For those who do not know, the "montagnard" peoples of SE Asia are non-Han, non-Cambode, non-Lao, non-Vietnamese peoples of Mon-Khmer or Malayo-Polynesian stock and linguistic roots. They are very tribal, animist if not Christian, and mainly hunter-gatherers. Many of them hate the Vietnamese with the passion reserved for oppressors who regard one as less than human.
In the main the Montagnard peoples sided first with the French and then with us in our wars against the Vietnamese communists. The "communist" factor in these wars meant nothiing to them. The "Vietnamese" nature of the enemy meant all. Our alliance with the non-communist Vietnamese was something they did their best to ignore. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) lived for a decade with these brave people. Many of our men became fervent partisans of the Montagnards and members of FULRO, the "Front Uni Pour La Liberation De La Race Oprimee." They still are.
"Inter Cultural Communication" is a much babbled of thing nowadays. Alan Farrell gives a glimpse here of the feeling that is the basis of real communication.
My picture. I am the guy with the basket and the filed teeth. It was a great disguise. No. I am the American in the middle. pl