Sixty-eight years ago this week, Viet Minh leader Ho Chi Minh wrote to President Truman to ask for his support in Vietnam’s independence movement against colonial France. Truman, of course, would not come to Ho Chi Minh’s aide, and when the U.S. military officially became involved in the region two decades later, it was to fight against Ho Chi Minh and his North Vietnamese allies.
How different would history have turned out if Truman had supported Ho instead of the French? And would the war of the 1960s and 70s still happened? They are interesting questions to ponder on this week’s anniversary.