Archive for January, 2012

The Music of Viet Khang

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on January 28, 2012 by Ian Pham

It’s been over one month since the Vietnamese police arrested Viet Khang, a musician who was brave enough to raise the crimes of the Communist Party to the public.  Through his music, Viet Khang questions the rule of the Communists and shames them for their long list of atrocities they have committed against the country.  Because of his music, Viet Khang is now in jail, but because of Viet Khang, the Communists are terrified.

There are two songs of Viet Khang’s songs that have caused quite a stir in the Communist country.  One song is titled “Viet Nam Toi Dau?”, which translates to “Where Is My Vietnam?”  The other song is called “Anh La Ai?”, when translated to English, means “Who Are You?”  Both of these songs raise some very core issues in Vietnam today, issues that the Vietnamese government has been trying to cover up for the longest time.

The song shared above is “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?”, and raises the issues of the Chinese invasion and the islands of Paracel and Spatley.  Basically, Viet Khang just sings about all of the embarassing concessions that the Vietnamese government has made to China, and asking when it all went so wrong.  The answer is easy: The Communists ruined the country, and Viet Khang is saying it through song.

Unfortunately for all my non-Vietnamese speakers, there is no English translation in this video, so you’ll just have to bare with me.  Don’t worry though, I’ve already told you the gist of the song, and the video footage will certainly help facilitate your understanding, even if the words are foreign.  The next song, “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” which, in my opinion, is even powerful lyrically, will be posted in the coming days.  Enjoy!

Welcoming 2012: Can The Communist Party Get Any Dumber?

Posted in Opinions, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Ian Pham

The more I think about the Communist regime in Vietnam, the less I am able to respect this poor excuse for a bumbling government.  It is simple enough, there is really nothing respectable about the Communists in Vietnam.  They sell out the country to foreigners, enrich themselves through the pockets of the people, and jail the patriots who speak out against the Chinese invaders. These are all well known among those of us who study the happenings of Vietnam today.  Once in a while however, the Vietnamese government would go even further to do something so mindnumbingly stupid, completely boggling the mind of anyone with a shred of common sense.

There are numerous examples in the last two years alone.  Just one year ago, last January, the Vietnamese government decided to attack American diplomat Christian Marchant.  Marchant was simply on his way to pay a visit to father Nguyen Van Ly, a known democracy activist and religious figure in Vietnam.  Marchant’s visit with Father Ly was by no means a threat to the government.  Yet they still felt compelled to send the police to corner and beat up the American diplomat.  As a result, U.S.-Vietnam relations were unnecesarilly strained, slowing down the process of normalization that Vietnam has been trying so hard to cultivate with America.

Earlier than that, in the fall of 2010, news circulated that the Vietnamese Communists have approved a movie deal with the Chinese, giving the Chinese full creative control over the life and times of the great Vietnamese emperor, Ly Cong Uan.  The historical accuracy of this movie was, to say the least, extremely poor.  The directors of the movie dressed up the emperor in Chinese robes, surrounded him with Chinese officials, and his palace is designed after Chinese architecture.  Furthermore, the movie is shot in China, and all the major characters were dressed and decorated like they were Chinese.  Luckily, the movie never saw the light of day, for fear of public outrage by the Vietnamese population.  They literally gave the Chinese a chance to further rewrite Vietnam’s history and almost succeeded.

Just a few months ago in October, the U.S. government wanted to cooperate with the Vietnamese government on a Vietnam War repatriation project.  The United States offered free financial support to the VCP as a show of good will, asking them to recover the bodies of all the soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.  This includes not only North Vietnam, but American and South Vietnamese soldiers as well.  Unfortunately, because of their arrogance, the VCP rejected American support, refusing to repatriate the corpses of the South Vietnamese.  The war has been over for nearly 40 years, yet they still can’t move on.  This was an opportunity for the Communists to project to the world that they were dignified, progressive, and most importantly, valueing human life.  They had nothing to lose and so much to gain.  Sadly, they were too stupid to understand this, and blew another opportunity to improve their international image and get closer to the U.S., both of which are goals they have been desperately striving for.

The latest act of stupidity took place only several weeks ago with the recent visit of China’s future President, Xi Jinping.  In an attempt to cater to the next supreme leader of China, the Vietnamese Communists decided to greet the man with a modified Chinese flag.  The standard national flag of the People’s Republic of China has one big gold star surrounded by four smaller stars.  It is widely understood that the stars on the flag represent the Socialist aspects of the country, though that is not the full story.  Alternatively, and unoffically, the stars on the flag also represent the ethnic groups of China.  The large star represents the majority Han people, while the smaller stars make up the other ethnicities of the country: Xinjiang, Mongolia, Tibet, and Manchuria.  Upon Xi Jinping’s visit, the Vietnamese Communists added another small star to the flag.  What they meant by that gesture is pretty self explanatory.  After all, which country has China been trying to take all this time?

It gives me chills thinking about why the Communists in Vietnam would even think of adding another star to that Chinese flag.  The Vietnamese government has done some stupid things, and they do not show signs of getting smarter.  What I’ve mentioned above are just a few of many, and have only taken place within the past year or so.  It would be an understatement to say that Vietnam is in serious trouble, and another understatement to say that the country needs a change.  What can we expect from the Vietnamese Communist Party in 2012?  It is still unclear, they are so unpredictable and erratic, we can never know what they will do next.  It is very devestating that Vietnam is run by these individuals.  Please excuse my crassness, for if I didn’t know any better, I would say that this Socialist Republic of Vietnam is run by a bunch of retards.  Happy 2012!

Lê Lai: The Warrior Who Saved The Emperor

Posted in Dynastic History with tags , , , , on January 5, 2012 by Ian Pham

Anyone familiar with the history of Vietnam is likely familiar with the story of Lê Lợi and Nguyễn Trãi.  When the Ming Dynasty of China invaded Vietnam (Đại Việt) and overtook the country in the 15th century, the duo of Lê Lợi and Nguyễn Trãi rallied the population in Vietnam in a struggle against the Ming, effectively destroying the invaders in a ten year war (1418-1427).  After the revolt, Lê Lợi would become the new emperor of Đại Việt, found the Lê Dynasty, and lead the country through an era of prosperity.

It is commonly understood that Nguyễn Trãi, Lê Lợi’s advisor, played a major role in the success of the rebellion.  However, the duo was also supported by a loyal team of warriors who fought and died for them.  Among these group of warriors was a man named Lê Lai, one of Lê Lợi’s subordinate commanders.

During the early phases of the rebellion against China (1421), the forces of Lê Lợi and Nguyễn Trãi were not yet strong enough to confront the Ming head on.  One mountaintop battle saw the forces of Lê Lợi surrounded and on the verge of defeat.  The Ming forces had trapped the Việt rebels, and were waiting to move in for the kill.

Faced with the possibility of a crushing defeat, not only for the soldiers, but for the rebellion as a whole, the rebels had to come up with a plan, and fast.  Lê Lai, the warrior of Lê Lợi, wanted to create a diversion.  In an act of courage, loyalty, and patriotism, Lê Lai volunteered to hold off the Ming forces while Lê Lợi and the majority of the forces escaped.

Lai fooled the Ming forces by dressing up in Lê Lợi’s uniform.  He then assembled a small squad among the rebels who were also willing to die, playing the chief role in their suicide mission against the Chinese forces.  Lê Lai, along with a small company of Vietnamese rebels, launched an assault on the forces of Ming, knowing full well that it would get them killed.  Thus, Lê Lợi, the leader of the revolution, and the future emperor of Đại Việt, was narrowly able to escape the Chinese’s grasp.

The unsung hero, Lê Lai, saved not only the future emperor, but the revolution as a whole.  If Lê Lợi were captured by the forces of Ming, the revolution, the spirit of the people, and all hopes of breaking free from the stranglehold of the Ming Dynasty would be resoundingly crushed.  In giving up his life, Lê Lai would forever be remembered as the warrior who saved the emperor, and the man who preserved a nation.

Lê Lai is fairly well known in Vietnamese history.  He has been immortalized as a selfless and heroic figure who gave his life for the national hero, Lê Lợi, the emperor himself.  Before his death, Emperor Lê Lợi saw to it that Lê Lai’s memorial be held one day before his own.  In Vietnam, the memorial day of Lê Lai is August 21, while the emperor’s is on August 22.