The Girl in the Picture

I’m reading The Girl in the Picture by Denise Chong. In short, it’s about the life of the girl central to one of the most famous pictures from the Vietnam War. I wasn’t alive when the war was going on (so the history and politics surrounding it are a mystery to me), but I’m pretty sure everyone has seen that picture…

Paperback cover for <cite>The Girl in the Picture</cite>
Paperback cover for The Girl in the Picture

In describing the fall of the South to the Communist North, she writes:

[…] Communist forces made a breakthrough at Xuanloc. By then, Thieu [the President] and his family had left for Taiwan, reportedly with sixteen tons of baggage, including bullion and American currency.

pg. 132, The Girl in the Picture, Denise Chong


That the government in the South, who 60,000 Americans would die fighting for/with for nearly ten years in the name of “Democracy” and “liberty”, ended up defrauding its people of their national treasure is terribly tragic. I bet the Americans didn’t see that coming. The Communists would also go on to pilfer the economically-vibrant South, replacing Southern workers with Northerners where possible, conning Southerners out of personal property, commandeering businesses, “re-educating” Southerners by marching them into the jungle to make them clear vast patches, etc.

“Communism”, “Democracy”, national pride, etc… who cares — humans are so fucking cruel and depressing.