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Ho Chi Minh

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Post 26 Jul 2004, 05:10
Thinking about it I find that I dont know very much about him.
can someone enlighten me?
Post 26 Jul 2004, 05:16
I know that ho chi min was of course the leader of viet nam. he was educated in france and was well liked through out all of viet nam. it was said that when elections were going to be held for a leader of viet nam, he would have won both north and south. that is why the US never let these elections happen. that is pretty much all that i remember from history class.
Post 26 Jul 2004, 05:54
The youngest of three children, Ho was born Nguyen Sinh Cung in 1890 in a village in central Vietnam. The area was indirectly ruled by the French through a puppet emperor. Its impoverished peasants, traditional dissidents, opposed France's presence; and Ho's father, a functionary at the imperial court, manifested his sympathy for them by quitting his position and becoming an itinerant teacher. Inheriting his father's rebellious bent, Ho participated in a series of tax revolts, acquiring a reputation as a troublemaker. But he was familiar with the lofty French principles of liberté, égalité, fraternité and yearned to see them in practice in France. In 1911 he sailed for Marseilles as a galley boy aboard a passenger liner. His record of dissent had already earned him a file in the French police dossiers. It was scarcely flattering: "Appearance awkward ... mouth half-open."

In Paris, Ho worked as a photo retoucher. The city's fancy restaurants were beyond his means, but he indulged in one luxury — American cigarettes, preferably Camels or Lucky Strikes. Occasionally he would drop into a music hall to listen to Maurice Chevalier, whose charming songs he would never forget.

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson arrived in France to sign the treaty ending World War I, and Ho, supposing that the President's doctrine of self-determination applied to Asia, donned a cutaway coat and tried to present Wilson with a lengthy list of French abuses in Vietnam. Rebuffed, Ho joined the newly created French Communist Party. "It was patriotism, not communism, that inspired me," he later explained.

Soon Ho was roaming the earth as a covert agent for Moscow. Disguised as a Chinese journalist or a Buddhist monk, he would surface in Canton, Rangoon or Calcutta — then vanish to nurse his tuberculosis and other chronic diseases. As befit a professional conspirator, he employed a baffling assortment of aliases. Again and again, he was reported dead, only to pop up in a new place. In 1929 he assembled a few militants in Hong Kong and formed the Indochinese Communist Party. He portrayed himself as a celibate, a pose calculated to epitomize his moral fiber, but he had at least two wives or perhaps concubines. One was a Chinese woman; the other was Giap's sister-in-law, who was guillotined by the French.

In 1940, Japan's legions swept into Indochina and French officials in Vietnam, loyal to the pro-German Vichy administration in France, collaborated with them. Nationalists in the region greeted the Japanese as liberators, but to Ho they were no better than the French. Slipping across the Chinese frontier into Vietnam — his first return home in three decades — he urged his disciples to fight both the Japanese and the French. There, in a remote camp, he founded the Viet Minh, an acronym for the Vietnam Independence League, from which he derived his nom de guerre, Ho Chi Minh — roughly "Bringer of Light."

What he brought was a spirit of rebellion — against first the French and later the Americans. As Ho's war escalated in the mid-1960s, it became clear to Lyndon Johnson that Vietnam would imperil his presidency. In 1965, Johnson tried a diplomatic approach. Accustomed to dispensing patronage to recalcitrant Congressmen, he was confident that the tactic would work. "Old Ho can't turn me down," L.B.J. said. But Ho did. Any settlement, he realized, would mean accepting a permanent partition and forfeiting his dream to unify Vietnam under his flag.

There was no flexibility in Ho's beliefs, no bending of his will. Even as the war increasingly destroyed the country, he remained committed to Vietnam's independence. And millions of Vietnamese fought and died to attain the same goal.

Ho died on Sept. 2, 1969, at the age of 79, some six years before his battalions surged into Saigon. Aspiring to bask in the reflected glory of his posthumous triumph, his heirs put his embalmed body on display in a hideous granite mausoleum copied from Lenin's tomb in Moscow. They violated his final wishes. In his will he specified that his ashes be buried in urns on three hilltops in Vietnam, saying, "Not only is cremation good from the point of view of hygiene, but it also saves farmland."
Post 26 Jul 2004, 06:26
"It was patriotism, not communism, that inspired me,"

I think this is an important quote. Ho Chi Minh's aims were always nationalistic, and he exploited the Soviet Union, and the standards of Socialism to help him in his struggle for Vietnamese Independence. Granted, it was a just cause, every nation deserves the right to Self Determination. However, I don't think Ho Chi Minh had the principles of the World Wide Proletarian Revolution on his mind.

Post 26 Jul 2004, 06:30
Post 26 Jul 2004, 09:50
and he exploited the Soviet Union

Who cares? He freed his people and they loved him for that! France and the US where kicked out of Viet Nam under his political leadership and under the military command of General Giap...

Hô Chi Mîhn is one of the greatest and the wisest leaders the 20th century had known. The USSR never had such a one...
Post 26 Jul 2004, 18:45
The USSR never had such a one...

I would say Lenin was certainly Ho Chi Minh's equal, or better, when it came to leadership and Revolutionary qualities.

Post 26 Jul 2004, 21:06
Ho Chi Min was a nationalist though and Lenin was not. The main goal of Ho was independence and not a workers state.
Post 27 Jul 2004, 10:59
I would say Lenin was certainly Ho Chi Minh's equal, or better, when it came to leadership and Revolutionary qualities.

I agree but they guys after Lenin were pretty crappy....
Post 07 Jun 2005, 10:34
Bit of a sweeping statement there spetsnaz. I would not say all of what the leader of the S.U did was crappy, Stalin made the S.U an industrial superpower, krushchev managed to avoid a nuclear war in the cuban missile crisis and forced the USA to remove their missiles from turkey, Gorbechev tried to introduce reforms, some of which are more humanitarian.
Post 09 Jun 2005, 11:50
at some sort of a meeting or party convention was it, Uncle Ho quoted a line from the Declaration of Independence and even had a band playing the Star Spangle Banner, in hope for the U.S. to help Vietnamese liberation, but then, know the rest.

Ho Chi Minh had a tendency toward the left though. I think Thien Thai can elaborate further about this, but he's away for the next 4 weeks. Basically, his characteristics are similar to those of Sukarno's, Indonesia founder. Both have the tendency to the left.
Post 21 Jun 2005, 07:20
CZ86 wrote:
it was said that when elections were going to be held for a leader of viet nam, he would have won both north and south.

This is from one of Dwight Eisenhower's writings:

"I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held at the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh."
Post 21 Jun 2005, 09:33
Yep, basically the North won the favor. Extensive agricultural reform and land distribution is by far comprehensive than South's. Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam, was never popular due to his slow agricultural reform and worse living standards. Saigon at that time was full of prostitutions and those who are destitues.

It the referendum was held, we all know what the outcome would be.
Post 21 Jun 2005, 18:00
Hô Chi Mîhn is one of the greatest and the wisest leaders the 20th century had known. The USSR never had such a one...

I agree he was one of the wisest and greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, but who did he train under? Who were his mentors? Lenin and Stalin of course.

I think you need to give Lenin and Stalin a lot of credit for helping develop Ho Chi Minh's theory.
Post 17 Jul 2005, 10:28
Personally i believe Ho Chi Minh was one of the greatest Communist leaders ever, he was a good leader.
Post 20 Aug 2005, 07:56
If you're really interested, there's a book you have to buy:

"Ho Chi Minh: A Life" by William J. Duiker
Post 20 Aug 2005, 09:16
The USSR never had such a one...

Yuri Andropov. Too bad nobody remembers him because he only had one year in power. But what he did in that year and had planned to do should be appreciated. He wanted reform, but not market reform, rather the minimization of socialism's deficiencies. He stood firm with the United States and with dissidents. He desperatly wanted to warm relations with China.

Ho Chi Min and the regime he created have been positive for Vietnam and for Cambodia (which the Vietnamese had freed from Pol Pot). It is too bad that so many people were killed and are continually suffering due to the United States foreign policy.
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