By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
October 6, 2013

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle,  solemnly honor  and render our highest respects to the immortal General  Vo Nguyen Giap  upon his passing away last October 4.  He  was  a close comrade in arms of the great Ho Chi Minh and outstanding hero , leader and commander of the Vietnamese people’s revolutionary struggles for national liberation  against Japanese, French and US imperialism.

He was born  to  a peasant family in 1911 but he was able to go to school.  In 1922 he joined the anti-colonial student movement.  After graduating with high honors from the university, he became a  teacher and journalist noted for his patriotic and progressive views. In 1933 he became a member of the Communist Party of Indochina and soon a member of the leading core under the direction of Ho Chi Minh.

He founded and led the Vietnam People’s Army under the  leadership of the Communist Party.  He adopted and  developed the strategic line of people’s war against the foreign aggressors and occupiers of his country.  He built the people’s army as  the politico-military weapon of the Vietnamese people in order to achieve brilliant  victories  against the enemy.

In late 1941, he formed  the first guerrilla groups in the mountains of Vietnam.  He made an alliance with the armed formation of a national minority in northeastern Vietnam. By mid-1945 he had some 10,000 fighters under his command and carried out an offensive against the Japanese invaders. Thus, the way was made for the Viet Minh to undertake the August Revolution on a nationwide scale, compelling Emperor Bao Dai to abdicate on August 25 and proceeding  to the proclamation of Vietnam’s independence on September 2, 1945.

He directed the  people’s war that brought utter defeat to the French colonial army at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.  He mustered  100,000 fighters and another 100,000 workers  (many of them  women) to encircle and gain vantage points against the enemy.   The heroic  people’s army and the people struggling for national and social liberation under the leadership of the  Communist Party inflicted heavy losses on the enemy forces and compelled them to surrender.

The brilliance of Vo Nguyen Giap as a  strategist of protracted people’s war came to the fore by reflecting and availing  of the revolutionary determination and courage of the Vietnamese people against the US war of aggression from the 1960s to 1972.   He and his people were not cowed by the US which had become the strongest imperialist power in the course of World War II. They fought even harder and more effectively  even as US imperialism barbarically used weapons of mass destruction.

The US  killed one million Vietnamese combatants and four million civilians, who constituted a large percentage of the Vietnamese population then.  This is reminiscent of US butchery in the killing of 1.5 million Filipinos from 1899 to 1913 and more than 3 million Koreans from 1951 to 1953.  To  this day, the Vietnamese people continue to suffer from the chemical warfare waged by the US, which poured millions of Agent Orange on Vietnam.

As the US war of aggression  went on, the people of the world, including the American people,  were outraged  by the barbarism of US military forces  and were inspired by the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese people.  The anti-imperialist and democratic movement expanded and intensified on a global scale. The US started to sue for peace in 1969  and withdrew from Vietnam  under the Paris Peace Accord of 1972, after the death of 58,226 US troops and many more wounded.

US imperialism accepted defeat  as it was faced with the prospect of losing more troops and financial resources  at a faster rate  and as the American people and the people of the world condemned the war of aggression on  an ever widening scale.  The people of an underdeveloped  country and victims of aggression achieved a resounding victory over US imperialism.

Since then, the defeat of US imperialism in Vietnam has  served to show the limits of  US economic and military power and has inspired   the  oppressed peoples and nations  of the world  to persevere and intensify their struggle for national and social  liberation.  All peoples of the world emulate the heroic example and indomitable spirit of  the immortal General Vo Nguyen Giap in fighting for national independence, democracy, socialism, international solidarity and peace. ###


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