“Seventy years ago, Ho chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent nation. More prediction than proclamation, it would take decades and millions of deaths in wars with the French, South Vietnamese, Filipinos, Khmer, the Americans, the South Koreans, the Thais, Laotians, and, yes, Australians and New Zealanders until it finally came true.” (Phillip Adams, social commentator, in ‘The Weekend Australian Magazine.’)
From our media, I gained the impression that it was only the USA and its faithful follower, Australia, which were seeking to save the whole of south-east Asia from a communist takeover. The Domino Theory influenced not only officialdom here but also academe; a young colleague of mine was told by his lecturer that those who did not support this theory would not receive a pass at the end of the year. But no one told my relatives in Malaysia about the threat they faced.
I doubt if they would have believed it anyway, as a very competent British general, Sir Gerald Templar, had got rid of the communists in Malaya in the mid-1950s.
The Domino Theory can be likened to the boy crying ‘Wolf’ in some folk story of my boyhood. But, I doubt if any of us ordinary folk were aware that all those other Asian nations had also opposed the North Vietnamese. It was however interesting to see that a number of Vietnamese we had accepted as refugees went back home to do business.
One might wonder whether a comparable gang-bang has been involved in Afghanistan.