Reconciliation between the U.S. and Vietnam
Interview with Le Ly Hayslip, director of the East Meets West Foundation, and author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace (Doubleday, 1989), and Child of War, Woman of Peace (Doubleday, 1993)
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What it was like during the Vietnam War and now these many years after. And our guest for the program brings us I think a perspective that we don’t often get on this war. That is the perspective of someone who grew up with it and lived through it. Her name is Layli Hayslip. She was born in Vietnam in a small village near denying a place called key law and she explains in a book that she’s written about her experiences. She explains that she was a peasant girl for the first 12 years of her life and then she says for the next three she loved labored and fought for the Viet Cong against American and South Vietnamese
soldiers. However by 1965 when she left that village where she was born. Her name was on a Viet Cong death list and she explains that to the people of the village where she grew up the South Vietnamese and the Americans were outsiders very much like other people who had come before them. They came heavily armed. The Viet Cong were thought of as more as neighbors than outsiders. And in her book when heaven and earth changed places she writes that the greatest ammunition the Viet Cong had was the goodwill of the people for the American soldiers who went to Vietnam. She writes The war was a simple thing it was a matter of
democracy against communism. The Vietnamese people though saw it very differently. She says that they knew very little about democracy and perhaps even less about communism what they thought it was all about was a fight for independence. Much like our own American Revolution Laili Hayslip grew up in this village at the point where the fighting got very bad. She and her mother went to dinner. She lived there for a number of years where she met an American man a civilian who asked her to marry him and they were married. And then she came to the United States and lived here for a number of years. At one point she went back to Vietnam to visit her family that was still
living there. And I think it was that visit seeing the conditions in Vietnam that led her to want to try to organize some effort to help rebuild the country. And so was born the East meets West Foundation of which she is the director. And it’s a foundation that has worked to provide help to communities in Vietnam for Children and Families to rebuild their lives. They have worked to build medical clinics to provide education and prosthetics. Those are just some of the projects that have been funded by the foundation. She has written two books about her experiences. One
of the first one I mentioned when heaven and earth changed places and that just now recently published a book entitled child of war woman of peace which came out in January. It’s published by Doubleday and she is she inspired film director Oliver Stone to make a movie about her life and about Vietnam from that perspective. And that film will be premiering soon. The film is entitled Heaven and Earth I think is due to open in December. And I’m not sure what the latest is will. We’ll ask Ms about that as we talk. You should certainly feel free to call in if you have questions comments and we’d be happy
to talk with you. Our number here in Champaign-Urbana 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. We also have a toll free line good to anywhere you can hear us and that is eight hundred to 2 2 9 4 5 5. Well thanks very much for being here. Thank you. It is nice to meet you and talk with you in person. I don’t know how many people might remember but in 1990 when when heaven and earth change places was published we did talk at that time on the telephone.
When the book was new and it’s nice to have you here to thank you for keeping me the use of Colebatch.
Yes. Well it could be a lot whereas But it’s definitely not like Southern California.
Well when is the film due to open do you know yet the premia to say that the up and for December 25th Christmas so will be out.
How how do you know how how Oliver Stone found out about you. Was it simply that he he had read a copy of the book Heaven and earth to change places and thought it would be good to try and tell the story of the war from that perspective.
The book is down on Los Angeles Time magazine Sunday magazine and I went on the front cover and the title is not the side of the war and that it went into this and he said he’d read that and he liked it. Then when the New York Times Book Review also in fun pays an end of the book revealed they tried it. If the Hollywood have enough carrots to put this story on the screen then perhaps we imagine come to terms with the Vietnam War. So hold tight there Dowden to
come looking for me and about in the books in 1989.
What was your impression of him when you first met him.
He’s very confident man. You know he was a healthy strong. Very sincere. He told me at that time this movie will be made. I have to do two movie before my movie. That is was the bond for July. And JFK. And so I’m very confident in him because he was a Vietnam vet. He makes his story in Platoon. He made the story of the veterans return home to run Cove born 4th July and Guia
and I hear from him that he can be drafted this Maulvi fuel relief at least he understood about the war from both Vietnamese and American. He also told his side of the story. Now it’s fair for the general public’s interest about the Vietnam War. See note the size of this Dunkel we bought involved in the same time only one years older than I am. And so we had a lot of similar spirit. You get the culture different and what we do in my heart and in my my. He didn’t have
to I will see him for four and a half mopped on the set every day to make sure that our culture our emotion our personality is showing through the screen. So you’re happy with the result. Yes the two books haven’t Vietnam and have it in your nice day and put to get there for two hour film. It’s not easy to do because they are so much that he wanted to to show. But it’s going very fast. We hope that American audience understand it because it’s a first
Vietnamese film that ever been made and about the woman about the village. And so the name and the face of course is not familiar yet with the American people but to try to show what gets people in the village go to day and night.
What is it that you hope that Americans will understand we’ll will understand better as a result of seeing this movie. Or or perhaps reading the books that you have written and reading your story.
The Vietnam War is like any other war before that does not benefit anyone but it bring a lot of suffering in many people from both country and villages. We try to survive with our family. We see our ancestors and work on our land. However the war came and again all of that. The family appears in many different way too many separate and not only in a family but in society in contrie and thrown everyone hates each
other. A young girl like myself it been to torture and rape and there’s a lot of painful that you see too. However all that negative that had happened to me in a war I turn into something that I end up married to a American who is Vietnamese the Viet Cong. Call it an enemy. I move to you and I state and live here become U.S. citizen then commoners become the enemy of my own land and in United States. And yet when Balbir visas and work there and
so Tommy Lee Jones who played my husband he’s so good that you can understand that is no such thing as an enemy. The message is it is so and that is it can happen to anyone. It’s about time to put the war behaviors. We understand it we look for not a better way to live to get the people to people. We make sure that our children can understand why the father went to Vietnam what the Vietnamese
people went through and how can they deal with it now after the war. More than that it’s a universal story. It’s a human being be caught in between two war. And so now that the war is over we have to recognize it right or wrong good or bad. Then where did we go from here. For one another but don’t forget about the war and guided to see what can we do to understand who our enemy.
Our guest this morning is Laili Hayslip she was born and grew up in Vietnam lived it lived there during the Vietnam War and then came to the United States and live in the United States for a number of years then went back to visit her family and decided that it was important for her to try to be involved in the business of rebuilding and so went on to start the East meets West Foundation of which she is a director. A group that’s organized to provide humanitarian aid and assistance and help and rebuilding to Vietnam. And she’s the author of two books about her experiences. The first one. Heaven and Earth change places. And the second most recent child of war
woman of peace and also is the subject of a film directed by Oliver Stone that will be released in December in film entitled Heaven and Earth. And if you have questions or you’d like to talk with her 3 3 3 W-why L-L 800 1:58 you while there. Those are the numbers when you go to Vietnam today. What what are the reminders of war.
One of the things that you see that tell you that the war had happened some helicopter deal and here some towns its army town is still around and Jordan Krol was at play in that bomb crater all over. Now become a a cart. Uncle Sam on many people with no arm and Lee many views of age always especially in Jordan does Abel handicap the country is just so poor. They are a of thing you can
say it’s really bad the war but the land is healing. Green Rice of many many military base more than everything else in the graveyard. My village is more rave then people live in it. And so there is a reminder of the war beats down in airports Newk airbase. All of the things that unites them. Bill for the 52 bomber. That brown building is still there.
And so when you if you go to countryside you only see the graveyard. And poor people when you in a city you see many many Aimee’s of the United States delite or Gauck dare due to drive a nation due to CD. Some 52 Lhamo been shot down and now it junkyard. And so that kind of thing that reminds you off to war.
The book that the title of that first book when heaven and earth changed places I think says it talks about the various experiences in your life I think when you when you’ve experienced great reversals. In one sense it’s about when you first left the country and moved to the city and lived in denial about going from probably from Vietnam to the United States what it was like for you going from the United States back when you went back that first time after having been away from home.
What sort of things really really struck you most to contrast the culture shock. Like when I was in a small village of La to Saigon in 1966 is a culture shock. Then from Saigon to San Diego did note that culture shop but I’ve been here for 16 years and my you know it’s just the way it’s just freeway’s work in a supermarket and I’m getting it on a TV show. Went back to Vietnam the quandary is
50 years behind. Everything is then still it was in a room full of the last 18 years in my life. I lost totally in 1970 when I left Vietnam to control what really rich hungry at a thousand of us dollar pull in there every day man and woman military and civilian are like they have a very good life everything from makeup to underwear
to military equipment to TVs radio you name it it’s there for people. 1986 that I went back. You got it like the rain wash everything away. Only leave it to Suffern people. I have to add the war and that is making me a human being that I see that it’s reality. That is where is 60 million people live there and it does no work that I can describe the feeling is do
it today in the city it’s a little bit better. Many the country have come in and Inv. there are many humanitarian groups have come and help. But if you get out of the CD you can drive through the countryside it still remains the same. So the big heart bright and disappointed in me at that time that it did like. How did it happen. How can people forgotten that. Contrie one time it’s so beautiful and so rich and now
it’s just drawn from the rich to almost nothing.
What do you think or what do you think explains that.
First of all I have to disagree. To me an American troop withdrawal in 73 aviating reduce. Then in 70 fi commoner’s come in and took it over. We don’t know what happened. All of the thing that left behind from the war on the rich is an only good thing is what happened we don’t know. But when I traveled to the NAM and Saigon and Hanoi there was nothing no where we can see all of this thing you did. It had gone somewhere. But
what happened was most of the people intelligent people have left the country in 75. Then I have to add that they came to United they go. They were an of a place in a war. The communist leadership don’t know how to fight the war but they did not know how to run the country. And because of they are under the communist system for 40 years in the north they’re one to make everything legal. And it’s not going work. Biggert in the south is so great is so great. They don’t know how to handle it. And then the same the
people from the north to the south to control people tighten away from people put people in prison or jail them. And if they have anything. They did come and took it. So we don’t know what happened. I heard this story from the refugee and the boat people you know talk on about how poor the country and how horrible to common history that you are and the people.
But I never understand how bad it was and to I’d been there myself. And that a shock that I never can forget how the Amish did I see these like Saigon.
We have someone to talk with here let’s do that one number one.
Hello. Hi. I have an opinion about the embargo. Maybe I’ll be talking about that throughout the next couple of days as well as on the radio a little bit.
A lot of untold stories for one immediately after the Americans stopped the war the almost like the Chinese took over. There was quite a bit of action between the Chinese and the Vietnamese through the late 70s late 70s. So work cannot be said to have ended it in some ways. And then of course there’s a huge tragedy of who the Chinese were supporting them. A sad story which the Vietnamese were told in a number of ways which are problematic to us in a short period of time I just that was my reaction to what you were just
talking about I have a question I sort of had was a series of them actually. The poverty in the countryside I’ve seen a little bit not for being there but seeing some videotapes. And one thing that might be striking to people listening to the radio is that in the villages they use a letter. Most people don’t have even a radio. So what they have set up this little speakers and everybody’s harmin in the center square or the town square or whatever and then they actually use oxen to carry batteries potions to charge Graham
and I have three slots and they run they’re always running one battery charge. One set of batteries charged one set in use and one slot on its way to be charged. So it’s a it’s really an amazing story of as you say poverty. And to think that even transistor radios which are so so inexpensive now are not available.
The idea is that they the it we take an avenger of all the here every day. And when you go to Kaante there’s the cycle of everything. Daylight the cop can and neither can that pipe that they have reviewed it to something very useful in a family. And like my mother see when out today and see Kalac on the beach again. Well she doesn’t need it but the people in the village and the beer can to use at a drinking cup. And so it gets recycled from a to z. It was nothing and you see the contrie it have no address because everything it reuse and reuse so that
thank you for your comment but the country is very very poor that’s why we die very hard to help the village youth who have a low level that we live by have some health care and education for the children. If you can get you to do your duty. To get.
It Over With. And again and again and again and again we’re going to begin to get it going to get it going to get people off.
That it’s going to be difficult to do so. I think that that added to the ticket. Be a. To prep for all. This.
I get it.
I get it to be a to b b b b b b b b b b b b it I get it. And at that if if if if if if if if. I had. To give it to you to be able to give it to. The to the degree that it isn’t going to get to. That. Little boy did it get it get it going into a. To b b b b b b b b b b b b b to get to. To speak to. That to. Get.
I don’t. Want to. Get it.
It. I. Think. That. The. Ad. I. A. Little. Bit. To.
Dip into the. It’s the political battle. To. Get to be able to get a ticket to. The teacher to get it to be able to get it is a ticket to the theater to get to the theater is expected to. Tuts tuts.
Tuts tuts tuts. I a long. Wait. A.
Minute. UP UP UP UP UP UP UP. UP. UP UP UP UP.
And down. But. I. Get a. Ticket. To get you to be able to get a. Ticket. Had. Statistics should be able.
To get it. But I think that it. Will. Get into the. Political will. To get it to get it. To you to get it together. In. Order. To get. It. To be. Distributed to. Take it away to get.
It. The. The goal. Is to get to get it to. That the it. Or. Just to. Ticket. At.
The last five years you have licensed it to work they are coming in and out. It’s very very difficult. And I hope that people like you and people who are listening today who have gone out write to their congressmen and talk about it a time. So we have to go forward and let the embargo and the Lippitt sort it all to us and again be friends and help it get to rebuild the country. Not only Vietnam but over here to begin the healing of the war. War is only to be done by into one another. Not yet
again. But go forward with to recognize who we are and who we try to help so that we can heal.
One other thing if I could go on. I’m wondering if you were in the countryside where were you religiously Buddhist. And I’m just curious if you are not necessarily that you talked to Oliver Stone about this but my understanding is that he was in Vietnam before he was in the military and that he was working in a Catholic teaching English or something. I’m just wondering if you could try and it is probably quite difficult to sort of explain how the city and the French educated cultural elite mainly Catholic in some ways to
you know a person growing up in the countryside. I realize it’s a difficult thing to try to evoke but I would like for you to try a little bit. Thanks for your work.
Thank you. Yes. As you know in that ten thousand year war with the Chinese and Debray out there thought of how to worship and ancestor and follow that. Well then de France one hundred year war with the friends. And they wanted an all of ours to cancel it. And that is what the Vietnamese people tried to again that. But then when we not really Buddhism we was the way the family worship of our ancestors is more more like House. And so when they kept the come
to the village and try to converge on the village go to become Catholic. That is when we do end up and find again their religion ideal. When of those read my books and went to Vietnam with me to time and work with me in Thailand for three and a half months he had to. That is he not turning to Buddhists but what to understand about spiritualism if you understand about the culture and how you understand the Bab how to people with nature and harmonies and work in the land that they
love. That is what bring him mightiest Maulvi is more like a spiritual type of thing rather than the Vietnam War. So he has. It. To. To get. To where I that and I’m going to. This. Ice. Water. To be. The story of the Vietnam the Vionnet get to demand an audience so that they can understand that. And when you see that movie it will answer most of your question
about how he’s related to again this morning.
Our guest is Layli Hayslip director of the East meets West Foundation. She was born and grew up in Vietnam and has written about some of her experiences both in Vietnam and and after coming to America in two books which if you’re interested I’m sure you can find in the bookstore when heaven and earth changed places is the first and most recent entitled child of war. Woman of peace which was published in January by Doubleday and her books were the basis for a film that will be released in December. A film made by Oliver Stone entitled Heaven and Earth. And I think soon there will be a paperback version of when
heaven and earth change places out when the movie comes out so again it should be easy if people would like to read the book. It’ll be out there and they can see it. One other thing I do want to mention. Our guest this morning will be giving a talk tonight at 5:30 between 5:30 and 9:30 this is at the university YMCA 1001 south right street in Champaign. She will give a talk. There will be some Vietnamese and Asian food that you can sample. She will be showing some clips from the film and all of this will be happening tonight at 5:30. There is a donation for this. They’re asking for a donation and I think this is money go to
benefit the foundation. Yes. OK. So these are this is a contribution to the East meets West Foundation so you’ll have an opportunity to hear more from her and that is some something that’s open to anybody who would like to attend and all are welcome and so that’s tonight at the university YMCA on Wright Street in Champaign beginning at 5:30. We have another caller here so well let’s talk with him on our toll free line.
Hello good morning. Yes thanks for having your guest on David. I spent a little time in Vietnam in 1969 rice paddies in the Mekong Delta. And the question I wanted to ask your guest is well let me explain how I felt about it at the time and see if she agrees. I felt that the people were so for then and I understand they’re even worse off now that political affiliation really had very little meaning to them and probably because of the massive bombing the amount of
weapons that we brought we probably turned a lot of Vietnamese people against us. It’s not that they were pro communist. It’s just that I think we’ve created too much problem there. I just wonder what our thinking her thinking was.
Well you know I’m a one off Daleville it goes at I planning it in my in my book back in 1963 when to fold Howlet cap they come to my Vili’s to children of LA egalite GA send someone to visit. I wish from heaven and we pray and we joy and we happy and we saw proud does good lookin man come from heaven to visit is us. But then when he can would run and he Khandwa how that gap dooin and more man to kill people and burn our village and
historial home. Every one of us Dunigan him and I’m sure that if any Oticon come to United they can invent it contrie people here take the same Ansun same thing bad to stand up and protect your family first protect your CD and are a man and that is why a lot of the village Dunigan American not only Merrigan But then the friends before that to them the Chinese and so on. And that is why the war in Vietnam between units in Vietnam. I think a lot of
mis understanding what they go out there to for. I understand that the United States serviceman go there to protect it as an help our people and make sure that we have peace and freedom and we appreciate that. But at that time we didn’t know. We thought that that they come. They invaded Akande and destroy all fought the land so avy body Dunigan to Maric and you see that the USA all too.
One more quick comment. There was a program on last night of course yesterday was Veterans Day and one of the figures that I heard about the names on the Vietnam Memorial was that 50 percent of the some fifty thousand names or Foy’s 7:43 years old.
So you have to understand that the soldiers that were sent were boys and really didn’t understand what they were doing. They were sent into a situation where they were scared and the only thing that they knew how to do was try to stay alive. So you’re right that it was a complete misunderstanding on both sides.
Yes now I had the Saamna 26 22 and 17. I honestly understand where they coming from and where you come in from. And the more I understand the more I feel sorry for your man. It have to be in my quandary in that kind of condition as you know the 58000 servicemen and women killed in Vietnam and still twenty two hundred misson and Ansun and many more. I have a hard time homeless. Doubtless I have to come home and play on live however sigh the war that is in
Vietnam was 2 million Vietnamese killed.
Yes I understand that and I know I’ve learned from it and I hope that other people can learn from it. And I have sons of my own that are in their early twenties now and if this country decides to do something of this sort again I want to make sure that my sons are elsewhere. And I hope everybody else will do that too.
Happy for you bigot. We have to stop somewhere. What did we learn from the war in Vietnam. That is what my book and the movie and you are calling and. Helps us to understand what did we learn to asperin about the war. No do any good for me to write the book and make it into a movie and go out and talk about the war and how horrible my life and your life went to in a battle zone. But how can we take a day off in life and have two at our sale. What is benefits.
Our work done on CNN today and that on we see the benefit in my mind it is a number of people became extremely wealthy from selling weapons. And you know a number of things along that line.
But don’t forget we voted for them right. OK.
But often those people that we vote for don’t do what we want. So we have to have the courage when they tell us to do something that’s insane like that. Just ignore them. It takes courage to do that. It’s difficult but it takes time to learn.
Yes well you should tell your Jodra not go to war. I’ll tell my Jodra not go to war.
And many mother and father are out there saying tell the children the same thing. We’ll have something. Jane I thank you for your work. Thank you for the call.
I think that this your you are feeling your position what it was like to be living in Vietnam during the war comes through very strongly in that in the first book when heaven and earth changed places. Because it is I think one gets the understanding that for somebody like you living in your village you and your family and your neighbors what you really wanted most was to be left alone so you could live and that while perhaps you were more sympathetic to the Viet Cong because they were as I said in the beginning it was more like they were your neighbors. It
wasn’t like they’d come from some other place at the same time you were you and the people who lived in the village were really caught in between the Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese and the Americans because it seems that each of those two sides each of these two groups of people that were fighting were always wondering for for you in the middle are you are you sympathetic to one side or the other. Can you can you give them information. What can you do for them. And I think as you as you explain at one point in the book it was like you had to. You had to mollify the Americans and the South
Vietnamese during the daytime and then at night you had to deal with the Viet Cong and where probably what you really would have wished for best is that everybody would just go away and go take your fight someplace else and just leave us alone.
That’s it. Bottom line yes. You see every man come to our it with the gun he say I’m here for you. We’re willing to die for you and we willing to satisfy our life for the village. But nobody asked Who knows. That is what we won. A. As a simile. That is what we wanted. We would simply go home with your mother and get leave us alone so that I can marry my one you know a neighborhood boys and have lots of children so they can worship me when I die. We don’t really want anybody to die for we don’t want to die either.
Everybody wonders so why and leave on their life accordingly to come to earth to do. Missing whatever it may be. But the war situation and there was no such a thing. Everybody there who have a gun he have the right. To give order to kill or to be killed. And that is a very sadness of situation in a war. It’s you know that the war of the day a million 200000 wounded in Vietnam an 300000 South Vietnamese often and 40 million 500 5000 refugee
body and not the war on 75. Seventy one million two hundred fifty three thousand. A toxic chemical. Let’s pray in the land. And that is a temple in Asop Vietnam. In Vietnam floated an 18. Million gallon of Acre noise and you imagine here you have a farm land and all of that stuff spray in U.S. plan every day. And how can we survive. You know and also 15 million 500000 thumb up mom drop it in Vietnam and five million
four hundred eighty thousand acres of tropical force get destroyed by a war. So now is 70 million people live in debt to have to breathe the air. And it’s not only in Vietnam but it go around the world. Then the water that they have to bring out from the river and the food that they take I mean that is Gwede Donavan around with you. Outsail because we destroy the mother land I mean mother OCE and it’s somehow it come back to us.
Let’s talk with somebody else here we’ll go to line one.
Hello good morning. I think it’s a good program. I think beneficial just missed my radio show too.
I think it’s one of the most interesting comments your guest just made is this is described how Vietnam is 50 years high. Give or take 10 or 20. Just one of the culture shock aspects. For the average American trooper when he got there that it looked more like Vietnam was 90 to 100 years. There were times. To me it means literally dragging
Vietnam into the 20th century. I’m sure it was very best pastorally beautiful and will be again. But probably you could still find it even in 68 69 Vietnamese were ingeniously making the in sandals or rubber tires using Budweiser Coke cans to single Boskoff make other interesting findings. Just six years in that respect people were way back
then. Even with these leftovers from other spheres economy I would like to ask before I go further.
Proximately What year was that. Your guest was a what we would call a high school girl.
What faculty What year was she that I was born in 1949. So from 1949 to 1954 I was a victim of the war between friends and Vietnam and then after the war with the friends I have learned all peace time between 54 to 82 then safety to dad it is the time Bob enter into a high school but I only went up to the great big get the war broke out with the United States in D2 debt. When I first came to my village. Then then I thought what the Viet Cong would a sap Vietnamese with
the US so say the fly. I left my village. So I never did have a high school spirit like you have.
OK I understand. Thank you.
So then your early childhood was mainly with the French and with the Americans and then in your later years as a young woman with the Americans.
Your description of some of the people’s reactions to the helicopters coming in. Probably reminiscent of Captain Cook coming alive for some of our listeners.
Was that a rather widespread reaction out in the villages. These were almost godlike or magical things coming.
Yeah because the friends when they come to the village they don’t have helicopter at that time. They have one all all playing and truck and tanks. But the helicopter it’s not the same. And then when they ended the war with the friends at a village. We did not think about the war. We don’t really know where the helicopter came in from. We thought that it gets fired. The villagers thought that the French or the French come back and invade us again. But then when we found out there wasn’t in France is as us. So the helicopter is never see
And what was it that made them mainly look like they weren’t going to be friends.
They get the village you know as someone’s friends. They know that it’s not friends. And when the Viet Cong give out information that no there wasn’t Frente all Merrigan invaded. And at that at that time then we start to understand that the South Vietnamese when Van Minya road and GM signed a contract with the United States president to brain the Manison group the war in Vietnam to fly again abroad those who win the note in 1954. And so that is when the Goes thought in to say OK we can fight the war we have to stand up and fight again.
So then it almost seems to me that the American slogan trying to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese wasn’t all that inaccurate. It was an attempt to get you to consider that the noncommunist way would be the better way in the long run which other parts of the program today and other things that are in the news the media and the coverage here seem to show that the communist way indeed is not the better way to go. So perhaps we all can forgive you all for being so far behind the times and not understanding
that our message wasn’t all that bad and then perhaps you all can forgive us for messing with the land and your country but in terms of helping as we did with Germany and Japan I mean you see that was a hand of friendship for those that were vanquished.
We certainly did not win the Vietnam War. A case could be made. We lost the case could be made that we didn’t lose while we were there. But anyway it’s not like Germany and Japan.
What would you say to the idea that since the Vietnamese won Don’t you think that if if you and I will sit down and play a game and we already know before we stop is the game going to be and some time. And you. Oh I we cannot. One can never win and not to one in a loss. However I have to add the game we both stand up and say tan and say thank you is a nice game. Oh that game and hope to rebuild the country at Vietnamese people. They forgot about the war. They feel about the people who harm them and
hurt them. And if you go back to Vietnam today the people you didn’t get to hear all the pain and the up button they hold home for you and they up but in their heart out for you you’re going to see that it’s a code you had differences here have to say.
I understand that this is not saying that I’m in favor of war or anything like that but the economy was obviously far better. You’re describing a rich country as it were and then how it went rapidly downhill after we pulled out. And after the North took over as far as a gentleman Pol Pot and the Chinese. My memory and I’ve been a student of this for some time. You know my memory is that the enemy’s army remained extremely competent extremely powerful and they rather made mincemeat of the few Chinese incursions that there were
some time there in the 70s. I think you were making mid-50’s But the Chinese weren’t really in their actively hassling the Vietnamese as I recall.
And I do have some information from living there at that time. Are you still living there. Do you know differently.
The Japanese right now is. Oh yes I have. I gave a lot the problem with Vietnamese. The reason the S. Because embargo again Vietnam the U.S. businessmen who interest to do the business in Vietnam cannot get in there. So they’re going to China and to tell the Chinese Gabo that if you can kite the alan dry our psi off Danann too small and have a lot to see in it and say that if you can inveigh a Vietnam type that Alan I will buy it from you that the only way the United States businessmen can do that is there.
So the Chinese army came to small island and occupy there. Then the Vietnamese army go out and say no it at all. And you cannot come here and take it over. So and still the war goes on today between Chinese and Vietnamese but that it get to you at 3:00 in Blackall Uganda’s where we’re at the point where we’re going to have to stop.
I’m sorry that we can’t continue to talk but we’re simply out of time. I would say again if people would like to read more about the experiences and life our guest you can look at the two books that we have mentioned when heaven and earth changed places and child of war woman of peace also coming in December you can see the film about her based on her life made by Oliver Stone a film entitled Heaven and Earth. And then for people here in and around Champaign-Urbana she’ll be giving a talk tonight at the university YMCA. We’ll be showing some clips from the film heaven and earth. And there they are asking you for a donation but this does go to the foundation which she heads the East
meets West Foundation which does relief work in the in Vietnam building clinics trying to provide some education and so forth to try and help people to deal with the effects of the war.
Well I want to thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to hear this today.