neverfail wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:58 pm
cassowary wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:09 am
You appear to be keen on giving the whole country to a Socialist dictatorship.
Unjust, irrational accusation against me Cassowary. I refused to participate in any of the Vietnam Moratorium marches and rallies out here while the Vietnam War was being fought out specifically because even then I was under no illusions about what Communist rule was likely to be like over there - and I did not want to be guilty of lending any moral support to the Communist side.
Were I now to be pushed through a time tunnel back to those days my position and behavior would be unchanged.
I am happy to hear that but its ok even if you did protest. Don't forget I come from a country which arrested Chia Thye Poh for organizing and participating in an anti-Vietnam War demonstration. Over here, we see a parallel between the British and Commonwealth effort to defeat Socialist/Communist guerrillas in Malaya with US efforts to defeat Socialist/Communist Vietcong. We are thankful of British and Commonwealth sacrifice of blood and treasure to save us from a ruthless dictatorship had Chin Peng won.
The difference between the British and French is that the British won while the French lost. Had the French won Dien Bien Phu, I think they eventually would have given the Vietnamese independence. The Americans stepped in to save an already independent South Vietnam from Socialism/Communism.
However, I am just as mindful that regardless of my own preferences and prejudices in the matter history has a way of taking its own course. When posting a viewpoint on this website I endeavor to place my own bias to one side and try to see things as those on the ground participating might have seen it. As far as possible my published views reflect this suspension of partiality.
Alas Cassowary; going by the number of times I have witnessed how you allow your wishful thinking (as above) intrudes into your posted offerings, it seems that you have not arrived at anything like this standard of self mastery.
I think your judgement of the Vietnamese feeling towards the Communists is wrong. I will elaborate more later.
quote=cassowary post_id=24063 time=1563174565 user_id=60] It is true, that Ho Chi Minh earned a measure of support for his anti-colonial stance, but I don't think they have the support of the majority.
You bet he did Cass. I recall many years ago reading an essay written by a Vietnamese refugee and published in one of our quality newspapers. That article was very revealing. She claimed that in 1954 when news of the Viet Minh victory over the French at Dienbienphu spread, a "surge of national pride" (her words) spread through the hearts and minds of all Vietnamese. At last our own people have beaten those French colonialists
. Even Vietnamese who wanted no truck with Communism felt proud. It must have been a very empowering moment for all Vietnamese.
That, dear Cass, is where Ho Chi Minh gained his authority from - as the founding father of Vietnamese independence. Much like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe: who was much venerated in both his own country and by fellow African leaders elsewhere regardless of how much of a hash he subsequently made out of handling the responsibilities of governing his country.
That essay was written immediately after the Dien Bien Phu victory. But after a few years of Communist rule in the North, I think her opinion would have changed after witnessing what victory by Socialist/Communists entailed - the usual mass killings, the poverty inducing Socialist policies. People's opinion change from year to year and even from day to day. That is why politics is so unpredictable. Had the Socialists/Communists believed in their own propaganda that the people love Socialism, they would have agreed to a free and fair election to give it legitimacy.
(Come to think of it: don't the Yanks still place George Washington high up on a pedestal? Yet I an sure that GW was no more conceived without sin
than you and I were.
My position has never been that Communist rule there was desirable but historically inevitable
I disagree. Had the Americans stuck it out for a few years more, the Communists would have been defeated in S Vietnam. When the US forces were at its peak, they should have gone into Laos, then the hub of the Ho Chi Minh trail. If they disrupted the flow of supplies to the South, the Vietcong would have been defeated. After a significant pull out of forces, S Vietnamese ARVN force tried that with US troops playing only a supporting role. They failed.
cassowary wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:09 am
To answer your question on what we should have expected from the North Vietnamese, I expect them to put their popularity to the test by holding a free and fair election.
Then you are wishing for the moon. Revolutionary insurgents who spend years out in the wilderness waging guerrilla war against an opponent who initially holds all of the advantages never do.
I can think of one revolution that did not result in mass killings - the US revolution. Some British loyalists were driven off to Canada and that was about it. They started a Republic giving people a Bill or Rights. Eventually, that republic evolved into a democracy. It was not perfect but possibly the best of all Revolutions.
Consider the French Revolution. How many were killed? Robespierre, remember him? I think there is something noble about the American character that allowed this glorious outcome to happen. I know the American left tries its best to discredit their own country by holding it against an impossibly high standard. But compared to the standard achieved by other communities, the US revolution was the best or one of the best.
Ho Chi MInh, the George Washington of Vietnam killed hundreds of thousands in his land reform that was inspired by his ideology - Socialism. In contrast, the American Revolution was inspired by a different ideology that the Creator had given us inalienable rights. That was why the US revolution had better results.
Or how about Algeria? The Algerians, also fought against the colonizers. What happened after they won independence?
A final period of violence occurred after independence. People affiliated with the French rule in Algeria who stayed after the French left suffered retributive violence. “Harki” was a name given to Algerians who were French loyalists. By most accounts, some “tens of thousands” were killed in summer 1962, some fled, and others tried to stay and keep as low a profile as was possible in the new Algeria. Violence against harki began even before the ceasefire came into effect, with accounts suggesting a rise in violence in March 1962.[iii] Algerians who joined the FLN late once the tide had turned, used violence as a way to prove themselves and to claim materials rewards (through looting, for instance).[iv] The number of harki killed is often reported to be as high as 60,000 and 150,000, but recent historians have suggested the number may be closer to 30,000 (see below). There were also attacks against some of the remaining population of European descent.
As the example of French extremists and harki demonstrate, not all violence occurred across the schism of French and Algerian. One additional factor was fighting within the FLN. The FLN was composed of several major groups: the Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne (GPRA), formed in exile in 1958; the six regional military commands (wilayas) that had formed the backbone of the struggle for independence; the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) composed of Alergian exiles in Tunisia and Morocco; and the Fédération de France du Front de Libération Nationale (FFFLN) the arm of the FLN that had operated in France.[v]
Fighting between political parties (particularly the GPRA and ALN) resulted in the “deaths of over a thousand members of both sides during August and early September 1962 before a ceasefire was agreed on 5 September.”[vi]
On July 1, 1962, Algerians overwhelmingly voted for independence and on July 3, French Pres. de Gaulle officially recognized the vote. Ben Bella, associated with the ALN, became the head of the new independent government, during which time he attempted to concentrate power. He was overthrown in a coup in 1965 led by Houari Boumediene.
To sum up, the Algerian revolution against France resulted in lots of people killed after Independence and rule by a military dictatorship. Can you think of a successful revolution against an European power that had as benign an outcome as the American Revolution?
cassowary wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:09 am
Finally, we can turn to democide.
Thanks for the link. It reminded me of the heavy price that Indochina (along with countless individuals) paid before stability was finally achieved in the aftermath of Communist victory. I have no doubt that after the French ceding of government in the north to the (Communist) Viet Minh leadership, these went to great pains to purge their part of Vietnam of all possible opposition. Look at the historic examples they had in front of them by then. The USSR. Mao's China. Both examples of successfully Communist ruled countries that had likewise gone through purges to ensure that rule by the Communist party (and its ideals) were unassailable.
The North Vietnamese leadership would have had an additional reason to take such a ruthless course. They still had the South to win and would have wanted "no loose cannon on board their ship
" during the coming endeavor.
They took this ruthless course because they were inspired by the ideology of Socialism instead of the ideology that God has given us inalienable rights.