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Thursday, May 07, 2020, 10:11 (GMT+7)
Dien Bien Phu victory forever remains a bright symbol in the history of national construction and defence

The resounding Dien Bien Phu victory is of great historical value and era significance to our people’s revolutionary cause and the world, especially the national liberation movements. However, some people, who have opposing political views, hostile attitudes and badwill, deliberately distort and deny the historical value of this significant victory.

The Determine to Win flag of VPA flies over Dien Bien Phu installation

The great and resounding victories of our people in the 20th century, with Dien Bien Phu as a major landmark, together with considerable historic achievements of the renovation process, have generated a new position and power for our country today and enabled Vietnamese people to firmly advance on the path to the future. The Dien Bien Phu victory is designated a “golden milestone” in the history. It clearly marks a steep downtrend and disintegration of colonialism while displaying significant progress recorded by national liberation movements around the world. This event has become a thing of the past. Vestiges of the war are fading away from the beloved and dynamic city of Dien Bien Phu but the value and significance of the victory remain intact. Over the past 66 years, through numerous workshops, seminars and forums at different scales and scopes, many politicians, scholars, thinkers, and researchers in historical, military, cultural, political, legal fields have studied and found true and great value of Dien Bien Phu victory. However, currently, there are some articles on social networking sites distorting and negating the historic value and significance of our people’s Dien Bien Phu victory. Repeating the reality-distorting rhetoric, they claim that our people’s war of resistance against French colonialists was a “mere clash between two aggressive opponents,” and “Dien Bien Phu represented the fight against oppression by communists for freedom.” They deviously argue that the war launched by French military in Viet Nam and Dien Bien Phu is “necessary and of lofty significance.” Some people even opine: “there is no need to stage the war. One day, the colonialists and imperialists will return sovereignty to our country.”
We have repeatedly affirmed the significance of Dien Bien Phu victory to our history of national building and defence as well as national liberation movements in the world. We have also insisted that this great value and significance cannot be distorted and denied. The nature of the war plays a decisive role in the historical value and significance of the war. Therefore, hostile forces deliberately identify the justice of our people’s resistant war against the French colonialists and Dien Bien Phu victory with the injustice of the French colonialists’ war of aggression. If Dien Bien Phu were merely a battle between two aggressive forces as may be described by them, our people’s Dien Bien Phu victory would not deserve the value and significance created by the victory itself. The wrong identification of the character of the war is extremely dangerous. It both makes some credulous people misunderstand the justice of our people’s resistant war against the French colonialists and the enemy’s war of aggression, and directly distorts, undermines, and negates the historical value of Dien Bien Phu victory.
There is no need to resort to many historical documents. We should only re-emphasise that the duel throughout the nine-year resistance war and Dien Bien Phu Campaign is the struggle between people imbued with patriotism, aspiration for liberation and resolve to gain national independence and the aggressive French colonialists equipped with modern weapons. Justice and injustice of warring parties in this duel are as clear as day. Consequently, it cannot be wrongly designated as a struggle between two aggressive forces. In the resistant war against the French colonialists, our people fought for the just goal of national liberation, independence, and freedom. The Dien Bien Phu Campaign was a convergent point of the resolve of our cadres, soldiers, and people from various walks of life to fulfil this just goal. President Ho Chi Minh said that the French colonialists’ aim was to invade our country. If they had only one per cent of hope, they would still fight. Thus, we had to fight until they became incapacitated. “In this struggle, our people have an ardent love for the country, justice, and more powerful weapons than the enemy. We will definitely win the war,” said Ho Chi Minh.
In fact, our Party and President Ho Chi Minh took all measures to gain peace by means of negotiation with France. Nevertheless, given their evil intentions to invade our country and enslave our people again, aggressive French forces sent hundreds of thousands of troops and millions of tons of bombs, ammunition, weapons and equipment to Viet Nam to suppress tens of millions of innocent people. Those bad intentions and actions cannot be justified. In his book titled “Indochina at its last gasp,” French General Henri Navarre confessed that the Indochina War was not a national war of France. It was an expedition in a distant place, conducted by a lonely professional military because it was an unjust war. Viet Minh was a true nation in political terms. “They are Vietnamese liberation army. They know that they fight for their independence and against the colonialism on the brink of collapse around the world. If they die, they will die for freedom,” said Jules Roy - a French writer. Although this confess and comment are not enough, but they partly explain the aggressive intention and unjustice of the war launched by the French colonialists. At the same time, they clearly point out our people’s justice. Nothing can justisfy failure of the French colonialists and American intervention in Dien Bien Phu theatre of war. R. Franz, a French scholar from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, believed that the repercussion of Dien Bien Phu still lingered on in France, and Dien Bien Phu could be truly viewed as a failure and bankruptcy of France.
No one can deform and deny the historical value and era significance of the Dien Bien Phu victory. This is one of the most glorious feats of arms in Viet Nam’s history of struggle against foreign aggressors. It not only forced the Government of France to sign Geneva Accords, end the war, restore peace, and pledge to respect independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity of Viet Nam, but also made them recognise independence of Laos and Cambodia and withdraw their troops from Indochina. It is universally acknowledged that if countries under foreign oppression and invasion have indomitable willpower and sound, creative guidelines and can unite in the struggle for independence and freedom, they will surely score victory. This has been clearly demonstrated in the fighting morale, willpower and sacrifice of our people and soldiers.
The value and significance of Dien Bien Phu victory have been appreciated by many military, historical researchers in the world, regarding it as “a Stalingrad in the history of struggle for colonial liberation.” It has dealt a severe blow to the foundation of French colonialism and American intervention, demolished the backbone of colonialism, and heralded a failure of the reactionary global strategy of neo-colonialism led by American imperialists. Bernard Fall, French historian commented: “Dien Bien Phu is not only a military victory of Viet Minh over French, but also a political victory of Viet Minh over American.” Dien Bien Phu victory reversed France’s colonial policy, forcing them to respect rights of nations and grant autonomy or independence to many colonies in the world. The victory also led to the collapse of the colonial system and became the vanguard in the national liberation movement in the world. It inspired and encouraged people in colonies and dependent countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to struggle for liberation and national independence. The drastic development of the national liberation movement, which evolved like a “revolutionary cascade” in the world in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, was heavily and deeply influenced by Dien Bien Phu victory of Vietnamese people.
Dien Bien Phu victory is of great historical value and profound era significance. This is the victory of national independence over colonial aggression, of justice and humanity over injustice and brutality, and of people’s willpower in a country truly representing national spirit and aspiration for peace of the humankind over the imperialists and colonialists in the mid-20th century. The Dien Bien Phu victory has successfully completed our people’s enduring, arduous, brave war of resistance against the invasion of French colonialists and intervention of American imperialists. This is a great victory of both our people and people under oppression around the world. Dien Bien Phu victory helps to further brighten the truth of Marxism-Leninism in today’s era, which reads: “Aggressive wars of the imperialists are definitely defeated. Liberation revolutions of countries are definitely successful.”
Lessons, value, and spirit of Dien Bien Phu victory have been continued and futher promoted in our people’s war of resistance against the United States for national salvation, liberation and defence. On inheriting this spirit, we enter a new struggle to successfully achieve the goals of a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and advanced country, successfully building and firmly safeguarding the socialist Homeland.
Associate Professor, Doctor NGUYEN MANH HUONG

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