Thursday, October 06, 2005


One nation's point of view

Well I have some good news and some bad news. I am feeling better today and managed to spend the day out of my room with minimal nausea. The bad news is that I saw the doctor, and he thinks I had the flu last week but that I also have a parasitic infection (come and get me, boys!). That's right, I got me some worms. I have to have some tests done when I'm back at home, but for now me and my worms are going to keep traveling. I have always joked that if only I could get worms, they would whittle me down to my ideal weight and beyond. I asked the doctor how much weight I could look forward to losing, and he explained that's not quite how it works. Darn!

Today I visited the Cu Chi tunnels a ways west of Saigon. I crawled 30 meters inside one of the tunnels and had to control myself not to freak out from being in such a scary, confined space. It was very enclosed and dark and hot. We saw all kinds of North Vietnamese torture devices and booby traps. Ate some tapioca (just like Charlie!) and watched a Commie video made in about 1867 explaining how good triumphed over evil in the "American War." This was a good preview to ...

... the War Remnants Museum back in Saigon. This is, of course, a completely one-sided take on the Vietnam War at the atrocities the Americans caused to the Vietnamese people. Nowhere in the museum is it mentioned any of the bad stuff the VCs did to their own people or what they did to us. The best part is a gallery of photos showing the American GI's experience during the war. All of the photos in this part of the museum were shot by US combat photographers or photojournalists, many of which I'd never seen before. It was upsetting to see all the photos, and I'm sorry for everything bad that happened to anyone on any side. I just keep asking myself why we keep doing this to each other. What is the good from all the death?

I was spitting mad when I started reading through the guest book at the museum. I shouldn't even start skimming the messages, but I always do. So many Japanese and European tourists that sign the guestbooks mention how horrible the Americans were to the Vietnamese and how dishonorable the US soldiers were for CHOOSING to come fight here. I guess being in the museum caused the draft to slip from their minds. People are so mallealbe sometimes; they believe anything placed in front of them. Like stuff that's printed on a poster in a Communist museum.

Thank you for listening.

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