First Published: Progressive Worker, Vol. 3, No. 9, July 1967
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Discussions and analyses of the situation in Vietnam are a continuing project. The imperialist enemies of the people, of course, have their own so-called “analyses” and fabricated news dispatches, designed to mislead, confuse and immobilize the masses who support the just and heroic struggle of the Vietnamese against U.S. imperialist aggression. The Moscow revisionists aid and abet the U.S. imperialists in their plots to undermine and defeat the anti-imperialist people’s war.
Friends and supporters of Vietnam embrace a multitude of groups with varying political outlooks and a variety of opinions on what constitutes correct measures of support and on what policies and tactics are right for Vietnam. It is important that these forces be united on a broad anti-imperialist front and in support of the just struggle of the people of Vietnam. Given a correct program and policy these forces CAN be united, Vietnam can be aided and the imperialist aggressors defeated. The program around which these forces can be united does not need to be formulated in confused and complex generalities and a profusion of slogans, it can be clearly and simply stated in a few words – U.S. aggressors get out of Vietnam, NOW! Leave the people of Vietnam in freedom to determine and shape their own destiny. So long as the aggressor refuses to accede to these just demands the movement will have to use various methods to bring pressure on the aggressors and render all-out aid to the only true representatives of the people if Vietnam – the National front of Liberation in the South and the regime of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North.
Recent published comments on Vietnam prompt us to believe that now is an opportune time for us to re-state our position on Vietnam. This position must be based on an accurate analysis and proper understanding of existing conditions and serve the vital needs of the situation in Vietnam – it should not be a policy that we find easiest for ourselves or sets us apart from the broad peoples’ movement in support of Vietnam. We must base our decisions on what is NOW the situation in Vietnam and not on the speculations of the various bourgeois commentators on radio and T.V., or in such journals as the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, etc. We must understand the central contradiction in the conflict and the relationship of the class forces involved. We must accept the situation as it is NOW and shape our policies accordingly, not speculate on some possible future betrayal and act now as though that betrayal were already an accomplished fact. Such an attitude means to abandon faith in the masses and accept defeat as inevitable. We are confident the aggressor will be defeated, the people will win!
The Geneva Conference of 1954, in order to facilitate the orderly withdrawal of the defeated forces of French imperialism and the transfer of the administration of the nation to the real representatives of the people, made a temporary division of Vietnam at the 17th parallel. The Agreement which developed from the Conference provided for elections in both areas by July 1956 and the ultimate reunification of the country on terms and by procedures to be worked out by the elected representatives of the people. This agreement was signed by France, the occupying power, and by the representatives of the victorious peoples’ forces in Vietnam as well as such guaranteeing powers as the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain. It was also agreed to by Canada who became a member of the International Control Commission (I.C.C.) set up to ensure the enforcement of the terms of the agreement. The United States, rather significantly, refused to sign the agreement although, under pressure, they made a vague public statement to the effect that they would “not resist it”.
However, the ink was scarcely dry on the agreement before the Americans began their work of undermining it: in fact, there is good reason to believe they started their activities BEFORE the agreement was drawn up. First step up the ladder was to get rid of France’s puppet, Bao Dai, and install one of their own who happened to be a former collaborator with Japan, the notorious Ngo Dinh Diem, who was quickly disposed of when no longer of service.
The made in America puppet announced there would be no elections since the “Communists were sure to win” and South Vietnam was declared an “independent nation” which the U.S. militarists took under their protection. That all this was in defiance of the Geneva Agreements did not seem to disturb unduly the guaranteeing countries or the I.C.C. of which Canada was a member. It was by means of this thoroughly illegal procedure that “two Vietnams” were created.
The U.S. aggressors needed “two Vietnams” in order to provide a basis for their allegations of invasion from the North and so provide some justification for their armed actions in Vietnam. The Canadian government supports this “two Vietnams” myth and so betrays the Geneva Agreements which they undertook to enforce when they accepted a post on the I.C.C.
This arbitrary and unjustified division which was imposed on Vietnam naturally results in certain political and economic developments peculiar to each. But these are superficial manifestations – fundamentally Vietnam is still one nation united in resistance to U.S. imperialist aggression. The regime of the Democratic Republic in the North is the indisputable government in that area; the National Front of Liberation is the only legitimate representative of the people in the South. It is for these two, and these two alone, acting on behalf of the people of Vietnam, to determine when and under what conditions the two parts of Vietnam are to be reunited.
We take a firm and unequivocal stand that Vietnam is ONE nation against which an act of imperialist aggression is being perpetrated.
Some groups which claim to be firm supporters of Vietnam help to give substance to the “two Vietnams” myth by fashioning protests in such a manner as to create the impression they consider the war in the South, the bombing of the North and the invasion of the “Demilitarized Zone” to be separate acts of aggression of varying degrees of intensity. While it is true that each new act represents an extension of the aggression against the people of Vietnam, and as such merits the strongest protest and condemnation, it still remains that Vietnam is one nation and each new atrocity perpetrated by the U.S. aggressor is part of the one war of aggression against Vietnam.
The separate demands for “an end to the bombing of Hanoi”, “stop the invasion of the Demilitarized Zone”, etc, demands which tend to compartmentalize and divide various aspects of the aggression – can all be summed up in one correct demand: “U.S. imperialists get out of Vietnam, NOW! Leave the people of Vietnam to freely shape and determine their own destiny”. Only when this aim is realized will an end be put to ALL the acts of aggression against Vietnam.
The primary feature distinguishing the struggle in Vietnam is its anti-imperialist character: the U.S. imperialists wage a war of aggression against the people and the people mobilize in a united anti-imperialist front to offer armed resistance to the aggressor and their puppets, to fight for the liberation of the South from imperialist occupation and to re-unite the country. At this stage of the struggle, when the main contradiction is between the U.S. imperialists and their puppets on the one hand and the anti-imperialist and national liberation front on the other hand, the immediate objective is to carry the people’s anti-imperialist war through to the end, administer total defeat to the imperialist aggressor and free the nation from imperialist oppression and exploitation. The workers, peasants, students, intellectuals and the peoples’ armed forces, who form the solid core of the anti-imperialist and national liberation front, are the ones who will determine the course of the struggle and its ultimate outcome. We have the utmost trust and confidence in the ability and determination of the masses to carry the struggle against the U.S. imperialists through to the very end and against all obstacles.
At the outset we wish to declare that we cannot agree with the ridiculous statement which is being circulated in some circles to the effect that “U.S. imperialists are so confident of the Soviet ruling clique that they are encouraging more so-called ’aid’ from the Soviet Union to Vietnam”. Carrying that argument to its logical conclusion would be tantamount to saying that the U.S. imperialists would be extremely happy if the Soviet Union were rendering Vietnam effective aid of a kind capable of inflicting greater casualties on U.S. armed forces. The truth is never quite so simple as the above statement tries to make it appear.
The U.S. is NOT happy that any aid at all is going to Vietnam. They agree to a MINIMUM of Soviet aid and even allow its delivery by sea without impeding it in any way because they know the alternative is to lose Soviet influence in Vietnam and, consequently, would mean losing all possibility of Soviet pressure for a “negotiated peace” which would give the U.S. substantially what it wants in Vietnam. The Soviet revisionist clique extends a minimum of “aid” for several very important reasons: (a) To hold its position of influence in Vietnam and to press for a “negotiated peace”, (b) To perpetuate the myth in international progressive circles that the revisionists “aid” the anti-imperialist and national liberation movements. If it were not for these facts the Soviet Union would give no “aid” whatever. In fact, if North Vietnam had not been considered part of the “world camp of socialism” BEFORE the U.S. aggression started it is very unlikely that any “aid” at all would be going to Vietnam. The revisionists would content themselves with the passage of pious resolutions. Check the liberation struggles around the world and see how many are receiving Soviet “aid”. It is a fact that no national liberation movement in the world ever received Soviet “aid” until AFTER it was successful – and then only for the purpose of subverting it. South Vietnam receives NO Soviet aid whatever.
Soviet “aid” is limited to near-obsolete defensive weapons in minimum quantities The U.S. commentators help the Soviet revisionists maintain their masquerade of real aid by talking about how effective these almost useless weapons are. Not a single offensive weapon is delivered to the Vietnamese thus effectively preventing them from carrying the attack against the aggressor.
Even mere effective aid is being rendered the imperialist aggressor by the Soviet ruling clique in other parts of the world than Vietnam. The Soviet guarantee of peace in Europe enables the U.S. to withdraw its forces from that area and concentrate them against the Vietnamese. At a time when the most effective aid to Vietnam would be the opening of many more fronts of anti-imperialist struggle the Soviet ruling clique and their stooges in the revisionist parties concentrate their efforts on preventing the opening of such fronts and preach “peaceful co-existence” and “peace-full transition”. In addition they supply the U.S. imperialists with scarce materials needed to carry on the air war against Vietnam.
There is no limit to the treachery of the degenerate revisionist traitors who stop at nothing to demonstrate their subservience to the aggressor and in calling on the revolutionary peoples to lay down their arms, cease their resistance and bend the knee in capitulation to the U.S. imperialists.
Canada’s revisionist puppets follow closely on the heels of their Khruschovite masters. These followers of the batton heap praise on the “peace proposals” advanced by U Thant and the Pope and do so in the full knowledge that these proposals bear a made-in-Washington stamp. Under the guise of “medical aid for civilians” they raise funds for Saigon. Is it not obvious that unity with such people means unity WITH the imperialists not AGAINST them. Real solidarity with Vietnam means that the revisionists must be thoroughly exposed and an end put to Soviet collusion with the imperialists.
However hard they work in the service of imperialism the efforts of the revisionists will never prove successful. It is as “Peking Review” has stated:
“U.S. imperialism is drawing near its doom in Vietnam, and it is being tightly encircled by the revolutionary peoples in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the whole world. However much U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism may take ’united action’, they cannot save themselves from their doom. The revolutionary torrent of the people of the world will surely break the dam of the reactionary forces and sweep away all kinds of ghosts and monsters”.
Let the Soviet leading clique, who clamour for “anti-imperialist unity”, abandon their collusion with U.S. imperialism and render real and effective aid to Vietnam then we can say there is a basis for unity. However, we do not expect the Moscow revisionists to accept our advice but we are confident the proletarians of the Soviet Union, with their great revolutionary traditions, will put an end to the revisionist ruling clique and their treachery and render true internationalist aid to Vietnam and all struggles of national liberation.
Vietnam is the focal point of the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the world. This is the decisive fact which determines the attitude of every revolutionary toward the peoples’ anti-imperialist war in Vietnam.
Our position on this imperialist war in Vietnam has been, and is, clear and unequivocal. We refuse to speculate on the possibility of future betrayal, much less accept it as though it were an already accomplished fact. SO LONG AS THE PEOPLE OF VIETNAM ARE LOCKED IN MORTAL COMBAT WITH THE IMPERIALISTS, SO LONG AS THEY ARE FIGHTING IMPERIALISM WITH ARMS IN HAND, THEY WILL HAVE OUR COMPLETE AND UNQUALIFIED SUPPORT.
We shall exert every effort to mobilize the people in opposition to the U.S. imperialist aggressor. We shall strive to change the policy of subservience to U.S. imperialism which is presently being pursued by the Pearson government and to put an end to Canadian support of U.S. aggression in Vietnam.
This is the bounden internationalist duty of every Marxist-Leninist and it is a policy which serves the true interests of the Canadian people who are held in economic bondage by the same U.S. imperialist power that is presently conducting the war of aggression against Vietnam.
Imperialist propagandists endeavour to mislead the people with fabricated tales of imperialist victories, by questioning the ability and determination of the people to inflict defeat on the aggressor and with predictions of a stalemate in “a war no one can win”. But the truth is the people are winning and inflicting stunning defeat on the imperialists and their puppets. Evidence of heavy losses in the air arm can be seen in the pressure on the helicopter and aircraft industry and in the recent decision to block retirement of thousands of pilots due for discharge because no replacements are available.
Additional factors favourable to a peoples’ victory are now coming into play. The guerilla forces in Latin America are increasing in both numbers and activities and are exposing and rejecting revisionist betrayal. These anti-imperialist forces are giving real and meaningful aid to the heroic people of Vietnam by challenging the imperialists in one of their most vital areas.
While visiting the representatives of the National Front of Liberation in Peking recently we were informed that the successes of the Front are being achieved with only half their forces as yet committed to action. Obviously the aggressor faces stormy weather ahead.
In the U.S. itself popular opposition to the war is on the increase and growing more vigorous and more militant every day. The Black people especially are taking up a firm position of opposition and, in this respect, they are giving the lead to the entire nation in militant action opposing the U.S. war of aggression.
There is no doubt about it: the people will win. The U.S. imperialists and Soviet revisionists will certainly meet their doom in Vietnam. The just war of the Vietnamese people will end in victory for the revolutionary people and in defeat and total disaster for the imperialist aggressor.
END CANADIAN SUPPORT FOR U.S. AGGRESSION IN VIETNAM!
U.S. AGGRESSORS GET OUT OF VIETNAM, NOW! DOWN WITH THE REVISIONISTS AGENTS OF IMPERIALISM!
SUPPORT THE NATIONAL FRONT OF LIBERATION!