MANSONVILLE, Canada (PRWEB) May 22, 2013
Misled by the hawkish proponents of the Domino theory, the United States, the world’s greatest ever democracy and most powerful country, launched in 1965 a massive attack upon Vietnam, an undeveloped mainly agricultural country whose sovereign territory amounted to barely three per cent of the geographic size of the United States. The casualties inflicted during the eight years of active war were equally disproportionate: almost 58,000 American soldiers killed vs. about two million Vietnamese civilians and military personnel, causing increasing domestic civil unrest and international embarrassment. Morally responsible to no other country except his own and its Constitution, President, Lyndon B. Johnson, commenced armistice talks in 1969, with the armistice treaty signed in 1973 by President Richard Nixon, with the eventual withdrawal of all American troops in April 1975. Even though the first-ranking member of the United Nations Security Council, the United States—just like the other most powerful nations throughout history—was able to allow itself to leave the morally binding question of “Sin and Retribution” unanswered.
In his attempt to fill this disturbing void, in his novel A Peace Without Honor, first written and published in 1975, Adalbert Lallier proceeds to describe a course of events during a one-week period three years after the end of the Vietnam war, during which a handful of nationalist Vietnamese men undertake seven acts of sabotage on the United States mainland, not only as a confirmation of the terrible suffering of their country but also as a lesson to the people and the leaders of the United States, that not even the most powerful country in the world should be exempt from international approbation and retribution, for the many war-crime like acts that had been committed by its troops during the Vietnam war. The seven Vietnamese idealists believe that their cause is right and that their destructive deeds are justified. Each is willing to give up his life for the glory of his nation, a deed that is ethically not different from the willingness of American soldiers and officers, to die in fighting for the universal upkeep of America’s own perception of national morality: both the Vietnamese and the Americans are convinced that their deeds are just and that their deaths are therefore honorable. Having known war, Adalbert Lallier is committed to peace. Having witnessed multiple killing during World War 2, Lallier chose a life committed to peace and love. In his novel, he emphasizes love rather than hate, universal comradeship rather than national chauvinism. He would have preferred his two main protagonists, the American James C. Fox and the Vietnamese Nguyen Van Thanh, to have become lifelong friends, instead of their fighting one another—each convinced that their cause was just and therefore moral—to their deaths. They must because their own respective societies are leaving them with no other choice: a perceived enemy can never be viewed as a potential friend, and must therefore be killed.
This book describes a situation in which Goliath kills David, thereby attaining universal fame forever in a world in which the most powerful countries had never had any qualms about invading and enforcing their will upon the smaller, defenseless, nations. In Lallier’s view, increasingly pessimistic towards the end of his life, so long as the world is divided into the few most powerful nations and a large number of small, militarily impotent, nations, there will never be a “Peace With Honor”. In consequence, even though the quest for a universal agreement concerning “Sin and Retribution” will remain forever relevant, it will remain unenforceable.
An erudite piece of writing, A Peace Without Honor is an eye-opener volume that highlights the negative outcomes of national selfishness, war, and war crimes. It is an excellent and gripping narrative that puts the focus on kinship, love, and peace.
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About the Author
Adalbert Lallier, of Huguenot origin, is a Canadian citizen, professor emeritus of economics and international politics. Even though never a German citizen, he drafted against his will to serve in the military of the Third Reich.
A Peace without Honor * by Adalbert Lallier
Sin and Retribution I
Publication Date: February 6, 2013
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