2 September

'Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability' Ho Chi Minh

September 2, 2009 · 2 min read

Today in 1945, Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence of Vietnam, declaring Vietnam a republic and independent from France. Unknown to him, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had already met to carve up post-war Vietnam in Potsdam. The country was to be divided in two with the northern half under the control of the Chinese and the southern under the British.

‘To Western eyes, it seemed inconceivable that Ho would make the tremendous sacrifices he did. But in 1946, as war with the French loomed, he cautioned them, “You can kill 10 of my men for every one I kill of yours, yet even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” The French, convinced of their superiority, ignored his warning and suffered grievously as a result. Senior American officers similarly nurtured the illusion that their sophisticated weapons would inevitably break enemy morale. But, as Ho’s brilliant commander, General Vo Nguyen Giap, told me in Hanoi in 1990, his principal concern had been victory. When I asked him how long he would have resisted the U.S. onslaught, he thundered, “Twenty years, maybe 100 years – as long as it took to win, regardless of cost.” The human toll was horrendous. An estimated 3 million North and South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians died.’

Stanley Karnow, Time magazine


Prison profits over healthcare

Private prisons are bad for prisoners’ health, writes Isaac Ricca-Richardson, but state control is little better while neoliberalism still holds sway

Reversing the flow

To undo prison culture, we need to reverse exclusionary, utilitarian, capitalist culture. This includes dismantling the school to prison pipeline, argues Ewa Jasiewicz

One million hours of solitude

Simon Hedges shares his tips on surviving lockdown and government ineptitude


Review – Steal as Much as You Can by Nathalie Olah

Anna Clayton reviews Natalie Olah's book, which explores how upper middle-class pop culture has affected British politics

No solutions, no justice: Covid-19 and BAME communities

Apsana Begum MP asks why no action has been taken to protect BAME communities from Covid-19, despite the Government report revealing disproportionate impact

The nationalist unconscious

To fully grasp the rise of the new authoritarians, we must engage with psychoanalysis as well as economics, writes Richard Seymour

Enjoying this article? Grateful for the lack of ads?
Donate any amount to Red Pepper and support radical media with an independent editorial line, strict ethical advertising policy, and no-paywall promise.