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Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Afghanistan that the United States, a foreign policy giant in the world, would keep an eye out for the "little guy" and was willing to help him if he got in a tight spot. It is difficult to conceive how much propaganda, rumor, and personal contact would have been necessary to get this message across in the absence of the airlift. Its impact was primarily symbolic. On the other hand, although the Berlin airlift had tremendously important symbolic effects throughout the world, one cannot say that its primary purpose was psychological. Once the Allied decision to stay in Berlin was made, the airlift became a necessity for circumventing the Soviet blockade.

In these kinds of physical operations it is extremely difficult to draw a clear line between a psychological operation and a military or economic one. But it is important to recognize that some desired changes in the apparent world can most effectively be provoked by a physical operation and that some of these techniques ought to be at the disposal of those responsible for psychological operation.

NOTES 1. W.E.D., "Operation ‘Magic Carpet',” A Psychological Warfare Casebook, edited by William E. Daugherty and Morris Janowitz (Bethesda, Maryland: Operations Research Office, The Johns Hopkins University, March 1958), pp. 337–342.



A person with prestige among members of an audience, or one who speaks with recognized

authority, has an advantage in persuasion. Age is one relevant factor to prestige in communication; older persons generally tend to be more influential than younger persons

advice, with some exceptions, is often sought from older persons. Age commands great respect in Vietnam. The aged are honored members of the family, the village, and society in general. Traditionally they are entitled to the best food, the best clothing, the best treatment, and deserve honor on all occasions. In old Vietnam elderly men invariably were the heads of their households. This great respect for the aged continues today to a large degree in the rural areas of South Vietnam. In the cities of the South young people are breaking away from family control. In North Vietnam Young people are being taught to turn against the family and parental authority.

Undoubtedly the most important force for harmony in traditional Vietnamese society-one which remains strong today-was family loyalty. Two song books were issued in 1966 in Hanoi-one is devoted to songs used by the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFLSV) and the other book contains songs sung in North Vietnam itself.

*Excerpts from “The Older Vietnamese as a Communicant,” JUSPAO Field Memorandum No. 27, October 4, 1966.


The first songbook is called “Liberating the South.” On a green cover the words “Vietnamese Songs" are written in Spanish, French, English, Chinese, and Russian. The majority of the songs used to "liberate the south" are understandably marches.

The first song in this book is dedicated to the NFLSV and called “Liberating the South.” It is described as the official song of the “South Vietnam Liberation National Front". The sentiment in this song is perhaps exemplified by a few quotes from the English words that North Vietnam has supplied for its English-language songsters. Among the words of the lyrics are such stout-hearted appeals as "together we advance resolutely... to annihilate U.S. imperialism . . . for so many years, our rivers and mountains have been divided." The writer of the lyrics takes pride in the geography of Vietnam and refers to the “majestic Mekong River" and the “glorious Truong Son range."

The song concludes with a refrain which calls upon the “heroic southern people" to rise up because "the sun is rising everywhere and we pledge ourselves to build our country and make it bright and lively forever." As will be noted, this song contains such propaganda themes as antiimperialism, a call for the unification of Vietnam, and pride in majesty of the nation. This song is a call to people in South Vietnam and makes no reference in the English lyrics to Communism or North Vietnam.

The next song in the book, not a march, is entitled “Uncle Ho's Voice".* The lyrics tell us of the tender voice from "beloved North Vietnam” that reaches South Vietnam, “our native land." Uncle Ho's voice is described as filled with love and bright as the morning sun. As the bringer of tremendous hope, Uncle Ho speaks with a dear voice, the voice of a tender mother. Quite understandably to certain groups of Vietnamese, perhaps, this voice penetrates deeply. Any singer of this song informs Uncle Ho that the South Vietnamese people are rising up against the wicked enemy and they are marching forward under the “national liberation flag” and that millions of people believe in “Him." Uncle Ho, presumably an atheist, might be surprised to know that Hanoi translators in the English lyrics thought it proper to use the capital letter denoting a Deity for the pronoun "Him" in referring to Uncle Ho.

The next two songs are called "The March of Liberation" and simply "The March.” These are what (the NFLSV) probably mean by people's songs, full of such popular gusto as "hatred makes us strong," "we go to kill the last of the Yankee imperialists,” “we sing songs of optimism, although our people are suffering too much,” but nevertheless "hatred is burning in our hearts."

**Uncle Ho" refers to Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnamese leader.

A song called “The Hour of Action" is apparently a battle chant. The lyrics say that the NFLSV cannot soften its hatred, that its soldiers must live and that the enemy must die, and that the "new wind from the five continents is supporting us in our just struggle.” It soars in fervor to say, "the revolutionary tide is surging, Rise up!"

"Spring at the Resistance Base" is a pastoral ballad of the guerrilla soldier who contemplates the songs of the birds, the bursting forth of the flowers, and the wind in the forest trees. He admits that he is homesick, but more important, he remains resolute in his determination to wipe out the enemy.

A song called “The Bamboo Spike" is a eulogy on the efficacy of bamboo spikes that draw the enemy's blood. This song is apparently designed for a chorale. There is a solo part, a part for all, a part for the men, and a final section that is described for “two bands.” The song seemingly requires one of the chorus to hold up a spike, for it says that “this spike is no doubt a bamboo spike ... it is the spike which yesterday killed the enemy who came and ransacked our village.” One solo part goes, “Brothers! Let's plant the long spike in the deep trap.” The chorus cuts in, “Long spike, short spike, everywhere spike, spike bristling upwards or planted in the deep trap.” The finale reasserts the theme: “This is the spike to kill the enemy and protect our village, Oh! bamboo spike!"

The girl heroine seems to be popular in Vietnamese song and story, and the NFLSV would not be without a heroine. A tune called "The Everlasting Song" is, according to its lyrics, the song of a girl from Quang Nam, a heroic South Vietnamese girl. The words go on to say, “Miss Van! Your song will last forever ... your heroism will be admired by generations to come ... the whole South Vietnam is aroused with indignation and sings your everlasting song.” The final line gives the heroine's name: "TranThi-Van, your name will live forever.”

"Jacket Making Song” is a panegyric to the dedication of the home front. The singer declares that whether it is bitter cold or sweltering heat, those at home will continue to make “jackets” so that their fighters will be resolute and kill the enemy. A third refrain goes: "Speed up your work, oh brothers and sisters." The jackets are said to clothe "the liberation fighters" and the home front wants to express hatred "in silk."

The last song of the NFLSV book is called “Longing for the Liberation Soldier.” This is a hymn to the greatness of one NFLSV fighter. It contains such lines as "I love the liberation soldier and miss him when he fleaves .. a liberation soldier is soon going to annihilate the U.S. imperialist ... all our people march to annihilate the enemy ... and make spike traps to defend our villages . . . for the day of reunification of all the people, north and south ... and all our people will live under the same roof.”

The foregoing song collection has been brought out, it is presumed, because the songs are the favorites of the NFLSV.

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The second book is devoted to songs sung in the North. It follows the same format, having on the cover the words “Vietnamese Songs" written in Chinese, Russian, French, English, Spanish, and of course, Vietnamese. The title of the book is Ready to Struggle, and on the blue cover is a drawing of a U.S. aircraft seen in a gunsight with its wing shot off and falling towards the earth, apparently an exemplification of the dedicated antiaircraft skill of the North Vietnamese antiaircraft unit.

The first song in the book is called “Ready to Struggle." It tells us to music that the people in the north are holding sickles, hammers, or pens in their hands, and they are vying with each other to boost production either in the fields or at construction sites. Like the NFLSV, their hearts are "filled with hatred” and all are anxious to deal deadly blows to the U.S. aggressors. The lyrics call for the transformation of pens into guns since only through struggle can the people grow up quickly. According to the song, the people in the north want to sacrifice their lives for the fatherland; they are unafraid of hardships and difficulties. The singer calls to North Vietnamese youths: “Let's rise up and defend our bright sky."

The second song is pep chant to antiaircraft and other weapons. It is called "Strike Them Accurately." Characteristic of this song is “Our sea is not their pond ... don't let them soil our air . .. shoot them down . . annihilate them . .. let us smash their aggressive scheme."

The first two songs are marches, as is the third, in which North Vietnam in song tells the south, “O South, We are Ready.” The lyrics point out that “the south is calling upon us, and at this call from you (the south) immediately will start to resist the enemy." The refrain goes: “Just a call from you and we will start to reach our native south."

In a more bellicose vein, is the next aria, “Ready! Fire!” The singer tells how Vietnamese antiaircraft units are smashing “U.S. piratical planes”, and how the whole north is "red with flags and soaked in sweat." The singer ends by declaring that the battery in the north is always ready to aim and fire at U.S. imperialists.

Among the North Vietnamese songs is one entitled “Cling to the Sea of Our Homeland." It is devoted not only to the defense of the sea but to the triumphs of the fishing industry. The lyrics begin by describing northern boats going out to sea and when they come back,"our boats will be full of fish." The boats will go "everywhere, pursuing the streams of fish to find things to make our life more joyful.” The lyric writer declares that the enemy tries to send over “a lot of spies,” but bearing deep in our heart our hatred, "we will force them to pay." In other words, no matter what happens, the message continues "defend our fatherland.”

“Quang Binh, O My Homeland" extols an aria. The lyrics laud the good rice plants there, a militia girl who acts as a sentry on the coast, and the songs of fishermen of the cooperatives "who share the sky and the sea and have a rich income.” Here also toil young women drying salt along the shore and woodworkers busy in the forests. The English version used the word “hallelujah" after various lines, but the hallelujah seems to follow no real pattern and is an odd choice for atheistic Communists. The song goes on to tell how mothers and sisters have sacrificed and saved rice to feed the troops. Although Quang Binh is the homeland of the narrator who will defend it because he loves it, he wants to send to the south his true feelings since someday “all will meet again in one home, the day of great victory."

North Vietnam has made a national hero of Nguyen Van Troi, who attempted to assassinate U.S. Defense Secretary McNamara, was caught, and executed in Saigon. A stamp has been issued in North Vietnam honoring Nguyen Van Troi and also a song entitled "Your Words Will Echo Forever." The lyrics say that Nguyen Van Troi, a worker of Saigon City, faced the enemy guns and is now known all over the world through words that echo "until Venezuela.” The song tells us that millions will follow the example of Nguyen Van Troi, who has become as "iron and steel” in the effort to kill the U.S. aggressors. The lyrics predict that Nguyen Van Troi's words “Long Live Vietnam” will echo forever.

"Starlights,” a love song, talks about the perfume of the night scent, lamps shining, and millions of stars in the sky. The homes in North Vietnam are described as warm with love, where couples may live in love, and where they have pledged to build more and more houses so that they can live in a homeland where one day there will be more songs of love. The singer thinks of home in the south and one day hopes to return there "when millions of stars will shine again to embroider the dark." The lyrics say, “O my sweetheart, we are separated by two zones and partition tears down our hearts,” but one day this will all be over.

The song "On Our Way Forward” is dedicated to construction of many kinds. The jungles will be turned into corn and rice fields; new sites will go up everywhere. In the past the singer has fought the enemy; he has fought by the banks of the Mekong River, but today he is standing on the banks of the Red River in North Vietnam, building a new nation that will be filled with joyful songs.

The last song in the book, "Wherever the Difficulties Are, There the Youth Will Be”, is a lyric in praise of young fighters. The words say, “We follow the path of revolution and we forget ourselves ... we are determined to fight, overcoming hardships, we advance to the future towards the bright society ... when the Party needs us we are ready ... wherever the difficulties are, there the youth will be." COMMENT

Not one of these 20 songs is devoted to peace. There are some nostalgic bits about the homeland, but nowhere (in the books) do any ... lyrics writers hope for peace except on North Vietnamese terms of total victory. The songs are bulging with Communist ideas of self-reliance; dependence on Party leadership; the glorious joys of construction, whether in town or on farm; and the intrepid qualities of Communist guerrillas.

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