Distortions at Fourth Hand

Butterfield claims that "there is little verifiable information on the new economic zones -- no full-time American correspondents have been admitted since the war -- but they are evidently not popular." While it is true that American correspondents are not welcomed in Vietnam, there is nonetheless ample expert eyewitness testimony, including that of journalists of international repute, visiting Vietnamese professors from Canada, American missionaries and others who have traveled through the country where they worked for many years. Jean and Simonne Lacouture published a book in 1976 on a recent visit, critical of much of what they saw but giving a generally very positive account of reconstruction efforts and popular committment. Max Ediger of the Mennonite Central Committee, who worked in Vietnam for many years and stayed for thirteen months after the war, testified before Congress in March 1977 on a two-week return visit in January, also conveying a very favorable impression of the great progress he observed despite the "vast destruction of soil and facilities inflicted by the past war." There have also been positive accounts of the "new economic zones" in such journals as the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Canadian Pacific Affairs.
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