The column “The POWs Speak,” by Jed Babbin, which first ran in the April 2004 issue and was published on your website September 7, presents a quote that Mr. Babbin says is from an essay by General Vo Nguyen Giap, about the contribution of the anti-war movement to the Communist victory in Vietnam.
The quote does not come from any essay by Giap; it comes from an essay “The Fall of Washington,” written by an American named Danny Schechter.
Look at the words. When General Giap writes about the Vietnamese Communists, he calls them “we,” not “they.” That is why the essay from which Mr. Babbin thought this quote had come was titled “How We Won the War. The passage quoted, written by Schechter, calls them “they.”p>The confusion arose because when Recon Publications, an American outfit, decided to publish an English translation of the essay “How We Won the War,” by Vo Nguyen Giap and Van Tien Dung, it decided to include Schechter’s essay in the volume, as an introduction to the essay by Giap and Dung. The portion of the volume written by Schechter is from page 11 to page 19; the passages quoted above are on page 18. The portion of the volume written by Giap and Dung starts on page 21. br> — Edwin E. Moise br> Professor of History br> Clemson University /p>