cq – 88

ức tranh này do cậu bé TKXuyên vẽ năm 1988, màu nước trên giấy, hiện vẫn treo trong phòng làm việc của mình (mọi người đừng cười một người chưa bao giờ có khiếu vẽ vời gì dù chỉ là một chút xíu). Dĩ nhiên là tôi còn nhớ rất rõ là vẽ vì những lý do gì, trong bối cảnh như thế nào. Mọi người hẳn chưa thể nào quên sự kiện CQ – 88 mà ngay cả một cậu bé 9 tuổi là tôi lúc bấy giờ cũng từng ngày dõi theo. Nghĩ mà buồn, đến nay hơn 20 năm rồi mà mọi chuyện vẫn thế. Dòng chữ đề trong bức tranh: Cũng có lúc mưa dồn sóng vỗ, Quyết ra tay buồm lái với cuồng phong, cụ Nguyễn Công Trứ có sống lại mà nhìn bối cảnh bây giờ… 😢

bare feet, iron will

ne more item in my to – be – read list: Bare Feet, Iron Will, by James Zumwalt, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, son of the Vietnam war’s time US Navy’s Admiral. The book has recently been translated and published in Vietnamese. Though I haven’t got an English copy in hand, my interests rose after reading this interview with the author. Just like Archimedes Patti’s book Why Vietnam?, I would expect stories from intermediate – level officers to contains a lot of facts, events, numbers… that gives details into the things that happened, and offers closer, truer look into the figures involved, unlike those of high – level cadre supérieur (a.k.a politicians).

The author recently gave an interview with Vietnamese presses, in which he confirmed that his book was inspired by The sorrow of war, Bảo Ninh’s novel. He loves the novel and dedicates part of his book to write about this Vietnamese fiction and its author. I knew some 20 years ago that The sorrow of war would be a very profound impact (read more about it in my another post here). It’s just ridiculous that the VN government once forbade (and still limits) the novel, permits it to be appeared on news on occasions only to serve some political purposes, this time is a step toward tighter relation with the US. Below is some notable remarks from the author, James Zumwalt interviews:

Was the loss of a loved one any less significant just because it occurred on the other side of the battlefield? …It just opened my eyes to the fact that we have to recognise that our suffering is mirrored on other side.

When I made my second trip, one of the first places I went to was the Hanoi war museum. And there they had a section devoted to war criminals – one of whom was my father for his use of Agent Orange. (Asked: How did he react to being a war criminal?) He kind of smiled and said: Well it’s a good thing they didn’t arrest me when I was there.

In one case, a doctor told his wife he would probably be gone for six months to a year. He was gone for eight years, and only got back to visit his wife once… Many of those I interviewed had difficulty pinpointing particular years, but they could tell me if it was in dry or monsoon season. That was the way they looked at it. The year didn’t matter. That shows the mindset they operated under.

There were some 1,400 mothers who lost three or more sons in the war. I think we’d be hard pressed in this country to find more than a handful of mothers who lost more than one son in Vietnam. They considered it a sacrifice they had to make.

In the interviews I did with hundreds of NVA / VC I asked them what their motivation was. It was not communism but rather it was nationalism and the desire to reunify the country… I believe it is part of the Vietnamese people’s DNA. To them, there was never any alternative, they just had to prevail.

Look at the Vietnamese who defeated the Japanese in 1945, the French in 1954, the Americans in 1975, and again the Chinese in 1979, I don’t think we realised we were probably fighting against Vietnam’s own Greatest Generation. (yes we sacrificed our best seeds in those wars, you know what the sh… is left as of today! 😢)

the tự – do boat

The boat now belongs to the Australian National Maritime Museum. It has been refurbished and restored to the original design with the help of the Lu family, and preserved as a museum’s fully – operational object to demonstrate the country’s immigration history, the whole story is recited here.

nteresting story about a Vietnamese boat – people‘s vessel, the one dubbed: Tự do – Freedom. In 1976, the boat was laid down at Phú Quốc island as a dragnet fishing vessel, a construction built just for the escape from the newly – formed regime (1975). Mr. Tan Than Lu planned his escape meticulously along with his family, relatives and friends.

The hull (as seen in the images) still incorporates in it some Vietnamese indigenous ship building features, the registration number reads: VNKG1062, which indicates that the boat originally had its home port in Kiên Giang, Việt Nam. Hull dimensions: 19.4m (length), 5.2m (beam) and 1.8m (draft). It must be noticed that the Lu family is a very rare case among almost half a million of Vietnamese boat – people at the time, very few could afford building such a boat for escaping, and few had had such a lucky and successful trip.

The boat involved in fishing for half a year to allay government’s suspicion. Then pretended to have an engine breakdown so that surveillance of them would be relaxed, a more powerful replacement engine was installed during the night, children were given cough medicine to make them sleep and keep silence, the crew of 38 departed on Aug 16th, 1977. They arrived at Mersing, Malaysia, where 8 passengers were disembarked as refugees.

After one month of unsuccessful approaches to the US Embassy, Mr. Lu decided to set sail for Australia with the remaining 30 people on board. They were resupplied and encouraged to move on by the Indonesian authorities. They reached Darwin, Australia on Nov 21st, 1977 after a 6000 kilometers journey guided only by map torn from a schoolbook and a simple compass.

un vietnamien bien tranquille

aving a time to read some notable documents: The spy who loved us – Thomas Bass, and The perfect spy – Larry Berman. At first, I’d thought: oh, all these stories I’ve knew quite well already, there’s no need to read more. But then I considered it’s good to be reflective, reading the same stories in another language, from other points of view.

I’d read these two books (in English), which contains quite some interpreting errors (most of them are unintentional I think) then I proceeded to their Vietnamese translations (which are really bad, lots of linguistic mistakes), but again another reflections of reflections. All readings confirmed my understanding about the Vietnamese legendary intelligence agent Phạm Xuân Ẩn, whose role is now recognized as crucially decisive in the second IndoChina war.

Espionage and Journalism

As the first IndoChina war was approaching its end, the Việt Minh leaders knew that it’s just a matter of time before the American get their hands in. They had lived and fought with the French long enough that they had extensively well understanding on their enemy, the same is not true for the Americans. During the 9 years of the first IndoChina war, Ẩn had already worked against the French, under his cousin Phạm Xuân Giai, head of South Vietnam’s Cinquième Bureau – department for psychological warfare, who was working for the French’s Deuxième Bureau.

In 1957, Phạm Xuân Ẩn was ordered to go to the States, studying journalism (as a cover), learning their language, culture, their way of thinking… a preparation that later turned out to have devastating effects. During the time in America (and even long before), Ẩn has developed a sympathy (if not admiration) for American people and culture, and at the same time, touting his horns in a war to come against them.

These two professions were very contradictory, but also very similar. The intelligence job involves collecting information, analyzing it, and jealously keeping it secret, like a cat covering its droppings. The journalist, on the other hand, collects information, analyzes it, and then publishes it to the world. (Phạm Xuân Ẩn)

Information and disinformation

Upon coming back (1959), Ẩn worked for several presses: Việt Tấn Xã, Reuters, Time… Among all journalists in Saigon at the time, Ẩn is considered to be the best informants: new – comers introduced with him for guidances, seasoned ones seeked him for tips. He had various sources in the governments, army officers, secret polices… he had the best ears on the ground for everything. He is dubbed: “the weatherman” who foretell the political atmosphere, generals consulted him before planning coup d’état, the Buddhist monks informed him in advance if they prepare a protestant self – burning.

He made very good friend and closed cooperation with Edward Lansdale, head of IndoChina CIA division, the legendary agent nick – named: the king – maker, who manipulated every puppets on the Southern political stage, yet Lansdale had never doubted it. People was thinking he could be a CIA agent, a French sûreté, a South VN secret police, or he could be both. But none ever thought of him working for the Red NLF.

After the war, upon learning about the fact, some of his colleagues have tried to prove that Ẩn could had been giving disinformation at times. In fact, all his written records at the Time magazine (where he worked for 10 years) proved the opposite. Had he done it, with all the overwhelming clandestine agents among the presses, things could have easily been cross – checked and that would betray Ẩn, the espionage. And he of course hadn’t made those preliminary mistakes.

The source had given me the story on condition that I shouldn’t reveal it before it happened. These are the ethics of the press. You have to observe them, no matter how tough it may be. These are also the ethics of an intelligence agent who knows the propaganda value of burning monks. (Phạm Xuân Ẩn)

Balance and Objective

One thing Ẩn learned in American news career is that: a writing must be well – balanced, not biased in any directions, and at the same time it has to be objective, giving useful information to help coming to some helpful conclusions. Yet the two are usually contradictory. Similarly, questions have been raised about the nature of a man who lived an extremely dangerous double life for 30 years, about the one who deeply admires American culture but fiercefully fights against them.

In fact, Ẩn made true friend to many American journalists, help them in many cases, many of whom still love him even after learning that he was a spy. Many would recall how he saved the life of Robert Sam Anson, the war correspondent who was arrested by the VC in Cambodia. Ẩn came closest to getting discovered when he promised to Anson’s wife (who was begging for help) that he would do everything he could, a dangerous remark which implies he really could do something. Anson was later released as per request Ẩn made to his superiors, a truth Anson would only know for sure years later.

He was a man of wisdom, courage, and clear – headed patriotism. He was also – even if it seems ironic to say this under the circumstances – a man of extraordinary integrity. He loved us at our best even while confronting us at our worst. (Daniel Ellsberg)

Strategy and Tactic

A pattern in Ẩn’s stories, as usual, as an amusing raconteur: I’m a strategic analyst, I was concentrating on background information and situation assessment. Yet it’s a reason he gives in order not to get into too much details that he wouldn’t want to release even in the next 50 years: that’s related to too many people, many have died, but some still alive with their relatives, there’s no reason to cause harm to them anyway (Ẩn has always been loyal and protective to his information sources, from either sides, many of which is built upon personal relations).

But Western researchers found this an “undeniable fact”: he’s been awarded with 16 medals, among which 2 are general (one “Hero of the People’s Army” medal, the highest military award in VN, and another medal for “50 years of Party’s service”), the other 14 are all credited to specific battles, 4 of which is apparently known: the Ấp Bắc battle (1963), the Tết offensive (1968), the Lam Sơn 1972 operation, and the final 1975 campaign. That gives some obvious hints on his role as a tactical adviser who devised detailed tactics to be used in various battles.

He would have had enough knowledge of the battlefield tactics, rules of engagement, logistics and battle – readiness of both the Vietnamese and Americans in that area at that time to give pretty good advice on the way to set up a trap for them. Certainly Ấp Bắc had the hallmarks of a trap. (Nick Turner)

Nguyễn Văn Tào (nom de guerre: Tư Cang), head of the H.63 spy ring, direct ‘boss’ of Phạm Xuân Ẩn, famous for his ability of pistol shooting with both hands, and never miss a shot.

Phạm Xuân Ẩn (nom de guerre: Hai Trung), the strategic analyzer whose information, documents, assessments… greatly changed the pace of war.

Nguyễn Văn Thương (nom de guerre: Hai Thương), one of the couriers who run Ẩn’s messages. He was arrested, tortured, both his 2 legs were cut off six times, each without any narcotic. He could had saved his life, but he chose to save the network.

How could someone so voluble and open about his life be a spy? How could someone so funny and pointed in his remarks about human stupidity be a Communist? …He was a divided man of utter integrity, someone who lived a lie and always told the truth. (Thomas Bass)

The spy who loved us – Thomas Bass
(pdf.tar.gz) (mobi.tar.gz)

Perfect spy – Larry Berman
(pdf.tar.gz) (mobi.tar.gz)

Communists and Nationalists

This is the point of hatred conflicting among Vietnamese communities for so many years. My point of view, which is also reflected tho – throughly throughout the books (can be seen as 2 American views) is that: the communists, they had an ideologue (no matter right or wrong it could be), and they had determinations. On that basics, they’d had detailed planning and extensive efforts to carry it out, and they’d made sacrifices to carry it out to the end. The same is not true with the so called southerners’ nationalism.

As long as the Americans were pumping money in, the Southern government staffs were trying to steal as much as possible, and pretend to be supportive to the Americans’ causes while avoiding fights and casualties on the battle fields. They’d lost, as they presented nothing, not nationalists, not even anti – communists, but only their own personal and family’s interests. The consequence can be seen clearly: the majority of southern people took side, they have always been sympathetic to the Communists’ national independence causes, although they’re not communists.

Communism and Patriotism

It would eventually become clear why so many people have made extreme efforts and sacrifices, it was not because of any ideology. Of the total 43 members of the H.63 espionage network, 25 were captured, tortured, many of them chose to die, but the network remained unbroken. They were couriers, who in 15 continuous years, ran the total 498 messages (reports) from Phạm Xuân Ẩn to the Iron Triangle Củ Chi, from where it would be delivered directly to the Politburo in Hà Nội. Ẩn always kept an poison pill in his pocket, ready for a death that was hanging over him for those 15 years.

Many who survived the war found themselves disillusioned with the post – war living, finding that the new regime has become even more corrupted than the previous one, and that is not what they were fighting for. Yet they were fighting not for any individual, any ideology, any government… Many failed to realize it is patriotism in the truest and deepest meaning! Phạm Xuân Ẩn to the last year of his life, works as an consultant to TC2 (the Vietnamese equivalence of Deuxième Bureau), who doesn’t understand and doesn’t trust him, but badly need his razor – sharp analyses and assessments.

Lessons learnt

If something can be learnt from Phạm Xuân Ẩn’s life, it’s something about cultural understanding. While most VC has very limited knowledge about American culture and values, they’d succeeded in cultivating at least one spy who could think like an American, a spy who loved Americans and was loved by them in return. That way he can get deep into the adversary’s mind and soul, and know the way to defeat them.

It’s all about understanding, the French had stayed in Vietnam for a considerable amount of time, they’d learnt to divide and conquer the Vietnamese, a job they’d done excellently. It took a few generations to absorb their culture, to gain enough understanding to have successful retaliations. What the American had done in Vietnam to some extent was repeating things the French had done already, in a far larger scale.

Those above are indeed the small part of the lessons. Ẩn said: the American are very good at collecting and analyzing information, but they don’t know what to do with them (at least in scopes of the Vietnam war). Similarly, we can say: the Vietnamese know how to obtain a victory (or it supposes to be called so), but then they don’t know what to do with it. Phạm Xuân Ẩn in person is a talkative one, he can talk about his thinking all day.

But as a spy, a strategic analyzer, he is actually a very quite Vietnamese, who had much more profound thoughts and understanding but can’t say it out. Lots of our own problems are briefly reflected throughout the American books, but they’re not recognized tho – throughly by our own people… Things get passed silently in our sleeping – pleasing minds until another war, another revolution that is… just pending.

hoàn kiếm turtle

Ai về xứ Bắc ta đi với,
Thăm lại non sông giống Lạc Hồng.
Từ độ mang gươm đi mở cõi,
Trời Nam thương nhớ đất Thăng Long!

This could be the last living turtle in Hoàn Kiếm lake and among the lone 4 surviving individuals (2 in China and 2 in Vietnam). The specie is known to be the largest soft – shell turtle in the world.

In 1967, this turtle died (the body preserved at Ngọc Sơn temple), leaving the turtle above the last one. His post – mortem measures: 2.1 x 1.2 meter in size, 250 kg in weight, estimated age at 400 years.

ecently, there’s been much activities on protecting the last specimen of turtle living in Hoàn Kiếm lake. Preserving efforts are being taken place to: improve his living conditions and try to mate him with similar turtles in the hope of producing offspring. All Vietnamese was taught at elementary school legends behind this sacred Hoàn Kiếm turtle. And through out our history, the turtle appeared at crucial moments for not just one time… It’s the Golden Turtle who assisted King An Dương Vương in building the ancient citadel of Cổ Loa (~ 257 BC).

The turtle later helped the king in creating a multi – shot crossbow that destroyed the Northern invaders… In the last “known” advent, the Golden Turtle was sent to reclaim the Heaven’s Will Sword, which was given to Lê Lợi who carried out a 10 years resistance war and regained Vietnam’s independence. Much like King Arthur and his sword Excalibur, myths on a sword with super power sent to assist the hero is unlikely. However, the story’s moral is much more likely and profound indeed:

One year after winning, declaring independence and becoming the Emperor (1428 AD), Lê Lợi goes for boating on a lake near his palace. In the mist of the lake, the Golden Turtle appears, advances toward the boat and asks the emperor to return the sword. It suddenly became clear to Lê Lợi that the sword was only lent to him to carry out his duty, as a powerful weapon in war time, but it now must be returned to its owner, lest it would harm him and his country if misused as it’s not the appropriate tool in peace time.

Lê Lợi draws the sword out and hands it to the Golden Turtle, who grasps it with his mouth, then disappears into deep water. Aftermath, the lake was renamed Hoàn Kiếm, which means: lake of the Returned Sword (or Sword lake for short in spoken language), now at the center of Hà Nội, Việt Nam’s capital. Wise old men argue that if this only remaining sacred creature is going to die, then who would reclaim the hammer and sickle – ☭ ? 😬

russian movies

ome recently seen (in the past few weeks) post – Soviet Russian war movies: Admiral (2008), Attack on Leningrad (2009) and Brest Fortress (2010). I can’t say anything rather than: marvelous! Both these three films should be on top of greatest war films, in many aspects: acting, costume and makeup, sound & music… comparable to any other war films ever made in the West. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is really good but maybe still a bit after that of Hollywood.

Russian cinema has made excellent advances, less propagandic, less rigid patterns, closer to real people in real life… that the things that made the films worth watching! In my opinion, of the series of three, the later the more interesting ones (though others may have their own different idea and evaluation).

Admiral (2008)

The films recites the life of Aleksandr Kolchak, admiral of the Russian Empire Navy. Kolchak himself was a complex character, living in a complex time: a famed Polar explorer, a valorous naval commander, a passionate lover, and eventually the Supreme Governor of the anti – communist White forces. No longer ruled by a dictatorial doctrine, Russia is now seeking to bring back true images of an extremely harsh period in her history.

The film starts with glorious feats of Kolchak commanding a destroyer in the Navy, his bravery in battles, his love affair with Anna Timiryova… and then the Red October came. Kolchak becomes the Supreme Ruler of the White Russia, who fought against the Bolshevik. Kolchak has far less success as a political leader than as a naval commander, he was finally arrested and executed by the Red. After decades of being vilified by the Soviet government, Kolchak is still now a controversial figure though there’re been rehabilitation movements to restore the place he deserves in Russian history.

Attack on Leningrad (2009)

An English journalist (of Russian origin) was trapped in the besieged city of Leningrad, the war correspondent Kate Davis was assumed dead but find herself among the starving people of the city struggling for their own survival. With the help of a kind and idealistic police women Nina Tsvetnova, they live through the 900 days in that sieged hell where food shortage only permits a ration of 125 gram of bread for each person a day. Encirclement around the city was almost completed, the only supply route through lake Ladoga was called the Road of Life (and also the Road of Death).

Nina Tsvetnova later guides a soldier group attempting to re – establish the supply route across the frozen surface of the lake. As a reward, she is permitted to bring members of her family out of the city. Nina along with the journalist take one child out with them. They succeeded but decide to return to help another child. Both two women died in the terrible city but saved two children out of the 1.5 million civil death toll, half of the city’s population.

Brest Fortress (2010)

Brest fortress was the strong hold which accounts for 5% of total Germany losses in the first phase of their Russia invasion. When German started the war, the Russian was unprepared, under – powered and defeated easily, their army was in all the way to retreat, except for this fortress. Defensed by a small unit, a regiment formation of soldiers along with their families, the fortress stands for almost a month when German has already advanced hundreds of miles into Soviet territory, leaving the point an isolated symbolically heroic fortification.

Yet they fight to the last man without any food, medical and ammunition supply, without any reinforcement. Alexander Akimov, a 15 year old young cadet of the fortress lived through the bloodshed resistance, trying to help other soldiers and his girlfriend Anya. He is the lone survivor to recall the story. The film is indeed beautiful: it concentrates on normal people, their daily lives and activities, their love, hate and humanly feelings… their choices and fates against the brutalities of war!

đường chúng ta đi

Album Đường chúng ta đi – 1976 và Album Tổ quốc yêu thương – 1978

ột chứng tích của lịch sử, album nhạc đỏ (thu âm năm 1976) với sự trình diễn của các ngôi sao nhạc vàng: Lệ Thu, Họa Mi, Hà Thanh, Thanh Tuyền, Thái Châu… Lệ Thu, Hà Thanh thì hẳn ai cũng đã biết, còn Họa Mi, Thanh Tuyền… là những giọng ca chuyên hát cho phòng Tuyên truyền của quân đội VNCH cũ… Một sự kết hợp lạ lùng nhưng vẫn hay trên một khía cạnh nào đó. Biết rằng điều này là khó nghe với khá nhiều người, nhưng âm nhạc vẫn vượt ra khỏi các biên giới chính trị, dù cho cái biên giới ấy nằm trong… chính phần ca từ các bài hát!

Theo như tôi biết, rất nhiều ca sĩ, nhạc sĩ miền Nam cũ đã chọn ở lại VN sau 1975 và phần nhiều cũng đã có những bước đầu hợp tác với chính quyền mới. Chỉ sau đó, khi điều kiện sống quá khó khăn, khi có quá nhiều những ngược đãi vật chất cũng như tinh thần thì họ mới chọn con đường trở thành “boat people” mà ra đi. Như Phạm Đình Chương, Thái Thanh… chỉ ra đi sau khi bị tuyên một cái án “cấm sáng tác và trình diễn vĩnh viễn” tại VN, như Hoàng Trọng còn ở lại VN mãi đến tận năm 1992…

Lá đỏ - Thái Châu 
Cuộc đời vẫn đẹp sao - Họa Mi, Phương Đại 
Hà Nội niềm tin yêu hy vọng - Lệ Thu 
Lên ngàn - Họa Mi 
Bóng cây Knir - Họa Mi 

Thôi thì khoan hãy bàn về cảm xúc trong các bài hát. Riêng về phần hòa âm thì có thể thấy miền Nam đi trước miền Bắc (lúc bấy giờ) rất xa trong chuyện hòa âm nhạc nhẹ. Và riêng về kỹ thuật hát thì một mình giọng ca Họa Mi cũng đã hơn đứt tất cả những ca sĩ nhạc viện được đào tạo chuyên nghiệp của miền Bắc như Lê Dung, Măng Thị Hội… (hãy nghe bài Bóng cây Knir và so sánh). Tôi có cảm giác rằng dù sao với tiếng Việt, lối hát rõ âm rõ chữ, nặng về luyến láy, hơi rung… vẫn là một lối hát truyền tải được tình cảm và phù hợp với cái tai âm nhạc Việt. Sớm muộn gì rồi lối hát này cũng sẽ trở lại…

diệc lạc hồ



Song điểu tề phi

Hoàng Oanh phi đáo Bắc Kinh đô,
Hội ngộ Kim Bằng diệc lạc hồ!
Đại sự vị thành, hành tiểu sự,
Song điểu tề phi chí thiện đồ!

hân kỷ niệm 60 năm quốc khánh nước CHND Trung Hoa (1/10/1949 ~ 1/10/2009), trích đăng lại ở đây bài thơ của một nhân viên ngoại giao đoàn Việt Nam (đăng trên Tạp chí Sông Hương, 2002): Bài thơ thể hiện tình hữu nghị cao quý của nhân dân hai nước Việt – Trung. Bài thơ được làm năm 1991, sau một thời gian dài 10 năm (kể từ 1981), khi hai nước tuy không còn những đối đầu quân sự lớn, nhưng hai bên vẫn tiến hành một đường lối tạm gọi là artillery diplomaticngoại giao pháo binh – chân lý, lẽ phải đứng trên đầu nòng đại bác.

Các địa danh đẫm máu như Vị Xuyên, Ngọc Đường, Lũng Cú… những người từng bám trụ 10 năm ở đó đến nay vẫn nhiều người còn sống, vẫn còn kể lại chuyện ngày xưa ở đâu đó quanh đây. Trở lại với bài thơ, năm 1991, một đoàn ngoại giao VN sang TQ, những bước đi đầu tiên của tiến trình bình thường hóa quan hệ. Trưởng đoàn phía VN là ông Vũ Oanh, trưởng đoàn phía TQ là ông Lý Bằng.

Cả “Oanh” và “Bằng” đều là tên của hai loài chim (không giống nhau), như được thể hiện rất rõ trong bài thơ trên đây: Song điểu tề phiĐôi chim cùng bay. Không cần phải biết chữ Hoa, đọc phiên âm Hán Việt hẳn mọi người cũng sẽ dễ dàng hiểu nội dung bài thơ! Chúng ta thấy lại cái điệp khúc Diệc lạc hồ ở đây! Diệc lạc hồ (hay Bất diệc lạc hồ) đều có thể hiểu theo nhiều kiểu: vui lắm thay, há không vui hay sao… hay theo phương ngữ miền Nam: vui quá hén! 😬

văn cao – hải quân việt nam

Hải quân Việt Nam 
Không quân Việt Nam 

ếu nhạc sĩ nói chung là những con người mơ mộng thì Văn Cao là con người mơ mộng siêu việt. Ông toàn mơ về những thứ mà mãi 60, 70 năm sau chúng ta mới bắt đầu có 😬! Có 5 bài hát được viết trong những năm 1944, 1945, trước Cách mạng tháng 8. Ngoài Tiến quân ca đã được chọn là quốc ca thì Bắc sơn là bài ca viết cho các đội du kích, Chiến sĩ Việt Nam là ca khúc cho các chiến sĩ bộ binh, Hải quân Việt NamKhông quân Việt Nam là hai bài hát cho hải quân và không quân.

Quốc ca được viết khi tác giả Văn Cao chỉ mới nghe phong phanh về mặt trận Việt Minh, còn những bài ca cho hải, lục, không quân thì được viết khi bộ binh còn là những guerrilla bands, còn hải quân và không quân hoàn toàn chưa có một chiếc canô hay tàu lượn nào, chưa nói đến những máy bay hay tàu chiến hiện đại. Mãi gần 70 năm sau khi hai bài ca được viết, VN mới bắt đầu có cái có thể gọi là Hải quân.

Việc Nga bán cho VN 6 chiếc tàu ngầm lớp Kilo, cộng với những tàu chiến đã và đang được đóng tại xưởng Ba Son (theo hợp đồng chuyển giao công nghệ từ Nga) đã chính thức hoá những tin tức đồn thổi lâu nay về việc thành lập Hạm đội biển Đông bao gồm khoảng 30 chiến hạm tương đối hiện đại, 6 tàu ngầm (Kilo-class submarine là lớp tàu tiên tiến) và vài chục máy bay đời mới. Thảo nào dạo gần đây, đài báo nói về biên giới, Trường Sa, Hoàng Sa có vẻ rõ ràng mạnh bạo hẳn lên, có đâu cứ “giấm giúi” như trước mãi!

tiens bien fou

Le Chant des Partisans (Anna Marly) 

Le Chant des Partisans (or in English: The guerrillas’ song) was a famous French song, widespread among members of France’s resistant movement against the Nazi, many of whom later fought at Điện Biên Phủ battle, including De Castries, Langlais, Bigeard… The guerrillas’ song was once used by French against the Nazi, now ironically used by Vietnamese fighting the French.

Éliane-2 hill nowadays, vestige of the blew-away top.

ay, 6th, 1954, 11 PM: Nguyễn Hữu An, commander of the 174th regiment, 316th division, ordered the last attack on the Éliane-2 height (Vietnam nomenclature: A1 hill). The hill ownership has been shifted from side to side many times during the past 55 days, on the Viet Minh side, a price of about 2000 deaths was paid for the area of 2000 m2 of the hilltop. Finally, a tunnel was digged into the hill foot, one ton of TNT explosive was placed in to blow up the whole fortification. The mine blast was starting signal for the ultimate assault into Điện Biên Phủ garrison, fate of the famous battle has just been decided.

May, 7th, 1954, 04 AM

Captain Pouget, from Éliane-2 called the commanding post on radio, asking for reinforcements, the situation was hopeless. Major Vadot, in an indifferent voice, told Pouget, like a professor trying to explain a hard problem to his student: Reinforcement? Be reasonable boy, we have no more such!. Then, he ordered Pouget to destroy the radio and defend to death. Suddenly, a voice intercepted on the wave, in French, the Viet Minh radio operator said: Hold the line, please! Gentleman, we invite you one piece of music: Le Chant des Partisants. Vadot listened to the whole song, then blew 3 carbine shots destroying the device.

Later the same day, May, 7th, 1945

Gia Lâm airport, Hà Nội, a certain French drunk soldier dragging his feet on the street, crying: Quoi? Điện Biên Phủ? C’est exactement: Tiens bien fou! (kind of French playing on words, literally translated into English as: What? Điện Biên Phủ? It’s exactly: should probably go mad there).