Was the Vietnam War “just” a big misunderstanding?

| David Lewis | 20th Century



It is a well-known fact that the U.S.A goal in the Vietnam war wasΒ to stop the spread of Chinese communist influence, as part of the cold war.Β 

But what was the North Vietnamese goal? – Did anyone ever bother to ask them?

In `π–πšπ­πœπ‘ π“π‘πž 𝐅𝐨𝐠 𝐨𝐟 π–πšπ«: 𝐄π₯𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 π‹πžπ¬π¬π¨π§π¬ 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐑𝐞 π‹π’πŸπž 𝐨𝐟 π‘π¨π›πžπ«π­ 𝐌𝐜𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐚’, Mcnamara – the US former secretary of defense – describes a meeting he held with top Vietnamese officials in 1995, some 20 years after the war ended. Mcnamara initiated the meeting to explore whether there was a chance for each side to achieve its objectives without the terrible loss of life.Β 

In that historic meeting the former Prime minister of Vietnamese, Mr. PhαΊ‘m VΔƒn Đồng, summarized the Vietnamese point of view: We were fighting for independence, not for the Chinese, you were fighting to enslave us!Β 

The unconvinced Mcanamera remained firm in his position that the whole thing was orchestrated by the Chinese in cahoots with communist Vietnamese; to which VΔƒn Đồng replied:Β 

Mr. Mcanamera, have you ever read a history book in your life? We’ve been fighting the Chinese for a 1000 years. Why would we let them in now? We were fighting for independence”.

The Vietnam War death toll amounted to 3,812,000 Vietnamese and 58,209 men and women; and apparently, it was all β€œjust” a huge misunderstanding….

Bonus fact:Β In Vietnam, the Vietnam War is called the American War.