None of Ho Chi Minh's colleagues was as dedicated to the use of political struggle, psychological warfare, and diplomatic means as he was.— William J. Duiker
Most Powerful Ho Chi quotations
Ho who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers;
think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan.
As in all his subsequent dealings with France, Ho Chi Minh's demands were a model of modesty.
Ho Chi Minh preferred to use the tactics of negotiation and compromise, primarily because of his recognition that the revolutionary movement was militarily weaker than its adversaries.
When the advice of Moscow ran counter to [Ho Chi Minh's] own ideas - as in the 1930s - he kept his head down and waited until the situation changed in his favor with the beginning of the Pacific War.
Intellectuals and celebrities venerated monsters like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, & Ho Chi Minh. The New Left of the 1960s didn't have a change of heart, just a change of icons from Stalin to third world tyrants. The homicidal and sadistic Che Guevara is still held up as a hero.
Finally, in 1954 [Ho Chi Minh] agreed to the Geneva Agreement, which divided the country temporarily into two zones, in the hope that national elections might unify the country under his leadership.
When he served in China during World War II, [Ho Chi Minh] learned about Mao Zedong's tactics of guerrilla war against the Japanese (and later against Chiang Kai-shek's forces), and he translated some of Mao's works into Vietnamese. But it is clear that his own ideas on how to counter the enemy ran along the same lines.
Ho Chi Minh sought to defeat both adversaries [French and American] primarily by using diplomatic and political means, combined with paramilitary activities.
[Francisco] Franco's army was mainly Moorish.
They were recruiting people from Morocco to come to Spain. There was an uprising in Morocco at the time led by Abd el-Krim (whose tactics influenced Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara) that sought independence for Morocco and Northern Africa.
Ho Chi Minh City is crowded, noisy, untidy and chaotic.
I miss the orderly life of suburban America and the comfort of my apartment and my truck when I'm here, but when I get back in the USA I miss the craziness of Ho Chi Minh City or Bangkok.
Vast quantities of U.S. bombers, tanks and guns have been sent against Ho Chi Minh and his freedom-fighters; and now we are told that soon it will be 'advisable' to send America GI's into Indo-China in order that the tin, rubber and tungsten of Southeast Asia be kept by the "free world"-meaning white Imperialism.
We seem bent upon saving the Vietnamese from Ho Chi Minh, even if we have to kill them and demolish their country to do it....I do not intend to remain silent in the face of what I regard as a policy of madness which, sooner or later, will envelop my son and American youth by the millions for years to come.
I would hazard the statement that in the broad sense [Ho Chi Minh's] ideas had triumphed, since the communist victory in Vietnam was a consequence of political, diplomatic, and psychological factors more than military ones. That is a tribute to the ideas that he introduced in his life and thought.
In the end, many of his more militant colleagues began to feel that [Ho Chi Minh's] tendency to compromise, and his reluctance to confront the enemy directly, was a sign of weakness. The decision to confront the United States in 1963-1965 was a tacit recognition that Ho's approach had failed.
Ho Chi Minh rarely wrote about Sun Tzu, but when he did mention the ancient Chinese military strategist, he was always laudatory, and he sometimes cited his ideas as a model for the Vietnamese revolutionary movement to follow.
I had been a guerrilla leader in World War II.
And I used to say that the way to fight the guerrilla was with guerrillas. And I disbelieved that you could by bombing, ah, have any effect on the supplies coming down through the Ho Chi Minh trails.
I have always compared our traditions of liberty, like those of Abraham Lincoln and Ho Chi Minh.
And just as there was something of every Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh so there is something of Ho Chi Minh in almost every present-day Vietnamese, so strong is his imprint on the Vietnamese nation.
Through leadership of the fight against French colonialism, Ho Chi Minh had made a name for himself in the international political arena.
[Dissidents] groups would benefit enormously from learning about Ho Chi Minh's ideas on how to defeat a more popular enemy.
In the spring of 1946 [Ho Chi Minh ] signed a provisional agreement with the French representative on a compromise solution to the dispute over Vietnamese independence. Once again, he might have been naive in hoping that a compromise was really possible.
From the outset, when [Ho Chi Minh] became a member of the French Communist Party in 1920, he was an independent thinker who adjusted Marxist-Leninist ideas and tactics to what he perceived to be the concrete situation in Indochina.
Many of the ideas of Sun Tzu and Mao Zedong came naturally to the young Ho Chi Minh, who would probably have applied the same strategy even had he not been aware of them.
On many occasions in the late 1950s and 1960s, [Ho Chi Minh's] ideas were apparently ignored by those who felt that his approach was too naive and prone to compromise. The outbreak of open warfare with the French and later with the United States was in effect a sign of the failure of Ho Chi Minh to achieve his objective to fight and win at low cost.
Sun Tzu's ideas as expressed above had a profound effect on Ho Chi Minh, who sought to defeat both the French and the Americans without recourse to violence - or at least to conventional battle tactics.
There were various aspects of Sun Tzu's approach that appealed to Ho Chi Minh: a) to learn to understand both the enemy and yourself, to seek out his weaknesses and your own strengths, and act accordingly, b) to make ample use of subterfuge and stratagem in order to defeat or disarm your adversary, and c) to use outright violence only when absolutely necessary in the belief that political struggle was more effective than military struggle.
I decided that after returning to the US to pursue an academic career I would eventually study the life of Ho Chi Minh to find the secret of his success.
I did not feel - in President [J.F.] Kennedy's words - that we could win the war for [the government in Saigon]. When I sought the reason for the dedication shown by the enemy, it seemed to me that the leadership and charisma shown by Ho Chi Minh was a major part of the answer.
Overall the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City is cheap and if you can stay away from Western restaurants and use just local products in your everyday life it's really cheap.
I'm always hearing warnings about keeping your belongings close to you [in Ho Chi Minh City] as thieves who ride motorbikes are adept at snatching things off a person as they ride by, but I personally have never seen it. Funny though, I don't hear folks talk about pick pockets but it's happened to me twice. Beware of that cute little sweetheart and stay away from those talented little hands.
For the most part Ho Chi Minh City is safe but like any large city you need to pay attention to what's going on around you.
Also Ho Chi Minh City is broken up into districts so it's much like little cities within the city, in your home district folks take the time to smile and wave as you pass by or even try to have a little chat.
Why Ho Chi Minh City? It is crowded, noisy, scruffy, crazy, but always interesting and things are happening all at a break neck speed.
My home address is a small apartment in Fair Oaks, California but I'm here in Ho Chi Minh City right now staying in a rented room and this is where I spend a good part of every year.