Ho Chi Minh’s Dupe

In Vietnam, our president again insisted the Stalinist Ho was the second coming of Thomas Jefferson.

Three summers ago here at The American Spectator I published a piece titled, “Ho Chi Minh, Obama’s Freedom Fighter.” It got a lot of play, reprinted by (among others) Real Clear Politics.

The focus was yet another stunning statement uttered on behalf of a communist by our President of Fundamental Transformation. This one came during a July 25, 2013 meeting between Barack Obama and the leader of communist Vietnam. Obama stated: “We discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.

As I noted at the time, this was sheer nonsense. Ho Chi Minh was a committed Marxist-Leninist revolutionary, indoctrinated early on at Moscow’s Lenin School, which he left to become one of the Comintern’s most successful agents. German Marxist revolutionary Ruth Fischer, who knew Ho in Moscow in the 1920s, referred to him as an impressively “disciplined Communist,” one who “proved time and again his profound loyalty.”

Part of communist discipline was mastering the art of propaganda and how to tap naïve Western “progressives” for political purposes. They learned the tactic of finding the right buttons to push to prey on liberals’ left-wing sympathies. Thus, Ho Chi Minh’s invoking of the Declaration of Independence in September 1945 was and always should be viewed as just that, and certainly not as an expression of sincere interest in or desire to adopt a Jeffersonian republic based on God-given unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, what Ho wrought, and what Vietnam has been ever since, is a complete rejection of the principles of the American founding. This should be patently obvious to anyone, particularly an American president.

Just because Ho Chi Minh mentioned the Declaration does not mean that we should — back then and especially still today — take it as a meaningful affirmation (nor certainly imitation) of our own nation’s founding principles.

The next day, May 25, in Ho Chi Minh City (fittingly), in unscripted remarks at a “townhall” gathering, Obama was even sloppier, apparently almost suggesting that Ho had “adapted” the Declaration:

You think about the United States of America. We have a really good story called the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that we’re endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s a wonderful story. There’s no — when the Declaration was made, there really was not United States. It was just a good story that they were telling about what could be. And then people were attracted to that story. And it led to independence, and it led to immigrants from around the world who wanted that vision for themselves — it led Ho Chi Minh to adapt it when Vietnam was trying to declare independence.

That is the official text provided by the White House, and it’s quite egregious.

This is all especially bad because in 2013, after his initial statement, Obama was hammered by conservatives in the American media for praising Ho’s alleged admiration of America’s sacred founding document. Ron Radosh wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal calling out Obama. Communist-watcher Trevor Loudon wrote a piece. Articles were posted at Breitbart, Fox News website, the Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, PJ Media, the Media Research Center, World Net Daily, and more.

Radosh’s piece for the Wall Street Journal was notably compelling. He wrote at the time:

During World War II, Vietnam — a French colony — was taken over by Japan, and toward the end of the conflict, with Japan in retreat, a power vacuum developed. Ho Chi Minh, leading the Viet Minh communist guerrilla group, saw a chance to seize power before the French could restore colonial rule. He needed allies and knew that the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, had a reputation for being anti-French and anti-colonial. Thus began Ho’s courtship of the U.S. by citing the Declaration of Independence and appealing to the American ideal of liberty.

Radosh quoted Ho’s biographer, William Duiker, who said that Ho’s aim had been to “induce the United States to support the legitimacy of his government, rather than a return of the French.”

Full article: Ho Chi Minh’s Dupe (The American Spectator)

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