By Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff - May 1, 2004
Celebrating the 29th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the North Vietnamese
general who led his forces to victory said Friday he was grateful to leaders of the anti-war movement.
"I would like to thank them", said General Vo Nguyen Giap,
now 93, without mentioning Kerry by name. "Any forcesthat wish to impose their will on other nations will surely fail", he added.
Reuters, which first reported Giap's comments, suggested that the former enemy general
was mindful of Kerry's role in leading some of the highest profile anti-war protests of the entire Vietnam War.
Before the British wire service quoted General Giap, it noted:
"The Vietnam War, known in Vietnam as the American War, has become a hot issue in the
U.S. presidential race with Democrat John Kerry drawing attention to his service and President Bush's Republicans disparaging Kerry's later anti-war stand."
North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, who served under General Giap on the general staff of
the North Vietnamese Army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, Colonel Tin
explicitly credited leaders of the U.S. anti-war movement, saying they were "essentially to our strategy."
"Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9AM to follow
the growth of the anti-war movement," Colonel Tin told the Journal.
Visits to Hanoi by Kerry anti-war allies Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey
Clark and others, he said, "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."
"We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press
conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war," the North Vietnamese military man explained.
Kerry did much of the same thing in widely covered speeches like the one he delivered
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971.
"Through dissentand protest [America] lost the ability to mobilize a will to win," Colonel Tin concluded.