[sixties-l] Vietnam Generals on the New U.S. Quagmire

From: Jay Moore (pieinsky@igc.org)
Date: Sat Nov 03 2001 - 21:20:54 EST

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    Vietnam Generals: "This War Fails, Too"

    Gen. Van Tie Dung: "War Doesn't End the Hate"

    Afghanistan: "A Quagmire"

    By Agence France Presse

    Publisher's Commentary: The New Colombia News Agency - ANNCOL -
    brought to our attention that the Bogota daily El Tiempo published
    a story Wednesday morning: "Excombatants of Vietnam doubt U.S.
    success in Afghanistan."

    "Curiously," writes ANNCOL, "the article lasted no more than a
    half-hour on the El Tiempo website. Readers can draw their own

    The story, by Agence France Presse, appeared in Spanish, but has
    not been made available in English by the French press agency.

    October 31, AFP: The former combatants of the Vietnamese army, that
    26 years ago defeated United States troops, doubt that the North
    Americans will easily obtain their objectives in Afghanistan. They
    say that U.S. military chiefs have not learned the lesson of the
    58,000 soldiers they lost in Vietnam.

    To have a chance of winning in Afghanistan, and not of sinking
    slowly as happened in Vietnam, "The United States must change its
    strategy and tactics," said Colonel Vu Le Thi, 74. The former
    communist military official asked if the North Americans had "really
    learned something from their defeat in Vietnam, that cost 58,000
    U.S. soldiers their lives."

    At the side of Lieutentant Colonel Pham The Hao, 72, who fought
    against the North Americans for 15 years, he said that the war in
    Afghanistan is very different than Vietnam, but remembered that in
    spite of the incessant bombings of Vietcong positions, and the use
    of chemical arms like Agent Orange, "the air force and infantry of
    the U.S. never were able to drive our guerrillas and militias,
    hidden in tunnels dug in the jungle, out."

    "If the North American soldiers are today better equipped than they
    were during the war in Vietnam, they are not accostomed to ground
    combat in places where mountain, climate and geographic conditions
    are very difficult," added the ex-combatant.

    "This war, as a consequence, could last longer than predicted and
    end up with U.S. troops sinking into a quagmire," Hao predicted.

    The U.S. "advisors" to the army of South Vietnam and the special
    forces "did not succeed in impeding the military operations of the
    North along the Ho Chi Minh Trail," he said. "I fought U.S. soldiers
    in the south of Vietnam and although it was very difficult to chase
    them from the zone, their bombings were not very effective," he

    For his part, General Van Tien Dung, 84, lead strategist of the
    victory of North Vietnamese forces against the Saigon and U.S.
    regimes, also expressed his doubts about a U.S. victory over Osama
    bin Laden and the Taliban.

    "I'm certain that they will fail," declared the ex-defense minister,
    who brought the North Vietnamese troops to a lightning-fast victory
    during the Ho Chi Minh campaign that ended with the fall of Saigon
    in 1975, marking the end of the Vietnam War.

    "War doesn't end the hate. It just adds more gasoline to the fire,
    provoking more hate and a harder vengence, above all on the part
    of those who have sworn to die for their religion," added General
    Van Tien Dung.

    "How will the United States put an end to this war? How will it
    get out of it? Its soldiers will find themselves with geographical
    difficulties that the Soviets could not surpass before," the general

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