Facts About the Vietnam War that Liberal Historians Ignore

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Mike Griffith
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Oct 23, 2012
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Here are some facts about the Vietnam War that most liberal historians ignore:

-- Ho Chi Minh was not the most popular Vietnamese leader after WWII ended. Huynh Phu So, the charismatic founder of the Hoa Hao and of the Vietnamese Democratic Socialist Party, had far more followers than did Ho Chi Minh. However, the Communists murdered Huynh Phu So in April 1947.

-- The French only decided to work with and recognize the Viet Minh, i.e., the Communists, because the Viet Minh were the only nationalist group that was willing to allow France to deploy troops in Vietnam. The other major nationalist groups opposed allowing French troops to return to Vietnam.

-- After the signing of the Geneva Accords in July 1954, North Vietnam began to violate them almost as soon as the ink was dry on them.

-- Although the Geneva Accords called for Vietnam-wide elections in 1956, and even though Communist propaganda attacked the U.S. and South Vietnam for refusing to hold elections in 1956, the North Vietnamese themselves had no intention of holding free and fair elections in 1956 (or in any other year), and, equally important, they knew that no elections would take place. Furthermore, the U.S. and South Vietnam were not bound by this provision of the Geneva Accords. Historian Guenter Lewy:

There are strong indications that nobody at the conference took the idea of an early unification through free elections seriously. Why have a massive exchange of population if the two zones were to be unified within 700 days or so? Why was the machinery for settling future disagreements on the implementation of this agreement so haphazard?

“The provision for free elections which would solve ultimately the problem of Vietnam,” wrote Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau in 1956, “was a device to hide the incompatibility of the Communist and Western positions, neither of which can admit the domination of all of Vietnam by the other side. It was a device to disguise the fact that the line of military demarcation was bound to be a line of political division as well. In one word, what happened in Germany and Korea in the years immediately following 1945 has happened in Vietnam in the years following 1954.”

The likelihood that the provision for a political settlement in Vietnam through free elections in 1956 was indeed a hastily improvised afterthought to help save face for the Viet Minh is strengthened by the fact that the final declaration remained unsigned and was not even adopted by a formal vote. Five of the nine delegations present at the final session failed unreservedly to commit their governments to its terms. Laos, Cambodia and the DRV [North Vietnam] did not expressly associate themselves with the declaration.

The South Vietnamese delegate filed a protest against the armistice agreement which he asked to have incorporated in the final declaration. South Vietnam specifically objected to the date of the elections and reserved “to itself complete freedom of action to guarantee the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom.” Undersecretary of State Walter B. Smith stated that the U.S. government “is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.”

The American representative insisted that elections to be free and fair had to be supervised by the United Nations. “With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Viet-Nam, the United States reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” (America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 8-9)


-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the American war effort in South Vietnam was going quite well from early 1962 until December 1963, until a few weeks after the murder of South Vietnam’s president, Ngo Dinh Diem.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the Hanoi regime decided to launch the 1968 Tet Offensive because the Communist war effort had gone badly in 1967, and because the Hanoi Politburo concluded that the protracted war strategy was not going to work.

-- Two of the other reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Tet Offensive were that they were certain that the South Vietnamese army (ARVN, pronounced ar-vin) would collapse as soon as they were attacked, and that the majority of the South Vietnamese people would rise up against the Saigon government (South Vietnam’s government).

-- Hanoi’s leaders were so certain the Tet Offensive would succeed that they made the astounding mistake of not making any retreat plans.

-- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s commanding general, thought the Tet Offensive was a bad idea, but Le Duan and his fanatical allies overruled him. Giap was so opposed to the offensive that he left North Vietnam for several months and played no role in the offensive.

-- We now know from North Vietnamese sources that even Ho Chi Minh opposed Le Duan’s plans for the Tet Offensive. However, by 1967, Ho was merely a figurehead, and Le Duan was the driving force in the Hanoi Politburo.

-- In late 1967, Le Duan and other Politburo hardliners jailed dozens of officials and officers who opposed the Tet Offensive.

-- The 1968 Tet Offensive was a crushing military defeat for the Communists.

-- After nearly all the Communist assaults were quickly and severely repulsed, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong suffered unusually high casualties in flight because they had no retreat plans.

-- The Viet Cong never recovered from their losses in the Tet Offensive, and from that point onward North Vietnamese soldiers filled most of the ranks of the Viet Cong.

-- Much to the Hanoi regime’s surprise, if not shock, ARVN fought well in most cases during the offensive, and the vast majority of the South Vietnamese people stayed loyal to the Saigon government.

-- By 1970 and 1971, the vast majority of South Vietnam had been pacified and was stable.

-- The collapse of the southern insurgency was one of the main reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive in spring 1972.

-- North Vietnamese sources reveal that another reason that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive was that they did not believe the U.S. would intervene in a significant way. They were stunned by the massive aerial campaign that the U.S. waged in support of South Vietnam.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the North Vietnamese army suffered such horrendous losses in the Easter Offensive that for a few months a majority of the Hanoi Politburo actually turned against Le Duan and other fanatics and voted against continuing large-scale warfare against South Vietnam. However, this changed when the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam, and when Congress placed severe restrictions on President Nixon’s ability to enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

-- After the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, the U.S. Congress shamefully began to slash vital aid to South Vietnam. The devastating impact of these cuts is discussed in an official history of the Vietnam War published by the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division:

During Fiscal Years (FY) 1974 and 1975, the U.S. Congress slashed budget line items providing military aid to South Vietnam. Although not cut entirely, the funding equaled only 50 percent of the administration's recommended level. During FY 1973 the United States spent approximately $2.2 billion in military aid to South Vietnam. In FY 1974, the total dropped to $1.1 billion. Finally, in FY 1975, the figure fell to $700 million, a trend that was not misread in Hanoi. As General Dung very candidly phrased it, "Thieu [South Vietnam’s president] was forced to fight a poor man's war."

Perhaps more distressing, as far as the recipients of the military aid were concerned, was the fact that by 1975 the dollars spent for certain items were buying only half as many goods as they had in 1973. For example, POL costs were up by 100 percent, the cost of one round of 105mm ammunition had increased from 18 to 35 dollars, and the cost of providing 13.5 million individual rations exceeded 22 million dollars. Considering the steady reduction in funding and the almost universal increase in prices, the South Vietnamese in 1975 could buy only about an eighth as much defense for the dollar as they had in 1973.

In June 1974, just before the start of FY 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lukeman replaced Lieutenant Colonel Strickland as Chief, VNMC LSB. Almost immediately he began to notice the effects of the reduced funding, less than a third the size of the 1973 budget. In September, in a letter to HQMC, he penned his concerns:

"Briefly, the current level means grounding a significant part of the VNAF [South Vietnamese Air Force], cutting back on the capabilities of the VNN [South Vietnamese Navy], and running unacceptable risks in the stock levels of ammunition, POL, and medical supplies. I am concerned it will mean, in the long run, decreased morale, because replacement of uniforms and individual equipment will start to suffer about a year from now, and the dollars spent on meat supplements to the basic rice diet will be cut way back. At this point, the planners have concentrated (understandably) most of their attention on shoot, move, and communicate but have lost in the buzz words a feel for the man who will be doing those things."

The South Vietnamese attempted to adjust to the decreased funding and rising costs, but each of these adjustments had the effect of placing them in a more disadvantageous position relative to the strengthened North Vietnamese forces. The tempo of operations of all services, most particularly the Air Force, was cut back to conserve fuel. The expenditure rate of munitions also dropped. Interdiction fire was all but halted. The decreased financial support forced the South Vietnamese to consider cutting costs in all areas of defense, including the abandonment of outposts and fire bases in outlying regions.

The overall impact of the budget reduction on the allocation of military monies was readily apparent. In FY 1975 at the $700 million level all of the funded appropriations were spent on consumables. There was nothing left over for procurement of equipment to replace combat and operational losses on the one-for-one basis permitted by the Paris Accords. (https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/P...he Bitter End 1973-1975 PCN 1900310900_1.pdf)


-- South Vietnam actually held its own in 1973, with no U.S. intervention, which proved that South Vietnam could survive if the U.S. provided adequate aide. But, as mentioned, the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam in mid-1973, and the disastrous impact of those cuts began to be felt in early 1974.

-- Although the Saigon government was hardly a model of democracy, it was far less oppressive than the Hanoi regime. There were 15-20 independent newspapers in South Vietnam, a number of which routinely lambasted government corruption and malfeasance, etc. There were no independent newspapers in North Vietnam.

There were opposition parties in South Vietnam; they held seats in South Vietnam’s national assembly, and they frequently criticized government actions. In North Vietnam, only the Communist Party (the VWP) was legal and allowed to operate.

In South Vietnam, private schools were allowed to operate, and public schools had some flexibility in deciding on their curriculum. North Vietnam did not allow private schools and strictly controlled all public schools.

-- Over and over again during the war, Hanoi’s leaders insisted that they had no desire to conquer or occupy South Vietnam but only to expel the “foreign invaders.” Over and over again, Hanoi’s leaders promised that South Vietnam would have its own government and substantial autonomy after the “foreign invaders” were gone. Yet, the Hanoi regime egregiously broke these promises immediately after South Vietnam fell.

-- After South Vietnam fell, the North Vietnamese executed at least 60,000 South Vietnamese and sent at least another 800,000 to brutal concentration camps (“reeducation camps”), where the death rate was at least 5%.

These facts are documented in hundreds of books. Below are a few of the better and more-available books that document these facts (all of the books below are available in Kindle form on Amazon):

America in Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1980), by Dr. Guenter Lewy.

Hanoi’s War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), by Dr. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen.

Vietnam’s American War (Cambridge University Press, 2018), by Dr. Pierre Asselin.

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War (RealClear Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Stephen B. Young.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75 (Encounter Books, 2013), by Dr. George Jay Veith.

America and Vietnam, 1954-1963: The Road to War (McFarland Publishers, 2022), by Colonel Michael M. Walker (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired).

The Vietnam War Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2017), by Dr. Michael Kort.

Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), by Major General Ira Hunt (U.S. Army, Retired).

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 (Harper Publishers, 20180, by Dr. Max Hastings.

This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (Encounter Books, 2010), by Dr. James Robbins.

I have numerous sources on the Vietnam War on my website The Truth About the Vietnam War.
 
Here are some facts about the Vietnam War that most liberal historians ignore:

-- Ho Chi Minh was not the most popular Vietnamese leader after WWII ended. Huynh Phu So, the charismatic founder of the Hoa Hao and of the Vietnamese Democratic Socialist Party, had far more followers than did Ho Chi Minh. However, the Communists murdered Huynh Phu So in April 1947.

-- The French only decided to work with and recognize the Viet Minh, i.e., the Communists, because the Viet Minh were the only nationalist group that was willing to allow France to deploy troops in Vietnam. The other major nationalist groups opposed allowing French troops to return to Vietnam.

-- After the signing of the Geneva Accords in July 1954, North Vietnam began to violate them almost as soon as the ink was dry on them.

-- Although the Geneva Accords called for Vietnam-wide elections in 1956, and even though Communist propaganda attacked the U.S. and South Vietnam for refusing to hold elections in 1956, the North Vietnamese themselves had no intention of holding free and fair elections in 1956 (or in any other year), and, equally important, they knew that no elections would take place. Furthermore, the U.S. and South Vietnam were not bound by this provision of the Geneva Accords. Historian Guenter Lewy:

There are strong indications that nobody at the conference took the idea of an early unification through free elections seriously. Why have a massive exchange of population if the two zones were to be unified within 700 days or so? Why was the machinery for settling future disagreements on the implementation of this agreement so haphazard?

“The provision for free elections which would solve ultimately the problem of Vietnam,” wrote Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau in 1956, “was a device to hide the incompatibility of the Communist and Western positions, neither of which can admit the domination of all of Vietnam by the other side. It was a device to disguise the fact that the line of military demarcation was bound to be a line of political division as well. In one word, what happened in Germany and Korea in the years immediately following 1945 has happened in Vietnam in the years following 1954.”

The likelihood that the provision for a political settlement in Vietnam through free elections in 1956 was indeed a hastily improvised afterthought to help save face for the Viet Minh is strengthened by the fact that the final declaration remained unsigned and was not even adopted by a formal vote. Five of the nine delegations present at the final session failed unreservedly to commit their governments to its terms. Laos, Cambodia and the DRV [North Vietnam] did not expressly associate themselves with the declaration.

The South Vietnamese delegate filed a protest against the armistice agreement which he asked to have incorporated in the final declaration. South Vietnam specifically objected to the date of the elections and reserved “to itself complete freedom of action to guarantee the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom.” Undersecretary of State Walter B. Smith stated that the U.S. government “is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.”

The American representative insisted that elections to be free and fair had to be supervised by the United Nations. “With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Viet-Nam, the United States reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” (America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 8-9)


-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the American war effort in South Vietnam was going quite well from early 1962 until December 1963, until a few weeks after the murder of South Vietnam’s president, Ngo Dinh Diem.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the Hanoi regime decided to launch the 1968 Tet Offensive because the Communist war effort had gone badly in 1967, and because the Hanoi Politburo concluded that the protracted war strategy was not going to work.

-- Two of the other reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Tet Offensive were that they were certain that the South Vietnamese army (ARVN, pronounced ar-vin) would collapse as soon as they were attacked, and that the majority of the South Vietnamese people would rise up against the Saigon government (South Vietnam’s government).

-- Hanoi’s leaders were so certain the Tet Offensive would succeed that they made the astounding mistake of not making any retreat plans.

-- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s commanding general, thought the Tet Offensive was a bad idea, but Le Duan and his fanatical allies overruled him. Giap was so opposed to the offensive that he left North Vietnam for several months and played no role in the offensive.

-- We now know from North Vietnamese sources that even Ho Chi Minh opposed Le Duan’s plans for the Tet Offensive. However, by 1967, Ho was merely a figurehead, and Le Duan was the driving force in the Hanoi Politburo.

-- In late 1967, Le Duan and other Politburo hardliners jailed dozens of officials and officers who opposed the Tet Offensive.

-- The 1968 Tet Offensive was a crushing military defeat for the Communists.

-- After nearly all the Communist assaults were quickly and severely repulsed, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong suffered unusually high casualties in flight because they had no retreat plans.

-- The Viet Cong never recovered from their losses in the Tet Offensive, and from that point onward North Vietnamese soldiers filled most of the ranks of the Viet Cong.

-- Much to the Hanoi regime’s surprise, if not shock, ARVN fought well in most cases during the offensive, and the vast majority of the South Vietnamese people stayed loyal to the Saigon government.

-- By 1970 and 1971, the vast majority of South Vietnam had been pacified and was stable.

-- The collapse of the southern insurgency was one of the main reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive in spring 1972.

-- North Vietnamese sources reveal that another reason that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive was that they did not believe the U.S. would intervene in a significant way. They were stunned by the massive aerial campaign that the U.S. waged in support of South Vietnam.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the North Vietnamese army suffered such horrendous losses in the Easter Offensive that for a few months a majority of the Hanoi Politburo actually turned against Le Duan and other fanatics and voted against continuing large-scale warfare against South Vietnam. However, this changed when the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam, and when Congress placed severe restrictions on President Nixon’s ability to enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

-- After the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, the U.S. Congress shamefully began to slash vital aid to South Vietnam. The devastating impact of these cuts is discussed in an official history of the Vietnam War published by the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division:

During Fiscal Years (FY) 1974 and 1975, the U.S. Congress slashed budget line items providing military aid to South Vietnam. Although not cut entirely, the funding equaled only 50 percent of the administration's recommended level. During FY 1973 the United States spent approximately $2.2 billion in military aid to South Vietnam. In FY 1974, the total dropped to $1.1 billion. Finally, in FY 1975, the figure fell to $700 million, a trend that was not misread in Hanoi. As General Dung very candidly phrased it, "Thieu [South Vietnam’s president] was forced to fight a poor man's war."

Perhaps more distressing, as far as the recipients of the military aid were concerned, was the fact that by 1975 the dollars spent for certain items were buying only half as many goods as they had in 1973. For example, POL costs were up by 100 percent, the cost of one round of 105mm ammunition had increased from 18 to 35 dollars, and the cost of providing 13.5 million individual rations exceeded 22 million dollars. Considering the steady reduction in funding and the almost universal increase in prices, the South Vietnamese in 1975 could buy only about an eighth as much defense for the dollar as they had in 1973.

In June 1974, just before the start of FY 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lukeman replaced Lieutenant Colonel Strickland as Chief, VNMC LSB. Almost immediately he began to notice the effects of the reduced funding, less than a third the size of the 1973 budget. In September, in a letter to HQMC, he penned his concerns:

"Briefly, the current level means grounding a significant part of the VNAF [South Vietnamese Air Force], cutting back on the capabilities of the VNN [South Vietnamese Navy], and running unacceptable risks in the stock levels of ammunition, POL, and medical supplies. I am concerned it will mean, in the long run, decreased morale, because replacement of uniforms and individual equipment will start to suffer about a year from now, and the dollars spent on meat supplements to the basic rice diet will be cut way back. At this point, the planners have concentrated (understandably) most of their attention on shoot, move, and communicate but have lost in the buzz words a feel for the man who will be doing those things."

The South Vietnamese attempted to adjust to the decreased funding and rising costs, but each of these adjustments had the effect of placing them in a more disadvantageous position relative to the strengthened North Vietnamese forces. The tempo of operations of all services, most particularly the Air Force, was cut back to conserve fuel. The expenditure rate of munitions also dropped. Interdiction fire was all but halted. The decreased financial support forced the South Vietnamese to consider cutting costs in all areas of defense, including the abandonment of outposts and fire bases in outlying regions.

The overall impact of the budget reduction on the allocation of military monies was readily apparent. In FY 1975 at the $700 million level all of the funded appropriations were spent on consumables. There was nothing left over for procurement of equipment to replace combat and operational losses on the one-for-one basis permitted by the Paris Accords. (https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/U.S. Marines in Vietnam_The Bitter End 1973-1975 PCN 1900310900_1.pdf)


-- South Vietnam actually held its own in 1973, with no U.S. intervention, which proved that South Vietnam could survive if the U.S. provided adequate aide. But, as mentioned, the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam in mid-1973, and the disastrous impact of those cuts began to be felt in early 1974.

-- Although the Saigon government was hardly a model of democracy, it was far less oppressive than the Hanoi regime. There were 15-20 independent newspapers in South Vietnam, a number of which routinely lambasted government corruption and malfeasance, etc. There were no independent newspapers in North Vietnam.

There were opposition parties in South Vietnam; they held seats in South Vietnam’s national assembly, and they frequently criticized government actions. In North Vietnam, only the Communist Party (the VWP) was legal and allowed to operate.

In South Vietnam, private schools were allowed to operate, and public schools had some flexibility in deciding on their curriculum. North Vietnam did not allow private schools and strictly controlled all public schools.

-- Over and over again during the war, Hanoi’s leaders insisted that they had no desire to conquer or occupy South Vietnam but only to expel the “foreign invaders.” Over and over again, Hanoi’s leaders promised that South Vietnam would have its own government and substantial autonomy after the “foreign invaders” were gone. Yet, the Hanoi regime egregiously broke these promises immediately after South Vietnam fell.

-- After South Vietnam fell, the North Vietnamese executed at least 60,000 South Vietnamese and sent at least another 800,000 to brutal concentration camps (“reeducation camps”), where the death rate was at least 5%.

These facts are documented in hundreds of books. Below are a few of the better and more-available books that document these facts (all of the books below are available in Kindle form on Amazon):

America in Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1980), by Dr. Guenter Lewy.

Hanoi’s War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), by Dr. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen.

Vietnam’s American War (Cambridge University Press, 2018), by Dr. Pierre Asselin.

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War (RealClear Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Stephen B. Young.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75 (Encounter Books, 2013), by Dr. George Jay Veith.

America and Vietnam, 1954-1963: The Road to War (McFarland Publishers, 2022), by Colonel Michael M. Walker (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired).

The Vietnam War Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2017), by Dr. Michael Kort.

Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), by Major General Ira Hunt (U.S. Army, Retired).

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 (Harper Publishers, 20180, by Dr. Max Hastings.

This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (Encounter Books, 2010), by Dr. James Robbins.

I have numerous sources on the Vietnam War on my website The Truth About the Vietnam War.
The war is over Move On.
 
Here are some facts about the Vietnam War that most liberal historians ignore:

-- Ho Chi Minh was not the most popular Vietnamese leader after WWII ended. Huynh Phu So, the charismatic founder of the Hoa Hao and of the Vietnamese Democratic Socialist Party, had far more followers than did Ho Chi Minh. However, the Communists murdered Huynh Phu So in April 1947.

-- The French only decided to work with and recognize the Viet Minh, i.e., the Communists, because the Viet Minh were the only nationalist group that was willing to allow France to deploy troops in Vietnam. The other major nationalist groups opposed allowing French troops to return to Vietnam.

-- After the signing of the Geneva Accords in July 1954, North Vietnam began to violate them almost as soon as the ink was dry on them.

-- Although the Geneva Accords called for Vietnam-wide elections in 1956, and even though Communist propaganda attacked the U.S. and South Vietnam for refusing to hold elections in 1956, the North Vietnamese themselves had no intention of holding free and fair elections in 1956 (or in any other year), and, equally important, they knew that no elections would take place. Furthermore, the U.S. and South Vietnam were not bound by this provision of the Geneva Accords. Historian Guenter Lewy:

There are strong indications that nobody at the conference took the idea of an early unification through free elections seriously. Why have a massive exchange of population if the two zones were to be unified within 700 days or so? Why was the machinery for settling future disagreements on the implementation of this agreement so haphazard?

“The provision for free elections which would solve ultimately the problem of Vietnam,” wrote Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau in 1956, “was a device to hide the incompatibility of the Communist and Western positions, neither of which can admit the domination of all of Vietnam by the other side. It was a device to disguise the fact that the line of military demarcation was bound to be a line of political division as well. In one word, what happened in Germany and Korea in the years immediately following 1945 has happened in Vietnam in the years following 1954.”

The likelihood that the provision for a political settlement in Vietnam through free elections in 1956 was indeed a hastily improvised afterthought to help save face for the Viet Minh is strengthened by the fact that the final declaration remained unsigned and was not even adopted by a formal vote. Five of the nine delegations present at the final session failed unreservedly to commit their governments to its terms. Laos, Cambodia and the DRV [North Vietnam] did not expressly associate themselves with the declaration.

The South Vietnamese delegate filed a protest against the armistice agreement which he asked to have incorporated in the final declaration. South Vietnam specifically objected to the date of the elections and reserved “to itself complete freedom of action to guarantee the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom.” Undersecretary of State Walter B. Smith stated that the U.S. government “is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.”

The American representative insisted that elections to be free and fair had to be supervised by the United Nations. “With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Viet-Nam, the United States reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” (America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 8-9)


-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the American war effort in South Vietnam was going quite well from early 1962 until December 1963, until a few weeks after the murder of South Vietnam’s president, Ngo Dinh Diem.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the Hanoi regime decided to launch the 1968 Tet Offensive because the Communist war effort had gone badly in 1967, and because the Hanoi Politburo concluded that the protracted war strategy was not going to work.

-- Two of the other reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Tet Offensive were that they were certain that the South Vietnamese army (ARVN, pronounced ar-vin) would collapse as soon as they were attacked, and that the majority of the South Vietnamese people would rise up against the Saigon government (South Vietnam’s government).

-- Hanoi’s leaders were so certain the Tet Offensive would succeed that they made the astounding mistake of not making any retreat plans.

-- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s commanding general, thought the Tet Offensive was a bad idea, but Le Duan and his fanatical allies overruled him. Giap was so opposed to the offensive that he left North Vietnam for several months and played no role in the offensive.

-- We now know from North Vietnamese sources that even Ho Chi Minh opposed Le Duan’s plans for the Tet Offensive. However, by 1967, Ho was merely a figurehead, and Le Duan was the driving force in the Hanoi Politburo.

-- In late 1967, Le Duan and other Politburo hardliners jailed dozens of officials and officers who opposed the Tet Offensive.

-- The 1968 Tet Offensive was a crushing military defeat for the Communists.

-- After nearly all the Communist assaults were quickly and severely repulsed, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong suffered unusually high casualties in flight because they had no retreat plans.

-- The Viet Cong never recovered from their losses in the Tet Offensive, and from that point onward North Vietnamese soldiers filled most of the ranks of the Viet Cong.

-- Much to the Hanoi regime’s surprise, if not shock, ARVN fought well in most cases during the offensive, and the vast majority of the South Vietnamese people stayed loyal to the Saigon government.

-- By 1970 and 1971, the vast majority of South Vietnam had been pacified and was stable.

-- The collapse of the southern insurgency was one of the main reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive in spring 1972.

-- North Vietnamese sources reveal that another reason that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive was that they did not believe the U.S. would intervene in a significant way. They were stunned by the massive aerial campaign that the U.S. waged in support of South Vietnam.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the North Vietnamese army suffered such horrendous losses in the Easter Offensive that for a few months a majority of the Hanoi Politburo actually turned against Le Duan and other fanatics and voted against continuing large-scale warfare against South Vietnam. However, this changed when the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam, and when Congress placed severe restrictions on President Nixon’s ability to enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

-- After the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, the U.S. Congress shamefully began to slash vital aid to South Vietnam. The devastating impact of these cuts is discussed in an official history of the Vietnam War published by the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division:

During Fiscal Years (FY) 1974 and 1975, the U.S. Congress slashed budget line items providing military aid to South Vietnam. Although not cut entirely, the funding equaled only 50 percent of the administration's recommended level. During FY 1973 the United States spent approximately $2.2 billion in military aid to South Vietnam. In FY 1974, the total dropped to $1.1 billion. Finally, in FY 1975, the figure fell to $700 million, a trend that was not misread in Hanoi. As General Dung very candidly phrased it, "Thieu [South Vietnam’s president] was forced to fight a poor man's war."

Perhaps more distressing, as far as the recipients of the military aid were concerned, was the fact that by 1975 the dollars spent for certain items were buying only half as many goods as they had in 1973. For example, POL costs were up by 100 percent, the cost of one round of 105mm ammunition had increased from 18 to 35 dollars, and the cost of providing 13.5 million individual rations exceeded 22 million dollars. Considering the steady reduction in funding and the almost universal increase in prices, the South Vietnamese in 1975 could buy only about an eighth as much defense for the dollar as they had in 1973.

In June 1974, just before the start of FY 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lukeman replaced Lieutenant Colonel Strickland as Chief, VNMC LSB. Almost immediately he began to notice the effects of the reduced funding, less than a third the size of the 1973 budget. In September, in a letter to HQMC, he penned his concerns:

"Briefly, the current level means grounding a significant part of the VNAF [South Vietnamese Air Force], cutting back on the capabilities of the VNN [South Vietnamese Navy], and running unacceptable risks in the stock levels of ammunition, POL, and medical supplies. I am concerned it will mean, in the long run, decreased morale, because replacement of uniforms and individual equipment will start to suffer about a year from now, and the dollars spent on meat supplements to the basic rice diet will be cut way back. At this point, the planners have concentrated (understandably) most of their attention on shoot, move, and communicate but have lost in the buzz words a feel for the man who will be doing those things."

The South Vietnamese attempted to adjust to the decreased funding and rising costs, but each of these adjustments had the effect of placing them in a more disadvantageous position relative to the strengthened North Vietnamese forces. The tempo of operations of all services, most particularly the Air Force, was cut back to conserve fuel. The expenditure rate of munitions also dropped. Interdiction fire was all but halted. The decreased financial support forced the South Vietnamese to consider cutting costs in all areas of defense, including the abandonment of outposts and fire bases in outlying regions.

The overall impact of the budget reduction on the allocation of military monies was readily apparent. In FY 1975 at the $700 million level all of the funded appropriations were spent on consumables. There was nothing left over for procurement of equipment to replace combat and operational losses on the one-for-one basis permitted by the Paris Accords. (https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/U.S. Marines in Vietnam_The Bitter End 1973-1975 PCN 1900310900_1.pdf)


-- South Vietnam actually held its own in 1973, with no U.S. intervention, which proved that South Vietnam could survive if the U.S. provided adequate aide. But, as mentioned, the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam in mid-1973, and the disastrous impact of those cuts began to be felt in early 1974.

-- Although the Saigon government was hardly a model of democracy, it was far less oppressive than the Hanoi regime. There were 15-20 independent newspapers in South Vietnam, a number of which routinely lambasted government corruption and malfeasance, etc. There were no independent newspapers in North Vietnam.

There were opposition parties in South Vietnam; they held seats in South Vietnam’s national assembly, and they frequently criticized government actions. In North Vietnam, only the Communist Party (the VWP) was legal and allowed to operate.

In South Vietnam, private schools were allowed to operate, and public schools had some flexibility in deciding on their curriculum. North Vietnam did not allow private schools and strictly controlled all public schools.

-- Over and over again during the war, Hanoi’s leaders insisted that they had no desire to conquer or occupy South Vietnam but only to expel the “foreign invaders.” Over and over again, Hanoi’s leaders promised that South Vietnam would have its own government and substantial autonomy after the “foreign invaders” were gone. Yet, the Hanoi regime egregiously broke these promises immediately after South Vietnam fell.

-- After South Vietnam fell, the North Vietnamese executed at least 60,000 South Vietnamese and sent at least another 800,000 to brutal concentration camps (“reeducation camps”), where the death rate was at least 5%.

These facts are documented in hundreds of books. Below are a few of the better and more-available books that document these facts (all of the books below are available in Kindle form on Amazon):

America in Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1980), by Dr. Guenter Lewy.

Hanoi’s War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), by Dr. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen.

Vietnam’s American War (Cambridge University Press, 2018), by Dr. Pierre Asselin.

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War (RealClear Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Stephen B. Young.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75 (Encounter Books, 2013), by Dr. George Jay Veith.

America and Vietnam, 1954-1963: The Road to War (McFarland Publishers, 2022), by Colonel Michael M. Walker (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired).

The Vietnam War Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2017), by Dr. Michael Kort.

Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), by Major General Ira Hunt (U.S. Army, Retired).

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 (Harper Publishers, 20180, by Dr. Max Hastings.

This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (Encounter Books, 2010), by Dr. James Robbins.

I have numerous sources on the Vietnam War on my website The Truth About the Vietnam War.

What YOU ignore is the fact the Viet Nam War (or as the Vietamese call it, "The American War") is that it was a war of Unifaction. Ho was Communist by convenience. The U.S. supported the partitioning of Viet Nam, ala Korea.

Ho tried to wiin Vietnamese Idendendence at Versalilles and failed. The western democracies turned their back on Ho, who during WWII worked for the American OSS.

I served in Viet Nam, unlike P1135809. The country and the people are beautiful, but how the U.S., who claims to belive in freedom and democracy turned its back on Ho and the Vietnamese people is shameless.

Ho fought the Chinese, the Japanese, the French and the United States for one simple reason, a united Viet Nam.

Take your so-called "Facts" shove them, your source is very Conservative and very fucking biased.
 
Here are some facts about the Vietnam War that most liberal historians ignore:

-- Ho Chi Minh was not the most popular Vietnamese leader after WWII ended. Huynh Phu So, the charismatic founder of the Hoa Hao and of the Vietnamese Democratic Socialist Party, had far more followers than did Ho Chi Minh. However, the Communists murdered Huynh Phu So in April 1947.

-- The French only decided to work with and recognize the Viet Minh, i.e., the Communists, because the Viet Minh were the only nationalist group that was willing to allow France to deploy troops in Vietnam. The other major nationalist groups opposed allowing French troops to return to Vietnam.

-- After the signing of the Geneva Accords in July 1954, North Vietnam began to violate them almost as soon as the ink was dry on them.

-- Although the Geneva Accords called for Vietnam-wide elections in 1956, and even though Communist propaganda attacked the U.S. and South Vietnam for refusing to hold elections in 1956, the North Vietnamese themselves had no intention of holding free and fair elections in 1956 (or in any other year), and, equally important, they knew that no elections would take place. Furthermore, the U.S. and South Vietnam were not bound by this provision of the Geneva Accords. Historian Guenter Lewy:

There are strong indications that nobody at the conference took the idea of an early unification through free elections seriously. Why have a massive exchange of population if the two zones were to be unified within 700 days or so? Why was the machinery for settling future disagreements on the implementation of this agreement so haphazard?

“The provision for free elections which would solve ultimately the problem of Vietnam,” wrote Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau in 1956, “was a device to hide the incompatibility of the Communist and Western positions, neither of which can admit the domination of all of Vietnam by the other side. It was a device to disguise the fact that the line of military demarcation was bound to be a line of political division as well. In one word, what happened in Germany and Korea in the years immediately following 1945 has happened in Vietnam in the years following 1954.”

The likelihood that the provision for a political settlement in Vietnam through free elections in 1956 was indeed a hastily improvised afterthought to help save face for the Viet Minh is strengthened by the fact that the final declaration remained unsigned and was not even adopted by a formal vote. Five of the nine delegations present at the final session failed unreservedly to commit their governments to its terms. Laos, Cambodia and the DRV [North Vietnam] did not expressly associate themselves with the declaration.

The South Vietnamese delegate filed a protest against the armistice agreement which he asked to have incorporated in the final declaration. South Vietnam specifically objected to the date of the elections and reserved “to itself complete freedom of action to guarantee the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom.” Undersecretary of State Walter B. Smith stated that the U.S. government “is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.”

The American representative insisted that elections to be free and fair had to be supervised by the United Nations. “With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Viet-Nam, the United States reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” (America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 8-9)


-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the American war effort in South Vietnam was going quite well from early 1962 until December 1963, until a few weeks after the murder of South Vietnam’s president, Ngo Dinh Diem.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the Hanoi regime decided to launch the 1968 Tet Offensive because the Communist war effort had gone badly in 1967, and because the Hanoi Politburo concluded that the protracted war strategy was not going to work.

-- Two of the other reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Tet Offensive were that they were certain that the South Vietnamese army (ARVN, pronounced ar-vin) would collapse as soon as they were attacked, and that the majority of the South Vietnamese people would rise up against the Saigon government (South Vietnam’s government).

-- Hanoi’s leaders were so certain the Tet Offensive would succeed that they made the astounding mistake of not making any retreat plans.

-- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s commanding general, thought the Tet Offensive was a bad idea, but Le Duan and his fanatical allies overruled him. Giap was so opposed to the offensive that he left North Vietnam for several months and played no role in the offensive.

-- We now know from North Vietnamese sources that even Ho Chi Minh opposed Le Duan’s plans for the Tet Offensive. However, by 1967, Ho was merely a figurehead, and Le Duan was the driving force in the Hanoi Politburo.

-- In late 1967, Le Duan and other Politburo hardliners jailed dozens of officials and officers who opposed the Tet Offensive.

-- The 1968 Tet Offensive was a crushing military defeat for the Communists.

-- After nearly all the Communist assaults were quickly and severely repulsed, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong suffered unusually high casualties in flight because they had no retreat plans.

-- The Viet Cong never recovered from their losses in the Tet Offensive, and from that point onward North Vietnamese soldiers filled most of the ranks of the Viet Cong.

-- Much to the Hanoi regime’s surprise, if not shock, ARVN fought well in most cases during the offensive, and the vast majority of the South Vietnamese people stayed loyal to the Saigon government.

-- By 1970 and 1971, the vast majority of South Vietnam had been pacified and was stable.

-- The collapse of the southern insurgency was one of the main reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive in spring 1972.

-- North Vietnamese sources reveal that another reason that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive was that they did not believe the U.S. would intervene in a significant way. They were stunned by the massive aerial campaign that the U.S. waged in support of South Vietnam.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the North Vietnamese army suffered such horrendous losses in the Easter Offensive that for a few months a majority of the Hanoi Politburo actually turned against Le Duan and other fanatics and voted against continuing large-scale warfare against South Vietnam. However, this changed when the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam, and when Congress placed severe restrictions on President Nixon’s ability to enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

-- After the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, the U.S. Congress shamefully began to slash vital aid to South Vietnam. The devastating impact of these cuts is discussed in an official history of the Vietnam War published by the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division:

During Fiscal Years (FY) 1974 and 1975, the U.S. Congress slashed budget line items providing military aid to South Vietnam. Although not cut entirely, the funding equaled only 50 percent of the administration's recommended level. During FY 1973 the United States spent approximately $2.2 billion in military aid to South Vietnam. In FY 1974, the total dropped to $1.1 billion. Finally, in FY 1975, the figure fell to $700 million, a trend that was not misread in Hanoi. As General Dung very candidly phrased it, "Thieu [South Vietnam’s president] was forced to fight a poor man's war."

Perhaps more distressing, as far as the recipients of the military aid were concerned, was the fact that by 1975 the dollars spent for certain items were buying only half as many goods as they had in 1973. For example, POL costs were up by 100 percent, the cost of one round of 105mm ammunition had increased from 18 to 35 dollars, and the cost of providing 13.5 million individual rations exceeded 22 million dollars. Considering the steady reduction in funding and the almost universal increase in prices, the South Vietnamese in 1975 could buy only about an eighth as much defense for the dollar as they had in 1973.

In June 1974, just before the start of FY 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lukeman replaced Lieutenant Colonel Strickland as Chief, VNMC LSB. Almost immediately he began to notice the effects of the reduced funding, less than a third the size of the 1973 budget. In September, in a letter to HQMC, he penned his concerns:

"Briefly, the current level means grounding a significant part of the VNAF [South Vietnamese Air Force], cutting back on the capabilities of the VNN [South Vietnamese Navy], and running unacceptable risks in the stock levels of ammunition, POL, and medical supplies. I am concerned it will mean, in the long run, decreased morale, because replacement of uniforms and individual equipment will start to suffer about a year from now, and the dollars spent on meat supplements to the basic rice diet will be cut way back. At this point, the planners have concentrated (understandably) most of their attention on shoot, move, and communicate but have lost in the buzz words a feel for the man who will be doing those things."

The South Vietnamese attempted to adjust to the decreased funding and rising costs, but each of these adjustments had the effect of placing them in a more disadvantageous position relative to the strengthened North Vietnamese forces. The tempo of operations of all services, most particularly the Air Force, was cut back to conserve fuel. The expenditure rate of munitions also dropped. Interdiction fire was all but halted. The decreased financial support forced the South Vietnamese to consider cutting costs in all areas of defense, including the abandonment of outposts and fire bases in outlying regions.

The overall impact of the budget reduction on the allocation of military monies was readily apparent. In FY 1975 at the $700 million level all of the funded appropriations were spent on consumables. There was nothing left over for procurement of equipment to replace combat and operational losses on the one-for-one basis permitted by the Paris Accords. (https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/U.S. Marines in Vietnam_The Bitter End 1973-1975 PCN 1900310900_1.pdf)


-- South Vietnam actually held its own in 1973, with no U.S. intervention, which proved that South Vietnam could survive if the U.S. provided adequate aide. But, as mentioned, the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam in mid-1973, and the disastrous impact of those cuts began to be felt in early 1974.

-- Although the Saigon government was hardly a model of democracy, it was far less oppressive than the Hanoi regime. There were 15-20 independent newspapers in South Vietnam, a number of which routinely lambasted government corruption and malfeasance, etc. There were no independent newspapers in North Vietnam.

There were opposition parties in South Vietnam; they held seats in South Vietnam’s national assembly, and they frequently criticized government actions. In North Vietnam, only the Communist Party (the VWP) was legal and allowed to operate.

In South Vietnam, private schools were allowed to operate, and public schools had some flexibility in deciding on their curriculum. North Vietnam did not allow private schools and strictly controlled all public schools.

-- Over and over again during the war, Hanoi’s leaders insisted that they had no desire to conquer or occupy South Vietnam but only to expel the “foreign invaders.” Over and over again, Hanoi’s leaders promised that South Vietnam would have its own government and substantial autonomy after the “foreign invaders” were gone. Yet, the Hanoi regime egregiously broke these promises immediately after South Vietnam fell.

-- After South Vietnam fell, the North Vietnamese executed at least 60,000 South Vietnamese and sent at least another 800,000 to brutal concentration camps (“reeducation camps”), where the death rate was at least 5%.

These facts are documented in hundreds of books. Below are a few of the better and more-available books that document these facts (all of the books below are available in Kindle form on Amazon):

America in Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1980), by Dr. Guenter Lewy.

Hanoi’s War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), by Dr. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen.

Vietnam’s American War (Cambridge University Press, 2018), by Dr. Pierre Asselin.

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War (RealClear Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Stephen B. Young.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75 (Encounter Books, 2013), by Dr. George Jay Veith.

America and Vietnam, 1954-1963: The Road to War (McFarland Publishers, 2022), by Colonel Michael M. Walker (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired).

The Vietnam War Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2017), by Dr. Michael Kort.

Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), by Major General Ira Hunt (U.S. Army, Retired).

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 (Harper Publishers, 20180, by Dr. Max Hastings.

This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (Encounter Books, 2010), by Dr. James Robbins.

I have numerous sources on the Vietnam War on my website The Truth About the Vietnam War.
Thank you for sharing your interest in the Vietnam War. It is complicated.
 
LBJ sent American Troops to Vietnam under a faked "crisis" and he set the rules so that we could win every battle and still lose the freaking war. Just when it seemed that all the sacrifices might have paid off after the U.S. victory of the V.C.'s last offense (Tet), America's "most trusted newsman", Walter Cronkite" went to Vietnam, donned a helmet for drama and pronounced America's victory to be a "stalemate". LBJ quit the fight on national T.V. and democrats withdrew funding and it gave VC general Giap breathing room to organize the last offensive. Later on the media managed to blame the whole thing on Nixon.
 
A failed cold war revision. One side is talking post colonial nationalism and the other, cold war hegemony.
 
An Australian Carrier Cut a US Destroyer in half ( an Incident with far more casualties than the USS Liberty Incident )
 
Here are some facts about the Vietnam War that most liberal historians ignore:

-- Ho Chi Minh was not the most popular Vietnamese leader after WWII ended. Huynh Phu So, the charismatic founder of the Hoa Hao and of the Vietnamese Democratic Socialist Party, had far more followers than did Ho Chi Minh. However, the Communists murdered Huynh Phu So in April 1947.

-- The French only decided to work with and recognize the Viet Minh, i.e., the Communists, because the Viet Minh were the only nationalist group that was willing to allow France to deploy troops in Vietnam. The other major nationalist groups opposed allowing French troops to return to Vietnam.

-- After the signing of the Geneva Accords in July 1954, North Vietnam began to violate them almost as soon as the ink was dry on them.

-- Although the Geneva Accords called for Vietnam-wide elections in 1956, and even though Communist propaganda attacked the U.S. and South Vietnam for refusing to hold elections in 1956, the North Vietnamese themselves had no intention of holding free and fair elections in 1956 (or in any other year), and, equally important, they knew that no elections would take place. Furthermore, the U.S. and South Vietnam were not bound by this provision of the Geneva Accords. Historian Guenter Lewy:

There are strong indications that nobody at the conference took the idea of an early unification through free elections seriously. Why have a massive exchange of population if the two zones were to be unified within 700 days or so? Why was the machinery for settling future disagreements on the implementation of this agreement so haphazard?

“The provision for free elections which would solve ultimately the problem of Vietnam,” wrote Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau in 1956, “was a device to hide the incompatibility of the Communist and Western positions, neither of which can admit the domination of all of Vietnam by the other side. It was a device to disguise the fact that the line of military demarcation was bound to be a line of political division as well. In one word, what happened in Germany and Korea in the years immediately following 1945 has happened in Vietnam in the years following 1954.”

The likelihood that the provision for a political settlement in Vietnam through free elections in 1956 was indeed a hastily improvised afterthought to help save face for the Viet Minh is strengthened by the fact that the final declaration remained unsigned and was not even adopted by a formal vote. Five of the nine delegations present at the final session failed unreservedly to commit their governments to its terms. Laos, Cambodia and the DRV [North Vietnam] did not expressly associate themselves with the declaration.

The South Vietnamese delegate filed a protest against the armistice agreement which he asked to have incorporated in the final declaration. South Vietnam specifically objected to the date of the elections and reserved “to itself complete freedom of action to guarantee the sacred right of the Vietnamese people to territorial unity, national independence and freedom.” Undersecretary of State Walter B. Smith stated that the U.S. government “is not prepared to join in a declaration by the Conference such as is submitted.”

The American representative insisted that elections to be free and fair had to be supervised by the United Nations. “With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Viet-Nam, the United States reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” (America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 8-9)


-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the American war effort in South Vietnam was going quite well from early 1962 until December 1963, until a few weeks after the murder of South Vietnam’s president, Ngo Dinh Diem.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the Hanoi regime decided to launch the 1968 Tet Offensive because the Communist war effort had gone badly in 1967, and because the Hanoi Politburo concluded that the protracted war strategy was not going to work.

-- Two of the other reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Tet Offensive were that they were certain that the South Vietnamese army (ARVN, pronounced ar-vin) would collapse as soon as they were attacked, and that the majority of the South Vietnamese people would rise up against the Saigon government (South Vietnam’s government).

-- Hanoi’s leaders were so certain the Tet Offensive would succeed that they made the astounding mistake of not making any retreat plans.

-- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s commanding general, thought the Tet Offensive was a bad idea, but Le Duan and his fanatical allies overruled him. Giap was so opposed to the offensive that he left North Vietnam for several months and played no role in the offensive.

-- We now know from North Vietnamese sources that even Ho Chi Minh opposed Le Duan’s plans for the Tet Offensive. However, by 1967, Ho was merely a figurehead, and Le Duan was the driving force in the Hanoi Politburo.

-- In late 1967, Le Duan and other Politburo hardliners jailed dozens of officials and officers who opposed the Tet Offensive.

-- The 1968 Tet Offensive was a crushing military defeat for the Communists.

-- After nearly all the Communist assaults were quickly and severely repulsed, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong suffered unusually high casualties in flight because they had no retreat plans.

-- The Viet Cong never recovered from their losses in the Tet Offensive, and from that point onward North Vietnamese soldiers filled most of the ranks of the Viet Cong.

-- Much to the Hanoi regime’s surprise, if not shock, ARVN fought well in most cases during the offensive, and the vast majority of the South Vietnamese people stayed loyal to the Saigon government.

-- By 1970 and 1971, the vast majority of South Vietnam had been pacified and was stable.

-- The collapse of the southern insurgency was one of the main reasons that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive in spring 1972.

-- North Vietnamese sources reveal that another reason that the Hanoi Politburo decided to launch the Easter Offensive was that they did not believe the U.S. would intervene in a significant way. They were stunned by the massive aerial campaign that the U.S. waged in support of South Vietnam.

-- North Vietnamese sources confirm that the North Vietnamese army suffered such horrendous losses in the Easter Offensive that for a few months a majority of the Hanoi Politburo actually turned against Le Duan and other fanatics and voted against continuing large-scale warfare against South Vietnam. However, this changed when the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam, and when Congress placed severe restrictions on President Nixon’s ability to enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

-- After the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, the U.S. Congress shamefully began to slash vital aid to South Vietnam. The devastating impact of these cuts is discussed in an official history of the Vietnam War published by the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division:

During Fiscal Years (FY) 1974 and 1975, the U.S. Congress slashed budget line items providing military aid to South Vietnam. Although not cut entirely, the funding equaled only 50 percent of the administration's recommended level. During FY 1973 the United States spent approximately $2.2 billion in military aid to South Vietnam. In FY 1974, the total dropped to $1.1 billion. Finally, in FY 1975, the figure fell to $700 million, a trend that was not misread in Hanoi. As General Dung very candidly phrased it, "Thieu [South Vietnam’s president] was forced to fight a poor man's war."

Perhaps more distressing, as far as the recipients of the military aid were concerned, was the fact that by 1975 the dollars spent for certain items were buying only half as many goods as they had in 1973. For example, POL costs were up by 100 percent, the cost of one round of 105mm ammunition had increased from 18 to 35 dollars, and the cost of providing 13.5 million individual rations exceeded 22 million dollars. Considering the steady reduction in funding and the almost universal increase in prices, the South Vietnamese in 1975 could buy only about an eighth as much defense for the dollar as they had in 1973.

In June 1974, just before the start of FY 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Lukeman replaced Lieutenant Colonel Strickland as Chief, VNMC LSB. Almost immediately he began to notice the effects of the reduced funding, less than a third the size of the 1973 budget. In September, in a letter to HQMC, he penned his concerns:

"Briefly, the current level means grounding a significant part of the VNAF [South Vietnamese Air Force], cutting back on the capabilities of the VNN [South Vietnamese Navy], and running unacceptable risks in the stock levels of ammunition, POL, and medical supplies. I am concerned it will mean, in the long run, decreased morale, because replacement of uniforms and individual equipment will start to suffer about a year from now, and the dollars spent on meat supplements to the basic rice diet will be cut way back. At this point, the planners have concentrated (understandably) most of their attention on shoot, move, and communicate but have lost in the buzz words a feel for the man who will be doing those things."

The South Vietnamese attempted to adjust to the decreased funding and rising costs, but each of these adjustments had the effect of placing them in a more disadvantageous position relative to the strengthened North Vietnamese forces. The tempo of operations of all services, most particularly the Air Force, was cut back to conserve fuel. The expenditure rate of munitions also dropped. Interdiction fire was all but halted. The decreased financial support forced the South Vietnamese to consider cutting costs in all areas of defense, including the abandonment of outposts and fire bases in outlying regions.

The overall impact of the budget reduction on the allocation of military monies was readily apparent. In FY 1975 at the $700 million level all of the funded appropriations were spent on consumables. There was nothing left over for procurement of equipment to replace combat and operational losses on the one-for-one basis permitted by the Paris Accords. (https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/U.S. Marines in Vietnam_The Bitter End 1973-1975 PCN 1900310900_1.pdf)


-- South Vietnam actually held its own in 1973, with no U.S. intervention, which proved that South Vietnam could survive if the U.S. provided adequate aide. But, as mentioned, the U.S. Congress began to slash aid to South Vietnam in mid-1973, and the disastrous impact of those cuts began to be felt in early 1974.

-- Although the Saigon government was hardly a model of democracy, it was far less oppressive than the Hanoi regime. There were 15-20 independent newspapers in South Vietnam, a number of which routinely lambasted government corruption and malfeasance, etc. There were no independent newspapers in North Vietnam.

There were opposition parties in South Vietnam; they held seats in South Vietnam’s national assembly, and they frequently criticized government actions. In North Vietnam, only the Communist Party (the VWP) was legal and allowed to operate.

In South Vietnam, private schools were allowed to operate, and public schools had some flexibility in deciding on their curriculum. North Vietnam did not allow private schools and strictly controlled all public schools.

-- Over and over again during the war, Hanoi’s leaders insisted that they had no desire to conquer or occupy South Vietnam but only to expel the “foreign invaders.” Over and over again, Hanoi’s leaders promised that South Vietnam would have its own government and substantial autonomy after the “foreign invaders” were gone. Yet, the Hanoi regime egregiously broke these promises immediately after South Vietnam fell.

-- After South Vietnam fell, the North Vietnamese executed at least 60,000 South Vietnamese and sent at least another 800,000 to brutal concentration camps (“reeducation camps”), where the death rate was at least 5%.

These facts are documented in hundreds of books. Below are a few of the better and more-available books that document these facts (all of the books below are available in Kindle form on Amazon):

America in Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1980), by Dr. Guenter Lewy.

Hanoi’s War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), by Dr. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen.

Vietnam’s American War (Cambridge University Press, 2018), by Dr. Pierre Asselin.

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War (RealClear Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Stephen B. Young.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75 (Encounter Books, 2013), by Dr. George Jay Veith.

America and Vietnam, 1954-1963: The Road to War (McFarland Publishers, 2022), by Colonel Michael M. Walker (U.S. Marine Corps, Retired).

The Vietnam War Reexamined (Cambridge University Press, 2017), by Dr. Michael Kort.

Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), by Major General Ira Hunt (U.S. Army, Retired).

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 (Harper Publishers, 20180, by Dr. Max Hastings.

This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive (Encounter Books, 2010), by Dr. James Robbins.

I have numerous sources on the Vietnam War on my website The Truth About the Vietnam War.
mike , this interests me greatly, and i will keep your site in a window here until i can get back.

i need to find a day to get to our d day museum. they have an exhibit that i understand emphasizes the cooperation of ho with the oss (maj archi patti) vs the occupying imp. japs.

who ever made the decision to allow the french to return, seems like that may have been questionable, but in 1945 or so?

garden beckons. spring has sprung.........
 
What YOU ignore is the fact the Viet Nam War (or as the Vietamese call it, "The American War") is that it was a war of Unifaction. Ho was Communist by convenience. The U.S. supported the partitioning of Viet Nam, ala Korea.

Ho tried to wiin Vietnamese Idendendence at Versalilles and failed. The western democracies turned their back on Ho, who during WWII worked for the American OSS.

I served in Viet Nam, unlike P1135809. The country and the people are beautiful, but how the U.S., who claims to belive in freedom and democracy turned its back on Ho and the Vietnamese people is shameless.

Ho fought the Chinese, the Japanese, the French and the United States for one simple reason, a united Viet Nam.

Take your so-called "Facts" shove them, your source is very Conservative and very fucking biased.
i kind of oscillated between "informative" "love" and "brilliant" on this one. that is kind of the way i remember it, and unless the pentagon papers were a deep state psy op ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

however, i am interested in mikes take on this, and he has references that i'd like to read and discuss but its a beautiful sunday mornin g ..........
 
It's likely that LBJ ignored the generals and turned Vietnam over to clerks and bureaucrats in the CIA. You can't expect to win a war by taking real estate and then giving it up to go back and drink beer until the next mission.
 
It's likely that LBJ ignored the generals and turned Vietnam over to clerks and bureaucrats in the CIA. You can't expect to win a war by taking real estate and then giving it up to go back and drink beer until the next mission.
Hilarious

Tell us all where the front lines were in the Vietnam War again.
 

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