Operation Chaos by Matthew Sweet review – spies, Vietnam deserters and a cult of evil
A horribly readable account of the US military deserters who found asylum in Sweden during the Vietnam War, and their group’s infiltration by the CIA
It is almost forgotten now what a decisive role Sweden played in the Vietnam war. Even at the time, the armies doing the fighting and the million or so Vietnamese doing the dying may have underestimated the importance Swedish public opinion had on their struggle. But in Sweden it was never in doubt. The starting point for this weird, sad, horribly readable story is the arrival in Stockholm in May 1968 of six misfit and confused US deserters from the Vietnam war after they had been shepherded across the Soviet Union from Japan, where a fishing vessel had smuggled them on to a Russian ship.
They had been transported across the USSR “on a current of vodka” and with women supplied by the KGB; they had even been questioned by Yuri Andropov, later to rise to supreme power, and helped to make a propaganda film in which one of them, who had been a ship’s cook and never landed in the country, gave wrenching testimony of all the atrocities he and his unit had committed on the ground in Vietnam.Continue reading...