Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A reader commented that I should have run the post on Giap (below) through SNOPES. He claims that this is an internet urban legend, that it's not true.

While this may or may not be the case, one thing is certain; SNOPES is not a reliable source of information for the purpose of critiquing accuracy - they have a decidedly liberal slant on how they present "facts".

Let me work it - my source said he checked SNOPES beforehand, and I've heard this quote somewhere else, somewhere reputable. I will do the homework; in the meantime even if this is not a direct quote, I believe this is quite accurate; that Giap said words to this effect.

More on Giap, and the Art of War:

Sun Tzu

Historically, there have been a number of military philosophers and practitioners who spoke not only of a physical plane of war but also of the political, economic, and psychological (also known as moral) planes of war. Whereas Sun Tzu outlined five fundamentals of war, including weather and terrain, he also rated politics – or the wider context within which war is fought – as the first fundamental. Further, he included in his maxims “. . . to win a hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.”

General Vo Nguyen Giap

Providing more contemporary currency to those notions, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant North Vietnamese battlefield tactician and strategist, said:

". . . for us, there is no such thing as a single strategy. Ours is always a synthesis – simultaneously diplomatic, military and political. Which is why, quite clearly, the Tet Offensive had multiple objectives . . . And that was our biggest victory: to change the ideas of the United States. The Tet Offensive had been directed primarily at the people of South Vietnam, but . . . it affected the people of the United States more. Until Tet they thought they could win the war, but now they knew they could not. President Johnson was forced to decrease military activity and start to discuss with us around the table of how to end the war."




  1. "When both sides are convinced they're about to lose, they're both right." - Murphy

  2. Sean,

    Please don't take my comment the wrong way. I'm a big fan of your blo9g which I read daily. However, I'm a bigger fan of truth as I believe you are as well. what you posted about General Giap is essentially an email that has been circulating for years. I've been on the receiving end of it many times and have researched it quite a bit. I posted the link to Snopes simply as the shortest and quickest way to the heart of the matter. I agree that Snopes has a liberal slant but that doesn't make them wrong anymore than your conservatism makes you wrong. Truth is truth whether we like it or not.

    Sean, I hope this helps with your investigation.