Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dr. Sanity on terrorists and the press

I think this article by Dr. Sanity is very--sane. She has done some original work here, analyzing the complex interplay between terrorists and the press and comparing it to the suicidal gestures of Borderline patients and the reactions of their enablers in the helping professions.

Terrorists need the press very, very badly; in fact, they could not function without it. Oh, they could kill people, but they couldn't get the word out properly. Unfortunately, as Dr. Sanity rightly points out, the Munich Olympics massacre taught the Palestinians, and all potential terrorists, the important lesson that terrorism pays. It's been paying ever since.

Dr. Sanity also offers some excellent suggestions that the press would do well to adopt to end this symbiotic (or perhaps parasitic) relationship. But I wouldn't advise you to sit on a hot stove till they do.


At 11:40 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

"Dr. Sanity also offers some excellent suggestions that the press would do well to adopt to end this symbiotic (or perhaps parasitic) relationship. But I wouldn't advise you to sit on a hot stove till they do."

Excellent advice...well heeded.

As you are probably aware, the sensationalist journalists' adage is:
"If it bleeds, it leads."

Irresponsible cretins abound...

At 6:03 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only thing the press upholds as 'journalistic standard' is the Al Queda training manual.

At 6:12 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Terrorism pays all right, just take a look at America and the major European players. Or doesn't State sponsored terrorism count in your book?

Instead of talking about the press everyone's time might be better spent focuing on the route causes of terrorism, namely our terrorism against them. Our meddling in their internal affairs, assasinating their leaders, invasions, playing one state against the other as we arm all sides, not to mention our one sided Israeli policy.

Irresponsible cretins abound all right, in Washington, London and Paris that is.

At 7:42 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Ho - if taliban style rule and law is all that is being offered up by these islamic, fundamentalist, wahhabi facists, then by any and all means necessary must it be eradicated. If their vision is keeping half the world's population locked in homes, uneducated, unemployed, pregnant and the property of males, then it is better to die fighting this monstrous aberration than to bear its living degradation. We simply will not be driven back to the stone-age of sharia law. Yes, there is injustice done in the course of civilized advancement, there are crimes and mistakes and there are some bad leaders, but the operative word here is progression, not regression. Contrast the terrorist who blows himself up in order to kill civilians with the firefighter that goes into the twin towers and dies trying to save people. Which mentality will ultimately prevail? Which sustains human potential? Which gurantees our collective survival? History shows this scourge of islamic terrorism will run its course. Responsible journalism certainly could facilitate the process.

At 9:38 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Lao said...

I would like to see someone be able truly explain the liberal mindset to me and explain what makes these people so full of self-hatred.

Maybe I have missed it somewhere and if I have, I would be grateful for someone to kindly point it out.

At 10:36 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

Yo Ho,

Let me ask you some questions about meddling.

First of all, in your country of Vietnam, the problems really began with French colonialism in the 1840's. During World War II, you were under the control of the Japanese, and as the war was coming to an end you, Ho, were beginning to organize a movement to rise up in revolution and retake control of the country. Aside from the fact that you were communist, this was laudable.

There were two problems for you however. Due to some of your "tactics" which enable you to win 300 of 350 seats in the general assembly, the opposition parties had begun to cooperate rather than fight amongst themselves. Also, the French wanted their "colony" back.

Had you not relied upon unsavory tactics to ensure your victory, it is likely that the "opposition" parties which were primarily located in the south would have sided with you against the French and brought about Vietnamese independence much more quickly. As it was, the south threw it's lot in with France.

Was that French "meddling"? Or did you choose the wrong strategy?

In the period between French involvement and the US involvement, the biggest mistake that the US made was in helping Ngo Dinh Diem win a referendum to replace Emperor Bao Dai.

As it turned out, Ngo Dinh Diem used the same tactics in the south that you were using in the north. His major oppostition was with the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao religious sects, and the Binh Xuyen mafia. By 1960, Diem was effectively a dictator.

So here's the next instance of meddling, and it can be legitimately argued that the US made a major misstep here. But you must realize that the only alternative (other than perhaps supporting a better leader for the south) would have been to allow you to continue to use your brutal tactics to take control of the south.

The die was cast following the meeting between Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna. Khrushchev tried to bully Kennedy into conceding certain key "contests" (e.g. Berlin). With your infiltration in the south and Dien's tactics, the Communists were set to win the election that was coming. Kennedy decided he couldn't afford the loss. With the memory of the fall of China while Truman did little to stop it, JFK felt he couldn't appear to be "another Democrat soft on Communism". Adopting a strategy of "limited warfare" sealed the deal... the result was determined. All that was left was to determine the final body count.

The vast majority of US meddling can be directly attributed to the giant chess match between the US, USSR, and China with most of the third world acting as pawns.

If the US had not meddled, that didn't mean that the Chinese and Soviets wouldn't either. Communism is not nice to people who oppose it. Had we ignored it's advance, people would still die brutally. If anything, the biggest mistakes the US made were in choosing how and when to meddle.

Your neighbor Cambodia saw a slaughter after the Vietnam war had ended. But the United States, still stinging from Vietnam, and with the general population war-weary, did nothing. Hundreds of thousands of people died in Cambodia and we didn't even stand by and watch... we pretended it didn't happen.

We should have meddled.

At 10:40 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, the most useful insight in Dr. Sanity's posting full of useful insights is the idea that terrorists always "win," in the sense that they always gain a margin of support, no matter how atrocious their acts.

Before 9/11 there was no constituency of support for Al Qaeda in the west outside of a militant fringe of the muslim community. After 9/11, there still isn't much open support for Al Qaeda, however much tacit support there may be among some parts of the radical left. But what Al Qaeda did win for itself on 9/11 was the foundation for its future "legitimacy" when the memory of its attacks that day starts to fade.

I've always thought that within five years of 9/11 we would see the appearance of Osama bin Laden as a gothic-camp icon on dorm room walls, a la Charles Manson and other serial killers.

I'll add to that a speculation that within ten years of 9/11 we'll see the emergence of Al Qaeda as a "mainstream" movement with which certain parties, mostly European governments and left-wing groups, will be willing to negotiate openly.

The relevant precedent here is one that Dr. Sanity notes: the case of the Palestinian movement as it evolved from a primarily terrorist approach in the 1960's to one which mingles terrorism and "legitimate" advocacy.

I think there will come a time when Al Qaeda takes steps to "moderate" its stance toward the West, at which point the refusal of the U.S. and others to negotiate will be seen by the movement's enablers as proof that the U.S. and its allies were "terrorists" themselves all along or, at best, as much the source of the terrorist dynamic as Al Qaeda itself.

Osama bin Laden's video on the eve of the presidential election was a preview of this approch, with its attempt to "reason" with sections of the U.S. population. The "overture" was rejected then and one hopes that it will always be.

We should be as wary of Al Qaeda's carrots as we have been of its sticks. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that some of us won't be.

At 10:46 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

Yo Ho,

You said: "playing one state against the other as we arm all sides, not to mention our one sided Israeli policy."

Okay, I'm confused here. Should we play both sides or pick a side?

With regard to Israel, they had very little "one-sided" support from us until after the Six-day War in 1967. After that, it was obvious that Israel was going to be under siege by the Arab states for a very long time.

At 10:57 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I guess it is my day to ramble and occupy blog space. I often try to view Liberals as watch-dogs in the sense of trying to hold the rest of us to a higher standard. I try to see them as a force that brings balance in a Democracy. I see them as idealists strongly desiring equity and fair play in life. They are as divers as Conservatives are and neither side of this polarity can fairly and adequately catergorize the other with a catch-all description. The piece of advise that has best served me came from an ultra-liberal college professor who told me never to deny an opponent his or her humanity. That advice is hard to apply, but it must be applied, somehow. I see Liberals at present serving to keep some of us hard-corps conservatives from turning into what we are fighting
against in this war against terrorism. I do. It is easy for me to say 'kill em' all and let God sort em' out' and folks like me are more than capable of doing just that. Applied intelligence is fostered when other, differing voices chime in, fortunately. They are every bit as wary of us as we are of them but finding common ground is the real challenge of thinking people. Having survived the war of Independence, the war of 1812, the civil war, countless natural calamities and many other wars, the great depression, the vast upheaval of the labor union and civil rights movements and 9/11, we certainly will make it through these devisive times. We are more than the harsh feelings generated by a simple George Bush/Howard Dean dichotomy, much more than that. To answer your question Ihm, I don't think the Liberal mind-set can be fully understood and explained until we fully understand our own. Freedom of expression is indeed a wonderful thing and it is of vital importance that we continue to exercise this freedom, the opportunity for which this forum aptly provides.

At 11:18 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Bryan - I always get a good laugh when people harp and whine that the US provides and sells arms to Israel. I always think of all those Soviet tanks and equipment used by the arab armies that tried to invade Israel ( the Geneva conventions certainly wouldn't have been applied had they succeeded, but that is another matter). How many attempted invasions were there? 3?4? I forget, but I remember well the pictures and news clips of Soviet tanks and all the AK-47s rifles. None of that was made in Cairo or Damascus now was it?
The world's two super powers each took a side and provided assistance and guess who won? Outnumbered by about 52-1 and totally surrounded by arab neighbors armed to the teeth with state of the art Soviet equipment, invaded 3-4 times and the Jews won! HA! HA! Who says there isn't a little justice in the world from time to time? Oh little Israel! while you were putting a man into orbit in outer space, the neighbors were engaging in honor killings. My my! and some think the terrorists in Iraq are going to win by blowing up women and children at the markets and hospitals......

At 5:23 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


It's time for people like you to realise that there are ass-holes everywhere, Islamic ass-holes in the Middle East, in Europe anti-communist ass-holes (Hitler for one), not to mention ass-holes in Africa, Asia, everywhere. So what?
My point is that without them serving a western interest, primarirly anti-communism, they would never have recieved the political, financial and military capabilities to do any harm. Welcome to planet earth. This is how the world works. Open your eyes.

You probably know an ass-hole down at your local bar. So what? ..What happens when a representive of the U.S. or European government sits down for lunch with him? Then suddenly he's a big ass-hole that can actually do so harm. A perfect example is Saddam and the Taliban. As an American, citizen of a country that assisted their rise to power in the first place, how can any of us moralise about "taking them out", or helping anyone? America stands for it's sole economic interest, at the cost of anyone or anything. It has nothing to do with "self-hate", it's just history. Grow up and face it.

..Do you know where your library card is?

At 5:37 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi lhm.

I'll try to explain it to you. Brutal, injust 19th Century western colonialism illicited a response in the form of communism.
Before it had even done anything wrong "we" (Europe, the U.S., remnants of the Czars Army), attacked it, radicalising it. Appealing to the masses, fascism was backed by the west to contain it, in Europe, Africa and Asia. Luckly for us we "only" had McCarthy. Of course fascism only radicalised communism further.

I do not hate myself or America. I hate us causing the problems (wars and misery) that give us a false sense of superiority when we "fix" them. A fireman who starts a fire then puts it out is not a hero.

I hate to break it to you, there is nothing heroic about the United States either.

At 5:59 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Bryan:

We have, at one point or the other, armed all sides in the middle east, something Arabs, not to mention Islamic terrorists don't appreciate.

When I say our one sided policy Israeli policy I mean in the context of the Palistinian problem. Israel gets a "get out of jail free card", money, weapons, the benefit of the doubt, while the Palestinians get ..the full measure of the law. Nothing.

You're right, it wasn't always like that. At one point we even armed Hamas and other radical Palestinians (1970's) to splinter Arafat's control, to weaken him. ..And it worked.

Everyone knew way before 1948 statehood that Israel, once created, would be under seige. A British government official was prophetic enough to predict in his diary that Israel would be their "little Ulster Brigade".

The only way to defuse the situation then, and now, is to name a Palestinian as leader of Jordan, where they are the majority. But then, like now, that would mean the west losing an ally. And maybe even worse, ..peace. If there was peace how could the U.S. sell protection, maintain it's strategic hold on a very strategic region?

At 7:19 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Bryan again (about Vietnam):

Don't forget it was Ho Chi Minh's working with the U.S. against Japan that catapulted him to a leadership postition. Until then he was a minor figure in a land with hundreds of local revolutionary groups. He had an American pilot (Charles Fenn), American radio's, uniforms and weapons. It was this appearance that he was with the American's that made him Vietnam's leader at the founding of modern Vietnam, the conference held in Tan Trao on August 16 1945, certainly the greatest irony of our Vietnam War.

I would not make much of his communist connection. It was Leon Blum, Ho Chi Minh's mentor in Paris at the end of W.W.I (both founding members of the French Communist Party) who was Prime Minister of France at the end of W.W.II, the very same guy who led France in crushing his proteges newly independent Vietnam, starting the bloody French Indochina War.

Russia too sold out their supposedly "loyal servant" many times. At the Potsdam Conference at the end of W.W.II that helped divide the world, Stalin, who chaired the conference, showed no interest what-so-ever in Vietnam, deferring militray control to the English and Chiang Kai-chek (merely an observer at the meeting).

As the English-French-Chinese proceeded to crush Vietnamese independence Stalin answered none of Ho's appeals for help. After the Geneva Agreement other betrayals followed, practicularly the Soviets agreeing at the U.N. to allow the south membership if the north got it too, trashing the core unification (election) provisions of the agreement, the sole reason the Viet Minh went to Geneva in the first place, because they won the French-Indochina War.

There was a short lived provisional Vietnamese governemnt at the end of W.W.II, with a single house legislature. Some opposition parties did decide to side with the French, mainly the Catholics and other gangs which profitted under French rule. Yet it was not only the French who wanted their colony back, England and Holland wanted their colonies back too, and feared that if Vietnam's independence took off it would cause other colonies to seek independence too. The first reference to the domino theory, independence, not communism.

There is no way the Catholic's in the south would ever have sided with Vietnamese independence against France. It wouldn't of mattered if Ho crushed the other opposition or not. France had arranged England to help, indeed re-arming the Japanese to crush Vietnam's independence, and Nazi's were recruited into the French Foreign Legion to retake their colony. Then the American's figured out what they wanted to do and finally sided with France. The Europeans were determined not to lose their prize colonial possessions after winning W.W.II. Nothing was going to stop them, as much is obvious.

I disagree that Northern Vietnam used the same tactics as Ngo Diem in the south. They didn't have too. Most of the Catholics had already regrouped to the southern Geneva cease-fire zone before Ho took control. Not that people weren't executions in the North, it just isn't in the same league as Diem. We can exchange info on that theme if you like.

Diem's oppostition was, other then the ex-Catholic oligarchy, just about everybody. He wasn't a dictator as of 1960, he was a dictator as soon he was got of the plane from New Jersey, out-lawing all political parties and press, and rounding up anyone suspected of siding with the Viet Minh against the previous French War. And that was a lot.

There was another alternative to all this other then war, that is "us or the commies". We could have stood up for Ho at the end of W.W.II and granted his requests to become an American protectorate. But we sold him out to trans-Atlantic, U.S. European cohesion. No doubt all of this was played out in a grand east-west chessgame. But the Vietnamese were not pawns, neither were they made of wood.

I agree politicians seeking re-electionw were a prime contributor to our Vietnam War. No one could be soft on communism, even if there was a logical-moral argument.

The Chinese always wanted Vietnam, they were arch enemies, not friends. Russia historically had little interest in Indo-china, until we started bombing it of course, then it had to do something to save face in the Comintern, the communist community.

"Communism is not nice to people who oppose it". The people of Vietnam opposed capitalism and we weren't very nice to them either. Yet I disagree the Vietnam conflict had anything to do with them wanting to be communist, or Russia wanting them to be communist. It's just the way things worked out in the end of the mess.

Yes Cambodia saw a slaughter after the Vietnam War, but again I would debate the numbers. The big slaughter took place though during America's five year "secret" carpet bombing, smashing ever aspect of Cambodian society to pieces, destryoing the country-side, crops, causing mass starvation and disease, not to mention the political vacuum that allowed a kook like Pol pot to take power in the first place.

Other then that I disagree we did nothing in Cambodia. We gave them aid to attack Vietnam after we pulled out. President Bush even caused much embarassment demanding Pol Pot be given a seat at the U.N. conference that brokered Vietnam's withdrawl.

We meddled enough, everywhere. The big mistake we made though was not backing Vietnamese independence after W.W.II. Don't forget this was the time a lot of noble rhetoric was flying around the founding of the United Nations, when they were supposed to get it, especially if they sided with "us" against the Nazi Axis. Unfortunately we sold them (and later our own) out.

To Vietnam's credit they avenged our betrayal. After all, it is their land.

At 9:57 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Ho - the turning point in the Soviets invasion of Afghanistan came when the Mujahadeen were given US stinger missles, which in turn started taking down the Soviet Hind attack helicopters. The Hind was not only devastating entire villages even remotely suspected of being logistical bases for the mujahadeen, but were keeping mujahadeen patrols and movements somewhat in check. How typically Left wing of you to actually believe that by assisting someone to fight a common enemy we, or anyone for that matter, become responsible for the aftermath. We have never had any logistical interest in Afghanistan until the taliban became pro al qaidah and training camps were developed, which led to 9/11 and their subsequent destruction. You have an odd sense of geo-politics and history. Now we do have logistical interests in Afghanistan due to the democratization there, but more importantly, to stay on the flank of Iran as they seek to become a nuclear power. Using your logic, we would have stepped in immediately once the Soviets left.
Sure we had a relationship with the taliban. Can you guess why? To keep the heroin focused more on the Asian markets and less on Europe, our allies. That is the Pakistani connection to Afghanistan by the way. The taliban shouldn't have gotten in bed with bin laden - now they are trapped in the Paki frontier caught between Musharraf on one side and the US on the other side. That's the price one pays for double dealing against the US. The same goes for saddam hussein, who is going to be hanged and his execution televised to the world. Another 3rd worlder fighting a common enemy, Iran, but something tells me you think the US should have just turned the other cheek to Khomeni, right? Anyway, saddam thought he could equal Saudi Arabia in power and influence if he just had more oil. He actually had trans-arab dreams - can you imagine that? Sort of like our concept of manifest destiny, wouldn't you say, Ho? Funny isn't it how in nature and human affairs, some nations are just plain dominant and others are not. How typically Left of you to believe some nations should have this status, but not America. What do you have left on the board, Ho?
The UN is about discredited, the EU is falling apart and Europe's overall economy is not exactly robust. All you have is China, but don't you suppose Japan will go nuclear very soon? It would be in our interest, wouldn't it? Somebody has to be a winner, Ho, it may as well be the US. You must have ulcers as you go to the library and study US history trying to figure out how we manage to exist and grow. Good luck and happy reading!

At 11:33 PM, June 10, 2005, Blogger ronin1516 said...

Guys, Ho here is just trying to initially play the hate-America card, and then , faced with reasoned arguments, start backpedalling furiously to nottry to sound like Howard dean or any of the most extreme hate-America types. Give it up, Ho. If you really are a 'ho, shouldnt you be back walking the streets looking for your "dates"?

At 4:42 AM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Goesch,

You missed my point. The U.S. must take a responsibility "for the aftermath" of our meddling, if only because without OUR assistance, in this case the Taliban, they would have never been elevated to a position WHERE THEY COULD HAVE DONE ANY HARM: Like rule the country. Again, if we hadn't have de-stabilised Afghanistan after the fall of the Shah and losing Iran, the Russians NEVER WOULD HAVE INVADED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

You laid out the chain of events I'm speaking of, the cause and effect mechanism of our foreign policy in the Middle East, pretty well yourself. If you would have started with our assissination of Iran's first democratically elected President, Dr. Massagdeh in the '50's, it would almost be complete.
But my point is not "typically (American) lefty" either, that we needed to get in bed with the like of the Taliban and Saddam to defeat communism. This type of brutal, self centered Machevellian politics is not what defeated communism like you believe, it is what created communism in the first place.

I'll ask you a question, why did people become communist in the first place? And when they did, why did "we" have to try and destroy it? Why should we care? If our system is so god damned great why didn't we let them? Wouldn't they have found out the hard way that they were wrong, and come around to "capitalism" sooner or later? A much better scenario then radicalising a popular movement to the point we end up blowing every corner of the world apart. ..And it's still not over.

You think we had to "do it", arm the likes of the Taliban, to defeat "our enemy". But Russia never wanted to be our enemy. But if we refused to treat them fairly, with respect and as equals, from the inseption, then we create an enemy. This is the most simple rule of social behavior, exactly what I'm talking about.

This is a "what came first, the chicken or the egg" type question. To get a better picture one would have to start at the beginning of the Russian revolution, that is, take things in their chronological order. I'm ready if you are.

And what is this crap about "self-hate"? Where do American's pick-up such garbage (too many psychiatrists in America I guess).

At 4:52 AM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Ronin,

Can you explain where I "back-pedalled furiously"?

Or are you just another loud mouthed American automaton full of shit?

(To other who may be observing, until our friend Ronin here berated me my responses to you all were civil and friendly. It was his (or her's) callous behaviour that "radicalised" me, illiting me to do the same. This is exactly the point I tried to make above).

At 6:14 AM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Ho Chi Minh (HCM), you're an enthusiast and an apologist for the real Ho Chi Minh, there's little doubt of that. I could also show you where you've backpedalled after attempting to peddle your ideological conceits, but for now the following, beginning with a quote of yours:

"I would not make much of his [Ho Chi Minh's] communist connection." HCM

Lol! Good grief, and this is not at all untypical of your attempts at arguing your position, so much of it is muddled or is little or nothing more than axiomatic, i.e., making assertions and saying "trust me". There are prominent aspects of Ho Chi Minh's life-long commitments that are well known, none of which substantially mitigate against his Leninist/Stalinist and Maoist interests, some examples follow:

1920 - founding member of the French Communist Party, participated in the Third Internationale, began publishing in Marxist periodicals, voted to subordinate the French Communist Party to the Soviet directed Comintern

1923 - traveled to the Soviet Union to study revolution and Marxism, became directly involved in the Comintern

1924 - traveled to Canton, China as a Comintern agent, to lecture on ideology and help organize revolutionary cadres

1927 - published "The Revolutionary Path," based on his lectures

1930 - established the Indochinese (Vietnam) Communist Party while in Hong Kong

1942 - imprisoned for revolutionary activities in China

1945/6 - "Democratic [sic] Republic of Vietnam" (DRV) created in the wake of WWII, Ho named president; the French reassert their colonial interests; Ho begins to lead the Viet Minh against French colonial powers

1954 - French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; Geneva Accords divide country into two provisional states, North and South, along 17th parallel, Communist North headed by Ho and South initially headed by Bao Dai who in turn appoints Diem.

1945/54 - Various Stalinist/Maoist purges against non-communist nationalists, anti-communists and pro-French, other "class enemies," Trotskyites, etc. - 10,000 to 20,000 indigenous Vietnamese killed

1953/6 - Ho's regime initiates Maoist Rent Reduction and Land Reform Acts, 100,000 to 300,000 summarily executed or otherwise killed and similar numbers imprisoned. Even Edwin Moise writing in 1983, a decidedly Leftist historian and Ho sympathizer who minimizes the executions which occurred - he sites 3,000 to 15,000 summary executions while others, as noted, site between 100,000 and 300,000 total killed, some higher than 300,000 - notes that "In Vietnam there were more punishments [than in China] for imaginary crimes." As a sympathizer and enthusiast of Ho's regime, Moise also reasons there were "valid reasons" for these excesses, which hints at how much of an apologist and enthusiast Moise is for Ho Chi Minh.

1945/54 - These numbers (from the above two timelines) are supported with highly detailed statistics, min/max ranges, numerous references, etc., here at a site maintained by professor R J Rummel. Moise, for example, is referenced on line 282 of table 6.1A. (Rummel's term 'democide' refers to people killed by their own government, e.g., North Vietnamese govt. killing indigenous North Vietnamese.) The two (gif) tables referred to in that link can be found here (table 6.1A) and here (table 6.1B).

1954/5 - migration between North and South commences as one aspect of the Geneva accords - appx. one million migrate from the North to the South, roughly 100k in the opposite direction

1959 - resigns from his leadership role of Secretary-General for health reasons

Two sympathetic biographical sketches of Ho here and here.

Two book length reports of Vietnam's Gulags here and here.

One might choose to sympathize with the historical forces Ho was facing, but to say his Leninist/Stalinist and Maoist connections and sympathies shouldn't be viewed as primary in his life is silly given his life-long commitments. (And sympathy, at least to some degree, is probably not unwarranted; which serves as striking contrast with the complete lack of any substantial sympathy the Left accords those who variously opposed Ho, who were assassinated, purged, summarily executed or more indirectly killed and imprisoned by his programs, also the 'boat people' and other refugees who suffered as a part of his legacy of Stalinist/Maoist totalitarian rule, the cult of personality, etc.)

Yet another unsympathetic defamation often promulgated by Left/MSM alliances is the notion of the poor quality of the South's army during the conflict. It's a storied history but that smear is countered in large part in this ARVN retrospective, recently offered in a post here at NNC.

HCM, do have a terrific weekend anyway - and here's hoping Angela Merkel wins in September.

At 3:32 PM, June 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


State sponsored terrorism? What are you talking about? The only terrorists are those who would send missles into the buildings of their enemies even when those buildings might have some civiians in them at the time. The U.S. would never do that, would they?

At 7:13 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Michael B.:

Nice of you to offer so many sources.

I'll ask you firdst, where was a person to turn when colonialism and slavery was ravaging his or her country in 1919? Where? The U.S.? Europe? Forget it. That's why people became communist in the first place. Or would you expect the "third world" (including Russia) to roll over and play dead?

Ho was a founding memeber of the French Communist Party? So what? I'll repeat, it was his mentor in Paris, the "fellow traveller" Leon Blum, that was the Prime Minister of France 25 years later that attacked Vietnam and started the French-Indochina War.

Again, Ho in particular became a communist because he sought nation-hood for Vietnam. His passionate speech at the Eighteenth National Congress of the French Socialist Party, December 25-30, 1920, in Tours France, the meeting that saw it splinter into the French Communist Party, makes this very clear. There are numerous other examples. He was communist because he wanted independence for his country. When he saw his chance with the American's he jumped for it. Too bad for everyone we didn't take him up on his offers.

"1930 - established the Indochinese (Vietnam) Communist Party while in Hong Kong". Arrested by the English for deportation to French Indo-china, but under English law his defense lawyer (William Lorbey(?) halts deportation and eventually smuggles him out of the prison hospital to China. There's a statue of Lorbey in Hanoi today.

You forgot that in 1935, as your all controlling Comintern establish it's Popular Front with the west against Hitler, they ordered their communist "robots" to halt activities aginst the west, France included. Ho did not obey orders.

"1942 - imprisoned for revolutionary activities in China". (According to
A.Patti, Ho's OSS handler, it was the U.S. that smuggled Ho out of prison here to help the U.S. fight the Japanese, and later prepare the Red River Delta for a massive U.S. amphibious landing, a much need supply line to China. Operation Carbonado it was called, but the A-Bomb over Japan proved it un-necessary).

"1945/6 - "Democratic [sic] Republic of Vietnam" (DRV) created in the wake of WWII, Ho named president; the French reassert their colonial interests; Ho begins to lead the Viet Minh against French colonial powers". You forgot to mention it was not a communist government he established, rather a single house legislature, at the same time making generous overtures to the U.S. for protection against the French. According to OSS sources making Vietnam an American Protectorate, Camh Ranh Bay as a U.S. Naval base, oil and mineral conncessions etc.

"1954 - French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; Geneva Accords divide country into two provisional states, North and South, along 17th parallel, Communist North headed by Ho and South initially headed by Bao Dai who in turn appoints Diem". Never heard Bao Dai was first leader of south. Where did you read that?
And cheated out of the election provisions that would have united his country, AFTER WINNING THE FRENCH-INDOCHINA WAR ALREADY, might have radicalised the North just a little.

As for alleged Land Reform atrocities I would not dismiss Mr. Moise or D. Gareth Porter's arguments merely as "leftist apologists". Their arguments are basically that most of western estimates are based on a single work Hoang Van Chi's "From Colonialism to Communism", Praeger, 1964. In a Washington Post interview, September 13, 1972, Chi admits his estimates were based on the observation of one village of 200 people, "surely one of the most amazing extra-polations on record". In the St. Louis Post, Sept. 24 1972, an interview with Colonel Nguyen Van Chau, director of the Psychological War Service of the South Vietname Army from 1956-62 that the Communist bloodbath in North Vietban was "100% fabricated".

D. Gareth Porter (Cornell University) also demonstrated falsifications to portray the north in the worst possible light (would we do that?). He also published the International Control Commissions reports monitoring the North during the alleged period of the atrocities, and wonders how such massive a massive slaughter of human beings could have gone undetected for so long, particularly to the anti-communist element of the group (Canada). He too questions Chi as a source, producing one interview in the Saigon press in 1955 where, describing the horrible conditions in the north, he doesn't even mention land reform, and and another where he did not make it sound terribly bad. After 1956, when the North admitted "mistakes" and word came out of excesses, and Truong Chinh resigned as General Secretary, only then did the South jump on it and unsubstantiated, ever increasing numbers started to appear.

Clearly something happened. But I wonder what would have happened in the U.S. to those that sided with the Russinas for so many years under similar circumstances? Would there be no executions? At any rate the figures are dubious. And don't forget we've been known to lie about Communists too. (I'll check out your R.J. Rummel reference). Again, what does this have to do about communism? If it does then Diem's slaughter in the south has to be connected to capitalism. And if that's the case who cares? Clearly it was still war, even if it was in two internationally-brokered cease-fire zones.

As for the Communism that was established in the North it is seldom mentioned incentive systems were built in, as they realised if people were not given one they wouldn't work. People owned their homes, but leased their land. Anything that could be produced over
the state quota could be sold privately, and they could keep the money. We even estimated 55 % of of the income in the north came from private production. (See "Vietnamese Communism: It's Origins and Development", Turner, Hoover Institute Press, Stanford U., 1975, not exactly a liberal institution by the way. Also Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office, Vietnam Documents and Research Notes, U.S. Mission, Saigon, Oct. 1967, No. 63) It was a curious form of communism: Private ownership and worker insentives. But we bombed them anyway.

I still think Communism had little to do with anything we're talking about, the reason for Vietnamese Independence, for the War(s), or even the paculiar system eventually established. The killings, in the North and South as well, were more reprisals that would have taken place anywhere under any system in the same circumstances.

I think we can agree the whole thing was an un-necessary mess.

..Why do you hope Merkel wins?

At 9:15 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I'm just an amateur analyst, but I should point out that the reactionary tendency to automatically blame others for bad deeds is somewhat sociopathic.

"until our friend Ronin here berated me my responses to you all were civil and friendly. It was his (or her's) callous behaviour that "radicalised" me, illiting me to do the same. This is exactly the point I tried to make above"

"I'll ask you firdst, where was a person to turn when colonialism and slavery was ravaging his or her country in 1919? Where? The U.S.? Europe? Forget it. That's why people became communist in the first place. Or would you expect the "third world" (including Russia) to roll over and play dead?"

Colonialism is why people became communist in the first place?? I'm sure that Marx would be surprised to hear that.

The western world is responsible for the fact that communists murdered more than 100 million people? Do tell.

When the communists murdered many millions in the name of progress, was that an example of state terrorism, Ho?

At 7:42 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Mary,

No one is blaming anyone automatically for bad deeds, it's just history. Observing it in it's chronological order is the only way to understand it. In the context of one country or system attacking another it's response isn't sociopathic, it's just a cause and effect mechanism, physics, even human. If you hit me I could hit you back. If you invade my country and kill my family're dead meat. This isn't rocket science, can someone explain to me why this is so difficult to understand?

And Marx would not be surprised, he lived and devised his theories during the height of colonialism, identifying the correlation between politics, profits (including colonialism) and war. That doesn't mean he wasn't a capitalist, only that unchecked it would destroy itself, which by the way we almost did, and still might.

As for millions killed by communists trying to get on their feet, that is truly a horrifying reality, if indeed the numbers are accurate. Yet even the low estimates are repu lsive. I do not see that as a communist phenomenon though, as peoples throughout history have slaughtered a-plenty including the good 'öl U.S.A. as it tried getting on it's feet, ..and long after.

I'll repeat myself again, if we (the west) had not attacked and radicalised communism from it's inception, before they had done anything wrong (other then overthrow their monarch and fall out of our control) things would have turned out much different. Communism is not inherently violent or repressive, but under the stresses we put it under, namely attacks, overt and covert, not to mention embargo's, it became oppresive out of neccessity. To fight Hitler the war material had to come from somewhere? (By the way, who finaced Hitler?)

If I broke into your home everynight would you get paranoid and be on the look-out?

I'm not condoning anything here, just trying to understand it. If I would put the blame on anyone, I would first need to know who started the fight. I believe we started the fight against communism, not they against us. We attacked them first and got the ball rolling. And not so much because they were communists, but because "we" couldn't control them. And considering their appeal to the starving masses as monarchies and colonialism gorged themselves on everyone's misfortune, we wouldn't be able to control our own citizens soon as well.

So we had a bunch of wars, and radicalised the hell out of them. Oh, and ourselves too :-)

At 8:39 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Michael B:

Hi, I checked out Prof. Rummel's site's.

Using American sources he sights some pretty horrific murder figures in South Vietnam. Why U.S. sources, some government, would lie to make themselves look bad is a mystery to me. (Do his total numbers include North and South Vietnam?) Still, in the context of what you're talking about, that is communism killed a lot of people so it's bad, what does Diem's mass murder say about inherent American-Catholic values in the south. Or was this just a civil-war where reprisals were taking place, and long over due scores were settled, something that would happen anywhere under similiar circumstances, including America. Perhaps capitalism and communism have nothing to do with it?

His sources for North Vietnamese Land Reform victims are curious. The low figures are Moise and Porter, both professors I already mentioned, the extremely high figures Chi (who's methods I pointed out already were suspect and dis-credited), and the Washington Post quoting Nixon, P.J. Honey quoting Chi, and Nixon quoting himself.
I'm not convinced, and will look up some other stuff, if I can find it. Rummel admits himself not a lot of research has been done. I hope you'll respond to the criticism on Chi and his methods, and how the ICC (International Control Commission) could have not noticed a substantial portion of North Vietnam's society being executed, while they roamed the country-side looking for violations of the Geneva Agreement. Not to mention there was no mention of "atrocities" until after the North admitted first to "making mistakes", purged those responsible, and the numbers in the South, and the U.S., started shooting off the scale. Was all this propoganda, is it still? How could no one have heard about it?

To his credit Prof. Rummel does acknowledge mass murder on both sides. Again, we should clear up what's what, with Chi particularly. What's the point of citing his numbers, and others who use his source? If they're wrong in 1972 they're wrong in 1992, and still wrong today.

And again, I don't undertsand how in one momet he sights mass political murder throughout history, including America's, then in another uses communist numbers to discredit them.
Again, why don't our numbers discredit us?

He does allude to mass political murder as an art of state-craft, throughout history, the reason people came up with the idea of the U.N. by the way, a mechanism to solve problems peacefully. Perhaps he could explain then why he praises Bush's militaristic style state-craft, and nothing about the U.S. marginalising the U.N.?

At 8:41 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I'll repeat myself again, if we (the west) had not attacked and radicalised communism from it's inception, before they had done anything wrong (other then overthrow their monarch and fall out of our control) things would have turned out much different. Communism is not inherently violent or repressive, but under the stresses we put it under, namely attacks, overt and covert, not to mention embargo's, it became oppresive out of neccessity. To fight Hitler the war material had to come from somewhere? (By the way, who finaced Hitler?)

So, according to your revisionist version of history, America/colonialism is to blame for Hitler's rise to power and the rise of communism.

Are we also responsible for the Holocaust, or did the Holocaust exist in your revisionist view? I'll bet you can't think of one genocide, war or atrocity that wasn't somehow the fault of America or colonialism. We're the root cause of all evil, right?

Sociopath may be too strong a word for this phenomenon- projection is probably a better description of your historical revisionism.

Stalinists and Nazis have always used historical revisionism as a way of hiding their crimes, but the American Progressive Left, represented by people like Chomsky, began to compulsively revise history in the late nineties. Not coincidentally, that was when the Black Book of Communism, and the fact that Communism was responsible for those 100 million deaths, was published:

When it was first published in France in 1997, Le livre noir du Communisme touched off a storm of controversy that continues to rage today. Even some of his contributors shied away from chief editor Stéphane Courtois's conclusion that Communism, in all its many forms, was morally no better than Nazism; the two totalitarian systems, Courtois argued, were far better at killing than at governing, as the world learned to its sorrow.

Communism did kill, Courtois and his fellow historians demonstrate, with ruthless efficiency: 25 million in Russia during the Bolshevik and Stalinist eras, perhaps 65 million in China under the eyes of Mao Zedong, 2 million in Cambodia, millions more Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America--an astonishingly high toll of victims. This freely expressed penchant for homicide, Courtois maintains, was no accident, but an integral trait of a philosophy, and a practical politics, that promised to erase class distinctions by erasing classes and the living humans that populated them.

The progressive Left, which had supported or downplayed the crimes of Communist regimes, must have felt pretty guilty about all those deaths. In my own amateur view, this is a case of projection, or "Attributing one's own undesirabe traits to other people"

Being indirectly responsible for the deaths of many millions is a pretty undesirable trait, especially for leftists who like to pretend to be humanitarians.

I wonder if that's why they began their revisionist campaign and their support of every anti-American dictator under the sun, including Slobodan Milosevic.

Of course, Neo-neocon would know a lot more about this than I do. But Ho, as a geniune historical revisionist in the Chomsky mold, you also know a lot about this problem. Too much, in fact. Is the revisionist movement motivated by guilt over the genocidal effects of communism, or is just a plain hatred of American liberal democracy?

At 8:46 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

oops - ..the last paragraph should be 'as a therapist, neo-neocon would know a lot more about this than I do..'

At 11:16 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

Yo Ho,

Sorry I've missed so much of the conversation. I don't post on the weekend.

I'd like to make a few points:

First, regardless how Ho Chi Minh became a communist, and regardless how many people he killed in the process of seizing control, the fact remains that the only reason the United States became involved in the '60s is because he was communist. Kennedy would not allow himself to APPEAR to be another Democrat soft on Communism ala Truman and China.

Second, while you are free to assert your belief that everything Ho did was for the good of Vietnam, in 1925 he betrayed Phan Boi Chau to the French for 10,000 Hong Kong dollars. (Phan Boi Chau, a fellow communist, advocated peaceful independence from France)

You assert that the OSS had Ho released in 1942. Actually, Nguyen Hai Than requested Chang Kai Sheik to release Ho and he did. It is possible that you are correct and that I am not as much of Ho's "official" biography is manufactured to be more hero-like.

You said: "I disagree that Northern Vietnam used the same tactics as Ngo Diem in the south. They didn't have too. Most of the Catholics had already regrouped to the southern Geneva cease-fire zone before Ho took control."

15,000 Catholics were executed in North Vietnam between 1954 and 1956, the years Ho was consolidating his power. This might explain why Catholics had regrouped in the south.

But it wasn't just Catholics going south. By 1955, over 1,000,000 people had fled the peoples "paradise".

You said: "The people of Vietnam opposed capitalism and we weren't very nice to them either."

More correctly, a minority of the people of Vietnam opposed capitalism, executed and/or terrorized their opposition, and seized control of the country regardless of what the rest wanted.

Finally, one last point, you have repeatedly mentioned that Ho appealed to the US for help against the French while lambasting the US for meddling in foreign affairs. The simple fact of the matter is that Wilson didn't think that Vietnam was worth going up against the French, and neither did Truman. Kennedy was afraid of being labeled soft on communism and then he and Johnson proceeded to mismanage the war they got us into.

At 4:28 PM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...


You're an effusively reckless obscurantist. Am not going to reply to all your misbegotten prolixity (though I could) but will reply to two or three items, in part because you're representative of so many on the Left, blithely and naively misinformed. You dive a foot or two below the surface and then act as if you've gone all the way to the depths.

1) "I still think Communism had little to do with anything we're talking about ..." HCM

The degree to which your implacable, ineducable quality is exhibited here is prominent. In Ho Chi Minh's own words, reflecting, in 1960, on what was then a 40+ year commitment to Marxist/Leninist praxis and ideology, minimally since the Third Internationale, circa 1920. This does not at all preclude Ho's interest in anti-French colonial, nationalist initiatives, in fact, if I understand it correctly, it was one of the Third Internationale's amendments, essentially, to doctrine, that placed an updated Marxist, anti-colonial interest within formal Marxist/Leninist critiques.

Further still, as others have noted, Uncle Joe Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, in addition to Uncle Ho, were nationalists, of a kind, as well. What of it? The most basic point is one of legitimacy not what label or flag, for political expediency, their campaigns run under for the sake of appealing to and coopting their respective populations - the masses.

Regarding the cited work of R. J. Rummel, you might attempt to better combine some basic comprehension and evaluation skills with your reading skills. For one, Rummel does not, in any simple way, rely upon Chi, he rather places him in perspective. Secondly, D. Gareth Porter and Ed Moise positively do evidence they are apologists for Uncle Ho's regime. E.g., Porter has denied the massacre in Hue during the '68 Tet offensive, similar to his near denial of the bloodletting that occured during the Rent Reform and Land Reform acts (Porter describes them as "administrative failures" and refers to "abuse and conflict" all in the context of romanticizing about Uncle Ho's and the North's well meaning intention of "liberation").

Nhan-Dan and Nhan-Van, A Tale of Two Newspapers

Moise, for his part, reportedly bases much of his assessments upon the North's own statistics, such as those published in Nhan-Dan, a communist party newpaper during that era. Similarly, Moise ignores the information that appeared in Nhan-Van, an independent newspaper of the era that was eventually closed down by the communist party.

Still further, there were approximately twenty anti-colonial, nationalist parties vying for leadership and contending with Uncle Ho for authenticity and formal recognition. How do you think they were disappeared? Additionally Ho had other, contending communist leaders executed. For example, Ho also welcomed the French colonialist back to Vietnam, briefly, in 1946, in large part to help ensure the Chinese were removed from the region, but he also used french forces to eliminate some of his own internal, anti-colonial contenders for leadership positions.

As regards the Rent Reform Act and Land Reform Act, 1953 - 1956, it's revealing how you're dismissive of anyone excepting Moise and Porter, yet you fail to reveal how they come up with their own numbers. In sum, it's impossible to take your misbegotten effusions seriously. When you do offer some historical fact, you fail to better place it within its broader, more meaningful context, the most blatant example of which is your fixation on Uncle Ho's nationalist vs. his Leninist/Stalinist and Maoist programs. Re, again, the obdurate, ineducable quality you bring to your posts.

See here for an additional reference of particular significance.

At 7:39 PM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Mary,

I hate to get side-tracked on the Vietnamese issue, but your wrong to think anti-communist elements of American (or any society), and they were many, were not supportive of Hitler, from his inception. Call it revisionist if you like, but lets get down to the hard facts of German history between 1918-1933. Was Germany in a vacuum? Was no one in Germany and the west against the Bolshevik revolution before 1946? And since you brought it up, and I'm quite familiar with German history, I would say yes, Hitler was a Saddam, a Pinochet of his day. A rabid anti-communist with many friends in the west.

You're right to observe similarities in fascism and communism. They were definately at all out war with one another, and mirrored each other in
tactics, consciously or not.

I'll ask you though, what relationship did the U.S. have with anti-communist fascism? In Central or Soutb America, none? In the Middle East, none? In Europe, none? In Asia, none?

Which holocaust are you talking about? The American Indian, the Afro-American, the Vietnamese or Cambodian (that carpet bombing again, ..or the Jew?

Everyone uses revisionist history. That's why were here, to sort out what's what. Or do you believe America is different?

Speaking of genocide, you forgot to mention America's five year carpet bombing of Cambodia? Or did we not hit anybody? U.S. bombing survey estimated 1.5 million dead, from direct hits, famine from destoyed dams and dikes, and disease from lack of water.

"Is the revisionist movement motivated by guilt over the genocidal effects of communism, or is just a plain hatred of American liberal democracy?"

I don't like your formulations. I challenge your conventional (convinient) wisdoms because they appear false to me. I don't want to change anything. I want you to change me. I do not feel guilty of communist genocide or hate American democracy, I only wonder why you do not feel guilty for U.S. genocide, for us backing the most un-democratic leaders and regimes,
or why you cannot comprehend that any of this would illicit a backlash, a violent response against us, be it communist or fundamentalist? I see us reaping the seeds we sowed. Tell me what you see Mary, a White Knight on a white stallion?

At 9:04 PM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

When commenting on Communist/Fascist relationships there are certainly a variety of intersections and departures to consider, two of those follow:

1) The Molotov/Ribbentrop pact, aka the Hitler/Stalin pact, 1939. When this was effected the Comintern (originally created by V. I. Lenin if I recall correctly) ensured that fellow travelers throughtout the globe fell in line - and they typically did, occasionally dramatically reversing course since many had been outspoken anti-fascists just prior to the signing of the Hitler/Stalin pact.

2) The simple historical fact that Fascism was born essentially and primarily out of Benito Mussolini's initiative in the second decade of the 20th century. In turn, Mussolini was a dedicated Marxist throughout the entirety of the first decade of that century (he correspended with Lenin), it very much was the social/political praxis he learned as a dedicated Marxist that helped launch his nascent fascism from which Hitler derived his yet more virulent form of the same. As such, most notably their totalitarian profiles (e.g., utilization of concentration camps/gulags, mass murder, various methods of coopting and controling the masses), they have much in common; even Hitler's "nationalism" took on an assertive international aspect, obviously enough.

At 6:29 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

A quick departure from Vietnam:

The Soviets asigned a deal witht he Germans after W.W.I, the V..(?)-Litosk agreemnt, ending mutal hostilities and allowing Germany to occupy parts of Russia. This was viewed then as "proof" that the Bolsheviks were German allies, "proof" that they were anti-western. Or was this a time-saving manouver, as many scholars assert, Russian and western.

Primary to the Bolsheviks was that W.W.I., a stellar example of Imperialist injustice, come to an end. Not being able to stand up to the German's, they signed a deal with them. The arrangement was awkward at best, and fears of a Bolshevik-German alliance were forgotten.

There is no doubt that Hitler and Stalin were bitter enemies. One has to onyl read Hitler's speeches, memoirs, and internal memö's, not to mention listen to Nazi songs. It was always clear Hitler was going to attack Russia (one reason he had so many friends in the west). Other then scaring the hell out of the English for their political manouvering, Hitler could draw his line with Russia much closer with the Stalin pact. The Russians had time to arm, again.

National Socialism, although resembling eastern socialism in many ways, rejected the class element of bolshevism. They saw dividing
a country into classes weakened it, and allowed it to be manipulated by foreign interests (Jews in particular). Therefore one big class, a national class, everyone together for everyone's interests.

..Did you know 78% per cent of German's DIDN'T vote for Hitler in his last, Nov. 1932 election.

How was he made Chancellor then?

At 8:04 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I want you to change me. I do not feel guilty of communist genocide or hate American democracy, I only wonder why you do not feel guilty for U.S. genocide, for us backing the most un-democratic leaders and regimes,
or why you cannot comprehend that any of this would illicit a backlash, a violent response against us, be it communist or fundamentalist? I see us reaping the seeds we sowed

You want me to change you? How exactly, do you want to be changed?

The 9/11 attacks were carried out by Saudi-sponsored paramilitaries, following a Wahhabist philosophy of hate that has existed for hundreds of years. Wahhabis are also responsible for terrorist attacks against Sudanese blacks, Yemeni Shi'ites, Thai buddhists and Spanish commuters. Are all of those innocent people reaping the seeds they sowed? Do all of those victims deserve to be slaughtered by these theofascists?

Following your reasoning, I assume the answer is yes. But I know you'll turn the blame around to American democracy.

You are right, America is suffering a backlash. You, and people who follow your line of reasoning are that backlash.

Most anti-war activists and 'progressive' types are convinced that any and every conflict will escalate into a nuclear war. Since America is the only nation that has ever used a nuclear weapon, they hate and fear America more than any other nation. Peace activists and progressives are the backlash that America suffers from.

Wahhabists and Communists have always believed that Western Culture is corrupt and should be destroyed. Most 'progressive' Leftists agree.

Wahhabists and Communists believe that Western Culture and American lives aren't worth defending. The progressive Left agrees.

Since most of these activists support the Intifada, and since most are willing to support the most genocidal anti-American dictator, they can't really be called "anti-war". They're just opposed to any defense of Americans or American democracy.

You're opposed to any defense of Americans and American democracy. That's your opinion and you're welcome to it. It's a free country. Just don't expect anyone to listen to your advice, or to your admittedly revised version of history.

At 10:52 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

Yo Ho,

You said: "National Socialism, although resembling eastern socialism in many ways, rejected the class element of bolshevism.... Therefore one big class, a national class, everyone together for everyone's interests."

You are a little off base here. National Socialism is Socialism with a Nationalist flavor.

Hitler was a National Socialist.

Ho Chi Minh was a National Socialist.

The single-class socialism you refer to is a pipe dream that has never occured in history (except for a few failed settlements in the early American colonies). The inherent problem with socialism is that the guy who decides that it is the way to go always sets himself above everybody else. You wind up with two classes, the Ruling Class and the Everybody Else Class. How is that any better than Fuedalism?

Remember the line from The Holy Grail...

"He must be a King."
"How can you tell?"
"He isn't all covered in shit."

People start to notice when the Ruling Class isn't as equally miserable as the Everybody Else Class. Some people get ideas. Some people start to talk. If you want to stay in the Ruling Class, you have to take steps. The steps are usually fatal to someone.

By the way, just as an aside, Memorandum (nt) in German is an imported word and does not have an umlaut over the 'O'. Also, it is a noun so Memo should be capitalized. Your usage was correct for political memos. Business memos are Mitteilung (f).

At 11:20 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

Yo Ho,

You said: "..Did you know 78% per cent of German's DIDN'T vote for Hitler in his last, Nov. 1932 election.

How was he made Chancellor then?"

In the first round of the election, 62% of the votes went to other candidates (not 72%). The second round was necessary because Paul von Hindenburg did not get at least 50% of the vote.

In the second round, 73.2% voted for one of the two other candidates. Note that while Hindenburg did manage to garner 53% of the vote, 47% of the vote went to some sort of socialism (either the National Socialists or the Communists).

This is actually how Hitler became Chancellor. As an appeasment, Hindenburg APPOINTED Hitler to the position.

One final note, In 1925 Hindenburg was a far right candidate who was strenuously opposed by the left and the center. In 1932, most of the center and even some of the left supported him to prevent Hitler's election.

At 4:43 AM, June 15, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Bryan,

I agree with you on your first response about only two, a ruling and a subordinate class, exisiting under National Socilaism. This is only how Hitler consistently formulated it, not that it was true. Yet "Nationalist in flavour" is getting close to symantics. Communism stressed international class-warfare, a fight between "the rich and the poor", Germany solely a German (Aryan) losung binding rich and poor, not alienating them.

German and Vietnam are such different historic themes I don't like comparing the two. Germany was not a colonial slave state and was already independent. Not that it didn't have any problems. Ho on his road to independence from colonialist slavery sought a nationalist solution from both international communist and capitalist camps, or as he said, "I'll get help where I can find it". Hitler looked for help from nobody (not that he didn't get any). We'll never know what might have happened had we (the U.S.) taken Ho up on his post W.W.II offers, and handed him over on a silver platter to French-English-Chinese designs.
Protectorate status, U.S. military bases, trade and mining concessions.
I think there's good chance things would have turned out differently.
But, thanks to our "betrayal" (General McCarthur's word) we'll never know. But that's another story isn't it.

It was a curious feature of Wiemar demomcracy that if the President, in this case Hindenburg, didn't like an election outcome he would simply call for another one. This is exactly what happened in the two elections priot to 11.32, where Hitler enjoyed better election results and should have been named Chancellor but wasn't, because as Hindenburg himself said, "I don't trust him". Hitler's uunwillingness to compromise with Hindenburg on anything cost the party greatly, financially (elections were expensive), and lost, frustrated members and voters (who thought he should compromise to get a foot in the door).

Why then would Hindenburg name Hitler Chancellor when he got less votes then before? Because in such dire economic times the communists gained 10%? Hindenburg himself was convinced to run for re-election in '32 as a counter weight against Nazi and communist extremism, polarised during the great depression. What ever happened in Germany it should not be taken out of this Facsist-Communist context, an epic battle between right and left. One could also go back to the end of W.W.I, when most major metropolitan centers in Germany were declared communist communes, rescued only by bloody street battles (civil war), the anti-communist swamp the Nazi Party was spawned in, and later blossomed.

Not without importance, the newspapers of the time (11.32) were printing the obituray of the Nazi party after Hitler's last election setback. In Göring and Himmler's diary they also speak in the darkest terms. "It was all for nothing" one of them wrote. The Strasser brothers, leaders of the socialist element of the Nazi party bailed, taking many voters with them, to the left in fact.

Yet 6 weeks later Hitler was appointed Chancellor, by a man who hated his guts, and after he recieved less votes, not more, then previously.

Academics point to the "birth hour" of the Third Reich" on Jan.4, 1933, in the Köln mansion of Baron Kurt von Schroeder, of the J. Henry (Jan Heinrich) Schroeder international banking family, where a (not so) secret meeting took place between Hitler, Papen, Schroeder, Hindenburgs son and Meisner. This was a page 1 scandal in Germany, appearing in English, French and American papers as well.

Clearly German industrialist were lobbying for a Hitler (facsist) solution to Germany's economic problems, and solve the communist threat once and for all. One need only read Hitler's speeches to these powerful groups to get the message he was sending.

And as this epic fascist-communist political battle played out in one of the worlds great industrial states, we are asked to believe that no political, financial, industrial or religious interests in the west , what so ever, had an interest or hand in influencing an anti-communist out-come? There is much evidence to the contrary.

Or was Germany in a tightly sealed vacuum? Was nobody in the west interested in fighting communism between 1918-33? Did our fight against communism only started in 1946, after Hitler? Or is this just a convenient way to distance ourselves from his crimes?

Again, whether the story is Iraq, Vietnam, or now Germany, to get an understanding one should start at the begining of the story. How did a homeless foreigner become leader of a powerful indutrial state in a mere 14 years? I say because he was a rabid anti-communist. If we backed the Taliban and Saddam (and others), why wouldn't we back Hitler. Yet when I say "we" I must clarify, I do not mean the United States, France and England, I mean certain elements of our (their) government(s), industry, financial institutions and religious leadership. This is not a black and white issue, yet the conventional wisdom has made it one (Germany's fault), a sorry state of affairs.

At 6:23 AM, June 15, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Brian again (re: Phan Boi Chau etc.)

Clearly the U.S. was in Vietnam to fight communism. My point is why the hell was he (Ho), or anybody for that matter communist? Because communists are inherently evil
monsters thursting on the blood of innocents? If we had dealt with Ho when we had the chance he would have been "American". This "why" is always missing in America's political vocabulary, like "why" Muslim's are terrorists today? Of course we don't have anything to do with it. Easier to ask "where" then "why", but tends to only compound the problem, as history makes evident.

The first appearance of any story implicationg Ho Chi Minh in Phan Boi Chau's arrest is in "Cia Tao" magazine, Hanoi (then French controlled) in 1948, 23 years after the fact. Great if you could find anything earlier.

Ten years after his (house) arrest Phan Boi Chau suspected one of his students, Nguyen Thuong Huyen, was bribed by the French Surete to betray him ("Year to Year Activities of Phan Boi Chau", Phan Boi Chau, Hanoi, 1935, pp.202.203). Huyen spent the rest of his life in Hong Kong (English) denying this and implicating Ho.

Phan Boi Chau warmly recieved Communist party memeber into his house (arrest) and spoke highly of Ho Chi Minh ("Phan Boi Chau", Chuong Thau, pp.17-19).

Much later Prince Cuong De, an anti-communist, stated in "The Revoluntioary Life of Cuong De", Tung Lam, Saigon 1957, that Ho Chi Minh "was not at all aware" that one of his own, Lam Duc Thu, was secretly negotiating with the French Surete to betray Pham Boi Chau.

I would not say with certainty, as you do, that Ho "sold out" Phan Boi Chau. At any rate, while Phan Boi Chau was seeking a peaceful solution to Vietnam's woe's (Ho wasn't?), as you say, why in fact was Phan Boi Chau in hiding for twenty five years, and why did the French arrest him? This says more about France then Ho or anybody.

True, the Vietnam War had a lot to do with U.S. politician's appearance. A super reason to pound a sub-continent into the stone-age, wouldn't you agree?.

Thanks for refreshing my memory on Ho's release in China. I looked it up and have the Chinese General Chang Fa-Kkwei getting Ho's release and pressing him into Chiang Kai-chek's service.
Yet the American Ambasador Gauss, Dept. of State telegram no.1576, 31 Dec.1942, was interested enough to inform the U.S. Scretary of State of Ho's arrest. Two other pleas from the Vietnamese groups were chanelled through Gauss to the State Dept. in Oct. 1943.

(On 28 August 1944 Willima Powell of the U.S. Office of War Information and William Langdon, U.S. Consul General Kunming, requested State Dept. guidance on a vise for Ho Chi Minh to travel to the U.S.)

At any rate, the U.S. was interested in Ho to fight the Japanese, and help prepare for a massive amphibious landing (Operation Carbonado) in the region of Vietnam Ho had support (the Red River Valley and delta). The only problem was Chiang Kai-chek wanted splinter leaders like Ho under his tight control. The American's couldn't go to Chinang Kai-chek and ask for his release, a Chinese general did, and a very corrupt one at that. The American OSS used Ho "sub-rosa".

190,000 French troops, and 900,000 civilians, predominantly catholic (Rand Corp. assesment, Pentagon Papers) re-grouped to the southern zone 1n 1954. By 1955 most of the tranfers were completed, as stipulated by the Geneva agremeent. The Catholic atrocities I think you're referring to occured in late 1956 (Nov.) after most had already migrated south. No doubt Land rfeorm was harsh and unjust, as the North soon discovered itself and stopped, purging their own leaders for responsibility (figures of the numbers executed are questionable). Yet the mass migration south, of 190,000 French troops and families, colonial government functionaries was mandated by the Geneva Agreement. They had to move. Certainly many feared and hated communism. Yet at the same time the U.S. militray was dropping leaflets all over the north scaring the hell out of everyone, claiming Ho Chi Minh was going to eat your babies, where the U.S. was going to drop atom bombs etc. This might have had an effect on some people's decisions to move south, and shouöld be factored in if one were to be fair.

Also the ICC (Geneva's International Control Commission), monitoring for violations, noticed no mass atrocities in the north, as alleged later.

I certainly never claimed North Vietnam was a "paradise", and I don't recall anyone doing so either. I only claim the Vietnamese had a right to be free, and fight for it if they had to. Both the East and the West assured they had to. And after what the French, French-Japanese, and what we did to them it takes a lot of guts for us to critisize the Vietnamese for anything.

As for what the Vietnamese peasant wanted was never certain. Many claimed they cared less about international theories and geo-politics, concerned more with their age old daily routine. Some approved of the north, some of the south. What is clear is Diem's blunders and brutality alienated more in the south then the north, and paved the way for co-operation between both. We saw it too late, some still don't.

Had Roosevlt lived (he despised the French) Vietnam would have probably been made an American Protectorate. The problem was the Europeans wanted their colonies back. The U.S. had a choice, alienate our European allies, who viewed us as trying to steal their colonies, setting off a dominoe effect of independence movements, or sell out Ho, our W.W.II ally. We sold him out, and paid for it later.

And of course, again, our politicians, and their's (Vietnam's) had their appearance's to think of. All in all a recipe for disater.

At 4:44 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Mary,

I want you to change me with a logical, well informed argument, not insults on my intelligence and character.

Whether you realise it or not you have proved my point: "The 9/11 attacks were carried out by Saudi-sponsored paramilitaries, following a Wahhabist philosophy of hate that has existed for hundreds of years. Wahhabis are also responsible for terrorist attacks against Sudanese blacks, Yemeni Shi'ites, Thai buddhists and Spanish commuters. Are all of those innocent people reaping the seeds they sowed? Do all of those victims deserve to be slaughtered by these theofascists?"

If Wahhabi thought represented a philosphy of hate for hundreds of years, why did the west hand then the reigns of power, support and protect them for half a century?
I thought we were the champions of democracy, shouldn't we support democracy? A matter of fact, out side of Israel and Germany, where did we ever support democracy? Name one place. Even Germany and Israel were first cleansed of what we viewed as undesirables (communists and muslims) before we allowed them to practice our form of democracy.
First make sure we can win, then let them vote.

The Wahhabi sect of Islam was historically the least respected, the most violent, uneducated and nomadic in the Arab world. If the Hashimite line was the top (the king of Jordan and Moracco), the Wahhabi's were like Tennessee hillbilies (nothing against Tennessee).

More importantly the British, in typical colonial fashion, handed over control to them, the minority in the region, raising their status internationally considerably. It was typical to hand power to the minority when granting independence because then, when the British (or other colonial powers) left, the minority would require protection from the majority, compelling the new rulers to comply with the protector, more a Chicago style protection arrangement then "independence". It is seldom indeed that a majority group was handed independence or was covertly helped to power by the west, unless of course it was certain they'd be on our side. Besides Saudi Arabi, Jordan (Hashemite), "South" Vietnam (catholic), Iraq (Saddam's Sunni) are a few minority leaders that spring to mind, and are stilll relevant.

Once in power the Wahhabi's were, if you didn't notice, primary allies of the English, then the U.S., not because of our over blown commitment to democracy and human rights as you believe, rather because of money, oil, and a whole slew of other geo-political priorities. Our number one mistake.

The situation today in Saudi Arabia is that many modern, predominantly young Arab's resent America (and England, interchangeable) for proping up a wholely unjust, un-democratic, in-humane society , while the conservative religious element resent us for proping up a government that is corrupt, unwilling to stand up to western meddling and unjustice in the region: Primarily Palestine (a one-sided pro Israeli policy), now Iraq, Iran, U.S. anti-Islamic support in Algeria (500,000 dead, or more?), Turkey, and others. America is getting it from both sides, but can't have it's cake and eat it too.

It is also important to recognise, if one is going to be fair I think, that the radical group Al Queda was first organised with the blessing (money, weapons and intelligence) of the United States, to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. Why the Soviets invaded their long time ally and trading partner no American dare ask, because that might implicate us (our meddling), and spoil the party.

According to our own sources 9/11 was caused by Al Queda, Al Queda brought to life by us. Reaping the seeds we sowed? I say anyone who plants the tree should collect the wood.

Now we fight Al Queda. We killed the President of Iran and installed the facsist Shah. Ovethrown by Khomeni we back Saddam to overthrow Khomeni, arming both sides. In the meantime, since we lose Iran we meddle in Afghanistan looking for a new base of infuelnce, illiciting the Soveit invasion, and the creation of Al Queda. Then we turn on Saddam, our old ally, starving out his people, then subject them to bombing and invasion.

Clearly all this (and more if I had time) would illicit an Arab backlash. If we would turn the tables and have the Arabs doing this to us we they would get a backlash too, probably worse.

As for my "backlash" it is not because I hate American democracy, it is because apparently the U.S. government hates it. Why do I say that? Where have we ever backed or created one? The Shah of Iran, the the dictatorships of Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East or Asia? How many dictator's do we have to create or back before American's pull the flag from their eyes and face reality. We only care about or interest, mainly money, and all the things required to make it, and lot's of it. As we go that route we might piss some people off.

If American's weren't so God damned brainwashed it might be easier to understand this most fundamental of human principle: If I kill your family, you might want to kill me. (Oops, now I insulted you, proof of my "leftist", self hating, anti-American deviance)

You might say all this was needed to defeat communism. I say it is exactly this type of international behaviour that created communism in the first place. ..Maybe you've heard of colonialism, slavery etc.?
Not that the communists didn't create their own, but it was another backlash of similiar creation, in response to "us". I don't condone it, but I understand.

And Bush can repeat it as many times as he likes, the only reason anyone hates America is because what the U.S. is doing to them, not what we think we stand for, or represent.
Like playing out our geo-political chess games in Arab living rooms for example, backing dictors, and blowing their children to pieces.

"Just don't expect anyone to listen to your advice, or to your admittedly revised version of history."

On a blog I would expect someone to listen to me, that's why we're here, aren't we? Or are you here to only read what you already know and accept as true? As for my "revised version" of history are you saying the U.S. has no hand in other people's affairs, has not overtly and covertly created or controlled tryanical regimes, bombed or starved out anybody? Nor that any of this might illicit a backlash?

Is that what you really think?

At 11:12 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


Maybe you should take things in their context, like my remark to Brian: "I would not make much of Ho's communist connection". I was referring to his coventional belief that we were fighting communist expansion in Vietnam, ..AS IF THE SOVIET'S WANTED TO BE THERE, or Ho wanted a fight. The Soviets did not want to be there, never showed an interest in Indochina, or gave a squat about it. Neither did Ho Chi Minh want to take his people, the poorest on earth up against the strongest most powerful nation in history. This of course is how it was, and still is portrayed in the U.S., that we went to fight Communism. But funny, the Soviet's didn't want to be there and Ho didn't want a fight. So why the hell did it happen? ..Because we forced thenm into a corner (and the Japanese and the French), and wanted to control everything (like the Japanese and the French)? ..Because we're Imperialists?

As for Ho's unwavering dedication to Marxist principles I will repeat, Ho enterred communism through the French door, when the French Socialist Party splintered over the anti-colonial issue, creating the French Communist Party (18th Congress, National Congress, French Spcocialist party, Tours, Dec. 25-30, 1920). The French Communist Party came into creation exclusively over the anti-colonial question.

I agree with Bernard Fall (no lefty) when he wrote:
"..through out the 1920's and '30's, Ho makes anti-colonialism such a central issue of all public statements at Communist Party congresses, to the almost total exclusion of any other considerations, that one can only wonder where he would have stood politically had any strong nationalist Vietnamese party existed in Vietnam, or had any French political party other than the Communist Party espoused a deliberate policy of eventual independence for the colonies" ("Ho Chi Minh On Revolution: Selected Writings", Bernard Fall, Westview Press, 1984, pp.IX-X).

Yet we know where Ho stood when another anti-colonial escape appeared. He stood in the palace of Versailles at the founding of the League of Nations, in top hat and tails, petioning President Wilson for help in 1919. And he stood by America at the end of W.W.II, handing us Vietnam on a silver in mid-1945.

What kind of dedicated "communist" does that? And again, when the Soviet Union declared it's Popular Front in 1935 to ally with the west against Hitler, they ordered their "robots" to halt agitation against
the west, including colnial France. Ho did not, continued, then sided with the American's. If a bowling club could have freed his country he would have joined that and espoused their rules too.

Another fact that shouldn't be over-looked: Just as our politicians could not appear soft on communism later in the Cold War, even if they saw a logical, moral reason too, Communist leaders or those seeking their support had to pull their party line as well. It was war after all, the stakes high. To get re-elected, to stay in power, in Ho's case to get support he did, "from any where I have to" he told his OSS handler.

And another thing, what's wrong with Communist-Marxist principles anyway?
The eight hour work day, health and education for everybody, job safety, equal rights, racial equality, labour rights (unions) were all things championed by American Socialist and Communist Party's long ago, in the good 'ol USA. Conveniently forgotten. Who's the revisionist here?

The merits of nationalizing Banks, industry, property etc. could be discussed. Bombing the poorest country on earth though into the stone-age because 20 peasant farmers want to share a tractor and some fertiliser I cannot.

"The most basic point is one of legitimacy not what label or flag, for political expediency, their campaigns run under for the sake of appealing to and coopting their respective populations - the masses."

If Ho didn't represent his masses then why did the U.S. block the 1954 election provisions to re-unite the two Geneva cease-fire zones. Because in fact we knew he did represent his masses and would win that election, that's why. Another stellar example of America's commitment to democratic principles.

Regarding R. J. Rummel and Land Reform, all he's doing is taking the high and low figures and averaging them out. The low figures could be low, and the high figures could be too high. Who know's? He's the first to admit he doesn't. Yet the high figures, to Chi's own addmission is based on what he witnessed in his own village, which he then projected over the whole population of the north. If this is evidence of anything it is proof of our pre-disposed disposition against the north. In addition his figures came late after the fact. His comments in one article about his time during the alleged atrocities refused to even mention them, and in another didn't make them sound all that serious. These are legitimite questions to raise, which by the way you haven't responded too, and do not reflect anything other then my desire to find out the truth.

Out side of Chi the only other source Rummel lists is Nixon (excuse me, a laugh), and the Washington Post quoting Nixon and Honey quoting the Post. If there's some other sources I missed pleased fill me in.

As for Moise and Porter, I don't know them, do you? How do you know they're "apologists" for Ho? Because they have another explanation for some of the Land Reform "atrocities" in the north, like carrying out age old animosities, revenge killings, armed up-rising, people who didn't know what they were doing, people who had their land taken away and had to fight to get it back, and yes, even Maoist doctrine, something no one denies, not even the Vietnamese communists. It's the numbers we're talking about. But no, to you Communism must be bad and painted in the worse light to be fair, as your
failure to respond to my legitamite doubts seem to prove.

Porter also wonders how such mass killings could have gone un-noticed by the ICC, travelling through-out the north on the look-out for violations of the Geneva agreement.
That is a fair question to ask. How could they?

As for figures quoted in Nhan Dan, again, just because they're communist doesn't mean they're not true, jus as ours are necessarily true either. Yet nobody would have heard of Land Reform atrocities had the North not first admitted them. Having done that they could have "come clean" and fudged on the numbers, or maybe not, I don't know, how do you speak with such certainty? By relying on Chi and Nixon? Again if you have other sources I'd like to see them. If you haven't noticed I'm interested.

I'm not familiar with Nhan Van. I read both Porter and Moise years ago. What were the figures Nhan Van published? If they were so high why didn't Rummel use them?

Again, I'm not dismissive of anything, nor pro anybody. Considering our record of deciet (then and now) I'm not willing to accept and regurgetate nonsense as fact as readily as you seem to be. Nor am I ready to pretend America stands for anything other then it's economic interests, at all cost to anybody, anywhere.

Give me a good explanation to believe Chi's methods, or Nixon, or why the ICC didn't notice 1.5 million people being killed while they were on duty, or nobody heard about it while it was going on, then I'll agree with you. Until then get off your high American horse.

(What did Porter say about the Hue massacre? And which one, ours or there's?)

At 2:18 PM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...


You've passed the point of becoming a caricature of yourself. Your response doesn't even reflect the fact you're reading and comprehending what I've said. If you want to read what I said more carefully, and then try again, I'll answer if your response reflects better comprehension and coherence.

At 6:47 PM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


I read what you wrote, it's still here on the blog, so answer me finally:

Did you read the conversation I and Brian had, the context of the remark you responded to?

Again, did the Russians ever care about Vietnam, or want to be there, like American's were told, and foolishly still believe? I say they never wanted to be there and can back it up with more then just arrogance.

Did Ho want to be allied with Moscow, or was he only there because
that's where he thought he could get help but couldn't, then came over to to us and couldn't either (because the Europeans wanted their colonies back), then went back to the Soviets, who finally did help (militarily) but only with great reluctance AFTER WE STARTED BOMBING THE NORTH FIRST? Both important points. If the Russians never cared about Vietnam, or wanted to be there, and Ho didn't really care who helped him, then the basic premise "we went to Vietnam to fight communism" is false. We went there because we got caught up in a web of our own lies (and betrayal) and made the country communsit ourselves. ..Oh, and politicians wanted to be re-elected.

Did I ever say I am dismissive of Prof. Rummel? What other soutces does he have other then Chi and Nixon (I ask you now for the third
time)? I looked and didn't see any. If I missed something, and you know something I don't, then please fill me in. Don't worry, you can sleep, I won't ask again.

And have you nothing to say about the legitimate questions Moise and Porter raise, other then dismissing them as mere "apologists" (also for the third time). If you can't then stop hiding behind your embarrasing intellectual arrogance and say so.

Is everything the communists said and wrote false to you? Just because they're communists?

I raised a lot of questions Michael and you have yet to answer one. I don't know you, so can't say whether
you're a caricature of yourself or not. After your last entry though you do conjour up images of ...a butt hole?

At 8:12 PM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

(To avoid any confusion, I'm responding to your Vietnam post a bit up the list, not your following "Hitler" posting, if that's what your problem is)

At 12:34 AM, June 17, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

No thanks, your comprehension problem, at a basic level, persists. In terms of the name calling, it always was a latent aspect of your posts, and barely latent at that. Bye.

At 6:05 AM, June 17, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Sorry Michael, it's you who don't get it. You have refused to recognise, answer or even consider any of my questions that might shed light on a cause-effect mechanism at work here on planet earth. I don't know you, but it would appear you are someone who view's the world on the Disney model, one of good and evil, of "America good", "Commie bad". "Just look how bad, can't you see it?!"

Problems and international conflicts just don't fall out of the sky. Down here on the earth's surface they happen for a reason, namely cause and effect. For every action a reaction, it's all connected. If you're not willing to step back and consider this (or accept any responsibility for "us" pushing people into a corner, not mention betrayal), instead focusing merely on after-effects for the purpose of making ourselves look good, it is you who's missing the point and lacks comprehension, not to mention
an understanding of history and human nature.

I suppose you think Islamic, fundamentalist terrorism is an inherent evil that just dropped out of the sky too, with no provocation from "us", the west, what-so-ever. No, we never did anything to those people that might provoke a backlash, did we? "Look what those terrorists are doing, look how bad they are, can't you see it?! Look how good we are by standing up to them!" Damn those bastards too for not rolling over and playing dead for us. Your simplistic view of how the world and human nature functions, how conflicts are generated, shared by far too many, I fear will insure this century to be as bloody or worse then the last.

Next time I'm at Disneyland I'll look for you. I'll know who you are, you'll be the guy with his head up his ass.

And understanding the nature of conflicts and human development, and avoiding wars in the future, is far to important to let a couple personal insults get in the way, lighten up and answer my questions.

At 8:58 PM, June 17, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

If American's weren't so God damned brainwashed it might be easier to understand this most fundamental of human principle: If I kill your family, you might want to kill me. (Oops, now I insulted you, proof of my "leftist", self hating, anti-American deviance)

Actually, your line of reasoning is basic law of the jungle. I don’t have a problem with that, but if the American government followed your advice, Saudi Arabia would have been a sheet of glass after 9/11.

Fortunately, we don’t.

The British did put the Wahhabis in power, and many of the British love the Wahhabis more than most Muslims do (I saw more Saudis in Harrods than I did in all of Muslim Malaysia – the Brits are probably the only people in the world who have genuine affection for the KSA). Our contribution to Saudi Arabia has been mostly monetary. Our biggest crime was to pay them for their oil instead of stealing it from them outright.

They’ve used their money to spread their philosophy of hate around the world. No, I don’t approve of our alliance with these fascists, but, given the opportunity, Russia and China would gladly trade places with us and our ‘best friends’ relationship with the scummy Saudis.

Otherwise, your analysis of history is laughable. Supposedly you don’t hate democracy, but that’s the only form of government that you criticize. Communism was a reactionary response to American imperialism? Marx must be spinning in his grave. You’re a revisionist, and a very incompetent one. You have to come to terms with your leftist guilt. Yes, your philosophy has been responsible for millions of deaths, but you can only deal with the past by facing it.

I’ve read your revised version of history, I’ve read Chomsky and his ilk, and I know that trying to debate with an anti-war, pro-oppression reactionary just wastes my time and annoys the reactionary. So I’ll have to echo Michael’s ‘bye’

At 6:15 AM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


At least we both agree it's a jungle out there.

You're right, Saudi Arabia wasn't bombed into a "sheet of glass", Afghanistan and Iraq were, proof we are Monkey King. What's your point?

"Our biggest crime was to pay them
(Saudi Arabia) for their oil instead of stealing it from them outright."

Now you're talkin' like a "real" American". Whether I or anyone else agree with this type of jungle behaviour is irrelevant. The important thing is anyone who's voting for you, or any foreigner who is thinking about becoming an ally of yours, can know exactly who they're getting in bed with. You're playing with open cards, I like that. What could be more disgusting then the present situation, America concealing it's jungle intentions behind the good names of democracy and freedom?

As for Russia and Saudi, in the 1950's there was a pan-Arab movment that rejected Islamic theocracy and tyranny and rallyed around Moscow, which in turn illicited us to export Wahabi religious fanaticism and terroism against it (sorry, again under our direction). Egypt was no.1 recipient of Soviet arms. Nasser was circling Arabs around the red flag. Russia was historically a threat to the Saudi's.

Again, I'm not saying anyone is better then another here, only pointing out what happened.

Not to get side-tracked, but you wonder as an American why Saudi Arabia is exporting terrorism? Becuase "you" paid for it (your folks anyway), in Afghnaistan too by the way. And why, to stop the export of Soviet style Socialism? That much is clear. But doesn't the western supported, some times created, tyranical regimes, what made them "go east" in the first place, figure into your formulation? Had we created democracies instead of tyranny, and brought some benifit to the people of the region they wouldn't have had to turn eastward? Why didn't we?

My explanation for that points to America's fundamental contradiction. Business, international investment, requires political stability, the number one pre-requisite of foreign investment, while democracy, real democracy anyway, is inherently unstable. People can vote for whoever they want, we can't control it (completely anyway), it's dangerous to our economic interests. Thus you have America backing fascist style tyranny all over the world, sometimes killing elected leaders, at the same time doing a damn good job of "brainwashing" American's and others into believing we stand for "democracy and freedom", simply laughable.

Our primary concern now, as always, is our business, markets and resources, other people's resources. People can play our game or not, and suffer the consequences. No wonder Arab's don't trust or like us.

As for China-Saudi relations, I haven't heard much about them, so I presume they're good. China certainly needs oil. The Chinese though have a way of doing business with foreigners without occupying them militarily and leaving behind a pandora's box, triggering a mess of violent conflicts which no one can seem to end.

If you want to discuss Tibet we can.

"Otherwise, your analysis of history is laughable. Supposedly you don’t hate democracy, but that’s the only form of government that you criticize. Communism was a reactionary response to American imperialism?"

There's plenty to critise communism for, I just don't see the point if it was our "imperialism" that illicited their creation and radicalisation in the first place.
I have never said one ideology, democracy or communism, is better then another. In fact both contain elements of the other. With Michael I was only trying to discuss the validity of certain Land Reform statistics, not dismissing that anything bad happened.

And I'll ask you, if Marx didn't get his idea's and theories from the world around him, colonialism, where did he, from a burning bush? Did they fall from the sky into his lap? Colonialism, in all it's grotesque forms, business and social, is the era he lived and made his observations in, what compelled him to formulate and write in the first place. In his writings and personal correspondences he continually refers to the suffering of the masses. Why then are you so suprised?

As for revisionism I'm not trying to alter anything or deny anything that happened, only trying to make people like you see that it is "OUR" sometimes brutal actions and meddling that illicit and give birth to movements "WE" and sometimes "OUR CHILDREN" are forced to later face down. WAR. And if anyone is serious about avoiding conflict in the future we should make ourselves aware of this most fundamental (jungle) rule of "human" behaviour.

That might require a "revision" of how you connect your dots, but so be it.

A waste of time is it? Saying good-bye? Off with Michael to Disneyland are you? ..Have fun.
When you see him say hi from me, ..and to take his head out of his ass too.

At 8:52 AM, June 18, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Our biggest crime was to pay them for their oil instead of stealing it from them outright.

Ooops - I meant to put 'crime' in scare quotes. No, I don't think we should have just stolen the oil and the Islamist response to our non-colonialist actions is proof that attempts to win their hearts and minds are a waste of time.

Islamists are basically fascists, after all. I'm not surprised that you support their actions.

You are going into overdrive with your revisionism here:

You're right, Saudi Arabia wasn't bombed into a "sheet of glass", Afghanistan and Iraq were..

They were?? When did we nuke Afghanistan and Iraq? Nobody told me about that.

You can't keep making stuff up and yelling at people when they don't believe you. I don't know what kind of neurosis that is, but it's not healthy.

At 4:19 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Mr. Pol Pot,

Your comprehension problem is pronounced and it does persist. Insist otherwise and hold your breath till your face turns blue, but the simple fact remains. Several examples, but I'll demonstrate only a couple of those instances.

1) It's not your game and your rules we're playing by, I don't jump when you say jump. That pertains to a few things, one of those is that before you begin making your demands and asking your questions you have some to answer yourself. One of those is you have still failed to say what Moise's and Porter's sources are - or, if you don't know, then you need to admit you don't know.

2) In the case of R. J. Rummel's seemingly exhaustive research, I supplied you with the links so if you don't make the effort to read and understand what he's saying I can't help you. (Similarly, if you have some source you believe to be more exhaustive or authoritative than Rummel you can obviously note as much and explain why you believe that to be the case.)

At 6:13 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


Glad to hear you don't think we should have stolen Saudi oil.

I disagree though, American's, and other western powers (no fault of ours) have acted in typical colonial fashion. Granted times have changed, the Colonial Govenour is no longer there, but even in Colonial times local's were called into administrative and leadership positions, again either pliable minorities, catholic's, or mere thugs. What has not changed is our desire for foreign resources, securing their availability, not to mention strategic foreign soil for military bases, by any and all means, including political assasination or invasion.

"Islamists are basically fascists, after all. I'm not surprised that you support their actions."

Islamists are not basically fascist.
And no I do not support their actions, I only said we illicited them, I understand where the hate is coming from: Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, all places America has played a decisively brutal anti-Muslim hand the past 50 years, mostly in the context of anti-communism, if it was true or not.

Sorry, I didn't know "sheet of glass" meant nuking. ..Uh, who's the fascist here?

At 7:12 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Ho - fascists have never used nukes. Hate is their weapon of choice.

does nuke=fascism to you?

At 7:17 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

O.K., you're worse then a fascist then.

At 7:24 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Excuse me, nuking someone is in no way related to hate? Right, we nuke people because we like them.

From The American Heritage Dictionary:
"Fascism" - A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.

..And we don't have the bomb?

At 7:37 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


I don't recall you ever asking me what sources Moise and Porter used.

I read them long ago, I'll go to the library and look 'em up.

I went to Rummel's links and told you what I found: Chi, The Washington Post quoting Nixon, Nixon quoting Nixon, and Honey quoting the Post.

I read somewhere Chi was in the employ of the U.S. and Saigon governments. I'll check that out too, or perhaps you've heard about that?

At 9:24 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Ho - America is the only nation that ever used nukes in wartime. Do you believe that makes worse than fascists?

Is that why you only criticize & hate America - because you worry that we'll use them again?

At 5:27 AM, June 19, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


We are ther only nation that used "the bomb". But that's only one of the reason I believe there is a deep fascist stripe running through America.

Besides the literal dictionary definition above describing America preety good, another reason is fascism and fascists have consistently been our friends, as is evident by all our fascist, military allies over the years. No doubt when they're usefullness runs out, or as in the Mafia mob world, they're brutality brings too much attention to our doorstep, they are cut off or disposed off, at any cost
to the people living there.

We can talk about the details (Hitler too) if you like, but now I have to run to work.

If America is at fault for initiating conflicts, what's wrong with me critising her? No sense in talking generalities here, let's get specific, which conflict or evil adversary would you like to start with?

At 10:20 AM, June 19, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Well, since you believe that America is to blame for starting ALL conflicts, start at any point you like.

Tell us all about how we're the most foul, vile and destructive beasts that ever walked the planet. But don't expect us to listen.

At 2:13 PM, June 20, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"I don't recall you ever asking me what sources Moise and Porter used.

"I read them long ago, I'll go to the library and look 'em up." HCM

I.e.: you don't know.

You may or may not come up with some relevant info in the future. But during this entire time you've been presuming to harangue and demand of me answers (which in fact I've largely supplied with all the links to R J Rummel and elsewhere), you've been silent ("silent" being a generous term indeed) about who or what served as sources for Moise's and Porter's claims.

Additionally this, from the Pentagon Papers, in a section entitled "Origins of the Insurgency," a quote from Vo Nguyen Giap himself, to the communist party of the DRV in late 1956:

"We made too many deviations and executed too many honest people. We attacked on too large a front and, seeing enemies everywhere, resorted to terror, which became far too widespread. . . . Whilst carrying out our land reform program we failed to respect the principles of freedom of faith and worship in many areas . . . in regions inhabited by minority tribes we have attacked tribal chiefs too strongly, thus injuring, instead of respecting, local customs and manners. . . . When reorganizing the party, we paid too much importance to the notion of social class instead of adhering firmly to political qualifications alone. Instead of recognizing education to be the first essential, we resorted exclusively to organizational measures such as disciplinary punishments, expulsion from the party, executions, dissolution of party branches and calls. Worse still, torture came to be regarded as a normal practice during party reorganization."

To put it modestly, Giap wouldn't have said this if Porter's or Moise's numbers were correct. In the very first sentence of the very first paragraph Rummel indicates any specific set of numbers cannot be ascertained with certainty, which is one reason I've noted Rummel is transparent about what he is assessing. By contrast you've been insisting on giving Moise and Porter primacy without supplying any of their sources whatsoever.

This is why, among other reasons still, it's not interesting debating you. There's far too much presumption, arrogations and other types of insinuations one is required to wade through before anything more substantial can be obtained. You need to clarify and trim your arguments much better if you're going to sustain any interest. Additionally you'll need to address people on a vastly more respectful basis. That's up to you.

At 6:04 AM, June 21, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Unlike you I don't presume to know anything, I'm only looking for an open exchange of info to base my opinions on. I am not alone in questioning the vailidity of Rummel's sources. This is not "harangueing", rather an un-biased inquiry. I know in America no one is used to intelligent debate, so try and adapt here and stop making an ass of yourself again.

I read Moise and Porter ca. 15 years ago and don't remember their sources, although obviously I looked. Now that you asked for them I said I would look them up, so what's your problem Mr. Know-It-All?

And by the way, if you don't know them yourself how can you be so dismissive of them? If you do know them why don't you just tell me and save me the trouble of digging them up?

As for the sources we do know, and have discussed, Chi's data collectiong methods were refuted decades ago. You can't extra-polate what happended in one village over an entire country. Nixon, a bona-fide liar, never even gave a source (according tho Rummel).

Even if Moise and Porter solely relied on Vietnamese sources, that alone wouldn't automatically make them false (unless you were a right-wing pundit). All I'm saying is it takes alot of balls to shout out figures as fact when no one is certain, especially when it's used in a propoganda sense to make ourselves look good. To me the case is still open.

In the mean-time I contacted Ed Moise about Rummel and he sent me the following reply:

His (Rummel's) work and methods are extremely incompetent.

Comments on selected pages of Death by Government:

p. 246, bottom, says that in the Red River Delta "98 percent of the
peasants owned the land they worked." This is incorrect; Rummel has relied
on careless authors who misunderstood statistics that actually (if you
trace this figure back to its original source, Yves Henry, _Economie
agricole de l'Indochine_, p. 108) said that 98% of the people who owned
land worked part or all of the land that they owned.

p. 247, lines 24-27, says that the "land reform" involved two campaigns,
the first of which was the Land Rent Reduction Campaign. From here until
the top of p. 249, he appears to be discussing the Land Rent Reduction
Campaign; near the end of this, at the top of p. 249, he cites Gerard
Tongas as having said that 100,000 people were killed. This is a serious
misrepresentation. Tongas was estimating 100,000 deaths not in the Land
Rent Reduction Campaign (the first stage of the land reform) but as a
combined total for both stages of the land reform.

p. 250: "The party's Politburo believed that 95 percent of the land was
owned by the wealthiest 5 percent of the people." Baloney; the Politburo
neither believed, nor said, nor hinted at any such idiot thing.

p. 250, just below the middle of the page, does a computation starting from
a quota of five landlords to be executed per village in 15,000 villages.
Leave aside the question of whether there was such a quota (the source is
grossly unreliable). The source that claimed there was a quota of five
executions per village used the word "village" to mean the administrative
village, _xa_ in Vietnamese, of which there were less than 4,000 in the
area covered by the campaign. The book from which Rummel got the figure of
15,000 villages was talking about a much smaller unit, the natural village
or hamlet.

p. 252: Rummel says that there was a rebellion in the province of Nghe An
in November 1956, bloodily suppressed by the Communists. "Rebellions also
broke out elsewhere. The worst of these, near Vinh, involved protests . .
." The problem with this is that Vinh is the capital of Nghe An province.
An author who didn't know where Vinh was, and didn't think to check, looked
at some accounts of the Communists suppressing a rebellion in Nghe An, and
some accounts of the Communists suppressing a rebellion near Vinh, and
didn't realize that both sets of accounts referred to the same incident.
(If the accounts had been accurate, they would have resembled each other
well enough to have tipped him off, but they weren't very accurate.) He
wrote it up as two different rebellions, one in Nghe An and the other near
Vinh, and Rummel borrowed his error. This is about average for the level
of knowledge of the people from whom Rummel gets his information.

p. 253: Rummel gives an overall estimate of 360,000 people killed by the
Communists between 1953 and 1956. What he did in order to get
the figure this high was to take Tongas' figure of 100,000 people killed in
the land reform campaign, and misinterpret it as a figure for the rent
reduction campaign so he could *add it* to his own figure of 150,000 killed
in the land reform campaign, and then start adding on other categories.

Comments on Rummel's statistical table, online at

Rummel compiles his estimates of the number of deaths the Vietnamese Communists caused by compiling all the estimates he can find from other authors, and putting them together to create big composite estimates. This is, inherently, a pretty bad approach, but there are two things about the way Rummel applies it that make his results worse than they needed to be.

One is that he finds excuses to ignore the smaller estimates for the number of people the Communists have killed, and base his composites mainly on the larger estimates. Example:

In the category "Suppression of Uprisings" (lines 321-326), he has a few estimates to work with: Vietnam scholar Bernard Fall said 2,000 were executed, Washington insider (attorney, lobbyist, Secretary of Defense) Clark Clifford said 10,000 to 15,000 were killed, and two people gave a combined total of 6,000 for people either executed or subjected to lesser punishments. Rummel's composite estimates, on line 326, are based only on Clifford's figures; all lower estimates were ignored in the compilation of the composite.

Another way Rummel's composite totals get inflated is that a single episode of killing may get counted twice, or more than twice.
I notice for example the following:

There were two related political campaigns, the "Rent Reduction" campaign first, which involved a pretty low death toll (probably less than 1,000 killed), and then the much bloodier "Land Reform" campaign. Rummel (line 279 of the table on the web page) gives a figure of 100,000 killed in the Rent Reduction campaign, citing a source that actually gave the figure of 100,000 killed as a combined total for the Rent Reduction and the Land Reform, making it clear that these deaths occurred mostly in the Land Reform. By mistakenly putting a figure of 100,000 on the Rent Reduction deaths, he is able to drive his own figure for the combined total of Rent Reduction and Land Reform deaths (lines 289, 309) up to remarkably high levels.

To these he adds a category he calls "Political Struggle, Repression, Retaliation" for which totals appears on line 319 of the table. This has two major components. Part of it (line 312) is a campaign described by Hoang Van Chi, which according to Chi killed 3 to 5 people per village. Rummel decides to assume that this campaign covered 15,000 villages, which gives him 45,000 to 75,000 deaths. Even if Chi is describing the campaign accurately (which I do not believe), it covered less than 3,000 villages, so Rummel is exaggerating the portion of "Political Struggle, Repression, Retaliation" that comes from Chi by at least a factor of five.

The other major component of "Political Struggle, Repression, Retaliation" (lines 315-317) is the Land Reform deaths as they appeared in the writings of some authors who used the phrase "political repression" when discussing them, instead of "Land Reform."

So by the time Rummel gets around to compiling his grand totals for deaths in this general period (line 329), the Land Reform deaths have been counted at least three times--once as Rent Reduction, once as Land Reform, and once as a component of "Political Struggle, Repression, Retaliation". I say "at least" three times because I believe the figure for "Suppression of Uprisings" (line 326, coming from Clark Clifford--see above) is probably also the Land Reform deaths, which I think Clifford confused with deaths in an uprising. But I can't prove this. For that matter, while the section on deaths in "Purges" (lines 369-72) is so confused I cannot figure out what its figures actually mean, I get a strong impression from line 370 that the deaths in the Land Reform are being counted here once again.

Ed Moise

As for Giap's quote it never mentioned numbers, only things were bad. How bad is what where talking about (why it all happened another story all together) . Moise and Porter never contended nothing happened, indeed the 10-15,000 dead they estimated is by no means peanuts. The question is the outrageous inflating, and deflating of numbers for purely propoganda purposes, from both sides of the political spectrum. I'm still open.

And while you're quaoting the Pentagon Papers:

"Almost as soon as the truce (1954) became effective the Catholic Bishops entered into a test of wills with the Viet Minh, using their self-defense forces to back DRV occupation. The response was predictably ruthless, Catholic villages were attacked by PAVN.
In two instances inhabitants were massacred, churches burned, church property confiscated, priests tortured or jailed, and heavy taxes levied on Church lands and buildings. Among the consequences of that violence was a Catholic propoganda capaign against the Viet Minh, - e.g. the-Virgin-has gone-South-theme, - and a mass migration of whole parishes (P.P., Book 12)."

A mistake for the Church to "test-the-will" of "North" Vietnam.
But then again they had always tested Vietnam's will. A provocation, with horrid results, then the numbers pinned on "Communism". I'd like to see what would happen if some one tested America's will in a similiar situation.

Something else, from the "Red File", published by Vietnam Human Rights Watch, an exile group in Midway California, certainly no friends of communism. Speaking of the withdrawl from the North after Geneva:

"..Premier Minister Mendes France told Ambassador Douglas Dillon on July 2 that the French had offered to provide public transportation for those of the local population who desired to move with them, but many had preferred to stay where they were". (Wiesner, 1988)

Yet obviously many did not, the result of the aftermath of provocation, and a U.S. scare campaign (which you have yet to comment on, or admit existed)? Propoganda, twisting of the truth for political advantage. Both sides played it. Now we're stuck with figuring out what happened.

Another point, as everyone agree's the Viet Minh left "stay behind's" in the south (who were executed by Diem), are we to assume no "stay-behinds" were left by the French, that there were no attempts at agitation in the North, with the same response?

Clearly the North and South did mirror each other's extremely brutal tactics, as Communism was always a mirror of Capitalist (colonial) abuse. For the Red's it was payback time for the rich, and those allied with them.

In the North they returned land to the poor, the south to the rich. According to the Pentagon Papers by 1960 15& of the people owned 75% of the land again in the South.

With Russian aid Vietnam's agricultural and nascient industrial sector were rapidly expanding. Northern peasant farmers were doing better then their southern counterparts. America's worse fear of Communism was coming true: The threat of a good example. It was working, the primary reason it had to be stopped.

Human Rights is only an issue for us when it serves our political-economic ends. If we really cared about other people' well being they wouldn't have become Communist (or now Islamic fanatics) in the first place.

At 1:45 PM, June 21, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

In all that you still haven't indicated what Moise's and Porter's sources are, even after emailing Moise??? That was the primary point made. You're apparently indicating you still do not know their sources, so the gaping hole remains. I do not know what Moise and/or Porter are claiming as sources, though I did read in two or three different sources that Moise largely relied upon the North's own assertions, such as those in the newspaper already alluded to, while ignoring other sources.

(And you're misrepresenting my views. For example, when you indicate I'm presuming to "know" - i.e., with near certainty. In fact the very first sentence of the very first paragraph in the Rummel reference very strongly serves to indicate caution, not certainty. When I said Rummel was transparent, that's a large part of what I was indicating, he's not presuming to "know" in the sense you're indicating; this is not certainty we're dealing with here. In large part what I'm doing is countering the Left's presumption of certainty or near certainty, in dismissing any numbers excepting their own and in not being transparent with their own sources, hence my pointed question about Moise's and Porter's sources.)

You've offered a lot that can be variously answered, but you still haven't answered the primary question directed at you, concerning Moise's and Porter's sources. Primarily Moise, since he apparently rejects Porter's numbers.)

At 5:34 PM, June 21, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

My first question to Moise was about the sources, the second about Rummel. He only answered to Rummel.

I sent him another e-mail, and asked him again. In the mean time I found his web-site. There it states he used primarily Chinese and Vietnamese sources, but not anything more specific then that.

If one of the other sources you alleged Moise ignored is Nhan Van, until now I've only read articles about the injustice of the land reform, but no specific numbers. If you've found they published figures don't hog 'em to yourself.

"You've offered a lot that can be variously answered" ..I'm waiting.

"But you still haven't answered the primary question directed at you, concerning Moise's and Porter's sources". ..It's on the way.

"Primarily Moise, since he apparently rejects Porter's numbers." ..He did?

At 5:51 PM, June 21, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"I'm waiting." HCM

Interesting timing. I'm waiting as well, and have been for some time now. And as already indicated, I don't jump when you say jump, this isn't your game and we're not playing by your rules. The most basic question asked was of Moise's sources. I'm still waiting, and, again, have been for some time now.

(Also, in Rummel's work, he indicates Moise rejects at least some of Porter's numbers. I said "apparently" so if you want a more serious exchange, you might acknowledge some obvious statements and caveats made.)

At 6:19 PM, June 21, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Who's asking who to jump here?

You asked me the first time yesterday, or was it the day before? These books aren't big sellers in Germany you know, so hold on to your horses.

If I've said something to you "that can be variously answered", then be my guest and do it. What are you waiting for? For me to go first? What is this, kindergarten? In an intelligent debate I offer something up and you're suppose to go .."no that's not right because Mr. (or Mrs) So and So said this (or that)", ..or something to that nature. You get how it works, don't you?

And what is it, Rummel "apparently"
spotted Moise rejecting some of Porter's claims, or he did actually
spot the discrepencies?

At 3:38 PM, June 22, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Yes, I do understand, your comprehension problem is virtually a recursive theme, one is tempted to believe it's your primary theme. You might re-read some recent posts and what is being emphasized. Two blatant examples of your comprehension issues, first regarding the use of "apparent". In using the word myself I'm not indicating Rummel is using the word. See the first of the two tables (table 6.1a), line 281a. Then go to Rummel's references for the Moise and Porter citations he is apparently alluding to.

Regarding Moise's sources, he's apparently indicated to you, via email, that his sources for his North Vietnam research during the period in question (1945 - 1956 or '53 - '56 for the rent reduction and land reform campaigns more specifically) are limited to North Vietnamese sources. (He's done work on China's land reforms as well, so presumably that's why he cites Chinese sources.) It doesn't appear to have raised any red or yellow flags in your mind that, at least to this point, Moise has responded to you about Rummel's work, but hasn't been willing to more specifically acknowledge his own sources. One would think he'd be more knowledgeable about his own sources and work than someone else's.

At 5:58 PM, June 22, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Below is the site with a condensed original transcription (14 pages) of Porter's 1973 Cornell Land Reform piece. Lot's of sources in the back, "ours" and "theirs". There's an address listed to write away for the complete work if you want it. I'd like to have one, but am going to check first if Cornell still has it, the offer was made 30 years ago. Anyway, there's loads of interesting stuff there, including Chi.

As for "red and yellow" flags, I won't ever play the Nazi "opposition is betrayal" game with you, or anyone else for that matter. How boringly American of you. Moise mentioned there were too many sources for him to write down in an eMail, and asked what specifically I was looking for. I answered him and am now, 1 day later, waiting for his reply. I have no doubt we'll get them, why wouldn't we?

At any rate, let's keep it to specifics. And remember how this is supposed to work, if you don't agree with anything Porter writes you're suppose to say "Yes, but Mr. (or Mrs.) So and So said in ... that this and that happened, or was the case". Like I did with Rummel's "exhaustive" but apparently seriously flawed work.

Now we're going to check out what some other people have to say, without accusing anyone of being a traitor to his country. I know this is going to be difficult for a guy like you, but I do hope you'll try.

By the way, other then attacking his patriotism have you nothing to say about Moise's lengthy remarks on Rummel's methods or flaws? Or are you checking them out yourself?

And have you ever heard of "Black Propoganda"? You should, because your tax money (and our parent's) pay(ed) for it. It's an offical section of CIA operations, and relevant to these discussions.

At 6:49 PM, June 22, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

I'm shocked, I've been subjected to yet more of your snide and sneers, in addition to your self-regarding pieties. Too, you're misrepresenting my views, for one example only, what I indicated about Moise more specifically. As regards your impatience with this or any other aspect we're discussing, you might note it was a week ago or more, not a couple of days, that I first indicated you had failed to provide Moise's sources.

As regards your various questions, a couple of items. 1) Do you really think I couldn't toss out a dozen questions or more myself, virtually each and every time I posted? 2) While I've thought of doing precisely that, when I've waited a week or more concerning Moise's sources, why would I ask additional questions when you fail to provide a response to even a single issue raised?

Having read perhaps fifty books on the subject along with a much broader assortment of articles in various periodicals, it's fatuous to think I'm unaware of the US's far less than perfect performance in Vietnam. That is yet another aspect of your comprehension problems, you often depict my views, seemingly, as if I'm imagining complete evil on one side and complete good on the other. I've indicated nothing of the sort.

Finally, I've noted all your questions that are worth attention, I've studied many of the sundry malignancies and malformations of the Left vis-a-vis Vietnam at some length and over a goodly period of time, though am solely an antodidact in this area. I take it upon myself to seek out contrary and contrasting positions. That is the sole reason I am continuing this "dialog" with you. Or perhaps you believe I'm attracted to your warm personality and humanity? Or perhaps to your guileless approach to the subject? Or perhaps again because I've grown to admire your ability to comprehend the issues, such as the specific use of the word "apparently"? But that I've noted all questions and doubts I deem to be more substantial, and will in fact answer them, as time allows, to my own satisfaction, may or may not mean I will continue any aspect of the discussion with you, regardless of your impatience, your sneering disdain, your pious arrogations, your contemptuous displays, etc.

At 2:24 AM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

"Why would I ask additional questions when you fail to provide a response to even a single issue raised?" Michael

If you scroll up to our first exchange's and continue down you'll notice I countered all your points, including Rummel, sighting numerous sources. Stay specific, if there's something I missed say what it is.

"Finally, I've noted all your questions that are worth attention"

Another indication of your dedication to open debate. You decide what is worthy, what you want to answer? How big of you.

And I'm guiless? You're the one who attack's people's patriotism. What on earth could be lower then that?

Yet while quibbling over statistics, you have still failed to comprehend or confront my basic premise, that international conflicts and enemies don't just fall out of the sky, they're created, formed and evolve in this swamp we call life here on planet earth. Considering our (U.S.) record of concern for other people's rights, demonising them, without taking into consideration anything we or others (the west) have done to turn them against us is not only an excercise in cowardous, worse it pours oil on the fire, radicalising our "enemies" in a spiral of violence, turning both sides authoritarian in the struggle against each one another, not to mention creating mountains of human corpses.

This most basic mechanism of social, historic cause and effect is apparently too large an intellectual leap for pundits of the conservative American right to even consider. I predict the killing will continue.

Take your time with Porter, other then his patriotism there's a lot to consider in what he wrote.

At 3:27 PM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Your so called "basic premise" is trivial and jejune, barely more than grade-school level stuff. The notion I haven't "comprehended" it represents a pathetic grasping for something to say and fling in my direction. Regarding anything being "big of me," I never said it was big or small, it's just the way it is.

At 5:52 PM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


Assassinating foreign leaders, conspiring coups that bring dictators to power that ravage societies for decades, then pump and dump them, then invade them, bomb them, sanction them, and cause mass starvation? This is trivial? Oh no, according to Disney's History of the World "we are good", "they are bad". One need not inquire any further.

To you the history of the Middle East is trivial? What happened there is trivial?

Are you denying America's historic intervention in the region has not translated into any hatred what-so-ever against us? That our enemies are inherently evil people sent by the devil to test God's will?

"a pathetic grasping for something to say and fling in my direction"?

What is pathetic is you can not even imagine how American's would react to Arabs playing their geo-political, Macheavellian games out in our living rooms and blowing our children to pieces. What the hell would we do?

Come on Michael tell me, what would we do? Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and just imagine it.

Or is this another one of those question unworthy of your masterful attention?

"Just the way it is"? You choose what you want to answer, or not, and call this a debate? Or is it you turning blue and running scared?

By the way, anything to say about Porter's study?

And I read his piece on Hue. He made his points and gave his sources, what was it exactly you didn't agree with
that made you challenge his scholarship, ..and patriotism?

At 5:59 PM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

No, you're seemingly not trying again. What is trivial is this: "that international conflicts and enemies don't just fall out of the sky".

At 7:01 PM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Here is a list of the insurgent/terrorist groups in the world today, as of June 2005. How many of these do you support and excuse on the basis of the notion that conflict does not simply fall from the sky?

h/t, Belmont Club

At 5:31 AM, June 26, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Regarding your list of terrorist groups:

"How many of these do you support.."

It's irrelevant how many I support, what is more important is which one's our government supports, or other third parties, to steer an internal domestic situation to our own, very private geo-political advantage. And war(s).

"..and excuse on the basis of the notion that conflict does not simply fall from the sky?"

While the sheer numbers of revolutionary groups might make it seem "they fall from the sky" (like snow flakes?) you have, with your list, proved my point: Each represent a political (or religious) group with grievances to bare in their respective regions, here on planet earth. The situation on the ground is what spawns them, not some meta-phsyical, inherently evil force
that only God's army, the United States, can, and must face, the crap I hear coming out of America today.

I'm going to go through the list and try to see which one's are ours, or were ours at one time, and which one's were "theirs", that is the Soviets, India's or other Non-alligned sponsors, what each of these grievances were, if they were legitimate, and what diplomacy was attempted or blocked to calm tensions.

Like I said, the list is quite long, so it's going to take a bit. But I believe my point is still valid. Terrorism does not fall from the sky, there are reasons that lead people to blow them selves and others up, like in our own revolution against the British, who called us terrorists, or Nelson Mandela against South Africa, who was a terrorist to us (and we helped get captured) not so long ago etc.etc.

That there are long festering underlying grievences that bind and motivate our enemy should be obvious. Try and get 18 guys togethere to play a basaeball game let alone blow themselves up. That you, or it seems most American's, can't even consider this most basic point, is baffling to me.

It could be due, as you say, to my "comprehension deficit", or it could be due to a well oiled state propoganda apparatus that has brainwashed its people sufficently to frame the political debate into the narrow context I read here.
Good or bad. Black or white. Anything we might have done to aggrevate these people is off the table, swept into the dust bin.

In the mean time, as you seem to be representive of contemporary American conservative thought, I wanted to ask, what are the reasons given by the American political right for Russia's invasion of Afghanistan? What were the grounds? Or because Russia was (is?) inherently evil there didn't have to be any pirticular reason? No one bothered to ask? What are your thoughts on this?

At 12:22 PM, June 26, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

You're less offensive than usual, I assume it's because you're beginning to see the reasonableness and common sense I bring to the discussion. Also, my political leanings are more defined by classical liberal interests (Locke, Montesquieu, et al) than conservatism per se, though if the choice is between Dems and Repubs right now, or any time since the soixante-huitards, it would unquestionably be the latter and I have no problem with a neo-conservative label, broadly understood, though in terms of the details.

Finally for today, bringing up the notion of a well-oiled propaganda apparatus is more than a little ironic given your defense of D. Gareth Porter who not only served as apologist and sympathizer for North Vietnam's regime but was also the premiere apologist, with George Hildebrand, for Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime during the mid to late 70's.

At 8:08 PM, June 26, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


"You're less offensive than usual, I assume it's because you're beginning to see the reasonableness and common sense I bring to the discussion."

You're a comedian, right?

You have brought neither reason or common sense to our discussion. In fact you have brought nothing, as it seems you are only discussing with yourself. You have failed to explain how, speaking on a geo-political level of course, if I
"punch you in the face" it has nothing to do WHAT SO EVER WITH "YOU PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE". That is terrorism is a reaction, a "blow back" to American (and western) foreign policy the past half century (and more), and not the inherent "evil doers", "bent on destroying our liberty amd freedom", "look what America stands for" bull shit coming out of the White House today.

You have not answered how the Soviet's, never interested in Indochina in the least, got sucked into a war against us there.

You have not yet responded to
Moise's critique of Rummel, or Porter's sources for his study. Nor exactly what your problem with Porter's Hue study was. If there was some false or questionable information shouldn't you counter it with some other information? Based on his sources, most American, he presented a reasonable case, which until now you've only countered with: "He's an apologist". That's bull shit. I'm getting the feeling you're full of shit Michael (oops, I'm getting offensive again).

Nor have you responded to my last question about what you believe the reasons were for Russia invading Afghanistan. Or for that matter an earlier question, why you want Angleika Merkel to win Germany's next election.

And to be sure, proof of D. Gareth Porter being a tool of America's great, well oiled propoganda appartus is the number of times he's been on T.V. and magaizine/newspaper features. Man the guys a house hold name, everyone's read his stuff, it's virtually stuffed down our bloody throats.

It's not Porter working for the government propoganda apparatus you dummy, it's Chi and others that twist information to our geo-political advantage. The one's that get the air time, that make the print, the shit you and others like to regurgitate.

And while you idiots bicker over the narrow differences of Democrats and Republicans, and the liberal media, age old geo-political games are being played out before our eyes, with the same brutal methods and lack of regard for human consequences. And you my friend seem to be swallowing this shit hook-line-and-sinker.

I heard the "Patriot Act" passed. Nice name they thought up for that, don't you think? I just love the way political thought and discussion is framed now-a-days in our country.
They could have named it a thousand things, Security Act, Self Defence Act, or something, but no, they had to go below the belt and name it the Patriot Act. What in God's name does patriotism have to do with it?
If you're against it you're un-patriotic? What another load of shit.

I'll tell you though, if we really wanted to stop terrorism, I have an idea. How about WE STOP FUCKING WITH THESE PEOPLE AND STAY OUT OF THEIR GOD DAMN BUSINESS? ..I'll bet anything that "grade school" line of thinking isn't in our Nazi "Patriot Act".

And you want Condi Rice to be our next President? ..You're a comedian, right?

At 1:04 AM, June 27, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

You need to address me much better before I'll respond.

At 2:25 AM, June 28, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

I do however want to respond to your apology for D. Gareth Porter's deflection of blame away from the Viet Cong and North Vietnam for Hue, 1968.

D. Gareth Porter was a long time sympathizer and apologist for North Vietnam's regime. To place this in perspective consider that it was D. Gareth Porter and George C. Hildebrand who wrote the initial set of apologies even for Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime in the mid to late 70's. Sophal Ear, a native Cambodian writing his thesis from the University of California, Berkeley, debunked the apologies of Porter and Hildebrand (among others), this thesis can be found here, a pdf version here. This places D. Gareth Porter within the ideological landscape, as does the fact Porter has a long association with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), one of the oldest left wing think tanks in the country, Discover The Network's overview of the IPS is here. This is not to impugn a guilt by association, only to place D. Gareth Porter within an obvious and blatant ideological frame. Further, some of the same techniques used by Porter and Hildebrand in their apology for the Khmer Rouge genocide were used in Porter's deflection of blame for Hue, 1968, away from the North Vietnamese regime.

Time magazine's writeup of Hue can be found here.

A more detailed review can be found here. Another reference can be found here.

Porter's and Hildebrand's apology for Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime was published under the name "Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution" (1976) and was a sophisticated deflection of the Khmer Rouge's genocidal regime (though Chomsky and Herman outdid this level of sophistication with their set of apologies). Very much the same for Porter's deflection of blame away from the Viet Cong and the human tragedy that occurred at Hue. A few thousand civilians were killed at Hue during a single incident, compared to estimates ranging over two million for the Khmer Rouge's regime over several years, this is one reason Porter's Hue apology is easier to coverup than his vastly more notorious apology for the Khmer Rough regime.

That's a starting point, with some on-line references, for people who wish to do more thorough research still.

At 4:16 PM, June 28, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey predicated 1.5 million deaths from OUR "secret" carpet bombing of Cambodia, either directly or indirectly (from bombing dikes and infrastructure, causing lack of water, food and disease etc.

You don't believe our own bombing survey? Or you prefer Reader's Digest.

Or OUR complete levellig of the country, and the social and political vaccum it produced, created the conditions for any Kook to take over?

Thank God the Vietnamese took care of him. George Bush (Sr.) demanded that Pol Pot have a seat at U.N. negotiations for Vietnam's withdrawl.

And who's the apologist for Pol Pot?

No wonder people became communist.

At 2:52 PM, June 29, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

An enormous and pathetically lame equivocation when invoking the realpolitik atmosphere of the withdrawal negotiations and comparing that with a blatant attempt at historical revisionism to cloud and apologize for the genocide itself. You might provide links to support and detail the facts of the matter.

Similarly, provide a link to support your stats concerning the bombing. Almost everyone agrees the bombing was far too extensive and indiscriminate, but other critical factors are, unfortunately, involved, your tendency to arrogate the moral high ground notwithstanding. You're omitting hugely significant and absolutely pivotal aspects of the history. It was the North that started the war, as J. M. Del Vecchio writes from the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University:

"In the 1959, Hanoi's politburo received a series of reports indicating that even though the North had been directing a phase one guerrilla insurgency in the South for two years, the South was socially and economically out-pacing the North. 'By Tet of 1959,' William Colby writes in his book, Lost Victory, 'it was plain that a nationalist and non-Communist Vietnam was firmly established. It was also becoming apparent that its future was, if anything, more promising than the gray and regimented society in the North.'

"It was in response to these reports that the Communists decided, in May of 1959--to establish Trail 559 [later to be expanded and become known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail], and to launch an expanded insurgency, the Second Indochina War. By 1961 northern Communist were assassinating one hundred southern hamlet, village, and/or district officials each month. By 1962 that figure had grown to one thousand per month. If this is not part of our ambient cultural story, can one make sense of Eisenhower's or Kennedy's troop responses?"

Too, while much of the bombing in Cambodia cannot be supported, it was the Viet Minh and Viet Cong who first expanded the war into Cambodia, not the SVN or US commands, and that is what required some level of response, after the former first occupied parts of Cambodia bordering Vietnam.

Still later, recall this ARVN assessment of the Abrams years.

Obviously, too much human tragedy, but your one-sided, distortionist view is not taken seriously by anyone beyond the Moise, Porter, Chomsky, Herman, et al crowd.


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