What "service" did Vietnam render during World War II, according to Ho Chi Minh's independence speech? How does he argue that Vietnam's independence aligns with the Allies' principles?

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By September 2, 1945, the forces of Imperial Japan had been defeated, largely by the United States with the assistance, as in Vietnam, of local insurgents. Ho Chi Minh was the leading public figure among the Vietnamese and of the Vietminh guerrilla movement opposing French and Japanese occupation. A communist revolutionary concerned primarily with the liberation of his country from French occupation, Ho sought to continue his anti-Japanese alliance with the United States but was confronted with French determination to reassert its control over much of what was called Indochina. In declaring the independence of Vietnam from French occupation, Ho first sought to emulate the ideals reflected in the U.S. Declaration of Independence from 1776. As with that seminal document from American history, Ho placed his declaration of independence for Vietnam within the context of the wrongs it had suffered at the hands of imperialist countries and the costs Vietnam had paid for its independence. In doing so, he emphasized the Vietnamese people’s long painful struggle against both French and Japanese imperialism. In emphasizing that struggle, Ho noted the difficulties and indignities inherent in being confronted by the imperial ambitions of not just one but two larger stronger powers:

“. . .our people were subjected to the double yoke of the French and the Japanese. Their sufferings and miseries increased. The result was that from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, from Quang Tri province to the North of Vietnam, more than two million of our fellow-citizens died from starvation. On March 9, the French troops were disarmed by the Japanese. The French colonialists either fled or surrendered showing that not only were they incapable of “protecting” us, but that, in the span of five years, they had twice sold our country to the Japanese.

Ho proceeded in his declaration to note the brutalities inflicted on the Vietnamese by the French, referencing the massacre of political prisoners carried out by the French occupiers, while holding out the opportunity to put such atrocities behind them and forge a new relationship with France from the position of a newly-independent nation. Ho’s declaration ends with a reaffirmation of Vietnam’s right to independence and the price it has paid for that right:

“The truth is that we have wrested our independence from the Japanese and not from the French. . .A people who have courageously opposed French domination for more than eight years, a people who have fought side by side with the Allies against the Fascists during these last years, such a people must be free and independent.”

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The original question had to be pared down, but I invite you to post the other questions separately because they are quite profound.

I think that one of the "services" that Ho Chi Minh directly mentions is assistance to the French.  As World War II advanced, conflicts between Japan and the French spilled over into Vietnam.  Ho Chi Minh addresses this by saying that as both nations battled for territorial supremacy, the Vietnamese Republic paid the price.  He argues that despite the fact that there was an increase in the "sufferings and miseries" of the Vietnamese people, they still assisted the French:

Notwithstanding all this, our fellow-citizens have always manifested toward the French a tolerant and humane attitude. Even after the Japanese putsch of March 1945, the Vietminh League helped many Frenchmen to cross the frontier, rescued some of them from Japanese jails, and protected French lives and property.

It is evident that Ho Chi Minh argues that the best way to acknowledge the efforts of the Vietnamese people is to accept their claims of self-determination.   

Ho Chi Minh frames the argument for Vietnamese sovereignty in the context of World War II.  He makes clear that the principles which motivated World War II also govern the issue of Vietnamese independence:

We are convinced that the Allied nations which at Tehran and San Francisco have acknowledged the principles of self-determination and equality of nations, will not refuse to acknowledge the independence of Vietnam.

A people who have courageously opposed French domination for more than eight years, a people who have fought side by side with the Allies against the Fascists during these last years, such a people must be free and independent.

Ho Chi Minh asserts that if principles like self-determination justified American entry into World War II, then they can be applied to the case of Vietnamese freedom. He argues that if the Allies stood up to Fascism in the name of a nation's right to embrace self-determination, then the independence of Vietnam should be guaranteed.  In referring to the Tehran conference and Treaty of San Francisco, he appeals to the Allied assertions which ended fascism, a reality he would like to apply to the case of other nations controlling Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh opens his speech with direct quotations from Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.  In his mind, the issue of Vietnamese independence is as clear as the Colonial cause for freedom from the British.

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