Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Mounting criticism of Vietnam Actions

First Published: The Call, Vol. 8, No. 14, April 9, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The fighting in Southeast Asia continues to be a major topic of discussion in virtually all political circles. In recent weeks, a number of important commentaries have been made by different Marxist-Leninists and other progressive forces in the U.S. andĚ throughout the world.

The Revolutionary Workers Headquarters, in the April issue of its newspaper Workers Voice, analyzes China’s punitive strike against Vietnam and the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea which preceded it.

“The current turmoil in Southeast Asia underlines the fact that ... the USSR has replaced the United States as the most aggressive imperialist power in the world, and the greatest source of war,” says Workers Voice.

Illustrating this trend, the article observes that “Kampuchea, only three-and-a-half years after driving out the. U.S., is now fighting an occupation backed by the USSR. Vietnam, having defeated the U.S., has now fallen under increasing Soviet domination.”

Workers Voice goes on to show how Vietnam’s invasion of Kampuchea and its military and other provocations against China fit into the USSR’s overall plan to gain dominance in Asia. It concludes, saying, “China’s action against Vietnam shows that the Soviets’ agents have to pay for their aggression.”

A number of differing points of view on the current Indochina situation held by former anti-war activists are rounded up in the April issue of Mother Jones magazine. I. F. Stone, a radical journalist and longtime publisher of I.F. Stone’s Weekly, observes:

“I’m against the invasion (of Kampuchea by Vietnam). It’s imperialism. It’s what we did to Latin America and what the Soviets did to Eastern Europe, and now the Vietnamese are doing it to Southeast Asia .... The Vietnamese have got themselves a little Vietnam. They are now the America. They have the heavy armor and the planes and of course, can sweep in and grab the towns very easily just the way we did in Vietnam. But once you’ve got the towns, you don’t have the countryside. ”

Stone says that “the Soviets bear part of the responsibility, too.”

Dave Dellinger; a pacifist leader closely associated with the anti-war movement who now edits Seven Days magazine, contributed two signed viewpoints to that magazine in the last six weeks. In the first article (Feb. 23), Dellinger argues that even Vietnam’s friends should not swallow the Vietnamese line that “the Pol Pot government was overthrown by indigenous Kampuchean forces.”

Says Dellinger, “One would respect, the Vietnamese more ... if they stated forthrightly that they had felt it necessary to invade Kampuchea in defense of the lives of their own citizens and for whatever other urgent reasons they might present. Then at least there could be an honest debate on the strategy, tactics and political principles involved.”

Dellinger accuses Vietnam of violating Ho Chi Minh’s own famous statement that “there is nothing more precious than independence and freedom.”

Dellinger’s second commentary (March 16) was written after China’s counter-strike in Vietnam had gotten underway. While most of it is critical of China for the course of action taken, Dellinger observes that “Vietnam set itself up for the Chinese attack by invading China’s ally, Kampuchea, violating the principle of national sovereignty and independence. ”

In Canada, too, public opinion is growing against the Vietnamese role in Southeast Asia. A Kampuchea Support Committee has been set up with Reverend James Endicott as president, and Chester Ronning, former Canadian ambassador to Norway, as honorary president, according to the March 23 issue of The Forge.

Endicott, a former leader of the World Peace Council, observed last month in his Canadian Far East Newsletter:

“Not since Goebbels poured out his stream of lies to poison people’s minds on behalf of Nazi aggression has there been such crude degenerate lying as is being practiced by Cuba, Vietnam and Soviet imperialism.” Endicott calls on Canadian people to support Kampuchea against the Vietnamese occupation and declares that “when all the facts are in, history will justify also the present Chinese actions in Vietnam.”