Sunday, May 30, 2010
Anti-American Art: Anti-Imperialist Circus Act
Showing an American jet crashing through the hoops formed by the number 1000, this stamp was issued by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1966 to mark the 1,000th US aircraft shot down over Vietnam.
This past May 19 was also the 120th anniversary of the birth of Ho Chi Minh, the leader of Vietnam in its war against French colonialism in the 1940s and 1950s and against American aggression in the 1960s. Although Ho Chi Minh did not live to see the defeat of the US--he died in 1969--he led his small nation in a valiant fight against the most powerful military machine on the face of the planet.
Here's an excerpt from his 1967 letter to US President Lyndon Johnson:
"On February 10, 1967, I received your message. This is my reply. Vietnam is thousands of miles away from the United States. The Vietnamese people have never done any harm to the United States. But contrary to the pledges made by its representative at the 1954 Geneva conference, the U.S. has ceaselessly intervened in Vietnam, it has unleashed and intensified the war of aggression in North Vietnam with a view to prolonging the partition of Vietnam and turning South Vietnam into a neocolony and a military base of the United States. For over two years now, the U.S. government has, with its air and naval forces, carried the war to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam, an independent and sovereign country.
The U.S. government has committed war crimes, crimes against peace and against mankind. In South Vietnam, half a million U.S. and satellite troops have resorted to the most inhuman weapons and most barbarous methods of warfare, such as napalm, toxic chemicals and gases, to massacre our compatriots, destroy crops, and raze villages to the ground. In North Vietnam, thousands of U.S. aircraft have dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs, destroying towns, villages, factories, schools. In your message, hyou apparently deplore the sufferings and destruction in Vietnam. May I ask you: Who has perpetrated these monstrous crimes? It is the United States and satellite troops. The U.S. government is entirely responsible for the extremely serious situation in Vietnam....The U.S. government has unleashed the war of aggression in Vietnam. It must cease this aggression. This is the only way to restoration of peace."