Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Saigon 1975…or Phnom Penh 1975?

I consider the anti-Vietnam War movement to be one of the most important if not the most important of any movements in US history. If there had been no American Revolution, today the US would be more or less like other similar countries that eventually got their independence from Britain in a non-violent manner, like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, which are somewhat similar societies today. The Civil War and abolition ended slavery, but that was only following a global trend, and slavery would have ended within a generation or two due to economic and technological changes. The conditions of blacks in the South in the post-Civil War era weren’t much different than what they were under slavery in terms of oppression and poverty, conditions that lasted well into the 20th century. The labor movement achieved certain important labor reforms, but those were made possible as much by economic growth and technological development as much as by political agitation.

But the anti-Vietnam War movement had the effect of making the draft politically impossible and forcing the US to fight future imperialist wars with volunteer professional armies, mercenaries, foreign troops, proxy forces, and technology. Even without the draft, Americans since Vietnam have been unwilling to accept imperialist war if it means any real sacrifices on their own side. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, even in the aftermath of 9/11, public opinion started turning against the war as soon as there were any casualties on the American side. Now, we have a repeat of the end of US wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, with the US losing another series of Asian wars from the 2000s and 2010s.  Hopefully, this will cause imperialist war to lose legitimacy to an even greater degree than has been the case since Vietnam.

The Guardian

Hundreds of people crammed into a US carrier in a desperate attempt to escape Kabul after Taliban forces took control of the capital.

An extraordinary image has emerged that appears to show hundreds of Afghans packed into a US military cargo plane, in a desperate attempt to flee Kabul after the fall of the capital to the Taliban.

The picture obtained by US defence and security news site Defense One is believed to show 640 people crammed into a C-17 Globemaster III, among the highest number of people ever carried in such an aircraft.

US defence officials reportedly said the passengers – among them women and children – on the flight were safely evacuated from Kabul to Qatar on Sunday.


Leave a Reply