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Viet Minh Directives During the Resistance War (1946, 1948)

Viet Cong soldiersAppeal To The Entire PeopleCompatriots all over the country! As we desired peace we made concessions. But the more we made concessions the further the French colonialists went because they are resolved to invade our country once again. No! We would rather sacrifice all than lose our country. We are determined not to … Continued

Viet Cong soldiersAppeal To The Entire PeopleCompatriots all over the country!

As we desired peace we made concessions. But the more we made concessions the further the French colonialists went because they are resolved to invade our country once again.

No! We would rather sacrifice all than lose our country. We are determined not to be enslaved.

Compatriots! Rise up!

Men and women, old and young, regardless of creeds, political parties of nationalities, all the Vietnamese must stand up to fight the French colonialists to save the fatherland. Those who have rifles will use their rifles; those who have swords will use their swords; those who have no swords will use spades, hoes, or sticks. Everyone must endeavour to oppose the colonialists and save his country.

Army men, self-defence guards and militiamen!

The hour for national salvation has struck! We must sacrifice even our last drop of blood to safeguard our country.

Even if we have to endure hardship in the Resistance war, with the determination to make sacrifices, victory will surely be ours.Long live an independent and unified Vietnam!Long live the victorious Resistance!December 20, 1946

Twelve Recommendations

The nation has its root in the people.

In the Resistance war and national reconstruction, the main force lies in the people. Therefore, all the people in the army, administration, and mass organizations who are in contact or live with the people, must remember and carry out the following recommendations:Six Forbiddances:

  1. Not to do what is likely to damage the land and crops or spoil the houses and belongings of the people.
  2. Not to insist on buying or borrowing what the people are not willing to sell or lend.
  3. Not to bring living hens into mountainous people’s houses.
  4. Never to break our word.
  5. Not to give offence to people’s faith and customs (such as to lie down before the altar, to raise feet over the hearth, to play music in the house, etc.).
  6. Not to do or speak what is likely to make people believe that we hold them in contempt.

Six Permissibles:

  1. To help the people in their daily work (harvesting, fetching firewood, carrying water, sewing, etc.).
  2. Whenever possible to buy commodities for those who live far from markets (knife, salt, needle, thread, pen, paper, etc.).
  3. In spare time, to tell amusing, simple, and short stories useful to the Resistance, but not to betray secrets
  4. To teach the population the national script and elementary hygiene.
  5. To study the customs of each region so as to be acquainted with them in order to create an atmosphere of sympathy first, then gradually to explain to the people to abate their superstitions.
  6. To show to the people that you are correct, diligent, and disciplined.
 “Poem”The above-mentioned twelve recommendations
Are feasible to all.
He who loves his country,
Will never forget them.
When the people have a habit,
All are like one man,
With good army men and good people,
Everything will be crowned with success.
Only when the root is firm, can the tree live long,
And victory is built with the people as foundations.

April 5, 1948 

Questions for Reflection and Investigation: Viet Minh Directives During the Resistance War, Twelve Recommendations, and “Poem”

  1. What might be meant by resistance as it is used in this excerpt?
  2. What might be the similarities in this passage to what you know of the American Revolutionary War?
  3. What do you find admirable in the “Six Forbiddances” in the “Twelve Recommendations?”
  4. What strikes you as being unexpected in the “Six Permissibles?” What valued do these “Six Permissibles” reflect? Are there any of the “Six Permissibles” that you find worthy of practicing for yourself?
  5. How do the “Twelve Recommendations” support the notion of a revolution?
  6. What is the significance of the tree imagery in the poem?
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William Marr (Chinese-American)

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