Phoenix Program PSYOP Comic

This comic book, prepared and disseminated by U.S. forces in South Vietnam, presents the fictional story of "Mr. Ba," who informs the government where Viet Cong cadre are hiding in his village. The comic was part of a broad "psychological operations" offensive designed to increase the effectiveness of the Phoenix Program, a CIA-designed operation that resulted in the executions of at least 20,000 suspects.

Comic and translations courtesy of Douglas Valentine.

Mr. Ba's Family and the PHOENIX OPERATION

Mr. Ba and his family are presently living in Phong Thanh village. This village is actually part of the nationalist territory but is still infiltrated by a number of Communist elements; therefore, Phoenix leaders have taken military action against them. They received enthusiastic cooperation from the villagers. As a result of this, and through accurate information provided by local people, many Communist cadres have been arrested. These circumstances help you follow the story of Mr. Ba's family.

The cruel Communists kill innocent people again.

Following is the news: "This morning at nine a.m., a Lambretta was blown up by a Communist mine five kilometers outside Phung Hiep village. Two children were killed, three women wounded. The Communists continue to terrorize people!"

"Hello, sister Tu!"

"Why are you so late?"

"Hello, brother and sister. I am sorry I am late. I left early this morning, but we had to stop at the bridge because it was destroyed by a Communist bomb. We had to wait for the bridge to be repaired by a military engineering unit."

"Mr. Ba, you are asked to pay farm tax to the Liberation Front!"

"This year the crop is poor, but the Communists still collect taxes. It is a miserable situation. I have heard there is much security in Phung Phu village. There taxes are not collected by the Communists any more thanks to the Phoenix operation. I wonder why such an operation has not come to our village?"

"Perhaps because nobody provides them with information! This afternoon the Phoenix operation agents posted a notice at the intersection. I will go and see it tomorrow."

"What is new, my friends?"

"There are two dangerous Communist cadres hiding in our village."

Here are the two communist cadres sought by the Phoenix Operation. The wanted poster says: "Dear Compatriots, If you know the hiding place of the two above-named Communist cadres, please notify the national police or the armed forces. You will be rewarded, and your name will be kept secret."

Radio: "Compatriots, please help your government by providing information indicating the hiding place of two Communists, Ba Luong and Hai Gon. You will be rewarded, and your name will be kept secret."

"Did you hear that on the radio?"

"I knew it already. It is exactly the same as it has been posted on the wall at the intersection of the village."

"See, there are so many leaflets!"

"Honey, what do they say in those leaflets?"

"They are the same as those wall posters, as well as the announcements on the radio yesterday. The two Communists Ba Luong and Hai Gon are presently hiding our village in order to collect taxes. I am determined to report to the Phoenix Operation Committee because I know their hiding place."

"Where are you going so early?"

"I am going to the district headquarters to report about what happened last night."

"Dear Sir, the two Communists you want are hiding in my village. They are hiding in the house number 80/2 by my village boundaries. They only go out at night. If you succeed in arresting them, please keep my name secret!"

"Thank you, Mr. Ba, your name will be kept secret."


"Why are so many soldiers entering our village?"

"Perhaps they are conducting a military operation against the Communists in hiding."

"The two Communists are very dangerous. We can only have peace and security when they are captured."

"Ladies, do you know that the two Communists are captured? From now on our village will be secure. There will be no more assassinations or tax collectors. The Phoenix operation is very effective!"

"Mr. Ba, since the two Communists are captured, our village is at peace. Too bad they are in jail! If they returned to our side beforehand, it could have been better for them!"

"They are obstinate indeed. Had they returned like Mr. Thanh from Long Dien village, they certainly would have enjoyed the government's clemency. Mr. Thanh is now united with his family."

"Mr. Ba, you have some mail."

"I wonder who sends this mail?"

"Wait and see!"

"What does the letter say?"

Letter: "Dear Mr. Ba, Since you have helped the government by providing information and undermining the local structures of the Communists, you will be rewarded accordingly. You are invited to attend the coming meeting of the Phoenix Operations Committee to receive your award. Sincerely yours."

Poster: "Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, former guerrilla at Long Dien village, Gia Rai District, Bac Liey Province, has returned to the national side. He therefore is allowed to be reunited with his family."

Article: Counterinsurgency Comics
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