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    General Giap is dead

    Rip

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    Having picked up Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea, I'm not sure this is one for which I can send condolences. Just sayin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    Having picked up Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea, I'm not sure this is one for which I can send condolences. Just sayin'.
    Well he was the military leader, not the political leader. He was tasked of reuniting Vietnam just like Ulysses Grant was tasked of reuniting United States. I am sure that there were plenty of atrocities that followed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Well he was the military leader, not the political leader. He was tasked of reuniting Vietnam just like Ulysses Grant was tasked of reuniting United States. I am sure that there were plenty of atrocities that followed.
    Not trying to get into a pissing contest here, but whose military do you think was charged with carrying out the will of the Vietnamese government?

    As a rule, I don't celebrate military leaders of any stripe. If there was one thing I learned over the years, it's that no one's hands are clean. Even mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    As a rule, I don't celebrate military leaders of any stripe. If there was one thing I learned over the years, it's that no one's hands are clean. Even mine.
    Not even George Washington?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Well he was the military leader, not the political leader. He was tasked of reuniting Vietnam just like Ulysses Grant was tasked of reuniting United States. I am sure that there were plenty of atrocities that followed.
    Not looking to pick a fight, but he was very much a political leader. He started out as a revolutionary and remained a politician throughout his career. He had no formal military training, but was a teacher & then a journalist in the cause of the revolution. He was a senior politburo member and a minister at various times. The system he worked within - and helped to create - didn't make the neat 'politician/military officer' distinctions that are more familiar to us. He was a politician from first to last.

    I wrote this elsewhere:

    I struggle to see Giap as a 'soldier doing his job'. He was a dedicated revolutionary & Communist Party functionary who discovered a talent for military command. Charitable souls might compare him to Washington (though he was a military officer before the revolution), a better comparison would be Leon Trotsky - no great compliment I'm afraid.

    There is no doubt that his defeat of the French showed touches of genius, especially in the management of logistics and ability to take advantage of French weakness. That said, there were some terrible and arguably unnecessary losses along the way, particularly when he took on the French where they were strongest.

    I would find it easier to admire Giap if his talents had been harnessed in the service of a cause less terrible than placing the whole of Vietnam under Communist rule. Unfortunately the media coverage of his death will be a textbook example of the 'Rommel effect'.

    A man of undoubted ability, but not one whose passing I can mourn.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Well put, Pete.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    I would find it easier to admire Giap if his talents had been harnessed in the service of a cause less terrible than placing the whole of Vietnam under Communist rule. Unfortunately the media coverage of his death will be a textbook example of the 'Rommel effect'.
    Who fought to free Vietnam from the French? Ngo Dinh Diem and Americans?

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