US vs. Vietnam: Kleptocracy vs. Nature

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@ K. 2000 12 06

US versus “Vietnam”
Kleptocracy versus Nature

The points I am going to jot very quickly here are already present at, but some should be selected and repeated under the heading of Vietnam.

Geopolitics reflect the principal kleptocratic combatants of any particular time. Civilization increases a human population, that population exhausts its resources, must expand to exhaust more resources. Different styles are attempted by the would-be as well as the actual tax collectors. The styles are all virtualities: objective description would ratify very few self-descriptions. Satan sold Eve a bill of goods that he didn’t possess to sell. But expanding kleptocrats always have a trunk full of deeds to the Brooklyn Bridge. Satan was offering things that the religious claim only God possessed. I see no evidence that God possessed them either. God / Satan, Right-Religious / Wrong-Religious, US / Them, Capitalism / Communism … I don’t see any legitimacy anywhere: except in nature. Nature has laws, laws it means: but it doesn’t talk about them. Nature doesn’t talk, period. It has an eloquence, but it isn’t verbal. Nature offers; it doesn’t tax. Nature kills, but never threatens.

The US controls a huge portion of the world’s resources: wastes them, blows them up, wants more. The US threatens all that is not itself: line up or be destroyed. But the US also wants to be loved and respected: it’s for the good of all that we’re wasting and destroying and threatening. Other kleptocracies, though all may be different in some superficial way (like having different names), are little different in essence. Didn’t Hitler, didn’t Stalin, didn’t Nixon … want to be loved and respected?
“History,” written by kleptocrats for kleptocrats, offers a very limited view of human experience. First there were the Sumerians, then the Egyptians … then Alexander, Caesar, US. The number of humans not under kleptocratic rubrics and shibboleths dwindle: certainly in percentages, and probably in raw numbers as well. Nevertheless, there are some.

And some happened to live in the mountains of Cambodia, of Laos, the jungles of Vietnam. Neither US nor Them could bear that once we learned of them. No, you can’t just live; you have to have a government. Choose: US or Them. Or die. Maybe die anyway, but choose.

Translating how Hitler himself put it: “There’s always one of two possibilities.”
And that, in a nutshell, is what I say the “war” in Vietnam was.

Notice how “political” wars may more meaningfully be religious wars. We were just killing people in Afghanistan. Now we’re once again about to kill people in Iraq. We say they’re religious nuts; we say we’re sanctifiedly secular. Review what makes us US and you’ll find all the elements of religion: unexamined hypotheses … lots and lots of unexamined hypotheses. So: so much is new religion ganging up on old religion. (And visa versa.)
(I say that “everything” is belief. Is there anything that isn’t religion?)

06/08/2003: I remember Noam Chomsky writing that it was possible to learn some true things about Vietnam (in the 60s and ’70s) but that it took an individual working ceaselessly: with access to university level tools, international resources … bkMarcus recently emailed the following by Murray N. Rothbard (if only we had known):

Of all America’s recent wars, certainly the most traumatic for Americans and their attitude toward foreign policy was the Vietnam war. America’s imperial war in Vietnam was, indeed, a microcosm of what has been tragically wrong with American foreign policy in this century. American intervention in Vietnam did not begin, as most people believe, with Kennedy or Eisenhower or even Truman. It began no later than the date when the American government, under Franklin Roosevelt, [p. 273] on November 26, 1941, delivered a sharp and insulting ultimatum to Japan to get its armed forces out of China and Indochina, from what would later be Vietnam. This U.S. ultimatum set the stage inevitably for Pearl Harbor. Engaged in a war in the Pacific to oust Japan from the Asian continent, the United States and its OSS (predecessor to the CIA) favored and aided Ho Chi Minh’s Communist-run national resistance movement against the Japanese. After World War II, the Communist Viet Minh was in charge of all northern Vietnam. But then France, previously the imperial ruler of Vietnam, betrayed its agreement with Ho and massacred Viet Minh forces. In this double cross, France was aided by Britain and the United States.

When the French lost to the reconstituted Viet Minh guerrilla movement under Ho, the United States endorsed the Geneva agreement of 1954, under which Vietnam was to be quickly reunited as one nation. For it was generally recognized that the postwar occupation divisions of the country into North and South were purely arbitrary and merely for military convenience. But, having by trickery managed to oust the Viet Minh from the southern half of Vietnam, the United States proceeded to break the Geneva agreement and to replace the French and their puppet Emperor Bao Dai by its own clients, Ngo Dinh Diem and his family, who were installed in dictatorial rule over South Vietnam. When Diem became an embarrassment, the CIA engineered a coup to assassinate Diem and replace him with another dictatorial regime. To suppress the Viet Cong, the Communist-led national independence movement in the South, the United States rained devastation on South and North Vietnam alike: bombing and murdering a million Vietnamese and dragging half a million American soldiers into the quagmires and jungles of Vietnam.

Throughout the tragic Vietnamese conflict, the United States maintained the fiction that it was a war of “aggression” by the Communist North Vietnamese State against a friendly and “pro-Western” (whatever that term may mean) South Vietnamese State which had called for our aid. Actually, the war was really a doomed but lengthy attempt by an imperial United States to suppress the wishes of the great bulk of the Vietnamese population and to maintain unpopular client dictators in the southern half of the country, by virtual genocide if necessary.Americans are not accustomed to applying the term “imperialism” to the actions of the U.S. government, but the word is a particularly apt one. In its broadest sense, imperialism may be defined as aggression by State A against the people of country B, followed by the subsequent coercive maintenance of such foreign rule.
From chapter 14: War and Foreign Policy

2016 08 10 K. puns on The U S a lot, has for decades. I bet I used to verbally too, when I first got up on soapboxes in 1970 ff. Now I’m in danger of going back to jail. The court is supposed to appoint me another pro bono aide. How I’m Bowdlerizing K. I don’t want some girl with a law course to tackle and beat me up along with the court. So: I’ve censored the c-word from K. And I’ve censored 99% of the n- words from K. But I could dip myself in c- and n- and be imune compared to things I’ve said in volume about our biggest sacred cow, the US. So: I should censor the US from K. too. Substitute Wasi’ Chu: Lakota for “white man”: “greedy pig”.
But of course it doesn’t matter what I say, write, or censor; the kleptocrats have recognized me as a nonconformist since grade school. The conformists can say anything they want; the nonconformists can’t say anything at all, not without strict supervision from the kleptocrats.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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