Before World War III

Vietnam War
US forces attack a dedicated cong camp north of Tay Ninh in 1965. Rarehistoricalphotos.
Report from Hanoi. Books about Vietnam.


After years of terrorist attacks on schools, hospitals, villages, railways, cities, factories and other important war targets, it is now clear that the United States will not win its colonial war in Vietnam in this way: the only thing that can bring peace in the foreseeable future is to burn off one or more atomic bombs over North Vietnam and the border areas. It would bring about the long-awaited lasting, absolute silence and peace that once rested over two Japanese cities.

Unfortunately, leading Americans have to reckon with the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons in the fight. The United States has done this before; they are the only ones who have so far used the weapons against humans.

During Lyndon Johnson #'s presidency, the United States has lost so much of its prestige, of its moral sanity and of the sympathy of the world, that there is soon nothing left to lose. An enlightened monarchy has so desperately lived out its fear of social and economic change, it has so clearly shown that it is willing to do anything to maintain its economic world domination – that the United States today occupies the position in the world that Hitler-Germany took. until 1945: a state formation one can expect everything from.

# The Vietnam War has shown that the United States now knows only one method of advancing its interests: more and more violence.

In this country, the bourgeoisie comments on this by saying that the Vietnamese only need to surrender, then they would drop more napalm, lazydogs and bombs: country!" – It is as relevant as remembering the European resistance movement during the war years by saying: "If they had only obeyed the Germans in everything they wanted, they would have escaped both torture and executions!"

In reality, there is only one sensible comment on the Vietnam War, it is:

Is Vietnam and the Liberation Front waging war on American territory, or are the Americans waging war on Vietnamese territory?

- If the latter is the case, it must be justified to ask who has invited hundreds of thousands of Americans to settle in the country, obviously with the intention of staying there.

First, the French had landed as a colony, and when the French were driven out, the Americans took over, in confidence in their infinitely greater resources of weapons and money. Of course, it does not matter to the United States what kind of political government an irrelevant country like Vietnam has; The purpose of the occupation is partly the access to cheap raw materials, and partly the possibility of a bridgehead in Southeast Asia. To believe that the United States today sacrifices thousands of its young men to secure Vietnamese parliamentary rights according to the Western European pattern can only be done in a state of death-like hypnosis: not even the Americans themselves believed for a moment that Ky's election in the South -Vietnam was held in legal forms.

Will they continue to believe that the Pentagon is fighting for culture and freedom? Will they continue to believe that thousands and thousands of American and Vietnamese lives are being sacrificed to help

These are obvious truths, and they have long been documented in Norwegian, among other things. in the form of two previous PAX books: Facts about Vietnam, edited by Robert Murray – and The United States and the Third World, by the American David Horowitz, both published here in 1965. There is no excuse for not knowing the books.

#Sara Lidman # s Report from Hanoi is an excellent addition to these two document collections. The outstanding Swedish author has not built the book on numbers and statistics; it is an almost sketchbook-like depiction of experiences and human encounters during a period of travel and stay in North Vietnam, days and nights in conversations and during the bombings in the everyday life of the war on terror.

In its form, its genre, is Report from Hanoi something like ligger between a literary, almost lyrical «diary» – and a report. At the same time, the book's purpose is very clear: to make people aware of what is concretely contained in the abstract newspaper headlines, which human world is affected by the message «134 air strikes today» etc.

It is the first, concrete eyewitness account I know from North Vietnam, the first I have read that makes this country present and real to me.

It's the first concrete eyewitness account I know of North Vietnam, the first thing I read that makes this country present and real to me. It is a small and concentrated book of 116 pages: you read it continuously, and when you finish it, you know more than you knew before – not by numbers, statistics and the number of dead women and children or shot, American twenty-year-olds from small towns in the Midwest, but we know more about the living reality that life consists of, and which for our dull consciousness loses in intensity proportional to the number of miles it is geographically distant from us and our own houses, children and everyday life.

It sounds strange to say it, but it is in the true and good sense of the word one female book; it is feminine, because it is very concrete and completely present human. It is impossible to read it without thinking a strange thought: what will women in the United States say to it, what will e.g. women in these conservative parties and associations say, women in the Conservative Women's Association – who love, admire and praise Lyndon Johnson for his work – what will they say to a clear, simple and everyday depiction of what mothers and children experience daily and at night during the terrorist attacks?

Sara Lidman (pictured) visited North Vietnam last year and her story is now available in book form. The book is the first concrete eyewitness account I know from North Vietnam, the first I have read that makes this country present and real to me, writes Jens Bjørneboe in this week's column.

- Will they continue to believe that the Pentagon is fighting for culture and freedom? Will they continue to believe that thousands and thousands of American and Vietnamese lives are being sacrificed to help Vietnam? Or will it be a reminder that Hitler also waged his Crusade against Bolshevism to strengthen, help and liberate Europe – and save us all from the hydra of socialism? Will they continue to believe that this is a crusade?

There are lots of reading circles and book clubs across the country. Here is a book that through the autumn and winter can provide them with reading and with an encouragement to take a stand on problems themselves.

It seems natural to me to point out a few things: first the chapter "Conversation in the foyer", the conversations with the Italian "MH" (for "Mediterranean man"), a brilliant depiction of a type of spirit that is found everywhere, but is still purely Italian. being: the completely hopeless, illusion-free human being who is not strong enough to live without illusions – characterized by the nihilistic melancholy that is the soul of Italy. The dialogue is a concise, consistent masterpiece.

The next point is the final chapter "From another world" – the depiction of Poula Condor, the concentration camp that includes an archipelago off the southern tip of South Vietnam, and which is considered the worst in the country. It is operated under US assistance. The presentation provides a picture of the camp that is on a par with the worst camps during Germany's happy years between 1933 and 1945. Already this depiction of US activity makes the book a document every adult today is obliged to know. It tells of the suppression of meaning with a bestiality and to an extent that contains all human humiliation and shame.

This with an address to the US legation in Oslo – and with an invitation to the ambassador to explain the case: the accusation of being co-responsible for this exceeds all that a nation with a minimum of self-respect can have on it.

ALSO READ: The cages – A young Vietnamese woman talks about the torture in Con Son's prisons (Orientering 1970)

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