Kissinger and the Vietnam War

18 Tháng Năm 20151:13 SA(Xem: 8794)


 Kissinger and the Vietnam War

A Man Never Elected to Any Job!
Secret Meteoric Rise to Power and Fame
Why, you might wonder, is a chapter about Henry Kissinger, one of the world’s greatest and most famous Secretaries of State, doing in my memoirs? Well, the answer is quite simple.  I truly believe that Kissinger’s foreign policy and actions led to the events that turned my life upside down in 1975.  Practically overnight I went from being a middle class engineer in Saigon, to a dispossessed and depressed refugee in Camp Pendleton, California. I credit Kissinger with drastically changing not only my life, but the lives of millions of Vietnamese and Americans.
In my quest to discover, and subsequently unveil the truth about Henry Kissinger’s actions, I hope that my readers will not look upon me as bitter or vengeful, or as a bad loser due to the outcome of the Vietnam War. On the contrary, I acknowledge that Kissinger’s diplomatic actions resulted in my own rebirth in America, and ultimately gave me the freedom and opportunity to write the truth about his deeds during the Vietnam War and their devastating consequences.

Much of my information has come from declassified top secret CIA and the NSC (National Security Council) documents. To better understand Kissinger, who rose from obscurity to the second most powerful position in the White House within just five years, it is best to delve into his background before he became famous.

Heinz Alfred Kissinger, later known as Henry Kissinger, was born into a family of German Jews in 1923 in the town of Fürth in Bavaria, Germany. Fleeing Nazi persecution, his family moved to New York in 1938 where he enrolled in an accounting program at the City College of New York. In early 1943, his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

The Army sent him to study engineering at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania.[My Alma Mater] Shortly thereafter, the program was cancelled and he was reassigned to the 84th Infantry Division. It was in the 84th Division where he made the acquaintance of Fritz Kraemer, a fellow immigrant from Germany. Kraemer noted Kissinger's intellect and fluency in German, and arranged for him to be assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps.
Henry Kissinger and Fritz Kraemer

Kissinger saw combat with the division and volunteered for hazardous intelligence duties during the Battle of the Bulge. He was then reassigned to the 970th Counter Intelligence Corps where he was awarded the rank of sergeant. During this time, while in charge of a team tracking down Gestapo officers and other saboteurs, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Following the war, Kissinger remained in Europe as a civilian instructor at the European Command Intelligence School at Oberammergau, Germany. From 1946 to 1949 he was a captain in the Military Intelligence Reserve. His advanced training and experience in intelligence and counter intelligence during WWII played a critical role in his ability to conduct secret diplomacy that ultimately led to his fame.

The 1968 Humphrey vs. Nixon presidential election was pivotal in giving Kissinger his greatest career breakthrough, and his actions led to the history-altering “October Surprise” in 1968. In American political jargon, an October surprise is a news event with the potential to influence the outcome of an election, particularly one for the U.S. presidency. The reference to the month of October is because national elections are always held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Therefore events that take place in late October have great potential to influence the decisions of prospective voters.
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Hubert Humphrey                        Richard Nixon

The Republican challenger Richard Nixon feared that a last-minute deal to end US involvement in the Vietnam war by President Lyndon Johnson would earn incumbent Vice-President Hubert Humphrey enough votes to win the presidency in the 1968 election. Much to Nixon’s chagrin, on October 30th President Johnson announced a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam, and Humphrey surged ahead of Nixon in the polls where just days before they had been in a dead heat.

In response to this, the Nixon campaign called upon Henry Kissinger for his help.  Kissinger, Nixon’s campaign advisor on foreign policy, was stationed in Paris where the peace negotiations for Vietnam were taking place. Drawing upon his skill in intelligence and counter intelligence, Kissinger succeeded in gathering the latest top secret information from these negotiations.

Apparently Kissinger, claiming to be disillusioned with the Republicans, went to Paris and hooked up with Daniel Davidson, a young acquaintance from Harvard.  Davidson was by then on the Harriman team that was negotiating peace terms with the North Vietnamese.
Harriman and Xuan Thuy at the Paris Peace Talks, 1968

Kissinger also got in touch with Dick Allen, who was Richard Nixon's young foreign policy adviser during the 1968 campaign. Allen said that Kissinger always called him from pay phones to avoid any wiretaps that would reveal his duplicity.
Furthermore, no less an establishment figure than Richard Holbrooke, a member of the American team (then a senior LBJ negotiator,) said that "Henry was the only person outside of the government we were authorized to discuss the negotiations with.... It is not stretching the truth to say the Nixon campaign had a secret source within the U.S. negotiating team.”
Peace Talks: The Scenario in Paris

With the secret information that Henry Kissinger’s had gained, he had some of the ammunition needed to destabilize the Paris Peace negotiations. Now, the more difficult task was for him was to gather information from the Communist North Vietnam.

To do this Kissinger went so far as to involve himself with the initiative called Pugwash, code name PENNSYLVANIA, made up of an international group of scientists working to promoting peace.  Through this group, he became friendly with Raymond Aubrac and Herbert Marcovich. Both Raymond and Herbert were Frenchmen who had a direct link to the Communist leadership in North Vietnam’s capital.  
Aubrac, a French civil servant who had studied at MIT and Harvard in 1937 was a close personal friend of Ho Chi Minh (who was his daughter’s godfather), and Marcovich, a French microbiologist, began a series of trips to North Vietnam, meeting with officials such as Ho Chi Minh and the Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. Kissinger debriefed them upon their return to Paris, and through this process Aubrac was used as a secret intermediary between the Americans and the North Vietnamese at the height of the Vietnam war.

During one of his briefings in Paris, Aubrey asked for a signal to be sent to North Vietnam showing a serious intent for peace by the U.S. So on August 19, 1968, President Johnson agreed to suspend bombing within a 10-mile radius of Hanoi from August 24th to September 4th.  This was done, not only to ensure the safety of Aubrac and Marcovich who were scheduled to go back to Hanoi during this time, but also to validate Kissinger as an intermediary.
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger

In his role as intermediary, Kissinger had the inside information from both sides of the negotiation table between the U.S. and North Vietnam. Therefore, if he were able  to  penetrate the inner circle of South Vietnam’s President Thieu with a secret, critical message, he would have the power to sabotage the negotiations.  
Here the genius of Kissinger was to be able to find the right person at the right time for the job: that person was Mme Chennault, the Chinese American wife of General Chennault of WWII Flying Tigers.

Chennault was Chiang Kai-shek's chief air adviser and head of the U.S. Air Force in China in 1941. Foreign reporters wrote that Mme Chennault was President Thieu’s lobbyist in Washington, although this was not true, according to my friend Hoang duc Nha, President Thieu’s advisor and cabinet member. Mme Chennault did serve as a committee member of the Washington, D.C. Republican Party and was the founder and chairperson of the National Republican Asian Assembly. Both she and Kissinger were advisors to Richard Nixon.
Mme Chennault with President Nixon

The Chennaults were very good friends with Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek. President Thieu’s older brother, Nguyen van Kieu, was serving as Vietnam’s ambassador in Taiwan and therefore also knew Chang Kai Chek. Thus, through this connection, Mme Chennault established a secret communication channel with the President of Vietnam.
 Ambassador Kieu

Left to Right:   1. Mr. Tran van Khoi, CEO of Petroleum and Minerals Agency,
                                                2. China’s Ambassador in Vietnam
                       3. Mr.Nguyen van Kieu, Vietnam’s Ambassador in China
                                                4. Mr.Khuong Huu Dieu CEO of Industrial Development  Ba
Kissinger and Mme Chennault privately assured the South Vietnamese government that an incoming Republican administration would offer them a better deal than a Democratic administration.  The South Vietnamese responded by withdrawing from the talks on the eve of the election, thereby disrupting the peace initiative on which the Democrats had based their campaign.
President Lyndon B. Johnson

The tactic ‘worked’ in that the South Vietnamese delegation withdrew from the talks on the eve of the U.S. election, thereby destroying the peace initiative on which the Democrats had based their campaign.

Before the elections President Johnson “suspected (…) Richard Nixon, of political sabotage that he called treason.” In part because Nixon won the presidency, no one was ever prosecuted for this alleged crime.

The election on November 5, 1968 proved to be extremely close, and it was not until the following morning that the television news networks were able to call Nixon the winner. Nixon won the election with a margin of less than one percentage point (43.4% vs. 42.7%,) one of the
closest elections in U.S. history. When the new administration took office, Nixon appointed Kissinger as his Secretary of State.
Kissinger being sworn in as Secretary of State by Chief Justice Warren Burger

Nixon created the National Security Council, a special committee to be chaired by Henry Kissinger, to which the CIA director, Attorney General, Under-Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would report. According to U.S. News & World Report on November 1st 1971: "It was on the advice of Governor Rockefeller, who described Mr. Kissinger as 'the smartest guy available', that Mr. Nixon chose him for his top adviser on foreign policy.”

Later, the Deseret News (Utah) quoted a Rockefeller aide as saying: "Rocky set up the job for Henry because he . . . thought it might give (Rockefeller) some voice in U.S. foreign policy".

The dye was cast. By 1971 Henry had become, as the New York Times noted, "all-powerful in the sprawling sector of the government which seeks to advise the President on national security matters." His dominance of the expanded, 110-member National Security Council was so complete that he controlled every piece of intelligence to reach the President from the State Department, the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Henry Kissinger, Feb. 14, 1969

Shortly thereafter Kissinger had emerged as the leading American foreign policy strategist. He ran a vast empire, presiding over 12,000 diplomats, code clerks, economic analysts, linguists, secretaries, and other staff. His salary was a comfortable $60,000 per year. Never before in the history of the United States had such colossal power been put into the hands of an unelected official.

In tracing Henry Kissinger's meteoric rise from obscurity to international acclaim, we see that his magic slippers had the Rockefeller label. Nancy Maginnes, Kissinger's new wife, was, and continued on as, a Rockefeller employee. The relationship was such a family affair that Rockefeller even supplied the jet that whisked the couple to their honeymoon retreat, and threw a lavish party for them upon their return to Washington.
This, then, was the background of Richard Nixon's most important appointment. Kissinger, a trusted spokesman for the Council on Foreign Relations, was selected as chief adviser to the President. In fact, Kissinger was nothing less than an outright Rockefeller agent ready to carry the family's "Grand Design" into the White House.

As Senator Stuart Symington remarked to Kissinger: "If you stay in two positions, head of State and also head of the National Security Council, you are going to be in a position where you are going to have unprecedented authority never granted to anybody but the President."

It should also be noted that under Nixon, Kissinger became the first immigrant to serve as Secretary of State and the only immigrant in the history of the U.S. ever to chair the National Security Council.

The intelligence empire over which Kissinger reigned was far vaster than just the State Department. It included 16 major agencies with 200,000 employees, a total annual budget in excess of $6 billion, and controlled the most sophisticated gadgetry and computers on the planet. His training and experience in spy work in the US Army has helped him manage his new domain.
Out of range of the Oval Office tape recorder, Kissinger reports to Nixon on his recent secret talks. (September 16, 1972) [Source: National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Nixon Presidential Materials]

It became common knowledge that Kissinger spent more time with President Nixon than any other White House staffer, and the President frequently dropped into his office, less than a half-minute away from his own. Long-time Washington reporter Clark Mollenhoff noted, "Officially, the 47-year-old former Harvard professor of government is the 'Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs' at a salary of $60,000 a year. But, in fact, he has become the Number Two Man in all matters dealing with the Defense and State Departments."

During the first two years of the Nixon administration, the Vietnam war raged on. It was only after South Vietnam was invaded by tens of thousands of North Vietnamese troops that the Paris "peace" accords were arranged. By this time there were 150,000 Red soldiers in South Vietnam, with 50,000 more ready to join them.

Throughout the Vietnam War, the U.S. did little that was right -- right in the sense of trying to win the war. But during the Nixon years there were three actions taken which veteran military observers supported as moves in the proper direction:
    The invasion of Cambodia in 1970 to eliminate Communist sanctuaries;
    The May 1972 decision to mine Haiphong Harbor;  
    The December 1972 decision to bomb North Vietnam.

Kissinger, however, did not agree with Nixon's decision on December 17, 1972 to bomb North Vietnam, and it was this disagreement which let to a real split between Nixon and Kissinger. The dispute so angered the President, that Nixon ordered Kissinger’s phone tapped and finally decided that he should be replaced.

The story was first broken by one-time Nixon hatchet man Charles Colson in his book entitled “Born Again.” Other sources confirmed that Kissinger pleaded with Nixon to "explain his reasons for the bombing.” When the President refused, and ordered the Executive Branch to maintain a strict silence about the bombing renewal, Kissinger let it be known that he opposed the bombing.

When New York Times columnist James Reston reported Kissinger's dissent, Nixon was furious. The President said "I will not tolerate insubordination. You tell Henry he's to talk to no one, period! I mean no one! And tell him not to call me. I will accept no calls from him.” Despite this disagreement, Nixon did nothing to change Kissinger’s role within his administration and the Paris peace talks.

Following years of secret negotiations in Paris with his North Vietnamese diplomatic counterpart Le Duc Tho, Kissinger announced in his monotone and often-imitated, German accent “We believe that peace is at hand.” He added “what remains to be done can be settled in one more negotiating session with the North Vietnamese negotiators, lasting, I would think, no more than three or four days.”
Kissinger’s autumn proclamation proved excessively optimistic. Though Nixon boasted during the last two weeks of the 1972 presidential campaign, of the breakthrough in the anticipated end to the war, talks broke down in December. Nixon then ordered what became known as the Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam, which resulted in over 100,000 bombs being dropped on Hanoi and other North Vietnamese towns. The Christmas bombing, however, failed to extract further concessions from North Vietnam.

Peace talks were then rekindled, and on January 23, 1973, Kissinger and Le Duc Tho reached a final agreement providing a cease-fire.  The agreement included the release of American prisoners of war, an arrangement for U.S. withdrawal, and a vaguely planned but never-realized “council of national reconciliation” that ostensibly would resolve political issues through the supervision of elections. The accords were formally signed four days later. With this treaty, the Nixon Administration concluded the war on the same terms that had been offered in Paris five years earlier.

President Nixon had described the treaty as “peace with honor” and Kissinger, along with the North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho, were awarded the controversial 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Irwin Abrams, historian and champion of the Nobel Peace Prize, this prize was the most controversial to date. Two Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigned in protest. When the award was announced, hostilities were continuing.
Chairwoman of the Nobel Peace Committee: “ a dreadful mistake”

Later Aasa Lionaes, the chairwoman of the Nobel Peace Committee, in an interview with Henk Ruyssenaars, the senior editor for the  Foreign Press Foundation (FPF), and former correspondent for the Nobel Prize, fully acknowledged that awarding the Peace Prize '73 to Kissinger "was a dreadful mistake.” Lionaes also said “Kissinger understands this as well, and hasn't even dared to pick up the Nobel medal, prize money or the Nobel award's diploma." Ruyssenaars said that “The interview was, as far as I know, shown on TV in many countries all over the world, but never in the United States.”I

As Lionaes said, Kissinger himself did not show up to receive the controversial prize because of strong public demonstration against him. He asked Thomas R. Byrne, Ambassador of the United States to Norway, to accept the prize for him. His counterpart Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam refused to accept the prize.

The January 1973 "peace agreement" which Kissinger negotiated had in fact set up South Vietnam for the kill, by allowing the Communists to keep more than 150,000 Red troops "in place" in the South, while American military personnel were withdrawn. South Vietnam was overrun, Cambodia collapsed, and Laos became fully communist. It was a three-bagger. The United States lost three former allies in as many months. For the first time it became obvious to the world that American strength meant nothing in the face of a Communist advance. In the meantime, war-weary Americans turned their attention to the Watergate scandal, which claimed Nixon’s presidency when he resigned in August 1974.
Evacuation from the roof of US embassy

In early 1975, Communist forces mounted a final attack against the exhausted and demoralized South Vietnamese Army. From the rooftop of the U.S. embassy compound in Saigon, a fleet of marine helicopters shuttled Americans and Vietnamese out of the besieged city. The next day Saigon fell, the Vietnam War was over, and the United States emerged a chastened country.

Ultimately, Henry Kissinger’s covert actions drastically altered the lives of millions - including my own. Over the course of the Vietnam War, that could have ended in 1968 without Kissinger’s intervention, thousands of Americans and many more Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians lost their lives. The chief beneficiary of the slaughter was Henry Kissinger. Tragically, Vietnam was once again a pawn in the chess game between great world powers. Casualties suffered during the Vietnam War included roughly 60,000 U.S. servicemen. South Vietnam lost over 200,000 soldiers and possibly as many as 400,000 civilians, and the North Vietnamese lost more than 400,000 soldiers and over 50,000 civilians.

In the end, the Communists gained much power and prestige, while millions under their rule lost their personal freedom. By contrast, the United States not only suffered from loosing the war - their first loss ever, but their reputation as world power also was damaged.

X        X

The following Henry Kissinger’s quotes have helped me to understand him better.

The security of Israel is a moral imperative for all free peoples.
The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn't make it.
America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.
The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision.

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.

To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.

Most foreign policies that history has marked highly, in whatever country, have been originated by leaders who were opposed by experts.

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.

No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time.

No foreign policy - no matter how ingenious - has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of a few and carried in the hearts of none.

People are generally amazed that I would take an interest in any form that would require me to stop talking for three hours.

The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.

The American foreign policy trauma of the sixties and seventies was caused by applying valid principles to unsuitable conditions.

The American temptation is to believe that foreign policy is a subdivision of psychiatry.

The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.

The essence of Richard Nixon is loneliness.

The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself.

The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it's their fault.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.

Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.

Any fact that needs to be disclosed should be put out now or as quickly as possible, because otherwise the bleeding will not end.

Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.

Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.

Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.

I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.

I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.

If I should ever be captured, I want no negotiation - and if I should request a negotiation from captivity they should consider that a sign of duress.

If it's going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.

If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.

In crises the most daring course is often safest.

It was a Greek tragedy. Nixon was fulfilling his own nature. Once it started it could not end otherwise.
Could have been 1968 instead of 1975
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
January 2015- Kissinger, in the senate, was shown handcuffs during public protest
South Vietnamese war prisoner in”reeducation camp”
January 2015 - Kissinger, in the senate, was shown “war criminal” during public protest
Dick Black to Dieu
Dear Dieu:
Your article is excellent.  Please help us abolish the term “reeducation camps.”  All who love Vietnam should call them “concentration camps.”  Roughly 1/3 of the prisoners died in the concentration camps.  That is not “reeducation,” that is murder.
Senator Dick Black

Dick Black, a lawyer, a colonel former pilot of US Marines during the Vietnam War
Kissinger's betrayal: He sold out South Vietnam in the 1973 Paris Accords
By Dieu Khuonghuu
Special to the Mercury News
Posted:   04/29/2015 12:31:58 PM PDT18 Comments |

This year will mark on April 30 the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon to the north Vietnamese communist troops who arrived in their sophisticated soviet T-54 tanks crashing into the gates of south Vietnam's Independence Palace. Since then the 300-year old beautiful city of Saigon has been renamed Ho Chi Minh City, a good mimic to outdo Leningrad or Stalingrad and, worse still, the entire country from north to south has come under communist rule with a new label, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

It is now clearly recognized that the collapse of South Vietnam IN 1975 resulted from the Jan. 27, 1973 Paris Accords, which was acclaimed a "masterpiece" in diplomacy by Dr. Henry Kissinger, then National Security Adviser to President RichardNixon.

In fact, well before these Paris Accords, Henry Kissinger had made the decision to jettison South Vietnam, aka Outpost of the Free World since the mid-1950s. Declassified documents have revealed that while meeting Chu and Mao in February 1972, Henry Kissinger informed the top communist Chinese leaders that if the U. S. was able to live with a great communist country like China, the U. S. could also live with a small communist country like Vietnam.

Henry Kissinger did not have to wait long to carry out his prophecy. Less than a year later, with the Paris Accords, 1973, he was able to pave the way for South Vietnam to come under communist rule. According to the terms of these Paris Accords, the most basic, concrete and decisive matter was for the U. S. to put an end to its intervention in the Vietnam conflict and the complete cessation of military aid to South Vietnam for its vital national defense.

South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu was surely not a geopolitical expert of Dr. Kissinger's caliber, but he was able to see immediately the catastrophic consequences of these Paris Accords for South Vietnam and vigorously refused to have his government sign them. President Thieu's stubbornness in demanding many major changes in the draft dragged on and on during three months without much result.

By mid-January 1973 Henry Kissinger had President Nixon send a series of letters to President Thieu saying that the U. S. government would sign the Paris Accords with or without the Saigon government. To read between the lines, the U. S. was dumping the Saigon government and getting out of Vietnam period.

President Thieu did not have much choice and had to accept the Paris Accords but with a "written guarantee" by President Nixon to carry out strong U. S. military action in case of violation of the accords by Hanoi. That letter of guarantee was, of course, just "for the birds" as history has shown .

Thanks to the Paris Accords, the communist regime in Hanoi was able to understand that the U.S. would not intervene again in the Vietnam conflict or grant further military aid to South Vietnam. Further, during that period Hanoi received from the Soviet Union military supplies at a rate four time that compared to the levels it received at the highest peak of the American military intervention.

After two years of intensive preparations, Hanoi began to unleash its "Ho Chi Minh Campaign" in March 1975 with the quasi-totality of its army (15 divisions) across the DMZ -a Demilitarized Zone - at the 17th Parallel against the south Vietnamese troops, who were by then down to their last bullets and gallons of gasoline in the defense of their country and of the Free World. This final military general offensive by North Vietnam against South Vietnam lasted only 55 days and, of course, without much opposition by the destitute Saigon troops.

History has also recorded what happened after the fall of Saigon . More than one million soldiers and civil servants of the South Vietnamese government were sent to prison and kept there without any trial, some for 5 years, some for 10 years and some for over 20 years. Of course, tens of thousands of them died in these hard labor camps. Their families were deprived of their possessions and chased out of their homes to so-called "new economic zones" to face sheer destitution. Their children were not allowed to attend schools. The right to private property no longer existed and the sole employer was the State.

The fall of Saigon in 1975 was not only a problem of political strategy or military tactics but very much a matter of morality and ethics in world affairs. The past four decades of communist rule in Viet Nam have allowed the people in Viet Nam as well as the United States to understand the true purpose and nature of the Vietnam war. South Vietnam and its great American ally were fighting for the defense of Freedom and Democracy against Hanoi and its powerful communist allies' intent to subjugate South Vietnam by the force of arms.

The truth is now clear for everybody to see all the lies and deceits which were put out by Hanoi during the Vietnam war.

In the past 40 years, the Vietnamese people have been compelled to live under communist rule. Vietnam is now the world's 14th ranking population with over 90 million people, but it has also become one of the poorest countries and one of the most repressive states in the world for blatant violations of human rights, widespread corruption and outrageous abuses of power always inherent in a totalitarian regime.

There is a question which has been haunting many Vietnamese people in the past 40 years: Was it at all possible for Dr. Henry Kissinger and the powerful United States of America to find a way to prevent North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam by the force of arms?

In this year of 2015, we remember the fall of Saigon 40 years ago and cannot forget Kissinger's major role in that historical and tragic event for the Vietnamese people. Now at the age of 92, Kissinger continues to be very active in politics and international relations, still with special reference and emphasis on China. Again, last month, he made a grandiose visit to Beijing where he was given a red carpet reception by the highest Chinese leader Xi Jin-ping to remind people that Henry Kissinger has always been a great friend of China since his meeting with Chu En-lai and Mao Tse-tung in February 1972.

One obvious thing the world can be sure of is that, as long as the communist leaders in Beijing continue to heap praises on Henry Kissinger, the kind of "World Order" he has professed in his recently published book must be quite profitable to China.

With China now considered to be a leading superpower both economically and militarily, Henry Kissinger strongly claims that China and America should become BFF - Best Friends Forever. Henry Kissinger may score here a "first" in getting a second Nobel Prize for bringing "peace" this time to the whole world, not only for Vietnam with his 1973 Nobel Peace Prize! It must be remembered that Kissinger's co-laureate for this Nobel Peace Prize, Le Duc Tho, refused to accept it because the Paris Accords were, in fact, a victory for Hanoi and the communist side.
The way Henry Kissinger succeeded in ending the Vietnam war was a tragedy to the Vietnamese people and a deplorable stigma in the 200-year history of the American nation. It was an unprecedented time in which the United States of America failed to honor its promise and did not fulfill its commitment to defend its ally in the face of the enemy.

In short, when you do not know how to secure victory for your side and stop the advance of your enemy, you do not have to be a genius in geopolitics to tell people "if you can't fight them, join them" -- which simply means "just throw in the towel" .

Dieu Khuonghuu, 84, who has a master's degree from MIT. was a cabinet member of the South Vietnam government and has lived in San Francisco the past 40 years..

Khương Hữu Điểu
04/29/2015 12:31:58 PM PDT18 Comments

Nhớ lại ngày 30 tháng tư năm 1975
Trong lúc hoàn tất chương 17, tôi sực nhớ chỉ còn vài ngày nữa là tới lễ tưởng niệm thứ 40 ngày quân đội cộng sản miền Bắc cưỡng chiếm miền Nam chúng ta. Ý thức được điều đó, tôi quyết định viết thêm phần phụ chú nầy cho chương 17, như là một lễ cầu siêu cho quê hương yêu dấu của chúng ta.

Ngày 30 tháng tư năm 2015 đánh dấu lần thứ 40 ngày Sài gòn rơi vào tay quân đội cộng sản miền Bắc khi chiến xa T-54 của họ ủi xập cánh cửa sắt để tiến vào bên trong dinh Độc Lập. Sau ngày đó, thành phố Sài gòn đẹp đẽ trong suốt 300 năm qua đã bị đổi tên là thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. Một sự nhái lại y chang và có phần muốn vượt trội hơn cả trường hợp của Leningrad hay Stalingrad nữa. Điều đáng buồn hơn cả là toàn cõi đất nước ta từ Nam chí Bắc đã rơi vào ách thống trị của cộng sản, với tên gọi mới là Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam.

Bây giờ, điều hiển nhiên là biến cố miền Nam sụp đổ ngày 30 tháng 4 năm 1975 chỉ là hậu quả tất yếu của Hiệp định Ba Lê ký ngày 27 tháng 1 năm 1973 và được coi như là một “kiệt tác” về ngoại giao của tiến sĩ Henry Kissinger, lúc đó làm Cố Vấn An Ninh Quốc Gia cho Tổng thống Richard Nixon.

Thực ra trước ngày Hiệp định Ba Lê được ký kết rất lâu, Henry Kissinger đã quyết định bỏ rơi miền Nam Việt Nam cũng được coi Tiền Đồn của Thế Giới Tự Do từ giữa thập niên 1950. Những tài liệu giải mật cho thấy trong buổi họp mặt với Chu Ân Lai và Mao Trạch Đông vào tháng 2 năm 1972, Henry Kissinger đã công khai nói cho giới lãnh đạo cao cấp Trung Cộng biết rằng nếu Hoa Kỳ có thể chấp nhận sống với một nước cộng sản rộng lớn như Tàu thì Hoa Kỳ cũng có thể chấp nhận sống với một nước cộng sản nhỏ bé như Việt Nam.

Henry Kissinger đã không phải chờ đợi lâu để thực hiện dự tính của mình. Chưa đầy một năm sau, dựa vào Hiệp ước ngày 27 tháng 1 năm 1973, hắn đã dọn đường để miền Nam Việt Nam phải sống dưới sự thống trị của cộng sản. Theo Hiệp định Ba Lê, điều khoản căn bản, cụ thể và hệ trọng nhứt là Hoa Kỳ cam kết chấm dứt sự can thiệp của họ vào chiến tranh Việt Nam và hoàn toàn cắt đứt viện trợ quân sự có quyết định sanh tử cho miền Nam Việt Nam.

Tổng thống Nguyễn Văn Thiệu của miền Nam Việt Nam không phải là một chuyên gia chánh trị có tầm mức như tiến sĩ Kissinger nhưng ông có thể thấy ngay hậu quả tai hại Hiệp định Ba Lê sẽ đè nặng xuống miền Nam Việt Nam. Ông cực lực từ chối không chịu cho chánh phủ của mình ký tên vào Hiệp ước. Sự cứng rắn của Tổng thống Thiệu trong việc đòi hỏi nhiều thay đổi quan trọng trong Hiệp ước kéo dài trong ba tháng nhưng không đem lại nhiều kết quả.

Vào giữa tháng 1 năm 1973, Henry Kissinger thuyết phục Tổng thống Nixon gửi một loạt thơ tới Tổng thống Thiệu cho biết chánh phủ Mỹ sẽ ký Hiệp định Ba Lê vào ngày 27 tháng 1 năm 1973 dù chánh phủ Sài gòn có đồng ý hay không. Ngụ ý những lá thơ cho biết Hoa Kỳ sẽ bỏ rơi chánh phủ Sài gòn và rút ra khỏi Việt Nam. Tổng thống Thiệu không còn chọn lựa nào khác ngoài sự chấp nhận Hiệp định Ba Lê nhưng với sự “cam kết trên giấy trắng mực đen” là Tổng thống Nixon sẽ áp dụng những biện pháp quân sự mạnh và những thư cam kết đó chỉ là “bánh vẽ” như lịch sử sau nầy đã cho thấy …

Nhờ Hiệp định Ba Lê ngày 27 tháng 1 năm 1973, Bộ Chính Trị cộng sản Hà nội biết chắc nước Mỹ sẽ không còn can thiệp vào cuộc chiến Việt Nam hay tiếp tục viện trợ quân sự cho miền Nam nữa. Ngược lại, trong khoảng thời gian đó, Hà nội nhận quân viện từ Liên Bang Sô Viết ở mức bốn lần cao hơn so với số quân viện họ nhận được vào thời điểm can thiệp quân sự của Hoa Kỳ đạt mức cao điểm của nó.

Sau hai năm ráo riết chuẩn bị, Hà nội khởi sự “Chiến dịch Hồ Chí Minh” vào tháng 3 năm 1975. Họ tràn qua Vùng Phi Quân Sự ở vĩ tuyến 17 gần như toàn thể quân số của họ khoảng15 sư đoàn. Lúc đó quân đội miền Nam chỉ còn lại những viên đạn và thùng xăng cuối cùng để bảo vệ lãnh thổ của mình.

Cuộc tổng tấn công của miền Bắc vào miền Nam chỉ kéo dài không quá 55 ngày và quân đội miền Nam không thể chống trả gì nhiều được vì thiếu đạn dược.  Lịch sử có ghi lại những điều đã xảy ra sau ngày Sài gòn thất thủ. Hơn một triệu quân nhân và công chức của chánh phủ miền Nam đã bị rơi vào cảnh tù tội mà không được xét xử chi hết. Một số người bị tù đày 5 năm, một số khác 10 năm và có những người trên 20 năm. Đương nhiên còn cả hàng chục ngàn người đã chết trong trại lao động khổ sai nữa. Tài sản của gia đình họ bị tịch thâu và những người nầy đã bị đuổi ra khỏi nhà rồi đưa lên “vùng kinh tế mới” để sống trong cảnh bần cùng. Con cháu họ bị cấm không được đi học. Quyền tư hữu bị tước đoạt và nhà nước trở thành “chủ nhân ông” độc nhứt!

Ròng rã 40 năm qua, dân tộc Việt đã bị ép buộc sống dưới sự thống trị của người cộng sản. Việt Nam ngày nay với trên 90 triệu người đứng thứ 14 trên thế giới về dân số nhưng ngược lại vẫn còn là một trong những nước nghèo khổ nhứt. Thể chế cai trị lại đầy áp bức với những vi phạm nhân quyền trắng trợn, tham nhũng lan tràn và lạm dụng quyền thế khủng khiếp thường thấy trong một chế độ độc tài.

Trong 40 năm qua, nhiều người Việt đã bị ám ảnh bởi câu hỏi như sau: có cách nào để tiến sĩ  Henry Kissinger và cường quốc Hoa Kỳ ngăn cản quân đội Bắc Việt cưỡng chiếm miền Nam để tránh cảnh họ áp đặt guồng máy cai trị cộng sản trên toàn cõi nước Việt vào năm 1975 không?

Trong năm 2015 nầy, chúng ta tưởng nhớ ngày Sài gòn thất thủ và không thể quên vai trò quan trọng của tiến sĩ Henry Kissinger trong biến cố lịch sử bi đát của dân tộc Việt Nam. Hôm nay, ở tuổi 92, Henry Kissinger còn năng động trên chính trường và ngoại giao quốc tế đặc biệt là trong lãnh vực liên quan tới Trung Quốc. Chỉ tháng trước, trong một chuyến thăm viếng Bắc Kinh thật trịnh trọng, ông đã được lãnh đạo tối cao Tập Cận Bình cho trải thảm đỏ nghênh đón nhằm nhắc nhở mọi người rằng Henry Kissinger đã luôn luôn là một người bạn cực tốt của Trung Quốc kể từ khi ông ta gặp Chu Ân Lai và Mao Trạch Đông vào tháng 2 năm 1972.

Một điều rõ ràng cả thế giới có thể tin được là ngày nào lãnh đạo Bắc Kinh còn ca tụng Henry Kissinger thì “Trật Tự Thế Giới” mà ông ta ca tụng trong cuốn sách ông ta mới cho phát hành sẽ rất thuận lợi cho Trung Quốc.

Trước một Trung Quốc được coi là một trong những cường quốc dẫn đầu về kinh tế và quân sự, Henry Kissinger mạnh dạn chủ trương rằng Trung Quốc và Hoa Kỳ nên trở thành Đôi Bạn Thân Thiết Muôn Đời. Henry Kissinger có thể sẽ trở thành nhân vật đầu tiên lãnh tới hai giải Nobel Hòa Bình. Lần nầy vì đã đem hòa bình tới cho cả thế giới chứ không phải chỉ cho Việt Nam như giải Nobel Hòa Bình trong năm 1973! Cũng cần nhắc lại là người được trao giải Nobel Hòa Bình đồng thời với Kissinger là Lê Đức Thọ đã từ chối không lãnh giải vì Hiệp định Ba Lê thực sự là một thắng lợi đối với Hà nội và phe cộng sản.

Phương thức Henry Kissinger dùng để chấm dứt chiến tranh Việt Nam là cả một thảm kịch cho dân tộc Việt Nam và một vết nhơ trong lịch sử 200 năm của quốc gia Hoa Kỳ. Đây là thời điểm vô tiền khoáng hậu mà nước Mỹ đã không giữ trọn lời cam kết của mình và không chu toàn lời hứa bảo vệ đồng minh trước mặt kẻ thù.

Một cách ngắn gọn, khi bạn không biết làm sao nắm lấy chiến thắng cho phe mình và chặn đứng bước tiến của quân thù, thì bạn không cần phải là một vĩ nhân về chánh trị mới có thể nói với người ta rằng: "nếu mình không thắng họ được thì hãy theo họ đi.” Nói như vậy không khác chi là khuyên người ta “hãy treo cờ trắng lên để đầu hàng"...
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Một không ảnh của Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long: Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long, bằng phẳng như tờ giấy với tỉnh thành nằm gọn giữa đồng ruộng, vườn cây ăn trái, vườn dừa và nước sông ngòi có màu bùn của phù sa.