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Being the Bad Guy at the War Remnants Museum

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Vietnam! Whenever I am about to visit a new country I make a mental inventory of the things that I associate with that place. When I think of Vietnam I think of rice paddies, spring rolls and war.

War is probably the biggest thing that most of the western world associates with Vietnam. Although I was born a decade after the end of the Vietnam War, it’s cultural legacy is still very clear to me. Miss Saigon, Apocalypse Now, Tim O’Brien and more made the entire situation much more vivid than any history book. My parents can’t get over the fact that we now live in a world where their daughter can visit Vietnam as a tourist. “When I was your age,” says my Dad, “we were all trying NOT to go to Vietnam.”

So even with all the things I think I know about the Vietnam War, I realized that the Vietnamese probably have a very different outlook and attitude on it. For starters I knew that they called it the “American War,” which sounds odd but makes a lot of sense. I wanted to know what the Vietnamese attitude was about this terrible time that entangled both of our countries, so one of our first stops in Ho Chi Minh City was the War Remnants Museum.

It was… an awkward visit, to say the least.

The museum, which costs something like 75 cents, is a gray warehouse of a building, with a courtyard filled with re-appropriated American tanks, helicopters and fighter planes. Inside I walked up to the first exhibit to find this plastered on the wall:

Crucial words from the Declaration of Independence, thoughtfully positioned next to a picture of an American Soldier executing a Viet Cong soldier. Subtly. And a pretty good indicator of what was to come. Image after gory image of dead Vietnamese, dismembered body parts and soldiers terrorizing civilians.

It went on: victims of agent orange, dead babies in jars, simulation tiger cages and more. It was weird. And mortifying. And also kind of infuriating. I have absolutely no doubt that the United States did some really terrible things. It was a terrible and ill-advised war. But this place was just too much. What about all the horrible things that the Viet Cong did? Not even mentioned among the debris. I see pictures of locked up Viet Cong, but where is the exhibit on the infamous Hanoi Hilton? War is hell no doubt but it’s a two sided inferno.

“Even women and babies are targets of US American division mopping up operations.”

Now, the museum is run by the government, so of course it’s sole purpose is to booster the party line. In Vietnam, like everywhere else, history is written by the victors. What I was looking at wasn’t the actual beliefs of the majority of the people in Vietnam- it was pure propaganda. Once I grasped this the entire museum experience became less emotional and more academic.

In my travels I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few different places that have been negatively effects by US actions I reflected on the bombed out buildings of Belgrade and the atomic bomb site in Hiroshima. The latter is probably more comparable to here: severe destruction and civilian casualties during wartime. The Peace Park in Hiroshima is almost the polar opposite of this museum though: it’s a monument to what was lost, a (fair) explanation of what happened and a plea to make sure it never happens again. I think that ultimatly had far more impact on me then the smear-fest in Saigon.

So what’s the difference? Well, the Japanese have had much longer to recover from their wounds. And the Japanese lost the war. America did some really horrible things in both countries, but Japan at least recognizes that we weren’t operating in a void. To do that requires a level of self-criticism that the Vietnamese government is clearly not comfortable with.

The good news is, the War Museum is more of a novelty than anything else. It does not represent the views of most people in Vietnam. Things might change when I go up North, but here in the south people are friendly and open. Based on the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet so far, their opinions on Americans range from indifferent to ecstatic. As one guy told me “That was a long time ago, a lot of bad things happened, but now we must move on.”

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65 Responses to Being the Bad Guy at the War Remnants Museum

  1. Julia February 2, 2011 at 9:28 AM #

    Did you go to the Cu Chi Tunnels? They are also very anti-American. Even as a British citizen I found it a bit nauseating at how the Americans were portrayed. Like you said, war is definitely two-sided. I found the War Remnants Museum fascinating but saddening at the same time.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:35 AM #

      I did- and I wanted to include them in this post but didn’t get around to it. Loved the part in the video about the soldiers getting “American Killer” awards.

  2. Joel February 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM #

    I had heard enough about this museum that I knew what I was in for when I arrived. One-sided, for sure, but still incredibly impactful.

    More moving to me, though, were some opportunities I had to speak with former Vietnamese soldiers who fought for the South. Their perspectives were not only different, they still DID hold a lot of resentment, but toward their own nation, their government and the soldiers they fought from the North.

    It was a third viewpoint I was largely ignorant of. I was fortunate to find a couple of men who so openly spoke of their experiences, since they really can’t do so around their fellow countrymen.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:34 AM #

      Yeah, even from just casual conversation I can tell that there is a lot still going on between the government and it’s people, particularly in the South. That may be part of why they seem so welcoming to Americans.

  3. Allison Suter February 2, 2011 at 9:56 AM #

    I went to the War Remnants Museum as a 21 year old version of myself. I remember thinking something was not quite right. From the minute I opened your blog post, I was wondering whether you had been the the Peace Park in Hiroshima. I think they have done such an excellent job of presenting a more even keel, given the nature of the destruction. I appreciate your insights, it was food for thought this morning!

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:33 AM #

      Yeah, there seems to be a pretty obvious connection between the two in my head, different perspectives for sure.

      • Akila February 15, 2011 at 2:20 PM #

        The Peace Park in Hiroshima is amazing because it is so unbiased. Almost weirdly unbiased, actually, because I expected people to feel upset about the fact that we demolished two huge cities . . . but they aren’t. Joanna also posted about this spot and I remembered thinking how interesting it is to view “our wars” from the other standpoint.

        • Steph February 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM #

          Yeah, I think I’m really learning a lot, both about US foreign policy, and about the psychologies of various asian countries.

  4. Theresa February 2, 2011 at 11:14 AM #

    I completely agree with you. I think all the onesidedness did was make me feel defensive. Obviously the U.S. did some very horrible things during the war, but by only presenting the American atrocities, the museum felt “false” and only succeeded in undermining itself. The horrific nature wouldn’t have been erased had the museum presented a more balanced perspective, but instead would have been made more real. But as you said, it’s all propaganda.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:32 AM #

      I really agree with you here. I think most informed people will pick up on the bias and not take the place as seriously as they would if it was a fairer perspective. It would have been much more impactful.

  5. Kristina February 2, 2011 at 2:58 PM #

    While obviously the museum is pretty biased I think it is worth visiting just to get the different perspective. It was the number one attraction in Ho Chi Minh when I went there two and a half years ago, I’m not sure if it still is. The only place I can compare it to emotionally would be the Holocaust Museum (in D.C.), the Peace Park in Hiroshima just didn’t have the same affect on me. I actually even wrote a paper in college about the rhetoric of the War Remnants Museum after visiting it.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:30 AM #

      I guess different things work on different people- although i did get pretty emotional at the Agent Orange exhibit. The Holocaust Museum is another great example.

  6. JoAnna February 2, 2011 at 9:21 PM #

    I think the museum was an important one. Understanding the perspective of the creators is important, and it is just one opinion, but that doesn’t make it wrong or right. I think it’s important for people to visit the War Remnants Museum because it’s not a perspective you can find in the United States. We might share a different part of the story, but not the one told at the museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

    In case you’re interested, here were the thoughts I had when I visited: http://kaleidoscopicwandering.com/2010/12/27/war-remnants-museum-vietnam/

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:28 AM #

      Yeah, it was definitely an interesting and enlightening place to visit.

  7. Rick February 3, 2011 at 3:19 AM #

    There’s plenty of propaganda to go all around. To get a better sense of history, you need to listen to the narratives of various parties involved and the truth will lie somewhere in a synthesis of these. In the case of Vietnam, there are the northern Vietnamese, the southern Vietnamese, the aristocracy, the Viet Minh/Cong, the French, the Japanese, the Hmong, and the Americans.

    Vietnam experienced a war of national liberation within a world war that led to a civil war driven by a class revolution. Vietnam declared independence in on September 2, 1945, but it was ignored by Britain, France, and the United States who conspired to return the country to French colonial rule.

    The important difference between Japan and Vietnam is that, unlike the Japanese, the Vietnamese did not attack the US. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, used to provide a rationale for escalating the war, was a false flag operation. And to what end? More bombs were dropped on Indochina than all of Europe during the entire Second World War. All that death and destruction did not prevent what would have happened post-1945 if Vietnamese independence was recognized back then.

    Considering what the Vietnamese endured (and still endure today from the massive Agent Orange poisoning), I think they are an incredibly forgiving people.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:26 AM #

      These are all very good points and I certainly would not say that the US does a much better job of explaining the conflict. I learned barely anything about the Vietnam war in school, and mostly cobbled my impression from tv and movies. Maybe the whole thing is still too fresh for anyone to have a really unbiased take on things.

      And I would agree, the Vietnamese have been some of the most shockingly friendly and welcoming people I’ve ever met.

      • Dave Indie Traveler March 31, 2012 at 8:26 AM #

        Agreed with the friendly and welcoming bit… we hired an independent guide to take us around and while I was asking all about the country and his life, he wanted to discuss Steve Jobs and business with me. Not only warm and friendly, but they have a strong capitalist leaning to openness.

  8. Geoff February 3, 2011 at 6:05 AM #

    Hi Steph,

    Vietnam was the first country I ever traveled to (I’m from Australia). Now, I agree that the museums etc. are very one sided. However, I also understand the reasons behind this. After all, the U.S., and its allies unfortunately, had no business in Vietnam. More infuriating to me was the fact that so many great places were destroyed, both by shooting between Vietcong and the enemy and by American planes bombing everything. A great example is the My Son ruins.

    I know my comment sounds very anti-american, but I just want to make it clear that I don’t blame the American people or the Vietnamese people, I blame the governments on both sides of the conflict.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:19 AM #

      Yeah, I certainly can’t argue that the US government behaved at all honorably during the conflict. I just think it does everyone a disservice to purposely ignore a large chunk of history because it makes your government look bad.

      That goes for any country.

  9. lisa February 3, 2011 at 7:36 AM #

    hi! i’m travelling to vietnam this year too. can you recommend a cheap place to stay?

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:17 AM #

      I can’t remember the name of the hotel I stayed in in HCMC, but I found it on hostelworld. Everywhere else I’ve stayed here I’ve found just by rolling up and looking around. It’s been very easy to find cheap accomodation.

  10. Rease February 3, 2011 at 4:07 PM #

    That sounds really difficult to see, but I agree with you, once you get past the sickness of the images and the one-sideness of everything, it had to be educational.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:16 AM #

      I am getting a much fuller perspective on the Vietnam War just by being here. Learning a lot.

  11. Stephanie J February 3, 2011 at 6:34 PM #

    Interesting viewpoints! Have you been to the War Memorial in Hawaii for Pearl Harbor? We’ve set up the same kind of thing, very anti-Japanese. In fact, there are two different tours to keep the Asian/Tourist population and American population separate because the Americans spend so much time heckling the Japanese tourists. So I guess we ALL have our own propaganda.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:15 AM #

      I haven’t been there, but that’s really interesting. I think propaganda definitely works both ways- that’s kind of sad though.

  12. Tam February 4, 2011 at 1:20 AM #

    Hi, as a Vietnamese, reading your blog makes me feel sad also. War in Vietnam is something in the past, a very long time ago. So now we just want to say Hi and make friends with people on over the world. So, just spend your time here, in this friendly country and you can easily associate Vietnam to another things, such as: smile, beef noodle, coffee and friendly people :)

    Btw, today is the TET holidays in VN, ( Lunar new year) it would be a great chance if you can join some traditional events here.
    In TET, we usually visit each others, singing, drinking and playing game.

    • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:15 AM #

      Thanks for the comment! It’s really great to get some input from someone who is actually Vietnamese. I just wanted to add that so far I LOVE Vietnam. The people are some of the most friendly I’ve met anywhere and the food is amazing.

      • Steph February 4, 2011 at 6:15 AM #

        And happy new year!

        • Tam February 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM #

          great to hear that you are enjoying Vietnam so far :) Just explore the Vietnam hidden charm.
          Some tips
          1. try street food. it’s much more amazing and very cheap.
          2. using motobike and have a city tour. going to district 2, district 5… u will find a different HCM city.
          3. try a vietnamese daily meal. it will surprise u for sure.

  13. Tam February 4, 2011 at 1:24 AM #

    Hi Lisa, you can stay at my house if you want :) i am living in Sai Gon ( Ho Chi Minh city )

  14. Scott February 4, 2011 at 7:03 AM #

    Steph,

    Thanks for the tour through the museum. It has to be hard to see those things and know that it’s not the 100% side of the story, but you know … I guess to each their own propaganda!

  15. Rick February 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    Given the socio-political effect the Vietnam War had on Americans (which is interesting to compare with Iraq), it’s probably difficult for many not associate the country with the war, just like one associates Cambodia with the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. Nevertheless, I think it is important not to let that frame your experience with the people. It reminds me of a documentary I came across, called ‘Vietnam: The Country, Not the War’, which I think nicely sums it up.

    Too often, people’s view of a country is based on their feelings concerning the actions of its government based on biased news. We need to remember that so many people do not have a government of their choosing or even the ability to make that choice. So despite what one may feel about a particular government, I recommend people still visit a country if they are interested to. Go with an open mind and let your experience with the locals shape your views of a place. You may be surprised by what you find.

    • Steph February 5, 2011 at 11:37 PM #

      I definitely agree. I think it’s impossible to be here and think about war all the time though- its such a busy and exciting place full of awesome people and food. Just like everywhere it’s more than the actions of it’s government.

  16. Theodora February 4, 2011 at 4:43 PM #

    You can actually visit the Hanoi Hilton in Hanoi: they do have it open as a site.

    Now, I can see how the War Remnants Museum must be upsetting as an American, and there is, of course, some propaganda language within it.

    Unfortunately, though, American forces did do all the things that they are accused of — from Agent Orange through to My Lai — on soil that was never their own, in defense of a dictator who refused the right to free elections.

    I think you’d need to look a long way in Vietnam before you find any particular enthusiasm for US intervention in a fairly ancient conflict….

    • Steph February 5, 2011 at 11:40 PM #

      I do want to visit the Hanoi Hilton when I get up there. Should be interesting.

      I wasn’t expecting any sort of “yay USA” sentiments. I don’t think you’ll find much support for the Vietnam War anywhere- even IN the US. But to say “The USA did mean things to us because they are bad people,” is a pretty gross oversimplification that doesn’t really do anyone any favors.

      • Theodora February 6, 2011 at 9:58 PM #

        I’m not sure that is what’s said in the museum, to be honest.

        There’s some anti-capitalist commentary, which is typical of Vietnamese communism, and something you’ll hear also if you take the Reunification Express. But I don’t think there’s anything that says that Americans per se are bad, or did mean things.

        You will read things like capitalists supporting colonialists. That refers to America’s initial involvement in Vietnam (after WWII, when the Allies supported the Viet Minh, and Ho Chi Minh, to help remove the Japanese from Vietnam). They came in to help the French maintain their colonial rule over Vietnam.

        Then the US became involved to *prevent* free elections and reunification, which was presented at home as a war against Communist dictatorship (although they had backed and supported Ho Chi Minh themselves during WWII, much as the CIA trained Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan during the 1980s).

        Now, I’d say that as an American in Vietnam you get a much better reception than as, say, a German in Greece or France when I used to travel there as a child. Which means that there’s much less personal feeling about what was done to the country and the people by folk who lived through decades of war than there is by folk who lived through the Second World War.

        But you will not find a clear explanation of what the US Army was doing in Vietnam anywhere, really.

        That’s because, put at its very simplest, the US should not have been in Vietnam. The Vietnamese did nothing to America, as other commenters have pointed out. The French had no right to maintain, or re-establish their rule, over Vietnam.

        I think the museum may skim over the detailed reasons for US involvement — precisely because they are complicated — but I really don’t think it presents American individuals, per se, as evil or mean.

  17. Alexander February 5, 2011 at 2:34 AM #

    You are right, it was biased. But that could also be said of much of the reporting from the west, esp. America. All the atrocities such as agent orange or whatever were much under reported, so the museum is only a counter balance to that. And then people get celebrated as ‘war heros’ (e.g. John McCain). I am sure many/most of the soldiers did not do these horrendous crimes, but you can’t just assume everyone was a hero.

    And upstairs there was a photography exhibit, and I would say it is less bias, as it showed lots of pictures of injured Americans.

    I just feel that a lot of people in the west are oblivious to what really happened, so you can’t blame them for telling their side of the story. And bias or not, when you see people born seriously deformed three or four generations later, you know that something went wrong.

    • Steph February 5, 2011 at 11:46 PM #

      It’s a tough line to walk. I think that everyone is assuming that I think the Vietnam war was a good war or that hte US is blameless. I don’t. A lot of really horrible stuff happened- but to say it was all the US’s fault and ignore the role the Viet Con played is not right. Instead of finger pointing it would be nice if *everyone* involved could work on figuring out what the hell happened and how to make it NOT happen again.

  18. Dad February 5, 2011 at 8:27 AM #

    Fascinating. My impression is that the museum actually reflects a perspective that was widely accepted and got A LOT of attention, back in the US at the time. This was the first war that was broadcast on TV – the first war where people sitting safely at home actually saw the horror broadcast into their living room every night. Those broadcasts included the standard propaganda, but also included a lot of the same images displayed in the museum. The resulting sense of outrage and self-revulsion, reflected in the US Anti-War movement clashed with the more “patriotic” mainstream view of those who remembered WWII, saw America as “the good guys,” and could not imagine that our leaders could be as wrong as they later proved to be. America came astonishingly close to a revolution over this schism and the scars are still there 40-50 years later – resentments still persist. That is the real reason John Kerry did not become President. But the years go by, it seems that that those resentments are hidden or sugar coated. It is interesting that the War was not discussed much in school — I think we are still struggling to deal with it as a nation. In a strange way, going to this museum and seeing this perspective might actually help people to better understand our own country – and what was really going on during the formative years of our current leaders.

    • Steph February 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM #

      Thanks Dad! I really appreciate this comment because it highlights a whole other way of framing what I saw and the larger context of what happened.

  19. Chris Maxwell-Gaines February 6, 2011 at 8:24 AM #

    We visited the War Remnants Museum last year and at first we were really surprised at the perspective and the images shown. After spending two months in Southeast Asia and seeing how the war affected other countries like Cambodia and Laos, I have learned how we don’t really get the full picture in our high school American History classes here in the US.

    One thing to remember, Japan was a willing participant in World War II. Vietnam was just a pawn in the global advance/fight against Communism. Vietnam didn’t attack the US like Japan did. This is where the Vietnamese perspective comes from and this is something we need to be reminded of this. This is with the knowledge that, today, the whole of Vietnam is communist again.

    Thanks for a great blog!!

    • Steph February 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM #

      Yeah, visiting SE Asia has been much more enlightening than any history class I ever took!

  20. Amanda February 6, 2011 at 11:38 PM #

    Wow, how interesting. It’s too bad that the museum was so one-sided, but yet I suppose it still gives a taste of the animosity the Vietnamese government still holds toward the US. And, we DID do some horrible things over there during the war.

    But I think this sentence really says it all: “War is hell no doubt but it’s a two sided inferno.” Great point.

    And thanks for writing about this!

  21. Darren Alff February 9, 2011 at 12:18 AM #

    Very interesting. I think many people forget that just because artifacts and information are in a “Museum” doesn’t necessarily mean that everything represented there is 100% true. There is usually more than one side to a story. Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. GZ February 20, 2011 at 10:14 AM #

    Very interesting post & the follow up comments really brought everything to another level! First time visiting your site but will be back often! So cool that your Dad weighed in…. & hit a comment homerun!

  23. Lynda Kaplan March 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM #

    I’m interested in the photo you have on your site of the Viet Nam Declaration of Independence for an exhibit. could you contact me about that image?

    thank you. Lynda

    lbkahw@earthlink.net

  24. Bridget O'Donnell July 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM #

    Great post. I visited that museum last year and felt the same way. The anti-American propaganda was evident, but definitely an eye-opener for me. I didn’t know much about the war from the Vietnamese perspective.

    I wasn’t really upset with what I saw there until the very end of the tour. They had a US sailor’s uniform on display in the last room with all the anti-war posters from around the world. If you looked carefully at the uniform, you could see a giant blood stain around the entire torso area. It was sickening and infuriating because it reminded me that someone at some point stripped this dead sailor of his uniform, doing God-knows-what with the corpse. Obviously, the US soldiers did some pretty terrible things to Vietnamese citizens, but to put on full display the uniform of a captured person is really disturbing. Especially if that display is in a place like a museum, where you’re trying to be informative.

  25. Tony Titwo August 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM #

    I like all the other correspondents above also visited this museum. But unlike most of you, I can remember the absolute garbage propaganda that was put out by the US and its allies during this war. And what I was told then and what I have discovered since from reading about and visiting Vietnam makes me feel ill. Ill because I was lied to by our government of the day in Australia. So please, all you people accusing the Vietnamese of propaganda, do your homework and you will find it is closer to the truth than what you got taught. It may also be helpful if you visit the requiem floor in the museum and read what non US or Vietnamese journalists wrote during this conflict. This war may never have been had the US helped Ho Chi Minh when he requested help from them. Finally, I am sure that all of you know what Vietnam, Angola, Iraq etc have in common. They all have oil in abundance.

    • Steph August 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM #

      I have no doubt the US was absolutely spewing propoganda as well. The whole war was just a big ugly tragedy.

  26. MinhNguyen December 7, 2011 at 2:12 PM #

    Ya I’m looking around internet for my writing and have a chance to see this blog
    I very appreciate Theodora comment
    I have visited this museum last sunday and as architecture student I think you miss out something, I remember there ‘s small play ground for children at the top floor- don’t you realize this space has own meaning- I think it tell you about peace by seeing children play, children is for a better future, right?
    and by the way I don’t think Vietnamese can take pictures about how they killed people and smile then hang these pics on a wall like a hunter with his animals…
    but this war has a good point^^ this war has pointed out that American is not invincible… they can’t win any war.
    Thank for your thinking.

    • Steph December 9, 2011 at 10:41 PM #

      I missed the play ground at the top- very interesting.

    • Dave Indie Traveler March 31, 2012 at 8:29 AM #

      It was a little unsettling (as an American) but well worth the visit to see the other / differing opinion. There’s a really good restaurant right across the street, can’t remember the name of it, yellow awning for anyone interested.

      • Steph March 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM #

        We also went to that restaurant (don’t know the name). It was delicious!

  27. Leigh January 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM #

    War crimes not yet answered for. This alone justifies the importance of the museum. And that it can all happen again in the Middle East tells me the US and it’s allies have a lot to learn and think about. Dad, it’s a real shame that revolution didn’t take place.

  28. Leigh January 30, 2013 at 4:26 PM #

    War crimes not yet answered for. This alone justifies the importance of the museum. And that it can all happen again in the Middle East tells me the US and it’s allies have a lot to think about. Dad, it’s a real shame that revolution didn’t take place.

  29. Rosco Brennan July 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM #

    I ask for your assistance.
    I was at the museum many years ago. There was a quote by a French soldier to Robert Capa the photographer who had just arrived under one of capa’s photos.
    Something like ” how unfortunate our involvement” or such. Anyone remember?

  30. Ernest November 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM #

    Curious if they showed anything about: “Operation Speedy Express” the 1969 Mekong Delta Mega My Lai campaign where tens of thousands of civilians were liquidated.

  31. Another Visitor January 4, 2014 at 5:33 AM #

    Yes, it is one-sided. But still, can anybody explain what American soldiers were doing there?

  32. London April 4, 2014 at 11:09 AM #

    It must be upsetting for an American to see her country’s dirty laundry fully on display however the Vietnamese have every right to do exactly that.
    I’m sure the VietCong did awful things but only in retaliation.
    America has very controversial foreign policy. It’s foreign policy is in a nutshell – any country that doesn’t do what we want will be attacked at any cost.
    America knows how big and powerful it is, and how difficult it would be for almost any country in the world to defend themselves.
    As others have stated history lessons in the US paint a distorted (at best) at worst untruthful picture of what they did and for what erroneous reasons.

    America should not have attacked Vietnam. The damage caused in Laos with land mines is terrible. Using another defenceless country in that way is disgraceful.

    I personally think America had a LOT to answer for and this museum doesn’t even touch the surface.

    Effects of this terrible war are still bring felt. Imagine if you were an injured native who went to the museum and read about the American ‘side’ of the story. How would this feel? Awful? The museum is in part a tribute to the people of this country who were affected.
    It is not the job of Vietnam to express sorrow to the country who attacked it.

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