What Were Ho Chi Minh's Thoughts On The South Vietnamese Government?

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leto...@nospam.net

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Oct 7, 2003, 5:09:42 AM10/7/03
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In <oqr3ov4hp4ueoac06...@4ax.com>, on 10/06/03
at 06:41 PM, Al Zeller <Zel...@nscl.msu.edu> said:

>leto...@nospam.net wrote:
>>
>> So??? Read what I said again. Its about talking with directly Ho
>> Chi Minh. We did not do that -- and its one of the lessons we have
>> failed to learn.
>>
>Of course, since Ho died in 1969 communication during the last 4 years of the
>war might have been a little difficult.

>I don't recall us communicating directly with Hitler or Hirohito either. Why
>should trying to communicate directly with him make any difference, in any
>event? He would certainly have learned of any attempt at communication
>because communist countries have this habit of passing the buck upward. If
>he heard about it and ignored it, then it wasn't important anyway. If he
>heard about it and couldn't do anything about it, then he was too powerless
>to have made a difference.

Do I need to simplify the point? The man who was probably the
primary war leader -- the policy maker -- the Sec. of Defense --
said one of the biggest lessons of the war was to talk to the
enemy. In his words that meant Ho Chi Minh.

Now you guys can whine all you want, but the fact remains that the
Sec. of Defense said we never once tried to talk with the enemy
chief -- and that was a **major error.** -- You guys may not like
it, but it is what he said. Deal with it.

>The only direct communication he would have paid attention to
>would have had to been delivered by B-52s.

And the proof of that can be foudn where?

>Al Zeller

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leto...@nospam.net

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Oct 7, 2003, 5:09:43 AM10/7/03
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Go talk with the people/professors involved with "Argument Without
End." I posted what they said. They are reading the NV documents,
they are reading and verifying the US documents. If you disagree
with what they say -- take it up with them.

In <mmr3ovkl96p6uli8j...@4ax.com>, on 10/06/03
at 06:41 PM, Charles Gillen <see-m...@below.com> said:

>leto...@nospam.net wrote:

>> Going further, there are records where people who were friends
>> with Ho Chi Minh and who had contact with him and who volunteered
>> to to carry communications to him -- were in fact rebuffed by the
>> US government.

>Would you mind giving us some specifics? Are you referring to
>Sainteny or Patti, for example. The US did not stop Sainteny,
>DeGaulle did.

>And since you continue to insist "I'm sorry, but the fact is the there was no
>attempt to ever talk with Ho Chi Minh during the
>entire war," could you kindly suggest how we could have done
>that? Before Presidents talk to Presidents, the groundwork has to be laid
>by diplomats. Hanoi rebuffed a long series of
>diplomatic approaches detailed on the State Dept's foreign
>policy archive web site. Should we simply have parachuted
>our Secretary of State into Hanoi and hoped for the best?

>As for people who "volunteer" to carry communications, any
>diplomatic or intelligence officer can tell you all sorts of naive notables
>and outright publicity-seekers with no REAL access
>constantly come out of the woodwork with quack proposals in
>troubled times. I even talked with one old fart in Saigon, a
>political has-been, who approached our Ambassador asking
>a reward of "only" one day's cost of the war if he could help
>end it by contacting with his VC brother.

Ted Gittinger

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Oct 7, 2003, 8:29:40 PM10/7/03
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<leto...@nospam.net> wrote in message
news:2k05ov46v9s5n31jq...@4ax.com...

>
>
> Go talk with the people/professors involved with "Argument Without
> End." I posted what they said. They are reading the NV documents,
> they are reading and verifying the US documents. If you disagree
> with what they say -- take it up with them.

We are taking it up with you, since you raised the issue. But I
have taken it up with some of them, see below.

I have talked at great length with John Prados, who is a
distinguished historian of the war, and who was one of the
"people/professors" you refer to. He, Ed Moise, another noted
historian of the Vietnam War, and William Duiker, who recently
brought our the best biography of Ho Chi Minh to date,
all agree that the only thing Hanoi was willing to seriously
negotiate was our removing ourselves from the war. There are
others who say the same. They are quite familiar with the US
documents, and with the ones that Hanoi has seen fit to make
available.

One scholar who attended the sessions in Hanoi with McNamara told
me that he was rather impressed by McNamara's numerous admissions
that we made errors that should have been avoided. The North
Vietnamese did not reciprocate.

ted

Ted Gittinger

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Oct 7, 2003, 8:29:39 PM10/7/03
to

<leto...@nospam.net> wrote in message
news:se05ov0k4v5nj9jci...@4ax.com...
> In <oqr3ov4hp4ueoac06...@4ax.com>, on 10/06/03

> at 06:41 PM, Al Zeller <Zel...@nscl.msu.edu> said:
>
> >leto...@nospam.net wrote:
> >>
> >> So??? Read what I said again. Its about talking with directly
> >> Ho Chi Minh. We did not do that -- and its one of the lessons
> >> we have failed to learn.
> >>
> >Of course, since Ho died in 1969 communication during the last
> >4 years of the war might have been a little difficult.
>
> >I don't recall us communicating directly with Hitler or Hirohito either.
> >Why should trying to communicate directly with him make any
> >difference, in any event? He would certainly have learned of
> >any attempt at communication because communist countries
> >have this habit of passing the buck upward. If he heard about
> >it and ignored it, then it wasn't important anyway. If he
> >heard about it and couldn't do anything about it, then he was too
> >powerless to have made a difference.
>
> Do I need to simplify the point? The man who was probably the
> primary war leader -- the policy maker -- the Sec. of Defense --
> said one of the biggest lessons of the war was to talk to the
> enemy. In his words that meant Ho Chi Minh.
>
> Now you guys can whine all you want, but the fact remains that the
> Sec. of Defense said we never once tried to talk with the enemy
> chief -- and that was a **major error.** -- You guys may not like
> it, but it is what he said. Deal with it.

I presume you are referring to McNamara. If so, you are mistaken
about him. He was not "the primary war leader" nor the "policy
maker." Those roles belonged to the president.

We made many, many peace overtures to Hanoi, both public and
secret. Ho certainly knew about them. If he had wanted to
contact the president, our address was well known.

And we don't have to "deal with" something McNamara said. He has
said many foolish things about Vietnam in the last twenty years or
so. That is his problem, not ours.

In any case, it would have done no good for our president to talk
directly to Ho. The North Vietnamese were not going to negotiate
anything that did not result in our leaving the South. That was
their bottom line. I think it was Le Duc Tho who smilingly said
in an interview with a European journalist that there was really
nothing to talk about.

ted

KyPhong

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Oct 7, 2003, 8:29:38 PM10/7/03
to
I do not think McNamara really KNEW what was going on --and
the Vietnamese mentality for that matter.
As for the book you mention: in my opinion, ain't nothing in
there to read.
And for your information, Robert Brighan's Vietnamese barely
passes grade school.
We have more Vietnam experts/speakers in this forum than you
think.
Regards,
KyP...@erols.com.

leto...@nospam.net wrote in message
<2k05ov46v9s5n31jq...@4ax.com>...


>
>
>Go talk with the people/professors involved with "Argument
>Without End." I posted what they said. They are reading
>the NV documents, they are reading and verifying the US
>documents. If you disagree >with what they say -- take it
>up with them.
>

>In <mmr3ovkl96p6uli8j...@4ax.com>, on
10/06/03


> at 06:41 PM, Charles Gillen <see-m...@below.com> said:
>
>>leto...@nospam.net wrote:

Al Zeller

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Oct 7, 2003, 8:29:38 PM10/7/03
to
leto...@nospam.net wrote:
>
> Do I need to simplify the point? The man who was probably the
> primary war leader -- the policy maker -- the Sec. of Defense --
> said one of the biggest lessons of the war was to talk to the
> enemy. In his words that meant Ho Chi Minh.
>
> Now you guys can whine all you want, but the fact remains that the
> Sec. of Defense said we never once tried to talk with the enemy
> chief -- and that was a **major error.** -- You guys may not like
> it, but it is what he said. Deal with it.
>
I'm quite willing to admit that that particular Secretary of
Defense was very familiar with major errors, but that clearly
doesn't mean LBJ talking to HCM would have changed things one
iota. I ask again: What would FDR have accomplished, in simili
modo, talking with Hitler or Hirohito?


> >The only direct communication he would have paid attention to
> >would have had to been delivered by B-52s.
>
> And the proof of that can be foudn where?
>
Ask the mayor of Hiroshima.

Al Zeller

leto...@nospam.net

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Oct 8, 2003, 5:49:56 AM10/8/03
to
In <r5m6ov0a45e406kr5...@4ax.com>, on 10/07/03
at 08:29 PM, "Ted Gittinger" <tgitting...@austin.rr.com>
said:

><leto...@nospam.net> wrote in message
>news:se05ov0k4v5nj9jci...@4ax.com...
>> In <oqr3ov4hp4ueoac06...@4ax.com>, on 10/06/03
>> at 06:41 PM, Al Zeller <Zel...@nscl.msu.edu> said:
>>
>> >leto...@nospam.net wrote:
>> >>
>> >> So??? Read what I said again. Its about talking with directly
>> >> Ho Chi Minh. We did not do that -- and its one of the lessons
>> >> we have failed to learn.
>> >>
>> >Of course, since Ho died in 1969 communication during the last
>> >4 years of the war might have been a little difficult.
>>
>> >I don't recall us communicating directly with Hitler or Hirohito either.
>> >Why should trying to communicate directly with him make any
>> >difference, in any event? He would certainly have learned of
>> >any attempt at communication because communist countries
>> >have this habit of passing the buck upward. If he heard about
>> >it and ignored it, then it wasn't important anyway. If he
>> >heard about it and couldn't do anything about it, then he was too
>> >powerless to have made a difference.
>>

>> Do I need to simplify the point? The man who was probably the
>> primary war leader -- the policy maker -- the Sec. of Defense --
>> said one of the biggest lessons of the war was to talk to the
>> enemy. In his words that meant Ho Chi Minh.
>>
>> Now you guys can whine all you want, but the fact remains that the
>> Sec. of Defense said we never once tried to talk with the enemy
>> chief -- and that was a **major error.** -- You guys may not like
>> it, but it is what he said. Deal with it.

>I presume you are referring to McNamara. If so, you are mistaken

>about him. He was not "the primary war leader" nor the "policy
>maker." Those roles belonged to the president.

Don't pick over my words and play semantics -- when you well
understand the point.

>We made many, many peace overtures to Hanoi, both public and
>secret. Ho certainly knew about them. If he had wanted to
>contact the president, our address was well known.

So you think Mcnamara doesn't know what he is talking about. -- I
think he was there. You weren't.

>And we don't have to "deal with" something McNamara said. He
>has said many foolish things about Vietnam in the last twenty
>years or so. That is his problem, not ours.

>In any case, it would have done no good for our president to talk
>directly to Ho.

I never said anything about the president talking with Ho.
Mcnamara didn't either. You guys need to stop reading what isn't
there.

> The North Vietnamese were not going to negotiate anything that
>did not result in our leaving the South. That was their bottom line.
>I think it was Le Duc Tho who smilingly said in an interview with
>a European journalist that >there was really nothing to talk about.

Isn't that the point Mcnamara is making -- talk... understand the
mindset of the enemy, so you don't as a policy continue a war no
one understands and that you can't win -- yet, you guys seem to
be trying with all your might to misunderstand what Mcnamara is
saying.

leto...@nospam.net

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Oct 8, 2003, 5:49:55 AM10/8/03
to
In <31m6ovoecab57j85c...@4ax.com>, on 10/07/03
at 08:29 PM, "KyPhong" <KyP...@erols.com> said:

>I do not think McNamara really KNEW what was going on --and
>the Vietnamese mentality for that matter.

Pay attention. hat is his point; Talk to the enemy!

>As for the book you mention: in my opinion, ain't nothing in
>there to read.
>And for your information, Robert Brighan's Vietnamese barely
>passes grade school.
>We have more Vietnam experts/speakers in this forum than you
>think.

And none of them were at the policy level of McNamara -- who
is telling us what went wrong.

>Regards,
>KyP...@erols.com.

>leto...@nospam.net wrote in message
><2k05ov46v9s5n31jq...@4ax.com>...
>>
>>Go talk with the people/professors involved with "Argument
>>Without End." I posted what they said. They are reading
>>the NV documents, they are reading and verifying the US
>>documents. If you disagree >with what they say -- take it
>>up with them.
>>

>>In <mmr3ovkl96p6uli8j...@4ax.com>, on
>10/06/03


>> at 06:41 PM, Charles Gillen <see-m...@below.com> said:
>>
>>>leto...@nospam.net wrote:

leto...@nospam.net

unread,
Oct 8, 2003, 5:49:56 AM10/8/03
to
In <kdm6ovsqm4kqv3onm...@4ax.com>, on 10/07/03
at 08:29 PM, "Ted Gittinger" <tgitting...@austin.rr.com>
said:

><leto...@nospam.net> wrote in message
>news:2k05ov46v9s5n31jq...@4ax.com...


>>
>>
>> Go talk with the people/professors involved with "Argument Without
>> End." I posted what they said. They are reading the NV documents,
>> they are reading and verifying the US documents. If you disagree
>> with what they say -- take it up with them.

>We are taking it up with you, since you raised the issue. But I have taken


>it up with some of them, see below.

>I have talked at great length with John Prados, who is a
>distinguished historian of the war, and who was one of the
>"people/professors" you refer to. He, Ed Moise, another noted
>historian of the Vietnam War, and William Duiker, who recently
>brought our the best biography of Ho Chi Minh to date,
>all agree that the only thing Hanoi was willing to seriously
>negotiate was our removing ourselves from the war. There are
>others who say the same. They are quite familiar with the US
>documents, and with the ones that Hanoi has seen fit to make
>available.

You're reading into my words things I never said, nor did
McNamara. He said "Talk with the enemy." That didn't say
he meant "negotiate." It means talk until you understand the
mindset and then make policy. E.g., we fought a war and
didn't know exactly what we were fighting until it became clear
sometime long after it was clear couldn't win there or sell it on
the home front.

The British crown and Parliament had the same problem in
1776. It continued until at least 1814 -- That is 38 years of
not understanding the mindset of the enemy -- two generations
didn't get it, until sometime after the day they when home to
fight no more. McNamara is trying to tell us we didn't get it in
Veitnam, because we didn't talk with the enemy until we
understood him. If we had -- we would have stopped far
short of where we went.



>One scholar who attended the sessions in Hanoi with McNamara told me that he
>was rather impressed by McNamara's numerous admissions that we made errors
>that should have been avoided.

Isn't that the point in "talk with the enemy."

> The North Vietnamese did not reciprocate.

Isn't that the point in "talk with the enemy."

>ted


>>
>> In <mmr3ovkl96p6uli8j...@4ax.com>, on 10/06/03
>> at 06:41 PM, Charles Gillen <see-m...@below.com> said:
>>
>> >leto...@nospam.net wrote:
>>

-----

leto...@nospam.net

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Oct 8, 2003, 5:49:57 AM10/8/03
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In <stl6ovoobd6g36t1a...@4ax.com>, on 10/07/03
at 08:29 PM, Al Zeller <Zel...@nscl.msu.edu> said:

>leto...@nospam.net wrote:
>>
>> Do I need to simplify the point? The man who was probably the
>> primary war leader -- the policy maker -- the Sec. of Defense --
>> said one of the biggest lessons of the war was to talk to the
>> enemy. In his words that meant Ho Chi Minh.
>>
>> Now you guys can whine all you want, but the fact remains that the
>> Sec. of Defense said we never once tried to talk with the enemy
>> chief -- and that was a **major error.** -- You guys may not like
>> it, but it is what he said. Deal with it.
>>

>I'm quite willing to admit that that particular Secretary of
>Defense was very familiar with major errors, but that clearly
>doesn't mean LBJ talking to HCM would have changed things one
>iota.

I never said anything about LBJ to HCM talking. I reported that
our policy maker said one of the major mistakes was not talking
directly at high levels to the enemy. E.g., he understands now
that the war could have ended long before it did if people had
used their brains -- as in, if you're having a major fight with
the wife, you don't send messages through the kids hoping to
end it -- you get involved and understand the problem first hand.

I ask again: What would FDR have accomplished, in simili
>modo, talking with Hitler or Hirohito?

I don't know if that is a non sequitur or a nonsense question --
as I never said anything about LBJ talking to HCM. However,
we do know that since 1962 -- when we came to the edge of
blowing up the world -- its been pretty common for leaders to
talk to with other when there was need to end a crisis. In the
case of Vietnam, McNamara is telling us we should have
learned what the enemy is thinking and why. We didn't do
that, and one lesson is; "talk with the enemy."

-- I'm actually amazed here. It now 30 years later -- when people
know that something close to 180 or more peace offereings were
rejected in a ten year period (an average of one every two to
three weeks) -- yet some are still having trouble with the idea
that we just didn't get it (and the rejections were a clue that
only the arrogant could and did miss), but here they are
still trying to argue that McNamara is wrong when he says one
lesson is "talk with the enemy," until you know what makes him
tick.

>
>> >The only direct communication he would have paid attention to
>> >would have had to been delivered by B-52s.
>>
>> And the proof of that can be foudn where?
>>
>Ask the mayor of Hiroshima.

Guess you missed out on understanding what the Cold War was
and meant. -- If we had followed your path, it would have evolved
into WWIII.

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