Le prigioni fantasma della guerra del Vietnam. Note sul mito americano dei prigionieri di guerra

Stefano Rosso

Abstract


In the early 1990s about 70 percent of Americans believed that some 2,000 US Army soldiers were still being held captive in secret prisons in Vietnam, despite there being no proof that any prison camps had survived in South East Asia after the Fall of Saigon (1975). Elaborating on the limited bibliography available, this essay examines the strategies adopted by the Nixon Administration, some independent organizations, and the future Presidential candidate Ross Perot, to shift the focus from the people actually fighting and dying in the Vietnam War to these imaginary prisoners. These strategies involved politicians of both major parties, celebrities from the star system and the media. It will also be seen how a substantial part of American popular culture helped to disseminate the myth of the Prisoners of War (POWs) and the Missings in Action (MIAs) through fiction, cinema, TV and comics (and later video games). Only the great works of literature generated by the Vietnam War (e.g. by Tim O’Brien and Michael Herr) abstained from taking part in this major falsification plot.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13136/2281-4582/2019.i14.440

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