons
The Untold History of U.S. War Crimes
Kosovo History – Fourth Part
The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
The Refugee Crisis and the New Holocaust
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu