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Renowned anti-globalist and anti-humanist general dead at age 102

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[an] American commander who took the same vast losses as General Giap would have been sacked overnight," his old enemy, the late U.S. General William C. Westmoreland, was quoted as saying in a 1983 book.

Giap's response to such accusations, according to Vietnam War correspondent Joseph L. Galloway, was that "I would have gladly sent 5 million or 10 million if that is what it took to rid our country of the foreigners; to gain our freedom."

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/vietnams-red-napoleon-vo-nguyen-giap-dies-at-102/426481-2.html


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In 1944, Ho Chi Minh called on Giap to organize and lead guerrilla forces against Japanese invaders in World War II. After Japan surrendered to Allied forces the next year, the Viet Minh continued their fight for independence from France.

Giap was known for his fiery temper and as a merciless strategist, but also for being a bit of a dandy. Old photos show him reviewing his troops in a white suit and snappy tie, in sharp contrast to Ho Chi Minh, clad in shorts and sandals.

Giap never received any formal military training, joking that he attended the military academy "of the bush."

At Dien Bien Phu, his Viet Minh army surprised elite French forces by surrounding them. Digging miles of trenches, the Vietnamese dragged artillery over steep mountains and slowly closed in during the bloody, 56-day battle that ended with French surrender on May 7, 1954.

"If a nation is determined to stand up, it is very strong," Giap told foreign journalists in 2004 prior to the battle's 50th anniversary. "We are very proud that Vietnam was the first colony that could stand up and gain independence on its own."

It was the final act that led to French withdrawal and the Geneva Accords that partitioned Vietnam into north and south in 1956. It paved the way for war against Saigon and its U.S. sponsors less than a decade later.

The general drew on his Dien Bien Phu experience to create the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a clandestine jungle network that snaked through neighbouring and ostensibly neutral Laos and Cambodia to supply his troops fighting on southern battlefields.

Against U.S. forces with sophisticated weapons and B-52 bombers, Giap's guerrillas prevailed again. But more than 1 million of his troops died in what is known in Vietnam as the "American War."

"We had to use the small against the big; backward weapons to defeat modern weapons," Giap said. "At the end, it was the human factor that determined the victory."

Historian Stanley Karnow, who interviewed Giap in Hanoi in 1990, quoted him as saying: "We were not strong enough to drive out a half-million American troops, but that wasn't our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American government to continue the war."

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4141282--red-napoleon-who-defeated-french-and-americans-dies-at-102/