History is Written by Victors…

Today, we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were used in the Vietnam War for guerrilla warfare. The Viet Cong, fighting for the North, lived in these tunnels in the South so that they could attack soldiers by surprise. The tunnels were long, and very small, and some of them even led to underground bunkers, where people could eat and sleep if need be. They had many hidden entrances so it served as a base for protection as well as a home. There were also traps made for when the enemy came and stepped in the wrong place, they would fall into a pit lined with sharp bamboo spikes. Although, if I were a soldier in Vietnam, I would have not made it into battle because I’d go insane from claustrophobia in the tunnels.

It seemed as if war site was slightly contradictory to the past and current views of the people of Saigon. Many of the memorials and description called it “a fight for freedom,” even though the South was looking for independence. To the government, the war is actually known as “The American War,” because the North viewed The United States as the enemy. While Northern troops were in South Vietnam, fighting to force the nation to unify, they were also creating propaganda to convey the message that the U.S. was in the country to stifle freedom. I find this interesting not because of the extreme war opposition to the U.S., but the opinion of the North being displayed in the South because Saigon is fully controlled by the government. I believe if the South have won the war, the exhibits we saw today would be totally different. There would be no “American War,” and most likely it would have been classified as a civil war. There would also be more Southern policies in government, including capitalist laws and more globalization because of the ties that South Vietnam had with America. Despite this strong opinion of the north, all parts of Vietnam have moved on since the war and have much respect for Americans and the relationship proves to be stronger than ever today.

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