The Seeds

2747 WORDS

The Seeds
The seeds of the Vietnam War were sown two decades prior to the conflict. Following the Second World War the United States adopted two foreign policies, which seemed to coexist peacefully for a time. The policies: anti-colonialism (policy against colonization of small nations) and anti-communism. Little did the United States know that the coexistence of these two policies would soon become a great paradox. Indochina had been a colony of France since the middle of the nineteenth century, within its parameter Indochina contained three nations: Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. At the conclusion of WWII these nations were seeking independence from the colonial rule of its motherland, France. On the heels of the war the U.S was primarily occupied with assisting Europe recover economically and escape communist domination (Pentagon Papers A-2). Confronted with these problems of what then seemed to be a larger scale the U.S considered the fate of Vietnamese "nationalism" relatively insignificant. In fact Indochina appeared to be a region in the post-war world in which the U.S need not involve itself (P. Papers A-2). Tides quickly shifted, however, when the problem was brought to President Roosevelt's attention by Premier Ramadier of France. Following his policy of anti-colonialism, Roosevelt advocated the independence of all Indochinese nations.  France, unwilling to give up colonial rule continued to occupy Indochina. Meanwhile, a man by the name of Nguyen Ai Quoc, who later came to be known as Ho Chi Minh, formed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) as well as an army of Vietnamese freedom fighters called the Viet Minh. Finally on December 19, 1946 the Vietnamese troops attacked French troops stationed on the outskirts of Hanoi. This began the start of the eight year Franco-Viet Minh War. Shortly prior to this conflict President Roosevelt had died, fanning the flame of anti-colonialism and leaving the official policy of the U.S toward the Franco-Vietnam war as neutral. Due to the neutrality of the United States during the first four years of the Franco-Viet Minh War, the Vietnam War became, inevitably, the destiny of the United States. This paper will explain three major points and how they laid the foundation for the Vietnam War. These points include:
1) reasons for U.S. neutrality, 2) how this neutrality allowed Communism to blossom in Vietnam, and 3) how this blossoming Communsim made the Vietnam War inevitable.
One of the main reasons for this lack of action on the part of the U.S was the ignorance of Ho Chi Minh's communist affiliations and the façade of nationalism which he donned (P. Papers A-30). At the time the United States promoted the nationalistic outlook of small nations such as Vietnam and due to this ignorance, they viewed it as nothing less than the true spirit of nationalism which it appeared to be. No one, however, knew better than Ho Chi Minh that the struggle for independence could not be conducted under the flag of Communism (P. Papers C-23). As a result of this belief, Ho Chi Minh removed several communists from the DRV cabinet and tried to exhibit an impression of Democracy. He also pressed for the adoption of a constitution, quite similar to that of the United States, as a strictly strategical maneuver.  Ho was undoubtedly a communist. He had spent twenty five years, prior to becoming the President of the DRV, embracing Communist doctrine and fighting for the Communist cause in France and Vietnam. There, in reality, should have been little doubt of Soviet imperialistic influence of Ho Chi Minh's motives. Had President Truman paid more careful attention to developments in Vietnam he would have no doubt joined the conflict as a French ally in order to propagate the U.S. anti-communist policy.
The fact that Ho Chi Minh was a communist was clear to numerous masses of people including the U.S State department. In early 1948, the State Department issued an appraisal of Ho Chi Minh stating:
"Depts. Info indicates that Ho Chi Minh is Communist. His long and well-known record in Comintern during the twenties and thirties, continuous support by French Communist newspaper Humanite since 1945, praise given him by radio Moscow, and (the) fact that he has been called "leading communist" by recent Russian publications as well as

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