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Interview with Tran Van Nhut, 1981

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General Tran Van Nhut discusses the effects of the Paris Peace Agreement, Watergate, and the withdrawal of American troops on South Vietnam. He describes the South’s continued efforts to thwart the North at the end of the War. Finally, he recounts the surrender of General Minh in 1975 and describes life under Communist rule in Vietnam.
Insurgency, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, United States--History--1945-, Communism--Asia, Evacuation of civilians, Peace treaties and contracts, United States--Foreign relations--1945-1989, Communist propaganda, Vietnam--History--1945-1975, Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives, Vietnamese, United States--Politics and government, Vietnam--Politics and government
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Adverse effects of the Paris Agreement on Vietnam

Tran Van Nhut.
SR 452.
Beep tone.
Take 83.
Interview with General Nhut.
Tran Van Nhut:
I think that the Paris Agreement was a document with which the Americans inadvertently sold the Vietnamese out to the Communists.
Concerning the stipulations of the Paris Agreement, we realized that there were many things which were disadvantageous to the Republic of Vietnam. First of all, concerning the cease-fire-in-place the Communists claimed that they controlled the population and territory everywhere. Therefore, cease-fire-in-place meant that you allowed the Communist to lie inside your belly.
In 1954, when the Geneva Agreement was signed, there was the decision to have the Communists withdraw to the north. That is to say, you go back to where you come from. Those people who wanted to have freedom should go to the south to live, below the 17th parallel.
But this was not the case with the Paris Agreement. The fact that the Agreement was signed in such a hurry was, in our opinion, must have had something to do with the inauspicious situation in the United States. Therefore, the American government had to rush into signing. First of all, Mr. Nixon forced Mr. Thieu to sign that Agreement.
Secondly, the Vietnam War had dragged on for too long. The Americans had always thought that they would win everywhere. For example, they won the First and Second World War. When they arrived in Vietnam they thought that with the means and firepower in their possession they would terminate the Vietnam War in no time. But the Vietnam War was different from any other war in the world. The American saw this was a Limited War.
Therefore, the Communists who knew of this knew that the Americans would not dare to carry the war to the North or to Communist China. So naturally they went on fighting and creating problems for the South. The American people, in the meantime, were quite opposed to the war in Vietnam. This was because the war dragged on for a long time, too many had been killed, and they were afraid to go into the army. Therefore, the American government had to sign the Agreement hastily.
Tran Van Nhut:
What did this Agreement to Vietnam? We saw all kinds of disadvantages to South Vietnam. After the signing of the Agreement, the Communists continue to bring all kinds of weapons and ammunition into the South. In the meantime the South, however, was not given any kind of supply at all. If there was any, it must be said that it was quite limited.
The allied forces – I remember that the allied forces totaled about 650,000 men at that time – were withdrawn, forcing the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam to fill in the gaps. Therefore, the Armed Forces of Vietnam was put into a very disadvantaged situation. Formerly, they had already been spread out thin already in order to defend territories and populations. So now they were having to spread out even more thinly. And so, in my opinion, these were the disadvantages of the Paris Agreement to the Republic of Vietnam.

Saigon's loss of presidential support after Watergate

Beep tone.
Take 84.
Clap stick.
Tran Van Nhut:
In my opinion, President Nixon was a very good American president. Therefore, at that time we thought that President Nixon would re-intervene in Vietnam if the Communists were to violate the Paris Agreement. But it was a great regret that Watergate caused President Nixon to lose his prestige, depriving him of all power in dealing with international issues. In the Congress, Mr. Nixon did not have the majority. Therefore, we realized that...ah... At that time everybody thought that Mr. Nixon had the right to intervene in Vietnam. But after Watergate we realized that he did not have any power left.
Beep tone.
Take 85.
Clap stick.
Tran Van Nhut:
In my opinion, President Ford did not have...did not have enough power to do the things that Mr. Nixon had been able to do. First of all, President Ford was not an elected president. Therefore, the same time there was a lot of opposition to the Vietnam War in the Congress. The Congress had also imposed limitation on Presidential power. Therefore, President Ford could not have done...could not have decided anything on the Vietnam War at all.
Moreover, in...ah...I have another observation to make. When Mr. Johnson was still the president, Mr. Johnson had personally applied pressures to get the Republic of Vietnam as well as the National Liberation Front of Vietnam to the negotiating table in Paris. At that time President Thieu refused to do so. Mr. Nixon at that time, let me remind you, Mr. Nixon advised Mr. Thieu in 1968 not to agree to sit down at the negotiating table with the Communists, with the National Liberation of South Vietnam.
For this reason, Mr. Johnson lost that election. Therefore, the majority of the Democrats in Congress bore this grudge. As a result, they had more malice than goodwill in their support of the Republic of Vietnam in later years.

America's failure to adequately supply the South Vietnamese Army

Beep tone.
Take 86.
Tran Van Nhut:
After the signing of the Agreement the Communist side continued to increase the...the supply...If I am not mistaken, the information I got showed that the Communists moved 30,000 soldiers who were all young men to build the road system from North to South in the jungles in order to send supplies to the South. At the same time, they also sent a reinforcement of 70,000 soldiers from the North to the South. The total number of Communist troops in the South at the time was over 200,000 regular forces, not counting the regional and local guerrilla forces.
In the meantime, on the side of the Republic of Vietnam, the Allied Forces withdrew 650,000 troops. Naturally, when they withdrew they took with them all their equipment such as tanks, artillery pieces, planes, and so on. But the war which the United States had created in Vietnam caused the Americans to occupy a lot of territories and build too many outposts and too many forward defense bases in order to block the enemy’s invasion or the infiltration routes.
When we took over the areas which the Americans left behind, we had to defend these areas with lesser means than formerly and with lesser troops than before. Therefore...However, at that time the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam at that time thought that we could continue to function on condition that the Americans should keep its promise in supplying us adequately. If I am not mistaken, the Americans promised us 1.2 billion US dollars in order to replace the troop strength and the destroyed equipment. But in reality, the Americans did not do this. The Americans did not supply us as promised. A lot of problems arose.
Tran Van Nhut:
I can recall that in early 1975 that the Americans were fighting to cut the projected the US $1.2 billion in aid down to only about $750 million. They sent delegations such as the one headed by General Weyand to Vietnam to investigate. At the same time the American Congress also sent their representatives and senators to Vietnam for fact-finding.
As a result the aid was cut from $1.2 billion down to $750 million, on condition that...If I am not mistaken, at that time Major General Murray who was the commander of the DAO said that this $750 million should also go into paying the military attaché of DAO. That is to say, we had to pay for their salaries and all their expenses in Vietnam.
Therefore, this amount was in fact only about $450 million. But since the price of oil at that time was extremely high, there was almost nothing left out of this $450 million. As a result, our superiors ordered us to tell the soldiers to cut down on expending ammunition and not to waste ammunition by scattering them all about like the American forces had done previously.

The U.S. Army's wasteful fighting methods

Tran Van Nhut:
Let me take this opportunity to talk about the way the Americans conducted war. The Americans loved to expend firepower. Wherever they went they had to completely destroy that place with artillery fire and with airpower. Only after that would they send in their infantry. This was to save American lives.
And so, during the ten years that the Americans stayed in Vietnam they got the Vietnamese soldiers to become used to this tactic. Wherever they went, they had to be transported by helicopters. Before they fought in a certain locality, if they suspected something or if a couple of guerrillas fired their guns they had to pulverize that place with artillery before they would come in. This was how they fought the war.
Tran Van Nhut:
And I must remind you, to clarify this point, that when I was the regiment commander in Phuoc Trinh I was asked by my superiors as to why I did not use more helicopters to transport the troops, why I did not expend 10,000 artillery rounds a day before landing the troops and so on. I told them that there was no need shell because why should you shell the area when there was no enemy troops around?
As for helicopter transport, you would get the soldiers so dependent on the helicopters that they would have to use the helicopters for anything at all. But if I am not mistaken, the fact that there was this order from MACV making us to expend so much ammunition because the Americans had demanded so much supplies that if they were not all expended that year then the Congress would reduce the amounts the coming year. Therefore, we had to expend all the supplies and more.
As a result, the Americans instilled in the Vietnamese soldiers and officers the American way to fight a way. Then when the Americans withdrew and the supplies reduced, it was only natural that the morale and the combat effectiveness of the troops had to be different.

Limitations placed on the South Vietnamese by the Paris Agreement

Beep tone.
Take 87.
Beep tone.
Tran Van Nhut:
I can still remember that after the signing of the Paris Agreement I still had to fly into the jungles to visit the outposts. Between Quang Ngai and the II Corps, which was the Pleiku-Kon Tum area, we had outposts in the border areas of these two regions. The Communists were then making a lot of roads. They used bulldozers, their corps of engineers and their infantry to build roads along the mountains in order to infiltrate into the South.
I reported this to the Lieutenant General who was my commander and suggested that some kind of action had to take place. But the Paris Agreement also stressed this point. That is to say, the military units in one region could go to another region to supply the units there. Therefore the Lieutenant General said that there was not much more we could do beyond what we were already doing. This was because the Agreement had already stipulated this.
I can still remember that I recommended to President Thieu by the end of 1974 that...I am not referring to the aid problem. We had very few helicopters at the time and yet we had to supply the outposts in the mountains and to carry out casualties by helicopters. So I recommended that the outposts in the mountains be abandoned. They were hundreds of kilometers deep in the jungles and were serving no purpose at all.
This was because by this time the Communists were openly building roads to move their supplies on and were no longer sneaking in through the valleys. Before this, they did not dare to build the roads openly. And so it was useless for us to maintain the outposts because they were not building roads near our posts. The roads were now running through different areas. And if our troops encountered them, all they could do was to look at them. There was nothing they could do otherwise.

Methods of Communist coercion to enlist

Beep tone.
Take 88.
Tran Van Nhut:
I can still remember that in late 1974 I was in Binh Son. A unit of the Second Division staged an ambush and captured a prisoner. This boy was only sixteen years of age. We gave him a glass of soft drink, Coke, with ice in it. He put the glass to his lips then he threw the glass down to the ground. I asked him why he did that. And he said that in the North he never drank anything like that, anything that cold.
I was taken by complete surprise and so I asked him: "How come you volunteered to fight down here?" His answer was: "I did not volunteer. The Communists frequently went to my house and asked me when I was going south to liberate the people there. My parents did not allow me to go. But the next day they came and asked the same question again.
I didn’t know how they did it, but they told the neighbors not to meet with, not to have anything to do with my family anymore. They tried to ostracize my family. We could not do business. We could not buy food. There was no means of livelihood for us. Therefore, I became so frustrated that I told them I volunteer to go to the south to liberate it."
This is the...the units they managed to infiltrate and we...ah...My unit captured this guy. This is to prove that it is only propaganda when the Communists said that people in the North volunteered to go to the South to liberate it. In reality, the Communists forced the population in one way or another to join the armed forces and to go to the South.

Communists strengthen forces in the South after the Paris Agreement

Beep tone.
SR 453.
Tran Van Nhut.
Beep tone.
Tran Van Nhut:
Our Second Infantry Division usually had to deal with the Communist unit called State Farm 2. It was also a division but it was called State Farm. We also had to contend with provincial and district guerrilla units. But later on we detected the presence of another regiment called the 52nd regiment. This regiment appeared to the south of Nghia Hanh district.
The reason why we knew of this was because we had taken POWs and also because we listened in to their clandestine radio. And so we had indications that this was a new unit. The prisoners disclosed that their tanks did infiltrate into the South and that on their way down they did meet with the corps of engineers and military vehicles bringing down reinforcements.
All these proved that the Communist had the intention of increasing their troops in the effort to take over the South. Otherwise, why should they have sent in reinforcements at all?

Soldiers' falling confidence after Ban Me Thuot and Phuoc Long losses

Beep tone.
Take 90.
Beep tone.
Tran Van Nhut:
I want to talk about Phuoc Long, about the story of Phuoc Long. When Phuoc Long fell everybody wanted the United States to re-intervene in Vietnam as President Nixon had promised. But in reality the Americans did not intervene at all. For this reason, the morale of the civilians as well as the soldiers deteriorated because it became clear that the Americans had already forsaken Vietnam.
However, the soldiers continued to fight even during this very difficult period. I think that at that time the brothers had not lost too much confidence yet. But after that – I recall that the Phuoc Long incident occurred in the beginning of 1975 and the fall of Ban Me Thuot happened in 1973 [sic]. After the loss of Ban Me Thuot, I remember that President Thieu ordered Major General Phy to find ways to withdraw from the central highlands in order to defend the coastal areas.
Because the retreat was so hastily carried out, dependent military families that to be left behind. Therefore, this created the greatest confusion in the history of Vietnam. All this created loss of confidence to the soldiers in the area under my command, which was the I Corps area and which was next to the 17th parallel.
Another reason for the confusion within the military ranks was the rumor at that time that there would be further division of Vietnam, I do not know whether there was any truth to this or not. But according to the book by Frank Snepp, there was a plan to cut South Vietnam in half at about where Nha Trang, or the II Corps, was. Therefore, at that time the government also ordered the evacuation of certain highland districts to the coastal areas.
It goes without saying that the highlanders had no way to make a living in the plains. So the government sent boats to the central provinces to bring them down. All these things caused the soldiers to...They did not know why boats were sent to the center to bring their families down first and so on.
In fact, it should be said that our Vietnam had a total population of only 20 million persons, and yet one million was already in the army. This meant that at least every family had someone in the army. For this reason, when they saw all those things they became suspicious.
They said: "This means that there will be another partition." And if there were going to be another partition then why should they continue to fight anymore? And why should they leave their families stranded out there? So this created a very big loss of confidence to the soldiers, especially those in the central provinces.

Lack of global support for South Vietnam

Beep tone.
Take 91
Tran Van Nhut:
I think that the Vietnam War did not have the support of the world. The reason for this lack of support was partially because of our propaganda. First of all, on the part of the Americans there was not enough propaganda about the Vietnam War. At the same time the Americans were also themselves fooled by the war in Vietnam.
To the Americans...As all of you must have realized, the so-called National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was only a pawn of Hanoi. But to the world – to the Westerners, the British, the French, and so on – the National Liberation Front was a real government in Vietnam, a real administration. People believed that the Front came into being in order to oppose the Saigon government because the Saigon government was dictatorial. But they did not think that the Front was a pawn created by Hanoi.
For this reason, you all can now see that after the liberation of the South the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam no longer exists. There is no National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. There is only Communist Vietnam.
So we can see that the...I think that the Americans fought the war all by themselves. The Americans put out the money to get other countries to send troops into Vietnam to help out. I have in mind Korea, the Philippines...I was at that time an attaché in Manila and I knew that whenever the Philippines sent one battalion to Vietnam the United States would supply it with enough weapons, ammunition and money for two additional battalions. Only this would get them to send the battalion.
For this reason, I think that the war in Vietnam was without a righteous cause. That is to say, the Americans did not do enough propaganda work. And at the same time Thailand also sent troops into Vietnam for the same reason. The reality was that the Americans paid them money in order to get them to join the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and to send troops to Vietnam to help. After that, they just left.
If they had a righteous cause, then they would have felt responsible for the loss of Vietnam in some way. When Vietnam fell in 1975, I remember that Thailand and the Philippines hurriedly sent waves of telegrams expressing support for the new Vietnamese government right away.

Soldiers and civilians panic during evacuation

Tran Van Nhut:
The thing that I remember most was at that time we were in a boat arriving at Guam and Guam did not allow us to enter the Philippines, saying that Vietnamese generals had no permission to enter the Philippines and must be ready to go to...We entered Subic Bay, it just slipped my mind. They ordered us to go on, saying that the government of the Philippines had already recognized Communist Vietnam.
For this reason, we realized that our war had already lost the support of the world at the very outset. Even in America itself, the American people and the mass media had opposed the war in Vietnam. They never supported the Vietnam War. Why was this so? This was because we did not prepare public opinion skillfully enough in support of that war.
Beep tone.
Take 92.
Tran Van Nhut:
I remember that around the 23rd or 24th the province of Quang Tin fell. After that, Quang Ngai also fell. As a result, the inhabitants of those provinces surged toward Chu Lai. This was because the Command Headquarters of the division was there and it could therefore provide them protection.
Just about the same time, I think on March 21st the Communists also blockaded the section of Highway One midway between Da Nang and Hue. Therefore an atmosphere of extreme panic was created. Civilians and soldiers whose relatives and families were living in Hue and Da Nang were all quite panicky. After the refugees flooded into Chu Lai, however – in Chu Lai there was only a small wharf left behind by the Americans where he had an LST boat anchored there - it cam be said that it looked like an anthill. There was an estimate of about 10,000 persons at that wharf.
Among them were the members of my unit of the division. When I saw this, I ordered my men to go back to their positions so that, on the one hand, some kind of defense could be put up and, on the other hand, some people could be evacuated at once by that LST boat. But at that time the soldiers were almost out of their wits.
Therefore I telephoned Lieutenant General Truong asking him for additional means to evacuate everybody to Da Nang. We planned to take the remaining division along with the refugees to Da Nang. And that night boats came into that wharf. But because of all the pushing and shoving to get on the boats – the soldiers usually had guns and grenades on them when they were out on an operation – one soldier dropped a grenade unintentionally and it exploded. A number of civilians and soldiers died on the spot.
Therefore the LST did not dare to dock next to the wharf. It anchored offshore instead. A number of soldiers were so impatient that they began to swim out the boat. Because of this, everybody scrambled to get to the boat so that they could be evacuated – they thought they were going to be evacuated to the southern part because of that partition I referred to. Hence, there was that panic. The same thing happened in Da Nang. People fought for a space on the boats and so they opened fire on one another.

The Battle of Phan Rang

Beep tone.
Take 93.
Beep tone.
Tran Van Nhut:
After the withdrawal from Chu Lai, we went to Cu Lao Re island which was about 30 kilometers to the east. After that we went to Binh Tuy province. The reason why my division had to go to Binh Tuy was because of the three divisions that withdrew my division was the only one with the most troops left. Next to us was the Third Division. There was nothing left of the First Division. This was because Lieutenant General Diem, the commander of the division, had been killed out there.
Tran Van Nhut:
After we arrived in Binh Tuy we had a week to reorganize ourselves. And that the battle for Phan Rang began. This was because by that time Cam Ranh and Da Lat had been abandoned. Da Lat was abandoned voluntarily because at that time there was still very little military pressures by the enemy. So the remnants of the military units from the central provinces and from Da Lat all had to go through the provinces of Phan Rang and Phan Thiet.
Because they had been subjected to a lot of hardship after several days on the road, the soldiers began to do a lot of bad things. They plundered and stole from people, especially when they passed by market-places. And so these two provinces also collapsed. The provincial chief as well as the inhabitants...However, Lieutenant General Toan flew out there in time to put some order back to the province of Phan Thiet. There was nothing left in the province of Phan Rang, however.
But from the military point of view, we had a rather large airport there – one which was designed for jet planes – on the border of the province. In order to stop the Communists let me return to the book by Mr. Frank Snepp: At that time there was a meeting of Vietnamese generals and others which decided to put up a defense anchor running from Phan Rang to Lam Dong province to be used as a secondary defense line to stop the Communist advance and to retain the rest of the territory.
Since there was nothing left to the military forces in Phan Rang, my unit was dispatched to this area. Two regiments were sent there and one was sent to Phan Thiet in order to defend it. I went there with these units. There was also Lieutenant General Nghi who had formerly been with the Forth Division and who were now volunteering to go there to defend it. Also Major General Sang of the air force. A regiment of paratroopers and a regiment of Special Forces were also dispatched there.
Tran Van Nhut:
Faced with the already deteriorating situation in Phan Rang, the soldiers who got there had to defend it on two sides: On the northern side where the attack came from the direction of Cam Ranh and on the side where the attackers were coming down from Da Lat. At that time we already had news of the presence of the enemy on these two sides.
The morale of the soldiers was very fragile at that point. Our fire support at that time was very little. Therefore, when the enemy began the attack on Phan Rang - I recall, it was around the twenty...the...the soldiers could no longer defend it. This was partly because the morale of the soldiers was already cracked and partly because the Communists allowed the inhabitants from the central provinces to mix in with them as they were moving along on Highway One.
Now, these inhabitants were relatives of the soldiers in my division. My soldiers had come from Quang Ngai by sea and this group of people were arriving on land. Therefore, they met with each other and talked about family news. In my opinion, the Communists were also quite clever. Their propaganda was extremely good.
According to the information given to me, they told these civilians to tell the soldiers in the First, Second, Third, and Twenty Second Divisions that after the new administration took over power in their native places in the central provinces everything went quite well, that nobody had been hurt and that the soldiers should feel free to go back home.
Of course, when the soldiers heard that they could go back home to take care of their wives and children they felt obliged to do so. Therefore, a number of soldiers refused to fight anymore and just walked back to the other side to take care of their loved ones, to find their loved ones.
Tran Van Nhut:
Therefore, if you said that the battle in Phan Rang was a big battle than nothing could be further from the truth. But the disintegration was partly due to our morale. After Phan Rang fell...That day I was...That morning I was sharing a shelter with Lieutenant General Nghi and Major General Sang in the airport. When the Communists broke into the airport, Mr. Nghi, Mr. Sang and I said that the three of us just could not stay at the same place.
Lieutenant General Nghi and Major General Sang then went out to look for an airplane. I had the good fortune in that at that time my commander realized that the airport had already been taken over by the Communists so he took off in my helicopter. And when he succeeded in establishing contact with me, I drove to an isolated place where he swooped down to take me away.

General Minh's surrender and the evacuation of officers

Beep tone.
Take 95.
Tran Van Nhut: the morning of the 29th, around 5 o’clock, Major General Tinh of the First Air Force Division flew to Quang Ngai...uh, Vung Tao to meet with us. Mr. Tinh told us that the First Air Force Division had already evacuated. Therefore, we did not know what more we could do.
Immediately after that the Communists shelled Vung Tao repeatedly. And so Admiral Thoai and I flew around in a helicopter to see what the situation was like. Soon after that we found out that Prime Minister Vu Van Mau had suggested that the Americans should pull out of Vietnam so that it would be easier to talk with the Communists.
After that I learned that General Duong Van Minh had read a statement of surrender. Therefore, we realized that if we remained in Vietnam there was nothing we could do. So we went to a destroyer belonging to the Vietnamese navy and waited there. We did not have any intention of going anywhere as yet.
After that, around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., we saw that there were many helicopter squadrons from the American Seventh Fleet flew overhead toward the direction of Saigon. Then they came back out. We then realized that the United States had a plan to evacuate American citizens as well as Vietnamese. We saw then that it would serve no purpose for us to remain there. First of all, General Minh had surrendered so there would be use for us to stick around. So we decided to go to Subic Bay in that ship.

Life in Vietnam under Communist rule

Tran Van Nhut:
I never had thought of leaving Vietnam. I have never wanted to do so. And I am certain that about a million Vietnamese did not want to leave their country in that manner. But the problem was our survival. If we had remained behind, there would not have been anything we could have done for Vietnam. Furthermore, it would be dangerous to our lives. Therefore, we had to leave.
We think that...When we left Vietnam we thought that we would never have the chance to return to Vietnam. But after five or six years of living here in this country, we have now come to realize that there will be a day when we will return to Vietnam. And this possibility is becoming more of a reality every passing day.
The reason why I’ve said this is because the Hanoi Communists had brought troops into the South on the pretext of liberating it. But in reality they have brought along a worse dictatorship than the one we had before. They have brought death. Every day there are untold numbers of soldiers getting killed in Cambodia. Every day there are untold numbers of people who have to leave their country because they can no longer live with the Communists. And, until this moment, my relatives like my brother are still living in the concentration camps in the North.
I think that in the past the population had some sympathy for the National Liberation of South Vietnam or the Communists. But now, having lived with the Communists for a certain period, the southern population have learned to hate the Communists. The proof of this is that those people who left their country in the last few months and whom I have come into contact with have told me that if there were some kind of support for the people at home to rise up and kill the Communists, then there certainly will not be a single Communist left alive in South Vietnam.
And I think the same thing is true for the North. The inhabitants of the North had been propagandized to the effect that they were going to the South to liberate it. But having come to the South they have no realized that the people in the South must now go north to liberate the North. This is because life in the north is so poor. There is nothing to liberate the South for.
Life in the South is so abundant, so ample. Nobody has to live as poorly as in the North. And the same is true with the free press in the South. It is extremely ridiculous for a person who does not have enough to eat to think of going to liberate a rich person. Therefore, I think that the future, the hope, of our going back to our country will definitely be realized.

Inconsistent policies of the United States

Beep tone.
Take 97.
Clap stick.
Tran Van Nhut:
I think that the Americans – the American government – do not have a consistent policy for the support of their friends. The Russians, however, have a consistent policy. Even if the Party Secretary and so on were to be replaced, their policy would be maintained until success comes about. The Americans change their presidents and when Mr. Nixon went out, Mr. Carter changed his policy. Now you have Mr. Reagan and it is possible that Mr. Reagan will give support to a certain country. But after that, there will be changes again.
Take for example the cases of Taiwan and Korea. After the fall of Vietnam the American government really that the policy of abandoning Korea and Taiwan. But now with Mr. Reagan up there, things have changed again. Therefore, with this kind of policy there is no way that the United States can obtain enough prestige to get its allies to stick with it for a long time.
Beep tone.
Clap stick.
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