The Library Card

A Story from

A Saigon Party:
And Other Vietnam War Short Stories

by Diana J. Dell

Miss An, one of Pamela's secretaries in the USO PR office, was constantly borrowing books that Pamela had borrowed from the Abraham Lincoln Library run by the United States Information Agency.

USIA managed the Joint United States Public Affairs Office or, as everyone called it, JUSPAO. USIA and JUSPAO were involved in psyops, psychological operations, which were propaganda campaigns aimed at the enemy as well as at the friendly Vietnamese.

It became known years later that between 1965 and 1972, the United States dropped 50 billion leaflets on all of Vietnam, including the Ho Chi Minh Trail, with the goal of winning hearts and minds.

South Vietnam was inundated with posters, banners, newspaper articles, magazines, brochures, comic books, bumper stickers, and matchbook covers, each and every piece of material urging the North Vietnam and Vietcong to stop fighting and come on over to America's side, the good side that was bringing democracy to Vietnam.

Then, of course, the military was spreading the word, too. The Psychological Operations Directorate of MACV, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, coordinated propaganda campaigns. The U.S. Army had four psyops battalions: the 6th Psychological Operations Battalion in III Corps, the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion in I Corps, the 8th Psychological Operations Battalion in II Corps, and the 10th Psychological Operations Battalion in IV Corps. Each battalion had its own printing plant, photographic and tape recording production equipment, and loudspeaker trucks.

Miss An was reading books faster than Pamela could get to the Abraham Lincoln Library to check them out. So, off they both went one afternoon to get the Vietnamese secretary her own library card.

"May I help you?" the American civilian woman asked in a sugary voice.

Miss An and her boss stood in front of the information desk. Pamela cheerfully informed the American librarian how she could indeed help.

"Oh, I am sorry, but we do not allow Vietnamese to have library cards," she told Pamela. Then, she turned to Miss An—who had just finished reading "Ulysses" by James Joyce—and bellowed, "No allowed books! You understand, Mamasan? You no allowed books!"

A Saigon Party:
And Other Vietnam War Short Stories

Barbie and Ken Experience the War

A Pedicab Driver Peddles Through History

A CIA Hired Wife Bares Her Soul

The Vietnamese Rock Star Interview on AFVN

Yolanda's Favorite Beggar

Saigon Rumors

General Westmoreland's Houseboy (and VC Spy) Talks

The Library Card

A Saigon Warrior's Journal

Vietnam War at Amazon

Vietnam War on DVD at Amazon

Vietnam War Kindle Books

The Literary Hootch, Part 1

The Literary Hootch, Part 2

The Literary Hootch, Part 3

Vietnam War Destinations, Part 1

Vietnam War Destinations, Part 2

Vietnam War Destinations, Part 3

Vietnam War Destinations, Part 4

Vietnam War History, Part 1

Vietnam War History, Part 2

Vietnam War History, Part 3

Vietnam War History, Part 4

Vietnam War Research Material, Part 1

Vietnam War Research Material, Part 2

Vietnam War Research Material, Part 3

Vietnam War Research Material, Part 4

The French in Vietnam

Vietnam War Battles, Campaigns, Offensives, Operations, Programs

Vietnam War Aircrafts

Vietnam War Documents, Speeches, Papers

Vietnam War Cities, Districts, Installations, Places, Provinces

Vietnam War Weapons and Equipment

Vietnam and U.S. Presidents

Vietnam War Humor

Vietnam Religions

The Media: Vietnam War

U.S. Allies in the Vietnam War

Vietnam War Antiwar

Political and Government Figures Involved in the Vietnam War

Trips to Vietnam

The Vietnamese: Vietnam War

Women and the Vietnam War

Vietnam War Films

Vietnam War Fiction Books

Vietnam War Books by Women Writers

Vietnam War Short Story Books

Vietnam War Screenplays

Military Leaders in the Vietnam War

Vietnam War Memorials

Vietnam War Battalions, Brigades, Corps, Divisions, Organizations, Units

Vietnam War Poetry

The Wall: Vietnam War

Vietnam War Quiz

Vietnam War Quotations

Vietnam War Books, Part 1

Vietnam War Books, Part 2

World War II Films (Part 1)

World War II Films (Part 2)

Memories Are Like Clouds

A Saigon Party:
And Other Vietnam War Short Stories