Here's one example (10 minutes reading time) of expected flaws in upcoming Burns/Novick Viet Nam "documentary." Burns/Novick (hereafter B/V) will praise Ho Chi Minh for his "nationalism." For his avowed dream to "reunite Viet Nam" Well, there's more to it, and HCM is seen in a different light.
1. Ho Chi Minh, Truong Chinh, other Hanoi ideologues viewed "nationalism" with disdain and contempt. Hanoi "internationalist communist duties" took precedence over the narrow, pedestrian cause of "nationalism." This verified by Duiker's authoritative Ho Chi Minh biography.
2. In 1945 Ho Chi Minh launched a veritable pogrom against any anti-French, non-communist nationalist groups. Hundreds were killed. Members of nationalist anti-French parties such as Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang, Dai Viets, Dong Minh Hoi, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai were all targeted. Ho Chi Minh, a Stalinist adherent, even had VN's Trotskyites killed. Non-political moderates anti-French independence people such as Bui Quang Chieu and Pham Quynh were also assassinated.
This political blood-lust is not the hallmark of a "nationalist."
3. The feud continued. In 1968 Tet offensive captured documents showed orders that VC assassins should target "nationalists." The word is "quoc dan" in Viet Namese.
To this day it is ILLEGAL to form or espouse formation of another political party in Viet Nam. Dr. Nguyen Dan Que spent over 20 years in prison for attempting this sacrilege. He was and is a true nationalist. Why did he lose 20 years of his life in prison?
4. Being a "nationalist" does not imply a nationalist country will, by force of arms, impose its will on neighboring countries. Hanoi did exactly that with Laos and Cambodia. No Hanoi communists, no Pathet Lao, no Khmer Rouge. It's that simple. Hanoi also, in 1962 (one-nine-six-two) began training Thai insurgents to ignite "revolutionary" war in Thailand. CTs (Communist Terrorists as they were called) began operations in 1965, in northeastern Thailand. The brush fire war lasted until late 1980s. Many died.
5. A "nationalist" does not take orders from a foreign country, in this case, Russia, in 1930 (one-nine-three-zero) to organize a communist party in an adjoining sovereign country, in this case, Laos. This is hard, irrefutable fact, not bar room babble.
6. A "nationalist" doe snot issue a 14 point manifesto, listing the freedoms and benefits it will bring to the country, and then to exactly the opposite in all cases. The NLF, Hanoi's arm in the Republic of Viet Nam, promised everything imaginable. Freedoms of press, worship, speech, assembly, etc., etc. It was all eyewash. Ho Chi Minh told his cadre "scratch the peasant where he itches," i.e. tell them what they want to hear. This reflects Lenin's two-stage "revolution." First comes the "national revolution" by which one gains full power by whatever means demanded, to include lying, false advertising, etc. Then comes the big one, the "social revolution," the forced imposition of a doctrinal communist state.
7. To paraphrase Edmund Burke: "Before we praise them for their nationalism let us see what thy do with it." What they have done with it is not a pretty picture. It must be kept in mind that the "nationalism" label, by itself, can be deceiving. Hitler was a "nationalist." So was Hideki Tojo. Same with Mussolini. Same with KKK. So was Stalin. In fact, along with these political perverts, Ho Chi Minh and his Communist Party give nationalism a bad name.
8. A "nationalist" would not have so many former adherents who now realize they've been lied to, manipulated, deceived, etc. Both the former Ministers of Justice and Minister of Health of the former "Provisional Revolutionary Government quit the Party after '75, damning the thuggish deceit, the repressive fascist government, the police state paranoia. Two examples
9. A true "nationalist" would not murder a true nationalist, simply because warped ideological theories condemn people for being "class enemies.":