trận An-Lộc vang danh thế giới, lớn hơn 2 trận Điện Biên Phủ & trận Khe
giả là một Huynh Trưởng của chúng tôi, Trung Tá Nguyễn Văn Dưỡng (xin
xem Tiểu sử bên dưới), qua Mỹ Ông đă trở lại trường và tốt nghiệp - Cao
học Chính trị học về “Ngoại giao & Giao tế Quốc tế”, Hoa Kỳ.
Dưỡng hay Văn Nguyên Dưỡng là người đă “tử thủ” An Lộc cùng với Chuẩn
Tướng ANH HÙNG Lê Văn Hưng.
Bổn báo chủ nhiệm đă mất một người bạn đồng khoá 25SQTĐ tại trận chiến
này, cố Đại Uư Lê Văn Hiếu, TĐ 52BĐQ, đă nằm lại nơi đây, năm ngoái, một
người bạn cùng binh chủng, nguyên Đại Úy Đoàn Trọng Hiếu đă lo việc “cải
táng” cho hơn 60 anh em đồng đội đă hy sinh tại B́nh Long An Lộc, trong
đó có cố Đại uý Lê văn Hiếu.
Bài viết của HT Dưỡng rất chi tiết và tỉ mỉ, ông đă mô tả các trận tấn
công của VC như thế nào và quân dân ta đă giữ vững An Lộc ra sao, Ông
là người trong cuộc kể lại, chắc chắn phải xác thực hơn những người
không có mặt trong trận chiến này, xin
mời quư vị theo dơi.
Như thường lệ, v́ hai bài viết rất dài nên Toà Soạn cũng chia ra nhiều
kỳ để các DĐ đăng được đầy đủ. Quư vị nào cần ngay cả bài, mở
chúng tôi gởi
Germany, ngày 01.05.2012
- Điều Hợp Viên DĐ Ngôn Ngữ Việt,
- Chủ Nhiệm TCDV.
LƯ TRUNG TÍN
niệm ngày GĐ chúng tôi được chiếc tàu CAP ANAMUR vớt ngoài biển đông hồi
10 giờ 47 phút NGÀY 01.05.1980)
VĂN NGUYÊN DƯỠNG
& VĨNH ĐỊNH NVD
BÚT DANH CỦA
NGUYỄN VĂN DƯỠNG
TRUNG TÁ NGÀNH QUÂN BÁO QLVNCH
KHÓA 5 – VÌ DÂN
Tragedy of the Vietnam War
of the VietnamWar
(S.A.C.E.I.Forum # 6, 2009).
Death of Historian Pham van Son
(S.A.C.E.I. Forum # 7, 2010).
VÙNG ĐÊM SƯƠNG MÙ.
TUYỂN TẬP THƠ VND.
TRƯỜNG CA TRÊN BÃI CHIẾN.
VĂN NGUYÊN DƯỠNG hay VĨNH ĐỊNH NGUYỄN VĂN
Sinh tháng 1, năm 1934, Thị xã Càmau, Tỉnh Bạcliêu, Nam Việt.
Động viên Khóa 5 SQTB tháng 5, năm 1954.
Tốt nghiệp Thiếu uý ngày 1 tháng 2, năm 1955
Trưởng Phòng 2, BTL/SĐ5BB, 1971-1974. Tham dự Trận chiến An Lộc
mùa Hè 1972.
Sĩ quan Tham mưu, Phòng II/BTTM/QLVNCH, 1974-30/4/1975.
*HUẤN LUYỆN QUÂN SỰ: Tốt nghiệp -Khóa ANQĐ, Trường Quân Báo
QLVNCH, Saigon, 1958. -Khóa Tình
Báo Lãnh thổ, Bộ Tư lệnh Lực lượng Hoàng gia Anh ở Viễn Đông,
Singapore, 1961. -Khóa An ninh & Phản tình
báo, 1962 và -Khóa Tình báo Chiến trường (Field Operations
Intelligence),1965, Trường Tình báo Lục quân Hoa
Kỳ ở Thái Bình Dương, Okinawa. -Khóa Tình báo Cao cấp, Trường
Tình báo Lục quân Hoa Kỳ, Maryland, 1968.
*TRÌNH ĐỘ HỌC VẤN:
- Cao học Chính trị học về “Ngoại giao & Giao tế Quốc tế”,
*TÙ NHÂN CHÍNH TRỊ: Sau ngày 30, tháng 4, 1975, bị tập trung
cải tạo -hay đi ở tù CSVN- cùng với hàng trăm ngàn Sĩ quan
QLVNCH, CSQG, Công chức Cao cấp, các lãnh tụ tôn giáo và các
đảng phái chính trị Quốc Gia, ở các vùng Thượng du, Trung du
Bắc Việt và miền Nam. Ra tù năm 1988. Định cư ở Hoa Kỳ tháng
-Tập thơ “VÙNG ĐÊM SƯƠNG MÙ” làm từ năm 1965 và được Nhà XB Mai
Lĩnh xuất bản năm 1966 ở Saigòn.
-Tập thơ “TRƯỜNG CA TRÊN BÃI CHIẾN”và nhiều bài thơ ngắn khác
làm trong 13 năm ở các Trại Tù CSVN.
-Sang Hoa Kỳ, sau khi tốt nghiệp Cao học, chuyển Luận án thành
sách. Nhà XB McFarland North Carolina xuất bản tháng 9,
2008, tựa đề
“The Tragedy of the Vietnam War”. Cung Trầm Tưởng viết bài góp ý
và giới thiệu, được đăng nhiều lần trên báo chí Việt ngữ. Văn
Nguyên Dưỡng viết cho vài tạp chí văn học ở Hoa Kỳ và Canada.
LESSONS FROM THE VIETNAM
VAN NGUYEN DUONG’s PAPER at the SACEI’s
Conference in Dulles, VA (Sept 26, 2009)
In the acknowledgements of my book The
Tragedy of the Vietnam War, I wrote, "We maintain our pride for having
once served in our Armed Forces to pursue aspirations of independence,
justice, and freedom for our people. An army may be disbanded but its
spirit is eternal. Such is the case of the Republic of Vietnam Armed
Unfortunately we could not realize our
dream and aspiration. On that bitter day of April 30th, 1975, we were
forced to give up our arms. We agonizingly suffered the disbanding of
our armed forces and the collapse of our democracy. The war was lost.
More than 34 years after the end of the
war, even overloaded with misfortune, many of us have still survive
tediously haunted by the traumas of the past. I myself have experienced
nightmares from the irritant war loss for thirteen years in different
communist "reeducation camps." I have learned from these painful days
that we could not change the past but had to get through it for a better
change in the future. We have to learn our lessons from the past in
order to build the future. It is also a better way for us to get away
from traumas and to heal our wounded minds. I became determined to
penetrate to the heart of these war matters for the purpose of
clarifying my mind.
I was released from these communist
concentration camps in April 1988 and came to America in 1991. This
blessed opportunity allowed me to realize my longing. Since September
1994, I have put myself into studying English, researching documents,
and finding facts. I began to draft my first manuscript on the war in
Vietnam. Fortunately after 15 years of hard work, determination,
resilience and patience, I have achieved my goal. My work was published
by McFarland & Company in September 2008.
THE HAUNT OF THE PAST: THE ATROCIOUS
SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN SOUTH VIETNAM
Immediately after seizing power in South
Vietnam on April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese communist leaders sent more
than 250,000 South Vietnamese officers, policemen and officials to their
"reeducation camps" around the country for years. Thousands died of
exhaustion from hard labor, hunger and illnesses. Others were killed by
torture and execution in these camps unknown to the world. The
communists chased out 300,000 of our disabled veterans and wounded
soldiers from every military sanatorium or hospital transforming them
into homeless people who have -- since then-- dragged their miserable
lives in all corners of South Vietnam. Almost a million RVNAF officers'
wives and children were forced to relocate to remote "new economic
zones" to endure hard labor for living. Moreover, a few months later,
they ordered people to dig up the graves of our heroes at cemeteries in
Saigon, Biên Ḥa and throughout the South and to discard the remains so
that plots could be used for the burial of communist soldiers. We
suffered our pain in silence. It was tragic.
However, the outcome of the war would lead
to a greater tragedy for the South Vietnamese - some 26 million of them.
With the so-called "Social Socialist Revolution” -Cách Mạng xã hội Xă
Hội Chủ Nghĩa- Vietnamese communist leaders tried to uproot all vestiges
of the formerly free society of South Vietnam in all domains, both
physically and spiritually. In other words, they took fierce measures to
transform the southern society by taking revenge on anyone associated in
any form with the free regime of the South. Their victims were not only
South Vietnamese officers and officials, but also leaders of all
religions: Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Cao Đài, Ḥa Hảo; leaders of
nationalist parties; intellectuals in the world of letters: writers,
poets, novelists, professors, theoreticians, philosophers, and people
from the press circles, owners, publishers, editors, journalists,
columnists, and reporters. Most of them from 90,000 to 100,000 were
arrested and put in jails or reeducation camps for various duration.
In the economic, agricultural, and
industrial sectors, Vietnamese communist leaders confiscated all private
lands, industrial factories, means of production, commercial
establishments and stores--large or small--and properties of landowners,
merchants and rich people around South Vietnam then transformed them
into state properties and state factories. The communist policy of
eradicating the comprador bourgeoisie --tư sản và mại bản-- was
vigorously executed swelling their concentration camps of more than
100,000 additional people. Social activities seriously stagnated after
millions of people lost their properties and tens of millions of others
lost their incomes, because of unemployment and prohibition of
practicing free commerce, business, and wholesale or retail trade. In
rural areas, collective farms and in urban sectors state enterprises
were incapable of producing food and furnishing commodities for the
people. Stagnation of the national economy was inevitable and the
poverty of the Vietnamese people was visible, all of which would hinder
the nation for decades.
The red deluge of April 1975 in South
Vietnam has not only destroyed the young and free southern regime, but
also uprooted its society, which was founded on national traditions,
Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and religious beliefs for thousands of
years. Public fear emerged from every corner of the land: fear of doing,
fear of talking, fear of being accused of being anti-regime, and so on.
Whether a soldier or a peasant, a teacher or a student, a man or a
woman, an elderly person or a young child, all of their lives were
exposed to danger every minute of the day. And we, people of the South
did have the guts to face a new regime, which was based on idiocy,
atrocity and immorality.
The vindictive measures of the Vietnamese
communist leaders in their "Socialist revolution" would result in,
first, the exodus of nearly three million of South Vietnamese. One third
of them lost their lives in Indochinese forests or at seas. The word
"boat people" was heard around the world. It has multiple meanings
although the most lofty one was the "deadly-vote" against the heartless
despotism of the Vietnamese communist leaders and the atrocious
totalitarianism of their regime. These waves of Vietnamese exodus would
have been the largest and most tragic in mankind's history.
Second, these vindictive measures of the
Vietnamese communist leaders led to a deeper division between the
Vietnamese for generations. Last but not least, was the sorrowful loss
of human resources--intellectuals and elites were killed, imprisoned or
maltreated in the South or dispersed overseas. A country would
eventually fade away if it got rid of its intelligentsia. This is the
case of Vietnam today. If national power remains in the hands of a class
of corrupt, narrow-minded and blind-sided communist leaders, Vietnam
would meet greater catastrophes in the future.
All of these disastrous consequences
resulted from the loss of South Vietnam, the collapse of its regime, and
the disbanding of its armed forces. We, South Vietnamese people, should
accept our defeat and learn our lessons.
Vietnamese communist leaders' atrocity,
cruelty and inhumanity present at every stage of the war had seriously
affected its outcome. Hồ Chí Minh and his comrades of the Vietnamese
Workers' Party (VWP) had waged "an armed struggle" to seize the power
according to communist dogmas. Proletarian revolution thus was neither a
war fought for a "people's liberation," nor for a "class liberation."
These beautiful terms were merely communist propaganda's catchphrases.
Yes, brutal armed struggle to establish
the totalitarian communist regime in Vietnam was the true nature and
real cause of Hồ Chí Minh and Party's leaders in their protracted war (chiến
tranh trường kỳ).
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FIRST VIETNAM WAR
After two American atomic bombs were
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively on August 6 and 9, 1945,
Japan collapsed and declared its intentions to surrender to Allied
Forces on August 10. In Vietnam, the Japanese surrendered on August 15
and moved to a state of "inaction" waiting for the disarmament.
According to the Potsdam Agreements in
July 1945, from August 18, 1945, the Chinese Nationalist Forces of Chang
Kei-Shek would occupy North Vietnam and part of Central Vietnam north of
the 16th parallel while British forces would control the southern half
of the Indochinese peninsula.
-On August 17, the Vietnamese communists in
North Vietnam staged a brief uprising and two days later seized control
-On August 23, Prime Minister Trần Trọng
Kim of the central government in Hue resigned and his cabinet disbanded.
-On August 24, Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated
the throne under Hồ Chí Minh's entreaty. (2)
-On August 26, Hồ returned to Hanoi
accompanied by the armed propaganda unit of Vơ Nguyên Giáp and the
American OSS Deer Team (OSS: Office of Strategic Services, the
forerunner of the CIA) of Major Archimedes Patti who had closed
relations with Hồ, trained Giáp's 200 military cadres, and armed them
with modern weapons in Pắc Bó.
-On September 2, in a festive ceremony at
Hanoi's Ba Đ́nh Square Hồ Chí Minh declared the independence for the
Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and formed a cabinet with all
members of his Indochinese Communist Party. His Việt Minh front --or Mặt
trận Việt Minh-- immediately organized their "administrative committees
and guerilla units" in provinces, districts and villages throughout the
However, just days after his declaration
of independence, Hồ began to show his dogmatic and inhumane character of
a communist leader by ordering those newly formed regional committees
and guerillas to kill, execute and murder those who had worked for the
French and Japanese or previously had any relations with them and those
suspected of being traitors --Việt gian. Most executions were
barbarously performed. Victims were tied alive separately or together in
bundles like logs and thrown into rivers to float along waters for a
slow drowning --ṃ tôm (literally hunting for shrimp); buried alive--chôn
sống; beheaded with their heads dangling from bamboo poles and bodies
cut into ribbons; beaten to death with arms and legs broken and skulls
cracked. This was the case of Ngô Đ́nh Khôi --President Diệm's brother--
and scholar Phạm Quỳnh, Bảo Đại's Prime Minister (Lại Bộ Thượng Thư).
Both Khôi and Quỳnh were arrested by the Việt Minh in Huế and murdered
at Hắc Thú forest in Quảng Trị on September 6. This was the first phase
of the Vietnamese communists' mass butchery.
In South Vietnam, with the support of the
British Royal Forces, which came to disarm the Japanese in the southern
part of Indochina on September 12, 1945, a French company of
paratroopers accompanied the British Gurkha Division to Saigon. The
British commander, Brigadier General Douglas Gracey ordered the freeing
of all French prisoners held by the Japanese and rearmed them for the
protection of their compatriots. Skirmishes occurred at several places
in Saigon between these French elements and Viet Minh guerillas. The
French Expeditionary Forces (FEF) of General Jacques Philippe Leclerc
with the support of British Admiral (Sir) Louis Mountbatten, Supreme
allied commander in Southeast Asia came back to South Vietnam on
September 21 and moved to recapture Saigon. They faced fierce resistance
from Trần Văn Giàu's Viet Minh guerilla units. This experienced
communist leader in South Vietnam immediately changed his South
Vietnamese Administrative Committee --Ủy ban hành chánh Nam Bộ-- into
the Committee for Resistance and Administration --Ủy ban hành chánh
On September 23, 1945, Giàu and his deputy
Nguyễn B́nh (later Major General) declared a "scorched earth policy" --sách
lược tiêu thổ kháng chiến and led their guerilla forces to the maquis -bưng
biền-- for a long standing resistance against the French. That day was
considered to be the starting point of the First Vietnam War and Giàu's
strategy became stereotypical war, which was adapted by provincial
committees for resistance and administrations in South Vietnam. French
forces would easily capture empty or burned down cities because of tản
cư -- evacuation of residents-- and tiêu thổ --scorched earth. In the
Mekong delta in their pacification march, the French had incorporated
local Cambodians into partisan units and let them cắp duồn --behead or
stab to death-- every Vietnamese, even children and women, in any of
their operations. At the time, the scariest terms that frightened
southern villagers ever heard were "ṃ tôm" of the Viet Minh and "cắp
duồn" of the French-Cambodian partisans. Vietnamese innocents were
caught between the two forces and tried to hide from both. By the end of
1945, the FEF controlled the majority of provinces in South and central
Vietnam, except the countryside where guerilla warfare continued and
lasted for many more years. French newly assigned High Commissioner in
Indochina, Admiral d'Argenlieu through agreements would control Cambodia
and Laos but Commander-in-chief of the FEF, General Leclerc would not
send his units to pacify North Vietnam because Chinese nationalist
forces of General Lu Han still camped in Hanoi, Hải Pḥng and several
provinces in North Vietnam. Thus these two highest French authorities in
Indochina had to face a second front in their war for recovering the old
Indochinese colonies and transforming them into the "associated states"
of the French Union--a new form of colonialism. This was the triangular
diplomatic and political front between the French, Chinese Nationalists,
and the Viet Minh government.
A significant event happened, however,
disrupted Hồ's hope to lean on U.S. support and changed the course of
the First Vietnam War. On September 4, eight days before the arrival of
the British forces, the OSS sent its 404 Team to Saigon to free more
than 200 American prisoners of war held in Japanese camps. This
intelligence team satisfactorily accomplished its mission. Three weeks
later, its leader Major Dewey was mistakenly killed in an ambush by
Giàu's guerillas. In mid-December 1945, all American intelligence
teams--Patti's Deer Team OSS 202 in Hanoi and the OSS 404 Team in
Saigon--were ordered to leave Vietnam. Hồ then faced a dilemma. In the
South, he could not control the war between the French and Giàu's
troops. In the North, he had to endure the crude requests by General Lu
Han's greedy Chinese army. Diplomatic and political negotiations with
the French and Chinese were his last resort after the Americans had
quietly abandoned him.
The triangular political games between the
three parties began in the first quarter of 1946 and had produced
incredible consequences: -On February 28, France signed an agreement
with the Chinese Nationalist government whereby all Chinese forces would
withdraw from North Vietnam and allow the French to return to Indochina
in exchange for the "restoration of various concessions, including the
renunciation of French extra-territorial claims in China" (and an
unknown quantity of ingot gold as compensation for Lu Han's withdrawal
from North Vietnam). (3)
-On March 3, 1946, after serious deals with
General Lu Han, Hồ agreed to form a coalition government with the
participation of the Vietnam Revolutionary United Association (Việt Nam
Cách Mệnh Đồng Minh Hội) and the Vietnamese Nationalist Party's (Việt
Nam Quốc Dân Đảng or VNQDD) leaders such as Nguyễn Hải Thần, Huỳnh Thúc
Kháng, Nguyễn Tường Tam and Vũ Hồng Khanh. He also offered the
nationalists 70 seats in the National Assembly.
-On March 6, Hồ and Vũ Hồng Khanh signed
with Jean Sainteny, French official delegate a "preliminary agreement" (hiệp
định sơ bộ) which recognized Vietnam as a free state and member of the
French Indochinese Federation in exchange for allowing French forces to
relieve Chinese troops in North Vietnam. The agreement stated that it
"would enter into effect immediately upon exchange of signatures." (4)
In signing the agreement, Hồ displayed his subtle aim to join hands with
the French "to kill two birds with a stone"--sending Chinese troops back
to China and annihilating nationalist armed forces in North Vietnam. The
French attained their goals and could immediately move troops to the
North. Only Vũ Hồng Khanh, the VNQDĐ's leader, was lured into Hồ's trap.
Vũ had under his command a division of several thousand troops camped in
various locations in North Vietnam. They soon became targets to be
destroyed by French forces. The term "free state" would lead to more
talks between the DRVN's delegates and French authorities at the Dalat
Conference (April-May 1946) and Fontainebleau's (June- August 1946).
Both conferences failed simply because France did not want to relinquish
its colonial rules and interests in the three countries of Indochina but
instead wanted to transform them into a new form of colonialism. Indeed
on May 6, before leaving Dalat, French chief of delegation Max Andre
gave to Giáp--second to Nguyễn Tường Tam at the conference--a letter
addressed to Hồ, which read:
The New France does not intend to dominate
Indochina. But she wants to be present there. She does not consider her
work done yet. She refuses to abdicate her cultural mission. She feels
that only she can regulate and coordinate technology, economy, diplomacy
and defense. Finally she will preserve the moral and material interests
of the nationals.
All this within respect of the national
traits and with the active and friendly participation of the Indochinese
Dalat, April 5, 1946 (5)
Words in this letter were persistent,
disdainful, and arrogant. But Hồ did not seem to care. He continued to
send another delegation to France and got involved himself in the last
phase of the Fontainebleau Independence Talks. Prior to his departure,
Hồ ordered his legal collaborators in Hanoi, Huế and Saigon to liquidate
all nationalist parties' leaders and members who had cooperated with the
communists in the coalition government in the National Assembly and at
all regional levels. Other classes of intellectuals and sects' leaders
Tens of thousands of non communist people
were killed in this communist second phase of mass butchery. Nguyễn Hải
Thần, Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Nguyễn Tường Tam and Vũ Hồng Khanh fled to
China. Those who escaped the communist purge had few choices: to
disperse and regroup their parties later on or to turn to the French.
The armed forces of the VNQDD were broken
into pieces by the French forces of General Jean Etienne Valuy. By the
end of October, Valuy had established a series of garrisons and outposts
on the Sino-Vietnamese border and along colonial route #4 from Cao Bằng
to Lạng Sơn and Lào Kay in North Vietnam. On November 26, 1946, his
forces suddenly bombarded, attacked and seized the seaport of Hải Pḥng.
The fighting moved to Hanoi. On the night of December 19, Giáp ordered
the Việt Minh forces to launch an attack on the French in Hanoi and Hồ
returned to Pắc Bó to begin the "long war of resistance" against the
French. The First Vietnam War had exploded.
In the next eight years, the French not
only faced the Việt Minh on the military front, but also the Vietnamese
nationalists on the political and diplomatic fronts and finally with
their uneasy ally--the Americans on the political, diplomatic and
On the military front, the French had the
upper hand over the Việt Minh throughout Vietnam from South to North
from September 1945 to December 1949. In North Vietnam from November 7
to 22, 1947, General Valuy conducted the Lee operation in Việt Bắc with
an operational force of 20 battalions. His paratrooper units almost
captured Hồ and Giáp in Bắc Kạn or Chợ Mới. The Việt Minh forces
suffered 9,500 casualties and many of their supply depots were
However, once the Red Army--Hồng Quân--of
Mao Tse-tung had defeated and pushed the Nationalist Army of Chang
Kai-shek to Formosa (December 7, 1949) and Mao established the People's
Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China on October 1st, 1949, the
French had lost any hope to win the war in Vietnam. Mao offered to the
People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) of Giáp safe sanctuaries in several
provinces bordering North Vietnam. There, Giáp's large units could be
trained, armed and supplied by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Mao also ordered the formation of two important groups to help and
supervise Ho's communist party and Giap's army: the Chinese Political
Advisory Group (CPAG) and the Chinese Military Advisory Group (CMAG).
These two groups arrived at Giap's headquarters at Quảng Uyên in Việt
Bắc on August 12, 1950 and Chinese advisory groups were assigned to all
levels of Giáp's army. (6) The PAVN thus became the first armed forces
in Vietnam to have foreign advisors at its headquarters and combat
units--more than a decade before the army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
In the 1960's, the number of these Chinese political, military advisors,
specialists and technicians grew to more than 300,000 men in North
Vietnam. The famous Chinese General Chen Geng--Trần Canh--assigned to
Giáp's headquarters was ready for the Việt Minh's first offensive
- After losing base camp Đông Khê and two
large forces sent from Lạng Sơn and Cao Bằng to rescue it, French
General Marcel Carpentier ordered the abandonment of French garrisons
and base camps along the Sino-Vietnamese border. Việt Bắc had completely
fallen to the Việt Minh. The French switched back to the defensive mode.
In December, General de Lattre de Tassigny arrived in Saigon as High
Commissioner in Indochina and commander-in-chief of French forces. He
immediately ordered the establishment of a defensive system-- de Lattre
Line--to protect Hanoi, Hải Pḥng and several populous and wealthy
provinces in the Red River delta. The general expected to defeat the
communists in Vietnam in fifteen months and "save it from Peking and
Moscow." (7) But he failed and died of cancer on November 20, 1951.
-On January 13, 1951, Giáp launched the
second offensive campaign targeting the Red River delta and the de
Lattre line. His forces suffered huge losses in Vĩnh Yên and Mao Khê
when de Lattre counterattacked with napalm bombs and paratrooper units.
However, Giáp was able to maintain more than three divisions in the
delta and conducted several large attacks on French positions in Phú Lư,
Ninh B́nh, Nam Định and Phát Diệm, etc... within the de Lattre line.
-On October 24, 1952, Giáp moved eight
regiments to the northwest region of North Vietnam to attack French
garrisons in Nghĩa Lộ, Sơn La and Lai Châu in order to pave the way for
his large forces to invade Laos. French General Raoul Salan, who
replaced de Lattre, conducted the Lorraine operation in Việt Bắc in
November to prevent Giáp's forces from entering Laos, but failed.
-In April 1953, three PAVN divisions were
sent to Laos. In combination with small Pathet Lao units, these
divisions waged war by attacking French positions in the south of Luang
Prabang and in the Plain of Jars--Cánh Đồng Chum. In May, Paris
appointed General Henri Navarre as commander-in chief of French forces
-In the summer of 1953, the communist party
and the PAVN planned a winter-spring campaign (1953-1954) in the Red
River delta and cancelled their campaign in Laos.
-On August 27 and 29, Beijing leaders sent
two messages to Hồ through their CPAG's senior advisor Luo Guibo. One of
these read, "Eliminate the enemy in Lai Châu, liberate the northern and
central parts of Laos, then expand the battleground to southern Laos and
Cambodia to threaten Saigon." (8)
-In mid-November 1953, Giáp sent two
infantry divisions and part of an artillery division to Lai Châu to
invade Laos. General Navarre promptly decided to occupy Điện Biên Phủ, a
small valley village in a remote area straddling the crossroads between
Vietnamese and Laotian borders some 188 miles west of Hanoi. He sent
10,000 troops to transform the valley into a strong garrison and serve
as bait to entice Giáp's troops in order to destroy them with his crack
infantry and superior air power. He expected to confront Giáp's two
divisions but ended up facing four divisions with the most modern
Chinese artillery guns.
-At 1700 hours on March 13, 1954, the Việt
Minh began to attack Điện Biên Phủ. In the meantime, Giáp continued to
send several divisions to wage war in Laos. But all eyes were
concentrated on Điện Biên Phủ. Navarre had to reinforce the garrison
with his last reserve of 5,000 paratroopers.
At the same time, on the political front,
the French were dealing with South Vietnamese Nationalists who firmly
demanded independence from France. After being crushed by the combined
action of the French and the Viet Minh from July to November 1946, the
Đồng Minh Hội had disintegrated, the VNQDD split off into five branches
and the Đại Việt into four with their new leaders, being mostly
intellectuals. (9) Meanwhile a dozen of newly formed political parties,
associations and groups overly or secretly emerged in Hanoi, Hue, and
Saigon and other large cities. While a small number of intellectuals
cooperated with the French, in Nam Kỳ (South Vietnam) under the
temporary government of Prime Minister Nguyễn Văn Thinh, the majority of
Vietnamese intellectuals and nationalist parties' leaders and members
struggled for Vietnam's reunification and independence.
-On February 17, 1947, leaders and members
of several nationalist parties in exile formed the National United Front
in Nanking, China--Mặt Trận Quốc Gia Thống Nhứt Toàn Quốc. It received
participation from other nationalist parties' leaders and intellectuals
in the country.
-On March 17, 1947, the National United
Front issued a manifesto advocating the return of former Emperor Bảo Đại
and the creation of a Republic in Vietnam. Bảo Đại had abdicated his
throne in September 1945 and was honored by Hồ as his "Supreme Advisor."
Six months later, on March 18, 1946, while leading a delegation to
China, Bảo Đại sent his resignation to Hồ and remained in exile in Hong
-On September 9, 1947, the National United
Front sent a delegation of 24 delegates to meet Bảo Đại and to present
to him their manifesto. Notable figures in this delegation included Ngô
Đ́nh Diệm, Nguyễn Văn Sâm, Đinh Xuân Quảng, Nguyễn Tường Tam, Phan Quang
Đán, Trần Văn Tuyên, and Trần Văn Lư (governor of central Vietnam).
-On May 27, 1948, Bảo Đại cabled to Saigon
and appointed General Nguyễn Văn Xuân as prime minister.br />
--On June 5, 1948, Prime Minister Nguyễn
Văn Xuân, as Bảo Đại's official delegate, signed with French High
commissioner in Indochina--Cao Ủy Đông Dương--Emile Bollaert the "Ha
Long Agreement" on the reunification and independence for Vietnam in the
presence of Bảo Đại.
-On March 8, 1949, Bảo Đại signed with
French President Vincent Auriol the "Elysée Agreement" concerning the
formation of a Vietnamese National Army, a self-governing foreign
affairs and domestic affairs.
-On June 13, 1949, Bảo Đại returned to
Vietnam as Chief of State and formed the first cabinet of the Republic
of Vietnam with himself as prime minister and Nguyễn Văn Xuân as deputy
prime minister and defense minister. The Elysée Agreement was ratified
by the French National Assembly on January 29, 1950. Though France
"yielded control of neither Vietnam's army nor its foreign relations,"
the U.S. began to view the Bảo Đại solution with greater sense of
-On February 7, 1950, the U.S. formally
recognized the Republic of Vietnam. Britain and Australia also
recognized Vietnam as an associate state within the French Union. In the
following months, Vietnam became a member of six United Nations'
specialized agencies and was recognized by 37 other nations in the free
The political lines were finally drawn
within Vietnam. Hồ with his DRV was recognized by the communist bloc and
Bảo Đại with the Republic of Vietnam or Government of Vietnam (GVN) by
the free world.
However, both Hồ and Bảo Đại were deceived
by the new French colonialists. With the temporary March 6, 1946
Agreement, they could join forces with the Việt Minh to pacify North
Vietnam and eliminate nationalist parties--particularly the VNQDD and
its armed force, which had been supported by the nationalist forces of
Chang Kei-shek. Then with the Elysée Agreement, they could use Bảo Đại's
government and army to fight the Việt Minh. Indeed after the formation
of the Army of Vietnam (ARVN) from May 1951 to December 1953, all
Vietnamese units from battalion-size were placed under the command of
French forces to fight the war. Even in May 1952, when the ARVN had a
Joint General Staff, the French promoted a Vietnamese-born-French Air
force colonel, Nguyen Văn Hinh to Lt General and commander-in-chief of
the ARVN. After appointing four consecutive prime ministers (Nguyễn Phan
Long, Trần Văn Hữu, Nguyễn Văn Tâm, and Bữu Lộc) to deal with the
French, Bảo Đại left Vietnam and returned to France. He finally offered
Ngô Đ́nh Diệm the post of Prime Minister, which Diệm accepted with the
backing of the U.S.
Finally, the most dangerous opponents the
French had to face in Vietnam were their uneasy ally, the Americans.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had his own view on colonialism. On
many occasions, he refused to help the French to fight the Japanese and
attempted to push France out of its colonies. After the end of WWII, the
U.S. changed its policy in Indochina. President Harry S. Truman ordered
all Americans and two OSS intelligence teams out of Vietnam. With the
application of the "Truman Doctrine and Marshall's Plan" and the
"Deterrence Strategy," Truman considered the cooperation of Great
Britain and France in Europe vital for the U.S. to meet the growing
Soviet threat. In May and June 1945, French Foreign Affairs Georges
Bidault was informed that he U.S. would not interfere with French
foreign policy towards its colonies in Indochina. France reluctantly
accepted the Marshall plan to rebuild western European countries
including West Germany.
In Indochina, the FEF's pacification
operations to reoccupy their old colonies progressed favorably until the
end of 1949. But, by January 1950 after Mao had established the PRC in
mainland China, supported North Korean Army in its invasion of South
Korea, and transformed Việt Minh's small units into a well trained army
in sanctuaries along the Sino-Vietnamese borders, the U.S. had a
different view of French role in Orient.
-On May 1st, 1950, Truman approved US$10
million for urgently needed war materials for the French in Indochina.br
--In July 1950, French authorities in
Saigon unwillingly welcomed the arrival of the U.S. Military Assistance
Advisory Group-Indochina (MAAG-I) led by Brigadier General Francis G.
Brink. By the end of 1950, U.S. military aid to Indochina rose to US$100
millions after French General Carpentier lost Việt Bắc in September
1950, particularly after more than 300,000 Red Chinese troops fought
alongside the North Korean Army.
Communist China's threat became clear in
East and Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam. By providing military
aid to French forces in Indochina, the U.S. began to commit itself to
the war in Vietnam. The fighting in Vietnam was seen in a new
light--transforming it from a colonial war into an anti-communist war;
and the FEF was seen as a force fighting "a mandate war" (một cuộc chiến
ủy nhiệm) for the United States. French leaders knew of this concealment
but they thought they could win the war by exploiting American aid.
Since then, divergence, misunderstanding and discredit had silently
emerged between these two allies at every echelon. The wise and
prominent General de Lattre de Tassigny once openly declared, "In our
universe, and especially in our world today, there can be no nation
absolutely independent. There are only fruitful interdependencies and
harmful dependencies..." However, after his death, it became clear the
French could not win the war when, supported by Red China, several Viet
Minh divisions came up to Lai Châu in December 1952 and waged war in
Laos in April 1953. Laos then became an important strategic arena
receiving attention from both Beijing and Washington.
-In March 1953, French Prime Minister René
Mayer, minister of Foreign Affairs Georges Bidault and minister of the
Associated States of Indochina Jean Letourneau came to Washington to ask
for additional military aid for Indochina. They were granted US$385
million. By the end of 1952, the US had paid 40% of the US$700 million
French war's cost in Vietnam. The French were recommended to send two
divisions to Vietnam, draw pacification plans to win the war, and
develop the Army of Vietnam. Returning to Vietnam, Letourneau drew the
so called "Letourneau plan." He did nothing with his plan, but displayed
his "super king's power" over the real kings of Indochina. In
mid-November 1953, Giáp sent three divisions to invade Laos and four
other divisions to attack the French at Điện Biên Phủ. Within two weeks,
the garrison was cut off from the rest of the world, except for
unreliable parachute supplies.
-On April 1954, President Dwight D.
Eisenhower in a speech to Congress declared that the loss to Indochina
would cause the fall of Southeast Asia like "a set of dominoes." (12) In
the meantime, the Pentagon formulated a massive bombing scenario under
the code name "Operation Guernica Vulture" to save Điện Biên Phủ.
However, relying on U.S. Congress' indecision, the advice of the Army's
Chief of Staff, and Great Britain's opposition to such a perilous
intervention, Eisenhower refused to consider a military commitment to
Indochina, cancelled the Guernica Vulture operation and abandoned the
French to their own fate. Once the U.S. had made its decision, Điện Biên
Phủ fell. When the Viet Minh violently attacked the central command of
the garrison, its commander, Brigadier General de Castries was ordered
by General Navarre to surrender to the enemy at 1700 hours on May 7,
-On May 8, 1954 at the Geneva Convention, a
political solution for Vietnam was negotiated. A temporary partition of
Vietnam was to be created and on July 20 at 2400 hours, the Geneva
Accords were signed between French Brigadier General Henri Delteil and
DRV's deputy minister of defense Tạ Quang Bữu. Delegates of Great
Britain, the USSR, Cambodia, and Laos signed the accords while the U.S.
and the State of Vietnam refused to sign. The 17th parallel became the
border between the communist North and the Republican South.
By the time the war came to an end in July
1954, the U.S. had paid to the French US$1 billion for war expenditures
in Indochina and another billion through the Marshall Plan for economic
aid and reconstruction of France. The French were the big losers. They
not only had to pull out of North Vietnam, but also had to leave South
Vietnam a year later under the aggressive demand of Prime Minister Ngô
Đ́nh Diệm and U.S. pressure.
General Navarre claimed that the U.S.
should not have abandoned Điện Biên Phủ. Had it intervened, it would not
have had to become involved later in the Vietnam war. However, the U.S.
could not let South Vietnam and the rest of Indochina fall into the
hands of the communists. Eisenhower had combined Roosevelt's and
Truman's policies: "termination of French role in Indochina by whatever
means" and "containment of communist expansion" in Southeast Asia and
crystallized these into a new one: "Replacing the French in Indochina
and holding it." (13)
Later, De Gaulle warned Eisenhower's
successor, "The ideology that you invoke will not change anything...You
Americans wanted, yesterday, to take our place in Indochina. You want to
assure a succession, to rekindle a war that we have ended. I predict to
you that, step by step, you will be sucked into a bottomless military
and political quagmire." (14) This statement from the French President
was not only a warning, but also an expression of resentment and anger
against the U.S. government. Relationship between the two governments
had not been smooth since the end of the first Vietnam War.
I would like to apologize for keeping you
too long with details about the First Vietnam War. But the latter
teaches us many lessons. It is like a Pandora box which lures people
with its charming appearance but contains every sin, misery and
misfortune. Indeed, behind every beautiful word is hidden a device that
would lead to catastrophe or death.
A day after declaring "independence" in
1945, Hồ ordered the killing of tens of thousands of people. A week
after forming a "coalition government" with leaders of nationalist
parties (March 3, 1946), Hồ signed with Sainteny a temporary agreement
on March 6 and joined forces with the French to annihilate other
nationalist parties and massacre their leaders (July-October 1946). More
than 40,000 people lost their lives in this second phase of communist
mass killing. The Vietnamese communists had never tolerated
intellectuals who did not work for them, especially those who were well
known; Phạm Quỳnh, Huỳnh Phú Sổ, Nguyễn An Ninh were the examples. Many
who fought within the Viet Minh ranks were not communists. They were
neither mesmerized by Hồ's oratory or hypnotic qualities nor overwhelmed
by communists' propaganda catch phrases, but by threats of death or "
isolation" of themselves and their families. These practices will emerge
with more ferocity in the next phase of the war.
From the French, we have learned that
their beautiful terms such as "independence," "free state," "agreement"
have no value but only conceal schemes of bondage, compulsion, and
deception. By signing agreements with Hồ, they were able to move troops
to North Vietnam. By signing the Ha Long and Elysée agreements, they
could temporarily solve chaotic political problems and demand more
military aid from the U.S.
We have learned little from the U.S. in
the First Vietnam War. The biggest lesson the U.S. had learned was that
the "abandonment" of the Chinese Nationalist Army of Chang Kei-shek led
to the loss of mainland China to Mao's communists. After the Japanese
surrendered on August 14, 1945, civil war between these forces renewed
immediately. As commander of the U.S. "China Theater" and Chief of Staff
of Chang Kei-shek, General Albert C. Wedemeyer successfully helped to
reorganize Chang's troops into a well trained and well equipped army and
provided sea and airlift to move the 500,000 troops to north and central
China. (15) The outcome of the war looked bright for the Nationalist
Army in these regions.
-In August 1945, U.S. Ambassador to China
Patrick J. Hurley personally escorted Mao to Chung King (Trùng Khánh) to
meet Chang for a peace talk. But the conference broke down and the
Ambassador resigned. Returning to America, he blamed his failure on the
"destructive efforts of pro-communist American Foreign Service
-On December 14, 1945, Truman sent General
George C. Marshall to China as his personal representative with full
powers to mediate the dispute between Mao and Chang. Under pressure,
Chang and Mao signed an agreement in February 1946 to unify their main
forces into one national army of 50 divisions (40 nationalist and 10
communist). The agreement broke down within a few weeks after Soviet
forces leaving Manchuria left all captured Japanese military equipment
to the Chinese communists--enough to equip the entire communist army of
Mao. The war broadened violently and Chang's forces pushed Mao's forces
back to their strongholds in North China. Chang's offensive campaigns
were successful from March to July 1946.
-On July 29, 1946, Marshall "annoyed by
the nationalist offensive and under strong communist propaganda against
U.S. assistance to the Nationalists, ordered an embargo on all U.S.
military supplies to both sides. This actually only affected the
Nationalist army since the communists had received captured Japanese
military equipment." (17)
-In September 1946, U.S. Marines and other
large combat units began withdrawing from China. This was further
interpreted as a U.S. abandonment of the Nationalist government. On
November 8, Chang informed General Marshall about his willingness to
talk to Mao on peace. The communists rejected Chang's overture and
-On January 6, 1947, Marshall reported the
failure of his peace missions and was recalled to Washington. A
contingent of 12,000 US Marines were also ordered to withdraw from
Since October 1947, the communist army
regained its ability on the battlefield. Elsewhere in Manchuria, North
and central China, they held the initiative. Since November 1948, many
field armies of Chang had desperately fought without supplies and
ammunitions. In two years (October 1947-August 1949), Chang suffered the
consecutive losses of many large provinces in North and central China,
the northern bank of the Yangtze River, including Peking.
-In February 1949, the last U.S. 3rd
Marine Regiment in China was ordered back to America, confirming the
abandonment of the Nationalist government. On April 20, two field armies
of Mao crossed the Yangtze River and captured Nanking two days later.
-On August 5, 1949, the fatal coup came
when the U.S. State Department issued the "White Paper" criticizing the
Nationalist government of Chang and formally cutting off further
military aid. (18) The rest of mainland China fell to the communists a
few months later.
-On December 7, Chang's government and
remaining troops completed their withdrawal to Formosa. Although the
U.S. resumed economic and military assistance to Chang's government, it
was too late, Mao and his CCP had established a rigid totalitarian
communist regime in mainland China. Their socialist revolution had
smashed the four-thousand year-old Confucian society. In foreign
affairs, Mao's ambition was clear, "We must by all means seize Southeast
Asia including Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore." (19)
Thus the U.S. greatest strategist Marshall
who had "been annoyed" in 1946 by Chang's temporary victories over the
communists contributed a great part to the loss of mainland China to the
communists in 1949. Since that time, Red China has been a dangerous
threat to its neighbors and the U.S.
Sometimes, I wonder how much the U.S. has
learned from its policies of "supporting and abandoning its ally? Had
the U.S. not abandoned Chang's army, China would not have turned red and
the First Vietnam War would not have happened. Or at least, France would
have easily controlled the Viet Minh. Had the U.S. continued to support
France at Điện Biên Phủ, there would not have been a second Vietnam War.
And the three Indochinese countries would have changed differently,
perhaps with less bloodshed, destruction and resentment.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PERIOD OF
CONSOLIDATION AND THE SECOND VIETNAM WAR
There was a period of nine years (October
1954-Oct 1963) during which the DRV and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN)
consolidated their regimes. It could be called the "Ethical War between
North and South." Indeed, immorality and morality were the
characteristic features of the northern and southern doctrines of the
In North Vietnam, Hồ and leaders of the
communist party, strongly supported by the Soviet Union and Red China,
erected their totalitarian regime with extreme ferocity and immorality.
After the Viet Minh's take-over of Hanoi in mid-October 1954 and while
the exodus of one million people was not yet completed, Hồ and other
leaders of the VWP immediately formulated a new strategy "to consolidate
the North and to aim for the South" (cũng cố miền Bắc và chiếu cố miền
To consolidate the North, Hồ strengthened
the internal organization of the party, the government and the people's
army by purging possible reactionaries; established a "parallel
hierarchy" from the top down to all executive and administrative levels
and in the army; created organizations to control personnel at all
levels. Other organizations were also created to control all the
Vietnamese people, such as the Mặt Trận Liên Việt--the National United
Front, which was composed of youth groups, farmers, workers, war
veterans, and other associations. The "Social Socialist reform” was
strictly executed as we have learned in the first part of the paper.
These audacious measures transformed every wealthy person into an
empty-handed man, every store owner into a tax debtor and any
intellectual into a prisoner for life. All of French’s former employees,
officers, soldiers and influential people, who for whatever reason could
not migrate to South Vietnam during the 300-day "official evacuation"
from August 1954 to May 1955, were silently sent to isolated reeducation
camps in forested areas in Tây Bắc and Việt Bắc. Their families were
forced to relocate to remote new economic zones. It was estimated that
about 300,000 people were forced to leave Hanoi and other cities and
towns to endure a harsh and miserable life. The number of those who were
secretly liquidated was unknown. However, the most horrible crime
committed by Hồ and his men was the "land reform."
The Land Reform program was adopted from
Mao's. Hồ formally applied the first campaign in 1953-1954 in Việt Bắc.
This campaign was premature as the VWP controlled only half of North
Vietnam's territory. Decrees were issued to reclassify peasants into
five classes: landlords, rich farmers, medium farmers, poor peasants,
and laborers. Landlords were further classified into three categories:
1) traitors, reactionaries, and cruel landlords; 2) ordinary landlords;
3) resistance landlords or those who participated in the resistance
against the French (1949- 1954). Trường Chinh, Secretary General of the
VWP, was named President of the Land Reform Central Committee. He sent
his expert cadres, who had learned the procedures from the Chinese to
experimental sites to lead poor and landless peasants (bần cố nông) in
enacting the reform. The reform was inhumane because the landlord was
arrested, treated like a mad dog, then badly tortured before being
dragged to an open area to be denounced for any imaginary crime by the
mass. If sentenced to death, he was immediately shot after the trial.
The process was also immoral since the crime-denouncer, who had been
selected and coached in advance by the cadres, would be a son, daughter,
sibling or relative of the "criminal." Properties of the condemned
landlord were then confiscated.
The most atrocious policies of the land
reform were its "isolation" and "connection." Isolation meant that
family members of the condemned landlord were isolated in his home and
forbidden to leave for any reason, to work or purchase food. The period
lasted three or four months. As a result, most of the victims died by
starvation, children and elderly first. Connection meant that those
related to the condemned landlord were punished like the landlord or
isolated with their family members. Resistance landlords were similarly
punished like the other landlords.
The land reform campaign, which started on
March 11, 1955 was cancelled by Hồ in March 1956 when the number of
victims rose to 500,000 or more. (21) Vơ Nguyên Giáp was assigned to
rectify the program through the so-called "Rectification of Errors
campaigns." Although Trường Chinh was dismissed from his position, he
was not disciplined. The reform campaign and the purge of reactionaries
in cities and towns ignited violent peasant revolts in Nam Định, Ninh
B́nh, Nam Đàn and Quỳnh Lưu. These revolts were bloodily suppressed by
the people's army, which killed or executed thousands of peasants. While
coverage of the land reform's revolts was minimal, the literary revolt
of intellectuals and men of letters in Hanoi was known in several Asian
and European countries. The real cause of this revolt was the VWP's
humiliation and oppression of intellectuals combined with the purge of
nationalists, reactionaries and landowners.
The literary revolt started in Hanoi in
February 1956 with the appearance of "Giải Phẩm Mùa Xuân," or the
"Spring Selection of Literary Pieces" from a group of talented
composers, artists, writers, and poets. The short poem Mr. Lime Pot
compared the aging Hồ--who had become more cruel and less discerning as
years passed by--to a lime pot, the opening of which narrowed day by day
by the accumulation of dehydrated lime. The author was Lê Đạt, a cadre
of the Center for Propaganda and Training Directorate (Cục Tuyên Huấn
Trung Ưong). The other two editors of the Giải Phẩm were poet Hoàng Cầm
and poet and composer Văn Cao. The other contributors were notable
writers and poets in North Vietnam. All of them had participated in the
resistance against the French. The 500 verse- poem by Trần Dần entitled
Nhất Định Thắng (To win at all cost) hinted that Hồ had stabbed people
in the back during his commitment to cut Vietnam in half. This led to
the migration of one million people to the South transforming Hanoi into
a sullen and oppressive place drowned by a multitude of red flags. In
the following issues of the Giải Phẩm, other writers people contributed
many anti-regime articles. They included Nguyễn Hữu Đang, former Hồ's
intimate and DRVN's deputy minister of propaganda; Professor Trương Tửu,
a Marxist critic; Professor Đào Duy Anh, a notable scholar and
lexicographer; Professor Trần Đức Thảo, a philosopher who taught for a
time at the Sorbonne in Paris; and Phan Khôi, an advanced Confucian
scholar, journalist, writer, and poet. Phan Khôi was also the editor of
the Bán Nguyệt San Nhân Văn--biweekly Humanities--the first issue
appearing in Hanoi on September 15, 1956. Nhân Văn and Giải Phẩm became
the anti-regime literary movement.
The Nhân Văn contained more political
articles than the Giải Phẩm, although both papers revealed the dark side
of an unjust communist society. They attacked the VWP leaders of
corruption and nepotism and the communist regime for its atrocities and
totalitarianism. All issues of Giải Phẩm and Nhân Văn were warmly
received by the public. In a short fiction, Trần Duy described the VWP
leaders as "giants without heart." Như Mai insinuated that the VWP
literary cadres who wrote with the monotonous style of Tô Hữu--director
of the Center of Propaganda and Training directorate--were "robot
poets." Phùng Cùng alluded that every faded talent such as Nguyễn Đ́nh
Thi, Huy Cận, Huy Thông, Xuân Diệu, Nguyễn Công Hoan, Nguyễn Tuân, and
so on...was like the "old horse of Lord Trịnh."
Reactions to these literary cadres was
firm. Professor Nguyễn Mạnh Tường--who had obtained a double doctorate
degree in laws and letters in Paris at the age of 22 and returned to
Vietnam to serve the DRVN under the direct appeal of Hồ--gave a speech
against the VWP's policy and pledged more individual freedom and the
return of the rule of law. He was also considered a reactionary of the
Nhân Văn and Giải Phẩm movement. The latter lasted until December 1956
when Hanoi students became involved in the revolt with the publication
of Đất Mới--the New Land magazine. The VWP took immediate action by
seizing all issues of the magazine. Hồ signed a decree on December 9,
1956, banning freedom of press. On December 15, the VWP ordered the
closing of the Nhân Văn and Giải Phẩm magazines. The literary movement
had come to an end. All founders, contributors, supporters and anyone
who had any connection with the magazines were expulsed from the
associations, sent to remote labor camps or taken into custody. Trần Đức
Thảo and Nguyễn Mạnh Tường who had come back from France to serve the
Hanoi government were sent to reeducation camps and spent the rest of
their lives in miserable condition. The majority of people arrested were
students; many never returned home and others committed suicide.
Thereafter, the VWP regained control of all arts and letters
associations and activities.
With the purge of all "internal enemies"
who belonged to the classes of intellectuals, capitalists, and
landowners within the party, government, Hồ and the VWP took total
control of the population and consolidated the bases of a socialist
society in North Vietnam. By the end of 1960, they began to strategize
their conquest of the South.
The biggest lesson we have learned was
that these "giants without hearts" had won the war against their people
in North Vietnam not by winning their "hearts and minds" but by their
inhumane and immoral oppression. We have also learned that these giants
never tolerated intellectuals who opposed them on any political issue
and always considered them as "internal enemies" simply because they
were intellectuals. Nowadays, overseas intellectuals wishing to serve
the giants have to learn more about the cases of Professors Trần Đức
Thảo and Nguyễn Mạnh Tường.
In South Vietnam, Prime Minister Ngô Đ́nh
Diệm when facing with the severe social, military and political impacts
of the post division turbulent period, always maintained his wisdom and
toughness in order to solve problems. His dominance was clearly shown by
his ethical behavior and his natural leadership.
In the social domain, with the aid of U.S.
Colonel Landsdale--his advisor--Diệm received nearly one million
refugees from North Vietnam with benevolence. Refugees--79 percent
Catholics, 11 percent Buddhists, and 10 percent others--were resettled
in several large cities or fertile lands in the Mekong delta according
to their classes or careers. However, they were free to choose the means
to rebuild their lives. People who had lived in Hanoi were resettled in
Saigon, Gia Định, G̣ Vấp or Biên Ḥa. Each family received an allowance
of 800-1000 đồng (about $US300). Families resettling in the
provinces--for example in Nha Trang--were given one house per family.
The United States in 1955 and 1956 contributed more than $US129 million
to the refugees. Those who wanted to further their studies could go back
to school and apply for jobs in government's organizations or private
businesses. Schooling was free for children.
In just a few years, these northern
refugees began contributing to the consolidation of the first free
political regime in the South, the development of the army and the
building of South Vietnam. New literary pieces were written by Doăn Quốc
Sĩ, Dương Nghiễm Mâu, Mai Thảo, Nguyễn Mạnh Côn, Thảo Trường, Nguyên Sa,
Cung Trầm Tưởng, Thanh Tâm Tuyền and so on....
In the military domain, after the 1954
Geneva Accords went into effect, the French who withdrew completely from
North Vietnam wanted to remain in South Vietnam. General Paul Ely became
High Commissioner in Indochina and FEF's Commander-in-chief. Lt. Colonel
Nguyễn Văn Hinh--a naturalized Frenchman--was promoted Lt. General and
made Chief of Staff of the South Vietnamese National Army. Diệm asked
Bảo Đại--who lived in France--to release General Hinh and transfer the
National Army to the Saigon government. Under pressure from Washington,
the French withdrew from Vietnam in April 1956 allowing Diệm to realize
his plans of reuniting the different nationalist forces into a unique
army. The first military campaign to sweep the B́nh Xuyên forces out of
Saigon was successfully accomplished by the end of April. In the
following months, two other Cao Đài and Ḥa Hảo armed forces were also
pacified and their soldiers were integrated into the National Army (ARVN).
With the help of Lt. General Samuel Williams, U.S. MAAG's Commander,
Diệm by December 1956 transformed the ARVN into a force--eight
divisions-- capable of withstanding a North Vietnamese invasion long
enough to allow U.S. intervention within the framework of SEATO
(Southeast Asia Treaty Organization). From 1956 to the end of 1960, in
conjunction with the strategic hamlets' program, the ARVN had
neutralized 16,000 Việt Minh cadres who had remained in South Vietnam.
South Vietnamese territory from the demilitarized zone on the southern
bank of the Bến Hải River to the point of Camau was controlled by that
On the political arena, ten days before
Ho's troops entered Hanoi to take control of North Vietnam from the
French, President Eisenhower sent a letter to Prime Minister Diệm
expressing his willingness "to assist the Government of Vietnam in
developing and maintaining a strong, viable state capable of resisting
attempted subversion or aggression through military means..." (22) It
was clear that the U.S. supported South Vietnam against any communist
aggression. Diệm was then elected President in October 1955. In March
1956, 123 members were elected to the Congress under a Republican
constitution. A regime based on democracy and "spiritual Personalism"
One might want to compare the two dogmatic
doctrines of two leaders of North and South Vietnam.
Hồ turned out to be an atrociously evil
leader who consolidated his power in the North and transformed it into a
socialist society. Communism, which highlighted the proletariat behave
like an absolute dictatorship with Hồ appearing like an image of death
holding a sickle. Diệm was a virtuous moralist and leader who molded the
South with benevolence and morality. "Spiritual Personalism" (Chủ Thuyết
Cần Lao Nhân Vị) was a philosophy applicable to the building of a better
humane society. It emphasized the dignity of human beings or humanism
which contrasted with communism. This political and social philosophy
was, however, unknown to political makers in Washington and South
Vietnam. Only members of the Spiritual Personalist Party (Đảng Cần Lao
Nhân Vị) who assembled around President Diệm's brothers—Adviser Ngô Đ́nh
Nhu in Saigon, Monsignor Ngô Đ́nh Thục in the Mekong Delta, Ngô Đ́nh Cẩn
in Huế--would know its doctrinal dogmas and perhaps only intellectuals
within the party would know how to combine these doctrines with
democratic practices. As a result, only a small group of people was
handling national power for years causing problems for Diệm and his
family. The regime was accused of autocracy, nepotism, corruption, and
anti-Buddhism that led to the November 1960 and 1963 coups d'état. The
second coup disrupted the First Republic killing President Diệm and his
The biggest lesson we have learned from
that period of consolidation was the propaganda and the ethics in
politics. In North Vietnam, Hồ and the VWP's leaders were expert in
appealing to patriotism, national pride, and traditional xenophobia to
lure people into a war against "white invaders" and their puppets. On
the other hand, they forced the populace to do whatever they wanted with
their atrocious measures. The lack of propaganda in the South would
topple the democratic regime and cost the lives of President Diệm and
his brother Nhu. Sometimes, I wonder why Nhu, the erudite strategist of
South Vietnam, did not spread the dogmas of Spiritual Personalism widely
into the populace, but secretly kept them with members of the party? Why
did Diệm not explain clearly these dogmas to his supporters in
Washington and suggest the use of Personalism as the main theory for
confronting Communism? Although Washington misunderstood or did not
understand Diệm's philosophy, I personally appreciate his morality in
politics and adore his dignity as a true leader of Vietnam. He lives
eternally in our hearts and minds.
The Second Vietnam War has taught us many
valuable lessons and clarified some paradoxes. One of the mysteries of
U.S. foreign policy toward Vietnam, Southeast Asia and China during that
period has rekindled numerous debates, discussions, and symposia for
decades after the war's end. Although international historians,
observers, politicians and strategists have dissected American
strategies and policies of U.S. Presidents, no satisfactory answer has
emerged. The answer rests in the study of U.S. policies toward Red
China, which was the key that unlocked the war. Vietnamese authors have
written thousands of pages on this subject. I have devoted 200 pages of
my 270-page book on this matter. In this paper, I would like to just
make a few remarks.
American foreign policy was based on
containing Chinese communist aggression. The U.S. took the lead in
forming an anti-communist regional organization: SEATO, which comprised
Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, France,
United Kingdom, and the US. South Vietnam being the front line of
deterrence against the communists was strongly supported by the
Eisenhower administration. The objectives were "to prevent North Vietnam
from overthrowing the anti-communist Saigon regime and to allow the
South Vietnamese to live in freedom under a government of their choice."
The stability and growth of South Vietnam during the Eisenhower's period
demonstrated the success of his foreign policy. From 1955 to 1960,
President Diệm had reestablished order over a fractional and chaotic
South Vietnam and consolidated it into a republican constitutional
Unfortunately, the situation dramatically
changed under the Kennedy administration, which wanted to transform this
anti-communist fortress into a testing ground for a counter-insurgency
war. This led to a "military escalation" in South Vietnam as the new
president declared on a press conference in May 5, 1961 that the U.S.
might consider the use of forces if necessary to help South Vietnam
resist communist pressure. (24) Diệm and Nhu let the U.S. Ambassador in
Saigon unambiguously know that the "people of South Vietnam did not want
U.S. combat troops." (25) In spite of their opposition,
counterinsurgency was applied in South Vietnam. MAAG changed into MACV
(Military Assistance Command Vietnam). The "Eagle flights"--first
helicopter units were dispatched to South Vietnam. The Green Beret Corps
was organized and several large units were sent to central Vietnam to
train South Vietnamese Special Forces and to carry secret missions in
North Vietnam and Laos. The "Eleven Point Program" was signed between
Saigon and Washington on January 2, 1962 to implement pacification plans
in the central highlands and the Mekong Delta. On February 15, 1962,
Senator Robert F. Kennedy said, "We are going to win in Vietnam; we will
remain there until we do win." (26)
American military advisors in South
Vietnam increased from 900 to more than 22,000 by the end of 1962.
Although the "Eleven Point Program" was excellent, committing combat
troops to South Vietnam was Kennedy's first big mistake. His second
mistake was to neutralize Laos. According to Averell Harriman, the U.S.
should keep the Laotian Royal Force to safeguard Louang Prabang and
Vientiane and concede the eastern part of Laos to the communist Pathet
Laos. The January 23, 1962 Geneva Accords, which benefited the North
Vietnamese Army (NVA) allowed it to develop the Hồ Chí Minh trail in
order to infiltrate and transport supplies and war equipment to South
Vietnam. At least 35,000 men and women of the NVN 559th Special Group
were placed under the command of Colonels Vơ Bầm and Đồng Sĩ Nguyên to
develop the trail. Had the trail not existed, the Second Vietnam War
would not have existed in South Vietnam.
However, Kennedy's biggest mistake was his
arbitrary and brutal handling of the South Vietnamese leadership and his
allowing ARVN generals to foment a coup d'état that killed Diệm and Nhu.
President Diệm was the last strong leader South Vietnam ever had. His
death became a tragedy for South Vietnam as well as for the United
Three weeks later, Kennedy was
assassinated in Dallas. New President Lyndon Johnson inherited his
predecessor's legacy along with several problems:
1) the tacit war in Laos, which resulted
from the 1962 Geneva Accords
2) the Harriman line in Laos that allowed
North Vietnam to exploit and develop the trail;
3) the chaotic, political, and economic
situation and the anarchy in Saigon;
4) the U.S. military engagement in South
While in South Vietnam, the arc of
communist insurgency approached closer to Saigon and several cities in
the central highlands and central Vietnam, in Washington, Johnson faced
the painful reality of reconciling his Vietnam's nightmare with his
dream of a "greater society" in America. He was determined to handle
both issues at the same time.
Johnson continued Kennedy's strategy by
maintaining almost all of Kennedy's team of advisers who had formulated
war strategies for Vietnam. These politicians and bureaucrats, known as
the "lunch bunch powers," soon devised strategies and tactics for South
and North Vietnam and Laos. North Vietnam continued to send tens of
thousands of troops through the trail while in Saigon, the struggle for
national power continued with several coups d'état between generals. The
French derisively called it "La Guerre des Capitaines"--the War of the
Captains. In such a chaotic situation, the U.S. carried out the strategy
of "high profile defensive war," which meant more combat troops to
protect the DMZ, important seaports and airports. After the Maddox
crisis produced the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (August 7, 1964), the
Second Vietnam War really exploded with the first American air campaign
"Operation Plan 37-64" bombing against North Vietnam. MACV commander,
General William Westmoreland argued that the bombing of North Vietnam
would not be enough. Since Hanoi would logically retaliate in South
Vietnam, he requested more combat troops for the battlefield. However,
the war Westmoreland wanted was not in South Vietnam, but in the
southern part of Laos. In early 1966, he sent his plans to Washington
with the main goal of repairing and developing the international highway
9 from Quảng Trị in central Vietnam through the central part of the
Laotian panhandle to Savannaket on the east bank of the Mekong River.
This Westmoreland's line would be held by a U.S. corps-sized unit, which
would block the Hồ Chi Minh trail and become the front line war.
Westmoreland's proposal was supported by U.S. Ambassador Ellsworth
Bunker. Unfortunately, it was rejected by the "lunch bunch powers."
Later Bunker disclosed, "Shortly after I arrived, I sent a message to
the President urging that we go into Laos. If we cut the trail, the Viet
Cong, I thought, would wither on the wine. What kept them going were
supplies, weapons, and ammunitions from Hanoi." (27)
Two years earlier, U.S. Admirals Grant
Sharp and Thomas Moorer had respectively proposed to destroy the Nanning-Hanoi
and Kumming-Hanoi railroads and to blockade Hải Pḥng seaport to control
supplies of war materials from Red China and the USSR. These proposals
were also rejected.
As a result, the war could not be won by
air campaigns alone with restricted objectives based on Washington's
"limited war" concept. Indeed, CIA and DIA (Defense Intelligence
Department of the U.S. Department of Defense) had concluded that the
Rolling Thunder air campaigns against North Vietnam (March 1965-March
1968) and the Igloo-White, which targeted the Hồ Chi Minh trail, could
not deter the flow of North Vietnamese manpower and supplies to South
Vietnam. Consequently, Westmoreland had to fight a "Search and Destroy"
mission within the boundaries of the South Vietnamese territory. NVA
sanctuaries along Vietnamese- Laotian and Cambodian borders were left
untouched. By the end of 1967, he had under his command more than
500,000 U.S. troops, 60,000 Allied combat units (Australia, New Zealand,
South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines) and 500,000 South Vietnamese
troops. With all these forces in hand, he still could not destroy NVA
and VC divisions in South Vietnam. We know better what a limited war was
and why the war could not be won under these circumstances.
Had the proposed Westmoreland's line
materialized and the Hồ Chí Minh trail cut, there would not have been a
Khe Sanh and a Tet Offensive to defeat Johnson. And the Second Vietnam
War would have been solved differently.
Then the best designs envisioned by the
Johnson administration would have materialized for South Vietnam
including the creation of Second Republic of Vietnam and the development
of its armed forces. The ARVN became the RVNAF (Republic of Vietnam
Armed Forces) on June 19, 1965. This armed forces later showed that it
could fiercely face the strong and skillful NVA anytime and on any
front. South Vietnamese people were deeply indebted to their armed
force, which protected them and defeated the ferocious NVA in small or
large battles during the Second Vietnam War until a fateful political
solution disposed it from existence.
After Johnson turned down his party's
nomination for a second presidency, Americans began to oppose the long,
costly and deadly war in Vietnam. The anti-war movements amplified their
voices across America. General Frederic C. Weyand, former U.S. Army
Chief of Staff, once stated, "Vietnam was a reaffirmation of the
particular relationship between the American Army and the American
people. The American Army really is a people's army in the sense that it
belongs to the American people who take a jealous and proprietary
interest in its involvement. When the Army is committed, the American
people is committed; when the American people lose their commitment, it
is futile to try to keep the Army's commitment." (28)
After the communist 1968 Tết Offensive,
the American people lost their commitment. Thus, this important
offensive should be considered as the turning point of the war.
1) Everywhere, during the first minutes of
this offensive, surprise was complete. The most serious psychological
event was the attack on the U.S. Embassy building that shocked
Washington and caused more problems for South Vietnam despite the fact
it was a suicidal strike and the NVA had suffered heavy casualties.
2) The RVNAF proved its ability,
reliability, and competence in fighting the enemy. Communist troops were
either held in place, crushed to pieces, or pushed back. Overall, more
than 60,000 NVA troops had been killed, several thousand others
surrendered or rallied to our side. The morale of communist units were
at all time low and VC forces were almost completely annihilated.
3) Perhaps this disastrous disruption of
the NVA and VC in the South was not reported to Westmoreland in detail
causing him to ask Washington for an additional 200,000 combat troops
for Vietnam. On March 10, 1969 the New York Times by disclosing the
request sent a shock wave to the nation. On March 19, the House of
Representatives passed a resolution calling for an immediate review by
Congress of U.S. war policy in Vietnam. On March 22, Johnson announced
that Westmoreland was promoted to Army Chief of Staff and would leave
Vietnam in June.
Had Westmoreland not asked for additional
troops for Vietnam, he would have won the war without discussion or
suspicion. And if Johnson, in retaliation for the NVA's Tet Offensive,
had taken decisions to destroy sanctuaries along the borders and stiffen
the Rolling Thunder air campaign against Hanoi without target
restriction in addition to blockading Hai Phong seaport, the war would
have been won. How could the USSR and China intervene for a retaliation
to the communists' attack on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon?
Other facts deserve consideration.
According to Johnson's newly assigned
Secretary of Defense and Chief of the "Tet Inquiry Task Force" Melvin
Laird, the Pentagon had no plan to "win the war." (29) No plan meant
that the U.S. had no intention to win the war against North Vietnam by
force. Had the U.S. decided to win the war, it could have done in one of
the two opportunities I have cited above by using its air power and
manpower in an offensive war. The war was no longer "absolutely
winnable" under Nixon administration because three factors had tilted in
favor of the NVA: 1) Thời Cơ: time and opportunities; 2) Nhân Hoà: The
United States lost its populace support; 3) Địa Lợi: geographical
advantage (the NVA had completed the Ho Chi Minh trail and a number of
sanctuaries along South Vietnam’s border). In addition, the Nixon
administration had opened diplomatic relations with Red China and
abandoned South Vietnam by using "Vietnamization" to withdraw its troops
and "Peace with Honor" to open peace talks with North Vietnam and to
surrender through the January 1973 Paris Accords. President Ford
inherited the previous legacy and completed it with the policy "Forget
about Vietnam." The architect of these policies was Henry Kissinger.
One may ask why Nixon and Kissinger had
escalated the war in Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam while pursuing the
peace policies. Winston Lord, one of Kissinger's aides mentioned, "The
President (Nixon) felt that he had to demonstrate that he couldn't be
trifled with--and frankly, to demonstrate our toughness to Thiệu." (30)
In fact, the air campaign not only forced Hanoi to come back to the
Paris talks, but also threatened President Thiệu to accept the coming
peace treaty being negotiated between Kissinger and Thọ. Two other
incursions of the ARVN into Cambodian and Laotian territories
respectively in April 1970 and January 1971were also Kissinger's
designs, his experiments prior to making a final decision. However,
under the brilliant command of their clever, illustrious, and spirited
commanders and generals, ARVN units had always shown their fierce,
intense and sprightly competence at the battleground. Their ability and
effectiveness were also widely highlighted during the Red Summer
communist offensive of 1972, when communists again and again exposed
their inhumanity and immorality by killing en masse innocent refugees on
the "Avenue of Horror" (Highway 1 in Quang Tri) and on route 13 south of
An Loc and by randomly shelling cities causing thousands of dead and
wounded civilians. Likewise, an immoral politician would ponder how to
destroy an impediment that would obstruct his nastily political scheme.
The RVNAF was that impediment. The Peace treaty was hastily signed
causing this heroic armed forces to fight an imbalanced war without
supplies and ammunition like Chang Kei shek's Nationalist Army did in
1948-1949 in China. That was Kissinger's scheme.
Had Kissinger not planned to abandon South
Vietnam in 1973 during the Vietnamization period, but instead helped the
RVNAF to build up at least six more infantry divisions and two more air
force divisions and continued military aid, South Vietnam would have
survived. However, this was an ILLUSION. The fate of South Vietnam had
been sealed on January 21, 1969 when the White House heard echoes of
anti-war demonstrators from the Lincoln Memorial.
In conclusion, we have learned many
lessons from the 30-year Vietnam War. A last important issue is worthy
of note. John Ehrlichman, Nixon's domestic affairs adviser commented
that Nixon had "won a prize in opening China and in forging some kind of
alliance with China and Russia--and if the price of that was a cynical
peace in Vietnam, then historians are going to have to weigh the
morality and pragmatism and all these things that historians like to
Though I am not a historian, I thought and
agreed with some American historians and strategists that by losing
South Vietnam, the United States had closed the Red Chinese Tiger in its
den and saved Southeast Asia. Now I know I was WRONG. After several
decades of cajoling China, the latter has become a fearsome tiger with
two strong wings that would not allow it to stay still. In the last
decade, its first wing--a vibrant economy--has established its soft
power (quyền lực mềm) in Africa and large parts of the world; and its
second wing--its armed force, especially the Navy--has begun to
challenge U.S. Navy for the control of South Pacific Ocean and to become
a new threat for Indochina, Southeast Asia including Brunei and Borneo.
Its hard power will soon come to Vietnam first. In the next decade, the
"Yellow Peril" (hoàng họa) will become a worldwide threat.
The losses of mainland China in 1949 and
South Vietnam in 1975 are the biggest lessons we should learn. The last
thing I would like to mention is, "Ethics in politics brings less
misfortune for mankind."
1. Van Nguyen Duong.The Tragedy of the
Vietnam War.Jefferson, NC, McFarland. 2008: v.
2. Ưng Tŕnh. Ngoại Giao Sử. Tân Văn
Magazine #23. CA, Little Saigon Pub, May 2009 p. 23.
3. Hoàng Xuân Hăn. Một vài kỷ niệm về Hội
Nghị Dalat 1946. Tân Văn Magazine #10. CA, Little Saigon Pub, May 2008,
4. The Pentagon Papers: Senator Gravel
Edition. Boston, MA, Beacon Press. Vol 1, pp 18-19.
5. Hoàng Xuân Hăn ,Tân văn Magazine # 10,
“La France nouvelle ne cherche pas à
domineer l’Indochine. Mais elle entend y demeurer présente.Elle ne
considère pas son oeuvre comme terminée. Elle refuse d’abdiquer sa
mission culturelle. Elle estime qu’elle seule est en mesure d’assurer
l’impulsion et la cơordination de la technique et de l’économie, de la
diplomatie et de la defense.
Enfin elle sauvegardera les intérêts
moraux et materiels des nationaux.
Tout ceci, dans le plein respect de la
personalité nationale et avec la participation active et amicale des
Dalat le 5 Avril 1946
6. Qiang Zhai. China and the Vietnam War,
1950-1975.Chapel Hill, NC, University of NC Press. 2000: 10-42.
7. The Pentagon Papers, pp. 53-75.
8. Qiang Zhai (2000), p. 44.
9. Hoàng Ngọc Nguyên. Trần Văn Tuyên: Đời
Người và Vận Nước. Tân Văn Magazine #4, Nov 2009, p. 66.
10. The Pentagon Papers, pp. 53-75.
12. Van Nguyen Duong (2008) p. 36.
13. ibid p. 37.
14. Maclear M. The Ten-thousand Day War.
New York, NY, St Martin Press.1981: 59.
15. Dypuy RE, Dupuy TN.The Harper
Encyclopedia of Military History.New York, NY, Harper Collins.1993:
17. Ibid p. 1425.
19. Van Nguyen Duong.p. 23.
20. Nguyễn Kiên Giang. Les grandes Dates
du Parti de la Classe Ouvriere du Vietnam.Hanoi, Vietnam, Foreign
Languages Publishing House. pp
21. Hoàng Văn Chí. From Colonialism to
Communism.New Delhi, India, Allied Pub.1964: 13.
22. Van Nguyen Duong p 41.
23. Ibid p 44
24. Ibid p 59
26. Ibid p 67.
27. Maclear p 75.
28. Van Nguyen Duong p 127-128
29. Ibid p 123.
30. Ibid p 171.
31. Maclear, M. p 311.
Tướng Lê Văn Hưng Và Những Sự Thật Ở Chiến
Trường An Lộc/Văn Nguyên Dưỡng:
Ghi nhớ ngày
phó TT Mike Pence quyết
cho Biden đắc
c̣n 4 tiểu
xong vụ phiếu
Sáng nay trời
Ai làm băi biển
Sao đem lệ đến
cùng mang được
Mà giàu gian trá, mà nghèo nhân luân!?
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chân lữ hành?
Dù bao danh lợi
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ḿnh mà đi!
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xú ai ơi...
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Ngô Minh Hằng
cành thu trắng
thiên lư dáng cong queo
đá núi cao vời
Bát ngát mây trời,
Bao la sông nước,
Ta nghe thương
nghiêng, gió thổi