South Vietnamese People’s Five Years of Victorious Struggle
[This unsigned article is reprinted from Peking
A TOTAL of 540,000 enemy troops were put out of action by the liberation armed forces and people of south Vietnam from the beginning of 1961 to October 1965. This included about 20,000 American troops killed, wounded or captured up to November 1965.
These incomplete figures were contained in a South Vietnam Liberation Press Agency communique reviewing the south Vietnamese people’s accomplishments in their struggle since the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation (N.F.L.) was founded five years ago.
N.F.L. Assumes Function of State Power
The N.F.L., the communique pointed out, “has now become an organization which is in practice assuming the function of a stable, strong and really democratic state of the people in south Vietnam, exerting its effect on the overwhelming majority of the south Vietnamese people.”
The past five years of growth by leaps and bounds of the N.F.L. had been five years of life-and-death struggle against U.S. imperialism and the traitors, a struggle waged by all patriotic Vietnamese in the spirit of “rather die than be enslaved.” In this utterly unequal fight, the south Vietnamese people had won fundamental and most glorious victories.
Johnson’s “Peace Talks” Hoax
The communique recalled the criminal deeds by U.S. imperialism after the 1954 Geneva Conference and drew attention to the frantic efforts it was making to expand its war of aggression against Vietnam.
“By the end of 1964, there were 24,000 U.S. troops in south Vietnam. By June 1965, U.S. effectives were boosted up to 50,000. At present, the U.S. forces in this area have soared to 170,000 men,” the communique said. “The freshly reinforced Seventh Fleet, Guam-based B-52 strategic bombers and troops from U.S. satellite countries have also taken part in the fighting. Recently, Johnson and McNamara declared that preparations were being made for the dispatch of another 50,000 U.S. troops to south Vietnam. At the same time, the strength of the puppet army has been increased to 600,000 men.”
The communique further exposed the Johnson Administration’s fraudulent “peace talks” offer designed to cover up manoeuvres for a wider war. It said that each time the U.S. imperialists talked of “peace” and “negotiation,” they took another step in their escalation by stepping up and expanding their war of aggression in south Vietnam. “The higher they raise their voice praying for ‘peace’ and ‘negotiation’ the deeper they dip their hands in the blood of the south Vietnamese people and the more they shed the American people’s blood.”
Enemy Casualties Increase Sharply
The communique also recalled the great victories won by the south Vietnamese people under the leadership of the N.F.L. in their armed struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save the country.
“According to incomplete data, the number of enemy troops killed, wounded, captured or disbanded from the beginning of 1961 to October 1965 was 540,000. This includes about 20,000 American troops killed, wounded or captured up to November 1965. Also during this period, our army and people shot down or destroyed on the ground 2,394 aircraft of various types not counting the damaged ones, set afire, damaged or destroyed 1,922 military vehicles of different types, sank 912 warships and motor boats including the U.S. aircraft carrier Card, razed to the ground about 2,000 posts, headquarters of military sectors and sub-sectors and training centres, captured 68,105 guns of various kinds, and completely destroyed more than 6,000 of the more than 8,000 ‘strategic hamlets.’”
“The liberated zone has been broadened and is covering many district capitals and towns, and so far 80 per cent of the total territory of south Vietnam with a population of more than 10 million have been completely liberated by the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation.”
Surging Movement to Annihilate U.S. Aggressors
The communique stressed: “Particularly worthy of note recently is the surging movement to annihilate the U.S. aggressors on all battlefields and its brilliant successes.”
The number of American troops killed, wounded or captured from the beginning of 1961 to the end of 1964 was 3,069, an average of 64 per month. During the first six months of 1965, it rose to about 3,005 or an average of 501 per month.
In the third quarter of 1965, the number of U.S. troops put out of action rose to 5,076, an average of 1,692 per month. In October 1965, 3,035 U.S. troops were wiped out. In November, with the victories won by the liberation armed forces and people at Plei Me, Bau Bang, Dat Cuoc, Dau Tieng and other places, the U.S. casualty toll increased sharply. In October 1965, the U.S. casualty figure equalled that in the first six months or in the four previous years (1961-64). In November alone, it equalled the figure in the third quarter of 1965 or more than half that of the first nine months or nearly double that of the four previous years (1961-64).
“The monthly rate of annihilation of whole U.S. combat units by our armed forces was even higher than the yearly rate of annihilation of entire puppet units in the past.
“Another new feature of the movement to annihilate the U.S. aggressors is that not only our regular army but our regional army and guerrillas can also wipe out whole U.S. platoons or companies. This rate is also higher compared with the rate of annihilation of puppet troops in the past....
“Alongside the continuous and vigorous developments of the movement to annihilate the U.S. aggressors, our army and people continue to attack and wipe out the puppet troops. In particular, our regional armed forces in various provinces and districts have brought in to full play their active role.”
“Obviously, the liberation armed forces have grown up and made rapid progress in quantity and quality, technique and tactics, organization and command, and have become more powerful than ever and have gained the initiative on the battlefront.”
People’s War Triumphs
The communique also said: “The glorious exploits of our army and people over the past five years and especially over the recent past bear a great political significance.
“Our army and people have defeated the puppet army and an expeditionary army equipped with most up-to-date weapons. They did so not by means of aircraft, artillery or tanks but with their own strength: the strength of people’s war, and moral strength.... This strength is being reinforced by the encouragement of the army and people in north Vietnam who are determined to defeat the U.S. aggressors and by the active support of the world’s people including the American people.”
The communique described in detail direct or indirect political struggles against the U.S.-puppet clique waged by the people in all parts of south Vietnam under the leadership of the N.F.L. in the past five years. It said that the south Vietnamese people had repeatedly organized meetings, demonstrations, strikes, market strikes, occupation of workshops, demonstration funeral processions ... held dozens, hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of rallies in the heart of towns and cities.
“The political struggle of the people in the past five years has opened a large-scale, powerful and deep-going counter-attack on the puppet army and administration, especially the puppet army, in close co-ordination with the armed struggle.
“It is precisely the strength of the struggle of our Liberation Army and people which has led to the repeated changes in the puppet machine.”
The communique stressed: “At present, de jure and de facto, there is no administration of the U.S. and its henchmen on this land of south Vietnam.”
The communique dealt in detail with the tremendous political, economic and cultural achievements in the liberated zone. “During the past five years, in the midst of an earth-shaking revolutionary storm, the embryo of a new, genuinely national and democratic regime has emerged and powerfully developed in the liberated zone of south Vietnam, which ensures freedom and happiness for all the people. Under the banner of the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation, the life of our people has recorded big and fundamental changes in all fields, political, economic, cultural and social.”
It said that the people of the liberated zone, by bringing into full play the spirit of self-reliance, dauntlessly overcoming all difficulties and hardships, defeating the enemy’s sabotage and overcoming natural calamities, had recorded many successes in the economic and production fields.
“A new regime, a new society, a new south Vietnam has taken shape and is developing on four-fifths of our beloved south Vietnam.”
The heroic struggle for self-liberation of the south Vietnamese people had, the communique added, won the wholehearted support of the 17 million people in north Vietnam and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam headed by President Ho Chi Minh.
South Vietnamese People’s Successes Are Also Successes of the World’s People
The communique gave an account of the warm support for the heroic struggle of the south Vietnamese people by the people of the world, including the American people. It also pointed out that U.S. imperialism and its lackeys were placed in unprecedented isolation.
It emphasized that the valiant resistance to U.S. aggression by the south Vietnamese people, under the leadership of the N.F.L., had an extremely great international significance. The U.S. imperialists had harboured the illusion of turning the southern part of Vietnam into their colony and military base as a spring-board to annex the whole of Vietnam and invade the countries in Indo-China and Southeast Asia. At the same time, they did not conceal their scheme of experimenting with “special” and “escalation” war in south Vietnam to draw experiences for suppressing the revolutionary movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
“For these reasons, the south Vietnamese people are obviously standing on the frontline of the movement for independence, democracy, peace and progress of the peoples against U.S. imperialism—the international gendarme and enemy of the whole of mankind including the American people. Our successes are also successes of the world’s people.”
While pointing to the brilliant victories of the south Vietnamese people, the communique noted that the Johnson-McNamara clique was still not reconciled to defeat, but on the contrary, was recklessly plunging headlong into a bloody adventure, concentrating all its efforts on intensifying and enlarging its war of aggression in south Vietnam and its “escalation” war against north Vietnam.
The communique stressed: “Now more than ever the south Vietnamese people have seen clearly that there cannot be the least illusion or confusion about the nature of the U.S. imperialists. The latter are the chieftain of the disintegrating imperialist system. They are utterly barbarous and wily, utterly reactionary and stubborn....
“That is why our people decidedly cannot bend their knees to solicit their commiseration, instead, must firmly hold their guns and unceasingly increase their determination to fight and to win and mount repeated attacks on them in all forms and by all means of violence.
“To defend their very existence and win victory, our people have to persist in their struggle in order to defeat them [the U.S. imperialists] completely and force them to give up their evil designs.”
Concluding, the communique said: “We pledge our determination to defeat the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys whether they will carry on their special war or recklessly wage a local war, even if they bring in 250,000-500,000 or more expeditionary troops, and even if they use nuclear-powered warships, atomic cannons or any other barbarous means of war.
“Our people are ready to sacrifice everything to defeat the U.S. imperialists, however the situation may develop....
“There is still enough room in south Vietnam to bury several hundred thousand more American expeditionary troops.”