Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 14. July 21, 1971

Towards a "Final Solution"

Towards a "Final Solution"

The techniques of ecocide have been devised to meet the challenge of a people's war. Given that the relation of the guerilla to the society to which he belongs i as that of the fish to the sea a guerilla enemy cannot be defeated by conventional war. Under such conditions, and given the mounting frustration of the military and the impatience of the US electorate, it was inevitable that the thinking of those who make up the American "military-industrial-academic-scientific complex" should turn increasingly to a "Final Solution" by "drying up" the peasant "sea" on which the guerilla depends. This is being done by saturation bombing designed to either eliminate or terrorize the rural population and by massive use of chemical weapons which make the countryside uninhabitable. This "Final Solution", euphemistically termed "forced urbanisation", is associated with Samuel Huntington of Harvard University. The success of the policy to date may be measured by some 4 million Vietnamese casualties (one-quarter of the entire population), by the generation of 7 million displaced peasants, by the fact that today 60 per cent of South Vietnam's population dwells in the "urban" areas, as against 15 percent in 1955 (Saigon's population has increased tenfold to 3 million, in ten years so that it is now the most densely peopled city in the world with two and a half times the density of Tokyo). The psychic bond of the villager to his village is broken, the village itself razed, its trees killed by defoliation and its paddy fields and irrigation systems destroyed by bombing. The final human destruction is achieved by relocation in refugee camps, a relocation which ignores every tie of family and kinship and reduces the tightly knit peasant society to an anonymous mass of dazed and disoriented human beings. Says a Department of Defence consultant on these processes: "We have, of course, demolished the society of Vietnam..."

From the point of view of the Americans the new policy had two major advantages. First, it enabled the US to make maximum use of its technological superiority - and to do this with the minimum of world observation. Secondly, the reduction in the role of US ground combat troops as the policy of "search and destroy" gavy place to the simpler policy of "destroy" made it possible for the US government to blunt the domestic dissatisfaction by achieving a sharp fall in the number of US casualites and by withdrawing all save the specialised units needed to implement the new type of war. US ground troops can be replaced by Asian mercenaries which, from the American angle, have two advantages: they cost a fraction a G.I. costs and the dollars paid to their masters help to consolidate the economic position of such rickety regimes as that of South Korea.