Viet Cong Repression and Its Implications for the Future

by Stephen T. Hosmer

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An examination of the doctrine and practice of the measures by which the VC eliminate, reform, and demoralize known and suspected enemies. Organized by the VC Security Service, repression in GVN territory is limited mainly to assassination and abduction, jailing, and milder punishments geared to intimidation, reform, and persuasion. Chief targets, identified through "blacklists," are GVN officials and military persons, intelligence personnel, anti-Communist and religious spokesmen, and Communist defectors. The report discusses the chief implications of VC repression for such contingencies as a cease-fire; new elections; hopes for local accommodation; and a possible Communist takeover in Saigon. Negative views of GVN leaders on a coalition government are attributed to fear of a bloodbath if the VC were to gain sole power, an apprehension based on historical precedent in North and South. The report concludes with speculations on the likely pattern of repression in a Communist-ruled Vietnam. Though allowing for the possibility that expediency might dictate a conciliatory course, the author foresees the likelihood of widespread, violent persecution and retribution for officials and supporters of the present GVN regime.

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