War tourism

Saturday 30th March 2019, 12.20pm (day 2,774)

War tourism, 30/3/19

This blog is both commentary, and record. So there is one part of me that regrets there is such a thing as ‘war tourism’ exists — that the dreadful conflict between the two parts of Vietnam, with the interventions of the USA, that lasted for some ten years from 1964 or so should now be something that people have come to feel is merely the background for a family photo. On the other hand — I went to the War Remnants museum in Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh CIty) today; I too was a war tourist. So should I feel guilty? The place was even-handed enough, there were some fascinating things to look at (most of all, the gallery of war correspondent photographs from both Vietnamese and European/American photographers), it passed most of the day. I learned, and that’s surely what matters. But could I stand and smile for the camera in front of a death machine? That’s something else.

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