Thursday, September 20, 2012
This is coolbert:
From that era of the First and Second Indo-China War we have a number of anti-communist militia or para-military organizations having an affiliation either criminal or religious based.
Effective to a startling degree beyond that of [South Vietnamese] national military forces, evidence that "the moral is as to the physical as three is to one" is correct?
1. Binh Xuyen. Vietnamese organized crime elements first aligning themselves with the Viet Minh and then anti-Viet Minh. Criminals for the most part, almost exclusively NOT making good soldiers, in the case of the Binh Xuyen having that organizational ability, leadership, numbers, the moxie and mental and physical wherewithal to use force on their own behalf. And effective to some extent.
"Bình Xuyên . . . was an independent military force within the Vietnamese National Army whose leaders once had lived outside the law and had [originally] sided with the Viet Minh. During its heyday, Bình Xuyên funded itself with organized crime activities in Saigon while effectively battling Communist forces"
2. Hoa Hao. Buddhist inspirational religious tradition of recent origin, those practitioners a distinct minority and recognized as such, organized into a battalion sized fighting force by the American Special Forces ["Green Berets"] during the Second Indo-China War. The Hoa Hao outstanding fighters that dissident American SF officer LTC Daniel Marvin having the highest possible degree of respect and admiration for the martial and combat ability of the Hoa Hao.
"Hòa Hao . . . is a religious tradition, based on Buddhism, founded in 1939 by Huynh Phú So, a native of the Mekong River Delta region of southern Vietnam . . . [So is considered by practitioners to be a] living Buddha—destined to save mankind from suffering and to protect the Vietnamese nation."
"During the early years of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, An Giang province and its capital Long Xuyên were among the few places in the Mekong Delta where Viet Cong activity was minimal and American and South Vietnamese troops could move without fear of sniper attack"
3. Sea Swallows. Ethnic Chinese Catholics, refugees, an autonomous militia very effective anti-communist fighters an entity fearing communist persecution, a priest Lac Hoa commanding and directing his fighters in the manner of a general officer, inspired and effective leadership. [recall those rebels of the Cristero War in Mexico, among those leaders of which was found a priest!!]
"Father Augustine Nguyen Lac Hóa . . . a refugee Chinese Catholic priest in South Vietnam, led a militia called the Sea Swallows that carved out an anticommunist enclave in the Viet Cong's Ca Mau Peninsula stronghold".
"the Sea Swallow Special District . . . among all the strategic villages, only that of the Sea Swallows has had repeated, unvarying military success. These are fighting Sea Swallows led by Father Nguyen Lac Hoa, and for them, the Communist Viet Cong are not fearsome."
4. Cao Dai. Inspirational faith having a strong Buddhist origin but also containing elements of all world religions. Adherents as with the Hoa Hao a distinct minority, recognizable and acknowledged as such, NOT eschewing military self-defense on their own behalf.
"In 1947-48, with French material support, the Cao Dai militia was raised to 3,300 troops organised in 55 'flying brigades', 1,500 men in 'self-defence groups' plus another 2,500 'military partisans' in other areas of Cochinchina."
5. UMDB - Mobile Christian Defense Units. Vietnamese Catholics spontaneously and independently of "central government" control organizing themselves into self-defense forces, anti-communist. Their most senior and charismatic leader the half-caste Colonel Leroy.
One-sixth of that Vietnamese population Roman Catholic and having a very justified fear of communist militant anti-religious sentiment!
"Colonel Jean Leroy took it upon himself to form the first 'Catholic Brigade' in 1947 on An Hoa Island. These 60-man brigades were merged to form the UMDC or Mobile Christian Defense Units which operated throughout the province [Ben Tre] in support of the local units called Bao An or 'Peace Guardians'. All of this was done in an act of independent self-defense by the Vietnamese Catholics in reaction to what were terrorist attacks by the communists."
"When regular French forces arrived [in the aftermath of WW2] they were surprised to find these Catholic areas already under the protection of these modest but very disciplined and determined independent, local militias. Still, they respected their abilities and when the regular French army was withdrawn from the area in 1949 Colonel Jean Leroy was given command of all UMDC units and responsibility for the whole province [Ben Tre]."
These various religious affiliations [Binh Xuyen for that matter too] having a very strong self-organizing and governing ability combined with that charismatic leadership and devoted followers idealistic in many cases able to resist the communist in a manner the central government forces in Saigon were not.