From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

12 February 1918
Paris, France

The so-called “recruitment” of our people out of Vietnam to fight alongside the French in the trenches is really a forced roundup, but yesterday Nguyen Chanh, who lost his leg fighting, told us that on the “front line” there was never any difference between the French and Vietnamese. They got the same pay, same food, same treatment. Perhaps, I said, but we are still being used as cannon fodder here by a country that is still treating us like dirt back home. But I’m beginning to see France in a new light. There is much to admire about the country, and I have made many French friends here. In Vietnam forming such friendships was nearly impossible.

29 June 1919

All of our requests at the Peace Conference were ignored although they were mostly in line with President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, including self-determination, democratic freedom, and abolition of forced labor. President Wilson wouldn’t see us. He even refused to answer our message.

For the Versailles Peace Conference chaired by President Wilson, Ho sent an “Eight-Point Program” in line with Wilson’s own “Fourteen Points.” Ho never got nearer the conference than the steps outside. The following are the eight points presented by Ho:

1. Amnesty for all Vietnamese political prisoners;
2. Reform of the Indochinese judicial system by giving Vietnamese the same judicial safeguards as do the Europeans and completely and definitively abolishing the special tribunals, which are instruments of terror and oppression against the most honest part of the Vietnamese;
3. Freedom of press and freedom of opinion;
4. Freedom of association and freedom of assembly;
5. Freedom to emigrate and travel abroad;
6. Freedom of teaching and creation in all provinces of technical and vocational schools for natives;
7. Replacement of the regime of decrees by that of laws;
8. Presence in the French Parliament of a permanent delegation elected by the natives to keep it informed of their aspirations.
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