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Thanh H. VUONG*

ABSTRACT— The Colonizations of Viet Nam and Colonizing Viet Nam: The Historical and Cultural Context of The Vietnamese Wars

To attack the raies is to outmaneuver the friends andfoes at the lower level of the game of policies and alliances. The rules are at the higher level of the context of that game, the historical and cultural context of warring Viet Nam. What makes Viet Nam unique is its social organization based on a loosely knitted network of villages through deep and strong relations capable of repelling intruders and invading neighbors, both moving and still like the moon underneath. Hère, the chinese civilization has made a new nation assimilating the model and resisting the domination. Elsewhere, the be same chinese civilisation has made another chinese provinces.

History of Viet Nam is written by an advancing front ofmodest and primitive villages from a delta to the next, from the gulf of Tonkin to the gulf of Siam, « vietnamizing » the nature and the peoples on its passage by the plow and the sword. South Viet Nam was cambodian land a century ago and the french colonial administration put an end to the siamese- vietnamese « condominium » over Cambodia after a short 0 to 0 fight between Siam and Viet Nam, thefirst claiming its western part of the vietnamese colony de facto and de jure. Cambodia was then ruled by a vietnamese gênerai governor assisted by two lieutenant governors. The présent vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, in this perspective, may be both a « prélude » to the continuation of this advancing front of villages, the confrontation between Viet Nam and Thailand (fancy and hegemonostic name for Siam since 1939) for the leadership of South East Asia and a « fugue » for warring Viet Nam to solve its political and economical problems, a country and people forged in war andfor war during thèse four décades. The vietnamese daim of the Mékong river as a link may be translated in german word as « Anschluss » or reunification.

L'alliance entre le Viet Nam et la lointaine Union soviétique ne vient pas seulement de la formation « moscoutaire » des dirigeants de Hanoï; elle est nécessairement une parade contre la menace réelle ou mythique du grand voisin gênant du Nord, comme celle du Cambodge avec la Chine, ce « grand dragon »', pour parer aux menaces bien réelles du voisin gênant d'Orient. Peut-on encore parler de menaces réelles lorsque I'APV (Armée Populaire Vietnamienne) stationne au Cambodge pour y faire la police, pour calmer les ardeurs des « Khmers rouges »? Tout comme en 1658 où un corps expéditionnaire vietnamien intervint

  • *

    Chargé de cours au Département de science politique de l'Université Laval.

    • 1.

      Joseph BUTTINGER, l'historien américain, a titré son livre sur le Viet Nam d'une façon claire et non

sans humour: The Smaller Dragon, New York, Praeger, 1975. Revue Études internationales, volume XVIII, n° 3, septembre 1987


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