From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

4 September 1945
Hanoi, Vietnam

This has to be one of the most glorious times in Vietnam’s 4,000-year history. Two days ago I stood on a platform in Ba Dinh Square and read our Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

“All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This immortal statement appeared in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, it means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have the right to live and to be happy and free.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, made at the time of the French Revolution, in 1791, also states: “All men are born free and with equal rights.”

People must have come from nearly every province, village, and hamlet in Vietnam to take part in this remarkable celebration. I could see the warm September sun shining on the faces of smiling children and tired but happy comrades. I couldn’t help but think of all we have sacrificed over many years for our liberty and what a lot of work we have ahead of us to rebuild our country. I hope that our friends, the Americans, will help us in this effort.

Then, with the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan on August 6 and 9, the war was suddenly over! Neither the stunned Japanese nor the disorganized French exerted any restraint over a jubilant Vietnamese population declaring its independence, with Ho Chi Minh the acclaimed hero of the hour. By August 25, Bao Dai, the former Emperor of Vietnam who had been given the reins of government on August 15 by the surrendering Japanese, abdicated and declared the transfer of power to Ho’s government. This period has become known in Vietnam as the August Revolution.

Upon returning to Washington, most of the U.S. personnel who had been concerned with Vietnam recommended that America should support Ho Chi Minh and his “nationalist” forces, but President Truman ultimately decided that Ho was a communist and therefore an enemy.

Shortly after declaring independence, Ho sent several letters to President Truman asking for his support toward a free and independent Vietnam. These letters went to U.S. State Department expert on Southeast Asia, Paul Kattenburg, where they sat. If Kattenburg had sent these letters on to President Truman, and Truman had taken the bold stand to recognize Vietnamese independence, wouldn’t the French and American wars in Vietnam have been avoided?
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