World: Barefoot at the Wake

Dressed in their best white shirts, the dozen Viet Cong leaders assembled at dusk in a mud-walled house in the little Delta village of An Lac Thon to mourn a fallen comrade. Only the afternoon before, their district propaganda chief had been killed by a raiding party of U.S. Navy commandos. Now, as they gathered in silence, a security guard of 40 men kept watch in the rain outside, and another 50 Viet Cong waited only 100 yards away. All the guns seemed hardly necessary. As they do with many a Delta village, the...

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