I don’t know whether Barack Obama is as clueless as he comes across or if he honestly thinks sucking up to a Communist regime will somehow improve his dismal performance in the Oval Office, but comparing a brutal dictator like Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh is a slap in the face to every American, especially to those of us who actually served in Vietnam during Ho’s reign of terror.
Standing alongside current Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, Obama recently said, “At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress.”
Anybody who believes communism and our Declaration of Independence have anything in common is sadly mistaken.
To begin with, let’s peek at that “letter,” actually a telegram, that Ho sent to Truman in 1946. Why President Sang had to ‘bring’ Obama copy, I can’t understand since it is readily available in our own Government archives.
But he did and as we can see, Ho used the ploy of “independence” in appealing for America to “interfere” with the French who had held Vietnam as a colony long before World War Two and was reasserting their control afterward, calling for assistance in “support of [their] independence.”
In penning the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence in September 1945 Ho quoted, “All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Of that he wrote, “This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.”
That has been a common ploy of the Communists ever since its beginnings, preach “independence” while actually enslaving.
Shortly before his death in September 1969, Ho tried a similar ploy with then President Nixon in an exchange as Nixon was striving to bring hostilities to an end, Nixon and others not recognizing that the “Tet of 68 offensive” was a resounding Military Defeat for the Communist North Vietnamese, but allowing it to become a decisive Political Victory for them instead.
Outlining how “the United States must cease the war of aggression and withdraw their troops from South Vietnam, respect the right of the population of the South and of the Vietnamese nation to dispose of themselves, without foreign influence,” Ho also said, “This is the correct manner of solving the Vietnamese problem in conformity with the national rights of the Vietnamese people, the interests of the United States and the hopes for peace of the peoples of the world.”
The last U.S. troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973 in accordance with the negotiated withdrawal outlined in the Paris Peace Accords, recognizing the right of the both the South and the North to determine their own governance. Or so it said.
As we know, soon after the American Congress all but stripped all support of an Independent South Vietnam while the Communist North received much support from both the Communist Soviet Union and China and seeing that America was no longer going to support the South and their freedom, the Communist North launched an all out bloody assault against the South as we witnessed Communist tanks roll into the city of Saigon deep in the South as American helicopters hurriedly evacuated Diplomatic personnel from the rooftop of our Embassy at the end of April 1975.
I previously described that as America’s Most Shameful Day. We sat and watched a free people fall to oppression as the South Vietnamese unable to board the last helicopters, struggled to leave the country, land on our aircraft carriers and a Naval Armada set sail for parts unknown, where they were unwanted.
Lauren Zanolli of George Mason University’s History News Network wrote in November 2006, “Historians have directly attributed the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the cessation of American aid. Without the necessary funds, South Vietnam found it logistically and financially impossible to defeat the North Vietnamese army. Moreover, the withdrawal of aid encouraged North Vietnam to begin an effective military offensive against South Vietnam. Given the monetary and military investment in Vietnam, former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage compared the American withdrawal to ‘a pregnant lady, abandoned by her lover to face her fate.’ Historian Lewis Fanning went so far as to say that ‘it was not the Hanoi communists who won the war, but rather the American Congress that lost it’.”
Even though deceased by then, that was the fulfillment of Ho’s idea of being “deeply devoted to peace, a real peace with independence and real freedom.”
Not long after began what we called the exodus of the Vietnamese Boat People as untold hundreds of thousands of freedom seeking Vietnamese boarded any rickety craft they could to escape the “benevolent” Communists as the formerly free South Vietnamese were rounded up, assigned to “Reeducation Camps” never to be heard from again.
How many perished in the South China Sea at the hands of Pirates or weather will never be known. But thanks to Vietnamese author Le Thi Anh, we do know about the bloodbath within the “benevolent” The New Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh’s vision of a “unified Vietnam.”
Speaking next to Obama, Vietnam’s President Sang also said, “I also expressed my appreciation for the care that the U.S. has extended to the Vietnamese who came to settle in the United States and now they have become American citizens and contributing to the overall development of the U.S. And thanks to the support and assistance from the U.S. government as well as the American people, the Vietnamese-American community here in the U.S. has become more and more prosperous and successful in their life as well as work.”
Shameful that neither he nor Obama can make the same claim about Ho’s vision for Vietnam, expressed by a young Vietnamese woman married to a pilot I served with during the war, born after the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Do You Really Want to Rear Your Child in a Socialist Society?
In 1787 Founding Father Thomas Jefferson famously wrote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
Nowhere will you find any of our Founders working so diligently to enslave an entire nation and place the people under an oppressive rule as Ho Chi Minh envisioned for the People’s of Vietnam.
That Obama can now compare the murderous tyrant Ho Chi Minh to the founding of the United States of America, even with all of our imperfections, is a slap in the face to the American people, the Vietnamese-American community and especially to the memory of those 58,195 names etched on the Wall in Washington D.C. of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of South Vietnamese freedom.