Archive for the II. History Category

“Not Here To Spread” This: How The Leftist Mainstream Media Responded to Revelations of North Vietnamese Mass Murder at Hue in 1968

Posted in Modern History, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2020 by Ian Pham
People in the city of Hue lay to rest their family members, friends, and neighbors, after South Vietnamese and U.S. forces liberate the city from communist occupation. Over the course of one month, the communists brutally murdered thousands of innocent people in the name of “revolution” (U.S. Army).

The “long story short” version of this is that in 1968, journalists in the mainstream U.S. media witnessed the shocking discovery of mass graves, created by the murderous communist regime, in the city of Hue, South Vietnam, and explicitly decided not to report on it. All the while, the liberal media continued its common practice of peddling pro-communist and anti-American propaganda to the American people, glorifying the evil communists, while vilifying the real heroes, which were the South Vietnamese and American troops.

With that main point established, we will now dive into detail about the coverup of the communist mass murder at Hue. The analysis provides another glaring example of how far leftists will go to protect and glorify totalitarian regimes at the expense of America.

Estimated reading time: 12-16 minutes

The Tet Offensive of 1968 and the Battle of Hue

In late January of 1968, the communist state of North Vietnam launched a surprise attack on its southern neighbor, the fledgling democratic nation of South Vietnam. The communists were hoping to knock South Vietnam and their U.S. allies out of the war for good, and ultimately, to establish control over all of Vietnam under the blood-red banner of Communism.

South Vietnam’s capital city of Saigon during the Tet Offensive of 1968 (UISA/NARA).

Sadly for the communists, they failed. Big time.

This fiasco by the communists would be known in history as the Tet Offensive of 1968.

The lunar new year period, known as “Tet” in Vietnam, is usually a time of peace, love, and friendship among Vietnamese. Though it was unstated, there was an understanding between the North and South that, for at least a few days, there would be a truce, and that no blood will be shed.

In hopes of gaining an upper hand, the communists violated the truce, and launched a massive military campaign against the South. Despite, their underhanded attack, the communists were still handily defeated by South Vietnam and U.S. forces.

Though initially surprised by the communist sneak attack, the South Vietnamese and their American allies responded quickly and resolutely, destroying the communist invaders and expelling them from nearly all of South Vietnam’s major cities.

South Vietnamese and U.S. Special Forces members. Photo taken in September 1968 (U.S. Army).

There were only a few key locations where the communists managed to hold on for a while. Eventually, these places too would be liberated from communist occupation by South Vietnam and U.S. forces.

The old imperial capital city of Hue was one of the last places to be freed from the communists. Victory at Hue was accomplished after 26 days of intense fighting.

This fight came to be known as the Battle of Hue, and lasted from January 31 to February 25, 1968.

At the end of this long and bloody battle, 384 South Vietnamese soldiers were killed, 216 U.S. soldiers were killed, and 5,113 communist soldiers were killed. The communist forces paid dearly at Hue and got ripped to pieces by the South Vietnamese and American troops (Smith 1999: x).

Following the battle, on February 26, 1968, “South Vietnamese and American troops made a horrifying discovery” at Hue (Zimmerman & Vansant 2009: 78).

The Hue Massacre and North Vietnam’s Official Policy of Violence and Murder

After the liberation of Hue from communist control, the South Vietnamese and U.S. forces uncovered bodies of men, women, and children buried in shallow graves all around the city. Some bodies had bullet wounds in them, others had their arms bound by rope and wire, and some bodies were still wet, as if drenched in water before being buried. It appeared that many of these people had been buried alive (Smith 1999: ix).

In a chilling anecdote, George W. Smith described many of the corpses as still having “their mouths open, silent screams frozen on their faces,” (p. ix).

South Vietnamese residents standing in the midst of the destruction in the aftermath of the Hue Massacre of 1968 (Douglas Pike Collection).

James H. Willbanks explains that after the communists had seized control of Hue, they started rounding up people all around the city and systematically executed them en masse (p. 55). In the words of Willbanks, most of the victims were either “shot, bludgeoned to death, or buried alive, almost all with their hands tied behind their backs,” (p. 55).

In the end, a total of 2,810 bodies were discovered in these mass graves, although the number is estimated to be much higher than this (Moore & Turner 2002: 278). Another 2,000 people were unaccounted for after the liberation of Hue. It is strongly suggested that they too were murdered in the communist mass executions (Herring 2002: 232; Moore & Turner 2002: 278).

The purpose of this organized and systematic murder of the people of Hue was to instil fear and terror into the South Vietnamese population, and to discourage people from supporting or associating with the South Vietnam government. There was also a revenge element, as the communists sought to punish “uncooperative” civilians in South Vietnam for not supporting the barbaric communist regime and their evil ideology (Moore & Turner 2002: 278).

As part of their terror campaign, the communists compiled a list of targets that included local politicians, civil servants, shopkeepers, and other civilian groups. This “execution list” had at least 3,000 names on it and was compiled before the Tet Offensive was even started (Aikman 2013; Moore & Turner 2002: 278).

North Vietnamese communist troops. During the Vietnam War, North Vietnam and their Vietcong subordinates committed grave atrocities that were largely covered up by the pro-communist mainstream liberal media (U.S. Army).

Upon the capture of Hue, the communists put their horrific execution plan into action, going house to house and butchering defenseless residents and civilians. This was not an isolated incident carried out by renegade, insubordinate, or unruly troops. It was a deliberate part of communist policy, planned, organized, and authorized at the highest level of the North Vietnamese government.

As explained by John Norton Moore and Robert F. Turner, “For the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese, the ‘tactic’ of ‘political struggle’ included the use of terror to isolate the people from their government… Selected assassination of government officials was official policy.” Not only that, but for the communists, “Grave breaches” by their troops and cadres “not only went unpunished, they were mandated,” (p. 277-78).

The result of their terror and violence program was the death of thousands of innocent lives. Victims of this mass execution included schoolteachers, merchants, religious leaders, police, government employees, political officials, foreign visitors, and regular everyday civilians.

“We are not here to spread” this. The Liberal Media Coverup of the Hue Massacre

When the horrifying discoveries were being made at Hue, the leftist mainstream media was there. The liberal media saw with their own eyes the corpses of all the innocent people, being dug out of the ground by the dead’s traumatized and heartbroken relatives, friends, and neighbors. They knew that it was the North Vietnamese and their Viet Cong operatives that committed these atrocities. And they chose to say nothing about it.

One firsthand account by a German reporter, Uwe Siemon-Netto, showed just how blatant and deliberate the U.S. mainstream media was in their decision not to say a word about the mass killings at Hue.

In a review of Siemon-Netto’s 2013 memoir Duc: A reporter’s love for the wounded people of Vietnam, David Aikman described the interaction between the German reporter and some mainstream media liberals at Hue:

When this fastidious German reporter came upon a mass grave of victims, he was astonished to find an American television crew standing around with idle cameras. The crew refused to shoot the scene because, they said, they didn’t want to film “anti-Communist propaganda.”

Siemon-Netto would retell this experience himself in a 2018 letter to the Wall Street Journal.

I remember how furious Peter Braestrup, I and others were when Walter Cronkite stated in front of millions of U.S. viewers that the war couldn’t be won, when in fact we had just witnessed American and South Vietnamese soldiers shed their blood vanquishing the communists and destroying their infrastructure. I stood next to Braestrup at a mass grave filled with the bodies of old men, women and children. A U.S. television team walked idly about this site. Braestrup asked them: “Why don’t you film this scene?” “We are not here to spread anticommunist propaganda,” one answered.

As a result of the mainstream media’s decision not to report this tragedy, the world would pay “little attention to these atrocities at Hue… the ghastly events at Hue became footnotes in a highly unpopular war,” (Smith 1999: x).

The Hue Massacre was not the only massacre committed by the communists during the Vietnam War. There were others, many others, and the media would stay overwhelmingly silent on them. That, however, is a discussion for another time.

The Mainstream Media. Liars Since At Least the Vietnam War

What happened at Hue between January to February of 1968 was a massacre. A mass slaughter of innocent lives by a murderous communist regime propped up by the Soviet Union and Red China, and widely adored by leftists and traitors in the U.S.

The communists carried out a violent and horrific purge of innocent people in South Vietnam, and their friends in the U.S. mainstream liberal media helped them cover it up. It would be decades before the world learned of the Hue Massacre, and even then, it would not be widespread knowledge.

The remains of the Brinks Hotel in Saigon after a bombing attack by Vietcong terrorists on December 24, 1964. At the time, military personnel and civilian guests were inside the hotel. Terrorism was a core strategy of the communists during the Vietnam War. Much of the communists’ terrorist activities were, like the Hue Massacre, either ignored, covered up, or denied by the mainstream liberal media (U.S. Air Force).

From the evidence, it would seem that, according to leftists, something they see with their own eyes, a literal fact, may constitute as “propaganda” if it does not align with their points of view. Opinions, hearsay, and outright lies, on the other hand, may serve as “fact” if it affirms whatever the leftists are thinking and feeling.

Leftists in the U.S. loved the North Vietnamese for some reason, and were so determined to paint communists as heroes that they covered up a mass slaughter to make it happen. The liberal media covered up a genocidal act by North Vietnam in order to advance a pro-communist narrative. Let that sink in.

When we look at the mainstream liberal media today, defending Marxist riots in U.S. cities, enabling anarchy, waging a war on police, silencing those who quietly suffer from this violence and unrest, and overall, just lying to the American people every second of every day (not just misleading, but outright lying), just know that this is nothing new.

They have had a lot of practice.

The Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is set ablaze by rioters in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by dirty cop Derek Chauvin on May 28, 2020. Democrats, the media, and general leftist elites have largely and wrongfully described the violence and looting across America as “peaceful protests,” glorifying the criminals, vilifying the police (of which the overwhelming majority are good, great people), and ignoring the cries of everyday people of all colors who are adversely affected by the unrest (Wikimedia Commons).

The liberal media has been doing this for decades. Glorifying communists, anarchists, terrorists, and totalitarian regimes, all the while vilifying real heroes, patriots, and regular everyday good people who just happen to disagree with them.

The mainstream media is pro-communist and anti-American, and they have gotten away with peddling their treasonous agenda to the public, to our youth and children, for far too long. It is time that we see the leftist media for what they truly are: Liars, cowards, and traitors.

As President Donald J. Trump has said many times before: The leftist mainstream media is dishonest, fake, and the enemy of the people.

From the Vietnam War to now, and most likely well into the future, the leftist mainstream media cannot be trusted. They can never be trusted.

Bibliography:

Aikman, David. “The Lost Cause,” (October 7, 2013). The Weekly Standard, reproduced by The Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/the-lost-cause

“Debating Fake News and the Tet Offensive,” (February 14, 2018). The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/debating-fake-news-and-the-tet-offensive-1518642077

Herring, George C. America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam. New York: McGraw Hill. 2002.

Moore, John Norton and Robert F. Turner. The Real Heroes of the Vietnam War: Reflections. North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press. 2002.

Smith, George W. The Siege at Hue. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc. 1999.

Willbanks, James H. The Tet Offensive: A Concise History. New York: Columbia University Press. 2007.

Zimmerman, Dwight and Wayne Vansant. The Vietnam War: A Graphic History. New York: Hill and Wang. 2009.

The Democrat-Controlled Congress in 1973-75 Made Sure That South Vietnam and America Lost the Vietnam War

Posted in Modern History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2020 by Ian Pham
Then-Vice President Gerald Ford addressing Congress on December 6, 1973. During this time under President Nixon, as well as in the future Ford presidency, a Democrat-controlled Congress would do everything they could to undermine the American war effort in Vietnam in order to help the communists. Photo shared in accordance with CC BY-SA 4.0. (via Carl Albert Research and Studies Center)

Estimated reading time: 5-9 minutes

In his influential and meticulously researched book Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam 1973-1975 (2012), George J. Veith explained that the “U.S. Congress’s aid cutbacks and legislation denying fire support were the main culprits in South Vietnam’s demise,” (p. 7-8). Veith then elaborated on this point, saying that “congressional aid reductions were imposed in perverse synchronicity with increased Communist aggression,” (p. 8).

According to Veith, the communists admitted this themselves, since “Communist accounts written after the war trumpet the fact that aid cuts progressively weakened the RVNAF [Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Air Force], while North Vietnam’s military strength concurrently recovered from the debacle of the 1972 offensive,” (p. 8).

The 1972 offensive referred by Veith is known in history as the Easter Offensive, which took place in the spring of that year. After the exit of the majority of U.S. forces from Vietnam, the North Vietnamese launched the most ambitious military campaign of the war, larger than the 1968 Tet Offensive, in hopes of knocking the South Vietnamese out of the war once and for all.

Despite their ferocity, this campaign by the North Vietnamese, like all of their attempts in the past, failed miserably.

Supported by the remaining U.S. airpower, who stayed behind to fight alongside their Vietnamese brothers in arms, the South Vietnamese, largely on their own, ripped the invading North Vietnamese to pieces, crushing their forces at An Loc, Kontum, Quang Tri, and more. The aftermath left the communist forces drained, decimated, and humiliated.

The Southern victory demonstrated not only the success of Vietnamization (or as I like to call it, Re-Vietnamization), but also dispelled the leftist media and Democrat narrative that the South Vietnamese soldiers were unprofessional, unable, and unwilling to fight. The leftists in America got proven wrong, and this hurt them and angered them deeply.

On the media’s end, they simply did not bother to write about the South’s victories in 1972. This was consistent with the leftist media conduct throughout the war: amplifying, exaggerating, and fabricating the successes of communists, while ignoring, suppressing, and whitewashing the many, many successes of South Vietnam and the U.S.

For Congress, which was led by Democrats, they continued their efforts to defund and bankrupt South Vietnam. Only now they did so at an accelerated pace.

From 1973 to 1975, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress pushed through resolution after resolution, slashing financial aid to South Vietnam, castrating the political power of President Nixon and then President Ford, until there was nothing left for South Vietnam to run on (Veith 2012: 33-34; 55; 58-59).

Democrat Joe Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 and sworn into office in early 1973. He would spend the next 47 years of his life in government as a career politician. (via U.S. Congress)

At the same time, thanks to the Democrats, the North Vietnamese were given time to rebuild and retry their attempts to conquer the South. Unlike their southern counterparts, the North had reliable allies in China and the USSR who did not hesitate in financing their friend (Sorley 1999: 382).

Following the victory over the communists in the 1972 Easter Offensive, South Vietnamese General Cao Van Vien said that the South was “fully capable of confronting the NVA [North Vietnamese Army] if U.S. support were provided in three vital areas: tactical and strategic air, to include troop transport; sea transport; and the replacement of weapons, materials, and supplies,” (Sorley 1999: 373).

Because of the Democrats, these vital needs were cut off from South Vietnam. By April 30, 1975, the fruits of the Democrats’ treasonous labor would come to fruition with the fall of Saigon.

Lewis Sorley stated the painful truth in his book A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam (1999), and this is the fact “that two totalitarian states – the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China – had proved more faithful and reliable as allies than the American democracy…” (p. 373).

If you ask me, I would say that the North Vietnamese had another ally: The Democratic Party.

Concurrent with the USSR’s and China’s consistent funding and support of the North Vietnamese, the Democrats in Congress did everything in their power to turn the tide of the war against South Vietnam and the U.S.

The mainstream media made sure that the communists were glorified and the South Vietnamese were hated. At the same time, Democrat politicians fed off the public exhaustion and anxiety generated by the leftist media, used that antiwar sentiment to elevate themselves to positions of power, and made it their personal mission to bankrupt South Vietnam and ensure a communist victory in Southeast Asia.

Both the Democrats and the leftist media rejoiced when Saigon fell and the communists took over Vietnam. To this day, Democrats and liberal journalists alike try to paint the communists in a positive light, while spitting on the sacrifices of the real heroes like the South Vietnamese and American soldiers.

This is the Democratic Party. This is what they stand for, and it has been going on for much too long.

Whether it be the Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s kowtowing to the North Vietnamese, Bill Clinton being buddy-buddy with communist China and communist Vietnam in the 1990s, Barack Obama surrendering to China, Iran, ISIS, Russia, Syria, and so many more in the 2010s, or Joe Biden and the Democrats surrendering to these same hostile actors (except ISIS, which got destroyed by the Trump administration FYI) while also being a Trojan horse for the radical left in 2020, the story of the Democratic Party in the late 20th and early 21st century is always the same: The Democrats love to surrender to the enemy, and they love to undermine and sabotage America.

It is about time we recognize this. Americans love to forgive and forget, and the Democrats and leftists have exploited that good heart for decades. If we let them do it much longer, we will no longer have a country.

As a person of South Vietnamese descent, I know exactly how it feels to lose your country. It literally happened to us, thanks to the Democrats. This is not a joke. The threat is more real than many of us want to admit.

If the Democrats take power in 2020, America will be a thing of the past, and in whatever socialist wasteland that results, the rulers, overseeing the poverty, death, and misery that is already so rampant in other socialist trash countries right now, will still try to blame their problems on made-up social issues like “toxic masculinity,” “the rise in white supremacy,” and “systemic racism.”

Reject this stupidity, reject this socialism, reject the Democratic Party.

Cited:

Sorley, Lewis. A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1999.

Veith, George J. Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam 1973-1975. New York: Encounter Books. 2012.

12 Sources: An Annotated Bibliography on the Hundred Viets (Bach Viet/Baiyue)

Posted in Ancient History, Annotated Bibliography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2020 by Ian Pham
Photo by Hugo Heimendinger on Pexels.com*

Introduction:

The following is a collection of sources and excerpts I selected which talk about the ancient ancestors of the Vietnamese people, known in history as the “Hundred Viets” race (Bach Viet/Baiyue).

My original plan was to present the sources in my standard blog format, which is to write about each topic individually, one article at a time. I still intend to do that, so anyone who enjoys my history articles will still have that to look forward to.

At the same time, however, there is so much information that I would like you all to be aware of and see as soon as possible. That way, you know that the information exists, and if you wanted to do a little exploration of your own into our ancient and glorious past, then you can.

That is why I’ve compiled this short list of academic sources about the Hundred Viets. The following are some excellent excerpts quoted directly from the works themselves. They provide some detail into the ancient roots of the Vietnamese people, further demonstrating that Vietnamese history is pretty awesome.

The sources are not organized in alphabetical order, but rather in the order that I believe will make the most sense to the reader and help them see the big picture.

I hope you enjoy this read, and that you find it helpful in discovering and understanding the rich heritage of the Vietnamese people.

Brace yourself, though. It’s a longer read.

Word count: 2709**

Estimated reading time: 15-19 minutes

*photos in this article are presented primarily for aesthetic purposes, and, while they could be, are not necessarily related to the topics discussed
**word count does not include the standard bibliography at the end of the article (word count with bibliography: 2955)

1. Murphey, Rhoads. East Asia: A New History, Fifth Edition. Boston: Longman. 2010.

The Yue kingdom had included the related people and culture of what is now northern Vietnam… In Han times, the southern people and culture of Yue were regarded as foreign and were in fact very different from those of the north. More than traces of these differences remain even now, including the Cantonese language and cuisine… The people and culture of Vietnam were still more different, and they regained their independence from China after the fall of the Han. (Murphy 2010: 60)

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

The name Viet (Yue in Chinese) derives from the name of an ancient kingdom that existed during the Warring States Period (sixth to third centuries BCE) on the southeastern coast of what is now China. The name came to be applied by the ancient Chinese to peoples on their southern frontier… Nam Viet (Chinese Nan Yue, meaning “South Viet”) was the name of an ancient kingdom in southern China. (Murphey 2010: 188)

Chronology…

  • … 220 BCE: Qin conquer northern Vietnam kingdom of Yue
  • … 111 BCE to 220 CE: Han conquest of Yue, northern Vietnam

(Murphy 2010: 189)

2. Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2011.

The new nineteenth-century name Vietnam was consciously intended to evoke the memory of an ancient (208-110 BCE) kingdom called Southern Viet (pronounced Nam Viet in Vietnamese). Because the capital of that ancient Southern Viet kingdom had been located at the site of the modern city of Guangzhou (in English, Canton), in China, however, nineteenth-century Vietnam was obviously somewhat further south… The reason, then, why the capital of the ancient kingdom of Southern Viet was… located north of modern Vietnam in what is now China, was because the very earliest Bronze Age kingdom called Viet (in Chinese, Yue 越), from which all of these names presumably ultimately derived, had been located even further north, in the vicinity of the modern Chinese Province of Zhejiang, almost halfway up the coast of what is today China! Early Chinese texts, in fact, referred to most of what is now southeast China as the land of the “Hundred Viets.” (Holcombe 2011: 9)

3. Nguyen, Dieu Thi. “A mythographical journey to modernity: The textual and symbolic transformations of the Hung Kings founding myths.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, no. 2 (2013): 315-37.

The origin or founding myth of Vietnam is ‘Truyen Hong Bang’ (The tale of Hong Bang)… According to the tale, King Kinh Duong, who belonged to the bloodline of the Northern Than Nong (in Chinese Shen Nung, or the Divine Farmer) on his paternal side, and to the Immortals on his maternal side, ruled over the Southern realm named Xich Qui Quoc (The Red-haired Devils’ Realm)… During a journey to the Water Realm, Kinh Duong married a Dragon Spirit, who gave birth to one son, Sung Lam, also known as Lac Long Quan (Dragon Lord of the Lac)… The Dragon Lord met Au Co, an Immortal from the Mountainous Realm, and was smitten by her beauty… The quoc dan (realm’s people) over which they ruled were known as the Bach Viet (One hundred Viet), noted for their custom of tattooing as taught by their Dragon Lord-Father to ward off crocodiles and other aquatic creatures. (Nguyen 2013: 318-19)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Cameron, Judith. “Textile Crafts in the Gulf of Tongking: The Intersection Between Archeology and History.” In The Tongking Gulf Through History, edited by Nola Cooke, Li Tana, and James A. Anderson: 25-38. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2011.

According to Vietnamese folk history, the earliest groups in the Red River region had no knowledge of spinning and weaving until the time of the Hùng kings, the first indigenous chiefdom centered on the Red River valley. It was ruled by kings who claimed descent from a heroic ancestor, the Lạc dragon lord, who had come from the sea, subdued evil elements in the region, and civilized the people by teaching them to cultivate rice and weave clothes. (Cameron 2011: 31)

The spinning and weaving data from these excavations provide firm evidence for the introduction of textile technology into the Red River valley by late prehistoric groups belonging to the Tanshishan culture (probably Yue) from Fujian Province. (Cameron 2011: 30-37)

5. Milburn, Olivia. “A Virtual City: The ‘Records of the Lands of Yue’ and the Founding of Shaoxing.” Oriens Extremus, vol. 46 (2007): 117-46.

The city of Shaoxing 紹興, in what is now northern Zhejiang province, is one of China’s oldest recorded planned cities. At the time of its foundation in 490 BCE, the city was intended to function as the capital city of the independent and culturally distinct kingdom of Yue 越, at that time on the southern edge of the Chinese world. It was laid out by order of King Goujian of Yue 越王勾踐 (r. 496-465 BCE), the most famous monarch of that kingdom, who played a crucial role in the political life at the very end of the Spring and Autumn period (771-475 BCE). (Milburn 2007: 117)

There are fundamental problems with understanding any Yue text, in that many aspects of the cultural and linguistic background are unknown, and completely different from those recorded in other ancient Chinese texts. ” (Milburn 2007: 118)

It was only towards the end of the Spring and Autumn period that the people of the Zhou confederacy began to become aware of the Yue peoples in the south. The Yue peoples, related culturally and linguistically but not politically (and indeed often at war with each other) stretched along the coast from what is now southern Jiangsu province down the coast to northern Vietnam. (Milburn 2007: 118)

Photo by Suraphat Nuea-on on Pexels.com

Every reference in ancient Chinese texts to the people of the south, particularly to the kingdom of Yue, spoke of their unusual appearance and strange customs. The people of Yue were regarded as alien by the inhabitants of the Central States since they wore their hair cut short and they were tattooed. In addition to that they were a riverine and coastal people, travelling by boat rather than by horse and cart. They were highly bellicose, with a reputation for great bravery. This was enhanced by the widespread use in Yue culture of swords, generally admitted to be of unparalleled quality. To the people of the Central States (whose records provide virtually everything that is known of the Yue people prior to the archaeological discoveries of the last half century), the Yue were exotic and dangerous. (Milburn 2007: 119)

6. Hartmann, John, Wei Luo, Fahui Wang, and Guanxiong Wang. “Sinification of Zhuang place names in Guangxi, China: a GIS-based spatial analysis approach.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, no. 2 (2012): 317-33.

Zhuang, the largest minority language in China, is the label given to a variety of Tai languages and dialects spoken mostly in Guangxi. As a result of the process known as Sinification or Sinicisation stemming from the influx of Han soldiers and settlers moving in from many directions, but primarily the north, many Zhuang place names (toponyms) were changed to Han or pronounced with a Han accent or spelled in Chinese in such a way as to obscure the original Zhuang form. (Hartmann et al. 2012: 317)

The origin of the Zhuang can be traced to the ‘Baiyue’ peoples in southern China, recorded in history as early as in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (475-221 BC) (e.g. Pan 2005). Historically, the Zhuang were farmers who specialised in growing rice in irrigated fields called naa in Zhuang languages. They lived primarily in thousands of villages or small towns in the lowlands close to rivers and streams that were dammed to divert water into the naa. The history of the Zhuang, like other minorities in Chinese frontier regions (e.g. Herman 2007), is marked by a relentless series of violent conflicts with their northern neighbour, the Han (the Chinese majority). (Hartmann et al. 2012: 318)

7. Fu, Songbin, Pu Li, Xiangning Meng, and Yali Xue. “Study on the Distribution of the ‘MSY2’ Polymorphism in 9 Chinese Populations.” Anthropologischer Anzeiger, h. 1 (2005): 23-27.

The Buyi, who came from the ancient “Baiyue” and had the same predecessor with the Zhuang, were relatively closed by living in plains isolated by mountains. (Fu et al. 2005: 26)

8. Weinstein, Jodie L. Empire and Identity in Guizhou: Local Resistance to Qing Expansion. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 2014.

In northwestern Guizhou, the Lolo, known today as the Yi predominated, interspersed with small settlements of Han immigrants and Miao. The southwest had a high concentration of Zhongjia (Buyi)… (Weinstein 2014: 17)

To begin answering the question “Who are the Zhongjia?” it will be useful to first examine some modern demographic and ethnographic data. As noted earlier, the Zhongjia have been called the Buyi since 1953. Numbering around 2.9 million, the Buyi today constitute the eleventh-largest minority nationality in the People’s Republic of China. (Weinstein 2014: 19)

Photo by Q. Hung Pham on Pexels.com

The Buyi represent one of many Tai groups in southern China and Southeast Asia… Their closest kin in both ethnolinguistic and geographic terms are the Northern Zhuang, a subgroup within the much larger Zhuang nationality that is found mostly in Guangxi… The Buyi and Northern Zhuang share so many cultural and linguistic similarities that it is impossible to study one group without reference to the other… More distant relatives of the Buyi include the Southern Zhuang of Guangxi and the Nung and Tay of Vietnam. The Buyi also share some cultural and linguistic features with the Dai of southern Yunnan as well as the Thai, Lao, and Shan populations of mainland Southeast Asia. Their extended ethnic family also includes the Dong (Kam), Shui, and Maonan ethnic groups dispersed throughout Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hunan, and the Li of Hainan. (Weinstein 2014: 19)

Archeological findings, linguistic data, and DNA evidence suggest that these Tai-speaking populations all descended from the Hundred Yue (Baiyue) peoples who occupied a vast area of eastern, central, and south- ern China as early as 2000 B.C.E. Two Baiyue civilizations in particular have been linked to the Buyi of Guizhou and their Zhuang neighbors. The Buyi and Northern Zhuang seem to share ancestral ties to the Xi’ou people who inhabited the West River basin along Guangxi’s present-day border with Guangdong. The Southern Zhuang, along with the closely related Nung and Tay, may have descended from the Luoyue people who lived in the area extending from Guangxi’s current provincial capital of Nanning to the Red River basin of northern Vietnam. Like their contemporaries in other Yue societies, the inhabitants of Xi’ou and Luoyue relied primarily on rice farming and other agricultural activities for their livelihood. (Weinstein 2014: 19-20)

9. Ruan, Xing. Allegorical Architcture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 2006.

The Dong are an ancient but little-known ethnic group who today number more than 2.9 million, a little less than the population of, say, Jamaica. All existing historical records on the Dong are in Chinese, which, as mentioned earlier, was based on various “travel notes” from adventurous Han literati like Lu You. (Ruan 2006: 14)

Photo by Thach Tran on Pexels.com

Generally speaking, the Dong are believed to have originated from a branch of the ancient Luoyue, who are known to have lived in Guizhou at the end of the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220). The Luoyue were native people of the area now inhabited by the Dong. The historically recorded Luoyue customs—tattoos, bronze drums, men and women bathing together in rivers, and the like—are still alive in today’s Dong social life. In some places, even mountains and clans are named Luo. Through time, the ancient Baiyue migrated into this region, mingling with the native population. Other propositions regarding the origins of the Dong associate them with the ancient Yue, the Ouyue, the Ganyue, the Jinyue, and others. In all of these cases, the Dong are thought to have derived from these people. (Ruan 2006: 22)

10. Wang, Feng. “Report of Conference in Evolutionary Linguistics (2012).” Journal of Chinese Linguistics, no. 1 (2013): 246-53.

How to draw genetic trees of languages is an important area where methods and information from mathematics can be brought into evolutionary linguistics… Deng Xiaohua of Xiamen University applied molecular anthropology and lexicostatistics to obtain a genetic tree of Austronesian languages in Taiwan. Based on the analysis of this tree, the BaiYue-Austronesian group was thought to be formed around 4000 B.P. in southeastern China. (Wang 2013: 251)

11. Bush, Richard C. Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 2005.

In May 2001, scientists in Taiwan announced the results of research on the genetic origins of the island’s Minnan (southern Fujian) majority. This is the part of the population known as Taiwanese, as opposed to mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines. The researchers found that they were in fact descended from the Yueh people, who were scattered along the southeastern coast of China during the later Zhou dynasty (770–221 B.C.). The political implication: Taiwanese were not ethnically Chinese.  (Bush 2005: 225)

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

Not to be outdone, PRC researchers announced in December 2001 that four aboriginal groups in Taiwan exhibited a specific chromosomal pattern characteristic of the Li ethnic group on Hainan Island and that all five groups were descended from the Baiyue people of eastern China. The Baiyue were said to have migrated to both Hainan and Taiwan, where they maintained the same lifestyle and customs. The Chinese message: even Taiwan’s aborigines had a connection with the mainland.  (Bush 2005: 225)

12. He, Yinan. “Competing Narratives, Identity Politics, and Cross-Strait Reconciliation.” Asian Perspective, no. 4 (2010): 45-83.

On prehistoric Taiwan, three theoretical models exist in the academic debate: theories of southern origin, arguing that Taiwan’s aborigines are the carriers of the Austronesian languages who originally lived on the islands in Southeast Asia and moved to Taiwan; theories of northern origin contending that the aborigines are descendants of the ancient Baiyue (hundreds of Yue tribes), people who came from southern China, although the Yue people remaining in China have since been assimilated by the Han; and theories suggesting that Taiwan is the land of the Austronesian languages and center of the southern islands culture. (He 2010: 50)

Two pieces of news caught peoples’ eyes in 2001. First, two students of Fudan University compared the gaoshanzu with the osseous remains found in a Yue relic in Maqiao, near Shanghai, and claimed that their chromosome match was 50 percent or more. In the other report, the Institute of Genetics of the Chinese Academy of Science concluded that the Li minorities living in Hainan Island today share ancestors with four gaoshanzu groups because their chromosome type is the same as the Baiyue people in Zhejiang province but differs from Southeast Asian people. (He 2010: 51)

Conclusion:

That’s all (for now), folks! As you can see, the Vietnamese people have an ancient ancestry. Our influence vast, and our historical impact immense. Hope you enjoyed the read.

Bibliography (standard and alphabetical):

Bush, Richard C. Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 2005.

Cameron, Judith. “Textile Crafts in the Gulf of Tongking: The Intersection Between Archeology and History.” In The Tongking Gulf Through History, edited by Nola Cooke, Li Tana, and James A. Anderson: 25-38. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2011.

Fu, Songbin, Pu Li, Xiangning Meng, and Yali Xue. “Study on the Distribution of the ‘MSY2’ Polymorphism in 9 Chinese Populations.” Anthropologischer Anzeiger, h. 1 (2005): 23-27.

Hartmann, John, Wei Luo, Fahui Wang, and Guanxiong Wang. “Sinification of Zhuang place names in Guangxi, China: a GIS-based spatial analysis approach.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, no. 2 (2012): 317-33.

He, Yinan. “Competing Narratives, Identity Politics, and Cross-Strait Reconciliation.” Asian Perspective, no. 4 (2010): 45-83.

Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2011.

Milburn, Olivia. “A Virtual City: The ‘Records of the Lands of Yue’ and the Founding of Shaoxing.” Oriens Extremus, vol. 46 (2007): 117-46.

Murphey, Rhoads. East Asia: A New History, Fifth Edition. Boston: Longman. 2010.

Nguyen, Dieu Thi. “A mythographical journey to modernity: The textual and symbolic transformations of the Hung Kings founding myths.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, no. 2 (2013): 315-37.

Ruan, Xing. Allegorical Architecture: Living Myth and Architectonics in Southern China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 2006.

Wang, Feng. “Report of Conference in Evolutionary Linguistics (2012).” Journal of Chinese Linguistics, no. 1 (2013): 246-53.

Weinstein, Jodie L. Empire and Identity in Guizhou: Local Resistance to Qing Expansion. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 2014.

The Vietnamese-Cantonese Connection

Posted in Ancient History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2020 by Ian Pham
Guangdong Province of China was once the place of the ancient Vietnamese kingdom of Nam-Viet in the late first millenium B.C. Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

The Cantonese language is a derivation of the Vietnamese language. If you didn’t know, then now you know.

A brief excerpt from Rhoads Murphey’s textbook, East Asia: A New History, 5th Edition, says the following (p. 60):

In Han [China] times, the southern people and culture of Yue [Viet] were regarded as foreign and were in fact very different from those of the north. More than traces of these differences remain even now, including the Cantonese language and cuisine… The people and culture of Vietnam were still more different, and they regained their independence from China after the fall of the Han.

The excerpt from Murphey above candidly shows that the Cantonese language and cuisine were part of Viet culture. This is further evidence demonstrating that the Vietnamese people’s role and influence in Asia during ancient times were larger and more prominent than is commonly believed in popular history.

One important note about Murphey’s book is that it is heavily skewed in favor of China. His coverage of Chinese history is presented with more enthusiasm and glorification than his coverage of Vietnamese history. Despite this point, there is still some useful information about Vietnam to be found in his work.

If taken with other sources on Vietnamese history (one recommendation are the works of Cornell University’s Keith W. Taylor), Murphey’s reluctant coverage may assist a newcomer in learning some introductory things about the Vietnamese nation and its people.

Prior to the invasion by the Chinese Han Dynasty in 111 B.C., there existed a Vietnamese kingdom named Nam-Viet in what is today Guangdong and Guangxi (Murphy 2010: 191). The capital of the Nam-Viet kingdom was located in what is today the city of Guangzhou (aka Canton) (Holcombe 2011: 9).

After the fall of the Han, the people of Viet would wrestle from the grips of Chinese control, occasionally breaking free, but ultimately being recaptured by a new Chinese dynasty. The Viet people’s fight for independence would eventually be achieved once and for all in 938 A.D., with Ngo Quyen’s victory at the Battle of Bach Dang River.

The people of Vietnam have ancient roots that stretch back more than 4,000 years.

Ancestors of the Vietnamese people are known as the “Hundred Viets” race. These Hunded Viets occupied a vast region in Asia that included today’s northern Vietnam and much of today’s China south of the Yangtze River.

Today, Vietnam is a nation in Southeast Asia, with a rich and proud history that is only beginning to truly be grasped by western observers.

Cited:

Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2011.

Murphey, Rhoads. East Asia: A New History, 5th Edition. Boston: Longman. 2010.

4,000+ Years and Counting: Essential Facts About the Vietnamese People

Posted in Ancient History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2020 by Ian Pham
Photo by Dương Nhân on Pexels.com

Introduction:

There is already a lot of information out there about Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. Much of the following is common knowledge.

We are a nation in Southeast Asia.

We fought a bloody and destructive war in the 20th century, which took place between the 1950s and 1970s. The U.S. was involved in this war and fought alongside the good guys (the South Vietnamese).

Since the 10th century, we became an independent nation called Dai Viet (“Great Viet”) after 1,000 years of Chinese occupation, which started when the Han Dynasty took over in the first century BC.

Vietnam has some pretty incredible historical heroes, such as Lady Trieu, who led a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against the Kingdom of Wu in the third century; General Tran Hung Dao, who crushed the mighty Mongol Yuan Empire invaders in the 14th century; and Emperor Nguyen Hue Quang Trung, who eviscerated the invaders from the Manchu Qing Dynasty in the 18th century.

These are just a few of the things that encompass the long and storied heritage of the Vietnamese people. They are a cornerstone of the Vietnamese identity, and are commonly known to anyone who is interested in Vietnamese history.

A statue of Emperor Quang Trung of the Tay Son Dynasty. Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo shared in accordance with CC BY-SA 3.0. (via Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên / Wikimedia Commons).

As important and timeless as these truths are, however, they are things that happened relatively recently, within the last 2,000 years in the AD era (Anno Domini; also known as the Common Era [CE]; after the birth of Christ). Therefore, they do not explain who the Vietnamese people were in ancient times, in the BC era (Before Christ) of the western calendar.

And so, in pursuit of a deeper understanding of Vietnamese history, the following questions are raised:

  1. Did Vietnam exist before 2,000 years ago?
  2. If yes, what was Vietnam like before 2,000 years ago?
  3. Just how old are the Vietnamese people?

The proceeding sections of this article will present more detailed answers to the questions above. If you’re short on time right now, though, then the quick version of the answers, in their respective order, are:

  1. Yes.
  2. Pretty sophisticated and impressive.
  3. Really, really, really old.

Brief Answers:

1. Yes, a Vietnamese state did exist before 2,000 years ago:

It wasn’t called “Vietnam” during that time, but it did exist. And it existed in several forms in different time periods.

Vietnam had a number of names throughout its existence. Some (but not all) of these names include “Van Lang,” “Au Lac,” “Nam-Viet,” and “Dai-Viet.” It was not until the 19th century that the modern name “Viet-Nam” was adapted by the Nguyen Dynasty.

The Vietnamese state we will talk about specifically in the next section is Au Lac.

2. This Vietnamese state, Au Lac, was independent, sophisticated, and impressive.

In the first millennium BC, there existed the Vietnamese state of Au Lac. Its capital city was named Co Loa. As the next section will show, Co Loa was quite advanced and developed, signifying that the people who built it were socially, politically, and culturally sophisticated.

3. The Vietnamese people have existed for more than 4,000 years.

Besides the testament presented by the state of Au Lac, there is evidence that the Vietnamese people have existed in northern Vietnam and much of southern China for a really, really, really long time.

Read on to find more detailed explanations for these answers.

Co Loa Citadel and the Vietnamese state of Au Lac in the first millennium BC:

In his book The Origins of Ancient Vietnam (2015), Nam C. Kim presents valuable insight into the state of Au Lac. From Au Lac, the Vietnamese people can trace their heritage back to at least the first millennium BC.

Traditional accounts signify that the kingdom of Au Lac was founded through conquest by a man named An Duong Vuong (aka “King An Duong”) in the third century BC (Kim, 2015: 5). There is common agreement that in Vietnamese tradition, King An Duong is recognized as one of the early ancestors of the Vietnamese people.

Following his conquest, the newly crowned King An Duong ordered the construction of a large citadel in Tay-vu called Co Loa Thanh (aka “Co Loa Citadel”). This citadel, which may simply be called “Co Loa,” would be the capital city of Au Lac, and thus, the political and power center of this new kingdom (Kim, 2015: 5).

(Note: Be careful not to confuse “Co Loa,” the name of the capital city of Au Lac, with “Cao Lo,” the name of one of King An Duong’s advisors, who is also an important historical figure associated with the city’s founding.)

The statue of Cao Lo, builder of the mythical magic crossbow that, according to legend, allowed King An Duong to conquer countless enemies in battle. Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo shared in accordance with CC BY-SA 4.0. (via Julez A. / Wikimedia Commons).

What is significant about the city of Co Loa is its size and sophistication.

Kim’s account presents the fact that Co Loa was a large and heavily fortified city. This, he argues, is proof of significant complexity and consolidated authority that was present within this Viet society when the city was built (2015: 6).

The name “Co Loa” itself means “old snail city.” It comes from the city’s artful and intricate architecture, whose “walls appear to be laid out in concentric rings of earthen ramparts reminiscent of a snail shell,” (Kim, 2015: 5).

The builders of the Co Loa settlement, which Kim calls the “Co Loa Polity,” is said to be an organized political entity. They were centralized, operated at the state level, and had longstanding political institutions (2015: 9).

All of this suggests that the founders of Au Lac, and its capital Co Loa, were people of military, political, and cultural sophistication. These early ancestors of the Vietnamese people were organized, civilized, and well-established.

In addition to Au Lac, the general Red River Delta region in northern Vietnam has been considered the “heartland” of Vietnamese civilization since at least the third millennium BC. (Kim, 2015: 18).

Further investigation into Vietnam’s past shows the existence of ancient peoples whose roots stretch further back than is commonly understood in popular culture.

Collectively, these peoples are known as the Hundred Viets, and had occupied the regions of northern Vietnam and southern China long before the Chinese came.

The Hundred Viets peoples who inhabited Southern China before the Chinese did:

One of the more commonly known examples of Vietnamese people occupying parts of southern China comes from Nam-Viet, another kingdom that also existed in the first millennium BC. Based on its founding year, Nam-Viet is newer than Au Lac.

Nam-Viet existed between 208-110 BC, and, like Au Lac, was a state of Vietnamese origin. It was located in what is today the city of Guangzhou, China (Holcombe, 2011: 9). The name “Nam-Viet,” if translated to English, means “Southern Viet.”

Earlier than this, possibly by a thousand years, there existed yet another Vietnamese kingdom. Charles Holcombe, in A History of East Asia (2011), talks about an early “Bronze Age kingdom called Viet,” which was “located even farther north [than Guangzhou], in the vicinity of the modern Chinese Province of Zhejiang, almost half way up the coast of what is today China!” (2011: 9).

Tellingly, it is also noted by Holcombe that, “Early Chinese texts, in fact, referred to most of what is now southeast China as the land of the ‘Hundred Viets,'” (2011: 9).

A snapshot of modern-day Zhejiang Province in southeast China. Notice the province of Anhui directly northwest. These locations were once the homes of several Viet groups before the arrival of the Chinese.

Holcombe also spends some time in his book briefly talking about one specific tribe of the Hundred Viets. These are the Mountain Viets (in Chinese, “Shan Yue”), who occupied the lower Yangtze River area, and who took their last stand against the Chinese kingdom of Wu before being defeated in the third century AD (2011: 62).

During the “Three Kingdoms” era in Chinese history, the Kingdom of Wu waged a military campaign against the Mountain Viets. This campaign started in the year 234 AD, lasted for three years, and culminated in the surrender of approximately 100,000 Mountain Viets at what today is modern Anhui Province in China (Holcombe 2011: 62).

From Holcombe’s account, it appears that the Mountain Viets were then assimilated into the Chinese population. After the Three Kingdoms period, the name “Mountain Viet” was not spoken of again (2011: 62).

The evidence here shows that before the Chinese came, much of what is today southern China was inhabited by the ancestors of the Vietnamese people. More specifically, it is proof that the Vietnamese people have a long and deep history that is much older and more sophisticated than is commonly believed.

4,000+ Years and counting:

Whether it be the kingdoms of Au Lac and Nam-Viet during the mid-late first millennium BC, or the Kingdom of Viet before that during the Bronze Age, it is clear that prior to the AD era, the Vietnamese people did exist.

The evidence shows that the various Viet kingdoms are connected to a larger family of ancient Viet peoples, which, together, comprise the “Hundred Viets” race.

The Dong Son Bronze Drum is a known symbol of Vietnamese antiquity. This photo was taken at the Vietnam History Museum, and posted to Wikimedia Commons on April 13, 2009 by Binh Giang (Public Domain).

The Hundred Viets occupied vast areas of both East Asia and Southeast Asia, reaching from what is northern Vietnam today, all the way through modern-day southern China up to the Yangtze River.

While further research continues to provide more clarity on just how old the Vietnamese people are, current findings show that they have existed for at least 4,000 years.

Not bad.

Cited:

Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2011.

Kim, Nam C. The Origins of Ancient Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press. 2015.

Sign This Petition to Reconvene the Paris Peace Conference

Posted in IV. Columns, Modern History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by Ian Pham

There’s a petition out there right now that calls on the White House and Congress to reconvene the Paris Peace Conference that took place during the Vietnam War.

It’s a good idea, and here is why you should sign it and tell your family and friends to sign it as well.

For anyone who is interested right this second, click HERE for the petition.

The Rundown:

The Paris Meetings, 1973:

On January 27, 1973, the U.S. (naively), South Vietnam (reluctantly), and North Vietnam (maliciously, in bad faith, and with no intention to comply), came together to sign the Paris Peace Accords (the “Jan. 27 accords”). The agreement infamously declared a ceasefire truce and an end to the Vietnam War. As events will show, the agreement was trash from beginning to end (we’ll get to that part later in this article).

Then a couple months later, on March 2, 1973, these signatories, along with a collection of other nations involved in the talks, came together to sign the Act of the International Conference on Vietnam (the “Mar. 2 agreement”). This agreement recognized and affirmed the Paris Peace Accords (fully known as “the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam”) that was signed on Jan. 27 (Article 1; p. 1).

The Mar. 2 agreement reiterated the terms of the Jan. 27 accords, which included a ceasefire, respect for territorial boundaries, and the South Vietnamese people’s right to self-determination (Articles 1-7; p. 1-5).

Communists Violate the Agreements:

The agreements allowed the U.S. to withdraw its forces from Vietnam, thereby freeing America from its commitment to the Vietnam War. With the exception of a few who stayed behind, the vast majority of U.S. troops were taken out of Vietnam as a result of the Paris Peace Accords.

Shortly after the U.S. withdrawal, the North Vietnamese launched a new invasion of South Vietnam, thereby violating the agreements, and starting a new phase in the war.

In the U.S., after the impeachment of President Nixon in 1974, the U.S. Congress and Senate, run by Democrats, voted to cut all U.S. funding to South Vietnam. As a result, the South ran out of weapons and money, and eventually, was overrun by the North. By April 30, 1975, the capital city of Saigon fell, and with it, all of South Vietnam.

So, in a nutshell, the U.S. government, with the help of the communist North Vietnamese, pressured South Vietnam into a bullshit agreement in Paris that nobody intended to enforce. The U.S. used it to get out of Vietnam, the North blatantly violated it right after the U.S. exit, and the South was left holding the bag and deal with all of the consequences afterward. Thus, the Jan. 27 accord and the following Mar. 2 agreement are, for all intents and purposes, trash. Simply trash. Trash.

However, despite them being trash, they are still things that exist, and may still be used as tools to combat Red China and Communist Vietnam today. If supported, honored, and enforced by capable people, the agreements may actually be of some use (and thus, stop being trash) going forward. Read on to see how.

The Act of the International Conference on Vietnam, Revisited:

Why the March 2 agreement is worth revisiting:

Since the communists violated the Paris Peace Accords and the subsequent Mar. 2 agreement, it may be argued that, according to international law, the communists acquired the southern part of Vietnam illegally, and therefore do not have a rightful claim to all of Vietnam.

Furthermore, and this is the kicker, by virtue of this illegal invasion, it may be argued that, legally, South Vietnam still exists, and is currently under illegal military occupation by the communist forces.

“Article 7” of the March 2 agreement leaves room for reconvening:

“Article 7” of the Mar. 2 agreement has two parts that allow for reconvening. They are as follows:

7 (a): In the event of a violation of the Agreement or the Protocols which threatens the peace, the independence, sovereignty, unity, or territorial integrity of Viet-Nam, or the right of the South Vietnamese people to self-determination, the parties signatory to the Agreement and the Protocols shall, either individually or jointly, consult with the other Parties to this Act with a view to determining necessary remedial measures.

7 (b): The International Conference on Viet-Nam shall be reconvened upon a joint request by the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam on behalf of the parties signatory to the Agreement or upon a request by six or more of the Parties to this Act.

So, if the U.S. wanted to reconvene the conference, it can actually do so by invoking Articles 7 (a) or (b) of the Mar. 2 agreement.

Article 7 (b) would require getting the communists to agree on a reconvention, or convincing six or more of the signees of the Mar. 2 agreement to get on board with a reconvention. This method is unlikely to work, but it’s there.

The better way would be to use Article 7 (a), which says that “individually or jointly,” remedial measures for a violation may be determined by a signee of the agreement.

I’m looking at the “individually” part, because, in the event that the other signees are too scared and weak to stand up to China, then America and the Trump administration could simply and “individually” determine “remedial measures” on its own, and to handle the dirty communists however America sees fit.

Whether any of this happens, however, is up to you.

The Petition:

Why the petition is worth signing:

By reconvening the Paris International Conference, we can put everything back on the table, and question the legitimacy of communist control over the Vietnamese nation today.

At the very least, pushing for the reconvening of the conference may spark conversation among world leaders, and provide a nonviolent method, not only to pressure the communists into accepting some form of democratic compromise with the Vietnamese nation, but also to challenge China’s aggression in the Pacific region.

The petition says that “China is encroaching on the boundaries of a number of nations, including Vietnam. The conflict in the South China Sea raises the spectre of armed conflict with China…” and that reconvening the Paris conference is a viable method to avert a breakout of war, and to resolve conflict in the Pacific.

China is also a signatory to the Mar. 2 agreement in Paris, and their encroachment on Vietnamese territory is thus a violation of the agreement.

There is no better time than now because of President Trump:

During the times of Bush and Obama, something like this would not work. These past presidents were weak, incompetent, and lacked the courage to look China in the face. Things are different now under President Donald J. Trump.

President Trump has stood up to China repeatedly, slapping them with tariffs, trade restrictions, and a fearless dose of truth (e.g. China’s dishonest and unfair trade practices, theft of American intelligence and intellectual property, Communist Party corruption, meddling in U.S. elections, threatening of Hong Kong protestors, weaselling out of a new trade deal, origination of COVID-19, etc.) on a daily basis.

If anyone had the guts to reconvene the Paris conference, it’s Trump. This is not to say that he will, but it is saying that with Trump, we actually have a shot. So why not? It only takes a minute to sign the petition, it costs nothing, and you have nothing to lose.

It literally takes a minute. It took me two minutes because I took my sweet time.

How To Sign the Petition:

It’s really easy.

Step 1: Go to the petition’s website, which is hosted by the U.S. government’s We the People online petition service.

Step 2: Sign the petition by filling out three fields indicating your first name, last name, and email.

(Remember to un-check the subscription box if you don’t want emails from the website).

Step 3: Go into your email and click on the verification link, which is only to make sure that the email you provided is actually yours.

Step 4: There is no step four. YOU’RE DONE.

Share the petition with your family and friends, and ask them to share it with their family and friends.

For some of the older folks, help may be required to open their emails and click on the verify link. If your older relatives need help, then please give them a hand.

This is literally one of those times where if a whole bunch of us took one minute out of our day to do this simple task, something great might come of it.

Once again for your convenience, click HERE for the petition.

It costs nothing, takes one minute, and it can spark something great. Please sign!

*****

Cited:

Act of the International Conference on Viet-Nam. Paris, March 2, 1973. United Nations Archives. Reference Code: S-0901-0004-07. https://search.archives.un.org/uploads/r/united-nations-archives/f/5/2/f52a682fbbc8ce1c431a1b83acdf9d2d1944b1ca94e67d3a030a86b71ac6901b/S-0901-0004-07-00001.pdf.

History.com editors. "Paris Peace Accords signed." Last modified January 23, 2020. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/paris-peace-accords-signed.

T. N. "Reconvene The Paris International Conference on Vietnam to resolve conflicts in South China Sea" Petition. Created April 28, 2020. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reconvene-paris-international-conference-vietnam-resolve-conflicts-south-china-sea.

Brief Thoughts on President Diem, November 3, 2018

Posted in Modern History, Opinions with tags , , , , , , on November 3, 2018 by Ian Pham

Ngo Dinh Diem Memorial(OC Register)

I will start this brief discussion off with an excerpt from “The Lost Mandate of Heaven,” an important book by military historian Geoffrey Shaw (2015):

On November 2, 1971, the eighth anniversary of Ngo Dinh Diem’s assassination, several thousand people gathered in Saigon to commemorate the death of the former president of Vietnam. “A yellow-robed Buddhist monk offered a Buddhist remembrance, and Catholic prayers were said in Latin. Banners proclaimed Diem a saviour of the South. The previous day, All Saints Day, Catholics had come to the cemetery from the refugee villages outside Saigon, carrying portraits of the slain president.

Indeed, ever since 1970 the loss of Ngo Dinh Diem has been publically mourned throughout many communities in Vietnam, albeit secretly at times. His memory has been kept alive more openly by the Vietnamese diaspora around the world. (p. 23).

The excerpt above illustrates very well the view of President Diem from the eyes of us Vietnamese people. Ngo Dinh Diem was a bold and inventive genius, who saved half of Vietnam from being swallowed up by the communist plague. He built his nation up from nothing, and turned it into a Southeast Asian powerhouse within the span of a decade. By any measure, Ngo Dinh Diem was a patriot and a Vietnamese hero.

Since his assassination on November 2, 1963, Vietnamese communities from all over the world have come together to honor and remember him. Whether inside or outside of Vietnam, whether Buddhist, Catholic, or Atheist, we Vietnamese know the truth about him, and commemorate him every year for his service and sacrifice to the Vietnamese nation.

President Diem has been treated egregiously unfairly by leftist journalists and historians, then and now. They have lied, slandered, and wrote volumes upon volumes of fake histories about him, telling tall tales that could not be further from the truth.

Little by little however, the leftist lies are being exposed, and those who contributed to this great fiction are steadily finding their rightful place as the liars and frauds of history. While it is unclear how long it will take to bring the liars to justice and fully exonerate the name of President Diem, I can say with confidence that the movement has already begun.

For the last five and a half decades, the Vietnamese people have kept Diem’s memory alive. Furthermore, we are beginning to speak out and set the record straight. Thanks to all of your dedication and patriotism, we not only remember President Diem, but are more empowered than ever to tell of his accomplishments and carry on his legacy. Let us never forget his sacrifices, and let us never stop fighting for freedom and independence.

For further reading on President Ngo Dinh Diem, click here.

 

Work cited:

Shaw, Geoffrey. The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2015.

*****

Typo Correction: The initial headline read, “November 2, 2018,” when it should have been, “November 3, 2018,” marking today’s date. This error has been corrected, and I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

UNCOVERED: The Monks Who Committed Self-Immolation in South Vietnam (1963) Were Communist Operatives – Geoffrey Shaw

Posted in Modern History, Society with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2018 by Ian Pham

Vietnam Monk(Malcolm Browne)

One of the most shocking and enduring images of the Vietnam War is a photo of a monk who set himself on fire in the streets of Saigon. According to the leading journalists at the time (liberals), and the majority of historians who studied the event thereafter (more liberals), that particular monk, and a few others, committed these acts of self-immolation in protest of the widespread oppression experienced by Buddhists under the allegedly tyrannical, bigoted, and very mean governance of the bogeyman South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem.

However, as this article will show, there was no oppression, President Diem is neither a bigot nor a tyrant, and what the mainstream media led Americans to believe during the Buddhist Crisis of 1963 was far from what was really happening on the ground.

If one were to read and listen to the leftists’ popular coverage, the Buddhist Crisis of 1963 (where the infamous burnings occurred) would appear to be some spontaneous, grassroots movement, orchestrated by a willing and enthusiastic Buddhist majority. However, this mainstream narrative, cultivated by the leftists of that era, and carried on by the leftists of today, could not be further from the truth.

As with contemporary liberals’ coverage of issues they disagree with (e.g. President Trump, conservative views, border patrol, the police, the military, etc.), the liberals of the Vietnam era, in their coverage of the war, presented a very distorted, anti-South Vietnamese, and pro-communist spin on the tragic events of the communist-manufactured Buddhist Crisis of 1963, not to mention the war as a whole.

At that time, for reasons still beyond rational comprehension, the liberal media already wanted to see the fall of the Diem regime, and the prevalence of Ho Chi Minh and the North Vietnamese. In pursuit of that objective, the U.S. media, dominated by an overwhelming liberal majority, sought to demonize South Vietnam and glorify the communist forces. As Geoffrey Shaw’s evidence will show, the Buddhist Crisis of 1963, while orchestrated by radical groups inside Vietnam, was facilitated greatly by major leftist media outlets such as the New York Times (p. 202-3) and the Washington Post (p. 209).

That famous photo of the burning monk, the main topic of our discussion here, was one of the ways in which the media shaped the American public perception of the Vietnam War. Looking at the picture, with headlines and captions telling them that Diem and the South were to blame for the tragedy, Americans at home were horrified by what they saw. As a result, public opinion in the U.S. greatly turned against South Vietnam, even before the U.S. government under Kennedy managed to force American troops into Vietnam.

Given how the Vietnam War ended, needless to say, the efforts by the liberal media to assist the communists and bring down the Diem regime were hugely successful. Tactically similar to the mainstream media today, the media of the Vietnam War era, leftist in their views, pursued their anti-Diem agenda with smears, lies, and fake news. In the end, in wanting Diem to fail, wanting South Vietnam to fail, and wanting America to fail, the liberal media accomplished their mission. However, to their unpleasant surprise, whatever lies and perjuries committed by the liberal media, then and now, are slowly coming to light.

In The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam (2015), new research by military historian Geoffrey Shaw reveals many groundbreaking revelations about the Buddhist Crisis of 1963. Many of the information presented by Shaw in his book were either missed or intentionally ignored (you can probably guess which one) by the mainstream media at the time, during their coverage of the crisis. These important facts were then buried in the historical archives, while the leftist narrative went on to dominate public thought and the history books.

One of the most illuminating revelations about the Buddhist Crisis of 1963, as reported in Shaw’s book, is that the monks who set themselves on fire (including the monk in the infamous photo) were not common or disgruntled citizens, nor did they in any way represent the majority Buddhist population in Vietnam. In actuality, these monks were part of a fringe group of radicalized Buddhists, who, in coordination with anti-Diem forces, orchestrated a fake crisis to tarnish the Government of Vietnam under President Diem. Even more shockingly, these monks were found to be agents of the North Vietnamese, committing what they viewed as martyrdom to further the communist cause.

From the foreword of The Lost Mandate of Heaven, Georgetown University professor James V. Schall reveals the following:

After the war, the North Vietnamese acknowledged that the bonzes [Buddhist monks] who burned themselves in supposed defiance of Diem’s “anti-Buddhist” policies were their agents within minority Buddhist monasteries in Vietnam. This information never appeared in the American press at the time (p. 13).

Clearly stated above, the North Vietnamese themselves admitted that the monks who set themselves on fire were indeed part of the communist forces. Deeper in The Lost Mandate of Heaven, Shaw himself brings to light the fact that two of the monks who led the demonstrations during the crisis, Thich Thien Hao and Thich Thom Me The Nhem, were members of the National Liberation Front (p. 199), otherwise known as the Viet Cong, the brutal southern communist network that has been repeatedly confirmed as subordinates of the North Vietnamese. These monks not only met with North Vietnamese communist leaders, but were doing so with communist leaders from China as well (ibid). Furthermore, the most prominent and influential figure of this crisis, the outspoken, subversive, conniving, and now disgraced monk Thich Tri Quang, was the leader of a “small, radicalized coterie” of Buddhists, and a disciple of a North Vietnamese monk who held approval among the communists (p. 197).

Unsurprisingly, knowing the pro-communist bias and dishonesty of the liberal media, these facts were never reported to the public, and thus, everyday Americans were led to believe that the self-burning monks were part of some national resistance, of which all Buddhists across Vietnam were in support of. In reality, the Buddhist majority did not support these radicals monks. As shown above, the self-burning monks were actually communists, manufacturing outrage to manipulate public opinion in Vietnam and the United States, a scheme that received full complicity and support by the U.S. liberal media.

This position is further affirmed in Shaw’s book, with an excerpt explaining the tactics of the North Vietnamese and their allies. In regards to the communists’ fabrication of the 1963 Buddhist Crisis:

This kind of political sophistication was well within the capacities of Ho Chi Minh and his backers in China and Russia. Stephen C. Y. Pan of the East Asian Research Institute in New York City met and interviewed Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, and other Southeast Asian leaders. This expert on Vietnamese politics concluded that the Buddhist crisis was indeed a communist front: “The communists knew how to cope with Diem’s appeals. Highly skilled at spreading false propaganda, they created incidents, and launched demonstrations. Masters of cold war strategy, they decided that the Achilles heel in Vietnam was the Buddhist associations. They realised the acute sensitivity of Americans, in particular, to the charge of religious persecution,” (p. 199-200).

The above explains the intricacy and skill in which the communists were able to manipulate American public opinion. Knowing what the average American cares about and is sensitive too, the communists manufactured a crisis, created fake outrage, and then used the willing and enthusiastic liberal journalist to deliver this fake outrage straight to the American public.

The New York Times, one of the most prominent U.S. news outlets covering the Vietnam War, is discovered to have falsely reported the situation in Vietnam during the Buddhist Crisis. According to Shaw, during the start of the crisis in May of 1963, reports by the New York Times blamed the South Vietnamese on explosions that occurred during a (staged) demonstration in Hue, an event claiming the lives of nine people (p. 204-5). Later on, the Time’s reporting of the incident was falsified and indicted as “based on ‘facts’ of highly doubtful authenticity,” (p. 202-3). Furthermore, the New York Times claimed that, during the crisis, President Diem imposed a discriminatory law that specifically targeted Buddhists, another accusation that turned out to be false. In researching the infamous incident, Ellen Hammer, a historian, and Marguerite Higgins, a reporter, had ruled that there was no such persecution of Buddhists by President Diem. From her discoveries, Higgins ruled that in all, the events of the crisis as described by the New York Times were completely false (p. 203).

Furthermore, it is essential to understand that the South Vietnamese security forces deployed to the protests in South Vietnam were only equipped with stun grenades and tear gas, weapons inconsistent with media coverage claiming that government forces fired on the crowd. After the demonstration ordeal, a doctor examining the dead clarified that the burns experienced by bomb victims were beyond the capacity of the government forces’ gear. He then attributed the cause to “homemade bombs… planted beforehand,” with signs that very much “indicate the handiwork of the Viet Cong,” (p. 204-5). Again, unsurprisingly, these facts were largely ignored by leftist “academics,” both journalists and historians alike.

In their coverage of the crisis, the leftist media not only lied to the American public, but repeated these lies over and over, day in and day out. According to Shaw, the distorted leftist reporting of the Buddhist Crisis was kept “on the front pages of the New York Times and other newspapers” for months (p. 210). One can only imagine the affect that these images and stories had on the American public, and how that affected the U.S.-South Vietnam war effort overall.

Though President Diem and his government, in the short term, survived the intricately crafted and viscerally effective outrage campaign of the communists and the liberal media, it would leave a permanent stain on his administration, of which he would never recover. This mark on Diem’s presidency, and the subsequent U.S.-led coup that caused the fall of his administration, was all built on a lie, concocted by the North Vietnamese, carried out by their Viet Cong wing in the south, and popularized by the liberal media.

Observing these liberal media tactics of the Vietnam era, one cannot help but think of the liberal media of today, manufacturing scandals and outrages such as Russian collusion, faux racism, “family” border separation, and Stormy Daniels against President Trump, in a concerted and coordinated attempt to bring down the Trump Administration. Make no mistake that historically, the media is a monumentally powerful entity. They have the power to shape public opinion, influence attitudes and behaviors, spur people to action, and bring down entire presidencies.

During the Vietnam War era, through lies, careful omissions, and the overall shameless dissemination of fake news, the liberal mainstream media turned the American public against the war, influenced the election of opportunist antiwar Democrats into the House and Senate, cut all funding to South Vietnam (even though the South was winning the war), and then celebrated the “victory” of the North Vietnamese.

In this era of Trump, through lies, careful omissions, and the overall shameless dissemination of fakes news, the liberal mainstream media has been trying relentlessly to turn the American public against President Trump, influence the election of impeachment-minded Democrats into the House and Senate, and all the while fantasizing about the leftist overthrow of a duly elected U.S. president, the complete undermining and erosion of American democracy, and spitting in the face of American voters. Unfortunately for the Left, after decades upon decades of unprecedented and unchecked power, the liberal media empire, the oligarchs of the western world, have finally overextended themselves. However, that is a discussion for another time.

Coming back to the Buddhist Crisis of 1963, one may benefit to know that in the midst of the crisis, President Diem reached out to the many Buddhist organizations in South Vietnam, working with Buddhist leaders, and even offering compensation to families whose loved ones died in the protests, even though his government was not responsible for the deaths. Furthermore, President Diem created a Buddhist-led commission to engage further with the Buddhist community in Vietnam, and even agreed to let an international investigation be carried out against his government (p. 206).

All of these initiatives were ignored by the liberal media (p. 207).

In their reporting of the outrage, the alleged discrimination and oppression, the liberal media, in all their boasted propensity for justice and truth, somehow conveniently failed to report any of the actions that the South Vietnamese President took to reach out to the community and soothe his people. Moreover, around this time, in the wake of the Buddhist Crisis, President Diem and his administration was soundly defeating the Viet Cong terrorist network in South Vietnam. The media conveniently failed to report this as well (p. 211).

Like the leftist journalists of today, who purposely omit President Trump’s accomplishments and noble actions (e.g. defeating ISIS, vastly cutting illegal immigration, bringing home U.S. soldier remains from North Korea, revitalizing the U.S. economy, achieving record-low African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and women unemployment, and donating virtually 100% of his salary to charity since taking office, just to name a few), the leftists of the Vietnam War era ignored the monumental accomplishments of President Ngo Dinh Diem, which include establishing a viable non-communist Vietnamese country, defeating the Viet Cong, keeping the North Vietnamese at bay, and building up essential national institutions such as the economy, the military, and the education system, just to name a few.

As the President of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem was viewed by all Vietnamese, Christians and Buddhists alike, as their legitimate leader (p. 17). The “iconic” picture of the burning monk, and the narrative that both leftist journalists and historians painted of Diem was contradictory to the reality.

In Diem’s Vietnam, despite being forced to sometimes take extensive measures to combat terrorism, warlord-ism, and post-colonial factionalism, there existed freedom of religion, freedom of demonstration, freedom of non-political assembly, and some freedom of the press (p. 200). Moreover, President Diem deeply respected Buddhism, viewed Buddhism as a “means to reinvigorate Vietnamese identity” after the French ruined it, and hoped that Buddhism would be a strong counter to communist influence in the countryside (p. 39).

During his administration, President Diem oversaw a Buddhist renaissance that brought the religion back from the edge of extinction after a disastrous near-century of French colonialism (p. 194). Under Diem, substantial government funds were given to the development of Buddhist infrastructure such as pagodas and schools. These funds saw the renovation, rebuilding, and new construction of several thousand pagodas, as well as the organizing of large Buddhist communities in South Vietnam, which in-turn trained and provided access to more than one million Buddhist practitioners across the country. Along with all of this, the Government of Vietnam, led by the Diem administration, also “encouraged Buddhist programs, periodicals, conferences, lectures, and libraries,” (p. 195).

These are all important facts that somehow always seem to be conveniently absent in the liberals’ coverage of President Diem, in today’s history, and yesterday’s news. From the information presented in this article, it is not hard to understand why.

None of the facts above support the leftist claim that Diem was a bigoted, anti-Buddhist dictator. As a matter of fact, the evidence presented completely obliterates that claim, which is why it can never be found in any book or article written by a liberal on the matter.

For reasons still to be discovered, the liberal media and leftists in general had a vested interest in the failing of the U.S. and South Vietnam, and the prevalence of the communists. Their anti-American, anti-South Vietnamese, and pro-communist agenda compelled them to present a distorted and fabricated narrative on the Vietnam War, one in which the communists were the good guys, and the U.S. and South Vietnamese were the bad guys.

To push this false narrative, the powerful American liberal press used all of their clout and resources to slander South Vietnam and the U.S., while at the same time glorifying the communist enemy. One of the means in which the media advanced their agenda was the promotion of the Buddhist Crisis, and repeatedly displaying the infamous picture of the self-burning monk for all Americans at home to see.

In examining Shaw’s research, including facts such as the monk’s communist affiliation, how his radical group was unrepresentative of the Buddhist population, and that the Buddhist Crisis itself was a sham concocted by the communists, this article aims to dispel some of the many prevailing myths about the Vietnam War that resonate to this very day.

Many things we have been taught about the Vietnam War is wrong. But little by little, the truth will be told.

Consider this article one more step towards telling the full truth about the Vietnam War. Major themes for this thesis include the heroism and sacrifice of the South Vietnamese and the allied American soldiers, the brutal and murderous totalitarianism of the communists, and the lies, cowardice, and deceit of the liberal media, during Vietnam and thereafter.

As always, everyone is encouraged to read for themselves the sources presented, and come to a few conclusions of their own. Academic, peer-reviewed, and written by reputable experts in their respective fields, the sources examined are reliable for research and general learning. The source this week, to reiterate, is The Lost Mandate of Heaven, by Geoffrey Shaw. It is a great read, and definitely worth your time.

 

Work Cited:

Shaw, Geoffrey. The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2015.

U.S. Entry, Tet Offensive, Creighton Abrams, and False Histories – Four Major Takeaways from the ‘Prologue’ in Sorley’s “A Better War”

Posted in Books, Modern History, VII. Research with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2018 by Ian Pham

U.S. Helicopters in Vietnam(U.S. Army Photo)

There are a few things that one instantly learns upon opening A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam, the 1999 book by historian and U.S. veteran Lewis Sorley. Among them include some introductory facts that every person seeking to learn about the Vietnam War should know about. Here below are a few of these facts, for your convenience:

  • Americans in Vietnam (1960-65): The period when U.S. involvement in Vietnam steadily rises from a primarily advisory role to one of active combat, with ground troops officially deployed in 1965 (p. xi)
  • The Tet Offensive (1968): In this infamous military campaign, the allied nations of South Vietnam and the United States crushed the North Vietnamese and Vietcong invaders, yet the communists achieved an important psychological victory, by scaring the mainstream U.S. media, and consequently, the American public, which contributed greatly to the overall diminishment of public support for the war (p. xi-ii)
  • From Westmoreland to Abrams (1968): The initial start to the U.S.’s active involvement in the Vietnam War under General William C. Westmoreland was one of numerous setbacks and difficulties – this all changed in the spring of 1968, when “Westy” was replaced by General Creighton W. Abrams, a more competent and capable commander that worked better with the South Vietnamese and changed the whole course of the U.S. war in Vietnam (p. xii-iii)
  • Problematic Histories (Then-Now): The previous point highlights the fact that under Westmoreland (1965-68), U.S. efforts in Vietnam were riddled with setbacks and difficulties – These years represent only a fraction of the overall war, but for some reason, it is always the Westmoreland era that most historians and journalists in the U.S. love to focus on, and in the process, ignoring the great allied achievements from 1968 onward – As a result, to this day, most people in the American public are presented with a distorted representation of what really happened in the Vietnam War (p. xiv)

Above are only a few of the many insights that Lewis Sorley instantaneously presents to the reader in his book, A Better War. To acquire more information, I strongly encourage everyone to read Sorley’s book for themselves, and draw a few conclusion of their own.

There are a significant number of works on the Vietnam War out there (albeit buried in a sea of liberal trash) that present fair and balanced accounts of what actually happened in Vietnam. Sorley’s book is simply one among many, and is a very good place to start for anyone interested in studying this complex, fascinating, and ultimately misreported war.

Over the course of my research, I’ve pondered the ways in which to share my findings with you all, and it’s been hard. On the one hand, I want to be clear and concise, but on the other hand, I want to be thorough and comprehensive.

So, after much thought, I’ve decided that the best way to share my discoveries with you all is to do it little by little. In doing so, I am able to focus, a few at a time, on the myriad complex and convoluted issues associated with the Vietnam War and its historiography. With this approach, I hope to eventually establish a solid scholarly foundation, to the benefit of all who are interested in truly understanding the Vietnam War.

I once made a metaphor about a “House of Truth,” in which, brick by brick, I slowly lay the foundations with the hopes that one day, a strong and true story will be told of what really happened during the Vietnam War. Consider this article one more step in that direction, another brick in our House of Truth, placed for the entire world to see, scrutinize, and ultimately understand. As boldly put by author and retired U.S. marine Richard Botkin, “Everything you know about the end of the Vietnam War is wrong.” It is high time that we fixed that.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this brief article and found it to be an insightful read. I look forward to giving you more.

 

Work Cited:

Sorley, Lewis. A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1999.

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