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“One must wonder whether functioning, unnaturally divided states were truly the most preferable outcome of the Vietnamese War….”

September 24, 2009

One must wonder whether functioning, unnaturally divided states were truly the most preferable outcome of the Vietnamese War. South Korea today is independent, after all—home of the world’s largest Starbucks, its twelfth largest economy and the popular song “Fucking USA.” North Korea, on the other hand, is currently the single largest source of potential global destabilization. This is the war America “won.” Vietnam, home to the war America “lost,” is today independent, unified, a member of the global community, and a threat to no one. All available evidence indicates that the Vietnam that will exist even a decade from now will be a better and, most likely, freer Vietnam than the one that exists today. Vietnamese people will be the reason for this. That is why young South Koreans sing “Fucking USA” in the cafes of Seoul while in the cafes of Hanoi any attempt to plumb the depths of anti-Americanism among young Vietnamese is met with quizzical stares….

–from The Father of All Things, Tom Bissell

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