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-- post lại cho toŕn dân Việt Nam cho 1 Vận Hội Mới kho6ng cộng sản (CHXHCNăn Hại Nhân Dân@ Ổ Chuột.Com), November 21, 2004





On July 20, 1954, the unforgettable date to the Vietnamese of both sides, the Geneva Peace Talk came to the final hour and the Cease- Fire agreement was signed. According to the agreement, the Ben Hai River at the 17th North Parallel would divide Vietnam into two parts. The North would be under the Ho Chi Minh’s Communist regime; the South would be under a Western-supported government. People have the right to live in one of the two parts.

Last week, the Communist regime in Vietnam celebrated the anniversary with ceremonies and conferences around topics about its victory at the 1954 Geneva peace talks. The Vietnamese overseas community celebrated the same anniversary but with different points of view. State-controlled publications and broadcast from Vietnam dare not relate the least historical facts and undeniable realities that prompt unfavorable feeling towards the communist regime.

The Communist media does not fully describe the whole image of Vietnam at the time and how the agreement has brought in important changes. These changes strengthened roots of the internal conflict and profoundly affected the war that followed (1959-1975). To fully understand the Vietnam War, one should have acquired a wide range of knowledge about military situation and political atmosphere in Vietnam at least since 1945. Here are some examples.

The nationalist-Communist conflict was simmering long before 1945 at low intensity. It became an overt feud more and more bloody since the Communist leaders turned to terrorism as principal means to cleanse their opponents (non-Communist party leaders, local and central figures) from the political arena.

After 6 years of fighting hard, the Resistance War against the French aggressors’ army since December 1946 came to a sharp turn in 1950-51 when Ho Chi Minh regime turned completely to the Communist bloc, Chinese Communists in particular. New policies openly following Communist doctrines from Lenin, Stalin and Mao to the letter emerged in indoctrination courses. Ho’s Workers’ Party banned most of art and literature works composed before 1951 anywhere in Vietnam, labeling them “bourgeoisie” remnants. There were radical changes in many sectors including education and ethical teaching. All was reshaped after the Chinese molds.

Elementary students in the Resistance areas were to learn group dancing with music in Chinese style and tone. At the same time, the “purging” campaign in the Resistance army eliminated from the force most of brave and talented commanders whose had been from the “landlord” and other “reactionary” origins. The year 1951 saw a great number of patriots of all walks of life fled the Viet Minh areas for the French controlled cities and towns.

The Land Reform Campaign launched in 1953 as an experimental phase in a limited area was horrible enough to many people. It sped up the flow of non-Communist patriots into the nationalists’ controlled land, and thus it frightened many more people away to the South.

Among the flow of common people and intellects, specialists, there were many young military officers who had been brave warriors fighting against the French for the national independence. The young patriots then found their way to the newly established National Army under Bao Dai, the last king of the Nguyen dynasty. Though French government supported that army, the young patriots felt it safe to fight beside the old foreign enemy, the French soldiers, against their new foes, the Communists.

According to many Vietnamese patriots, if the Ho’s regime had not imposed such policies on the Vietnamese people, the final victory could have been achieved before July 1954 and Vietnam could have not been divided. Furthermore, the refugee movement depleted the population of skilled technicians, experts and intellects from Hanoi and other North Vietnam provinces. More than 90 percent of doctors, engineers and high-ranking technologists left for the South.

The 1954 Geneva Agreement made a good opportunity to the non- Communist patriots to have a side to stand, a separate land to live in a true democracy as they had been aspiring for. Since 1945, independence and freedom were the noble causes that encouraged them to fight the French colonialists. But it had been the Communist Party’s atrocity on its would-be dissidents that drove them to the nationalist side.

After July 20, 1954, the North Vietnamese welcomed the news about the ceasefire at almost the same time with an announcement from the nationalist government concerning free migration to the South.

The migration plan assisted by the USA and its allies helped nearly 950,000 ethnic North Vietnamese Communist refugees move to the territories South of the 17th Parallel. Many nationalists who found their way fleeing the Viet Minh control to join the flow of refugees moving to the South later became high ranking government officials and armed forces officers in South Vietnam. (There were about 100,000 Vietnamese in the South who were Viet Minh soldiers and civilians moved to the North on ships provided by Poland). The Hochiminh regime imposed every suppresive meaure it saw necessary however bloody it might be, to stop the waves of refugees from areas far away from Hanoi, deep in the Communist controlled regions. Most of the crackdowns failed while refugees suffered lot of blood.

When Ngo Dinh Diem became prime minister then president after the referendum one year later, he got strong support from people who moved south from the North (although years later many of them went against him because of his despotic ruling).

The generous aids of the United States without colonialist motivation and the American Spirit of 1776 had attracted many nationalist patriots to leave for South Vietnam to build a democratic independent state in the South. They were eager to support a new regime with all their hearts and minds.

That greatest mass of political refugees in the Vietnam history is one of the undeniable facts that prove the cause of anti-Communism in Vietnam. Unfortunately, by one reason or another, the mass media and the academic circle in the USA seemed to ignore them, or to belittle their role in the 1959-75 War and the endless existence of the Vietnamese anti-Communism.

The North Vietnamese refugees resettled in South Vietnam have contributed their great part in the achievements of considerable success in culture, arts, education, moral, business management, military art, science and technology, academic research and studies. The refugees also blended themselves and their characters with the local people, so they have leveled off differences between the two regions that had been created naturally by lack of communications and intentionally by the French colonialists.

The appearance of South Vietnam, in Saigon particularly, has changed significantly since the refugees were integrated into the South Vietnamese society. People from the two origins with hand in hand, were producing changes to the better in every fields of the South Vietnam society. The changes could be observed in small businesses managing, style of writing in books, magazines and newspapers, foods and recipes, gastronomy, working attitudes, fashion styles, religious practices. That helped South Vietnam place itself ahead of many Asian countries in technology and even in many economic fields despite the destructible war, except for Japan, Taiwan and Mainland China, in certain domains.

As politics and war matters are concerned, many people assert that without the refugees in 1954-55, South Vietnam had been lost to the hands of the Communist leaders at least 5 to 10 years earlier. In such case, the “Public Motivating Campaign” (rhetoric of the Land Reform) could have decimated the South Vietnamese middle class, landlords and former Saigon government and military servicemen to the number of no less than six digits. At the time, Communist leaders Hanoi in was very faithful to its Mao’s teaching, were determining that “On any land that the Revolution has just liberated, there must be Public Motivation.”

In North Vietnam, the campaign massacred several thousands landlords and “reactionaries” in 1955 and 1956. The smallest figure is 15 thousand victims (President Nixon’s speech, 1972. Other authors estimated as high as 80 to 100 thousand victims killed by “People’s Courts.”)

In such terrible Fear Machines hanging over the North Vietenamese population, who dared accept a general election in the two Vietnams in 1957 as stipulated by the Agreement?

Still many Vietnamese believe that if the Agreement had been in effect and the two sides had lived in true peace with each other, South Vietnam would have certainly been leading the Southeast Asian nations in economic development into the 21st Century. It was rather well developed second to no one in the South Asian region in the early 1970s despite the brutaly destructive war. If living in such peace for the last 50 years, the North would have developed, probably not as fast as the South, but not too far behind most of the Southeast Asian nations as today.

If there had not been 950,000 refugees in 1954, there wouldn’t have been waves and waves of a million-plus Vietnamese refugees fleeing the country for the land of the free half way around the world in two to three decades later, after 1975. The second flow of refugees, to Western countries as far as half the globe, is the largest in the world history. This fogure does not include an estimate of 100,000 refugees who lost their lives on high sea and in wild jungle on their way to the free world.

The facts should be well learned by ones who are advocating the current Communist regime without a shortest question on how does it has been treating its people. We all know that giving assistances to a people is different from propping up a dictatorship that has purged millions of its people and pushed more than two million refugees out of Vietnam since 1975. Those dictators are calling dissenting people for what they called “great unity” and “forgetting the past for reconciliation” but they have never moved their hands a millimeter towards such noble rhetoric.

In fact, the 1954 Geneva Agreement has actually created two nations from the territory and people of the same origin. The South Vietnam nation has built its own identity and constructed its own style of a free society whose specific values couldn’t be mistaken. Though that nation is annexed to the other, it still exists in the world history as a symbol of the Right defeated by the Wrong.

-- (tosu_cs@yahoo.com), November 21, 2004.

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