The yanks are coming
When the history of the American Empire is written, future scholars will say French ineptitude in Indochina gave Uncle Sam the go-ahead to put a red, white and blue boot up the Third World’s collective ass.Had the Frogs taken care of business in the early 1950s and snuffed out Ho Chi Minh and his black pajamaed tunnel rats, the yanks might have never fretted about domino theories and stayed out of Southeast Asia.Unfortunately, the French backbone is made of freshly microwaved Brie, not cold steel. So naturally, the feckless Frogs turned the color of cheddar and fled the jungle to give Jerry Lewis a tickertape parade through Paris.America entered the Asian void to halt communist aggression. That policy cost 50,000 American lives and ultimately left the bitter taste of military defeatin our mouths. Ever since, the Pentagon has amended that embarrassment by opening cans of whup ass on minor-leaguers like Grenada, Panama, and our favorite evil flavor of the month, Iraq.Of course, in the early 1950s, Ho Chi Minh was near the top of the Most Wanted list. He, along with the ever smiling Chairman Mao and the Soviet Union made a rather formidable axis of you know what.Before you could say, “better dead than red,” Americans went behind the curtain in Indochina. First we bankrolled the French effort to rebuild lingerie shops in Hue. But when they spent our jack on perfume, soft cheese and clove cigarettes, the yanks backed a local military strongmen to buffer the Commies.So in a way, Vietnam was America’s highway to hell. For it was here, in the steaming vapors of Saigon that the U.S. went from World War II savior to a gun-slinging Wyatt Earp.That initial step at “regime change” in Vietnam was the first link in a dubious chain that now finds America on the brink of war in Iraq, North Korea and anyone else who won’t do as we say.After 50 years at the top, the U.S. of A. has become the Frank Sinatra of nations. We do things our way, no matter what tune those Perry Como-loving NATO losers want to hear.The rise of American’s world domination comes through loud and clear in The Quiet American, a stunning film that gives insight into our nation’s initial taste of Asian imperialism and the French decline in Vietnam.Set in 1952, the story centers on an aging British journalist and his odd friendship with an American CIA agent sent to cause havoc in Saigon, then blame the bloodshed on the Commies.Brendon Fraser proves adept at playing a covert operative who falls for a stunning, young bar girl, but believes America must destroy her country in order to save it.”The French haven’t got the brains or the guts to deal with the communists,” the CIA man barks as he explains America’s tampering in Southeast Asia.Michael Caine is as natural as can be playing a burned out London Times reporter, who’d rather suck opium and play hide the pipe with Asian wenches than smoke out a scoop.The old newshound rediscovers his backbone when he learns what the yanks are really up to.This is Caine’s best performance since his Academy Award winning role as an ether-sniffing abortionist in The Cider House Rules. Caine seems to perform best while under the influence of heavy drugs. This time his character chases opium, sexy young concubines and page one stories.An intriguing murder mystery and love triangle with a fetching whore adds to what is already a fine yarn about the American mentality and what happens to bullies who push their luck on foreign soil.Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater to pee in a bottle of Chardonnay.qNickey Hernandez is a former private investigator who supports regime change in France and Germany.