In 1978, three years after the fall of Saigon, John Pilger went back to Vietnam to find out what had happened under the new regime. He talks with a young tour guide at a war crimes museum, who had been imprisoned in the infamous US tiger cages. He follows a former North Vietnamese soldier into the underground base where he spent 20 years crawling through tunnels undetected. He visits the street in Hanoi that was the target of the largest single aerial bombardment in history. And he shows us the re-education camps where former drug addicts, prostitutes, South Vietnam soldiers, and others are being taught what to think.
44% of Vietnam’s forests have been decimated, poisonous chemicals have produced babies with deformations, 58,000 Americans and 2 – 5 million Vietnamese lost their lives.
And all of this suffering was for what? “To stop the spread of Chinese communism” was the rationale. And yet, Pilger argues, if we had let them form their own independent state in the late 1940s, what probably would have emerged is what is emerging now – a kind of Asian Yugoslavia.