Stephen B. Young: Nguyen Van Thieu, South Vietnam’s Second President, Was a Strong Leader Who Built Up His Country

Posted in Modern History with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by Ian Pham

President Thieu(Virtual Saigon)

In an article last month, Stephen B. Young, executive director of the Caux Round Table and expert on Vietnam history, provided some useful information on South Vietnam and its second president, Nguyen Van Thieu. This article was published in The New York Times, because even biased left-wing media empires need to hedge their bets sometimes and provide views differing from their own, but I digress.

Much useful insight can be found in Young’s article, which covers a wide array of topics regarding South Vietnam’s perspective in the war. In this brief post, I will only focus on one portion of Young’s article, and that is his discussion on South Vietnam’s second president, Nguyen Van Thieu, and the nation’s development under his strong leadership.

According to Young, that in the greater context of Southern resistance in the face of continued Northern communist aggression:

South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen van Thieu, stepped up to provide more vigorous leadership. He replaced corrupt and incompetent officials and personally headed the recovery committee charged with rebuilding destroyed or damaged infrastructure and buildings and resettling over 500,000 people who had fled Communist control. And elsewhere in national politics, new, surprising political coalitions formed to vociferously oppose Hanoi’s aggression.

… South Vietnam’s economy grew continuously. Elections were held in all villages and provinces, and several times for the national Senate and House of Representatives, bringing into power a wide range of political outlooks, without anyone seriously proposing surrender to Hanoi’s one-party dictatorship.

As can be seen by Young’s assessment, the nation of South Vietnam had a strong and competent leader under President Thieu. South Vietnam’s economy was flourishing, half a million refugees who had fled the communist North were successfully being settled in the South, and democracy was firmly taking hold in the young nation.

This is all common knowledge to anyone who lived in South Vietnam, and knew firsthand what life was like there. Anyone who was a South Vietnamese citizen, and subsequently a “Boat People” refugee after 1975, knows very well that the Republic of Vietnam was a democratic nation, one that was steadily establishing itself as a regional power in Southeast Asia, leading the way in economy, military, education, and culture.

However, to the outside observer, and the generations who only know about the Vietnam War through western pop culture liberal propaganda (written and designed by leftists, citing leftist sources who love communism), the truths about South Vietnam and its people are still largely ignored and buried by the liberal elite, hidden in historical archives, and unnoticed by the world at large.

According to the leftist narrative, the North Vietnamese were good, the South Vietnamese were bad, the U.S. soldiers were bullies, and the radical liberals back home who protested and slandered the war effort were somehow brave, courageous, and totally not a bunch of lazy, self-righteous, cowardly, virtue-signalling losers.

For decades, liberals have dominated the conversation on the Vietnam War. They have achieved a stranglehold monopoly over the power to shape the public’s perception of the war, in any way they choose. As a result, we don’t really know much about it, except for what the Left wants us to “know.”

Well, little by little, that is changing.

Thanks to scholars such as Stephen B. Young and many others (George J. Veith, Lewis Sorley, Richard Botkin, and Geoffrey Shaw, just to name a few) whose works I am excited to share and discuss with you all, our understanding of the Vietnam War is gradually shifting.

In time, more and more truths will come out. This article is just a small piece of that puzzle. A small brick, if you will, in what I’d like to call my House of Truth.

There’s an old saying:

“If you want to anger a conservative, lie to them. If you want to anger a liberal, tell them the truth.”

Here’s to more articles pissing off liberals in the future.

P.S. Trump is president. #MAGA #KAG

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Analysis: Trump’s Approval Ratings Hit 51%, Beats Obama’s at Same Point in Presidency

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by Ian Pham

President Trump(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

It’s been a while since I wrote something (gotta stay relevant become relevant again somehow, ha…), so here’s some news that will piss off some grumpy bitter leftists.

According to Rasmussen Reports, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, president for, not just some Americans, not just the Republican Party, but for ALL Americans, and ALL political parties (liberals: “but, but, I tweeted #notmypresident 😢”), hit 50% in his approval rating early last week, and then 51% just a few days later.

This accomplishment comes at a time when the liberal media is, and has been, doing everything they possibly can to destroy the Trump presidency. Possible reasons for the media’s constant attacks on President Trump, his family, his administration, and everything that is remotely connected with him, include: hurt feelings (liberals: “how DARE Trump win the election when I feel so strongly that he shouldn’t? 😢”), ego (liberals: “people like Trump don’t win elections, people like me [sleazy establishment types] do! 😢”), and plain, simple corruption (liberals: “if that fucking bastard wins, we’ll ALL hang from nooses” – alleged but unconfirmed Hillary Clinton quote, still funny though).

Not too long ago, the liberal media was boasting about Trump’s historically low approval ratings, trying (unsuccessfully) to hide the fact that Trump’s numbers were identical to Obama’s at the same point in their respective presidencies. Well, surprise, losers.

Liberals tend to dismiss aggressively trash Rasmussen Polls, but it is worthy of note that Rasmussen was one of the few polls to actually predict the 2016 election results accurately.

Seriously, remember when all of those mainstream news outlets predicted a “landslide victory” in favor of Hillary Clinton? These are the same people who boast about Trump’s disapproval, while at the same time ardently burying any information that counters their anti-Trump narrative.

Just a reminder here: the economy is booming, China is being confronted by the U.S. in economics and the pacific, Russian trickery in Syria is getting punished by U.S. troops (this surprised even me), Washington elites are being EXPOSED for corruption and police-state behavior, ISIS is freaking DEAD, and Kim Jong-Un, KIM JONG-FUCKING-UN has agreed to sit down and talk to President Trump about de-nuclearization.

If you regularly read news outlets like Washington Post, CNN, TIME, The New York Times, and Newsweek (just to name a few), and are wondering why you aren’t clearly informed about so many of these monumental accomplishments, the answer is clear.

The mainstream media is not here to inform you. They are here to influence you. And, if you happen to disagree with their leftist point of view, then they are here to shame you, denigrate you into submission, and hopefully sway you over to their pro-socialist agenda.

How the Left manages to constantly lie, manipulate, and ignore facts and figures, every minute, every second, of every single day, is beyond me. Moreover, how the Left is so ardently wishing for America and its president to fail, just to avenge their bruised egos (liberals: “if I don’t get what I want, then NO ONE will! 😡…😢…😡) is beyond my understanding.

Well, that’s the Left for ya.

They did this in the 1960s and 1970s with Vietnam and succeeded (more on that in future posts, hopefully), and now they’re trying to do it with Trump. However, times are changing, and these so-called “journalists” can no longer get away with putting out (or ignoring) whatever they want and expect the population to simply swallow, just because “hey, I’m a journalist 😏.”

My opinion of Trump was much different during most of the 2016 election (mostly negative, not gonna lie). But with time, and more and more shocking revelations unfolding right before my eyes, my understanding of the situation has grown, and thus, my view has changed. So, with the many insights I have acquired over the last 18 months, I am confident in my assessment, and fully stand behind the following statement: Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to the U.S. since Ronald Reagan, and I am glad that he is the President of the United States.

Vote Republican this November in the midterm elections.

Keep America Great. Again. 🇺🇸

Chinese Officials Tried To Strong-Arm the U.S. During Trump’s November 2017 Visit — General Kelly and the Boys Threw Down, Because America

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2018 by Ian Pham

John KellyU.S. Chief of Staff, and former General in the United States Marine Corps, John F. Kelly. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

This event took place during President Donald J. Trump’s visit to China in November of 2017. The small incident was kept hush-hush by both sides, on China’s end probably because of shear shame and embarrassment, while on the U.S. side likely because they don’t care. Not very many people knew about the “scuffle” until February 2018, when Axios’ Jonathan Swan provided the scoop on how events unfolded.

How it all went down, according to the Swan source, and subsequently reported by Fox, The Hill, CNBC, and other news outlets, are as follows.

On November 9, 2017, President Trump was in Beijing, China, as part of his Asia tour.

At the capital city’s “Great Hall of the People,” where President Trump and company were paying a visit, Chinese officials blocked the way of one U.S. military aide from entering the premises. The American official in question was holding an important briefcase, the “nuclear football,” pivotal for the authorization and launch of a nuclear strike.

According to The Hill, “The nuclear football is the black briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes for the president. The aide carrying it is required to remain close to the president at all times.”

In response to Chinese obstruction, another American official ran to inform U.S. Chief of Staff, former U.S. Marine General John Kelly, of the situation.

Kelly, who was in a nearby room, promptly arrived on the scene and instructed the Americans to go on through.

“We’re moving in,” were the words of General Kelly, and the Americans pressed forward.

A Chinese official then put his hands on Kelly, grabbing him, before the former U.S. General shoved the Chinese official’s hand away.

In the next instant, a U.S. Secret Service agent got involved and tackled the Chinese official to the ground.

According to Axios, while several sources familiar with the event said that the U.S. Secret Service agent had downed the Chinese official, an official statement by the U.S. Secret Service denies that anyone actually got knocked to the ground.

The situation de-escalated from there.

Everything happened very quickly, and it was over in an instant.

Later, the Chinese head of security detail apologized to Trump and the U.S. for the “misunderstanding.”

While the Chinese call it a “misunderstanding,” there is reason to doubt their claim. This is not the first time that China has overstepped their boundaries and tried to disrespect a visiting delegation, nor will it be the last.

In December of 2017, only one month after the quiet kerfuffle with the Trump delegation, Chinese guards were caught on video beating a South Korean journalist during South Korean president Moon Jae-In’s visit to Beijing. It is said that the guards were acting under direct orders from the Chinese police.

Much further back, in September of 2016, the Chinese pulled a stunt on then-U.S. president Barack Obama as well.

During the 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, then-president Obama was denied a red carpet welcome and a staircase to exit from Air Force One. As a result, Obama had to come out through a side door of his plane, “the ass” of Air Force One, before navigating his own way to the red carpet. Below, Chinese officials were clashing with Obama administration officials, with the host nation screaming at the Americans, “This is our country! This is our airport!”

The entire incident was said to be a “calculated diplomatic snub,” designed to deliberately insult and make the U.S. look weak. All the other world leaders at Hangzhou, including Britain’s Theresa May, India’s Narendra Modi, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, had received a red carpet welcome, staircase and all. The only, only country not to receive this formal courtesy was the United States and Obama. In classic Obama fashion, he just took it quietly, downplayed the insult, put a positive spin on his own feeble response, and let the Chinese get away with it.

Luckily, with Trump in the White House, this sort of thing doesn’t fly anymore. When commenting on the fiasco in 2016, then-candidate Trump was mocked by liberals for calling out China and saying he would have left if the Chinese treated him that way. Looking back now, it seems Trump knew exactly what he was talking about.

In the case of Obama, the Chinese were loud, obnoxious, and audacious about their blatant disrespect of the United States.

With President Trump, and the smackdown laid by General John Kelly and the U.S. delegation, the Chinese apologized, and quietly hoped that the Americans will not mention the event. According to the Swan source, U.S. officials were “asked to keep quiet about the incident,” but it is not specified in the report who had made that request.

Strong leadership. It makes a difference.

America.

Singer, Songwriter, and Freedom Fighter Viet Khang Has Arrived in the United States

Posted in I. News, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang Arrival California(Dan Huynh/Nguoi Viet)

A couple of weeks ago, on the afternoon of February 8, 2018, the Vietnamese singer, songwriter, and former political prisoner Viet Khang touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, after being jailed for four years by the communist government in Vietnam for his dissenting political views.

Upon arrival, Viet Khang was greeted by a warm and welcoming crowd, attended mostly by members of the Vietnamese-American community.

Viet Khang, real name Vo Minh Tri, rose to international prominence among Vietnamese audiences worldwide in late 2011, when he recorded and released two protest songs criticizing the communist government in Vietnam for their cowardice, corruption, and treason against the nation of Vietnam and its people. Simultaneously released, the two songs are “Viet Nam Toi Dau?” (“Where is My Vietnam?”), and “Anh La Ai?” (“Who Are You?”).

The firstly mentioned song, “Where is My Vietnam?” deals with the issue of the current quiet invasion of Vietnam by Red China, and how the impotent and cowardly communist government in Vietnam is doing nothing to defend the country against foreign encroachment.

In his second song, “Who Are You?” the singer addresses the brutality and barbarity of the communist police in Vietnam, who, in the pattern of all totalitarian states, walk around terrorizing, stealing, violating, and murdering the population with impunity.

Through his music, Viet Khang shined a spotlight on a commonly known, but largely unspoken (at least inside Vietnam, because dictatorships) truth about the Vietnamese Communist Party: That they are corrupted, cowardly, and treasonous, not to mention brutal and evil.

In Vietnam, the communist government commits horrendous human rights abuses, such as (but not limited to) breaking into peoples homes at will, forcing bribery and taking citizens’ money at will, seizing and destroying property at will, beating and terrorizing men, women, and children at will, and overall, creating a society of banditry and fear.

On the international stage, an aggressive and expansionist China kills Vietnamese fishermen, builds oil rigs and artificial islands close to Vietnam’s shores, seizes Vietnam’s islands in the eastern sea (wrongfully dubbed the “South China Sea”), and established a one-sided open borders practice with Vietnam that allows Chinese people to come and go in Vietnam without any form of paperwork, while at the same time imposing harsh restrictions on Vietnamese people who wish to travel to China. All of this not only goes unpunished by the Vietnamese communist government, but also seems to be welcomed, even promoted by the Vietnamese communist government.

In general, the communist government in Vietnam behaves brutally and terrifyingly against its own defenseless population, but weak, feckless, and pathetic in its dealings with outside powers.

Viet Khang’s music, through a few simple chords and an unwavering dedication to the truth, shook the foundations of the communist regime in Vietnam, and left even the top members of the Vietnamese communist high command shaking in their little Made in China commie boots.

As a result of his two songs, Viet Khang was jailed by the communist government in Vietnam for four years, finally completing his sentence in December of 2015. Following his release, Viet Khang faced another two to three years of house arrest, as part of his sentencing.

Recently, however, thanks to a collaborative effort of lobbying and advocating by music producer and democracy activist Truc Ho, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and members of his team, which includes Vietnamese-American lawyer Ms. Minh Thuc, a deal was reached between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments, allowing Viet Khang to depart from Vietnam and come to the United States as a refugee.

Viet Khang is a freedom fighter and a patriot who, even when locked away in the dirty confines of communist prison, continued to spread his message to the world.

Upon his arrival in California, it was revealed that another popular Vietnamese protest song, “Tra Lai Cho Dan,” (“Give Back to the People”), had been authored by Viet Khang as well. The song surfaced on Vietnamese overseas media some time after Viet Khang’s sentencing, while he was in prison. It was performed by many overseas Vietnamese musicians, and became popular in Vietnamese communities across the world, even inside Vietnam. With no known author at the time, many suspected that Viet Khang had written the song while in jail, and then finding a way to leak it to the outside world. Since his arrival in the United States, this theory has proven to be a reality.

As a courageous person who speaks his mind, Viet Khang has suffered tremendously at the hands of the communists. It is great that he has finally found some measure of peace for all of the pain he endured. This peace comes in the form of freedom, marked by his arrival in the United States. As a member of the Vietnamese freedom community, I wish Viet Khang the best.

Welcome to America, brother.

God bless.

 

Note: An earlier version of this article failed to include Truc Ho as one of the key players in Viet Khang’s transfer from Vietnam to the United States. Truc Ho was instrumental in this successful operation, spearheading the operation and working closely with Senator McCain and his team to accomplish the task. The error has been corrected. (February 22, 2018).

Reporting for this news article courtesy of Hoang Tat Thang (Dan Lam Bao), Do Dzung (Nguoi Viet), and Nguyen Huy (Nguoi Viet).

CNN is Losing Money, Viewers, and Laying Off Employees, Because Evidently People Don’t Like Fake News

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , on February 17, 2018 by Ian Pham

Fake News CNN(YouTube/CNN)

Earlier in the week, news outlets reported that CNN, the left-leaning, major multibillion-dollar media corporation, often labeled as “Fake News” by President Donald J. Trump, has been yielding disappointing revenues, and as a result, is taking countermeasures to deal with the money troubles.

Despite trying to put a positive spin on the overall situation, an article from Vanity Fair, another left-leaning publication, reports that there are “as many as 50 jobs around the globe scheduled to be eliminated this week… the exact number could still be in flux.” Furthermore, the report states that those employees affected will include “CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing,” as well as “Several high profile initiatives” such as “CNN’s virtual reality productions and its efforts on Snapchat.”

The situation is also reported by Mediaite, who adds that as part of the cuts, CNN has shut down the $25 million video startup Beme, which was acquired from YouTube star Casey Neistat a little over a year ago. According to Buzzfeed, CNN purchased Beme and hired on its creator, Neistat, in late 2016, with hopes of bringing “a new generation of news consumers” into the CNN viewership. However, shortly after one year of the purchase, Neistat would become frustrated with the company, CNN would struggle to meet their ambitious plans, and, as recent events show, the entire project would be shafted.

As described by the cited Vanity Fair and Mediaite sources, the year 2017 saw missed revenue projections for CNN, as well as news companies Buzzfeed and VICE. Though “still profitable,” according to Vanity Fair, CNN had fell short of its profit goals “by tens of millions of dollars.”

This period of unsatisfactory numbers aligns with a time of widespread criticism of CNN, who, in the previous year, has been exposed repeatedly for spreading either false, distorted, or unsubstantiated information, most often with the explicit and malicious intent of slandering, discrediting, and generally damaging the White House under the administration of President Donald Trump.

It is no coincidence, as argued here, that this period of weak profits is happening in tandem with declining viewer confidence in a once reputable news corporation.

To provide some perspective on the woes of #FakeNewsCNN, in the week of Feb. 5, 2018, according to Adweek, the network ranked #9 in the Total Day (Total Viewers) category with 674,000 viewers, getting crushed by Fox New, which ranked #1 with 1,529,000 viewers in the same category. In the Prime Time (Total Viewers) category, CNN did not even crack the Top 10, ranking #13 with 888,000 viewers, once again getting destroyed by Fox News, which captured 2,605,000 viewers, and taking the #1 spot in this category as well.

These statistics represent the most recent happenings on cable news, but is very telling of the trend that has been developing since last year.

An analysis of Adweek statistics by the Daily Wire during the summer of 2017 reported similar findings, with CNN struggling to crack the 800,000 viewer territory during that time period as well.

Over the last year, with its dishonest and malicious reporting on the Trump presidency, frequently launching personal attacks on the president himself, his supporters, his friends, and even members of his family, many viewers of CNN, such as myself, became disillusioned and fed up with the media giant’s blatant bias and lack of respect for its audience and the general public. It is for this reason that I, through no conscious plan of my own, have found myself not watching CNN on television for nearly ten months now.

From its disappointing numbers, its cuts, and its layoffs, it seems I am not the only one to stop watching CNN. I had no clear intention of actively boycotting CNN, but incidentally, that is what happened. Although there is no time frame for this convenient boycott, I simply do not see myself tuning in to CNN again anytime soon.

I know I’m not missing much.

 

Year One: 938, The Year Vietnam Broke Free

Posted in Ancient History, Dynastic History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2018 by Ian Pham

Bach Dang Battle 938(Wikimedia)

Let us be clear, first and foremost, that Vietnam, its history, its language, its culture, and its people, has existed long before the year 938 A.D. There are at least two thousand years of popular recorded Vietnamese history, and much more information available about Vietnam out there covering even further back than these two millennia. This article does not make the case that 938 is the year that Vietnam began. No, this article simply seeks to highlight the significance of the year 938, because, while there are many, many major dates in the history of Vietnam before and after 938, that particular year holds a very important place in Vietnam’s history.

938 A.D. was the year that the people of Vietnam defeated China in a decisive war, ended the thousand years of Chinese occupation once and for all, achieved independence, and created for themselves a sovereign nation that was distinctly Vietnamese. It was a new beginning for the Vietnamese people, the year that Vietnam was reborn, and the dawn of a new era of independence after a destructive thousand years of Chinese domination. This is the significance of the year 938, and why it is argued here to be “Year One” of a new Vietnamese epoch.

So many heroes and so many lives were sacrificed, up to and including the year 938 to achieve the triumph of the Vietnamese people over the Chinese occupiers. This momentous victory culminated at Vietnam’s Bạch Đằng River, where a small Vietnamese naval force, under the leadership of General Ngô Quyền, destroyed an invading army from the Southern Han kingdom of China. It was at Bạch Đằng, with this victory, that China’s thousand years of domination over Vietnam effectively came to an end (Bolt & Garrett, 1999).

Prior to the 938 Battle of Bạch Đằng, Vietnam was still an occupied territory under the Southern Han of China. The millennium of Chinese domination over Vietnam formally began in the year 111 B.C., when the Han Dynasty of China, under the command of Emperor Wu Di, overran the ancient kingdom of Nam-Việt (ancient Vietnam) (Tran, 1920: 44-47). From that period, all the way until 938 A.D., the Vietnamese people initiated many fights for independence. Although some of these efforts yielded short-lived successes, such as the revered and truly consequential Trưng Sisters’ Rebellion in the first century (40 A.D. – 43. A.D.) (ibid, 49-50), a conclusive and lasting victory did not occur until Ngô Quyền’s monumental triumph over the Southern Han at Bạch Đằng in 938. It was then and there that Chinese domination was ended once and for all.

General Ngô Quyền, the man who led the fight against the Southern Han in 938, was born in Vietnam’s Sơn Tây province (Chapuis, 1995: 70). According to the historian Tran Trong Kim, Ngô Quyền was 47 years old when he died in the year 944 (89), thus marking his age at either 40 or 41 at the Battle of Bạch Đằng, depending on whether his birthday (unknown in this article) occurred before or after the battle. In any case, one can see here that Ngô Quyền was not very old at the time he led the Vietnamese to victory.

Before Ngô Quyền took the helm as leader of the resistance, a man named Dương Đình Nghệ, Ngô Quyền’s mentor and father-in-law, led the Vietnamese rebel forces. Certain feats accomplished by Dương Đình Nghệ showed him to be a strong and effective leader.

In 931, having already established control over some originally Vietnamese territories in the crumbling Chinese empire, the elder Nghệ launched an attack on Southern Han forces in Đại La, expanded the scope of his control, and effectively consolidated a governorship over a quasi-independent Vietnamese territory (Taylor, 2013: 45-46).

During this time, though the Vietnamese area was indeed ruled by a Vietnamese leader, it was, on paper, still under the control of the Southern Han. Having achieved recognition from a weak and reluctant Southern Han (Taylor, 46), the Governor Nghệ had big plans for his territory. However, due to his assassination, Governor Nghệ would only rule for a span of six years and was unable to carry out his goals (Tran, 76). In 937, Dương Đình Nghệ was betrayed and murdered by one of his own generals, Kiều Công Tiễn, who then sought help from the Chinese to consolidate his usurpation (Taylor, 46). Consistent with their approach to any traitor to the Vietnamese nation, the Chinese were happy to assist the treasonous Kiều Công Tiễn in causing damage to Vietnam’s interests.

During this time, Ngô Quyền was serving under Dương Đình Nghệ as the administrator of what is modern day Thanh Hóa province. The two men had a close relationship, for it was Nghệ who recognized the talents of Ngô Quyền in earlier times, promoted Quyền to oversee the operations of Thanh Hóa, and granted his daughter’s hand in marriage to Quyền. Upon hearing the news of his mentor’s death, Ngô Quyền mobilized his own forces to confront Kiều Công Tiễn and avenge his father-in-law (Tran, 76).

Marching northward, Ngô Quyền killed the traitor Kiều Công Tiễn in 938, and promptly shifted his attention to the incoming Chinese invasion (Taylor, 46; Tran, 76). From China, the Southern Han ruler, Liu Gong, braced his forces for an attempt to recapture the Vietnamese territory.

Anticipating the Southern Han’s attack, Ngô Quyền “stationed his men at the estuary of the Bạch Đằng River where the sea routes entered the plain and where he prepared to receive the Southern Han fleet with iron-tipped poles planted in the bed of the river,” (Taylor, 46).

Prior to the Battle of Bạch Đằng, the Southern Han heeded the call of the traitor Kiều Công Tiễn, and “mobilized a fleet of warships, commanded by the crown prince, to bring an army to the aid of its would-be ally,” (ibid). According to Chapuis, this invading force was known as the “Yunnanese expedition,” (70), and was led by Liu Gong’s son, the crown prince Liu Hungcao (Anderson, 2007: 43), [known as Hoằng Tháo in Vietnamese records (Chapuis, 70)].

As history shows, even after the death of Kiều Công Tiễn, the Southern Han continued their invasion of Vietnam without their “would-be ally.” An examination by James Anderson demonstrates that during this period, in what the Chinese describe as the “Five Dynasties” period, the aspirational Southern Han dynasty north of the Vietnamese regions were showing renewed interest in once again capturing full control of Vietnam and its people (43). These findings cast doubt on the Southern Han’s apparently benevolent intentions of simply helping a potential ally, embodied by the treasonous Kiều Công Tiễn. Instead, it is more apparent that the Southern Han, though claiming to assist an ally in need, sought to exploit the situation in Vietnam to capture and reestablish Chinese control over the Vietnamese once more.

The Southern Han’s Yunnanese expedition arrived in the autumn of 938, and was met by the forces of General Ngô Quyền at Bạch Đằng River (Anderson, 43; Taylor, 46).

As part of their strategy, it was the forces of Ngô Quyền who initiated the naval confrontation versus the Southern Han fleet (Chapuis, 70). The Việt forces instigated the fight during high tide, when the river waters covered the giant iron stakes they had planted beneath the waves. As the tide gradually fell, Ngô Quyền’s forces feigned a retreat, prompting a chase by the Southern Han’s forces. In their pursuit, the invaders sailed directly over Ngô Quyền’s trap (Tran, 70). With the fall of the tide, the Chinese ships became entangled, the stakes ripping through the Chinese ships and impaling the soldiers onboard (Anderson, 43). It was then that Ngô Quyền and the Việt forces launched their counter attack, against an ensnared Southern Han naval fleet that could neither fight back nor escape. As a result, at Bạch Đằng River, Ngô Quyền and his navy obliterated the Chinese invading forces (Tran, 76), drowning half of the Chinese expedition (Anderson, 43).

From the battle, the Southern Han’s naval commander, the crown prince Liu Hungcao, was captured by Ngô Quyền’s forces and subsequently executed (Tran, 76). With the destruction of its invading fleet, and the loss of Prince Hungcao, who was both the leader of the fleet and the heir to the Southern Han’s throne, the defeat at Bạch Đằng River marked “the end of Southern Han ambitions in An Nam,” (Taylor, 46). [Side note: An Nam was the Chinese’ derogatory name for Vietnam, meaning “Pacified South,” and is a label “much resented by the Vietnamese,” then and now (Bolt & Garrett)].

With the Southern Han invaders vanquished, and his position over the Vietnamese realm solidified, Ngô Quyền purged himself of any designations associated with the old Chinese order, and took on the role as “King” of a newly independent Vietnamese throne (Anderson, 43). The new Vietnamese King then set up his independent capital at Cổ Loa, an ancient site north of the Red River Delta, where the legendary Vietnamese ruler King An Dương founded his ancient kingdom of Âu Lạc (257 B.C. – 207 B.C.) more than a thousand years before Ngô Quyền’s time (Anderson, 43-44; Taylor, 46).

Ngô Quyền’s decision to set up his government at this specific location signified his purpose to be a “Vietnamese leader who was independent from northern [Chinese] control” (Anderson, 44). In so doing, King Ngô Quyền declared his own dynasty, separate from the Chinese (Taylor, 46). It was a monarchic regime, viewed by some as “the first manifestation of Vietnam’s national identity,” (Chapuis, 70).

And with that, in the year 938 A.D., a new Vietnamese nation was born, after more than one thousand years of Chinese domination.

The Battle of Bạch Đằng of 938 would be recorded famously in the annals of history, and the mastermind behind the brilliant strategies that resulted in that victory, the General (and later, King) Ngô Quyền, joined the “pantheon of Vietnamese national heroes,” (43). Successive generations, such as the dynasties of the Đinh, the “Early” Lê, the Lý, the Trần (Tran, 76), and all those after them, stemmed from the foundation laid by Ngô Quyền and the brave Vietnamese who made the ultimate sacrifice before and up to that monumental victory at Bạch Đằng River.

It was at that critical juncture that a new Vietnamese homeland was born. At Bạch Đằng River, after a thousand years of trying, trying, and trying some more, our Vietnamese ancestors realized our destiny in 938, affirming the right to exist of the Vietnamese people, and of a Vietnamese homeland, always and forever.

For this reason, with the undying truth that Vietnam and its people possess thousands of years of history long before the Battle of Bạch Đằng Bay, the year 938 A.D. stands immortal in the history books of the Vietnamese people, and is argued here to be “Year One” of a new Vietnamese era.

 

Bibliography:

Anderson, James. The Rebel Den of Nùng Trí Cao: Loyalty and Identity Along the Sino-Vietnamese Frontier. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.

Bolt, Ernest & Amanda Garrett. “The End of Chinese Domination: The Battle of Bach Dang (938).” From Pre-Colonial Vietnam: Study Module for Online Course (Richmond University, 1999). https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~ebolt/history398/PrecolonialVietnam.html (accessed Dec. 30, 2017).

Chapuis, Oscar. A History of Vietnam: From Hong Bang to Tu Duc. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1995.

Taylor, Keith W. A History of the Vietnamese. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Tran, Kim Trong. Việt Nam Sử Lược. Vietnam: Thanh Hoa Publishing, 1920.

Merry Christmas! 2017 Edition

Posted in Art, IV. Columns, Music with tags , , , , on December 25, 2017 by Ian Pham

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Seasons Greetings, dear readers!

I know I haven’t been around as much, but I had to drop in to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

If you are wondering if this blog is still active, and whether I am still active, fear not, because the answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES! Blogging time has been sparse over this last long haul, but I see some opportunities to change that as we go forward. More on that soon!

And so, in this brief Christmas letter, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have the opportunity to take some time and appreciate the things that are important to you, whatever they may be. Remember to take care of yourself, love yourself, and know that whoever you are, your are enough, and you are worth it.

Best wishes,

Ian

❤️🎄🎁🎵