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

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