The American Nightmare

Forty-five years ago today, the US Army fled Vietnam, in helicopters, from the roof of the US Embassy in what was then called Saigon.


After the death of almost 60,000 Americans, 55,000 French, and millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, the West’s thirty years of colonial and imperial warfare in South-east Asia — including the greatest and most vicious use of chemical and biological weapons ever seen — crashed to a bitter and humiliating end.

The victory of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese was called the end of America’s nightmare. It certainly was a bad dream for American imperialism, but the real nightmare was what the local populations had had to suffer for so many decades.

2 Responses to The American Nightmare

  1. Ralph says:

    We were in Vietnam just over a year ago. Two things: most Vietnamese have no memory of the war as the median age of Vietnamese is mid 30s. Secondly the American news was full of stories about Vietnam and we even saw an article about “Hanoi Jane” Fonda. So I’d say that the American nightmare is still going on while any Vietnamese nightmare stopped when American lifted their Trade embargo in 1995.

    There were quite a few Americans we met who had served in Vietnam and they all had their tale to tell. Maybe, because they were on our ship visiting Vietnam, they all had misgivings about their military experiences.

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