Vietnam War Hero Disappoints War Hawks
HANOI, May 1 - Vietnam war hero General Vo Nguyen Giap, who sent first
the French then the Americans out of his country with their sorry asses
in a sling, refused to be drawn on possible parallels with the current
war in Iraq. 'Any country that wants to impose its will on another
nation will certainly fail and all nations fighting for their own
independence will be victorious,' he said enigmatically. 'Everyone in
the world should acknowledge that each country has the right to
independence and sovereignty. Nothing is more precious than independence
and freedom.' The obscurity of his views deepened as he blew a
smoke-ring from a vintage Marlboro and added: 'I haven't had a chance to
go to Iraq and to study the specific tactics there.'
The veteran revolutionary's comments drew immediate fire from left-wing
and liberal war-hawks. 'It's disappointing that Comrade Giap should
express himself in this cryptic manner,' coughed Cristoforo Hitching.
'We had hoped for a clearer differentiation between the noble struggle
of the Vietcong and the dead-end Islamofascist jihad in Iraq. Still, if
he won't make the distinction, there are plenty of veteran freedom
fighters who will, right here on the front lines in Washington.'
In London, too, Giap's remarks went down like a dud cluster-bomb. 'There
are no conceivable parallels between Vietnam and Iraq,' said experienced
liberal war promoter John Harry (17), who remembers the time vividly
from a previous life. 'It's not like the Vietcong were some kind of
violent authoritarian movement, or anything. They never harmed any
Vietnamese civilians, or targeted any other Vietnamese socialists or
nationalists. It was, like, peace and love, man. Anyway, opinion polls
showed a consistent majority of Vietnamese opposed to the US presence.
If they hadn't, it would have been perfectly proper to wait until
several years of intensive bombing had swung their opinions before
taking a stand.'
His older colleague, Dafydd Harrumfovitch (51), was sharper in his
condemnation. 'You only have to compare the people opposed to this war
with those who opposed the war in Vietnam. Today you see Socialist
Worker readers joining hands with pacifists, religious nutters and
unreconstructed Stalinists, and people like Noam Chomsky and John Pilger
writing hysterical screeds about US imperialism. The contrast with the
movement against the war in Vietnam couldn't be more stark.'
A spokesman for the influential website MIAW (Marxism Inflicted by
American Warplanes) added crossly: 'Countries want independence, nations
want liberation and peoples want revolution, do they? Well, tough shit.
The next wave of world revolution will eliminate these small
counter-revolutionary peoples down to their very names. Except Albania,
Kosova and Bosnia-Hercegovina, heroic vanguards of liberated humanity.'