Archive for Republic of Vietnam

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.

South Vietnamese General Endorses Donald Trump, Encourages Voting Republican in the 2018 Midterms

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2018 by Ian Pham

Tran Quang Khoi Endorses Donald Trump(Chau Xuan Nguyen / Breitbart)

Earlier in September of this year, Brigadier General Tran Quang Khoi of the former Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) released a statement in support of President Donald J. Trump. In the statement, General Khoi, who now resides in the United States, urged Vietnamese-Americans to vote Republican in the upcoming midterm elections. The general warned in his statement of the sabotage and obstruction from the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, the fake news liberal media, and the liberal wing of the Vietnamese-American media who ride the mainstream leftist coattails in hopes of affirmation and relevance (Sad!).

Presented below is General Khoi’s statement, via Hoang Lan Chi (Note: The original Vietnamese statement is shown first, with an English translation following immediately after):

– Tôi tha thiết kêu gọi mọi người VN tỵ nạn CS trên toàn thế giới lên tiếng ủng hộ triệt để Tổng Thống Donald Trump đang bị đảng Dân Chủ đối lập đe dọa trầm trọng.

– Đặc biệt tôi kêu gọi tất cả người Việt Nam tỵ nạn CS trên toàn nước Mỹ hãy kêu gọi nhau đi bầu, dồn phiếu cho TT.Donald Trump và đảng Cộng Hòa của ông. Đây là vấn đề sống chết của dân tộc và đất nước VN chúng ta.

Bọn Tàu cộng phương Bắc, Tập Cận Bình đang giãy chết. Đừng nghe lời kêu gọi của cựu Tổng Thống Obama và cựu Tổng Thống Bill Clinton, và tất cả báo chí của Mỹ và của VN cánh tả, chống Tổng Thống Donald Trump.

Nên nhớ , Tổng Thống Donald Trump là vị cứu tinh của dân tộc VN và của nước VN độc lập, dân chủ và phú cường.

Xin hảy tin lời kêu gọi của tôi.

– Sau khi CSVN bị diệt vong, tôi ước mong được trở về sống ở VN, và sẽ tham gia vào việc đào tạo thế hệ trẻ VN trở nên những cán bộ quân sự kiệt xuất của một nước VN độc lập, dân chủ và phú cường ./.

Virginia, ngày 01 tháng 9, 2018

Chuẩn Tướng TGKB Trần Quang Khôi.

Here is the same statement in English, translated by yours truly:

– I humbly call upon all Vietnamese overseas people around the world to speak up and support President Donald Trump, who is facing serious sabotage by the Democratic Party.

– I especially call upon all Vietnamese-Americans to come out and vote, casting your ballot for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. This is a life and death situation for the people and nation of Vietnam.

The Red Chinese of the North and [Chinese President] Xi Jinping are currently fighting for their last breath. Do not listen to the words of former president Barack Obama, or former president Bill Clinton, or any of the U.S. mainstream media or leftist Vietnamese-American media, who are all against President Donald Trump.

Let it be known, President Donald Trump is the savior of the Vietnamese people and a future Vietnamese nation that is independent, democratic, and prosperous.

Please hear my message.

– After the Vietnamese Communist regime is overthrown, I dream to be able to return to and live in Vietnam, and to participate in the development of a new generation of Vietnamese military officers for a Vietnamese nation that is independent, democratic, and prosperous.

Virginia, September 1, 2018

Brigadier General TGKB Tran Quang Khoi.

Regarding General Khoi’s point about Trump being the savior of the Vietnamese people, I have some thoughts.

Since Donald Trump became president, he has been relentlessly hammering China with bruising tariffs that, as we speak, are wreaking havoc on the Chinese economy. Among those affected is China’s Formosa steel company, the same Formosa that has been polluting Vietnamese oceans, killing off the fish and vegetation, and poisoning Vietnam’s water supply. Formosa’s deliberate destruction of Vietnam’s environment has caused starvation, disease, and death all across Vietnam, with zero response from the cowardly Communist Party in Vietnam. The tariffs imposed by Trump on Chinese steel have greatly damaged Formosa, and in the process is delivering some measure of justice for the Vietnamese people.

Furthermore, Trump has beefed up U.S. presence in the Pacific and increased regional stability, leading to a significant curbing of Chinese assertiveness in the area. Donald Trump has done more for Vietnam since taking office than the communist leaders of Vietnam could ever hope to accomplish. Moreover, Trump has done more in 16 months to handle Chinese international aggression than Barack Obama and Bill Clinton could in 16 years.

Therefore, while I would word things differently than General Khoi, I definitely agree that President Trump is an ally of the Vietnamese people, and a free and independent Vietnamese nation. President Trump doesn’t even do it on purpose. He simply does the right thing, doing what needs to be done, and by proxy his deeds benefit the Vietnamese people. He helps us and he doesn’t even try.

Obviously, as Vietnamese people, we should not rely on anyone but ourselves. In geopolitical terms however, weighing our interests between the Republicans and the Democrats, more specifically, between Donald Trump or the pro-communist left (John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, the liberal fake news media, etc.), there is no question that we are better off with a Republican President, Republican Senate, and Republican House of Representatives. It is therefore pivotal that we do not allow the Democrats to ever take back the government.

A Democrat victory in November would mean the illegal impeachment of President Trump, the reestablishment of Washington corruption, a re-weaponized FBI and DOJ (the Deep State), a re-energized and vengeful leftist fake news media, and the resurgence of a humiliated and bitter Communist China eager to avenge the glorious ass-kicking that President Trump has been raining down upon them ever since taking office in January 2017.

In other words, Donald Trump is on our side, and the Democrats are not.

A win for Trump is a win for the Vietnamese people, both inside and outside of Vietnam.

By contrast, a win for the Democrats is a loss for the Vietnamese people, both inside and outside of Vietnam.

Remember that it was the Democrats who voted to cut all funding to South Vietnam in 1974, that the current Democratic Party is composed of many of those antiwar, pro-communist “activists” of the Vietnam War era, and that it is Democrats like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Kerry who have been cozying up to Communist Vietnam for decades up to present day.

If you are a South Vietnamese legacy who loves your freedom and are proud of your roots, the Democratic Party is not your friend.

For these reasons, I stand with General Tran Quang Khoi, and I too urge the Vietnamese people all across America to get out and vote Republican this Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Donald Trump’s name may not be on the ballot, but his ability to govern and continue this incredible change depends wholeheartedly on the victory of the Republicans in these midterm elections.

As Vietnamese people – who are under constant threat of Chinese invasion, ignored and hated by Democrat politicians since our arrival in 1975, and slandered by the leftist media since the 1960s to present day – we need this.

We need Trump to win, and so we need to vote Republican.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it a whole lot more between now and Election Day:

Vote Republican this Tuesday, November 6, 2018. It is imperative that we do.

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.

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.