The Vietnam War and the Land Question

Like the Iraqi police in the previous post, the South Vietnamese army similarly was poorly motivated and relied on the US Army to do their fighting for them. Apparently they felt little or no allegiance to the South Vietnamese state, for reasons of which we will discuss below.
Although some ARVN soldiers fought well, many were lousy fighters who either would not advance on the enemy or would cut and run as soon as fighting broke out. They did not seem to have much loyalty to the South Vietnamese state.  And sure enough, soon after the US pulled out, ARVN was rapidly defeated by a highly motivated NVA from North Vietnam along with whatever was left of the Viet Cong after Tet in 1968 and the Phoenix Program after that.
Supporters of the US war accuse North Vietnam of invading and interfering in the war, as if North and South Vietnam were valid states. Really there is just one country – Vietnam. The north was trying to reunify the country and had nationalism on its side.
The South was corrupt, a regime of landlords and traitors who had previously worked for the French colonials and now worked for the US invaders who more or less colonized Vietnam after the French left.
2% of the population controlled 98% of the land. The Viet Cong took up the land reform question. This question more than anything else drove the war. But like many rightwing regimes, land reform was never to be unveiled. The rich simply refused to give up their feudal power, the war dragged on and on, and in the end, the South’s feudal landlords lost it all.
A lot of Left revolutions in the 3rd World have been driven more by the land question than anything else. A land reform is no big deal. You get paid for your land. But many states put it off forever and end up with a FARC, a Chavez, a Morales, an FMLN, Sandinistas, an NPA or a Viet Cong. There’s no putting off the land question. Until you deal with it, your nation will be in continuous turmoil.

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0 thoughts on “The Vietnam War and the Land Question”

  1. Thats right. The Vienam war could possibly be won by the South. The South Korea faces worse security threat than Vietnam during the 50s.
    The difference is S Korea under Rhee Syngman quickly implemented land reform, aka land confiscation and distributed land to the peasants. The situation stabilize immediately and the peasants are willing to fight for the South.
    While Ngo Dinh Diem, president of South Vietnam resisted land reform. The rest is history.
    This is class warfare. If USA elites do not change their ways, I see USA quickly descend into civil war.

  2. I hadn’t thought of that, but the comparison is spot on. The ARVN soldiers were a joke, or so I’ve been told by many a Vietnam Vet. Zero motivation. Zero leadership. Where as the VC and NVA were diehard jungle fighters, hell bent on unifying their nation under a communist system.
    Likewise, the Iraqis sucked. Not motivation. No leadership. Tribal. And now they are getting their asses handed to them by combat hardened fanatical ideologues.
    History once again repeats itself, not the least bit because of American interference and stupidity.

    1. The Shias in the Iraqi Army did not feel like fighting and dying for those Sunni towns. Why die for Sunnis who hate you? The Sunnis in the army no doubt did not want to fight against and die fighting their Sunni brothers.
      Perfect storm.

  3. No, you got it all ass-backwards. The landlords and are the best friends of the peasants. Only some Jew convinced them otherwise (sarcasm). It’s all a conspiracy my man. All a conspiracy. The chinks didn’t know how great they had it with big brother white Christian Americans watching over them, protecting them from being used in turnip farms. Ask Chuck Norris.

  4. On a serious note, most right wingers claim the common people have a low IQ, whether it be black slaves toiling on a plantation, South American peasants, or lower caste Indians. Hence, that is their justification for oppression. The servants are only valuable as workers, and if they bitch too much, then they are told to quit breeding.

    1. And, of course, they never make an effort to educate the peasants. They would whether believe they were born “stupid beyond repair”.

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