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« Forget Amnesty International’s ‘gulag’ shot, but are we treating detainees better or worse than we used to? | Main | One reason I don’t want anyone pulling the plug on me »

June 02, 2005

Comments

scott pham

right on!

Frank Warner

Imagine the most beautiful song.

Then imagine not hearing that song, not all of it at least, not with a full orchestra, not for an entire lifetime.

The Vietnamese know the song by heart, and yet they have never sung it.

The song is Freedom.

NGUYEN

Dear Mr. Frank Warner.
It is sad that it has been 33 years since the Vietnam peace accord was signed in Paris .Representatives of many super power countries also signed onto the peace accord as the honorary witnesses . But the peace agreement has became the big joke. The super powers became the one that set up the diplomatic relationship to the one that broke the agreement to nullify the prestige of all super powers that formally signed on the peace agreement at the watch of the whole world in Paris.For some thirty years this reality has challenged the normal way of trust and conflict settlement by sitting down to sign a soon becoming a non value piece of paper .I respect your comments and agree with you to request president Bush to show to Mr. Khai the value of the signature that represented the US of America 33 years ago on that peace accord .The silence of President Bush toward the Vietnam peace accord 33 years ago only meant that The US agreed with whatever communist Vietnam did and the US representative signature on that peace accord meant nothing .The Vietnamese people need to enjoy democracy and need to elect their government and leaders just like other people on earth.They desperately need Mr.President George w. Bush to help them to reach the above dream by requesting Mr.Phan van Khai,the politbureau member ,also the premier of the government of Vietnam to change its policy to respect people right to the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to choose their political leaders through freedom to vote and Vietnam has to abandon the dictatorship of one party ruler,to accept the opposition of political thinking of the other political parties to unify people in order to serve peace in the region and benefit all Vietnamese life. People do not have to be afraid of political unjust arrest.
Thank you for giving me a chance to comment . Your website is excellent.God bless you and your family.
Regards.
Nguyen.

Frank Warner

Nguyen,

This will be a test for President Bush. The Vietnamese Communists are looking for the same deal we unfortunately give China, while China keeps its people in slavery. Phan Van Khai is coming for business, money, and freedom-free membership in the World Trade Organization.

It's no surprise that Khai next week also will be visiting Bill Gates, whose company Microsoft is collaborating with the Chinese totalitarians to make the Chinese Internet a tool of propaganda and censorship.

When Khai meets President Bush on Tuesday, Bush should be as forceful with Khai on democracy and human rights as Bush was with Vladimir Putin. At least Putin has allowed presidential elections -- so far.

Dick Nguyen

Mr. Warner:
President Bush should remember the following:
1. North Vietnam never keeps its promises.
2. American business should not be naive about business opportunities in Vietnam. Vietnam rules by decrees not by laws.
3. The real power is in the Coomunist party, hence Mr. Khai does not have much power.
4. Mr. Bush should push for freedom of religions, fredoom of press and freedom of assembly and free elections.
5. Vietnam should fulfill its obligations with UN by fulfilling the Declarations on Human Rights.
Unless and until Vietnam has these, business is risky. Some Viet Kieu have risked their money and ending up in risking their lives in jail. D Nguyen

Frank Warner

With China, which has nuclear weapons, we have no choice except to "engage" in free trade that might eventually shake loose the totalitarian monster. That's the bet anyway.

We're gambling that China's dictatorship, at some point, will choose to free its people rather than loose its trade with the Free World. The trouble is, we've never seen this happen in real life. It could work, but it hasn't yet -- anywhere.

On the other hand, we don't have to trade with Vietnam. We certainly don't have to do Vietnam's dictatorship special economic favors while it imprisons dissidents, harasses religious minorities and refuses to hold free elections.

And in neither China nor Vietnam do we have to allow Microsoft to collaborate with the police state in developing new weapons of totalitarian repression.

Tarzan

Your great contributions to Democracy and Freedom of Vietnam will be regconized and appreciated by all vietnamese people in and outside of Vietnam

lt2hieu2004

Before you start talking about free elections in Vietnam. Maybe you should read more on Vietnam - America history.

(*) It was the American who supported South Vietnam to reject the Geneva Accord which called for unification and nationwide election in 1956. Instead, the American supported Ngo Dinh Diem to create a fraud election in which Ngo Dinh Diem won 97% of the votes against emperor Bao Dai to despose him.

(*) It was the American who refused to answer more than 10 letters from Ho Chi Minh asking for support on Vietnamese self determination & independence and instead started supporting the French effort to regain Indochina and thus betrayed their own ally in WW2 who helped rescue downed American pilots and fought against the Japanese.

(*) It was the American who created the second attack in the gulf of Tonkin incident to start war with North Vietnam. (As McNamara admitted in his documentary - The fog of war: 11 lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara).

(*) Ho Chi Minh asked the French to accept Vietnam as an autonomous state inside the French Union and thus a true democracy but the French refused and with the help of the American waged war on the Vietnamese. What would you do when you are in such a situation? Fight alone?? You must be very stupid if that is your decision. Aligning yourself with French & American enemies (USSR & China) seems like a much wiser choice to me.

(*) Most Vietnameses do not care about capitalism or communism. All they want is to be left alone. Most of my family fought against the French, Japanese, American, Khmer Rouge and the Chinese but they didn't do so because they believe in communism. In fact, most of them don't even understand communism fully. They fought because the South Vietnam government has betrayed all Vietnamese by letting foreign troops set foot in Vietnamese soil, they fought to protect their country.

(*) Without the support of the U.S government, the South Vietnamese troops all turned their back & ran away within a few weeks of war in 1975 instead of stand their ground to protect their country when the Vo Nguyen Giap expected the final offensive to take around 2 years. (North Vietnam defense minister & the man behind the tactics & strategies which defeated the French, American, Khmer Rouge & Chinese). Only the people who willing to die for their country are fit to rule it.

(*) When Vietnam invaded Cambodia to oust the murderous Khmer Rouge. The whole world (except USSR and a few eastern bloc countries) supported the Khmer Rouge, the American & British trained the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, the Thai provided a safe haven for the Khmer Rouge to retreat to. China invaded Vietnam in retaliation to this Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. All those nations supported the Khmer Rouge as the only legitimate government of Cambodia in the UN.

(*) The French started their colonisation process of Indochina in support of a French Christian missionary so please don't talk about "religious freedom" in Vietnam.

(*) The government of South Vietnam under Ngo Dinh Diem which is supported by the U.S government terrorised Vietnamese Buddhists which led to the self immolation of the rebellious monks of Hue. They never wanted to support religious freedom in the first place.

(*) It was the American & the British who supported and provided all mean of transportation and supported Nguyen Van Thieu in the final days of South Vietnam to steal 16 tons of gold from the bank of South Vietnam.

After all, if you are not Vietnamese or you are a Southerner who cowardly fled Vietnam and especially if you are a Chinese, American, French, Japanese, British or a citizen of any of those countries' allies then you have no right to judge Vietnamese or our government.

lt2hieu2004

I can see why some Vietnameses posted supportive comments to your view. Look at them, what a bunch of clowns. Vietnameses yet all but one of them use English names. The one that use Vietnamese name wished to be addressed by his surname, completely against Vietnamese culture. Vietnameses who don't respect culture and are not proud to be Vietnameses talking about Vietnam future. Ha, this is oh so funny. Before you start attacking me:

(*) No, I'm not living in Vietnam, I have been living oversea for half of my life (New Zealand & U.K). Spare me the "afraid of the government" bullshit.
(*) No, I have no relative in the Communist party. Spare me the "self-interest" bullshit.
(*) No, I don't have an English name. Sometimes I write my name as Hieu Dang because otherwise people will keep addressing me as Dang. My id used here is also fully Vietnamese from top to toes. lt2 = ltt which are the 3 initials of someone close to me. Spare me the "look at yourself" bullshit.
(*) No, I'm not a Communist. I'm leftist but by no mean a full-fledged Communist. Spare me the "promote your own political agenda" bullshit.

Freedom of assembly? Like the KKK?

Religious freedom? So the priests can start telling people not to use condoms and start an extermination by AIDS?

Freedom of press? Like when the U.S government refused to use radio scrambling devices to stop the Rwandan government to broadcast racist radio against the Tutsis despite the Tutsis were being murdered by the thoudsands?

Free elections? Like when the Western powers decided that the Hamas shouldn't rule Palestine despite that was the Palestinian wish?

Multiparty state? Like the U.S which allowed the American Nazi Party to be legal?

No extreme is good. Even extreme freedom. Freedom must always go side by side with control. That's why law is necessary. Vietnam is doing very well in between.

Don't use Vietnameses as a tool to promote your own political agenda. The only reason care about the government & politic is because it directly affects themself. As far as I'm concern, we have freedom while still able to live safely without worrying about terrorism, crimes, etc. Much better than life in the U.S I would say. Can't wait to the day I graduate to go back to Vietnam.

Frank Warner

The truth is right before your eyes, Hieu Dang. It’s been 31 years since North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon. How many free elections have the Communists held since 1975? How many free elections have the Communists ever held anywhere?

None.

You said:

(*) It was the American who supported South Vietnam to reject the Geneva Accord which called for unification and nationwide election in 1956. Instead, the American supported Ngo Dinh Diem to create a fraud election in which Ngo Dinh Diem won 97% of the votes against emperor Bao Dai to despose him.

President Eisenhower opposed an immediate North-South election in 1956 because the only well-known Vietnamese leader at the time was Communist Ho Chi Minh. Ho had killed or exiled all nationalist competitors, and Eisenhower feared the Communists’ usual tactic of "one man, one vote, one time." In other words, he feared that Ho would be elected, and then Ho would never allow another election.

Diem’s election was flawed. However, South Vietnam held two reasonably fair elections (considering the North Vietnamese were shooting at South Vietnamese at the time), and the South Vietnamese freely elected Nguyen Van Thieu twice.

You said:

(*) It was the American who refused to answer more than 10 letters from Ho Chi Minh asking for support on Vietnamese self determination & independence and instead started supporting the French effort to regain Indochina and thus betrayed their own ally in WW2 who helped rescue downed American pilots and fought against the Japanese.

First, it was the Americans who ultimately defeated the Japanese to evict them from Vietnam and most of East Asia. Truman and Eisenhower didn’t want the French to re-claim their colonies, but considering how the Communists were spreading the totalitarian ideology of European Karl Marx throughout Eastern Asia, the Americans hoped the French would at least stablize things, to set the stage for democracy, before they left.

You said:

(*) It was the American who created the second attack in the gulf of Tonkin incident to start war with North Vietnam. (As McNamara admitted in his documentary - The fog of war: 11 lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara).

It’s true that at least one of the two Gulf of Tonkin attacks (North Vietnamese against U.S. ships) didn’t happen. But it’s also true that North Vietnam was committing enough international crimes against South Vietnam that it would have been a matter of weeks or months before some other incident justified coming to the aid of South Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese already were sending troops and weapons into South Vietnam, but they always denied that. In fact, throughout the war, the North Vietnamese Communists repeatedly said they had no troops in South Vietnam. Look it up. Those were lies. The lies became clear in 1975. Those weren’t Viet Cong tanks rolling into Saigon. The Viet Cong didn't have tanks.

You said:

(*) Ho Chi Minh asked the French to accept Vietnam as an autonomous state inside the French Union and thus a true democracy but the French refused and with the help of the American waged war on the Vietnamese. What would you do when you are in such a situation? Fight alone?? You must be very stupid if that is your decision. Aligning yourself with French & American enemies (USSR & China) seems like a much wiser choice to me.

Once the French were out, Ho could have made clear a commitment to freedom and democracy simply by holding regular elections in North Vietnam. That gesture would have quelled fears that he wanted to be a dictator. But the fact is, Ho did want to be dictator. And he never held an election. He never allowed North Vietnam a day of freedom. He proved Eisenhower right.

You said:

(*) Most Vietnameses do not care about capitalism or communism. All they want is to be left alone. Most of my family fought against the French, Japanese, American, Khmer Rouge and the Chinese but they didn't do so because they believe in communism. In fact, most of them don't even understand communism fully. They fought because the South Vietnam government has betrayed all Vietnamese by letting foreign troops set foot in Vietnamese soil, they fought to protect their country.

By now, no sane human believes in Communism, but in the 1950s, 60s and 70s it was an attractive fantasy pushed by a few egomaniacs who believed they could lead whole nations without the people’s consent. To understand Communism is to understand fraud and oppression and murder.

The United States helped South Vietnam because we wanted to give at least half the Vietnamese people the same chance for freedom and democracy that we gave to half of Korea. I don’t have to tell you the obvious difference between North Korea and South Korea. One nation is a prison and dying. The other is free and prosperous. Guess which side the U.S. has been on?

North Vietnam was betrayed by Ho when he imported a foreign ideology of repression and then denied the Vietnamese one day of the "life, liberty and happiness" he talked about in 1945.

You said:

(*) Without the support of the U.S government, the South Vietnamese troops all turned their back & ran away within a few weeks of war in 1975 instead of stand their ground to protect their country when the Vo Nguyen Giap expected the final offensive to take around 2 years. (North Vietnam defense minister & the man behind the tactics & strategies which defeated the French, American, Khmer Rouge & Chinese). Only the people who willing to die for their country are fit to rule it.

Oh, is that right? Because the dictators won, they are virtuous? Might makes right? Well, read your history books a little more closely. The South Vietnamese gave up because they thought they soon would have no weapons to fight with. The U.S. Congress in 1975 abruptly denied an extra shipment of aid, and the decision was interpreted in South Vietnam as a cut-off of supplies.

That didn’t change North Vietnam’s obligation, under the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, to allow free and internationally supervised elections in South Vietnam, and all the other freedoms that accompany democracy. The Communists promised those elections in writing, whether or not the South Vietnamese kept fighting. Did the North Vietnamese lie (again)?

South Vietnam allowed free and public debates, and those debates allowed the South Vietnames to express doubts. Those public doubts were exploited by the North Vietnamese, and aided the Communist military advance. One advantage of a dictatorship is that the people may not question the dictators. No one in North Vietnam dared ask why they were fighting to spread represssion to the South. To ask a question like that would mean prison or death.

That is the dictator’s wartime advantage. The people may not express differrences of opinion. But that ultimately is to the people’s disadvantage. In a dictatorship such as the Vietnamese Communists', the repression of speech continues long after the war, and it stifles creativity and invention.

You said:

(*) When Vietnam invaded Cambodia to oust the murderous Khmer Rouge. The whole world (except USSR and a few eastern bloc countries) supported the Khmer Rouge, the American & British trained the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, the Thai provided a safe haven for the Khmer Rouge to retreat to. China invaded Vietnam in retaliation to this Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. All those nations supported the Khmer Rouge as the only legitimate government of Cambodia in the UN.

The United States did not "support" the Khmer Rouge and never directly trained them. Maybe some members had training before they joined the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge were Communist Cambodians, and they did what Communists usually do. They repressed their people, and murdered them in the hundreds of thousands. How many died in those Vietnamese Communist "re-education camps"?

When the Vietnamese Communists fought the Camdodian Communists, we Americans wanted both sides to lose.

(*) The French started their colonisation process of Indochina in support of a French Christian missionary so please don't talk about "religious freedom" in Vietnam.

By 1945, even the French supported religious freedom in Vietnam, and certainly the Americans did. The Communists never have supported religious freedom. First, it was an ideological matter to the Communists: Religion was a waste of time. Today, it’s no longer ideology. The Communists fear that if enough people join a religion, it will become a political competitor, and the members of that religion will organize to demand free elections and all other human rights.

The Communists’ attitude is Ho’s. Don’t allow competition. We are the dictators. We don’t want to give the Vietnamese people a choice.

You said:

(*) The government of South Vietnam under Ngo Dinh Diem which is supported by the U.S government terrorised Vietnamese Buddhists which led to the self immolation of the rebellious monks of Hue. They never wanted to support religious freedom in the first place.

It is true that Diem and his Catholic family showed an insensitivity toward the majority Buddhists of South Vietnam. That is one reason that President Kennedy approved the plan to remove Diem from power. (Diem was assassinated the same month that Kennedy was assassinated.) Kennedy wanted the South Vietnamese to find a leader everyone could trust in the struggle against Communism.

When the Communists took over South Vietnam, the discrimination ended. Both Buddhists and Catholics were terrorized.

(*) It was the American & the British who supported and provided all mean of transportation and supported Nguyen Van Thieu in the final days of South Vietnam to steal 16 tons of gold from the bank of South Vietnam.

After all, if you are not Vietnamese or you are a Southerner who cowardly fled Vietnam and especially if you are a Chinese, American, French, Japanese, British or a citizen of any of those countries’ allies then you have no right to judge Vietnamese or our government.

Thieu might have made off with 16 tons of gold, I don’t know. But I do know that the North Vietnamese Communists stole something much more important from the South Vietnamese: Their only chance to establish a free country in the 1960s and 1970s.

I have every right to judge your government, just as you have every right to judge mine (and I notice you do). More importantly, the Vietnamese have every right to choose their own government.

Both North and South Vietnamese have the right of free elections under the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The South Vietnamese have the additional legal claim to democracy under the 1973 Paris Peace Accords.

When will Vietnam begin holding free, fair and regular elections? When will the Vietnamese liberate themselves from their Communist oppressors?

Frank Warner

Answering Hieu Dang's later comments:

Freedom of assembly? Like the KKK?

No reasonable person admires the KKK, and very few Americans attend KKK rallies. Those rallies are allowed because if the government could ban all the demonstrations it didn’t like, the government might ban all demonstrations except the ones that praise the government. That might work well for Communists and Baathists. It doesn’t work in a free country.

Religious freedom? So the priests can start telling people not to use condoms and start an extermination by AIDS?

You’re over the top now, Hieu Dang. I doubt there’s one Catholic or Christian nation on Earth that doesn’t allow the sale of condoms. In matters of life and death, free people listen to many authorities and experts, not only to their priests and ministers.

Communists aren't helping you by repressing religion. The Communists ban religion or take total control over religion because they want to protect the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.

Freedom of press? Like when the U.S government refused to use radio scrambling devices to stop the Rwandan government to broadcast racist radio against the Tutsis despite the Tutsis were being murdered by the thoudsands?

A lot of nations could have helped the Tutsis in Rwanda and did not. What did Vietnam do to help?

A free press helped reveal how the whole world abandoned Rwanda, and how the U.N. "peacekeeping" force was guilty of dereliction of duty.

Free elections? Like when the Western powers decided that the Hamas shouldn’t rule Palestine despite that was the Palestinian wish?

Hamas can exercise its authority on its own. No one is stopping its lawful actions. However, Hamas cannot expect active support from democracies while it calls for the destruction of a democracy. Besides, Palestine is not yet a nation.

Multiparty state? Like the U.S which allowed the American Nazi Party to be legal?

Just how many people do you think belong to a Nazi Party in the United States? It’s almost no one. Fortunately, few people are that hateful. But why are all political parties allowed as long as they obey our laws? They are allowed because if the government can ban one party, the government can ban them all, and we would end up with a single-party dictatorship like Vietnam’s, with no choice, no elections, no freedom.

lt2hieu2004

>>The truth is right before your eyes, Hieu Dang. It’s been 31 years since North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon. How many free elections have the Communists held since 1975? How many free elections have the Communists ever held anywhere?

None<<

I don't deny that. The question is who is the first one to be responsible for that and did the U.S and other countries who have always been talking loud about "freedom" (in their own terms) have anything to do with it.

>>President Eisenhower opposed an immediate North-South election in 1956 because the only well-known Vietnamese leader at the time was Communist Ho Chi Minh. Ho had killed or exiled all nationalist competitors, and Eisenhower feared the Communists’ usual tactic of "one man, one vote, one time." In other words, he feared that Ho would be elected, and then Ho would never allow another election.<<

Is that "free elections"? Ho Chi Minh was the only well known leader because he was the one who stood up and fought for his country freedom. Like it or not, he spent most of his life fighting against foreign aggressors (mostly the French) and 2 years after the victory at Dien Bien Phu, if anyone is suitable as leader of Vietnam, it must be Ho Chi Minh. That's exactly what I'm talking about, American always talk about "free elections" but the winner must always be chosen by them, not Vietnameses. What you said about "Ho would never allow another election" is purely speculation.

>>Diem’s election was flawed. However, South Vietnam held two reasonably fair elections (considering the North Vietnamese were shooting at South Vietnamese at the time), and the South Vietnamese freely elected Nguyen Van Thieu twice.<<

When Diem & his U.S master decided to reject the Geneva Accord, they forced North Vietnam into making one of the 2 possible decisions: to protest and allows the country to be partitioned indefinitely or to wage war to unify the country. For me, wage war is the correct decision to take. We didn't fight the Chinese for 2000 years and the French for more than 100 years just to let the American cut our country in half.

>>First, it was the Americans who ultimately defeated the Japanese to evict them from Vietnam and most of East Asia. Truman and Eisenhower didn’t want the French to re-claim their colonies, but considering how the Communists were spreading the totalitarian ideology of European Karl Marx throughout Eastern Asia, the Americans hoped the French would at least stablize things, to set the stage for democracy, before they left.<<

The American has no right to decide what ideology Vietnam was going to be run under. They don't have the right to decide for Vietnameses that Vietnam must once again become a French colony no matter what is the reason behind it all. Moreover, as I said before, in 1945 Ho Chi Minh presented the French with an option of accepting Vietnam into the French Union as an autonomous state and thus automatically a true democracy. The French with the support of the U.S government refused.

>>It’s true that at least one of the two Gulf of Tonkin attacks (North Vietnamese against U.S. ships) didn’t happen. But it’s also true that North Vietnam was committing enough international crimes against South Vietnam that it would have been a matter of weeks or months before some other incident justified coming to the aid of South Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese already were sending troops and weapons into South Vietnam, but they always denied that. In fact, throughout the war, the North Vietnamese Communists repeatedly said they had no troops in South Vietnam. Look it up. Those were lies. The lies became clear in 1975. Those weren’t Viet Cong tanks rolling into Saigon. The Viet Cong didn't have tanks.<<

Is that an "international crime" to try to unify your country? Did the Union commit "international crime" when they fought against the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War? Did the Russian commit "international crime" when they fought against the Chechen separatists? As far as North Vietnameses are concerned, there are no North Vietnam & South Vietnam, there is only one Vietnam and South Vietnam divided Vietnam with the help of a foreign power.

>>Once the French were out, Ho could have made clear a commitment to freedom and democracy simply by holding regular elections in North Vietnam. That gesture would have quelled fears that he wanted to be a dictator. But the fact is, Ho did want to be dictator. And he never held an election. He never allowed North Vietnam a day of freedom. He proved Eisenhower right.<<

This is a quote from MSN Encarta: "Many OSS agents informed the U.S. administration that despite being a Communist, Ho Chi Minh was not a puppet of the Communist-led Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and that he could potentially become a valued ally in Asia". Ho Chi Minh was also a target of Stalin's great purge when he was in Russia because Stalin considered him to be more nationalist than communist. Moreover, right after the declaration of independence in September 1945, Ho Chi Minh presented the French with an option of accepting Vietnam as an autonomous state inside the French Union, the French refused and in 1946, American warships ferried French troops into Vietnam. Whether the U.S decision was the right one or not strategically doesn't concern Vietnameses because it is wrong morally. We must be able to decide our own fate.

>>North Vietnam was betrayed by Ho when he imported a foreign ideology of repression and then denied the Vietnamese one day of the "life, liberty and happiness" he talked about in 1945.<<

North Vietnam wasn't betrayed by Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam was betrayed by the U.S when they took away our last chance to be an ally and instead started supporting the French who earlier took away our last chance to be a democracy by refusing to accept Vietnam as an autonomous state inside the French Union.

>>Oh, is that right? Because the dictators won, they are virtuous? Might makes right? Well, read your history books a little more closely. The South Vietnamese gave up because they thought they soon would have no weapons to fight with. The U.S. Congress in 1975 abruptly denied an extra shipment of aid, and the decision was interpreted in South Vietnam as a cut-off of supplies.<<

That seems like cowardice to me. They didn't even make an effort to fight just because the Americans were gone. It's not like they have no weapons. Moreover, listen to what your government said about South Vietnam government officials & the ARVN even before they left in 1973. Only people who are willing to die for their country are fit to rule it. In this case, it is definitely not the South Vietnamese politicians and their army.

>>The United States did not "support" the Khmer Rouge and never directly trained them. Maybe some members had training before they joined the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge were Communist Cambodians, and they did what Communists usually do. They repressed their people, and murdered them in the hundreds of thousands. How many died in those Vietnamese Communist "re-education camps"?<<

The U.S did support and directly train Khmer Rouge guerrilla after their ouster in 1979 (see State Terrorism and the United States, from Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism by Frederick Gareau). Even HRW has an article on this: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1989/WR89/Cambodia.htm.

>>By 1945, even the French supported religious freedom in Vietnam, and certainly the Americans did. The Communists never have supported religious freedom. First, it was an ideological matter to the Communists: Religion was a waste of time. Today, it’s no longer ideology. The Communists fear that if enough people join a religion, it will become a political competitor, and the members of that religion will organize to demand free elections and all other human rights.<<

To msot Communist countries, it might be true that "Religion was a waste of time". However, in Vietnam after 1945, this is certainly not the case. All of my family are devout Buddhists and fought against all foreign invaders from the French to the Chineses. (not me, I'm atheist). Moreover, life under French rule was not as good as you thought, in fact, in 1945, around 2 millions Vietnamese died in the famine of 1945 as a direct result of French policy in Vietnam. Moreover, as a French colony, there was racism in Vietnam against the native Vietnameses, just like what the black people have to go through in the U.S. I'm not talking about whether French or American support religious freedom or not, I'm saying Vietnam became a French colony and all of these things happened because of a Christian missionary.

>>I have every right to judge your government, just as you have every right to judge mine (and I notice you do). More importantly, the Vietnamese have every right to choose their own government.<<

No, you have no right to judge my government since Americans are the same people who poked their nose into Vietnam's affair uninvited. Americans are the same people who declined Vietnam a chance to be different. And Americans are responsible for millions of Vietnamese death even until this day (Agent Orange). Whereas I can judge your government because neither I, my government, nor any Vietnamese responsible for what the U.S has always been doing.

>>No reasonable person admires the KKK, and very few Americans attend KKK rallies. Those rallies are allowed because if the government could ban all the demonstrations it didn’t like, the government might ban all demonstrations except the ones that praise the government. That might work well for Communists and Baathists. It doesn’t work in a free country.<<

Like I said before, no extreme is good, even extreme freedom. What's the point of having law against racism when you can not even ban the KKK in the name of "freedom"? Freedom to be racist must be banned.

>>Communists aren't helping you by repressing religion. The Communists ban religion or take total control over religion because they want to protect the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.<<

I doubt you know anything about the current situation in Vietnam. Vietnameses are free to choose their own religion. But no new cult is allowed. Religions are also discouraged since kids are taught in school that there is no god. Moreover, in Vietnam, we are not forced to say something like "In God we trust" (Therefore declining atheists like me, pagans, etc. their religious freedom).

>>A lot of nations could have helped the Tutsis in Rwanda and did not. What did Vietnam do to help?<<

A lot of nations could have helped. Certainly not Vietnam, since we have just returned from 10 years of occupation of Cambodia. We are still have border skirmishes with China and in that same year China fought with Vietnam over the Spratly islands. We didn't have the resources, U.S is different, Americans were even asked by prominent Rwandan & the U.N peacekeeping force to scramble signals from those radio stations but they declined to help in the name of "freedom of press". (See the documentary: The Ghosts of Rwanda).

>>A free press helped reveal how the whole world abandoned Rwanda, and how the U.N. "peacekeeping" force was guilty of dereliction of duty.<<

I don't agree with your view that the U.N peacekeeping force was guilty of dereliction of duty. But that's outside the topic of discussion, so maybe another time.

>>Hamas can exercise its authority on its own. No one is stopping its lawful actions. However, Hamas cannot expect active support from democracies while it calls for the destruction of a democracy. Besides, Palestine is not yet a nation.<<

Whether Palestine is a nation or not, that's up to your view on the matter. However, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine plan was to create 2 independent lawful states inside the British mandate of Palestine, thus both countries are nations. I can't understand why you think Palestine is not yet a nation. Besides, have you ever though about what Palestinians are thinking. To a lot of Palestinians, there is no Israel, there is only Palestine soil occupied by the Jews.

>>Just how many people do you think belong to a Nazi Party in the United States? It’s almost no one. Fortunately, few people are that hateful. But why are all political parties allowed as long as they obey our laws? They are allowed because if the government can ban one party, the government can ban them all, and we would end up with a single-party dictatorship like Vietnam’s, with no choice, no elections, no freedom.<<

Like I said before, freedom must go side by side with control. Extreme freedom as to allow a racist organization like the American Nazi Party to be legal is unacceptable to me.

Nicholas

Like I said before, no extreme is good, even extreme freedom.

I don't agree. It's better to have too much freedom than too little.

"Freedom must go side by side with control"? Geez, that sounds scary. Count me out of your kind of "freedom". I don't want to be a bigot who says that people can't say what they think, even if they're idiots (and most people are).

Nicholas

OK, I thought about it a bit more. Absolute freedom may not be optimal. But the implication of the statement that "no extreme is good, even extreme freedom" is the suggestion that too much freedom is just as bad as too little.

It isn't. Too much freedom might mean living like in the Wild West, but I'd rather live in the Wild West than in a police state or under a thugocracy, any day.

But I don't think even that's the point. We will never allow Nazis to cause problems like they did back in the 30s and 40s. But that doesn't mean we have to punish people just because they want to call themselves Nazis. As long as they don't ACT that way, it's mostly irrelevant. If they start smashing windows or assaulting people I'm sure they won't get away with it any more than any other person who tries those kind of things.

Frank Warner

Still waiting for those free elections in Vietnam. When do the Vietnamese people get to choose their own way?

Eisenhower was right. Ho never held an election because Ho always wanted dictatorial power.

Very few South Vietnamese wanted a Communist government, and even these were misled to believe the Communists were committed to freedom.

The North Vietnamese only once had a choice in the matter of dictatorship versus democracy. In 1954 and 1955, when Vietnam was split, the North Vietnamese had a short period to vote with their feet. At that time, about 500,000 North Vietnamese (from a nation of 11 million) fled into South Vietnam. About 50,000 South Vietnamese moved North with the Viet Minh, Vietnamese Communists.

Ho Chi Minh himself had some popularity throughout Vietnam for opposing the French after World War II, but his totalitarian tendencies always were suspect. He was famous for quoting Jefferson’s "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" phrase on Sept. 2, 1945, but he never allowed a day of liberty in North Vietnam.

Ho had pushed aside Vietnam’s two real heroes of freedom. Phan Boi Chau campaigned for an independent and democratic Vietnam and, though he sought Communist aid in his cause, he was not the ideolog that Ho was. In 1925, Ho betrayed Phan and surrendered him to the French as an anti-French revolutionary. Phan was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. Nguyen Hai Than was a popular nationalist who saved Ho’s life in 1942 and co-founded the Viet Minh, which was not Communist at the start. In 1946, Ho’s armed thugs drove Nguyen into exile for the rest of his life.

"Uncle Ho" died in 1969, six years before the Vietnam War "ended." He had never been elected leader of North Vietnam.

The Viet Cong, successors to the Viet Minh, were the South Vietnamese who religiously swallowed the Communist propaganda and battled the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government. But this group of guerillas was a small minority. And as fate would have it, when the North Vietnamese army finally defeated the South Vietnamese army in 1975, the North Vietnamese gave their Viet Cong "allies" almost no voice in the newly expanded dictatorship. The Viet Cong were among the first to taste the political diet of dung in the greater Vietnamese police state.

Hanoi's Communists have continued Ho's tradition. Free, fair and regular elections are never allowed in Vietnam. The 1973 Paris Peace Accords require that the Hanoi regime allow free elections at least in South Vietnam, but the Communists have not met that obligation.

Is anyone surprised? Freedom is not what Communists do.

jj mollo

Ho Chi Minh was a personality cult more than a patriot. He was ruthless with all domestic competitors. He allowed routine atrocity in the South. No actions by France or the US could justify what he did to Vietnamese. People were not very brave in the face of the Mongol Hordes either, but even frightened people deserve to live free.

The part of communist ideology that encourages suppression of individuality still persists in Vietnam. Beautiful and wonderful people and customs were destroyed by the North. The free people who were not killed came to the US. They have done very well here.

The government has been unable to create much since the war. Corrupt and self-righteous officials suppress any independent thought, as do all authoritarian governments. I don't think the analogy that Americans draw with Korea is too far off the mark. Whatever good has happened in Vietnam comes from the tourist trade.

Remember this: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Ho Chi Minh was just a little Mao with a bad barber.

lt2hieu2004

>>Eisenhower was right. Ho never held an election because Ho always wanted dictatorial power.<<

>>The North Vietnamese only once had a choice in the matter of dictatorship versus democracy. In 1954 and 1955, when Vietnam was split, the North Vietnamese had a short period to vote with their feet. At that time, about 500,000 North Vietnamese (from a nation of 11 million) fled into South Vietnam. About 50,000 South Vietnamese moved North with the Viet Minh, Vietnamese Communists.<<

Quite wrong, when Vietnam gained independence from the French in September 1945. Ho Chi Minh negotiated with other major nationalist parties including the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang & Viet Nam Phuc Quoc Dong Minh Hoi, the provisional government was created with Ho Chi Minh as president & Nguyen Hai Than as vice president. In the general election scheduled for January 1946, 50 seats were reserved for VNQDD & 20 seats were reserved for VNPQDMH regardless of the result. Moreover, as I said over and over and over again but you decided to ignore, Ho Chi Minh presented the French & U.S with an option to accept Vietnam as an autonomous state inside the French Union and thus a democracy but the French refused and instead wanted their colony back and started reinvading Vietnam in October 1946. Moreover, this is another thing that I said before but you chose to ignore: Ngo Dinh Diem was the one who rejected the Geneva Accord in 1956. What you said about "Ho would win & never allow another free election" is unacceptable, you can not divide a country and abandon election altogether to set up a dictator (Ngo Dinh Diem) as the legitimate leader of a country just because you THINK something might happen. This is another kind of "American democracy", if Ngo Dinh Diem is popular and has a good chance of winning, American would have supported the election wholeheartedly, what's the point of having an election if only one candidate is allowed to win??

>>Phan Boi Chau campaigned for an independent and democratic Vietnam and, though he sought Communist aid in his cause, he was not the ideolog that Ho was. In 1925, Ho betrayed Phan and surrendered him to the French as an anti-French revolutionary.<<

Where did you get this information? All credible historical sources I have come through all tell the same story: the person who betrayed Phan Boi Chau was Nguyen Thuong Hien - Phan Boi Chau's secretary, Nguyen Thuong Hien aligned himself with the French colonists, NOT the Indochinese Communist Party. This is what Phan Boi Chau himself wrote about his arrest:

"I did not realize that every minute of my activities was being reported to the French by Nguyen Thuong Huyen, a man who lived with me and was supported by me. When this Nguyen Thuong Huyen first arrived in Hangchow, he was with Tran Duc Quy; I was quite dubious about him. But later I heard that he was a great-nephew of Main Son (Nguyen Thung Hien), well versed in literary Chinese, the holder of a cu-nhan degree and familiar with French and quốc ngữ. Owing to his capabilities, I kept him on as my secretary without suspecting that he was an informer for the French."

The point that I am trying to make is that the American & French presented Vietnam with 2 options: to be enslaved and once again become a French colony or to be independent under a Communist government. If it was me, I would have chosen independence.

>>The part of communist ideology that encourages suppression of individuality still persists in Vietnam. Beautiful and wonderful people and customs were destroyed by the North. The free people who were not killed came to the US. They have done very well here.<<

I'm not going to discuss about your "beautiful & wonderful people" because that I cannot be sure of as I don't have access to that kind of high profile information like you do. About the customs that were destroyed by the North, it is obvious that you don't know anything about Vietnam and have never been to Vietnam once to see for yourself. Tell me one Vietnamese custom that have been destroyed by the government.

>>The government has been unable to create much since the war. Corrupt and self-righteous officials suppress any independent thought, as do all authoritarian governments. I don't think the analogy that Americans draw with Korea is too far off the mark. Whatever good has happened in Vietnam comes from the tourist trade.<<

Once again, you showed your limited knowledge about Vietnam. The period between 1975 - 1989 is seen by everybody as a failure (even the Communist Party of Vietnam see it that way). After 1989, Vietnam has always been one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Vietnam is still a developing countries but is much better off than a lot of other democratic countries.

jj mollo

You are right about the growth rate, but double of nothing is still nothing. Improvements began when they explicitly disavowed communism as an economic model. There is still a long way to go to repair the damage.

Suggesting that Vietnam is one of a set of growing "democracies", however, makes me skeptical of your understanding of the term. Your emphasis on the concept of "control" is symptomatic of authoritarian tendencies.

If the union of the country was so important, why did the North agree to the separation in Paris? The people indeed want to be left alone, but the VC would not do that and I really doubt that the current government has changed on that score.

Frank Warner

As shown in Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other nations the United States has liberated or protected, the U.S. is not concerned that one certain candidate win. The U.S. is concerned that democracy wins.

Free countries tend not to start wars with other democracies, and compared with dictatorships, free countries tend never to abuse their people on a massive scale. That's why the U.S. promotes democracy. Free nations are safer, more innovative, and more fun.

If, in a budding democracy, one certain person (Ho, for example) is rushing an election when his obvious goal is never to hold a second election, the election should be delayed until it's clear the voters know enough about all the candidates.

Phan Boi Chau was a Vietnamese national hero. Several books have mentioned his betrayal by Ho. I'll have to check up on the specifics when I get more time. Phan would have been a better first leader of Vietnam than Ho. Any democrat would have been better than Ho.

By the way, the Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge were good friends when the Khmer Rouge was murdering millions of Cambodians in the "killing fields." It wasn't until the Khmer Rouge started the border clashes in 1978 that the Vietnamese Communists changed their tune.

I don't know about the U.S. training Khmer Rouge in 1979, but the U.S. certainly did not support the Khmer Rouge while it was in power. It's possible that when the Vietnamese Communists installed a pro-Vietnam dictator in Phnom Penh, the old Cambodian Communists pleaded for anyone's help. I doubt Jimmy Carter would have helped them much.

Back to the 1950s: Once the French were gone, Vietnam's options were not only a French colony and a Vietnamese Communist dictatorship. The French colony option was gone. The choice now was between Communist dictatorship and a liberal democracy.

Ho never went for democracy, and neither have his successors.

No more shooting, please, but the Vietnam War isn't over until Vietnam is free.

lt2hieu2004

>>You are right about the growth rate, but double of nothing is still nothing. Improvements began when they explicitly disavowed communism as an economic model. There is still a long way to go to repair the damage.<<

I agree with you that Vietnam hasn't reached its full potential but I don't think it is because of the ideology. In fact, Vietnam is now only a socialist republic in speech, except for the fact that Vietnam is still a one party state. However, I don't think it is fair to disapprove everything that Vietnam had achieved in the past 17 years. A lot of changes had been made during that time, most recently, the government now allowed individuals not associated with the party to run for the position of ministers. I don't think an abrupt change is possible or wise.

>>If the union of the country was so important, why did the North agree to the separation in Paris? The people indeed want to be left alone, but the VC would not do that and I really doubt that the current government has changed on that score.<<

The North accepted the separation because all the major world powers (including the US, USSR & China) forced Vietnam into accepting the term of the agreement. Besides, if all sides had honour the Geneva Accord, Vietnam would be unified in 1956. As I said before, I support the VC because we didn't fight the Chinese for 2000 years, the French for more than 100 years just so that the American can cut the country in half.

>>As shown in Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other nations the United States has liberated or protected, the U.S. is not concerned that one certain candidate win. The U.S. is concerned that democracy wins.<<

I doubt that it is always the US intention. I would say US did all of that because of their strategic interest. You said "the US is concerned that democracy wins" but at the same time the US supported Ngo Dinh Diem (a dictator) to be the president of South Vietnam. They also supported Syngman Rhee (the autocratic president of South Korea). After Syngman Rhee, then come Park Chung Hee and Chun Do Hwan, 2 military dictators, South Korea wasn't free in your sense of the word until 1988.

>>Phan Boi Chau was a Vietnamese national hero. Several books have mentioned his betrayal by Ho. I'll have to check up on the specifics when I get more time. Phan would have been a better first leader of Vietnam than Ho. Any democrat would have been better than Ho.<<

Phan Boi Chau has always been regarded as a national hero in North Vietnam, even before the renovation process of 1989. Obviously, Phan Boi Chau could never have become the leader of Vietnam since he died in 1940 when there was no Vietnam but the Indochina Federation with Vietnam divided into 3 countries Cochinchina, Tonkin & Annam. I found some websites which state that Phan Boi Chau was betrayed by Ho Chi Minh but it is all websites by anti-communists who fled Vietnam around 1975, I don't think they are credible sources. I read about the betrayer of Phan Boi Chau (Nguyen Thuong Hien) on Phan Boi Chau autobiography: "Overturned Chariot". However, if you can find credible sources supporting your point then it would be very interesting.

>>By the way, the Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge were good friends when the Khmer Rouge was murdering millions of Cambodians in the "killing fields." It wasn't until the Khmer Rouge started the border clashes in 1978 that the Vietnamese Communists changed their tune.<<

You are correct on one thing: the Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge were good friends once but that relationship broke down after the Khmer Rouge started massacring Vietnameses & attack Vietnam. You are wrong on one thing however, the Khmer Rouge started attacking Vietnam right after they gained power in 1975 with the invasion of Phu Quoc island. Therefore, it is impossible that the Vietnamese Communists & the Khmer Rouge were good friends when the Khmer Rouge were murdering millions of people between 1975 and 1979.

>>Back to the 1950s: Once the French were gone, Vietnam's options were not only a French colony and a Vietnamese Communist dictatorship. The French colony option was gone. The choice now was between Communist dictatorship and a liberal democracy.<<

No, the choice then was between war and indifinite partition of the country.

jj mollo

Regarding free speech for finge groups: Confronting hate groups is indeed one of the most challenging tasks of democracy. To put things in perspective, though, the KKK has a membership of about 2,000 today. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is the leading organization (other than the Justice Department) resisting the KKK. It has assets of 150 million dollars and a membership list of hundreds of thousands.

The KKK number comes from:

The Church of Morris Dees
By Ken Silverstein
Harper's Magazine, November 2000

… The Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC's most lucrative nemesis, has shrunk from 4 million members in the 1920s to an estimated 2,000 today, as many as 10 percent of whom are thought to be FBI informants ...

The SPLC asset number is from Wikipedia.

Frank Warner

Here’s one version of the story of Ho betraying Phan Boi Chau. It’s in a post called "Unmasking Ho Chi Minh." This account is not very clear, but it tells the basic story.

Then on June 30, 1925 Phan Boi Chau, traveling in Shanghai, unknowingly came into the French concession territory where French police was waiting for him. Brought back to Hanoi he was tried and sentenced to death. The execution was not carried out only because French authorities sensed the popular outrage and feared subsequent uprisings. Instead, they kept him under permanent house arrest in Hue. Thus ended the revolutionary career of this Viet leader who was disliked by Nguyen Tat Thanh’s family and would have been a serious obstacle to Thanh’s ambitions. Phan Boi Chau died of natural causes in 1940 at the age of 73. Had he lived 5 more years he would have seen his traitor back in Vietnam under the new name Ho Chi Minh.

It wasn’t difficult for Nguyen Tat Thanh with the help of Lam Duc Thu to plot the sellout of Phan Boi Chau to the French. After a secret meeting between the two, the negotiation with the French was carried out by Thu through a Viet friend name Vi (Vi.), former employee of the French consulate in Hongkong. A deal was struck at 100,000 piasters according to one source and 150,000 according to another (for comparison, one buffalo at that time cost 5 piasters). Phan Boi Chau happened to be in Hangzhou. Thanh sent a message asking him to come to Canton for a meeting in which his advice was needed, then made arrangements fo him to be led into the French territory when he pased by Shanghai. Thanh and Thu split the money. Thanh spent his in communist activities, while Thu went to live a life of luxury in Hongkong and continued to get rich by extorting money from Viet students of the Phan Boi Chau organization as a price for not being handed over to the French.

But money was not the principal motive of Thanh’s sordid deal. He wanted eventually to emerge as the most prominent leader of all revolutionaries abroad. He had found or was finding ways to discredit Nguyen The Truyen, Phan Van Truong and Phan Chu Trinh and that was easy. But Phan Boi Chau’s prestige was such that there was no way to discredit him. Hence Phan Boi Chau must somehow be removed and the earlier the better.

For more information on Nguyen Hai Than, the Vietnamese leader who saved Ho’s life in 1942 (by arranging his pardon and release from prison), co-founded the Viet Minh, but was chased out of Vietnam by Ho’s armed thugs in 1946, see this report on Vietnam:

Nguyen Hai Than (1869-1951) is one of the Vietnamese who gained high respects from Chiang Kai-shek and other Chinese leaders by their remarkable assistance to the war against Japan. Only with Nguyen's intervention was Ho released from jail. Ho and his Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi then joined the VNCMDMH, the members of which included the VNQDD and other nationalist parties.

As a revolutionist, Nguyen won the hearts of almost all Vietnamese leaders in China at the time, though he was not a talented politician. He was the Chairman of the Viet Nam Cach Mang Dong Minh Hoi - not Ho Chi Minh (1) - and represented the nationalist bloc in 1945-46. He accepted the office of vice-president to Ho Chi Minh in the coalition government until the nationalists were wiped out in the late 1946. He returned to China and died there in 1951.

Ho would not tolerate competition from the nationalists. There's no record that Ho ever was willing to tolerate more than one political party in Vietnam. If a political process is not open to as many political parties as the people wish to create, the people are not free and the country is not a democracy.

Freedom would have prevented war. If Ho had shown any real interest in democracy when he ruled North Vietnam, there would have been no Vietnam War involving the Americans.

The American people and the U.S. government would have been impressed to see the North Vietnamese holding free elections and allowing more than one political party, free speech and a free press. There would have been no point to aiding South Vietnam, because North Vietnam itself would have proven itself no threat to freedom.

In fact, if the North Vietnamese regime demonstrated any real interest in democracy and freedom (with elections, multiple parties and a free press), even the South Vietnamese people and their leaders would have been calling for unification.

Ho chose war. But Ho showed no interest in anything that challenged his total power. He would rather send millions to their deaths than open his nation to the freedom that was their right. And then he insisted on spreading Communist repression to the South.

The ironic thing is that the Marxist economic principles that Communists used to recite as justification for their dictatorial governments have been discarded over the last 20 years.

Ho insisted the North Vietnamese fight and die for that extreme Marxist socialist philosophy, and he insisted the North Vietnamese surrender all their freedoms for Communism's utopian fantasy of perfect equality for all.

Poor bargain. Now the fantasy they fought and died for has been revealed as a fraud, and all Vietnam has left is the repression. That's a bad deal.

Free Vietnam.

Frank Warner

Hieu Dang,

I want to thank you for giving us your point of view.

Everyone here is arguing against you, I'm sure you've noticed. But I want you to know I appreciate your willingness to express yourself on a subject that inspires such emotion.

I have no doubt that you want the best for your country. I hope the best for the people of Vietnam, too, and I believe everyone else writing here has that same wish.

The issue is freedom.

If we are to have a fully free world, a world capable of a lasting peace, we have to hear and consider the opinions of all people.

So I'm glad you wrote us, and I hope you keep writing. It's good to know what you're thinking.

lt2hieu2004

I asked for credible sources and you gave me 2 sources but they are both not credible. The first one "Unmasking Ho Chi Minh", i heard about this book a long time ago. Believe me, I tried to find it everywhere but couldn't get hold the book. I tried to search on Amazon, eBay, etc. No result. I even went to British Library (the largest library in the world), but they have no such book. I doubt the very existence of such book. Moreover, even if there was such book. The fact that the 2 supposedly authors of this book were living in France & U.S at that time (1989) suggests that these 2 people are anti-communists who fled Vietnam around 1975. All in all, this is the worst source anybody could come up with.

Your second source, vietquoc.com?? How can you bring up this source when I'm asking for a credible source? Have you ever visited their home page (http://www.vietquoc.com) or did you just do a search on google and copy & paste the link?

I'm sure you know why in my previous posts, I have always used source from printed books (genuine books) or from documentary, I've only quote one Internet source but that is from Human Rights Watch. I'm sure you notice that both you and me have websites with our own domain name. Anybody could have registered a domain name and create a website to say whatever they want to say, it is even easier to create such unprofessional & ugly websites like the 2 sources you mentioned.

Those 2 sources to challenge Phan Boi Chau's autobiography himself? Unthinkable.

>>Freedom would have prevented war. If Ho had shown any real interest in democracy when he ruled North Vietnam, there would have been no Vietnam War involving the Americans.<<

I'm tired of saying the same thing over & over again. Read my previous posts on how U.S betrayed Vietnam in 1946. How French declined Vietnam proposal to be a autonomous state inside the French Union & how the election of January - 1946 reserved 50 seats in the parliament for the VNQDD (Vietnam National Party) & 20 seats for the VNPQDMH (The leage for the restoration of Vietnam).

>>Ho chose war. But Ho showed no interest in anything that challenged his total power. He would rather send millions to their deaths than open his nation to the freedom that was their right. And then he insisted on spreading Communist repression to the South.<<

Did you even read my counter arguments above? The choice was between war or the indefinite partition of the country and we chose war.

>>Poor bargain. Now the fantasy they fought and died for has been revealed as a fraud, and all Vietnam has left is the repression. That's a bad deal.<<

No fantasy, mate. We fought & died to unify our country and finally, we succeeded. And btw, I doubt that you have ever been to Vietnam, if you have been to Vietnam then it's very puzzling as to why you think Vietnameses are that miserable under the current government. Anway, if for some reasons you can not go to Vietnam, please google for travel sites, a lot of people have been to Vietnam and they know exactly how we are living. I'm living in the U.K (if you don't believe me, just look up my IP address), why do you think I want to go back to Vietnam if this kind of "democracy" is all that good?

Frank Warner

I'll look for more data on Ho and the nationalists he betrayed. It's possible that, in the case of Phan Boi Chau, the story has been presented by people stretching a point. But there is no doubt that Ho chased many nationalist leaders from Vietnam in 1946.

You bring up post-World War II Vietnam under France. That included the time Ho's forces were shooting at nationalists. I argue that you have to go beyond that. I don't care about the French.

From 1956 to 1969, Ho had total control over North Vietnam. In that period, what action did he ever take that even hinted he had any interest in democracy or freedom?

Did he allow more than one political party? Did he allow free speech? Did he allow a free press? Did he give the courts independence from his control? Did he allow free elections?

No. And all this was foreshadowed by his mistreatment of Vietnam's nationalists in the 1940s. The nationalists were a rival political organization. Dictators allow no rivals.

Since you asked: My guess is, you will go back to Vietnam because it's where your family is, and perhaps you have faith that, now that the government has given up on Marxist ideology, it might some day give up on its selfish repression and let the Vietnamese people choose their own way.

Maybe someday soon Vietnam's government will allow all those freedoms. Maybe someday you will be allowed to exercise your right as a human being to stand in downtown Hanoi with a big sign that says, "Phan Van Khai: When will you allow those free elections promised in 1973?"

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