After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology

By Noam Chomsky; Edward S. Herman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4 Vietnam

In the preceding chapter, we discussed the highly selective concern over the the plight of refugees, many of whom are first or second order victims of Western intervention ("modernization" or pacification). Deep concern is also voiced for those unfortunates who have not yet succeeded in fleeing from the rigors of Communism. True, things are perhaps a shade better than was predicted by those who invoked the near certainty of a massive bloodbath as justification for their support for continued U.S. intervention; 1 and now that we have looked briefly at a few moments of Western history, under circumstances incomparably more mild and favorable and with much less cause for revenge, one can perhaps begin to perceive the basis for such expectations.

One of those who confidently predicted a mass slaughter in Vietnam was the noted expert Patrick Honey, friend and adviser of Diem, former Reuters Saigon correspondent and Foreign Editor of the Economist, author of a book on North Vietnam published by the Center for International Studies at MIT, and a respected commentator on Vietnamese affairs--also a self-styled "pacifist" who urged such measures as bombing the dikes in North Vietnam as early as 1965. One of his more perspicuous insights was that after a Communist victory

All believed to pose a threat, real or potential, to the Communist regime will be killed at once, and some of the remainder may be permitted to postpone execution as

-61-

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After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 the Setting 1
  • Chapter 2 Precedents 23
  • Chapter 3 Refugees: Indochina and Beyond 49
  • Chapter 4 Vietnam 61
  • Chapter 5 Laos 119
  • Chapter 6 Cambodia 135
  • Chapter 7 Final Comments 295
  • Notes 301
  • Index 385
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