I’ve never been able to find proof that Giap said that. I’d still like to find out if that came out of an interview with him. I didn’t find it in the book he wrote.
I don’t know if he said it or not, but it’s nonetheless true. Linebacker II hurt the commies, badly. It was a full-on, World War II scale saturation attack, and even though the first part of the campaign was poorly planned, resulting in lost aircraft and needless death, the campaign as a whole was a body blow to North Vietnam. By the time the last raid occurred (99 B-52s, plus a large number of tactical aircraft), Hanoi was on the ropes. We had leveled pretty much every logistical and industrial site in North Vietnam, including electric power stations, POL and petroleum storage, marshaling yards, freight terminals, warehouses, munitions dumps, dockyards, and so forth. A week or two more bombing at that level would have finished off the commies.
But Giap was a ruthless and brilliant General, and he would have been well aware that the reporting of the American media and the American domestic dissent it stoked was having an impact on American political decisions concerning the war, thus aiding his efforts.
With that in mind, even if Giap never uttered those exact words, or ever wrote them down somewhere, he would certainly see the truth in them, even if his own code of honor made it impossible for him to admit it.