Vietnamese Restaurant in North Texas Displayed Giant Red Star in Logo, Promptly Changes After Public Criticism

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2014 by Ian Pham

Former Banh Shop LogoA Vietnamese restaurant in Dallas, Texas, has promptly changed its logo design in accordance with the wishes of the Vietnamese community in the area. The Banh Shop, a trendy new eatery on SMU Boulevard, found itself in hot water last week as a result of its questionable restaurant design, which featured a giant red star as part of its logo, behind the name “Banh Shop.” YUM! Brands, the parent company of Banh Shop, is a multi-billion dollar corporation that owns many other large restaurant chains including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.

The redesigns came fast and were carried out extensively. The owners of Banh Shop changed not only the store logo, but also their menus and staff’s uniforms, ridding the establishment of any symbols that may be construed as an association to communism. The prompt redesigns were made largely thanks to the strong and critical response from North Texas’s Vietnamese residents, who were vocal in their refutation of the eatery’s design blunder.

Banh Shop RenoWidespread public criticism by the Vietnamese community, as well as the attentiveness of the business owners, were key reasons why the change came so quickly and thoroughly. According to CBS Dallas/Fort Worth News, Mr. Thanh Cung, former South Vietnamese soldier, prisoner of war, and current North Texas resident, met with the VP of YUM! Brands emerging brands division, Christophe Poirier, to discuss the matter. “Obviously, when you make a mistake, the first thing to do is apologize and fix the issue,” Poirier said. YUM! Senior VP, Jonathon Blum admits that the company had made an honest mistake and also apologizes for the mishap, according to USA Today and Voice of America. As a result, the Vietnamese residents of North Texas, the majority of which are political and religious refugees, can enjoy their Banh Shop cuisine without implicitly supporting the very same corrupted communist regime that they sought to escape from.

All’s well that ends well, but the lessons don’t end there.

One of the most important lessons from this event is one that has proven true throughout the ages: Your voice matters. Without the public pressure displayed by the folks of North Texas, the owners of Banh Shop and YUM! Brands never would have known of their major design blunder. The strong will and dedication of the Vietnamese community in Dallas and the greater North Texas area were what made the changes so prompt and complete. They spoke up, they created awareness, they made the change.

Banh ShopThis story from Texas is not the only instance where things of this nature are happening. The western world has seen many occasions where the symbol of communism is wrongly displayed, both accidentally and, in certain cases, deliberately. This time, it was a large company that was simply ignorant of all that this symbol represents. There are many other instances when businesses owners, university administrators, or public officials, oblivious to the negative connotations carried by the star and the red, wrongfully decorate it on their shops, institutions, or government office buildings in an attempt to cater to the Vietnamese community. When that happens, it’s up to you to raise your voice, raise awareness, and ultimately make the change. Believe me, as an individual, your voice is one of the greatest tools at your disposal to make a change.

It only took one day of petitioning and public outcry for the owners of Banh Shop to change their logo. One cannot discount the intuitiveness and professionalism of the Banh Shop business owners, but ultimately, it was the people of the community that made this change possible. Thanh Cung is the current president of the Vietnamese American Community of Greater Dallas. He is assisting the owners of Banh Shop in looking at new logo designs.

On U.S. Visit, Party Secretary of Hanoi City Makes Disrespectful Gesture to Senator John McCain

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2014 by Ian Pham

McCainLast week, Politburo member and Party Secretary of the City of Hanoi, Pham Quang Nghi visited Washington D.C., following up on an invitation by the U.S. State Department. While in Washington, the Communist Party member met with a number of U.S. officials including Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Counselor to the Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, and Senator John McCain. Topics covered during the meetings included encouragement of American investment in the Vietnamese economy, the importance of the development of the TPP (Transpacific Partnership), and postwar economic assistance for Vietnam. None of this is important. Nothing here was accomplished.

The first substantial thing to know about this particular trip is that Hanoi Secretary Pham Quang Nghi was not even supposed to be at the meetings in Washington in the first place. The invitation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was initially extended to a different VCP member, Pham Binh Minh, a known pro-Western voice within the party in Vietnam. At the last minute, Minh was sidelined by the VCP leadership. In his place, a pro-China drone in the form of Nghi was sent to represent the Communist State instead.

With the understanding that Minh was more open to talks with the West, Secretary of State John Kerry invited him for a meeting in Washington. However, with an overwhelming presence of the pro-China faction in Vietnam’s Communist Party, Minh’s trip was stifled by the head members of the Vietnam government, including the party leader Trong. In response to news that Minh was no longer coming, John Kerry appointed other members of the U.S. government to attend the meetings with Vietnam’s new delegates. Among the U.S. representatives was Senator McCain.

Aside from the topics discussed with U.S. representatives, which were fruitless overall, delegate Nghi went out of his way to present Senator McCain with a pair of ‘gifts.’ The first is a painting of the site where McCain was captured during his service days, and the second is a painting of that memorial inscribed with a personal message directly mentioning the Senator. One need not look very closely to find out that these gifts presented to McCain carry some deeply disrespectful messages behind them, aimed directly at the Senator from Arizona.

McCain PhotoThe picture above shows Senator McCain taking a photo with Communist member Pham Quang Nghi with the first gift in hand. Besides the fact that the painting depicts the site of McCain’s capture in 1967, the memorial plaque painting will clarify the Vietnamese official’s intention to humiliate the U.S. Senator.

This second gift, the memorial plaque painting, displays the following message:

“NGÀY 26-10-1967 TẠI HỒ TRÚC BẠCH QUÂN VÀ DÂN THỦ ĐÔ HÀ NỘI BẮT SỐNG TÊN JOHN SNEY MA CAN THIẾU TÁ KHÔNG QUÂN MỸ LÁI CHIẾC MÁY BAY A4 BỊ BẮN RƠI TẠI NHÀ MÁY ĐIỆN YÊN PHỦ  ĐÂY LÀ MỘT TRONG 10 CHIẾC MÁY BAY BỊ BẮN RƠI CÙNG NGÀY.”

Which translates to:

“ON 26-10-1967, AT TRÚC BẠCH LAKE, OUR FORCES AND THE PEOPLE OF THE CAPITAL OF HANOI CAPTURED ALIVE ONE MAJOR JOHN SNEY MA CAN [John Sidney McCain]. AMERICAN PILOT, FLYING A4, WAS SHOT DOWN AT YÊN PHỦ POWER PLANT. THIS IS ONE OF 10 AIRCRAFTS SHOT DOWN THAT DAY.”

MemorialFor a gift that is allegedly meant to commemorate, the message here only outlines the capture of McCain, reminding him that he was their captive, and all the painful implications of that event. Moreover, the message boasts that McCain’s was only one of ten other American planes shot down that day, a further insult to what they claim to be a gift for the Senator. Lastly, the term “TÊN” as used in the original plaque before naming Senator McCain, carries a negative connotation in Vietnamese, comparable to “Guy,” or “That guy,” in English. The term is opposite to a formal address such as “Mister,” and is used deliberately to show how little the Reds in Hanoi are trying to regard Mr. McCain.

The interpretation here is that Hanoi wanted to send a message to John McCain and the United States, signalling that the pro-China faction was dominant within the Communist Party, and that the U.S. should not get involved in Vietnam’s relationship with China. It didn’t work out the way they thought it would, though (it never does). There is so much stupidity in what Pham Quang Nghi did during this trip that one must wonder if these guys know what they’re doing most of the time (they don’t). There is a certain way for a statesman to behave when engaging in diplomacy, and this rude and vulgar conduct is no way to carry oneself when representing an entire nation. It’s not surprising, though. Everything the VCP does at this point is so painfully stupid that it shouldn’t even come as a shock anymore.

In sending a premeditated insult to the U.S. through Pham Quang Nghi, the leaders in the VCP were intending to humilate John McCain and the United States. However, in committing such a crude diplomatic act, the Communists have publicly humiliated themselves instead. The internet is exploding with criticism and ridicule from this episode, wondering how the VCP was capable of such stupidity. Well, anyone following this blog and Vietnamese politics will know that idiocy such as this is nothing new to the VCP. They are wrong for the country, and, to put it simply, they need to go.

China Removes Intrusive Oil Rig From Vietnam’s Nautical Territory, Its Reasons and Implications

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , on July 22, 2014 by Ian Pham

COSL Oil RigBack in May of this year, the People’s Republic of China and the nation’s Chinese Communist Party moved a drilling rig into waters that were considered to be within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move is further example of China’s ongoing aspiration to gain control of Vietnamese territory, causing outrage among Vietnamese communities both inside and outside of Vietnam. The situation was particularly tense within Vietnam, as protests and riots broke out in response to China’s intrusive maneuver. China’s actions also drew heavy criticism from the United States and the international community, who deemed the PRC’s moves as provocative.

Last Tuesday, after months of international criticism and steady pressure brought about by the Vietnamese population, the PRC decided to withdraw its oil rig from the Triton Islands. The islands are part of the larger Paracel Island chain, which China claims to be ‘disputed’ territory. However, the Paracel as a whole has been under Vietnam’s administration since the Nguyen Dynasty, only falling into Chinese control in 1974 by naval invasion. In regards to their removal of the oil rig, the Chinese government claims that they have completed their drilling objectives and no longer need to station the rig at the location, which again, happened to fall into another nation’s EEZ.

ProtestIn moving the rig into Vietnam’s nautical zone, the PRC was trying to gauge the power balance in Southeast Asia. With an Obama Administration riddled with problems both inside and outside of the United States, the PRC was hoping to get their own piece of the international pie (as Putin had done in Crimea). Unfortunately for China, they never expected their actions to draw such strong criticism from the U.S. and the international community, most notably from Shinzo Abe and the Japanese. Thus, due to the unexpected backlash, the PRC had to ‘complete’ their objectives much sooner than they intended, and move their intrusive oil rig out of Vietnam’s territory.

In the midst of all this, and even now that this particular situation appears to be over, it is very interesting to note that Vietnam’s leadership (with very few exceptions, and even they are inadequate), the Vietnamese Communist Party, has been deafeningly silent on the matter. While the people in Vietnam protested, while America condemned these aggressive Chinese acts, and even in Japan, where Prime Minister Abe has been outspoken about Chinese aggression in the Pacific, those ‘comrades’ in the VCP said nothing, as the Chinese inched closer and closer to Vietnam’s doorstep. Actually, the Communist Vietnamese did say something during this time, although it is the complete opposite of what one would call a respectable response.

Phung Quang ThanhAt this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue 2014, held in Singapore this past June, the Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, Phung Quang Thanh, made a paltry statement claiming that relations between Vietnam and China are still friendly, and dismissed the Chinese invasive act as nothing but a “small disagreement among brothers.” Phung made this statement in the midst of social unrest in Vietnam (which the VCP was brutally suppressing), just mere weeks after China had moved its Haiyang 981 oil rig into Vietnam’s nautical territory. I wanted to give you all an entire article focused on Vietnam’s pathetic display at this conference, but unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time. What needs to be known from Shangri-La is that once again, the VCP failed miserably to represent the nation and people that they are supposed to be governing, and seem more content to be the lapdogs of the PRC.

The Chinese keep taking, the VCP keeps giving, and lastly, in trying to defend their nation, the Vietnamese people keep suffering. However, it is this suffering that will one day win for Vietnam freedom and independence. The situation in Vietnam is still hot, the party keeps getting weaker, and the people keep getting stronger. I’ve said this before, but it is important, and I know I’ll say it again: To the Vietnamese people inside, you are not alone. It is a long and arduous journey, but believe me when I say that we’re all in this together. Stay strong, never lose hope, and keep those protests coming.

Video: Last Week’s Protest in Saigon

Posted in Current Events, Videos with tags , , on May 17, 2014 by Ian Pham

This is a video of the anti-China protest in Saigon last Sunday, May 11, 2014. It may seem like old news at this point, as this week bore witness to some truly groundbreaking developments across the country. The movement is only gaining steam, and within hours from now, further protests are set to take place inside Vietnam.

I still feel inclined to post this video though, because certain parts of it are just too great not to share.

What makes this video so share-worthy? This, right here.

Flag Pull Down

For anyone unsure of what is happening in this picture, I’ll break it down for you:

That red flag is Vietnam’s communist flag. According to news circulating around the web, some communist party jerks were instructed to attend the protest and insert that flag into the crowd in an attempt to simulate public support for the VCP (Vietnamese Communist Party). This young lady, clearly offended by this idiotic ploy, took it upon herself to rip down the flag and show the communists what the real deal was.

Take that, communism.

Good luck to everyone out there in Vietnam. We’re all with you. Give ‘em hell.

Major Developments In Vietnam Right Now

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by Ian Pham

May 11 ProtestThere is a storm brewing in Vietnam right now, people. China has been steadily escalating its encroachment on Vietnamese territory, and at this point in time, it seems that the Vietnamese people have finally had enough. This past Sunday, spontaneous demonstrations broke out in Saigon, Hanoi, Danang, and Vinh, spreading like wildfire and growing into full-on political protests with a total of over 3,000 attendees across the four cities.

China has recently transported its large oil rig into Vietnam’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), sparking outrage among the Vietnamese populations, both domestically and abroad. Last week, moreover, the Chinese navy is condemned internationally for harassing Vietnamese boats, spraying personnel with heavy duty water hoses, and injuring 8 people.

These incidents are fairly recent, taking place within the last 14 days. Indeed, the events fit perfectly with China’s long pattern of aggressive and illegal behavior on the world stage. The list of belligerent actions that the PRC commits against its neighbors in the Pacific is fairly hefty, and worse, shows no sign of diminishing.

China’s heinous actions against Vietnam include state-sponsored piracy against Vietnamese fishermen in the Southeast Asia Sea, unsubstantiated claims to vast amounts of territory in the Pacific, increased military presence in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, and an overall aggressive tone towards its weaker neighbors. The list is by no means limited to these well documented events, as the PRC is understood to also have disputes with Japan and the Philippines over similar issues regarding sovereignty and security.

For the longest time, with heavy suppression from the Communist government in Hanoi, the people of Vietnam have been prevented from protesting China’s belligerency. Though demonstrations and gatherings are still planned and orchestrated at various times, they are always crushed by government forces, with heavy penalties for those involved.

Binh Duong ProtestsLately however, with this past Sunday being a prime example, it seems that the government is no longer able to prevent the people of Vietnam from defending their own country. Just today, in the industrial area in Binh Duong province, one protest exploded to a scale unprecedented in Vietnam’s recent memory, with over 10,000 people in attendance. The momentum seems to be growing, as further protests are planned for this Sunday throughout Vietnam.

It’s still too soon to tell what will happen, but from the looks of things, the situation is beginning to really heat up in the Communist-controlled state. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on the situation. It’s going to be an interesting summer in Vietnam this year.

Black April: The Final Hours

Posted in Editor's Note, Modern History, Special with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2014 by Ian Pham

Five GeneralsIn the final days of the Vietnam War, with the fall of the South being all but eminent, many members of the Republic of Vietnam, both citizens and public officials, made the decision to die with their country, rather than to witness or acknowledge the entrance of Communist regime. From politicians, to military leaders and soldiers, and even ordinary citizens, all were more content with death than to pledge their allegiances to the red flag of Communism.

The heartbreak and harrow in the final hours of the Vietnam War can be most famously told through the eyes of five great ARVN generals. On that day, April 30, 1975, each of these men ended their own lives at different hours of the day, after saying their respective farewells to their loved ones, their fellow commanders, and their faithful soldiers. In these final hours, the valor and desperation that came to encompass the Southern experience were front and center. Though this brief article only covers the suicides of five ARVN generals, it cannot be stressed enough that on that day, April 30, 1975, many South Vietnamese took their own lives rather than surrender to the Communists.

Brigadier General Tran Van Hai,

7th Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN): Midnight, April 30, 1975

TranVanHaiAt approximately 12:00 am, April 30, 1975, Brigadier General Tran Van Hai of the 7th Infantry Division committed suicide at the Dong Tam military base in My Tho City, Dinh Tuong Province. On the previous day, the general called upon all of his officers for one last meeting, where he thanked them for their faithful service, and gave a final order for all of them to go home and be with their families. It was on April 29th that the provisional president Duong Van Minh issued the official surrender to the Communist North. With the war all but lost, Brig. Gen. Tran Van Hai gave warm parting words to his men, taking some time and enjoying a few short and meaningful conversations with his soldiers.

Later that night, one of Hai’s overly concerned officers found the general in his office, motionless, with a glass of water on the table, signifying that he had poisoned himself. Earlier that week, President Nguyen Van Thieu offered to fly Tran Van Hai to Saigon, but the general refused. Before his death, the general left a small parcel for his mother containing some money and a few of his personal items. This was his final gift to her. For the nation, he gave his life.

Brigadier General Le Nguyen Vy,

5th Infantry Division, ARVN: 11:00 am, April 30, 1975

LeNguyenVyAt 11:00 am on the same day, Brigadier General Le Nguyen Vy of the 5th Infantry Division died by his own gun as his final act of loyalty. With the higher command issuing the order for the South to surrender, General Vy shot himself that following morning. His place of death was the 5th Division Headquarters at Lai Khe, his original area of deployment.

General Le Nguyen Vy was considered among the many talented young commanders of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. His courageous and outstanding performance at the Battle of An Loc in 1972, a major Southern victory over the North, gained him great distinction within the ranks. Up until the time of his death, Vy was considered an exceptional regimental commander.

Brigadier General; Deputy Commander Le Van Hung,

5th Infantry Division; 21st Infantry Division; IV Corps; MR4, ARVN: 8:45 pm, April 30, 1975

LeVanHungLe Van Hung is one of the most renowned and admired figures of the RVN Army, and of South Vietnam in general. Like Le Nguyen Vy, General Hung also fought brilliantly at the Battle of An Loc. Le Van Hung was the Commander of the 5th Division at An Loc, with Le Nguyen Vy acting as his Deputy Commander. He would later be promoted to the IV Corps of ARVN, acting as the Deputy Commander to Major General Nguyen Khoa Nam. Lauded as the “Hero of An Loc,” General Hung was one of the brightest stars of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, dealing great damage to the Communist forces up until his final days. He famously stated that, “As long as I’m still alive, An Loc will remain standing,” a promise he had honored to the very end.

General Hung took his own life at approximately 8:45 pm, April 30, 1975. Before then, General Hung’s forces still kept hold of the city of Can Tho, and were planning to fight to their very last breath, their very last bullet. However, the threat of Northern reprisal forced Hung’s hand, as the frightened and exhausted residents of Can Tho themselves begged him not to resist the Communists any longer. Respecting their wishes, General Le Van Hung decided to stand down. However, the general would not be content with just a simple surrender.

Summoning his military staff, his wife, and his children, the general bid all those around him a sad farewell, before taking his own life in private, with his .45 pistol. At around 6:00 pm, the general’s forces were still bent on fighting. By 9:00 pm, the general was dead. Along with his ARVN compatriots, the general had taken his own life, in honor of his country, and in honor of his people.

Major General Nguyen Khoa Nam,

IV Corps; MR4, ARVN: Late April 30-Early Morning May 1, 1975

One of the last generals to take his own life on that 30th of April, Major General Nguyen Khoa Nam too had shot himself rather than surrender to the Communists. Earlier in the day, the Major had talked on the phone with his Deputy Commander Le Van Hung, before the latter killed himself. After saying his last goodbyes to his general staff, and a heartfelt commiseration to General Hung’s wife, the Major ended his own life, sometime between the final hours of Black April and the early hours of May 1, 1975.

NguyenKhoaNamAccording to the wife of General Le Van Hung, both generals Nam and Hung were in communication with each other throughout that 30th of April. The two men had, for some time, been planning for a prolonged counteroffensive that would carry on even after the fall of Saigon. However, with the official surrender of Duong Van Minh, followed then by General Hung’s acceptance not to fight at the behest of the people of Can Tho, and ultimately with his death at 8:45 pm, the guerrilla strategy was never executed.

The two men lost contact with each other in the latter part of April 30th, and upon receiving news of Hung’s death, General Nam was finally able to contact Mrs. Hung to express his condolences. Though he did not give his final goodbyes to Mrs. Hung, she recalls having premonitions that General Nam would kill himself, just like her husband had done. At around 7:00 am on May 1, 1975, news of Nam’s death had reached Mrs. Hung, and her fears were realized.

Major General Pham Van Phu,

II Corps; MR2, ARVN: Morning-Daytime, April 30, 1975

PhamVanPhuFrom the fragmented sources available on General Pham Van Phu’s final hours, it can only be told that the commander committed suicide honorably like the other four generals, doing so in the city of Saigon, sometime between the morning and midday.

Though coverage on General Phu is regrettably thin, it should be understood that the brave general is considered one of the five great ARVN generals to commit suicide on Black April, the 30th day of 1975.

The Commemoration

To their very last breaths, these five generals fought bravely to defend their motherland. Rather than betraying the nation they had fought for, or suffer the humiliation of pledging their loyalties to the Communist regime, these men chose instead to end their own lives, with honor, and with dignity.

As I have said before, these men were not the only ones to commit suicide in honor of their nation. Countless others, from high ranking government and military officials, to the low ranking Non-Commissioned Officers of ARVN, and even the everyday citizen who would rather die than to see his or her country fall into the destructive grips of Communism, all of them chose death alongside their country.

While thousands of men and women took their own lives as a final act of loyalty to the fleeting South, millions of others departed from the shores of Vietnam to distant lands across the seas. Though suicide was not their intention, many South Vietnam refugees lost their lives during their escape from the Communist sphere, either at sea, in Communist detention, or in the refugee camps.

This brief article is written to commemorate the brave men and women who took their own lives to honor the ideals of a free and democratic Vietnam. This article is also here to commemorate the brave souls who gave their lives fighting for this free and democratic Vietnam. They did it for their nation, but they also did it for us. This article then aims to thank and commemorate the brave men and women who braved the violent ocean waves, risking their lives, and traveling all the way across the Earth so that a younger generation of Vietnamese men and women can live under the skies of freedom and justice.

On this day, April 30, 2014, we take a moment to remember all that have died fighting for Vietnam’s freedom. They gave their heart and their bodies, and in the end, they gave their lives.

In different ways, all have contributed to this beautiful aspiration of a free and democratic Vietnam. One day, this dream will be realized.

We will never forget.

Final Thoughts on the Late Le Hieu Dang, He Legitimately Left the Communist Party

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , on April 1, 2014 by Ian Pham

Le Hieu Dang 2I have a confession to make. I’ve been writing this article for a while now, along with a host of other news stories that I haven’t been able to get completely off the ground due to time constraints. There is definitely more material waiting to be put out, I just have to make time for it, which, as I am finding out, is quite hard. Nonetheless, this one is an important story that I think you all should still know about. The newest material will find its way to you all soon, I promise. Well, let’s get down to business.

In late January (I know, long time), before passing away, the longtime Communist member Le Hieu Dang legitimately declared his split with the Party in Vietnam. Citing his dissatisfaction with the party’s lack of progress, as well as their shameful conduct in dealing with domestic as well as international affairs, Dang formally renounced his membership to the VCP, expressing hopes that the new generation would learn from his example.

If you’re thinking his act is courageous, I would say you are about half right. As I mentioned, Le Hieu Dang is no longer with us. As an elderly man who was with the Communist Party since the Vietnam War era, Dang passed away a little over a month ago due to natural elderly causes. Le Hieu Dang repudiated the party while gravely ill in the hospital. He had reached the end of his life, and is no longer afraid of death. For this reason, I would say that the man deserves some credit for finally speaking out. However, seeing as how he did it very late in his life, with nothing left to lose, I would say my commendation for him is lukewarm at best.

You may recall earlier that I dismissed his declaration of departure as a Communist ploy. While I’m glad that Le Hieu Dang proved himself to be honest, and I truly am glad, I am still not wildly impressed by his announcement. He denounced the VCP, but didn’t exactly take personal responsibility for the ravages that the party has put the country through. As I said earlier, lukewarm at best.

Le Hieu DangLe Hieu Dang joined the Communist movement as a young man in the 1960’s with the hopes of bringing liberty and independence to his troubled country. Though his intentions are admirable, his inaction in the face of Communism’s future abuses are anything but so. Upon the Communist takeover of the country in 1975 and onward, it became apparent to the once naive Le Hieu Dang that the Communist ideals were nothing but lies. Even with that knowledge, the man would continue to live in a position of power and privilege until his recent split with the party in late 2013-early 2014.

So as you can see, though it was good that Le Hieu Dang did the right thing (eventually), his whole life was lived under the auspices of Communist wealth and power. For this reason, I give him a certain amount of credit for leaving the Communist Party, but you’ll have to understand that I have much reservations about doing so.

I’ll give him one better however, and point out that Le Hieu Dang expressed hopes in his final days that the future generation in Vietnam will learn from this and stand up against the country’s corrupted rulers. He also conceded that the Marx’s worker’s paradise is nothing more than a pipe dream, that the party is harmful to the nation, and the Communist enterprise overall is nothing more than a failure. The sweetest of all however, in my opinion, has got to be Le Hieu Dang’s admittance that in comparison to this Communist regime, the South Vietnamese regime was vastly superior, for the people and the country as a whole.

We all knew Communism was a failure already, and with this piece of evidence, let it be known that even its own members think the Party is garbage.

I respect the fact that Le Hieu Dang admitted this eventually, at least he managed to do something right. May he rest in peace.

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