Thread: The Vietnam War
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 03:15
  #52 (permalink)  
India Four Two
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
Posts: 5,107
It seems like Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist rather than a communist but only the communists would support him to get rid of the French.
Absolutely! I lived in Saigon for two periods totalling ten years, since the mid 90s. I have many Vietnamese friends, I have read extensively about the history and have visited many museums and memorials, including Dien Bien Phu.

The Vietnamese are very proud and fervently nationalistic, regardless of their political persuasion. They have been kicking out invaders for two millennia.

Following the end of the American War (as it is known in Vietnam, to distinguish it from all the other wars), they invaded Cambodia in 1978 and kicked out Pol Pot. The Chinese took advantage of the situation and invaded northern Vietnam in February 1979, in support of their Cambodian allies. After three weeks of intensive fighting, the Chinese withdrew and both sides claimed victory. Serious skirmishes continued until 1990.

Like SASless, I have been up to the border country in northern Vietnam. It is cold in the winter and often snows. There is an extensive network of new roads, built in very rugged and difficult 'karst' terrain, that are obviously for military use. It is the only part of Vietnam where foreigners are still seriously monitored. One member of our party was hauled off to a police station in the middle of the night, because he didn't have his Resident's Permit with him.

It is a tragedy that the US State Department didn't follow up on the recommendations of the OSS in 1945, to support Ho Chi Minh, as they did with Tito. The disaster that befell Indochina during the next forty years, could have been avoided.
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Last edited by India Four Two; 15th Oct 2017 at 19:51. Reason: Changed 1979 to 1978
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