Telegram from Acheson to the U.S. Consulate in Hanoi
May 20, 1949
In light Ho's known background, no other assumption possible but that he outright
Commie so long as (1) he fails unequivocally to repudiate Moscow connections
and Commie doctrine and (2) remains personally singled out for praise by international
Commie press and receives its support. Moreover, US not impressed by nationalist
character red flag with yellow stars. Question whether Ho as much nationalist
as Commie is irrelevant. All Stalinists in colonial areas are nationalists.
With achievement national aims (i.e., independence) their objective necessarily
becomes subordination state to Commie purposes and ruthless extermination
not only opposition groups but all elements suspected even slightest deviation.
On basis examples eastern Europe it must be assumed such would be goal Ho
and men his stamp if included in Baodai Govt. To include them in order to
achieve reconciliation opposing political elements and "national unity"
would merely postpone settlement issue whether Vietnam to be independent nation
or Commie satellite until circumstances probably even less favorable nationalists
than now. It must of course be conceded theoretical possibility exists establish
National Communist state on pattern Yugoslavia in any area beyond reach Soviet
army. However, US attitude could take account such possibility only if every
other possible avenue closed to preservation area from Kremlin control. Moreover,
while Vietnam out of reach Soviet army it will doubtless be by no means out
of reach Chi Commie hatchet men and armed forces.
Following is for urinfo and such reference as you deem judicious:
State Department naturally considers only French can through concessions to nationalist
movement lay basis for solution to Indochina problem...."
"Telegram from Dean Acheson to the U.S. Consulate in Hanoi, May 20, 1949"
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949. Volume Seven. (Washington, D.C.:
G.P.O., 1975.) pp. 29 - 30. For further discussion, see: Cohen, Steven,
editor. Vietnam: Anthology and Guide to a Television History. New York:
Knopf, 1983. Chapter 2, pp. 42 - 47.