Archive for Human Rights Abuses

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

Posted in Opinions, Politics with tags , , , , on April 1, 2014 by Ian Pham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

Viet Khang’s Verdict

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2012 by Ian Pham

Alright, so a little over a week ago (October 30… Sorry we took a while), the Communist Party delivered their verdict on Viet Khang’s trial.  After a half-day of rigorous show-trialling, the Communist Party, Viet Khang was sentenced to four years in prison and a supposed two years of house arrest.

On trial with Viet Khang is fellow musician/songwriter Hoang Nhat Thong (his real name is Tran Vu Anh Binh), who is also sentenced to a harsh prison term of six years in prison.  Mr. Tran Vu Anh Binh wrote a song in honor of the democracy activist Dieu Cay, titled “Nguc Toi Hien Ngang”, or “Courage in the Dark prison”.

Viet Khang’s verdict is somewhat lighter than I expected (though it is still extremely harsh) when comparing to other democracy activists (Dieu Cay got 12 years).  This may or may not be due to the international attention given to Viet Khang’s case, and there was a lot of attention from the Vietnamese community around the world regarding Viet Khang.

It is not yet clear what the situation in Vietnam is like now that a sentence has been placed on Viet Khang.  What I am sure of however is that the arrests and unfair treatment of innocent people will continue.  It’s a long and arduous process but there is really no way the Party can ever regain their legitimacy.  They have demeaned themselves, the country, and the people of Vietnam for so long, it is no longer a tangible task for them to gain any respect from their people, the world, or each other.

A coward can only hide his cowardice for so long, and even then, he cannot fool himself into having courage.  As far as the Communist Party is concerned, they are surviving off borrowed time.  They can keep suppressing, they can keep censoring, and they can keep pretending they aren’t Chinese dogs.  However, they cannot wipe the blood off their hands, and they will never again look valiant and righteous in the eyes of their people.  Even the great regimes don’t last forever, and the Communists are definitely not the greats.

Welcoming 2012: Can The Communist Party Get Any Dumber?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Dissident Imprisonment in Vietnam

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by Ian Pham

“One wonders what exactly the government of Vietnam is so afraid of that an elderly old man like Nguyen Van Lia, who has dedicated his life to religion, should frighten them so much that they feel the need to lock him away in prison.”

Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch, Asia Division

The waves of crackdowns and arrests never end in the SRV (Socialist Republic of Vietnam).  This time, the “lucky” recipients of the brutal regime are Tran Haoi An and Nguyen Van Lia.  The duo have been detained and charged with “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state,” which is just as preposterous as it sounds.  What are these “democratic” freedoms that the government speaks of?  It is ridiculous that the VCP would even use that word as part of a charge against the people.  If their were democratic freedoms, this case wouldn’t even be happening.

Tran Haoi An and Nguyen Van Lia are members of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect, and, like the Christians, are feared by the Vietnamese government for their religious affiliations.  Tran and Nguyen were captured in April with books, CDs, DVDs, and documents that were said to point out the abuses of the Communist government and pressing for religious freedom.  The recent trial has sentenced the elderly Nguyen Van Lia, who is 71 years old, to five years in jail.  Tran Hoai An’s sentence is lesser with three years in prison.

Human Rights Watch has demanded the immediate release of the Buddhist activists, most likely to further non-compliance by the Vietnamese government.  As always, there is widespread criticism of the Communist Party’s poor treatment of political dissidents.  Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch brings into question why the Vietnamese government is so afraid of an elderly old man like Nguyen Van Lia, and would go as far as sentencing him to five years in prison.  It is sad and pathetic, but then again, it is the Communist Party, not surprised.

Coverage provided by BBC and The Associated Press.

Gang Attack on Vietnamese Pastor was Ordered by the Government

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2011 by Ian Pham

Earlier this week, gang members stormed the church-house of pastor Thien An, beating him and members of his family with pipes and wooden clubs.  The pastor was attacked by the thugs for his important role in Vietnam’s Catholic community, as the government considers religion a major threat to their legitimacy.  It is widely believed that the thugs were hired by the Vietnamese police and were acting under their instruction.  Pastor Thien An and his family were attacked by hired gangsters twice that day, once at 1:00 p.m., and then again at 8:30 p.m.  In both cases, when calls were made to the police department, nobody answered the phone.

The connection between the gang attacks and the government police are fairly obvious.  One week earlier, the pastor was visited by Vietnamese police, claiming that they needed to “investigate” his property.  In one religious service not too long ago, the police barged into the pastor’s church-house and cut the sound system, preventing him from completing his service.  During the intrusion of the pastor’s sermon, members of his family were terrorized and threatened with violence by the policemen involved.

The gang ordeal left many members of the pastor’s family with some severe injuries including cuts, bruises, and broken bones.  Videos of the pastor and his family member’s injuries have been posted on Youtube, showing us just how brutal the gang/police attacks on the civilians really are.  This attack on pastor Thien An and his family took place in Central Vietnam, in the province of Quang Nam.

Using hired thugs to terrorize the people is a common tactic of the Vietnamese government.  When they want to cover their tracks or avoid getting their hands dirty, the Vietnamese Communist Party hire gangsters and criminals to do their bidding.  Not only does the government fail to enforce laws, they actually encourage and participate in the criminal activities in Vietnam’s underworld.  It is extremely disheartening, but, as one church pastor put it, “this is still our country’s rule-of-law.”

Vietnam’s Communist Leaders: Money, Power, But No Respect

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , , , , on September 15, 2011 by Ian Pham

For a long time now, we have gone over all the problems that Vietnam is faced with, along the different ways to fix them.  We’ve been discussing the possible strategies that the Vietnamese leadership could take to turn the country around, as well as how to deal with the coming Chinese invasion.  Even with all this discussion, the change that happens in Vietnam is so limited, it seems like nothing substantial is actually happening.  China is still bullying Vietnamese fishermen in the eastern sea, poverty and violence is still rampant inside the country, and the human rights situation is as bad as it has ever been.

What’s with all this lack of progress?  Why are the Vietnamese Communists still making all the foolish decisions that they’ve been making in the past?  Furthermore, why have the Communists not corrected so many of the obvious problems afflicting the country such as human rights and corruption?  These issues are not hard to fix, and it’s not like they are left to deal with these problems alone either.  Countries like the U.S., Canada, and many western countries see many personal benefits in helping Vietnam fix itself.  Sadly, the leadership in Vietnam has not caught on, or have they?  Vietnam has been presented with so many golden opportunities, why haven’t they capitalized on them?

Let’s clear this up right now.  To a certain extent, the problems plaguing Vietnam today can be attributed to what we call the stupidity of the Communist Party.  However, this explanation is way over simplified and does not accurately depict what the leaders in Vietnam are thinking.  The reality is, they actually do understand all the benefits that they could bring to Vietnam.  Everything we have talked about, all the obvious and practical solutions that I have presented over the existence of this blog, the Communists already know.  They know that fighting corruption would improve the country’s development in a substantial way.  Not only that, they do understand that fixing human rights would definitely win the U.S. over to their side.  Surprisingly enough, they also understand that the country’s people has enormous potential, and that becoming democratic would lead the country into a new era of prosperity.  So with all this in mind, why do they still maintain the broken system, the corruption, and the repression?

The reason for the prevalence of this status quo by the Communist Party is simple.  Despite the knowledge that a few small but critical reforms can transform the country for the better, the leaders in Vietnam just can’t bare to part from the money and power that comes from being a Communist dictator.  Communists members like Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, former General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, and the rest of the Politburo keep the Communist system alive because it allows them to benefit from the pain and suffering of the Vietnamese people.  As the inheritors to the money and power, the “men” at the height of the Communist Party are entitled to many privileges and lavishness.  They will do anything to make sure that they do not lose this entitlement.  These Communist pigs would not hesitate to kill their own people, or even to sell out the country to the Chinese, as long as they can defend their own power.

The Communist leaders themselves do not believe in the ideals in which The Party identifies itself with.  They know that Communism is dead, they know that Ho Chi Minh lied to everyone, they know how harmful the status quo is to every citizen in the country.  The Communist know all of this, but they refuse to change it because they are too greedy, selfish, and cowardly.  If they decided to side with the U.S., they would have to deal with the corruption and human rights.  If they were to crackdown on corruption, they would no longer be able to syphon the money from Vietnam’s economy.   If they improved human rights, then the people would rise up and hold them accountable for their corruption.  Lastly, if they let their people see the smallest glimpse of what democracy can bring to Vietnam, The Party would cease to exist as we known it.  As a result, the Communists would lose all of their powers and privileges, and fail to amount to anything.

For all the reasons mentioned above, the Communists will do everything in their power to keep the country weak and their people ignorant.  They would not hesitate to let their own people die at the hands of the Communist police or the Chinese pirates.  There is no telling how far they would go to defend the power that they inherited from their revolutionary predecessors.  That is why, when we characterize the Communist Party, we know they have money, we know they have power, and we definitely know that no one respects them.  It is actually wrong to even call them leaders, a more accurate word to describe them would be cockroaches.

Bloody Repression of the Hmong in Vietnam

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by Ian Pham

A peaceful gathering turned violent last week when thousands of Hmong demonstrators clashed with government forces in Vietnam.  What started out as a religious assembly of Hmong Christians turned into a violent repression as their prayers were interrupted and crushed by the Vietnamese Communist Party.  The Communist government moved in their military and security forces into the province of Dien Bien to suppress the religious demonstration of the Hmong poeple, killing about 49, wounding several hundreds, and detaining countless more.

This is the latest example in how far the Communist Party will go to defend their own power.  They will not hesitate to murder their own population to maintain their stranglehold on governance.  For a Communist, terror and atrocity is not the last resort, but rather a conventional tactic.  In response to recent criticism, the Communist Party rationalizes their actions by saying that the Hmong protestors of using religion to undermine the state and “calling for a separate empire of the Hmong people,” which is not only absurd, but just stupid.

The United States government says that they will investigate the situation, which could mean many things.  At this moment, the U.S. is not very happy with the Vietnamese Communists, but still wants to have them as allies as counter-weight against China.  That is why they are keeping an uneasy silence against the recent crimes of the VCP.  The arrest of Cu Huy Ha Vu last month came at the chagrin of the Americans, now this recent attack on the Hmong protestors is further straining the relationship.  The Communists really need to recognize the value of the U.S. as a potential partner.  Supporting human rights and international law is a simple act that can have so many positive results.  They should think about that.