Far too much ink has been spilled blaming the entire tragedy surrounding the Vietnam War on the United States…. a closer look at the historical record reveals otherwise– simply put, North Vietnam was never interested in ending the war.
Consider Nixon’s good faith appeal to Ho Chi Mihn in 1969… Nixon sincerely wanted to find a conclusion to the conflict and was more than prepared to offer concessions to the Communists.
Dear Mr. President:
I realize that it is difficult to communicate meaningfully across the gulf of four years of war. But precisely because of this gulf, I wanted to take this opportunity to reaffirm in all solemnity my desire to work for a just peace. I deeply believe that the war in Vietnam has gone on too long and delay in bringing it to an end can benefit no one–least of all the people of Vietnam. My speech on May 14 laid out a proposal which I believe is fair to all parties. Other proposals have been made which attempt to give the people of South Vietnam an opportunity to choose their own future. These proposals take into account the reasonable conditions of all sides. But we stand ready to discuss other programs as well, specifically the 10-point program of the NLF.
As I have said repeatedly, there is nothing to be gained by waiting. Delay can only increase the dangers and multiply the suffering.
The time has come to move forward at the conference table toward an early resolution of this tragic war. You will find us forthcoming and open-minded in a common effort to bring the blessings of peace to the brave people of Vietnam. Let history record that at this critical juncture, both sides turned their face toward peace rather than toward conflict and war.
Ho Chi Minh’s woefully inept response was nothing more than Marxist blather disguised as patriotism… Nixon offered a way out. Ho could have saved the lives of millions of his people just by agreeing to talk. North Vietnam wanted the war to continue to satisfy a suicidal need to be considered heroic by the increasingly anti-American global community.