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The Loyal Nationalism of The Great Honored Heroes of Viet-Nam
       The Nguyen Imperial Dynasty, and all of the patriotic People of Viet Nam, never had a more devoted friend than the nationalist leader Phan Boi Chau. Among all the revolutionary leaders he was known for his devotion to Vietnamese culture and loyalty to the Nguyen Dynasty, represented in his struggle by the honored prince, Marquis Cuong De. In his autobiography, Phan Boi Chau writes about his disagreement with the other noted revolutionary Phan Chu Trinh over the importance of the Nguyen Emperor:
      
"Thereafter, over more than ten days, he and I debated time and again, and our opinions were diametrically opposed. That is to say, he wished to overthrow the monarchy in order to create a basis for the
promotion of popular rights; I on the contrary, maintained that first the foreign enemy should be driven out, and after our nation's independence was restored we could talk about other things. My plan was to make use of the monarchy, which he opposed absolutely. His plan was to raise up the people to abolish the monarchy, with which I absolutely disagreed. In other words, he and I were pursuing one and the same goal, but our means were considerably different. He wished to start by relying on the French to abolish the monarchy, but I wished to start by driving out the French to restore Viet-Nam -- that was the difference."
      Phan Boi Chau was firm in the belief that Viet-Nam did not need to adopt foreign methods to improve the country, but to restore the freedom of the country under the traditional leaders in order to make Viet-Nam the prosperous and mighty country it had been during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang, before the start of colonial exploitation. The nationalism of Phan Boi Chau was not based on passing trends imported from other countries; his nationalism was scholarly, based on thoughtful reflection and a sincere devotion to the principles of his country and people.
      He was only following the example of an earlier nationalist leader, Phan Dinh Phung. His actions during the Can Vuong movement of H.M. Emperor Ham Nghi were a great inspiration to Phan Boi Chau and later nationalist leaders. However, the great Phan Dinh Phung had proven his loyalty and devotion much earlier. Upon the death of the famous poet-king, Emperor Tu Duc, the chosen successor was his nephew, Nguyen Cian Tong. When the regents enthroned Nguyen Duc Duc instead, Phan Dinh Phung protested the violation of the Emperor's wishes and was put under arrest. Later, when Emperor Duc Duc was assassinated Phan Dinh Phung was so outraged at the cruel treatment of the
monarch that he was exiled from court.
       When Viet-Nam was being dominated by the French, Phan Dinh Phung did not let his problems with the corrupt regents stand in the way of his loyalty to Emperor Ham Nghi and his patriotism to free his country. When the "Save the King" edict was issued, Phan Dinh Phung quickly formed an army to fight against the French for the freedom of his country and the dignity of his emperor. His troops were known as the most well trained and disciplined of all the forces loyal to Emperor Ham Nghi. Even when the regents had fled, and the emperor was captured and sent into exile, Phan Dinh Phung refused to give up the struggle and fought bravely on until his death by disease. His heroism set an example for all generations to follow: loyalty to his traditional leader and devotion to the freedom of his country.
      More loyal patriots were to rise up during the struggle against the Communist VietMinh. After recognition was given to the free State of Viet-Nam under H.M. Emperor Bao Dai, the loyal and patriotic people formed the first modern 'National Army of Viet-Nam'. Chosen to lead the nationalist forces was the talented General Nguyen Van Hinh, who was a veteran of World War II, fighting alongside the Allies against the Axis forces in Europe. General Hinh was determined to beat the Viet Minh and adapted the army to pursue the Communist forces when they would attack and run away. He formed numerous light companies or Tieu Doan Kinh Quan (commando battalions), which were more effective than the larger unit organization used by the French vollunteers. They fought fiercely for the freedom of their country since
the Communists considered free Vietnamese forces even more dangerous and a greater threat to them than the French. Like all of the leaders of free Viet-Nam, General Nguyen Van Hinh was targeted for assassination by the Communist insurgents.
       However, Nguyen Van Hinh was not just a skilled general fighting to free his country. Like Phan Boi Chau and Phan Dinh Phung before him, he was also absolutely loyal to the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty and the person of Emperor Bao Dai. He supported the policy of national political consensus the Emperor worked for between the factions in South Viet-Nam. His army was a model of the hoped-for future of the country, including members of all the nationalities, factions and religions in Viet-Nam. He fought for the independence of his country and the sovereignty of Emperor Bao Dai until his removal in the political coup by the U.S. faction.
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