Monday, May 06, 2019, 11:03 (GMT+7)
Political and spiritual factors in Dien Bien Phu Victory and the building of the political Military today

Under the clear-sighted leadership of the Party headed by President Ho Chi Minh, our soldiers and people triumphantly conducted Dien Bien Phu Campaign (hereinafter the Campaign) - the peak of 1953-1954 Winter Spring Offensive, bringing an end to the triumphant prolonged resistance war against the French colonialists’ aggression and the American imperialists’ intervention. Dien Bien Phu Victory has forever gone down in our peoples’ history of fighting foreign aggressors as an immortal epic and “a golden brilliant feat of arms” in the 20th century. Also, it is the triumph gained by heroic Vietnamese peoples as well as national liberation movement around the globe. The Dien Bien Phu Victory, which “resonated throughout five continents and shook the world”, carries profound epochal values and international meaning; signals the fall of old-style colonialism and contributes to the struggle for peace, national independence, democracy and progress all over the world.

There are many invaluable lessons for the cause of building the Military drawn from Dien Bien Phu Victory in which bringing into full play political and spiritual factors acts as a determinant to the successful Campaign. It is reflected through the Party’s political and military sound guidelines and the Campaign High Command’s clear-sighted strategic directions; through a close combination of the work of political and ideological education and organizational work to boost soldiers’ fighting resolve; and through the determined to fight and determined to win spirit and fortitude and extraordinary creativity and efforts to create our Military’s great spiritual momentum and combativeness. Also, it is expressed through the whole Vietnamese peoples’ solidarity and concerted efforts to overcome hardships and difficulties and willingly make the final sacrifice to protect the fruit of the revolution and national independence and defeat foreign aggressors.

Political and spiritual factors in Dien Bien Phu Campaign have been nurtured and brought into play on the basis of upholding great national block of unity with the building and development of the people’s armed forces and the people’s Military at the core, serving as a spiritually precious asset, contributing to the victorious Campaign. Those factors created a posture of diffusely attacking the enemy and ensured close coordination between three-category armed forces and the people’s revolutionary struggle, as evidenced by the leadership art of combining the people’s war with unique military science and art and methods of conducting revolutionary wars in a flexible and creative fashion, thereby bring into full play the whole peoples’ potential, strength, and fighting determination to defeat the enemy.

Political and spiritual factors in Dien Bien Phu Victory bear out an argument by V.I. Lenin “in every war, the victory eventually depends on the morale of the masses who are shedding their blood on the battlefield” and a statement by President Ho Chi Minh “Not an army or a weapon can discourage the whole peoples’ sacrifice. It would be the advantage gained by those who fight for just goals and noble ideals and are determined to wrest national independence and peace from an invading army. The spirit of “willingly making the ultimate sacrifice for national independence and freedom” has been brought into full play, and thus generated substantial synergy, giving added impetus to our soldiers and people’s status and strength to crush Dien Bien Phu fortified entrenched camp - “an impregnable fortress”, turning them into the graves of the French invaders.

Upholding Dien Bien Phu Victory, political and spiritual factors had been continuously and effectively accelerated over the course of our resistance war against the American imperialists, creating colossal momentum for “driving the American imperialists away and toppling the puppet government”. Some illustrations include the Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the air Victory” in December, 1972, a decisive factor in forcing the American imperialists to sign Paris Peace Accords and completely withdraw their troops from South Vietnam; the great 1975 Spring Victory, culminated in the triumph of Ho Chi Minh historic Campaign on 30th April, 1975, leading to the liberation of the South and national unification, advancing Vietnam to socialism.

Gen. Luong Cuong chairing the conference on the project “building the political Military in the new situation” (photo: qdnd.vn)

At present, the cause of constructing and safeguarding the Homeland by our people is characterized by intertwined advantages and challenges. Great and historical achievements generated by the cause of national renovation have contributed to consolidating the people and cadres and soldiers’ confidence in the Party’s leadership and socialist regime. In particular, the remedies to shortcomings in conformity with Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on fostering Party building and rectification and the implementation of Directive No. 05-CT/TW, dated 15-5-2016 by the Politburo (12th tenure) on accelerating the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thought, ethics, and lifestyle” in association with the Campaign “Promoting traditions, devoting talents, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers” have attained encouraging results, contributing to building the politically strong Vietnamese People’s Army. Hostile forces continue to promote the execution of strategies of “peaceful evolution” and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within via malicious artifices and stratagems in order to dent our Military’s fighting nature, objectives, and ideals whilst social vices, especially corruption, wastefulness, the dark side of market economy, etc. have been impacting on cadres and soldiers’ sentiment on a daily basis. Against this backdrop, the requirements for building the politically strong VPA must be taken seriously and have been a matter of great urgency. On the basis of inheriting and upholding lessons for translating political and spiritual factors in Dien Bien Phu Campaign into the building of the politically strong Military today, it is essential to focus on properly carrying out the following missions.

First, concentrating on enhancing comprehensive leadership ability and combativeness of party organizations, ensuring the promotion of the Party’s absolute and direct leadership over the Military on all fronts, which is considered to be a matter of principle and great importance to the cause of building the “revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modernized Military” in which the building of the politically strong Military is regarded as a basis for bolstering the Military’s overall quality and combativeness. To this end, party committees and organizations within the Military must be politically, ideologically, organizationally, and morally strong, and ceaselessly improve their leadership capability and fighting strength on a par with their mission requirements whilst focusing on promoting the quality of political meetings, upholding self-criticism and criticism, adhering to the principles of democratic centralism as well as the Party Central Committee and the Central Military Commission’s regulations and instructions, and enhancing the work of inspection and supervision in accord with the Party’s Charter. Simultaneously, it is necessary to continue to thoroughly grasp and effectively implement Resolution No. 51-NQ/TW, dated 20-7-2005 by the Politburo (9th tenure) and Resolution No. 513-NQ/ĐUQSTW, dated 11-11-2005 by the Central Military Commission (CMC) on “Continuing to perfect the Party’s leadership mechanism, implementing the commander - commissar regime in the Vietnamese People’s Army”; to adequately handle the relationships between commissars and commanders on all fronts; tightly maintain a sense of unity and high consensus amongst offices and units; and accelerate the implementation of Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) in association with that of Directive No. 05-CT/TW by the Politburo (12th tenure) and the Campaign “Promoting traditions, devoting talents, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers” through specific deeds. A contingent of cadres and party members must routinely uphold their sense of self-improvement and example-setting responsibilities in conformity with Regulation No. 08-QĐi/TW, dated 25-10-2018 by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on “Example-setting responsibilities assumed by cadres and party members, first and foremost the Politburo members, the Secretariat members, and the Party Central Committee members”; Regulation No. 646-QĐ/QUTW, dated 06-11-2012 by the Standing Board of the CMC on “Example-setting responsibilities assumed by cadres and party members, first and foremost leading and commanding cadres at all level within the Military” while firmly comprehending and seriously implementing Resolution No. 109-NQ/QUTW, dated 11-02-2019 by the CMC on building a contingent of military cadres, especially at strategic and campaign levels on a par with mission requirements in the new situation; putting great store by qualitatively and quantitatively building a strong pool of military cadres; and making proactive preparations for a contingent of candidates for all-level Party Congresses within the Military Party Organization in the 2020-2025 tenure in the run-up to the 13th National Party Congress.

Second, continuing to reform and enhance the quality of the work of political education and  ideological leadership, firmly preserving the Party’s ideological battleground in the Military in any circumstance. At some points of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, the enemy’s fortified defence caused our soldiers and people a wide range of hardships and challenges, impacting on the soldiers’ ideological vibes and forcing the Campaign’s Party Committee and High Command to change their combat motto and plans. Yet, thanks to the proper implementation of the work of political education and ideological orientation, cadres and soldiers well carried out their missions and “pulled heavy artillery into and out of the battlefield” with their high fighting determination, and thus recorded a great victory. Grounded in those precious experiences, the work of ideological leadership and political education must come first, creating high consistency in awareness and action and high consensus on missions of protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on clearly identifying partners of cooperation and objects of struggle, etc. The work of political education must furnish cadres and soldiers with the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws; patriotism, national pride, and the Party, the people, and the Military’s revolutionary traditions, thereby enabling cadres and soldiers to build steadfast political zeal, to preserve pure and clean morality and lifestyle, and to develop “immunity” against hostile forces’ sabotage activities and social vices, and to successfully accomplish assigned missions with high revolve. In the process, party committees and commandants at all levels need to reform forms, contents, and methods of political education in line with the requirement for building the politically strong Military and the Project “Reforming the work of political education at military units in the new period”; closely combine political education with legal education and propagation, and properly hold practical activities pertaining to the work of training and combat readiness and discipline maintenance whilst proactively carrying out the work of ideological orientation and management; tightly grasping cadres and soldiers’ sentiment and aspirations as well as their family background, thereby contributing to consolidating the Party’s ideological battleground in the Military.

Third, continuing to promote fine qualities of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the new situation, which have been considered to be a long-lasting military cultural value over the course of 75 years of the Military’s building, fighting and maturity. The title of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” is the noblest one honoured by the people and highly recognized by the Party and the State, as evidenced by Uncle Ho’s compliment “Our army, loyal to the Party, pious to the people and ready to fight and sacrifice their lives for independence and freedom of the Homeland and socialism, will fulfil any tasks, overcome any difficulties and defeat any enemies”. The promotion of those fine qualities in the current situation will have increasingly widespread impacts on every cadre and soldier’s lives, contributing to building wholesome and diverse military cultural setting and the “revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modernized” People’s Army.

To this end, party committees and commandants at all levels within the Military need to pay due attention to educating cadres and soldiers to cultivate those fine qualities and humane values of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” that have been preserved, inherited, and ceaselessly promoted through the realities of revolutionary struggle, Military construction, and Homeland protection while accelerating the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality, and lifestyle and the Campaign “Promoting traditions, devoting talents, and deserving to be “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” launched by the Standing Board of the CMC; bolstering the work of mass mobilization and assisting the people in natural disaster relief, the building of new-type rural areas and hunger eradication and poverty alleviation. In the process, it is vital to uphold pioneering and example-setting responsibilities assumed by a contingent of all-level cadres, especially key ones alongside the motto “the higher echelons set an example to the lower ones; cadres set an example to soldiers”, thereby allowing the qualities of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” to be brilliantly shone in the new situation.

Fourth, improving the quality and effectiveness of party and political work. The party and political work intrinsically involves leadership activities, so enhancing the efficiency of this work will give rise to party committees and organizations’ increased leadership over the Military’s mission performance. Party committees, commissars, commandants, and political agencies at all levels need to firmly grasp and seriously implement resolutions, directives, and guidance by the CMC and Ministry of National Defence on military-defence work and the General Political Department’s plans and instructions concerning the party and political work. It is necessary to focus on improving the effectiveness of this work with an emphasis on training and combat readiness missions while it is essential to promote Determined to win emulation movements and other movements and campaigns launched by central to local sectors and branches. At the same time, it is important to properly carry out policies relating to military families and take good care of cadres and soldiers’ material and mental lives; to pay due attention to building political agencies and a strong contingent of capable political cadres, ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the party and political work in reality.

Fifth, actively fighting artifices and stratagems of promoting “peaceful evolution” and “depoliticizing” the Military by hostile forces. Their objective is to separate the Military from the Party’s leadership, and make the Military deviate from political orientations and fighting objectives and ideals and detach itself from the masses; simultaneously, they cause a division between the Party and the Military and the people, and distort Dien Bien Phu Victory and great historic milestones that the Vietnamese people have achieved through blood, sweat, and tears. Presently, against the backdrop of frenetic sabotage activities by hostile forces, in addition to preventing “peaceful evolution”, the task of precluding the “depoliticization” of the Military is a matter of great significance and requires synergistic efforts made by many central to local sectors and branches on the basis of thoroughly grasping Resolution No. 35-NQ/TW, dated 22-10-2018 by the Politburo (12th tenure) on “accelerating the preservation of the Party’s ideological foundation and rebutting false and hostile viewpoints in the new situation” and the military project on preventing “peaceful evolution” in ideological and cultural fields in the new situation”. In the process, it is a must to combine “building” with “fighting”; to preclude manifestations of ideological, political, moral, and lifestyle degeneracy and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within; to ensure the Military’s absolute loyalty to the Party’s revolutionary cause whilst it is important to promote the work of internal political protection and the role played by key forces, especially cyberspace ones in proactively grasping situations in every circumstance. Simultaneously, press agencies and the mass media are required to step in to opportunely and proactively identify sabotage activities and write highly critical articles, directly combating malicious artifices by hostile forces and political opportunists.

65 years have elapsed, but the pride in the Dien Bien Phu Victory is still etched on the memory of every Vietnamese and peace-lover all over the world. The lessons on bringing into full play political and spiritual factors in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign need to be creatively and effectively applied to the realities of building the politically strong Military as a basis for enhancing the Military’s overall quality and combativeness, meeting the requirements of consolidating national defence and firmly protecting the Homeland of socialist Vietnam in the new situation.

Gen. Luong Cuong, Member of the Secretariat, Standing Member of the CMC, Director of the General Department of Politics, Vietnam People’s Army

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Promoting the spirit of independence, self-reliance and determination to fight and win in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign for the sake of national construction and defense
65 years have elapsed, yet the significance of and historic lessons from the Dien Bien Phu victory continue to reverberate through Vietnam, giving added impetus to the entire Party, people and military’s path to reform, international integration, development and the construction and defense of the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland
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