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Though it was an absurd claim, American fears of subversion reached paranoid proportions as real Soviet agents were uncovered in the United States. As a consequence, elected and appointed officials were subject to loyalty oaths and background checks, and some innocent people were driven from the State Department and the Foreign Service merely for being suspected of being disloyal. By 1950 the American global perspective was that of a bipolar world — communist and anti-communist—and one that did not allow for local complexities and ambiguities such as existed in Vietnam.

When he sailed from Vietnam in 1911, he would not see his homeland again for thirty years. Ho's shipboard experiences carried him to British India, French North Africa, France, and, in 1913, the United States of America. He visited the seaports of Boston and San Francisco, and he left the sea for a time to settle in Brooklyn, New York. During his sojourn in America, he ventured into black Harlem, observed the American attitudes on race and class, and 16 | America's War in Vietnam acquired a working use of Americanized English.

As more and more French troops occupied Haiphong and Hanoi, General Vo Nguyen Giap, both commander of the VMLA and leader of the DRV's government in Ho's absence, alerted Ho by coded cables to the fact that French military action was imminent. In October, Ho's tedious and unproductive talks with the French government collapsed and his delegation returned to Hanoi. By November the proximity of Viet Minh and French forces in the Red River delta had raised tensions between them to the breaking point.

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Armor in Vietnam

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