The vietnam war
Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
51Trip End Feb 22, 2007
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well we are back in hanoi from our trip from halong bay. our
last day in vietnam is tomorrow. its kinda sad because i feel like im
leaving vietnam but not really experiencing as much as i would have
liked. partly has to do with our planning, people that we met, and not
so great weather conditions.
our planning was poor because we missed
some friends from home by one day. we tried with our best efforts to
get to vietnam in time to meet in ho chi minh city but we failed.
although we failed to meet our friends from the states, we managed to
make new friends, that i am almost positive we will keep in contact
with and see each again (maggie, jordan and cleo).
the vietnam war aka the american war
yeah yeah, i know its kinda repetitive but i just think people ought to know, you know? anyways, back in UC irvine i had a chance to take a really interesting and challenging class entitled "vietnam war", taught by on of the best professors(oconnell) i ve ever taken. regrettably, i did not take the class, the problem was that i had other classes which i needed to fulfill in order to get my degree and the times overlapped.
most people know somethings about the vietnam war. many believe that it was a necessity, while others thought it was unnecessary and a total waste . i wasnt born yet ,so i dont know what was going on in peoples heads back then. while growing up, the only thing i knew about the vietnam war, was that i would always see homeless guys holding up signs saying "vietnam vet" need food, or hungary...
not really sure how to write what i want, while keeping it short, so here it goes.
laos, cambodia and vietnam are all very poor countries.
laos, cambodia and vietnam were all bombed, napalmed and sprayed with agent orange, by the USA. many of the people are still suffering or dying from things that happened over four decades ago. while i was traveling, it was not uncommon for me to see people with missing arm, legs or physical deformities. most of the people with born deformities are children, i dont think there are that many adults because most of them dont make it to that age.
napalm was used to burn every living thing in the forest.
millions of gallons of agent orange and other herbicides were used for a couple of reasons. the first, was to kill the top cover of the jungle so that it would be easier for them spot the enemies. the second, was to kill their food supply, if you poison everything on the ground then there's nothing to eat. many of the chemicals used are active for 100 years or more.
the bombs that were dropped have not all exploded, in some places as much as 30% of the bombs are still active. every year numerous people are crippled or die as a result. its already tough as it is out here, i cant imagine having to go through life handicapped or deformed in any way.
there are many different sources that state different figures... give or take it is still incredible.
laos is considered to be the most bombed nation per capita in the world. the USA continuously bombed laos everyday for nearly ten years. around 80 million cluster bombs were dropped on laos - 10-30% of the bombs are still active or unexploded ordnances UXOs. over 2 million tons of bombs were dropped on laos. at that time laos only had a population of 2 million.
in all of world war 2, including the 2 atomic bombs dropped on japan. if you combine all the bombs dropped by all allies and all axis forces, the total was 2.1 million tons of bombs.
how many countries were involved in ww2? like 70 ish?
cambodia is still recovering from its genocide. up to 3 million people died from 1975-79. the US bombing of cambodia stopped in 1975, and weakened the state so badly that it basically opened the door for pol pot and the khmer rouge to take power. cambodia is considered to be the second most heavily mined country per sq mile in the world. it was estimated that about a half million tons of munitions was dropped on cambodia. but more recent data and reports put the figure at about 2.7 million tons.
vietnam has over 21 million bomb craters. that is good, if your a mosquito looking to breed and spread malaria or dengue fever. about 21 million gallons of herbicide including agent orange was sprayed over vietnam from 1961-71, thats millions of acres covered with poison.
in a three year period 1965-68 the US dropped 2.5 million tons of bombs in south vietnam alone. i m not sure what the figure is for total tonnage is, but here are some of the figures: 4+ million, 7.5 million, 8 million, 12 million....
***if anyone has more accurate figures please let me know.
USA: about 58,000 soldiers deaths, 300,000 injured and 2.6 million who served in vietnam war.
-not including suicides after return home and agent orange after affects
there were over 15 million laotion, cambodian and vietnamese refugees.
not sure how many SE Asians died in the conflict any where from 2.5-3+ million (majority civilian deaths), and the figures for wounded are more than double.
statistic: for every single dead american, there are over 50 dead se asians.
events of this magnitude should be remembered, and hopefully we can learn from them so that they do not ever repeat.