Russian senator urges international tribunal into US-Vietnam war

South Vietnam. A Vietnamese woman with her wounded son on her back in a village captured by American Forces. © RIA Novosti
Deputy head of the Federation Council’s committee for foreign affairs has said an international court must look into all US wars, in particular the Vietnam campaign that killed thousands of civilians and caused significant damage to many innocent people.

Senator Andrey Klimov (Perm Region) made this proposal in an interview with “Govorit Moskva” radio dedicated to the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Klimov supported the idea of holding an international tribunal over these events, but added that the US campaign against Vietnam deserved equal attention from international lawyers.

“There is another anniversary [this year]. 1975 saw the end of an almost 10-year war between the United States and Vietnam, that was, by the way illegal,” Klimov said in the interview. “Casualties were not simply enormous there, even though no one had declared war back then. For 10 years they tormented Vietnam, using torture and concentration camps, and burned people alive with napalm,” he said.

The Russian senator also recalled that after the Vietnam War a group of major intellectuals set up a public tribunal that denounced war crimes committed during this campaign. “But unfortunately this moral tribunal has never been transformed into a real court trial,” he said.

Klimov also noted that US military action against Vietnam was an obvious aggression, unlike the situation in WWII.

READ MORE: Intl tribunal should try 1945 US nuke attacks on Japan - Duma chief

Earlier this week, the chairman of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin said in a public speech that an international court must look into the US atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, noting that America’s modern policy has borrowed a lot from the cynical approach of its former leaders.

“The current US authorities want to conceal not the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this would be impossible, but the hypocrisy and cynicism of their leaders of these times. This happens because such behavior casts a shadow on modern American policies which, of course, retain the legacy of exceptionalist ideology and the position of its own infallibility and arrogant force,” Naryshkin said.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place 70 years ago, in early August of 1945. The bombs resulted in the deaths of between 150,000 and 250,000 people, mostly civilians.

The ground operation in the Vietnam War took place between 1965 and 1975. The precise number of casualties is hard to estimate but various sources say that over 500,000 civilians (from North and South of the country combined) were killed.