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Vietnam War: 50 years on, rulers still spreading myths | Green Left Weekly: From the outset, the Republic of South Vietnam was an artificial construct that existed only to serve US interests in south-east Asia.
It was well understood both in Saigon and Washington that most of the south Vietnamese population desired reunification with the Viet Minh-led north. This is why the US reneged on its earlier promise to hold free elections in the south in 1956.
Having stifled the democracy it claimed to represent on the world stage, the US was soon faced with a popularly backed insurgency in its proxy-ruled South Vietnamese domains. In 1965, the Johnson administration sent combat troops. By 1968 there would be half-a-million US soldiers “in-country”.
After the National Liberation Front’s Tet Offensive, in which all of South Vietnam rose up against the US occupier, an official policy of de-escalation was implemented. US combat troops were withdrawn in 1972.
Three years later, Vietnamese re-unifcation was achieved, but at such cost that Vietnamese society has never fully recovered. An ongoing campaign of US harassment has ensured that successful Vietnamese development has been greatly hindered.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning Pennsylvania journalist who exposed police violence against minority communities. On death row since 1982, he was wrongfully sentenced for the shooting of a police officer. New evidence, including the recantation of a key eyewitness, new ballistic and forensic evidence and a confession from Arnold Beverly (one of the two killers of Officer Faulkner) points to his innocence!
Leonard Peltier is deemed as a political prisoner by Amnesty International and has been unjustly incarcerated for nearly 3 decades. Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents, even though the prosecution has since admitted in open court (Oct. 15, 1985) that the government did not have proof of who killed their agents. The courts have also admitted (10th Circuit Court of Appeals) that "the prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned; they withheld evidence, coerced testimony. These facts are undisputed".
The suspicion remains that Anna Mae Pictou Aquash was killed by an AIM member, who was convinced she was an informer and murdered her in a desperate attempt to stem the flow of information to the FBI and protect the hunted leaders. There was no precedent for such treatment of informers in the organization, but according to one observer, "If ever there was to be a first, the time was ripe for it."
"He thought there needed to be unity between black people and Indians. But he didn't understand the backdrop," Cheryl Robinson said. "He didn't do his homework." She said in a 1974 letter that a black woman who went with Ray Robinson to Wounded Knee said they tried to "fit in" and help "but it was made plain to us we were not wanted." "But Barbara," she wrote to Deming, "I keep asking myself - even if Ray was ghetto-loud and freedom high - and even let's say they felt he was obnoxious, is that reason to kill him?"