Talk:Viet Cong

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Grammatical error in second paragraph: 'ferment' should be changed to 'foment'[edit]

Suggest changing first sentence of second paragraph from:

North Vietnam established the National Liberation Front in 1960 to ferment insurgency

to:

North Vietnam established the National Liberation Front in 1960 to foment insurgency

Unless they were making alcohol.

Requested move 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Clear consensus, also when the perennial sockpuppetry of a community banned user is ignored. Favonian (talk) 16:08, 12 October 2013 (UTC)


Viet CongNational Liberation Front (Vietnam) – Viet Cong is pejorative colloquialism for the NLF used by American soldiers and the Saigon regime and newspapers (see Viet Cong#Names and also History.com). It would be more NPOV to use the official name of the group as the article title as well as in the article itself. This is in line with point #2 of WP:POVNAME. The name could be either "National Liberation Front" (NLF) (short for "National Liberation Front for South Vietnam"), or it could be "Liberation Army of South Vietnam". I suggest "National Liberation Front" as that seems to be the most commonly used NPOV term (used for example on Encyclopædia Britannica and History.com), and is also precise, in line with WP:PRECISE. Revlurk (talk) 14:54, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Support, WP:COMMONNAME should not be used to promote pejoratives. FNL was predominately labelled as 'Viet Cong' in American news media, but English Wikipedia isn't an exclusively American encyclopedia. Searching FNL OR NLF Vietnam gives 146,000 book results, so this is hardly a fringe name. Doing a quick glance of the results compared with googling 'Viet Cong', I'd say that the the former gives more academic and less US-centric results. --Soman (talk) 15:21, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposed title should be either Liberation Army of South Vietnam or National Liberation Front for South Vietnam. This is not the National Liberation Front for Vietnam, but for south Vietnam, the only part that needed liberating. Indeed, if we go with the proposed title, aren't we casually affirming American propaganda that the NLF was just an arm of the PAVN? If we go with the more formal titles I've suggested, aren't we affirming communist propaganda that the NLF was an indigenous southern insurgency? Let's just stick with the common term we've got: Viet Cong. Srnec (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Natural disambiguation is preferred over parenthetical. Viet Cong does that job just fine; I'd be happy with one of the suggested alternatives if they're actually backed by more strong sources and if we can resist the urge to glue some brackets onto the end of it. bobrayner (talk) 16:59, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per Revlurk. Zocky | picture popups 19:36, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The term Viet Cong/Vietcong is certainly more common than "National Liberation Front", as you can see from this ngram. Britannica is being misrepresented in the nomination. Their main article on this subject is titled "Viet Cong". The NLF article describes the Viet Cong as the NLF's "military arm." I don't see any reason to consider the name "Viet Cong" to be pejorative, and Britannica certainly doesn't describe it that way. The name suggests that the group was communist, but that is hardly a controversial claim at this point. As far as what they called themselves, they had many names. When they were first organized in 1954, they were the "Saigon-Cholon Peace Committees". After 1969, they dropped NLF and switched to "Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam." In military terms, there was a single communist army with commanders who reported to Hanoi. Modern Vietnamese writing normally drops the North/South distinction -- everyone is described as "PAVN" or whatever. Epaminondas of Thebes (talk) 21:53, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment: This comment explains why the move is necessary. What by your standards is this mysterious 'Viet Cong'? In this comment the armed movement, united front movement and government structure are conflated into one and the same. Using the actual names of actual organizations/entities helps the reader to navigate and learn (as opposed to reaffirming popular misconceptions). --Soman (talk) 23:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
      • Aren't we talking about what to call the military forces? Or do you see NLF/PRG as some offices in Hanoi and Cambodia? Epaminondas of Thebes (talk) 01:01, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
        • The current state of the article states "The Viet Cong (Việt cộng (About this sound listen)), or National Liberation Front, was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War (1959–1975), and emerged on the winning side. It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory it controlled." In you scroll further down to the "Names" section the confusion is total (including the somewhat bizarre claim that "Although the NLF was not officially abolished until 1977, the Viet Cong no longer used the name after PRG was created". So what we perhaps, rather than a move discussion, should discuss would be to separate between the political organization (i.e. the united front, i.e. NLF/FNL) and the armed forces (Liberation Army of South Vietnam). In any case the label 'Viet Cong' is unhelpful as article title (like 'Khmer Rouge' which is another case...) as it is a derogatory label applied broadly to smear opponents (both military and civilians) of the Saigon government. --Soman (talk) 01:58, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
          • There already is an article for PRG, which is exactly the same organization as NLF, except that the name was changed. If you want to write a separate article on the NLF, that's fine with me. FNL? You think this group should get a French name? Epaminondas of Thebes (talk) 02:36, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
            • PRG was not the same 'organization' as NLF/FNL, PRG was a state that sought diplomatic recognition on the international scene (with ambassadors, ministers, etc.). NLF was a united front. FNL was the French name of NLF, and was commonly used internationally at the time. Having two separate articles for NLF and the Liberation Army would make some sense, but having separate articles for NLF and 'Viet Cong' would just confuse as VC was the label applied to both NLF civilian and military structures in the Saigon/US propaganda. --Soman (talk) 03:54, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Thebes, and if you wanted the US name, it'd be "Charlie" -- 76.65.129.3 (talk) 22:12, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Viet Cong" is the most common name in English, including British English, and we use the common name in English even when some consider it offensive; see the etymology of Apache or Slav. If you think that the subject shouldn't be called "Viet Cong", just convince English speakers to use some other name and Wikipedia will follow them. 168.12.253.66 (talk) 18:43, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Offensive or not, this is the common name amongst English speakers. If it's offensive to some, then that is a suitable topic for the article. But giving it a different name so that most readers end up going through a redirect to find it is silly. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 19:03, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Oh come on, WP:COMMONNAME makes it perfectly clear what the name should be. Common name. Whether this title may be offensive or not, it is overwhelmingly the common name throughout the English-speaking world. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:29, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Neutral - although the South-Vietnamese/American title is problematic, the offical name is mainly restricted to academic sources and requires "of South Vietnam" not to be ambiguous. Irrespective, the lead sentence in article body does need to put the official name first, I have reversed the order as follows: The National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam), known to the South Vietnam government as the "Việt Cộng" . In ictu oculi (talk) 17:26, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't see other articles done this way. Italy is "Italy...officially the Republic of Italy." A six-pack of whupass (talk) 14:59, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – I think Viet Cong is common among English speakers, and the proposed name in this case would be overly pedantic. --Article editor (talk) 01:20, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:TITLECHANGES. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 10:46, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the current title is the clear WP:COMMONNAME. The opening should of course be reverted to correspond with the title, assuming this article stays where it is. A six-pack of whupass (talk) 06:24, 12 October 2013 (UTC) !vote by sockpuppet of community banned user struck. Favonian (talk) 15:16, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Post-close comments[edit]

I am currently reading STREET WITHOUT JOY by Bernard Fall. I quote from the book; "...the National Liberation Front military forces —on our side they are being referred to as Viet-Cong, a disparaging term for "Vietnamese Communists"..." [1] I consider Bernard Fall to be a definative, expert source, as he was in Vietnam as a journalist with first the French, and the then the U.S forces. He was an expert on all political and military aspects of the war. I have read elsewhere in the same book, and in sources by other authors, that the term "Viet Cong" was a propaganda term used as a pejoritive by the French, the Americans, and their minions in Vietnam. The use of the term "Viet Cong" clearly represents a point of view, though it is probable that many who do so don't realise that. I also remind the editors that one does not look for an entry/article on the Wehrmacht under "Heinie", "Boche", "Jerry", or "Kraut". Anthony Gumbrell 16:24, 25 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tonygumbrell (talkcontribs)

I agree. Viet Cong is an insult. Gob Lofa (talk) 03:46, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
User:Tonygumbrell, interesting, a shame your comment didn't come up top when the RM was opened. Bernard Fall does clearly state it is a disparaging term. User:Gob Lofa yes vi.wp (article vi:Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam) attributes the term to Ngô Đình Diệm Tổng thống đầu tiên của Việt Nam Cộng hòa Ngô Đình Diệm đã phổ biến cụm từ Việt Cộng để chỉ những người "Cộng sản Việt Nam". I note that http://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q174423#sitelinks-wikipedia shows the official name being used by most other large wikis. fr:Front national de libération du Sud Viêt Nam. But a lot of these wikis have no WP:COMMONNAME equivalent rule. The question would be whether there are enough Bernard Fall type sources in English to make it not WP:OR in English that "Việt Cộng" is pejorative. We generally don't name movements by pejorative names. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:51, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, source 8 in article William S. Turley The Second Indochina War 2008 does clearly say "The term Viet Cong, originally a contraction of Viet gian cong san (Communist Traitor to Vietnam), was a pejorative label ..." which supports User:Soman's first comment about WP:COMMONNAME above. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:02, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone know how long we must wait until another vote can be taken?Gob Lofa (talk) 23:17, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Rule of thumb is generally six months. Collect (talk) 23:24, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
See you all in April. Gob Lofa (talk) 14:14, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
And two months will never fly -- try again August. Collect (talk) 14:20, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Two months from the vote (finished October 12) would have been December. Six months gives you April. August is a full ten months after the vote. Will that fly? Gob Lofa (talk) 10:20, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
User:Gob Lofa. I agree it's time to review this. However a new RM must very clearly show (1) a print source Google Book evidence that "Viet Cong" is a loaded/biased/rude term, (2) cite the relevant titling guidelines that we do not use rude/offensive titles such as Gypsies for Romany. I'm not 100% sure where that guideline is located.... but it does exist... In ictu oculi (talk) 11:55, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 December 2013[edit]

Please replace the current "Infobox war faction" code at the start of this article with the following, which attempts to present the infobox's information in a more organized way. (To see the result, remove the <pre> and </pre> tags.)


{{Infobox war faction
|name = {{resize|120%|Viet Cong}}
|war = the [[Vietnam War]]
|image = [[Image:FNL Flag.svg|250px|Flag of the Viet Cong (FNL)]]
|caption = The flag of the Viet Cong, adopted in 1960, is a variation on<br/>{{raise|0.5em|the [[Flag of Vietnam|Flag of (North) Vietnam]]. {{lower|0.5em|<ref>{{cite web |url=http://flagspot.net/flags/vn-vcong.html |title=National Liberation Front (Viet Cong)}}</ref>}}}}
|active = 1954 – 1976
|ideology = {{unbulleted list |[[Communism]]{{·}}[[Marxism–Leninism]] |[[Left-wing nationalism|Left-wing]] and Vietnamese [[nationalism]] |[[Ho Chi Minh Thought]]{{·}}[[Anti-revisionism]]}}
|clans = {{unbulleted list |{{longitem|style=line-height:1.3em|National Liberation Front for Southern Vietnam (NLF)}} |{{longitem|style=line-height:1.3em|[[Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam]] (PRG)}} |{{nowrap|[[People's Liberation Armed Forces]] (PLAF)}} |{{longitem|style=line-height:1.3em|Alliance of National Democratic and Peace Forces}} |{{nowrap|[[Central Office for South Vietnam]] (COSVN)}}}}
|leaders =
{{center|'''PLAF Commander'''}} {{unbulleted list |Nguyễn Hữu Xuyến  {{smaller|(1961–63)}} |[[Trần Văn Trà]]  {{smaller|(1963–67, 1973–75)}} |Hoàng Văn Thái  {{smaller|(1967–73)}}}}
{{center|'''COSVN Party Secretary'''}} {{unbulleted list |[[Nguyễn Văn Linh]]  {{smaller|(1961–64)}} |[[Nguyễn Chí Thanh]]  {{smaller|(1964–67)}} |[[Phạm Hùng]]  {{smaller|(1967–75)}}}}
{{center|'''NLF'''<ref name="Burchett">Burchett, Wilfred (1963): "[http://www.marxists.org/archive/burchett/1963/the-furtive-war/ch05.htm Liberation Front: Formation of the NLF]", ''The Furtive War'', International Publishers, New York.</ref>}} {{unbulleted list |[[Nguyễn Hữu Thọ]]{{smaller|, chairman}} |[[Huỳnh Tấn Phát]]{{smaller|, vice-chairman<ref>Also general secretary.</ref>}} |Phung Van Cung{{smaller|, vice-chairman}} |[[Võ Chí Công]]{{smaller|, vice-chairman}} }}
{{center|'''PRG'''}} {{unbulleted list |Nguyễn Hữu Thọ{{smaller|, president}} |Huỳnh Tấn Phát{{smaller|, prime minister}} |[[Madame|Mme]] [[Nguyễn Thị Bình]]{{smaller|, foreign minister}} |Trần Nam Trung{{smaller|,<ref name="Trung">Possibly a pseudonym for [[Trần Văn Trà]]. {{cite news |title=Man in the News: Lt.-Gen. Tran Van Tra |url=http://www.osaarchivum.org/files/holdings/300/8/3/text/38-1-104.shtml |date=February 2, 1973}}</ref> defense minister}} |[[Trương Như Tạng]]{{smaller|, justice minister<ref>{{cite web |first=Dr. Ernest |last=Bolt |publisher=[[University of Richmond]] |url=http://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~ebolt/history398/PRG(1969-1975)TVT.html |title=Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (1969–1975)}}</ref>}} }}
|headquarters = {{unbulleted list |[[Memot District|Mimot (Memot), Cambodia]] {{small|(1966–72)}} |[[Loc Ninh]], [[South Vietnam]] {{small|(1972–75)}}}}
|area = [[Indochina]], focused on [[South Vietnam]]
|strength = |partof = 
|previous = [[Viet Minh]]
|next = [[Vietnam Fatherland Front]]
|allies = {{hlist |[[North Vietnam]] |[[Soviet Union]] |[[China]]}}
|opponents = {{hlist |[[South Vietnam]] |[[United States]]}}
|battles = {{nowrap|''[[Vietnam War (lists)#Major battles of the Vietnam War|List of major battles of the Vietnam War]]''}}
}}

Thank you, 213.246.83.192 (talk) 19:34, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Partly done: thanks for these improvements. I've made the changes you suggested to the leaders list and the headquarters section, as these seem to be improvements at no cost. I've left the others, because somewhere along the line, at least with larger text size choices, it makes the infobox wider (and therefore the lead text narrower). Not that I object to that personally, but I'd rather wait for consensus. --Stfg (talk) 16:18, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Nguyen Huu Tho conflicting status as a communist[edit]

Under the heading "Relationship with Hanoi, the final sentence reads "NLF Chairman Nguyễn Hữu Thọ was not a communist.[23]" Nguyễn Hữu Thọ according to historians (even the Wikipedia [2] article about him) cite him joining the Communist Party in 1949. He held various positions in communist controlled government particularly after it was unified. I am not questioning the source (footnote #23 "Karnow, p. 693.") only the validity of the statement. It seems to me that he was verifiably a communist. I suggest rewording this statement to reflect a more historically accurate approach. If we want to include the citation (footnote #23) then we need to amend the statement. Correct me if I'm wrong, I just see a conflict of historical references here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Achimmer (talkcontribs) 05:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Neither of the two sources used for Nguyen's article in Wikipedia say he was a Communist and one of them (Saigon) says the Communists met with him and others, suggesting he was not a member. His biography in The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, pp. 825-826, says he "never officially joined the Communist Party".[1] Can you provide any source that says he joined in 1949? TFD (talk) 06:23, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Why does Nguyễn Hữu Thọ wikipedia article say as much? According to the page he joined the community party is at the opening sentences of the article (in the late 1940's) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyễn_Hữu_Thọ. It cites an interview with him. (Citations aside, you can't hold important political office in Vietnam without being in the communist party leadership.) Achimmer (talk) 03:38, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not why the article says that, and the source does not support it. And yes, one could hold high office in Vietnam without being a member of the Communist Party. Even if one could not, you would need a source saying that he was a member. TFD (talk) 05:12, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

He was chairman of the NFLSV Presidium [2] which was described as the political arm of the Viet Cong. [3] appears to meet WP:RS ( A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives By Michael H. Hunt; 256 pages; Publisher:University of North Carolina Press Place of publication:Chapel Hill, NCPublication year:2010) and states The US now respects the Party and Government in Vietnam led by President Ho, respects the NLF led by President Nguyen Huu Tho [a French-educated lawyer and secret member of Vietnam’s Communist Party]. where the bracketed claims are made by the author in an RS source. [4] states "he would later join the party" which appears also to meet WP:RS. ( The Second Indochina War: A Concise Political and Military History William S. Turley; Rowman & Littlefield, 2009; 301 pages ) I suspect other sources might well be found as well. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

The National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NFLSV) was not tthe Communist Party, rather the Party was part of the Front. The Front contained other groups and parties such as the Democratic Party and the Socialist Party. The fact that Tho was reported to have said he would later join the party is not evidence that he ever did, but is evidence I do not think you can say someone was a member of the Party when there are reliable sources that say he was not. Also, what period of time is your source referring to when it says he would later join the party? Was it before or after 1949, the year claimed? TFD (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I point out that we now have two reliable sources for him being a member of the Communist Party. The second source does not give a precise date, and I suspect the precise date does not need to be "proven" by any Wikipedia editor, all we do is see what the reliable sources state, and it appears that we have at least two making the claim. As to "conflicting sources" the normal Wikipedia requirement is that we say
"some named sources say he was not a member, while other named sources state that he was, indeed, a member."
At least that is how I read WP:RS and WP:NPOV. Collect (talk) 20:48, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not think npov applies, he either was or was not a member of the party. If the Turley source does not say when he joined the party, it is not helpful to the article, because the article merely says that he was not a member of the Communist Party when he was the leader of the Viet Cong. When sources disagree on facts, it is usually better to determine whether there is a dispute about the facts or whether a source is in error. You can look at the source Turley used and see if it supports his claim. The source is The anti-U.S. resistance war for national salvation 1954-1975, publ. by the War Experiences Recapitulation Committee of the High-Level Military Institute, trans. by Foreign Broadcast Information Service (Hanoi: People's Army Publishing Houses, 1980, pp. 45-46. Incidentally your first source does not say he was a member of the Communist Party, merely that he was a member of the Vietcong. But this article does not question that, it says he was the leader of the Vietcong. TFD (talk) 22:14, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
We have RS sources making both claims. It is not up to use to determine the "truth" - it is our task to represent all views accurately and properly sourced. I gave three sources - of which two, as I mentioned, specifically stated that he was a member of the party. The third is an interesting view on your part ... "Cong" means "communist" in Vietnamese. ( cộng sản ). Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Viet Cong is the name the U.S. gave them, they called themselves the "National Liberation Front for South Vietnam." A front is a group of Communists and others joined in a common objective. Since you have no source that contradicts what this article says, that Nguyen Huu Tho was not a member of the Communist Party when he was head of the Viet Cong, I do not see what the problem is. I have an rs that says Obama was born in Kenya, a newspaper article published when he was elected senator. It would be tendentious to include it in his article as one view about where he was born, because it is an obvious error. And no you have not provided three sources that he was a member of the Communist Party, you have provided only one. TFD (talk) 23:49, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Funny -- I have known Vietnamese who said it was the name used in Viet Nam. And that "cong" means "communist" in Vietnamese. Can you give me a reliable source which says cộng sản does not mean "communist" in Vietnamese? I would live to see your alternate etymology. With a reliable source to back it up. Collect (talk) 00:13, 22 January 2014 (UTC) BTW, the Obama reduction comment is unworthy of any comment. We have multiple reliable sources found in a major academic search in the case at hand, not a small Kenyan newspaper which is not RS by Wikipedia standards for much of anything. Collect (talk) 00:15, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────See Painful Choices, p. 121, "The NLF was a political umbrella group that included noncommunist nationalists opposed to the southern regime, but that the communist party controlled. Diem took to deriding it as the Viet Cong San, or "Vietnamese communists," and in American parlance "Viet Cong...."[5] TFD (talk) 01:22, 22 January 2014 (UTC)/books?id=k6VJbfckQAkC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA121#v=onepage&q&f=false] TFD (talk) 01:22, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ STREET WITHOUT JOY (First SCHOKEN PAPERBACK edition 1972 Third Printing 1975
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyễn_Hữu_Thọ