Truth about the Tet Offensive 1968 in Hue


Beyond the Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường Phenomenon

Tiểu Thạch Nguyễn Văn Thái, Ph.D. 


Recently, on February 2, 2018, Hữu Nguyên of the Saigon Times in an article entitled “Interview on the Bank of the Perfume River” recounted his interview with Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường about the events during the Tết Offensive of 1968.

In that interview, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường admitted that he:

(1) had lied about not being present in Huế during the Tết Offensive of 1968

(2) had personally involved himself in the killing of many people during the

Mậu Thân [Year of the Monkey] Massacre of 1968 in Huế,


(3) had untruthfully written articles about the Mậu ThânMassacre of 1968

because he had to write under the orders of the Vietnamese Communist

Party (VNP),


(4) had been transformed – due to the deceiving nature of the VNP – from a

truthful and loving person to a cruel monster, who brought about death

to “7 to 8 thousand innocent Huế people” [his own words],


(5) had affirmed that the VNP was an evil, repulsive organization abounding

in crimes and deceptions,


(6) had pleaded “whoever still has conscience and intelligence to perennially

continue to indict me, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường, a Việt cộng follower,

whose animal instincts had been awakened by the Việt cộng, which

resulted in my committing thousands of crimes against my country, my

people, my relatives, my friends…and myself…Please take the drama of

the life of an undercover Việt cộng like myself as an example in order for

you to not ever follow the Việt cộng.”


Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường’s journey from the day of a sadistic murderer to the day he confessed his hideous crimes has been a long, rugged one spanning a stretch of time of more than 50 years, replete with pathological anguish and torment.

During the time from the Tết Offensive of 1968 to 1982 – a period of time during which the passion of victory was still warming the hearts of such self-proclaimed revolutionaries like Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường – he was interviewed on February 29, 1982 by Wilfred Burchett for the Stanley Karnov American documentary, Vietnam: A Television History, a part of the Vietnam collection, created by Richard Ellison. In this interview concerning the Huế Massacre of 1968, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường asserted that he was present in Huế during this period of time and claimed that Americans had dropped bombs on a hospital near Đông Ba Market, killing 200 innocent people; that a number of soldiers and civil servants were killed by the uprising populace, who sought revenge for the atrocious acts committed by those “guilty” traitors; and that only a small number of people were mistakenly killed by the revolutionaries, which, he said, would be bound to happen in any kind of war. The fact is there was not any bomb dropped near Đông Ba Market and there was no popular uprising. Yet, in his article “The Stars over the Văn Lâu Pinnacle”, he described he was walking on a dark alley in the City of Huế, his steps flopping on the blood of those killed by Americans, thinking he was treading mud. This segment of the story was intended to indicate that (1) he was in fact present in Huế during the Massacre of 1968 and (2) Americans were the ones who killed innocent people.

There does exist more than adequate amount of materials cited at the end of this essay to prove that point number (2) is simply malicious slandering. Concerning point number (1), it is Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường who contradicted himself during an interview by Thuỵ Khê (RFI: Radio France Internationale) in Paris on July 12, 1997. In this interview, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường asserted he had joined the resistance and left for the jungles in 1966 only to return to Huế in 1975. Therefore, he couldn’t have been present in Huế during the Tết Offensive and involved in the killing of Huế people as some people with malevolent intent had maliciously carried out a smear campaign about him and falsely accused him of chairing a committee ordering the burying alive of 204 innocent people, among whom some were his former students when he was teaching at Quốc Học High School; and of — together with Nguyễn thị Đoan Trang – shooting dead Nguyễn Đình Thương, Mayor of Huế (Actually, Nguyễn Đình Thương was Deputy Mayor). However, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường forgot that 15 years earlier, before that interview by Thuỵ Khê, he had stated to Mr. Burchett that he was present in Huế during the Tết Offensive of 1968. Also, in “The Stars over the Văn Lâu Pinnacle”, he described he was walking in a dark alley, his steps treading the blood of innocent people killed by American bombing.

With the intent to negotiate this undeniable contradiction, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường, via a letter entitled “An Incomplete Apology”, stated he “was only an outsider but had arrogated to himself the claim of a witness when answering Mr. Burchett.” He also reiterated his scheme of thoughts in another article, “Last Word for So Sad a Story”, posted by his friend Nguyễn Quang Lập on Facebook on Friday, February 9, 2018. In this narrative, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường re-affirmed he was not present in Huế during the Mậu Thân Massacre of 1968. He confirmed, however, that everything he had recounted before with regard to the events concerning the Huế Massacre was true. The only “alternative” fact, he insisted, was his claim to be a witness of those events when as a matter of fact, he only heard his comrades retell the stories. This apologia was intended to allow people to think he was innocent while the crimes committed by Americans and their “lackeys” were real and deserved indictment and retribution.

When asked — during the “Interview on the Bank of the Perfume River” by Hữu Nguyên on February 22, 2018 — for which reason he had made that false claim, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường’s response was, “In my situation, between the two choices: making a false claim and admitting murdering innocent people, I have to choose one. The sin of making a false claim only evokes contempt, which is not as damnable and anathematic as admission of crimes of murder.” This obviously entails he had in fact committed crimes of murder as he ended up confessing.

In sum, all indictments of crimes committed by Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường as well as all excuses of his revolve around whether or not he was present in Huế during the Mậu Thân Massacre of 1968. However, this no longer is a key issue once he himself already confessed all his crimes and suggested that “whoever still has conscience and intelligence” condemn him, “Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường, a Việt cộng follower, whose animal instincts had been awakened by the Việt cộng”, resulting in him “committing thousands of crimes against [his] country, [his] people, [his] relatives, [his] friends…and [himself]”…He also pleaded with all people to, “Please take the drama of the life of an undercover Việt cộng like myself as an example in order for you to not ever follow the Việt cộng.”

All facts have been brought to light. The question remains as to whether Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường deserves to be cursed and should be brought to justice as the Jews have been doing to the Nazis.

In the final analysis, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường is but a representational phenomenon, not his essence. Essence through self-alienation could be transformed into various phenomena. And self-alienation may be represented in the form of freedom bifurcated into two types: “freedom to” and “freedom from” (Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom), with “freedom from” as the preferable choice. “Freedom to” is the type of freedom to explore and search for the true, the good, and the beautiful in philosophy applied to life and art. “Freedom from” is the type of freedom to escape from perceived constraints, oppressions, subjugations, and dominations. And with that perception, one must feel the urgent need to liberate oneself from those limitations. According to Erich Fromm, once that type of freedom has been achieved, people would not necessarily feel liberated. On the contrary, they may feel more alienated, lonely, and lost, which ultimately and historically results in – on the individual as well as the national level – an effort to try to find other victims to inflict upon them with whatever they themseles had previously been inflicted.

As an idealistic intellectual, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường attested to the spectacle of a government fraught with corruption, decadence, abuse of power, and complete dependence on a foreign power, the US, and the absence of national sovereignty when the first battalion of American Marines disembarked in Đà Nẳng in 1965 without any consultation with the Southern Vietnamese government. He also bore witness to the fact that the Vietnamese national budget totally depended on American aid. Liberating the country from this dependence would be perceived as an essential need. Furthermore, from a rather lopsided point of view, the VNP was perceived as owning the credit for having liberated the country from the French domination, with a theoretical foundation undergirded by the Marxist-Leninist ideology, of which the analysis of the exploitation of workers by savage capitalists – based on the historicity of the industrial revolution in England at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, and in the United States at the end of the 19th century – has some basis for veracity and humanistic values. It is thus understandable that Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường joined the communists in search for the type of freedom from perceived subjugation and slavery.

However, the essential point that Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường missed recognizing in his criticism of the government of South Vietnam was there does not exist in this world any government that is free of corruption, bribery, and abuse of power. It is only a matter of degree. Let’s take a quick look at the degree of corruption, bribery, and abuse of power of the First and Second Republics of South Vietnam in contrast with that of the current Vietnamese government under the guardianship of the VNP. The picture has become very clear.

As far as the issue of lack of respect for national sovereignty and dependence on a foreign power is concerned, it was true that the United States exerted uncalled-for pressures and demands on the government of South Vietnam. However, the Americans did not come to Vietnam for domination or for the seizure of land and natural resources. They came to harness territorial, political, and economic hegemony by the Chinese and the Russians over South-East Asia. This coincided with the objectives of the government of South Vietnam as well. The fine point in politics, however, resides in the masterly skills of leadership to negotiate national interests with those of the allies. On the other hand, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường’s belief in the independence of the government of North Vietnam was simply misconstrued and illusionary. He probably was unaware of the fact that during the war against the French and the Americans, China had transferred over 300,000 Chinese troops and advisors to Vietnam while Russia provided tons of modern up-to-date weaponry and ammunition. The debts Vietnam is demanded to payback now probably are worth the entire land and maritime territories of the country.

With regard to Marxism-Leninism, on the level of practice – let alone the fallacies in the application of Hegel’s spiritual dialectic to the materialistic dialectic by Marx and Engel – the dictatorship of the proletariat simply cannot be implemented because (1) the proletarian masses are incapable of governance, (2) there needs to be an intellectual elite and professionals to be in charge of governing the country as Lenin advocated, and (3) once the elite and professionals acquire power, they won’t ever let go of it.

Consequently, the interests of the proletariat ultimately turn into those of the elite in power. The proletarian revolution subsequently becomes a fortress protecting the special interests and privileges of greedy and cruel despots like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung, who irrevocably put to death over 100 million innocent human beings.

Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường is actually a pseudointellectual, whose knowledge of the Marxist-Leninist theories is only “half-knowledge”, without any perspective for the creative type of “freedom to” discover the good, the true, and the beautiful. Instead, it leads him into the labyrinth of self-alienation and assimilation with the immoral, inhuman force of communism, which cloaks itself with the deceptive appearance of humanism and patriotism. From the 60’s until now, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường has been spiritually limping, semi-conscious, along his rugged journey of deception and self-alienation to finally wake up to reality on the occasion of the “Interview on the Bank of the Perfume River.”

However, one cannot help but wonder how in the world a pacific, well-spoken and well-loved teacher like Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường had turned into a cruel, savage murderer, who ordered 204 innocent people to be buried alive at Gia Hội School and participated in the massacre of 5,327 and the disappearance of 1,200 other citizens of Huế. The explanation must lie in the fact that once he had assimilated himself with the immoral, inhuman force of communism cloaked in a deceptively ethical and patriotic appearance, which he glorified as “the conscience of the people”, “the viewpoint of the revolutionary war”, he completely lost his self, his true identity and essence, in the process of self-alienation and became just a reflection of the multiple meaningless minutiae that deck the VNP. He no longer had freedom of choice and acted like a robot under the orders of the VNP. If the Party plundered and killed, Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường would do the same, without any sense of responsibility because responsibility belonged to the Party. Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường had so confessed.

In order to explicate this absurdity, Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist and professor at Harvard and Yale Universities, conducted an experiment on obedience, resulting in the publication of his book entitled Obedience to Authority in 1974. This experiment included a number of Dr. Milgram’s stooges sitting on one side of a glass partition, expected to learn a list of randomly chosen words and one experimental subject sitting on the other side of the partition with a machine designed to punish the learners. The machine had a knob with graded levels electrocution from very mild to stronger and stronger, up to lethal. The experimental subject was instructed by a designated scientist in a white coat standing next to him, to simply continue applying punishment if the learners didn’t master the list. The Stooges had been trained to act in pain in accordance with the levels of punishment reflected from the lights in front of them and the wiring was of course fake. The experimental subjects were randomly selected from all walks of life: doctors, business people, professionals, workers, etc…The result was over 60% of the experimental subjects turned the knob up to the lethal level with the scientist instructing them to continue because he said it would not damage the tissues. In a further experiment. Dr. Milgram had the stooges sitting next to the experimental subjects, a number of whom went as far as pushing the stooges down to their chairs when the latter recoiled in pain.

This experiment helped Dr. Milgram to understand why the Nazis were able to kill millions of Jews in gas chambers, shot them dead, or buried them alive without any feeling of empathy or responsibility. They could perform those atrocious murdering acts because they believed in their superiors, their idols as the experimental subjects in the Milgram experiment believed in their scientist, who was supposed to know better and to take responsibility for all the consequences. Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường’s idol was what he called “the conscience of the people”, “the viewpoint of the revolutionary war”, and ultimately “the Vietnamese Communist Party”.

But why was he able to wake up?

The answer could possibly lie in the fact that (1) the many Vietnamese nationals that Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường labeled “those still with conscience and intelligence” keep — during the last 43 years (1975 to 2018) – trying to wake him up from his state of dull-wittedness of self-alienation by revealing authentic and accurate evidence about his criminal acts of cruelty, (2) old age, on top of a severe stroke forcing him to permanently sit in a wheelchair , with the final realization that he could depart any time – doesn’t appear to secure him a safe place anywhere in the netherworld, (3) his legacy for his children looks so darned pitiable, and (4) lastly, all the things that he spent most of his adult life fighting against such as corruption, bribery, abuse of power, lack of respect for national sovereignty, dependence on a foreign power, inequality and lack of individual freedom in the government of South Vietnam are actually many-fold better than what he has been witnessing in the current government under the guardianship of his revered Vietnamese Communist Party.

Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường has lost his self. He had immersed himself in the labyrinth of self-alienation, his cries of despair and hopelessness unable to save his soul, his essence, from disappearing into nothingness. Nonetheless, their echoes are reverberating warnings to those who are currently losing their ways in this same labyrinth, acting like robots without a soul, without the ability to be free and to be creative because the illusory halo of the Vietnamese Communist Party’s falsehood had focused its spotlight on its everlasting deceptiveness that keeps deluding generations after generations of idealistic, but gullible youngsters into romancing a socialist utopia as it had beguiled Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường, by robbing via a process of metamorphosis their authentic, true selves. The only hope, to which those people “with conscience and intelligence” are persistently hanging on, is for those youngsters who worship the VNP as their idol to recover from this lethargic infatuation early enough, before they evidently recognize they are too old — facing unavoidable death that is very soon coming straight at them — with the tragic realization that their legacy for posterity is so lamentable and repulsive. The Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường case represents a miserable error of the past. We must needs look towards a future that is illuminated with the hope that those self-alienated people could find their ways back to their genuine identity of freedom and creativity.

Philadelphia, October 25, 2018



  1. Fromm, Erich, Escape From Freedom. New York, New York: Farrar &

Rinehart, 1941.


  1. Milgram, Stanley. Obedience to Authority. New York, New York: Harper

& Row, Publishers, 1974.


  1. Bảo, Trung. “Thà Ông Im Lặng Còn Hơn.” Ngày 10 tháng 2, 2018


  1. Bezmenov, Yuri Alexandrovich. “Tình Báo KGB Tiết Lộ Việt Cộng Tiến

Hành Thảm Sát Huế 1968  Như Thế Nào.” 1970.


  1. Chu, Mỹ Dung. “Huế Mậu Thân”.


  1. Hoàng, Phủ Ngọc Tường. “Lời Cuối cho Câu Chuyện Quá Buồn”. Ngày 9

tháng 2, 2018.


  1. Khuê, Thuỵ. “Nói Chuyện với Hoàng Phủ Ngọc Tường về Biến Cố Mậu

Thân.” RFI, 12 Tháng 7, 1997.


  1. Nguyễn, Liên Thành. “Bác Sĩ Định”


  1. ”Trích Huế Thảm Sát Mậu Thân 1968.”


  1. “Thư Gởi Hoàng Vũ Ngọc Tường.” Tháng 2, 2018.


  1. Nguyễn, Thái Hoà. “Nhân Chứng Nguyễn Thị Thái Hoà.”


  1. Nguyên, Hữu. “Phỏng Vấn Bên Bờ sông Hương”, Saigon Times, 22

tháng 2, 2018.


13.Sang, Tôn Thất. “Đi Nhận Xác Thầy.”


FOOTNOTE: The reference list in Vietnamese cited above is authentic evidence for all the incidents and facts described in this essay by author Nguyễn Văn Thái and can be accessed in:





November 10, 2018

It amazes me how this country works. We have survived another election process and now the country tries to continue its mission. Or, actually its missions, there are several. Lately, a few have been forgotten or at least ignored. First is the protection of this country and its citizens. Another is to make progress forward; this however should not be confused with Progressives. It is important to remember that every… every single person in this government—from the lowest to the highest—have one thing in common. They have sworn an oath to protect the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic. Veterans have, since the formation of this country, stepped forward to lay their lives and their sacred honor on the altar of freedom. They were the ones that raised their right hands and swore or affirmed this duty. It is true that many, most in fact, never saw combat… the thing to remember is that they all stood ready to be called for combat. The ones that did not see combat are no less heroes. They were simply the lucky ones. No person that has not stood in harm’s way can understand what it means. No person that has never stood in the potentially of going into harm’s way can understand what it means. No person that has gone in harm’s way can ever explain what it means to someone that has never been there. Service and sacrifice are strange factors in a person’s life. Often inexplicable and misunderstood and always poorly articulated, it can be described simply as… it is what it is. Veteran’s Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11th. It honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. When you see an older veteran, it is often difficult to see that person as the vibrant, active service member he or she was a few years ago. Or, a few decades ago… When you see an older combat veteran, it is often difficult to see that person as one who faced bullets and death… they look like grandpa or grandma. But once, once long ago… wow, what they saw… what they did. I remember once in 1967, my Dad, Buddy Anderson, and I were standing outside at his Tire Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. Someone keyed the microphone on the overhead speaker system… it squealed… Dad shouted “Incoming…” and dove headfirst into a stack of truck tires. I stood there dumbfounded as he climbed out of the tires. “Sounded like a damn German 88.” That was all he said for several minutes. Twice in Germany during WW2, Dad and his company were caught on a hillside and shelled by the German 88mm artillery piece. Once, out of about 200 men, less than 20 survived. The next time, only my father and one other soldier made it off the hill. Twenty-two years later, half way around the world, on a beautiful, sunshiny day… in an instant… a nightmare grabbed him in full daylight and shook him. But see, I was his son… the only uniform I ever saw him in was for Firestone Tire and Rubber. I could not see inside his heart or his nightmares. Most families can never see inside the heart of a vet or in his or her nightmares… because the vet wants to protect those they love from what they themselves saw and did. So, on this Veterans Day… be respectful and be gentle and say Thank You to someone who went where no one should go and see what no one should ever see and do what no one should ever be asked to do. But don’t forget those that served and never saw the horrors of war, be respectful and gentle with them also. They served and lived knowing that they too could be sent to someplace no sane person wants to be sent. Remember that all Veterans have, since the formation of this country, stepped forward to lay their lives and their sacred honor on the altar of freedom. They were the ones that raised their right hands and swore an oath to protect the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic—so you didn’t have to. (Photo credit:

Memorial Day 2018

Posted May 25, 2018 by Bob Anderson

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. Memorial Day traces its roots back to the American Civil War.

Under the terms of surrender for the Army of Northern Virginia at the Appomattox Court House at on April 10, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant stipulated that “each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside”.

On May 5, the parole was extended so that soldiers from the eleven Confederate states and West Virginia, would be allowed to return home on their paroles but that “all who claim homes in the District of Columbia and in States that never passed the Ordinance of Secession (Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri included) have forfeited them and can only return thereto by complying with the Amnesty Proclamation of the president and obtaining special permission from the War Department.”

Sadly, today, many think it is simply a time for cookouts and time away from work.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It is held on November 11 each year. It was called Armistice Day until 1954 and marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the First World War officially ended. Sadly today, many think it is simply a time for cookouts and time away from work.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. Labor Day marks its end. You might not know it, but both Union and Confederate soldiers are considered U.S. veterans under federal law, and that the Confederates are entitled to the same benefits as Union soldiers today. A federal law passed in 1958 listed the spouses and children of all Civil War veterans — Confederate and Union — as eligible for federal pensions. The last known Civil War veteran died in 1956, and the last known widow of a Civil War veteran died in 2003 at age 93. But there were surprisingly two children of Civil War veterans who were still receiving benefits in 2012, U.S. News.

Whenever there is no surviving spouse entitled to pension under section 1532 of this title, the Secretary shall pay to the children of each Civil War veteran who met the service requirements of section 1532 of this title a pension at the monthly rate of $73.13 for one child, plus $8.13 for each additional child, with the total amount equally divided.

It’s also true that federal law makes Confederate soldiers eligible for burial in national cemeteries and for taxpayer-funded headstones, just like Union soldiers. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, only Union soldiers were eligible for military benefits. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Confederate soldiers began receiving pensions from the federal government. Prior to that, confederate soldiers could apply for benefits through the state they resided in.

Today public opinion and political correctness have forced the removal of many Confederate statues and memorials. How sad this is in my opinion. History, popular and unpopular history, is part of the fabric of a nation. Mistakes that are made and repaired tell the strength of a country and its people.

The philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist George Santayana once stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” As I was growing up, this saying was one of the most repeated in my schools and social groups. Unfortunately, today… citizens of America – and a great number of people who are not citizens – are working very hard to destroy the memories of our past.

There is not time to debate this situation today. I ask simply that while we still have the memories… on this Memorial Day… while you are enjoying the day off… while you are cooking out… take a moment to remember the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

They are the ones that gave you this time with your family, this day off and the chance to cook out.

(photo credit:

Remembering on Memorial Day

Bob Anderson, Ph.D., CMSgt.(Ret.)

For many this will be the first Memorial Day to have apersonal meaning. For others, it will be another chance to remember a father,mother, brother, sister or friend that paid the ultimate sacrifice for thiscountry.

For many it will simply be a time to grill a steak, drink abeer and have time off.

In the early days, it was called Decoration Day and itcommemorated U.S.soldiers who died while in the military service. It was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American CivilWar and then extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in allwars.

By 1865 the practice of decorating soldiers’ graves hadbecome widespread in the North. The first known observance was in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter.

It was the friendship between General John Murray andGeneral John A. Logan, that helped bring attention tothe event nationwide and a factor in the holiday’s growth.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion formore general expressions of memory. Ordinary people visited the graves of theirdeceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not.

Today it has become simply a long weekend increasinglydevoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, andnational media events. And that is okay.

However, the purpose of Memorial Day is to help us rememberthe sacrifices made by military members of allages, all conflicts and all branches of service.

To remember that our Freedomis not .

A veteran is someone who has served our country inmilitary service whether they are in the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guardor Army. With that thought in mind, someone penned the following poem:

It was the Veteran
not the preacher,
who gave us freedom of religion.

It was the Veteran,
not the reporter,
who gave us freedom of the press.

It was the Veteran,
not the poet,
who gave us freedom of speech.

It was the Veteran,
not the campus organizer,

gave us freedom to assemble.

It was the Veteran,

the lawyer,
who gave us the right to a fair trial.

It was the Veteran,

the politician,
who gave us the right to vote.

It was the Veteran who saluted the Flag, who served under the Flag, whogave his oath to support and defend the Constitution and Our Nation against allEnemies, Foreign and Domestic;

willing to give his life to protectyour freedoms and mine; whose coffin is draped by the flag,

allows the protester to burnthe flag.


If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it inEnglish, thank a Veteran!


HoiB. Tran on The Viet Nam War series by Ken Burns

To my dear Brothers-in-Arms, Vietnamese & AmericanVeterans of the VN War,

In mid-September2017, I was extremely excited turning my TV on to watch the new Viet Nam Wardocumentary directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novickthat my son informed me the previous week. Sadly, after watching only the firstepisode, I already had real bad impression with this new documentary film andwanted to quit. But I realized it would be unfair if I rate the entire 10episodes through only the first one. So I tried hard to overcome mydisappointment and to stay patient to watch the remaining 9 episodes in orderto have a full understanding of this VN War film before expressing myfeeling/opinion of its contents. After having watched all 10 episodes, I feelcomfortable now to make some honest comments on this film.

I’ll be happy andready to discuss with anyone, Vietnamese or American, who wants to refute thefacts cited in my comments below including Ken Burns or Lynn Novick.

Comments on the newVN War series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick throughthe eyes of a veteran of the Armed Forces of the Republic of (South) Viet Nam.

HoiB. Tran – Oct 1, 2017

It is no secret that the Viet Nam War was themost controversial and misunderstood war that the U.S was involved in. It was awar that deeply and bitterly divided the America. It was also a war that U.Sveterans were denigrated and mistreated when returning home from Viet Nam aftertheir tour of duty.I remember that thelate U.S Pres. Richard M. Nixon said in his book No More Vietnams published in 1985 as follows, and I quote: No event in American history is moremisunderstood than the Viet Nam War. It was misreported then, and it ismisremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much.Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic. Endof quote.

As a soldier, I fought in both Viet Nam wars.From the Bien battle in the North to the long war in the South in various capacities. Now as aliving witness, I feel compelled torefute the shameless lie by this Viet Nam War series when they praised and glorifiedHo Chi Minh as a dedicated nationalist patriot. Additionally, I also want toerase the unjust stains smeared upon the U.S military annals by the bold-facedVietnamese communist propaganda machine in North Viet Nam stupidly backed bythe ignorant, left leaning news media and film makers in the U.S.

1 – Was Ho Chi Minh a true Vietnamese nationalist patriot whofought and ousted the French & restored independence for VN?

On March 9th, 1945 Japanese Imperial forcesin North Viet Nam staged a coup d’état and ousted the French Colonists, not HoChi Minh. The following day a Japanese envoy met Emperor Dai and granted Viet Nam her independence within Japan’s Greater East AsiaCo-Prosperity Sphere. Following this joyful event, Emperor Dai appointed Prof. Tran Trong Kim to form alegitimate government. While the Vietnamese were enjoying their independence,the US dropped two atom bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in early August 1945forcing Japan to surrender to the Allied forces unconditionally on August 14,1945.The capitulation of Japan createda political chaos in North Viet Nam.HoChi Minh promptly exploited the chaotic situation and used his armed propagandaunits embedded in Ha to seize power.On Aug 28, 1945, he formally declared thecountry to be the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (DRV), an independent nation& proclaimed himself President and Minister of Foreign Affairsconcurrently. The following week, he had his cadres convened a meeting at the Square to introduce hisgovernment and cited the Declaration of Independence. During this time I was anaïve 10 year-old Vanguard Youth Troop in Ha ,North Viet Nam. Along with my group I was very happy singing patriotic songs asindoctrinated by communist cadres to praise Ho Chi Minh in many events.

After becoming President of the DRV, Hoshowed his true colors as a vicious communist and a boldfaced traitor. Hooverzealously followed Maoist’s doctrine and launched the inhumane Land ReformCampaign that slaughtered at least from 60,000 to 150,000 landowners that theylabeled as wicked landlords and about 50,000 to 100,000 were imprisoned.And with his death squads, Ho liquidated allpolitical opponents if these people were nationalists or non-communistpatriots.

The above facts shows that Ho Chi Minh andhis ragtag militia forces, the Viet Minh, and his so-called armed propagandaunits in North Viet Nam contributed absolutely nothing in expelling of theFrench forces from Viet Nam and to end French colonial rule in 1945.

Ho Chi Minh was a traitor, a treacherous egomaniac, nota patriot!

Afew months after extorting power from Tran Trong Kimgovernment Ho showed his traitorous, egoistic character. On March 6, 1946, Hocompromised and signed an agreement allowing French forces to return to VietNam for five years and, in return France would recognize his DRV government.

Through this wily move, nationalistVietnamese people considered Ho a traitor to the cause of revolution. If Ho ChiMinh did not sign that agreement, of course, French forces were not allowed toreturn to North Viet Nam.If Frenchforces were not in Viet Nam, there would have been no Bien battle in 1954 and Viet Nam was not dividedat the 17th parallel after Ho’s forces, the Viet Minh, defeatedFrench forces at Bien garrison. The fall of Bien garrison was because Gen. Henri Navarre, Commander in Chief of the FrenchExpeditionary Forces in the Indochinese Theater, was not aware that the ragtagViet Minh forces received two hundred heavy artillery pieces and the deadlySoviet built rocket launchers “Stalin Organs”, military advisors, technicians,gunners and troops from the PRC.

The reason Ho Chi Minh received substantialmilitary supplies and manpower from the PRC was because Ho kowtowed to MaoZedong since Mao won the war and established the PRC in mainland China inOctober of 1949. Ho Chi Minh wasted no time and immediately sent hisrepresentatives to China asking for support and assistance. By January 1950,the PRC and Russia recognized Ho’s government and the PRC began to help Ho withmilitary advisors, weapons and troops to ensure their satellite in Viet Namwould survive

The bottom line is: If Ho Chi Minh had been atrue nationalist patriot, he should have contented with the independence that VietNam inherited bloodlessly at the departure of the Japanese after they weredefeated by the US.Ho must have knownthat he was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time to, all of asudden, become president of the DRV.Under the circumstances, he should live peacefully in North Viet Nam andcommitted all resources into rebuilding the war ravaged country as well as thedying economy in North Viet Nam at the time. He must have known that if he didnot allow French forces to return to North Viet Nam, there was no Bien battle. Without the Bien battle, VietNam was not divided at the 17th parallel. Even after Viet Nam wasdivided, if he had a decent conscience, he should have recognized the RVN inthe South as a separate, independent country like East and West Germany orNorth and South Korea. He should not be too egoistic, too greedy wanting togobble up the South to satisfy his hegemonic dream. But as a devout communistand a power-hungry man, Ho Chi Minh fervently wanted to take over the South andplace it under his control to satisfy his big patrons, the PRC and Russia.

3 – Sullied theUnited States and the Republic of Viet Nam (RVN).

During the war to conquer the RVN, Ho Chi Minh and theapparatchiks in North Viet Nam employed this motto incessantly on theirpropaganda machine to push people to go to war: Fighting the Americans to save our country”and “Liberate our people in the Southfrom the neo-colonial rule of the American Imperialist”. Theysmeared the RVN government and its Armed Forces as puppets or servants of the“American Imperialists.” They always portrayed the RVN government as a despoticand corrupt regime and the U.S as imperialist. In summary, the North Vietnamesecommunist leadership had endlessly tried their utmost best to vituperate, sullythe U.S, the RVN and people in the South.

Fortunately, history has eyes and time has certain way to bringtruth to the surface.Although the longoverdue truth could not heal the profound psychological and physical wound the RVNand her ally, the U.S had to suffer. But thetruth did prove that the RVN and the U.S were not as bad as propagated by thecommunist and distorted by the liberal U.S. news media and film makers.

Only a few years in the post-war era, theworld had a better understanding and a clearer judgment about the ability togovern, the morality and virtue of the North Vietnamese communists after theydropped their mask and exposed their true evil color. After the end of the warthey could not survive with their communist doctrine and their dying economyand they shamelessly begged the “American Imperialists” for help.At the present time in shopping malls, travelagencies, restaurants and hotels in Viet Nam most advertising signs are writtenin English, not in Chinese or Russian.In Viet Nam, girls and boys everywhere, from the metropolitan area tothe rural countryside, are mixing in their day to day conversation with thewords OK and Bye-Bye to be in vogue.They also celebrate Valentine Day and sing Happy Birthday in English tobe fashionable.

The communist propaganda machine and the leftleaning U.S news media always accused the former RVN as a corrupt regime. To befair and honest, no one could deny that every country on this planet earth doeshave certain form of corruption. But if we compare the corruption between theformer RVN and the communist party members and their cronies in the post-waryears, the RVN appears amateurish.The communistparty members are much more skillful in bringing corruption up multifoldthrough foreign aid and investments, kickbacks from newly authorized businessesand land expropriation!They are muchbetter than the RVN in that they invented the super human traffickingnetworks.Under the skillful managementof the communist regime, Viet Nam is now known as the largest source ofproviding girls and women to neighboring countries as sex slaves.They sneered at the culture, all form ofliterary arts, books and music in the South as depraved and were aggressivelyscouring everywhere to confiscate these materials to discard and destroythem.Sadly, after they took over theSouth, morality, good old Vietnamese traditions and virtues went intoextinction! Prostitution, pornographicmaterials, venereal diseases, HIV and drugs went rampant in this amoral,depraved society! Communist members areno longer poor communists.They have allbecome Red Capitalist!These RedCapitalists and their children are living an ultra-luxurious life over their miserableand poor people in Viet Nam.Never inthe former RVN did I see politicians and high-ranking generals havemulti-million dollar mansion or vacation houses like today’s RedCapitalists.Never did I see children ofhigh-ranking officials of the RVN driving cars that even in the U.S. only someaffluent people could afford like Rolls Royces,Ferraris and Maseratis!Just out of curiosity, I was wondering whereare those journalists of the 1960 Why don’t they come out to criticize thecurrent cruel communist dictators, the corrupt and immoral Red capitalists likethey did during the Ngo Diem or Nguyen Van Thieu government?Where have these hypocrites been hiding?

Now, as a veteran of theformer RVN who partook in the war, I want to say it clear to all my Vietnameseand American brothers-in-arms that the U.S were never defeated militarily bythe ragtag army of the North Vietnamese Communist. Through political negotiationin Paris our politicians settled with major world powers and the partiesinvolved to end the war in Viet Nam politically.Following orders, you must withdraw from VietNam. The last U.S. military unit left Viet Nam in March 1973.The final collapse of the RVN occurred onApril 30, 1975.There is absolutely nodoubt in my mind that the U.S. did not lose the war in Vietnam militarily. Youhave fulfilled the call of duty admirably and you have fought gallantly.We salute you.We thank you for your service and for helpingus in Viet Nam.Ironically, politicsdictated the outcome.Don’t be bothered;only ignorant or misled individuals would buy into the notion that America lostthe war in Viet Nam militarily.Iclearly remember President Richard M. Nixon had said in his November 3, 1969speech about the Vietnamization of the war: “Let us be united for peace. Let usalso be united against defeat. Because let us understand: North Vietnam cannotdefeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.”I cannot agree more with the latePresident.

It is outrageous to seesome unconscionable people who reaped benefits and opportunities Americaafforded them to become rich and famous, yet for one reason or another theyturned anti American. To these sick people, everything America does is wrongand the enemy is always right. The last advice I wish to convey to my youngergeneration is: “Never trust theVietnamese Communists”!!!They havebeen proven to be evils of the worst kind all through the last half of the 20thCentury until the present! They have changed their name from the VietnameseCommunist Party to the Vietnamese Workers Party and from the DemocraticRepublic of Viet Nam to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.They have transformed from poor peasantsbefore 1975 to multi-millionaires and billionaires through plundering andstealing after April 30, 1975.In thebottom of their soul, they have not changed.They are still the inhumane, immoral, deceptive, dangerous cruel andunpredictable communists. Don’t ever trust or believe them regardless of howsweet or conciliatory they try to convince you.

Hoi B. Tran