Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Journalist-Viet Cong Spy Who Changed the Course Of The Vietnam War

In my view, Pham Xuan An was a two-faced son of a bitch. I hope this communist spy, who aided in the killing of American soldiers during the Vietnam War and served a repressive and murderous communist regime, is rotting in hell. 

Thomas A. Bass, author of The Spy Who Loved Us: The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game, offers a piece in the Daily Beast on An, a Viet Cong spy who posed as a journalist during the Vietnam War and aided the communists during the Tet Offensive.

PARIS—The Tet Offensive, beginning with the Vietnamese Lunar New Year at the end of January 1968, was the turning point in the Vietnam War. More than a hundred cities and towns in the Republic of South Vietnam were attacked by communist guerrillas in a coordinated assault on America’s half million troops and their allies. The world was shocked to see the U.S. Embassy in Saigon under attack and Vietnam’s imperial capital in Hue overrun by communist forces, who held it until the end of February.

In spite of the remarkable footage of communist sappers blasting their way into the U.S. Embassy and the initial perception that the Tet Offensive was a communist victory, military analysts and historians have long agreed that Tet was actually a military defeat. The south Vietnamese communists, fighting under the banner of the National Liberation Front, lost half of their 80,000 fighters and secured none of their targets. No popular uprising greeted the assault, and the NLF suffered such heavy losses that they were effectively neutralized for the rest of the war, which from that point on was fought primarily by troops from the north.

But if Tet was a military defeat for the communists, it was also a psychological victory. It turned American opinion against the war and sparked a firestorm of antiwar protest. By the end of February, CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite was predicting “that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.” By the end of the following month, Lyndon Johnson had removed himself from seeking re-election as president and arranged for peace talks in Paris. A month later Gen. William Westmoreland’s request for 200,000 additional troops was denied, and the commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam was about to be cashiered.

So how was the Tet Offensive—a military defeat—turned into a psychological victory? Amazingly, one man played several of the major roles in this drama: Pham Xuan An, correspondent for Time magazine and spy for the North Vietnamese communist intelligence services. An not only chose the targets to be attacked in Saigon, he also shaped the news that reported these attacks. He spun defeat into victory so convincingly that his view prevailed not only in Washington but also in Hanoi.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Crime Beat column on An, the Viet Cong spy, via the below link:

No comments:

Post a Comment