Ho Chi Minh, Simple Man or Clever and Manipulative Politician?

1275 Words6 Pages
Among the 20th century statesmen, Ho Chi Minh was one of the most influential political leaders who pursed his goal of Vietnamese independence. Ho Chi Minh’s remarkable ability in coupling communism with nationalism demonstrated to the world what a successful leader he was. The struggle against the French, the United States and the Saigon government conveyed that he was the architect behind the success. He was described as 'Uncle Ho,' an epithet bestowed upon him. On the other hand, people believed that behind the fatherly smile was a diabolical mind that was deceiving the entire world, leading them to believe that he had the country’s best interest in mind. There are varying opinions towards whether Ho Chi Minh used communism to help his main nationalist goals or vice versa. Many historians argue that Ho was first a nationalist and then a communist. Historian Alden Whitman stated, ‘... Ho Chi Minh was remarkable both for the tenacity and patience with which he pursued his goal of Vietnamese independence and for his success in blending Communism with nationalism.’ However, it is undeniable that he wanted to free Vietnam from being stuck in a French colony. Ho Chi Minh was the driving force without which the unified Vietnamese state would never have been achieved. His determination was his true trademark rather than genius. After finding no support for his cause from the western nations, China and the Soviet Union helped liberate Vietnam from France. Consequently, he adopted their ideology. Thus, the debate of whether he was a true Communist or not. Ho Chi Minh did not want war with the French and did everything he could to prevent it. He called upon the United States support through the O.S.S. officers he had cultivated during the war. At one stage, Ho offered the United States a naval base at Cam Ranh Bay. He agreed to accept a French military presence and
Open Document