Archive for the IV. Columns Category

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.

April 30, 2020 Post: Hope, Prayers, and Re-emergence – Words of Wisdom from General Cao Van Vien

Posted in IV. Columns with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2020 by Ian Pham
South Vietnamese flag at the Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster, California. Photo shared in accordance with the creative commons license CC BY-SA 2.0. (via InSapphoWeTrust)

There is a passage in Lewis Sorley’s book A Better War (1999). It comes at the very last sentence, on the very last page of the last chapter, before the epilogue. Here, Sorley shared a quote from the late and great South Vietnamese general, Cao Van Vien.

General Vien’s words were optimistic (p. 386):

“... hope and with prayers for the reemergence of a free South Vietnam in the not too distant future, a South Vietnam led by men of talent and high morals – the truly great leaders of Vietnamese history."

For me, General Vien’s words are more than just wishful thinking. They are a roadmap for the future. These words envision the birth and rise of a new Vietnamese nation, one that is independent, strong, and free.

As Vietnamese people all across the world come together to commemorate South Vietnam, we should view this late great nation as more than just a relic of our past, but a foundation for the future.

South Vietnam (the Republic of Vietnam) was a free country. It had a multiparty democratic electoral system, a free press, and a rapidly rising market economy. The Republic of Vietnam was a nation that respected human rights, and championed the fundamental freedoms of all people.

In terms of economics, education, and culture, South Vietnam was a leader of the Southeast Asian region. Its capital city Saigon was lauded as the “Pearl of the Orient.” People from all over the world came to view and experience its wonder and beauty.

Simply put, South Vietnam was a nation that its people could be proud of. It was a place that someone would be happy to hail from, and to look at with reverence and say, “yes, I am Vietnamese.”

Making all of this possible were the courageous soldiers of South Vietnam, the United States, and their coalition of allies. They fought, they sacrificed, and they gave everything that they possibly could so that the people of South Vietnam could enjoy freedom, safety, and security.

It is all of this that we come together to remember on April 30: The great nation of South Vietnam and the heroes who built and defended it.

Thanks to the legacy of South Vietnam, with all of its accomplishments and history, there is much to build off of once the communists are overthrown. And yes, the communists will be overthrown.

For the past 45 years, since the communists took over, they have proven to be useless, impotent, and incapable of leading the Vietnamese nation in any way. I will save my myriad criticisms of the communist dogs for another day. For now, I will simply say that their days are numbered, and that sooner, rather than later, the communists will be extinguished from Vietnam once and for all.

On this April 30, 2020, we Vietnamese come together to mourn and remember South Vietnam and its heroes. We thank the heroes for their sacrifices, and we thank the boat people, the brave refugees, for making that dangerous journey across the ocean to ensure freedom for generations to come, and to carry on the Vietnamese legacy.

Not only must we remember South Vietnam and its heroes, we must also learn from South Vietnam and its heroes. We honor, we commemorate, and we take to heart all that they have given us, using it as fuel for a bigger, brighter, and better future.

South Vietnam may be gone for now, but it will never be forgotten. The legacy that it left behind will be the blueprint for a new Vietnam, one that is proud, strong, and free.

Take it from General Vien, and believe that one day, not far from now, Vietnam will be free.

In one form or another, the Republic will return.

We will return.

*****

Cited:

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

Keeping the Memory Alive

Posted in IV. Columns with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2019 by Ian Pham
The Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster, California, USA. Photo shared in accordance with the creative commons license CC BY-SA 2.0. (via InSapphoWeTrust)

Another April 30 means another year has gone by since the fall of Saigon in 1975. On this day, 44 years ago, the capital city of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) fell to the communist forces, marking the tragic conclusion to the Vietnam War.

Every year on this day, Vietnamese communities all across the world come together to mourn the fall of the democracy, to commemorate the heroes who fought and sacrificed for freedom, and to show gratitude for those who escaped the communist takeover to find better lives for the future generation.

It is a day filled with sorrow and loss, but also a day full of love and appreciation.

We mourn because we lost our country, but we are also thankful for the lives we still have, made possible by all the brave soldiers who fought to defend us, and the selfless citizens who so courageously crossed the ocean to make sure that their families grew up far away from the grips of the murderous communists.

Today is an important day, bringing us all together to remind us of our hallowed past, and urging us to remember our South Vietnamese heritage, and all of those men and women who gave their lives in defense of that sacred ideal known as freedom.

We must never forget their sacrifice, nor should we ever forget our roots.

It is imperative that we remember, and that we work to make sure that future generations will continue to remember.

To this end, it is up to all of us, the old, the middling, and the younger generations to keep the memory alive. We must all keep the fire burning, doing so through the education of ourselves, and the education of others, especially the youth.

Learn the history of South Vietnam, its foundations, its ideals, and its wonderful accomplishments during the several decades of its existence. Know its people, its places, and even its flaws and shortcomings.

Know of the heroes who gave everything for that nation, in defense of its freedom, and the life, liberty, and dignity of its citizens.

From the brave soldiers of South Vietnam and the United States, to our allies who answered the call of duty, it is imperative that we know and tell their stories, so that they may find their rightful place in history. As the beneficiaries of their sacrifice, it is our duty to do so.

In order to honor the fallen, we must keep their memory alive, always and forever.

And so, on this Black April day, I leave you with this simple message:

Honor the fallen, keep their memory alive, and carry that fire with pride, in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul. To do that, just live, learn, and, above all else, never, ever forget.

Never forget.

Holiday Greetings 2018

Posted in Announcements with tags , , , on December 25, 2018 by Ian Pham

🎅🎅🎅

Hi everyone,

Another year has gone by, and another Christmas is here. As such, I would just like to drop in and wish you all another Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

It was my goal this year to be more involved with the blog, and while there is still much to do, I believe a great foundation has been laid. One year at a time, amiright?

I appreciate you all for visiting, reading, and commenting. You make all the difference, and you all are the reason that I continue to write. Looking forward to producing more for you in 2019.

Thanks again, and best wishes in the new year!

Sincerely,

Ian

🎄🎄🎄

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.

A Solemn Thank You.

Posted in IV. Columns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2018 by Ian Pham

Vietnamese Memorial(Breitbart)

Hello All,

I’ll be honest here. I tried writing a few feature pieces for this April 30th, but none of it panned out. I wanted to do something big, bit off more than I can chew, and simply didn’t have enough time to make it good enough to share. There are certain standards that I hold myself to as a writer, and I would not put anything out unless I believe it was good enough. This is even more so on Black April, a solemn day of mourning and commemoration for a nation lost. I wanted to do a lot for this day, but in the end, this year, I came up empty.

But, it didn’t feel right to say nothing. I have to say something. How could I not?

And so, with no research or notes on hand, or a poem, or anything, all I got is what is on my mind right now, right this minute, and the only thing I can say is this:

Thank you.

Thank you to all the heroes who fought, bled, and died to defend the freedom of the South Vietnamese people and their nation. This goes out to all of the veterans. South Vietnamese veterans, American veterans, and all of our friends and allies who laid down their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and independence. To all of the heroes, living or dead, I thank you. We thank you, and pledge to never let your sacrifices be forgotten.

I also want to thank the Boat People refugees, the Children of the South, who took that leap of faith, and faced the vast and mighty Ocean in the pursuit of freedom. To everyone who made that impossible choice to depart from Vietnam after the communist takeover, braving unthinkable danger, and enduring unspeakable pain and suffering, all for that beautiful idea, freedom, I thank you. Without you, there would be no us. Without you, there would be no hope. So thank you. Thank you for keeping it all alive. The legacy, the heritage, the roots of the Vietnamese people, all of it lives on to this day, because of you. Thank you, for giving us something that we can never repay. We will carry it with us, and pass it on to future generations, so that it may live on. Forever.

Lastly, I want to thank all the nations of the free world who took in the Boat People refugees. To the countries that took us all in, at a time when we had nothing, we thank you. You gave us freedom, you gave us hope, you gave us strength, and you gave us a future. You gave us a home. And, like the gift that the Boat People refugees have given to the future generations, we can never repay the gift that the nations of the free world have given to us all. But, we will try, every minute, every second, of every day to make the most of that gift that you have given us: Freedom. Thank you America. Thank you Canada. Thank you Australia. And thank you to all the nations of the free world who took us in and made us your own. Your kindness and compassion will never be forgotten.

And to you, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and musings, and thank you for standing with me, as a proud, freedom-loving Vietnamese person. What’s more, thank you for keeping the South Vietnamese legacy alive. We are all in this together, and one day, Vietnam will be free again. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

Thank you.

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

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

Fake News CNN(YouTube/CNN)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know I’m not missing much.