Original Item: And you thought it was just another disposable plastic bag, didn’t you? You probably have seen them around, usually used as a cheap bag for small items. Actually, they were part of a ten-year-long psychological operations (PSYOP) program to get Viet Cong personnel to come over to the government side during the Vietnam War. “Chieu Hoi” means “open arms.” The program lasted from 1963 to 1973, although the use of the magazine bags began later, as American involvement escalated.
The bag is designed to hold one twenty-round M16 magazine and to protect it from the elements. A built-in metal strip allows the bag to be sealed well. The bag was also designed to be thrown away after the magazine was removed, then to be picked up and read by an enemy combatant. The combatant could then use the bag as a “get home free pass” to leave the Viet Cong. The bags were only one small part of the Chieu Hoi program, which eventually resulted in about 100,000 desertions from the Viet Cong.
The full translation reads: Returning Chieu Hoi will help you to again see your parents and family in a peaceful and democratic South Vietnam.
IMA is offering five bags for $3.95, for a very economical bit of the history of one our most traumatic national experiences.
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- Awesome! Review by Nathan
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These five bags represent a chaotic period in American history, and the use of psychological warfare was one of the stranger things to come from the Vietnam War. These bags are totally awesome and in great shape. Now I just need to find some stuff to stick in these bags!
(Posted on 9/6/13)
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