Resistance in Vietnam
To the Editor:
Maggie Gallagher and Charles Bork make a persuasive case for support for international resistance movements in “The New Freedom Fighters” [September 1985]. However, . . . the authors fail to mention Vietnam as a Communist state with an active resistance movement. Although information from within the country is scarce, the rapid proliferation of resistance organizations is readily documented. From August 1975 through June 1977, no fewer than eight independent groups were formed. In December 1984, the Vietnamese government was forced to change its policy of denying the existence of these movements. During a Februrary visit to the United States, Le Quoc Tuy, a leader of one of the major resistance organizations, the United Front of Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Vietnam, explained why.
According to Tuy, Vietnamese guerrillas operating south of the 17th parallel receive an irregular flow of military hardware from members of the Communist forces who are sympathetic to the resistance. In December 1984, twenty-one members of the United Front were arrested during a security sweep that uncovered a mammoth arms cache in a suburb of Ho Chi Minh City. Their trial was turned into a major spectacle to which representatives of the Western press were invited. However, the trial and subsequent execution of three group leaders received very little coverage in the media. Le Quoc Tuy’s brother, an ex-ARVN officer, was one of those who died before a firing squad.
During a Washington press conference, a defiant Tuy stated: “I want to tell Pham Van Dong [Chairman, Council of Advisers, Socialist Republic of Vietnam] that he is dead wrong in saying that there is no resistance whatsoever in Vietnam.”