A former Viet Cong fighter tells his story

A former Viet Cong fighter recently told his story to, of all people, a representative of Cracked.com.

pleiku_1966__operation_paul_revere_viet_cong_prisoners__vietnam_war_upi_wire_photoIt seems that he and his friends were not the deadly jungle fighters as portrayed in Hollywood movies.  Rather they were confused young men stuck in the middle of a bad situation they didn’t understand, something like American GIs, but much worse.

He said recruits didn’t have the benefit of such things as “functional equipment” or “the slightest idea of what to do.”  Training was rudimentary or nonexistent.  So were weapons.

The AK-47s the Soviets send via China to aid the Viet Cong were mostly kept by the Chinese, who sent Chinese imitations and World War Two surplus to Hanoi, which were mostly kept by the North Vietnamese.  His troop got the leftovers.

He said the Vietnamese jungle was a more fearsome adversary than the Americans.  His troop regularly lost men to tigers.

What’s most significant to me about his story is the motives for joining the Viet Cong.  Hardly any recruits had any concept of ideology, he wrote; they thought Communists were followers of somebody called Commun, and some thought they were still fighting the French.

No, the main motive was to take revenge for the death of a parent, loved one or child, or, in the narrator’s case, for having the U.S.-backed government confiscate his family’s home and land and give them to a rich guy.

My guess is that this is the main reason for joining insurgents against American forces in Afghanistan [1], Iraq or anywhere else—taking revenge for the death of a relative or friend, or for what was done to you by the corrupt U.S.-backed government.

And the longer Americans remain as an occupying force, the more people there are with a motivation to take revenge.  The U.S. forces literally can’t win—not until we Americans become so fanatically evil as to commit to a war of annihilation and a permanent occupation.  Thankfully we aren’t like that, not yet, and it might not even work anyway.


8 Things Vietnam War Movies Leave Out (By an Enemy Soldier) by Nguyen Hao Giai as told to Evan B. Simon for Cracked.com.  His story is grimly humorous, and worth reading the whole way through. Hat tip to Unqualified Offerings.


[1] I read somewhere than many Afghans have not heard about the 9/11 attacks, let alone the connection between Al Qaeda and the U.S. invasions.

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