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Noam Chomsky: Unrepentant Stalinist - Viet Nam War era liar

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  • Beowulf
    Never mind Chomsky. For all the damage he s enabled, he s still just a jerk and a cypher--a fundamentally unimportant blowhard with nothing of value to say.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2009
      Never mind Chomsky. For all the damage he's enabled, he's still just a jerk
      and a cypher--a fundamentally unimportant blowhard with nothing of value to
      say.

      But this piece is very worthwhile because makes absolute mincemeat of the
      four main myths about the war that N.C. and his acolyte keep trumpeting as
      fact. It details the actuality of what the Communists perpetrated on the
      people in Viet Nam. And it lays out in no uncertain terms the part played by
      the Soviets and China.

      If nothing else, the sources cited in the footnotes constitute an invaluable
      reading list on the Viet Nam War.

      The paper was presented, by the way, at a 2004 conference at Simmons College
      entitled "Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War." The other presentations
      also look extremely interesting. Main URL:

      <http://www.viet-myths.net> http://www.viet-myths.net

      --J.

      <http://www.viet-myths.net/chomsky.htm>
      http://www.viet-myths.net/chomsky.htm



      .

      <http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?s=97359714/grpId=2420737/grpspId=1705303292/msgId
      =179813/stime=1246439681/nc1=1/nc2=2/nc3=3>


      Noam Chomsky: Unrepentant Stalinist

      By <http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/authors.asp?ID=2341> Anders G.
      Lewis FrontPageMagazine.com April 9, 2004

      To the American Left in the 1960s, Hanoi was the Eternal City. It was the
      place to go to protest America's war in Vietnam and to express one's
      solidarity with Ho Chi Minh's Communist regime. In Hanoi one could find,
      according to Tom Hayden and Staughton Lynd, a "socialism of the heart" and a
      budding "rice-roots democracy." "We suspect," they observed, "that colonial
      American town meetings and current Vietnamese village meetings, Asian
      peasants leagues and Black Belt sharecroppers' unions have much in common.."
      It was also in Hanoi that one could, in Ramsey Clark's words, witness "the
      chief and universal cause of the revolutionary impulse," namely "the desire
      for equality." "You see no internal conflict in this country," Clark happily
      reported. At least, he stated, "I've seen none." Finally, it was in Hanoi
      that one could, in Susan Sontag's words, visit a place "which, in many
      respects, deserves to be idealized," and see a people who "really do believe
      in the goodness of man.."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn1> [1]

      Noam Chomsky was among those on the Left who traveled to Hanoi. In his At
      War With Asia (1970), the linguist-turned-activist fondly recounted how he
      found a country that was "unified, strong though poor, and determined to
      withstand the attack launched against [it] by the great superpower of the
      Western world." Everywhere he went, Chomsky found people "healthy, well-fed,
      and adequately clothed." Indeed, he saw great promise in Vietnamese
      Communism. "My personal guess is that, unhindered by imperialist
      intervention, the Vietnamese would develop a modern industrial society with
      much popular participation" and "direct democracy." While in Hanoi,
      Chomsky broadcasted a speech of solidarity on behalf of the Communists. He
      declared that their heroism revealed "the capabilities of the human spirit
      and human will." "Your cause," he continued, "is the cause of humanity as
      it moves forward toward liberty and justice, toward the socialist society in
      which free, creative men control their own destiny." Chomsky was so moved
      by his journey that, at one point, he proudly "sang songs, patriotic and
      sentimental, and declaimed poems" with his hosts. He admitted that some
      Western observers, those too encumbered by bourgeois prejudice, might find
      his actions distasteful. He was not concerned. "Let the reader think what
      he may," Chomsky wrote. "The fact is," the whole experience was "intensely
      moving."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn2> [2]

      Noam Chomsky went to Vietnam to protest a war he insisted was "simply an
      obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men.."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn3> [3] He opposed the war in word and deed while it
      was being fought, and he continues to write against it today. In the 1960s,
      he aided antiwar students and participated in one of Boston's first antiwar
      demonstrations. He also joined the infamous October 1967 march on the
      Pentagon. Chomsky thought it was a glorious affair with "tens of thousands
      of young people surrounding what they believed to be - I must add that I
      agree - the most hideous institution on this earth." He helped form the
      Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS), an organization that demanded
      "total, immediate, [and] unilateral American withdrawal" from Vietnam. And
      in 1969, Chomsky supported the October 15 nationwide Moratorium Against the
      War in Vietnam.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn4> [4]

      Chomsky has always been celebrated by the Left for his relentless opposition
      to the war. In 1969, Robert Sklar wrote a review of Chomsky's work for The
      Nation and glowed about his "remarkable scholarly tenacity and depth" and
      his "capacity for going beneath specific political issues to unveil their
      underlying cultural and ideological foundations.." A few years later, Simon
      Head argued that Chomsky's work on the war was "of great value in making
      sense of the present." More recently, radical historian Howard Zinn has
      called Chomsky "the leading critic of America's involvement in Vietnam."
      Noted anti-free trade activist Arundhati Roy, in a new forward to Chomsky's
      For Reasons of State (1972), praises him as "one of the greatest, most
      radical public thinkers of our time." Finally, in 2003, Richard Falk argued
      that Chomsky was right about the Vietnam War. His judgments, Folk proposed,
      "stand brilliantly the test of time."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn5> [5]

      Chomsky's indictment of the war has not changed since the 1960s. To
      understand it, one could read an essay he published in 1968, or one
      published in 2003. For almost forty years, he has offered the same
      critique. It rests on four related points. First, Chomsky argues that
      Communism offered the Vietnamese people the opportunity for a democratic and
      prosperous future. Second, he argues that the Communist Democratic Republic
      of Vietnam (DRV), was not assisted by the Chinese or the Soviets.
      Similarly, he argues that the independent National Liberation Front (NLF or
      Vietcong), was a South Vietnamese political organization that was not
      controlled by the DRV. Third, Chomsky provides a Marxist interpretation of
      the war's origins. The U.S., be believes, went to Vietnam for economic
      reasons. Further, the corporate ruling class determined American foreign
      policy in Vietnam, and their major goal was boosting the power and profits
      of big business. Fourth, Chomsky argues that the U.S. resorted to Nazi-like
      acts of barbarity and repression to accomplish its goals, including the
      installment of a lackey government in South Vietnam (the Republic of Vietnam
      or RVN).

      Chomsky's four point critique is extensive. He offers an epic and gripping
      story of American greed, ignorance, and cruelty contrasted with the grit and
      solidarity of the Vietnamese Communists. He views America as an evil
      colossus, an omnipotent and always unjust force inflicting its will on the
      innocent Vietnamese. The story of America in Vietnam is not, as some
      liberals might think, a story of a once noble effort that metamorphosized
      into a quagmire. Instead, it is the story of America's willful and
      intentional criminality - of its attempt to inflict genocide on the people
      of Southeast Asia. Chomsky's work makes for gripping and, if one did not
      know any better, disturbing reading. But alas, Chomsky's Vietnam epic is
      entirely wrong.

      Chomsky's first point is his contention that Communism offered Vietnam the
      opportunity for a golden future. He argues that Ho Chi Minh and his
      comrades were fighting to bring about a new world of economic justice and
      national emancipation. Their goal was to establish a "good example" of
      non-capitalist development for other Third World nations to follow. The
      society they desired was one that would, as Chomsky stated while on his tour
      of Vietnam, enable free and creative men to control their own destiny.
      Chomsky also insists that the Vietnamese people overwhelmingly supported the
      Communists.

      Much of Chomsky's first point rests on his analysis of the DRV's 1953-1956
      land reform campaign, and on his dismissal of Communist atrocities. He
      believes that the land reform campaign, in which the Communists took land
      away from farmers and landlords and gave it to poor peasants, was an
      important and necessary achievement. For too long, Chomsky argues,
      Vietnamese peasants had suffered from gross economic inequalities. True,
      Chomsky concedes, some of the tactics used to implement the reforms were too
      aggressive, but the overall effect of the campaign was positive.

      Chomsky propagated this view of the DRV's land reform campaign during the
      war and he has clung to it ever since. In 1967, he observed that, "if it
      were true that the consequences of not using terror would be that the
      peasantry in Vietnam would continue to live in the state of the peasantry of
      the Philippines, then I think the use of terror would be justified."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn6> [6] In 1970, he admitted that some people were
      killed during the campaign but insisted that this was less important than
      the fact that land reform "laid the basis for a new society" that has
      "overcome starvation and rural misery and offers the peasants hope for the
      future."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn7> [7] After the war, in a book that Chomsky co-wrote
      with Edward Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism
      (1979), he argued again that the reforms were much needed. He also insisted
      that they were not intended as political reprisal against opponents.
      Moreover, Communist leaders did not condone the violence associated with the
      reforms: "There is no evidence that the leadership ordered or organized mass
      executions of peasants."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn8> [8] Further, they were "upset by the abuses," and
      demonstrated a capacity to "keep in touch with rural interest and needs."
      Most importantly, the land reform was an economic success.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn9> [9]

      Because Chomsky viewed Vietnamese Communism as a viable alternative to
      capitalist development, he dismissed the violence associated with land
      reform as inconsequential. He dismissed, as well, numerous other Communist
      atrocities such as the 1968 massacre at Hue where Communists killed three
      thousand civilians. The Hue massacre, he argued, should be attributed to
      the U.S.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn10> [10]

      Chomsky's first point is wrong. His romantic faith that Communism could
      work in Vietnam is contradicted by the fact that Communism simply can not
      work in any nation. It is an inherently flawed economic doctrine that
      inevitably leads to totalitarianism. F.A. Hayek, the great economic
      theorist, pointed this out long before the onset of the Vietnam War. In his
      Road to Serfdom (1944), Hayek cogently argued that because modern economies
      are too complex to be managed by even the brightest of state bureaucrats,
      centralized economic planning and control will destroy economic
      productivity. It will also give the state monopolistic control over the
      most basic decisions of life. In so doing, Communism will furnish the state
      control of the means for all human ends, and "whoever has sole control of
      the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are
      to be rated higher and which lower - in short, what men should strive for."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn11> [11] Communism, Hayek argued, would never work
      and the human costs involved in trying to make it work would be terribly
      high.

      Cold War developments proved Hayek correct. In Eastern Europe, North Korea,
      China, and the Soviet Union, Communism was a colossal nightmare. According
      to the authors of The Black Book of Communism (1999), Communism was
      responsible for the deaths of possibly 100 million people during the course
      of the 20th century. Communism killed. It also ruined economies. In the
      Soviet Union, for example, Communism produced poverty, food shortages,
      denial of basic services, massive pollution, low rates of productivity,
      terrible health conditions, corruption, lack of educational opportunities,
      and high rates of alcoholism. In the 20th century, as David Horowitz has
      argued, history demonstrated Communism's "utter bankruptcy and historic
      defeat."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn12> [12]

      Vietnamese Communism was no exception. Contrary's to Chomsky's thesis, the
      Vietnamese Communists were not progressive, popular, or capable of building
      a prosperous society. Instead, they were despotic. Their economic policies,
      in turn, were disastrous. These facts are clearly demonstrated by the
      Communist's political actions and economic program before, during, and after
      the Vietnam War.

      In 1945, immediately after establishing the DRV, the Communists dedicated
      themselves to the elimination of all opposition. They strove to replicate
      the horrors of Soviet and Chinese Communism. In a 1951 speech, Ho Chi Minh
      (who had studied and lived in the Soviet Union) proudly declared that "Marx,
      Engles, Lenin, and Stalin are the common teachers for the world revolution."
      He also expressed great confidence in the future because "We have the most
      clear-sighted and worthy elder brothers and friends of mankind - comrade
      Stalin and comrade Mao Tse-tung."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn13> [13] Following his elder brothers, Ho established
      a one-party state with a secret police force and numerous detention camps
      for dissidents. He strove to liquidate Trotskyites, political dissidents,
      and even women who had married Frenchmen. "All those who do not follow the
      line which I lay down," he threatened, "will be broken."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn14> [14]

      The DRV's land reform campaign was particularly vicious. Contrary to
      Chomsky, it did involve mass killings. Its purpose was to destroy wealthy
      and middling landowners by stealing their property and giving it to poor
      peasants. The result was large scale terror, paranoia, perhaps 100,000
      dead, and many thousands more who were imprisoned. Moreover, top Party
      leaders, including Ho Chi Minh, instigated and directed the campaign. As
      William Duiker has pointed out in his Ho Chi Minh (2000), "there is ample
      evidence that much of the [violence associated with land reform] was
      deliberately inspired by Party leaders responsible for drafting and carrying
      out the program."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn15> [15] Economically, it was a disaster. By
      following the model provided by China and killing thousands of productive
      and successful land holders, many of whom owned comparatively small plots of
      land, the Communists were insuring the demise of their economic policies.
      The DRV's land reform campaign was a monstrous act that paralleled similar
      efforts in the Soviet Union and China. As Michael Lind has written in his
      Vietnam: The Necessary War (1999), "Communist agriculture could not produce
      good harvests - but it repeatedly produced bumper crops of the dead."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn16> [16]

      After carrying out their brutal policies in the North, the Communists sought
      to extend their power to South Vietnam. In 1957, they launched a terrorist
      campaign against supporters of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Over
      the next several years, Vietcong guerillas assassinated tens of thousands of
      individuals and abducted thousands more. They also killed many thousands of
      innocent civilians by shelling towns and cities with rockets and mortars.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn17> [17]

      The South Vietnamese, moreover, were not devoted to the Vietcong, as was
      clearly demonstrated during the 1968 Tet offensive when they refused to
      rally to the Communist cause - as the Communists believed they would. Nor,
      for that matter, were the North Vietnamese as supportive of the Communists
      as Chomsky argues. After the 1954 Geneva conference, there was a mass exodus
      of North Vietnamese into South Vietnam, including as many as one million
      Catholics. In fact, in the immediate months after the conference, almost
      ten times as many Vietnamese headed South as did those who went North.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn18> [18] During the war, millions of Vietnamese
      realized that the Communists were destroying their chances for democracy and
      economic development. The war's aftermath confirmed their suspicions and
      demonstrated what the true aims of the Communists were. It also proved the
      complete fallacy of Chomsky's first point.

      In 1975, after taking Saigon, the Communists quickly extended their
      Stalinist dictatorship throughout South Vietnam.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn19> [19] The new Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV)
      was corrupt and tyrannical. Its Stalinist leaders trampled on individual
      rights and established a string of "reeducation camps" for anyone not
      sufficiently supportive of the new regime. They forced possibly one million
      or more people into these cruel and primitive camps for weeks, months, or
      years, and without any legal trials. Camp prisoners suffered from severe
      malnutrition, as well as malaria, and dysentery. One journalist who
      interviewed former inmates noted that prisoners commonly suffered "from limb
      paralysis, vision loss, and infectious skin diseases like scabies caused by
      long-term, closely-packed, dark living conditions." Because of these
      inhumane conditions, many prisoners killed themselves.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn20> [20] The Communists also eliminated freedom of
      movement, requiring all citizens to carry internal passports. They
      eliminated all political parties and conducted bogus political elections.
      They closed down the free press that had existed in South Vietnam and
      created two official papers and one official television channel. They
      launched a racist pogrom against Vietnam's ethnic Chinese citizens.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn21> [21] They swept aside all southerners, including
      almost all NLF leaders, from positions of power. They also subjected all
      citizens to daily education sessions to promote the Party's power and to
      celebrate the words of Ho Chi Minh and other great Communist luminaries,
      including Stalin.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn22> [22] One official poem, written by the head of
      the Communist Party Committee of Culture, contained these moving lines:

      Oh, Stalin! Oh, Stalin!
      The love I bear my father, my mother, my wife, myself
      It's nothing beside the love I bear you.
      Oh, Stalin! Oh, Stalin!
      What remains of the earth and of the sky!
      Now that you are dead.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn23> [23]

      All of this was deeply discouraging to the people of Vietnam. One former
      Communist official, General Pham Xuan An, commented "All that talk about
      'liberation' twenty, thirty years ago, all the plotting, all the bodies,
      produced this, this impoverished, broken-down country led by a gang of cruel
      and paternalistic half-educated theorists."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn24> [24]

      Under Communist rule, Vietnam became a totalitarian hell and an economic
      calamity. The workers paradise that Chomsky envisioned never came.
      Provided their opportunity to be free of American "imperialism," the
      Vietnamese Communists - following the examples provided by China and the
      Soviet Union - used the economy to enrich themselves at the expense of the
      people they had professed to care so much for. They proved once again that
      Communism simply does not work. Since 1975, corruption has been rife, as has
      unemployment and poverty. Vietnam's per capita income and its GDP have
      remained extremely low. The peasantry has felt little incentive to work hard
      and is generally embittered. In 1988, parts of Vietnam suffered famine,
      with millions of people on the brink of death. Vietnam's educational system
      remains poor, as does its basic infrastructure. Prostitution, crime, and
      drug use plague the country.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn25> [25] One can go on and on but the point should be
      clear. Contrary to what Chomsky predicted, Vietnamese Communism has proven
      to be a total disaster.

      The consequence of Communist rule was a mass exodus of as many as two
      million Vietnamese who fled Vietnam in small boats and rafts in the hopes of
      finding a better life in Indonesia, the Philippines, or the United States.
      Eventually, approximately one million Vietnamese came to the U.S., the
      nation that Chomsky believes is the enemy of the Vietnamese people. "There
      is no way out, no hope," one individual declared, "..The best way to commit
      suicide is to take a boat. Either you go to the bottom of the ocean or to
      paradise - California."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn26> [26]

      Chomsky's response to the grim fate that has befallen Vietnam has been to
      rally to the SRV's defense and to blame everything on the U.S. In 1975 he
      celebrated Saigon's collapse.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn27> [27] In 1977 he declared that he would not sign
      any letter that would be distributed through the American media that
      protested human rights violations in Vietnam. In fact, he disputed claims
      that any significant violations were taking place and he reminded people of
      the "unprecedented savagery" of America's attack against Vietnam. He did
      acknowledge the existence of the reeducation camps, but insisted that some
      of the individuals in them deserved their fate. He also attacked the
      credibility of refugee reports, while happily using the reports of visitors
      to Vietnam who shared his politics. In later years, Chomsky simply argued
      that any problem that was occurring in Vietnam was the fault of the United
      States. The U.S. war, he insisted, guaranteed that the Communists would
      establish a Stalinist state. "Imposing harsh conditions on an impoverished
      Third World society," he claimed, "..more or less compel[s] them to resort
      to draconian measures."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn28> [28] Moreover, the SRV's reeducation camps were
      the best that could be expected, and the level of political repression was
      typical for a nation recovering after a war.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn29> [29]

      Chomsky wants to absolve the Communists of their sins. This will not do.
      It was the Communists, not the U.S., that established a Stalinist state.
      They built the reeducation camps. They built the cult of personality around
      Ho Chi Minh, Stalin, and Mao. They killed, tortured, and imprisoned their
      political opponents. And they have destroyed, for some time to come, the
      hope that Vietnam could become a prosperous, productive, and democratic
      nation. To insist, as Chomsky does, that the U.S. is to blame for this
      tragic reality is to resort to Alice in Wonderland logic. It is to deny
      that the Communists were Communists, individuals who were doing nothing more
      than following the dictates of their own twisted ideology. These are facts,
      though for many on the Left such as Chomsky, they are embarrassing to
      acknowledge. As Doan Van Toai, a former Vietnamese revolutionary, has
      argued, intellectuals such as Chomsky have chosen to ignore or rationalize
      Vietnam's ugly fate. Astutely, Toai observes that such intellectuals will
      likely "continue to maintain their silence in order to avoid the profound
      disillusionment that accepting the truth about Vietnam means for them."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn30> [30]

      Chomsky's second point is his assertion that the DRV was independent of
      Soviet and Chinese aid and that the NLF was independent of Hanoi. Chomsky
      first advanced this point during the war. In 1972, he argued that
      "Administration spokesmen have held to the view that by destroying Vietnam
      we are somehow standing firm against Chinese or Russian aggression..One
      searches the record in vain for evidence of this policy."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn31> [31] After the war, Chomsky reiterated this view.
      In What Uncle Sam Really Wants (1992), he argued that U.S. leaders simply
      invented the idea of a great North Vietnamese-Chinese-Soviet axis to scare
      Americans into supporting the war. Communism was not some ominous collection
      of powerful nations arrayed against the U.S. Instead, it was the idea that
      government should take care of its people, not the needs of an imperial
      power. This was not an acceptable idea to American imperialists. In
      Rethinking Camelot (1993), Chomsky wrote that "it was Ho Chi Minh's
      'ultranationalism' that made him unacceptable, not his services to the
      'Kremlin conspiracy' or 'Soviet expansion'.."
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn32> [32] The war, he contends, was an act of
      aggression against an independent nation that was unaided by the two great
      Communist superpowers. It was also an act of aggression against the NLF, a
      popular and nationalistic South Vietnamese organization that advocated
      popular economic and social programs. NLF authority, Chomsky writes
      approvingly, was "decentralized and placed in the hands of local people, in
      contrast to the rule of the U.S. client regime, perceived as 'outside
      forces' by major segments of the local population." NLF policies,
      particularly its land reforms, benefited the great mass of poor peasants.
      Moreover, Northerners did not influence the NLF, and did not become directly
      involved in the struggle against the United States until after 1965. The
      war, according to Chomsky, must be characterized as an "invasion" by the
      U.S. into a nation that simply refused to kowtow to American imperialism.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn33> [33]

      Chomsky's second point can not be sustained. Scholars who have had access
      to Vietnamese, Soviet, and Chinese sources have now firmly established that
      both the Soviet Union and China provided the DRV with substantial military
      and economic assistance during the war. They have also established that
      Hanoi controlled the NLF.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn34> [34]

      Chinese aid to the Communists was essential in the 1950s and the 1960s. At
      the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu, Chinese advisers directed the Communist
      dominated Viet Minh army. China also furnished the Viet Minh with food,
      trucks, oil, canons, guns, artillery shells, and millions of bullets.
      Chinese aid enabled the Viet Minh's victory over the French.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn35> [35] From 1953 to 1956, China played a key role
      in assisting the North Vietnamese land reform campaign. Chinese Communists
      trained many of the campaign's leaders. The DRV official who directed the
      program, General Secretary Truong Chinh, was a well known supporter of Mao
      and the Marxist idea of class war. The killing of class enemies, Chinh
      believed, was a necessary component of the Vietnamese Revolution.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn36> [36] Finally, from 1965 to 1968 - as Qiang Zhai
      has pointed out in his recent, China and the Vietnam Wars (2000) - Mao sent
      320,000 support troops to North Vietnam. China also supplied surface-to-air
      missiles, artillery, and essential logistical assistance.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn37> [37] The Chinese and the Vietnamese Communists
      celebrated their joint efforts and appreciated the bloody results. In one
      remarkable conversation that Mao had with North Vietnamese premier Pham Van
      Dong, and military leader Le Duc Anh, the Great Helmsman took particular
      pleasure in learning what effect Chinese anti-tank weapons had on American
      soldiers:

      Pham Van Dong: Tanks will melt when they are hit by this weapon.
      Le Duc Anh: And the drivers will be burnt to death.
      Mao Zedong: Good. Can we produce more of this?
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn38> [38]

      One no longer needs to search in vain for evidence of Chinese support for
      the Vietnamese Revolution. Nor does one have to search in vain to find
      enough evidence to realize that Soviet assistance was also of fundamental
      importance to the DRV. According to the Oxford University Encyclopedia of
      the Vietnam War (1998), total Soviet bloc aid from 1955 to 1961 was over $1
      billon. The Soviets supplied loans to build dozens of industrial plants and
      numerous power stations. By 1971, the Soviet Union had provided up to $3
      billion in economic and military aid to North Vietnam.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn39> [39] Soviet military assistance included T-54
      tanks, SA-7 Strela anti-aircraft missiles, and thousands of SA-2 surface-to
      air-missiles. Soviet aid, moreover, continued long after the war was over.
      In 1983, the Soviets were supplying the Vietnamese up to $4 million a day in
      economic and military aid.
      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftn40> [40]

      If you follow Kerry and Fonda's rhetoric, you'll see where they got it. For
      the purpose of the use of the word "rehtoric" we'll accept the following:
      "artificial eloquence; language that is showy and elaborate but largely
      empty of clear ideas or sincere emotion."

      If you will read Kerry's testimony to the Senate Foreign Relation Committee
      in 71, you'll be able to correlate from it many the many fallible thoughts
      of Chomsky accepted and belived by both K and F, intergrated into the
      Anti-war movement of the Vietnam war.

      ENDNOTES:


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref1> [1] The reference to Hanoi as the Eternal City
      is taken from Roger Kimball. See Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the
      Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (San Francisco: Encounter
      Books, 2000), pp.127-144. Hayden and Lynd are quoted in John Patrick
      Diggins, The Rise and Fall of the American Left (New York: W.W. Norton,
      1992), pp.240-241, and in Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of
      Rage (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), p.266. Clark is quoted in Paul
      Hollander, Political Pilgrims: The Travels of Western Intellectuals to the
      Soviet Union, China, and Cuba (New York: Harper and Row, 1981), 271. Sontag
      is quoted in Norman Podhoretz, Why We Were In Vietnam (New York: Simon and
      Schuster, 1982), pp.90-91.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref2> [2] Noam Chomsky, At War With Asia (New York:
      Vintage Books, 1970), pp.259-287.The speech Chomsky gave in Hanoi can be
      found on Frontpage magazine at: <http://frontpagemag.com/>
      http://frontpagemag.com In personal correspondence with me, Chomsky stated
      he "can't either confirm or deny" that he gave it. The speech is, however,
      entirely consistent with what he wrote in At War With Asia, and with his
      general stance towards the war. Chomksy also sought to deny what he wrote.
      When I confronted him with the fact that he "sang songs, patriotic and
      sentimental, and declaimed poems," with the Communists, he wrote back: "I'll
      be interested to see where I produced the 'words' that you have just
      invented and attributed to me..I realize that you feel it is your right to
      fabricate arbitrary slanders, but don't you think that this is going a
      little too far?" It was a stunning response. Chomsky's efforts, as well as
      the efforts of all the other activists who traveled to Hanoi, were warmly
      welcomed by the North Vietnamese. "Visits to Hanoi." by American antiwar
      activists, one North Vietnamese Communist has commented, "gave us confidence
      that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses." Quoted in
      Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of
      Western Power (New York: Anchor, 2001), p.416.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref3> [3] Noam Chomsky, American Power and the New
      Mandarins (New York: New Press, 2002), p.9.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref4> [4] On Chomsky's antiwar activities see Milan
      Rai, Chomsky's Politics (London: Verso, 1995); Keith Windschuttle, "The
      Hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky," NewCriterion.com, May 2, 2003; The Committee of
      Concerned Asian Scholars, The Indochina Story (New York: Bantam, 1970);
      Harry Summers Jr., The Vietnam War Almanac (New York: Ballantine Books,
      1985), pp.118-119.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref5> [5] Robert Sklar, "The Intellectual Power
      Elite," The Nation, March 24, 1969. Simon Head, "Story Without End," The New
      York Review of Books, August 9, 1973. See Roy's foreword in the new edition
      of Chomsky's For Reason of State (New York: The New Press, 2003), pp.vii-xx.
      Roy adds a few exciting twists to the Left's attack against the war by
      blasting the U.S. for all the "dead birds, the charred animals, the murdered
      fish," and yes, the "incinerated insects." See Roy's foreword in the new
      edition of Chomsky's For Reason of State (New York: The New Press, 2003),
      pp.vii-xx. Zinn's comments are contained in the New Press edition of
      American Power and the New Mandarins, cited above, pp.iii-ix. Falk's
      comments were posted to the H-DIPLO website on July 23, 2003. See:
      http://www.h-net.org/~diplo.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref6> [6] Quoted in Windschuttle, "The Hypocrisy of
      Noam Chomsky."


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref7> [7] Chomsky, At War With Asia, pp.280-281.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref8> [8] Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, The
      Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of
      Human Rights, Volume I (Boston: South End Press, 1979), p.432.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref9> [9] Ibid, pp.342-345.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref10> [10] Chomsky, For Reasons of State, pp.230-232.



      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref11> [11] F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago:
      University of Chicago Press, 1944), p.101.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref12> [12] David Horowitz, The Politics of Bad Faith:
      The Radical Assault on America's Future (New York: The Free Press, 1998),
      p.96. Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej
      Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, and Jean-Louis Margolin, The Black of Communism:
      Crimes, Terror, and Repression (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999),
      p.4. Also see Richard Pipes, Communism: A History (New York: Modern
      Library, 2001). Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (New York:
      W.W. Norton, 2000).


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref13> [13] Quoted in Bernard Fall, Ho Chi Minh on
      Revolution: Selected Writings, 1920-1966 (New York: Signet Books, 1967),
      pp.188-208.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref14> [14] Courtois, et al, The Black of Communism,
      pp.565-575. Ho Chi Minh is quoted in Michael Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary
      War (New York: Touchstone, 1999), p.241.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref15> [15] William Duiker, Ho Chi Minh: A Life (New
      York: Hyperion, 2000), p.475. Also see Courtois, et al, The Black Book of
      Communism, p.569.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref16> [16] Courtois, et al, The Black Book of
      Communism, pp.569-570. Also see Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War, p.151-156.
      Also see Spencer Tucker ed., The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A
      Political, Social, and Military History (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
      1998), pp.447-448.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref17> [17] Tucker, ed, The Encyclopedia of the
      Vietnam War, p.448. Guenter Lewy, America in Vietnam (New York: Oxford
      University Press, 1978), pp.272-274.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref18> [18] See Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War,
      p.149.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref19> [19] The Communist victory in Vietnam and the
      U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia promoted the fall of Laos to the
      Communist Pathet Lao, and the Khmer Rouge's genocidal massacre in Cambodia.
      The dominoes, as American leaders predicted, did fall. The Communist
      victory in Vietnam also encouraged Soviet proxies in Ethiopia, Angola,
      Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref20> [20] See Tucker, ed., The Encyclopedia of the
      Vietnam War, p.348. Doan Van Toai and David Chanoff, The Vietnamese Gulag
      (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986). For an informative report on Vietnam
      written three years after the war see Carl Gershman, "After the Dominoes
      Fell," Commentary, May, 1978.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref21> [21] See Stephen J. Morris, Why Vietnam Invaded
      America: Political Culture and the Causes of War (Stanford: Stanford
      University Press, 1999), chapter 7.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref22> [22] See Robert Templer, Shadows and Wind: A
      View of Modern Vietnam (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref23> [23] Quoted in Podhoretz, Why We Were In
      Vietnam, p.202


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref24> [24] Quoted in Hanson, Carnage and Culture,
      p.427.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref25> [25] Templer, Shadows and Wind.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref26> [26] Quoted in Henry Kamm, Dragon Ascending:
      Vietnam and the Vietnamese (New York: Arcade Publishing, 1996), p.238.
      George Herring, America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 3rd
      ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1996), p.302.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref27> [27] At what Howard Zinn has called the war's
      last teach-in, Zinn, Chomsky, and the participants were joyous upon hearing
      of the fall of Saigon. "In the midst of the proceedings," Zinn recalls, "a
      student came racing down the aisle with a dispatch in his hand, shouting
      'Saigon has fallen. The war is over,' and the auditorium exploded in
      cheers." See Zinn's forward in Chomsky, American Power and the New
      Mandarins, p.viii.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref28> [28] C.P. Otero ed., Chomsky: Language and
      Politics (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1988), p.560. In 1977, Chomsky stated
      that he would sign "an appropriately worded protest" of human rights
      violations if it would be released through a country such as Sweden. He
      refused to sign any protest through the American mass media because it
      "supported the war through its worst atrocities." See C.P. Otero, ed. Noam
      Chomsky: Radical Priorities (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1981), pp.62-80.
      These statements nicely reflect Chomsky's efforts to avoid moral
      responsibility for his positions. He was quite happy to use the media to
      attack the war in Vietnam, but he will not use it to call attention to the
      SRV's human rights violations. Further, I have found no evidence that he
      has ever published any indictment of the SRV, either in the American or the
      Swedish media. To this day, he simply refuses to part ways with his
      Vietnamese comrades. When I asked him, in personal correspondence, to cite
      one book or article he had written that denounces the SRV, he responded:
      "Your.question is quite comical. I'll be glad to answer as soon as you send
      me the books in which you have condemned the murderous atrocities for which
      you share responsibility..And if you really cannot comprehend why this is
      the right answer, I'm afraid you are placing yourself well beyond the bounds
      of possible discussion."


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref29> [29] Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, After
      the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina & the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology.
      The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume II (Boston: South End Press,
      1979), pp.61-118. Chomsky argues that the U.S. actually won the war because
      it accomplished its goal of destroying Vietnam's chance to provide a "good
      example" of Third World economic development.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref30> [30] Doan Van Toai, "A Lament for Vietnam," The
      New York Times, March 19, 1981.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref31> [31] Chomsky, "Vietnam: How Government Became
      Wolves," The New York Review of Books, June 15, 1972.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref32> [32] Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants
      (Tucson: Odonian Press, 1992), p.10. Noam Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot: JFK,
      the Vietnam War, and U.S. Political Culture (Boston: South End Press, 1993),
      p.22.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref33> [33] Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot, pp.56-63 and
      pp.90-93. Also see Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing
      Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon, 1988),
      pp.188-190.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref34> [34] See the introduction and chapter 2 in Marc
      Jason Gilbert ed., Why The North Won the Vietnam War (New York: Palgrave,
      2002). Gilbert writes that "it was Chinese and Soviet military aid that
      helped North Vietnam survive American escalation and eventually win the
      war." George Herring, in turn, writes that Soviet and Chinese aid "played a
      crucial role in Hanoi's ability to resist U.S. military pressures."


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref35> [35] John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking
      Cold War History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp.161-163. Also
      see Morris, Why Vietnam Invaded America, p.125.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref36> [36] Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, p.477.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref37> [37] Qiang Zhai, China and the Vietnam Wars,
      1950-1975 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), p.135.
      Also see Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill: University of
      North Carolina Press, 2001).


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref38> [38] Odd Arne Westad, Chen Jian, Stein
      Tonnesson, Nguyen Vu Tung, and James G. Hershberg, "77 Conversations between
      Chinese and Foreign Leaders on the Wars in Indochina, 1964-1977," Cold War
      International History Project Working Paper No.22 (Washington: Woodrow
      Wilson International Center for Scholars, May 1998).


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref39> [39] Tucker ed., The Encyclopedia of the
      Vietnam War, pp.448-449.


      <http://www.frontpagemag.com/websat/Helper/editor/editor.asp?FormArea=divBod
      y&HidArea=txtBody#_ftnref40> [40] Summers, The Vietnam War Almanac, p.316.
      Also see Ilya Gaiduk, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (Chicago: Ivan
      Dee, 1996).

      <http://www.viet-myths.net/owens2.htm> -----------
      <http://www.viet-myths.net/homepage.htm> -------------
      <http://www.viet-myths.net/08-04-19-04.htm>

      _____

      "The postwar euphoria had long since worn off, and with the coming of
      economic hard ties, a certain sensibility flourished, a sensibility of
      doubt. Despair seemed somehow fashionable. Peculiar sexual styles became
      smart. And the brightest lads were the worst: dandy boys, clever boots,
      know-it-alls, fellow travellers; they climbed aboard the Soviet Russian
      bandwagon, toot-toot-tooting all the way. They loathed their own country.
      They simply, in their glib and fancy way, hated it, as had no other
      generation in English history. They hated it for its smugness and
      complacency. They hated it for being English and they hated it for making
      them comfortable while it was unable to feed its own poor. They regarded the
      presence of the poor as a priori evidence of the corruption of the society.
      And they loved what... the red butcher was doing in his worker's paradise.
      It was this, finally, that so infuriated the major: their willed, forced,
      self-induced deception."


      The Spanish Gambit by Stephen Hunter, Crown Publishers, NY, 1985




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