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My political beliefs were fairly broadly based and instinctively grasped, but they were not, I hope, religiously held. Although I had a few journalist commissions, I was not going primarily as a journalist.

There were other, more important campaigns: against the Tories, against the Industrial Relations Act, against racism.

Our movement had grown up: it was to be working class in character; it had graduated from what it thought of as student issues.

The question was how long could the American-backed regime last without that accustomed support. I wanted to see a war, and I wanted to see a communist victory, which I presumed to be inevitable. I wanted to see a communist victory because, in common with many people, I believed that the Americans had not the slightest justification for their interference in Indochina. The theory was, and is, that when a genuine movement of national liberation was fighting against imperialism it received our unconditional support.

I admired the Vietcong and, by extension, the Khmer Rouge, but I subscribed to a philosophy that prided itself on taking a cool, critical look at the liberation movements of the Third World. When such a movement had won, then it might well take its place among the governments we execrated – those who ruled by sophisticated tyranny in the name of socialism.

Chomsky argued that the Left were wrong to dismiss the ‘Domino Theory’ out of hand.

As stated by the Cold Warriors it might not measure up to the facts, but there was another formulation which did indeed make sense; it was US foreign policy, rather than Russian expansionism, which knocked over the dominoes: countries might be forced into positions where the only alternative to accepting American domination was to go over to the opposite camp and would thus be drawn into the power struggle whether they liked it or not.The tradition to which the students looked was broadly or narrowly Trotskyist, a fact that no doubt intrigued the Vietnamese communists, who had taken care to bump off their own Trotskyists a long time before.But the Trotskyist emphasis, like the general emphasis, was again in opposition to American imperialism.Very few people idolised the Vietcong, or the North Vietnamese, or Uncle Ho, in quite the same way that, for instance, the French Left did.Indeed, it might be fairly said that the Left in Britain was not terribly curious about or enamoured of the Vietnamese movement it was supporting.In the Third World, Stalinism might do the job which the bourgeois revolutions had done in Europe. Our attitudes may have looked cynical in the extreme. After all, we had not invented the Indochina War, and it was not for us to conjure out of thin air a movement that would match up to our own aspirations for Britain. This feeling was shared by many people who were not socialists or communists by any stretch of the imagination, and who did not have any other political axe to grind.

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