On the Question of Communist Reprisals in Vietnam

by A. L. Nutt

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Sixteen years after the Geneva Agreement ending the first Indochina war, the extent of Communist reprisals against Vietnamese who supported the French is still unresolved — and still very much a live issue because of its implications today. In this paper, the author reminds us that many who rebut allegations of mass reprisals cite as "evidence" the reports of the International Control Commission, which are misleading. They fail to account for the North's efforts to camouflage massacres of political opponents under the guise of land reform. Concludes the author in this look behind the reports: legal maneuvering by the DRV took advantage of the way the Geneva Agreement was worded, frustrating not only ICC efforts to investigate charges of reprisals, but even efforts to place those charges on the record.

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