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Ho Chi Minh, the enemy of the United States in the Vietnam War, was initially a friend. American airmen and providing intelligence on Japanese movements during the unprotected sex with clay aiken year of World War II. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed national independence for Vietnam. The Creator has given us certain inviolable Rights: the right to Life, the right to be Free, and the right to achieve Happiness.

The French refused to acknowledge Vietnamese independence and fought a war to reconquer their former colony from 1946 to 1954. Ho Chi Minh appealed to the U. Truman and Eisenhower administrations aided the French instead, preferring French imperial rule to an independent, communist-led government under Ho. In July 1954, international peace agreements were signed in Geneva, stipulating that Vietnam be temporarily divided for two years in order to separate French and Viet Minh forces, and that unifying national elections be held in July 1956.

The United States refused to sign or abide by the agreements. Ho Chi Minh would easily win the presidency. The inability of the South Vietnamese government to defeat the insurgency led to a decision by the Johnson administration to deploy U. The American War in Vietnam was primarily fought in the south and largely against the rural population. North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in order to slow the supply of arms and supplies to southern insurgents. Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped 6,162,000 tons of bombs on Southeast Asia, which was 2.

American intervention in Southeast Asia resulted in the deaths of 1. 8 million Vietnamese, 600,000 to 800,000 Cambodians, about one million Laotians, 58,220 American soldiers, and 6,500 other participants. Looking back, do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam? Citizen opposition to the war in Vietnam developed into the largest antiwar movement in American history.

The movement encompassed thousands of Vietnam veterans and active duty GIs as well as prominent religious leaders such as Martin Luther King. The Vietnamese people, by and large, viewed American intervention in their country in much the same way as they viewed French colonization, as an unwanted imposition of foreign control. The United States first supported French efforts to recolonize Vietnam after World War II. When the French were defeated, the U. We won the war because we would rather die than live in slavery. American leaders had been wiser I think we could have been spared the war.

In my opinion, the Vietnam War was not in the American interest. American illusions about Vietnam took on tragic proportions as the war got underway in the early 1960s. Given widespread opposition to the U. Vietnam posed no security threat to the United States or to its allies. At the heart of American misconceptions was the belief that the U. Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. Vietnam War, the moral calculus would be the same: it would still be an unnecessary and unjust war.

By way of contrast, the U. World War II and were compounded over time. The Vietnamese people have a long history of resistance to foreign rule. Before the French arrived in the 17th century, the traditional adversary had been Chinese kingdoms. Vietnamese tradition reveres the Trưng sisters who gave their lives in 43 AD in the first resistance movement against Chinese domination. French Catholic missionaries first arrived around 1620. By the mid-19th century, France was ready to build an empire in Southeast Asia.

With superior weapons, French forces attacked the port city of Danang in 1858, seized Saigon the following year, and secured control over the whole of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia by 1884. One of the ironies of this mission was that many of the colonials who embraced Western ideas of political freedom and independence became leaders of anti-imperialist movements seeking to overthrow the colonial regimes. Ho made his first appearance on the world stage at the Versailles peace conference in 1919, following World War I. Ho presented a letter to the leaders of the victorious nations respectfully asking for recognition of the rights of the Vietnamese people. It is an imperative principle of actions which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril. Yet the victorious allies neither accepted Ho’s letter nor endorsed the principle of national self-determination for colonized peoples outside Europe. Instead, France and Great Britain expanded their empires in the Middle East.

Ho’s efforts nevertheless made him famous in Vietnam. In the aftermath of the Versailles Conference, Ho turned to socialist writings for inspiration, and to socialist and communist parties for support. Socialism and Communism can liberate the oppressed nations. In 1920, Ho became a founding member of the French Communist Party. For Ho and many other colonial subjects, the socialist-communist ideal was attractive not only because it condemned imperialism but also because it heralded a more just economic and social order.

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