[Note: This is a subpost linked to by Vietnam, Israel and the Left’s Delusional Narratives. Feel free to comment but the post might not make much sense without the parent post’s context.]
Delusion: Ho Chi Min was really just a non-ideological Vietnamese nationalist who was driven to seek support from the communist superpowers by the ignorance and racism of America and France.
Reality: This myth is so ridiculous it is almost gigglingly funny. It is difficult to imagine how Ho Chi Min’s life story could have more marked him as a doctrinaire communist. He left Vietnam for France in 1912, joined the communist party in 1917 and did not return to Vietnam until ordered to do so by Stalin himself in 1944. He spent the intervening 32 years in Europe and the Soviet Union, living as a Westerner, speaking French and Russian and working for various communist organizations and Stalin’s regime. He was himself an unrepentant Stalinist who considered himself a close personal friend of Stalin. Ho Chi Min so admired Stalin that he ordered that Stalin’s portrait appear beside his own in public buildings in Vietnam up until his own death in 1977.
Nor did he act like a nationalist once in power. The French lost control of Indochina not to the communists but to a broad-based coalition of various nationalistic groups that only included the communists. After the defeat of the French, Ho Chi Min used his superpower backing to gain internal military control of North Vietnam. Then he either killed the non-communists or drove them into exile. He founded a Stalinist regime in the North complete with secret police and gulags. In 1955, he even massacred 15,000 of the Vietnamese equivalent of the Kulaks, apparently for no other reason than to emulate Stalin.
The “peace” movement, however, ignored Ho Chi Min’s actions and instead, as hard as it is to believe now, pointed to the mere statements of a Stalinist as proof of his non-ideological nationalism. They even went so far as to compare Ho Chi Min to Washington and the other founders of America.
Instead, from his youth he was a doctrinaire communist who believed in subordinating the people of Vietnam to a world communist state and replacing its native culture with that of an industrialized communist utopia.