Thursday, December 5, 2013

The War For Vietnam's Oil

Back in the 1960's, it was no secret the American War on the Vietnamese was about oil.  The Spratly and Paracel Islands proved to have potential, and USA and oil well, you know.  I am conscientious objector so there was no chance I would go, and another fellow I know, about ten years older, had an oil engineering degree, so there was no chance he would go.  You see, in USA, people with oil engineering degrees are exempt from any draft.  Not given a deferment until further notice, simply exempt.

Now, as these things go, in 2010 both he and I were in Saigon for the first time for each of us.  Love that city!  I was there visiting, he was there on a contract to assess the oil reserves a particular area.  I was in the room with him as he opened up the files on his computer and announced to his wife:  "Honey, don't unpack, they don't have any oil here."  Meaning, at least in what he was doing, there would be no work, now that he finally saw the reports in question.

What a scene: a Vietnam era conscientious objector, an oil man, both exempt from that war, in that city, as it is established no oil.  (OK, in the particular fields in question.)  Something epic about all that.

So we all went out for a dinner cruise on the Saigon River.  Such a peaceful city for one of nine million people.  I am glad I went.

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