When President Obama said Ho Chi Minh – the North Vietnamese communist revolutionary who led the war effort against the U.S. that cost almost 60,000 American lives – was a fan of the U.S. Constitution and Thomas Jefferson, he was echoing what an influential new book calls one of the most deadly communist disinformation campaigns in American history.
During a White House meeting with Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang last Thursday, Obama said he and Sang “discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”
Not exactly. Historians agree Ho Chi Minh was neither an admirer of America’s Constitution nor a fan of this nation’s founders. In reality, as one-time Marxist and now conservative scholar and Cold War expert Ronald Radosh detailed in the Wall Street Journal, the North Vietnamese leader was cynically feigning admiration toward America’s founders in hopes of flattering and thereby seducing the U.S. into financially backing him after World War II, so he could assume control over North Vietnam. The U.S. at the time didn’t fall for the ruse.
Thus, writes Radosh: “One can imagine the wily Ho Chi Minh laughing from his grave. Once upon a time, antiwar activists in America called him ‘the George Washington of Vietnam.’ Now the U.S. president is taking a similar line.”
Obama’s surprising pronouncement, praising the leader against whom America’s soldiers fought during the Vietnam War, is right in sync with Soviet KGB “disinformation campaigns” of the past, created specifically to paint America in a bad light and its enemies in a good one.
In “Disinformation,” a new book by former communist spymaster Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and co-author Ronald Rychlak, the authors reveal various disinformation campaigns that until now have been largely unknown to the West.
Pacepa – as an eyewitness and former participant at the highest levels of the communist espionage world – explains how the Soviet KGB, the Romanian DIE (the national intelligence organization he ran) and other Soviet bloc spy agencies both praised America’s enemies as courageous freedom-fighters and slandered her soldiers as drug-crazed monsters that daily committed atrocities on innocents. In his 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry famously echoed a KGB disinformation campaign of the time.
The highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to America during the Cold War, Pacepa says that particular disinformation campaign, codenamed “Ares,” was the brainchild of longtime KGB chief Yuri Andropov:
Andropov was convinced that the war in Vietnam provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make Europe fear America’s military terror and instill discord between the Old Continent and its own leader at that time, the United States. Therefore, Andropov made Operation Ares a foremost priority from almost the first days of the Vietnam War.
Part of this deception was the creation of the American antiwar movement, says Pacepa, who writes in “Disinformation”:
The general perception in the United States is that America’s antiwar movement has been a homegrown product. In reality, it is the result of a still very secret dezinformatsiya operation ignited by the KGB during the Vietnam War for the dual purpose of counteracting American efforts to protect the world against communist expansion, and of creating doubt around the world about American power, judgment and credibility. Unfortunately, it has fulfilled both aims.
At U.S. peace demonstrations during the Vietnam War was, in addition to ubiquitous calls to “Stop the War,” it was common to see signs and hear chants praising Ho Chi Minh as a noble freedom fighter, against whom the U.S. was unjustly fighting.
Describing one disinformation vehicle, the KGB-created “Stockholm Conference on Vietnam” – fully staffed with undercover KGB officers – Pacepa and Rychlak explain how the wily Andropov organized and funded the “peace movement”:
During the five years of its existence, it spread around the world countless vitriolic dezinformatsiya articles and photographs supposedly depicting the debaucheries committed by the Genghis Khan–style American military against Vietnamese civilians. All these materials were produced by the KGB’s disinformation department and contained basically fabricated descriptions of American atrocities committed against civilians in Vietnam, as well as counterfeited pictures supporting the allegations.
“In 1972,” recalls Pacepa, “I had a long discussion with Andropov about Operation Ares”:
“It turned America against her own government,” Andropov started off in his soft voice. It damaged America’s foreign policy consensus, poisoned her domestic debate, and built a credibility gap between America and European public opinion that was wide and deep. It also transformed the world’s leftists into deadly enemies of American “imperialism.” Now all we had to do was to continue planting the seeds of “Ares” and water them day after day after day. Eventually, American leftists would seize upon our Ares and would start pursuing it of their own accord. In the end, our original involvement would be forgotten and Ares would take on a life of its own.
“Sadly,” concludes Pacepa, “Andropov seems to have been right. The U.S. elections of 1974 brought in a new Congress dominated by leftist Democrats who immediately restricted the financing of the war in Vietnam, and in 1976 cut the funding altogether. As U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some 2 million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape by sea, but many died in the attempt.”
Interestingly, write Pacepa and Rychlak, until the modern era of communism, the American people always united behind their country during wartime. But because of disinformation campaigns (intentionally created lies that are spread by other entities that appear respectable) calculated specifically to turn Americans against their own government and against each other, America has increasingly been divided in modern times, exacerbated by an apparently homegrown “antiwar movement” that is, in reality, largely a secret creation of the communist intelligence world.
As Radosh concludes in the Wall Street Journal, “Ho’s posturing as a Jefferson-inspired lover of independence failed to dupe the U.S. in the 1940s. Let’s be generous and assume that antiwar protesters in the 1960s and early 1970s didn’t know any better when they bought into his fiction. Let’s give President Obama the same benefit of the doubt. But let’s also retire the idea that Ho Chi Minh had the slightest interest in the Declaration of Independence except as a tool he once deployed hoping to achieve his communist goals.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: Order Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s brand new book, “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism” or the companion film, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy To Destroy The West.” Better yet, get both the book and DVD together – and save!
See the trailer: