Archive for South Vietnam

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.

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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.

Stephen B. Young: Nguyen Van Thieu, South Vietnam’s Second President, Was a Strong Leader Who Built Up His Country

Posted in Modern History with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by Ian Pham

President Thieu(Virtual Saigon)

In an article last month, Stephen B. Young, executive director of the Caux Round Table and expert on Vietnam history, provided some useful information on South Vietnam and its second president, Nguyen Van Thieu. This article was published in The New York Times, because even biased left-wing media empires need to hedge their bets sometimes and provide views differing from their own, but I digress.

Much useful insight can be found in Young’s article, which covers a wide array of topics regarding South Vietnam’s perspective in the war. In this brief post, I will only focus on one portion of Young’s article, and that is his discussion on South Vietnam’s second president, Nguyen Van Thieu, and the nation’s development under his strong leadership.

According to Young, that in the greater context of Southern resistance in the face of continued Northern communist aggression:

South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen van Thieu, stepped up to provide more vigorous leadership. He replaced corrupt and incompetent officials and personally headed the recovery committee charged with rebuilding destroyed or damaged infrastructure and buildings and resettling over 500,000 people who had fled Communist control. And elsewhere in national politics, new, surprising political coalitions formed to vociferously oppose Hanoi’s aggression.

… South Vietnam’s economy grew continuously. Elections were held in all villages and provinces, and several times for the national Senate and House of Representatives, bringing into power a wide range of political outlooks, without anyone seriously proposing surrender to Hanoi’s one-party dictatorship.

As can be seen by Young’s assessment, the nation of South Vietnam had a strong and competent leader under President Thieu. South Vietnam’s economy was flourishing, half a million refugees who had fled the communist North were successfully being settled in the South, and democracy was firmly taking hold in the young nation.

This is all common knowledge to anyone who lived in South Vietnam, and knew firsthand what life was like there. Anyone who was a South Vietnamese citizen, and subsequently a “Boat People” refugee after 1975, knows very well that the Republic of Vietnam was a democratic nation, one that was steadily establishing itself as a regional power in Southeast Asia, leading the way in economy, military, education, and culture.

However, to the outside observer, and the generations who only know about the Vietnam War through western pop culture liberal propaganda (written and designed by leftists, citing leftist sources who love communism), the truths about South Vietnam and its people are still largely ignored and buried by the liberal elite, hidden in historical archives, and unnoticed by the world at large.

According to the leftist narrative, the North Vietnamese were good, the South Vietnamese were bad, the U.S. soldiers were bullies, and the radical liberals back home who protested and slandered the war effort were somehow brave, courageous, and totally not a bunch of lazy, self-righteous, cowardly, virtue-signalling losers.

For decades, liberals have dominated the conversation on the Vietnam War. They have achieved a stranglehold monopoly over the power to shape the public’s perception of the war, in any way they choose. As a result, we don’t really know much about it, except for what the Left wants us to “know.”

Well, little by little, that is changing.

Thanks to scholars such as Stephen B. Young and many others (George J. Veith, Lewis Sorley, Richard Botkin, and Geoffrey Shaw, just to name a few) whose works I am excited to share and discuss with you all, our understanding of the Vietnam War is gradually shifting.

In time, more and more truths will come out. This article is just a small piece of that puzzle. A small brick, if you will, in what I’d like to call my House of Truth.

There’s an old saying:

“If you want to anger a conservative, lie to them. If you want to anger a liberal, tell them the truth.”

Here’s to more articles pissing off liberals in the future.

P.S. Trump is president. #MAGA #KAG

What is Vietnamese Republicanism? An Introduction

Posted in Announcements, Art, Modern History, Opinions, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2017 by Ian Pham

Vietnamese Republicanism

Image by Ian Pham/Freedom For Vietnam

Editor’s Note: This article was first posted on Facebook late last night, on May 23, 2017. Expect much more in-depth discussions on this subject in the very near future. In the meantime, please read, comment, and share. The short-term objective is to disseminate this information quickly, and to reach as many people, inside and outside of Vietnam as possible. Communism has been destroying Vietnam for far too long. It’s time we started changing that. Thank you for reading, and thank you for the continued support.

Cheers,

Ian Pham

P.S. Please visit, ‘like,’ and ‘share’ the Vietnamese Republicanism Facebook page, and it’s Vietnamese counterpart, Chủ Nghĩa Cộng Hòa Việt Nam.

Vietnamese Republicanism is a political ideology. It is based on the three founding principles of Democracy, Human Rights, and National Defense, and its goal is to destroy Communism in Vietnam, bring freedom to the nation and people of Vietnam, and establish a liberal democratic Republic, of the Vietnamese people, by the Vietnamese people, and for the Vietnamese people.

The reason for the creation of this ideology is simple. Currently, Vietnam is in serious trouble. Never before, in over 2000 years, has Vietnam ever been so close to extinction and extermination. A change needs to happen in Vietnam, the thinking of the Vietnamese people who have been affected by Communism needs to change, and this is where Vietnamese Republicanism comes in. Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology of change. Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology of strength, progress, and resilience. And, at its core, Vietnamese Republicanism is a full-on attack on the cowardly, corrupted, and treasonous ideology of Communism.

As we speak, the Communist Party of Vietnam is willingly handing over the Vietnamese nation to the Chinese invaders, allowing Chinese people to freely enter and live in Vietnam without visas or paperwork, and permitting them to steal Vietnamese jobs, abuse Vietnamese citizens, and disrespect the Vietnamese heritage and way of life. Evil Chinese corporations such as Formosa, Lee & Man, and Bauxite are wreaking havoc and devastation across Vietnamese land, poisoning the waters, wiping out the food supply, and slowly starving, infecting, and killing the people of Vietnam, little by little. In the long run, millions of Vietnamese people will die as a result of these deliberate actions committed by these Chinese corporations. Moreover, the mining operations of these Chinese companies continue to devastate the Vietnamese environment, Vietnamese trees continue to be cut down in staggering numbers, and more broadly, Vietnamese forests, highlands, oceans, and vegetation are being blatantly destroyed by these Chinese corporations. All of these atrocities are part of a wider, diabolical, and evil plan by the Chinese government in Beijing to slowly and quietly eradicate the Vietnamese people. Instead of deploying weapons of war, the Chinese government is carrying out environmental terrorism against the Vietnamese people, as part of a broader Chinese operation of silent genocide against the Vietnamese people. Adding to the peril and humiliation is the fact that all of these evil Chinese schemes have been, and continue to be permitted by the Communist Party of Vietnam, who have already surrendered themselves over to the Chinese invaders.

In the seas, Chinese military personnel have been killing Vietnamese fishermen for decades, and continue to do so with impunity, without a single word of protest from the cowardly Communist Party of Vietnam. Furthermore, Beijing continues to try imposing the Chinese language into Vietnamese schools, and attempts to force the teaching of Chinese history into these same Vietnamese schools, all in an attempt to replace the heritage of the Vietnamese people in our own country. Thus far, the slavish Communist Party of Vietnam has been unsuccessful in pushing the cultural cleansing agenda of their Chinese masters, but they continue to try, and if we don’t stop them, eventually they will succeed.

In short, Vietnam is in serious danger, and if we don’t act now, Armageddon may soon be upon us.

In order for us to preserve and protect our Vietnamese heritage and our Vietnamese nation, we must change the way we think about ourselves as Vietnamese people, and we must change the way we think about our Vietnamese nation. This changing of thought, this changing of vision, and this changing of aspiration, is the first thing that Vietnamese Republicanism is set out to do.

As Vietnamese people, we must understand that we are exceptional. As citizens of the Vietnamese nation, we must understand that the Vietnamese nation is exceptional. First and foremost, it is the goal of Vietnamese Republicanism to make Vietnamese people everywhere, inside and outside of Vietnam understand that the Vietnamese people are an exceptional people, and that the Vietnamese nation is an exceptional nation.

For nearly 80 years, Communism has destroyed the spirit of the Vietnamese people, and disgraced the proud, rich and noble history of the Vietnamese nation. Communism has made the Vietnamese people believe that we are slaves, that we are weak, that we are insignificant, that we are inferior. This is the mindset of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and this is the mindset that the Communist Party has been forcing on the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, the Vietnamese youth, for nearly one century. It is this mentality that made possible the current Chinese incursion into Vietnam. It is this mentality that makes the Vietnamese people passive, apathetic, and meek in the face of the Chinese invasion. It is this mentality that has made it possible for the Chinese to walk into Vietnamese land, shit on the Vietnamese dinner table, and insult the sacred traditions of the Vietnamese nation.

Communism, and the Communist Party of Vietnam, has destroyed the dignity, pride, and hope of the Vietnamese people. Communism has disgraced the thousands years’ history of Vietnam, and the ancient, sacred traditions of the Vietnamese people. Communism is a stain, a scourge, and a disease to Vietnam. Communism must be destroyed, along with the Communist Party of Vietnam, and all of its members. The destruction of Communism, the Communist Party, and all of its members, is one of the major objectives of Vietnamese Republicanism.

As a show of fairness and good will, Vietnamese Republicanism recognizes that there are some within the Communist Party of Vietnam who secretly hate the Communist Party, wish to abandon the Communist Party, hate Communism, and wish to abandon Communism. Vietnamese Republicanism encourages these members to forsake and abandon the Communist Party of Vietnam, forsake and abandon Communism, and to embrace and join the Vietnamese Republican cause. Vietnamese Republicanism welcomes anyone who believes in the Vietnamese people, the Vietnamese nation, and the principles of Democracy, Human Rights, and National Defense. Therefore, Vietnamese Republicanism is willing to forgive those who wish to repent for their sins and join the Vietnamese Republican movement.

Communism is an ideology of cowardice.
Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology of courage.

Communism is an ideology of treason.
Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology of patriotism.

Communism is an ideology of slavery.
Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology of freedom.

It is for this reason that I encourage everyone to reject Communism, and choose Vietnamese Republicanism to pave the way for Vietnam’s future.

Where Communism says cower in the face of Chinese aggression, Vietnamese Republicanism says stand tall in the face of Chinese aggression, and fight in the face of Chinese aggression.

Where Communism says to forget the greatness of the Vietnamese people, Vietnamese Republicanism says remember the greatness of the Vietnamese people. Not only that, but Vietnamese Republicanism says to be proud of the greatness of the Vietnamese people, to build on the greatness of the Vietnamese people, and dare to dream of creating the greatest nation that the world has ever seen, an exceptional Vietnamese Republic, a shining city on the hill, built on the will, the heart, and the greatness of the Vietnamese people, its rich history, and its ancient lineage.

It is time to end the failed experiment of Communism, and punish the Communist Party of Vietnam for all of their crimes against the nation of Vietnam, the people of Vietnam, and the sacred traditions of Vietnam. To accomplish this goal of removing Communism from the Vietnamese consciousness, and expelling the Communist Party of Vietnam from their tyrannical, treasonous, and dictatorial rule over Vietnam, I put forward the superior ideology of Vietnamese Republicanism as a starting point, a foundation for change in restoring the greatness of the Vietnamese nation, and then exceeding that greatness to unparalleled heights.

Vietnamese Republicanism is an ideology founded on the principles of Democracy, Human Rights, and National Defense. The flag of Vietnamese Republicanism is yellow, with three stars at its center, and three stripes above the stars. The three stars at the center of the Vietnamese Republican flag represent the three principles of Democracy, Human Rights, and National Defense, while the three stripes above represent the former Republic of Vietnam, a nation that existed on the principles of Fatherland, Honor, and Duty.

The former Republic of Vietnam was a free nation, a proud nation, and a courageous nation that kept its people safe at all costs. Its legacy remains a guiding light in these dark times, reminding the Vietnamese people that one time in modern history, there was a Vietnamese nation that was strong, proud, and free. The three stripes, which represent the North, Central, and South of all of Vietnam, represent the entire Republic, of the Vietnamese people, by the Vietnamese people, and for the Vietnamese people. These three stripes stand as the true symbol of the Vietnamese nation, and by including the symbol of this Republic on the new Vietnamese Republican flag, Vietnamese Republicanism recognizes and honors the proud and noble legacy, as well as the righteous ideals, and all of the heroes of the former Republic of Vietnam.

The yellow of the Vietnamese Republican flag represents prosperity, optimism, and the golden skin of the Vietnamese people. This yellow signifies the goals, aspirations, and pride of the Vietnamese people, and the endless potential of the Vietnamese nation. Furthermore, yellow is the color of anti-Communism. Yellow is feared by the Communists, and hated by the Communists. In embodying the color yellow, Vietnamese Republicanism declares proudly to be an ideology that despises Communism, rejects Communism, and seeks to destroy Communism.

As for the selection of Democracy, Human Rights, and National Defense as the three founding principles of Vietnamese Republicanism, the explanations are as follows.

Democracy gives the Vietnamese people the choice to select their leaders in free, fair, and frequent national elections. The democratic system allows multiple political parties to organize and compete in national elections, which take place every four years. Representative democracy, which is the most popular and common form of democracy in the free world, allows for citizens of different districts across the country to elect representatives and senators to represent them in the making of laws, the operation of the country, and to be their voice in government. Furthermore, representative democracy allows for the citizens of the nation to select their president, the commander-in-chief of the nation, in these free, fair, and frequent national elections. In a democracy, the job of the president is to serve the people, not himself or herself, or his or her party. Thus the mandate of the president depends solely on the will of the Vietnamese people, who decide the right to govern of their president through the power of their voice and their vote. In a democracy, it is the people and the nation that comes first, not the party. The freedom to choose the leader of the nation, the choice of many different political parties with different visions, views, and platforms, and the power to replace any leader and government that fails to perform its duties to the people, are all reasons why democracy is superior to one-party rule, and why Vietnamese Republicanism is superior to Communism.

Human Rights ensure the protection of every single Vietnamese citizen from cruel and unfair treatment by the government. In a nation of human rights, the government cannot enter the house or home of a citizen without a warrant or his or her explicit consent, and cannot touch or inspect his or her private property without a warrant or his or her explicit consent. Nor can the government, in a human rights nation, be able to arrest, jail, or search a citizen without a warrant or probable cause. In a human rights nation, the citizen is innocent until proven guilty, and protected from fear, terror, and violence at the hands of the police and the government. Human rights nations ensure the fair, just, and equal treatment of all citizens, regardless of their race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliations, financial status, and other such differences. Human rights nations guarantee the inalienable fundamental rights and dignity of every citizen, and guarantee the fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. Vietnamese Republicanism envisions a society with all of these freedoms and rights, which is another reason why Vietnamese Republicanism is superior to the brutal, corrupted, and evil ideology of Communism.

National Defense is the defense of the nation, both from external threats, and internal threats of any kind. Vietnamese Republicanism believes that national defense is essential to the survival and success of the nation. The principle of national defense stipulates that the safety, security, and territorial integrity of the nation and its people are of utmost importance to the survival and success of the nation. No matter in weakness or in strength, in sickness or in health, the defense of the nation must always be a priority for the people of Vietnam, from the president, to the armed forces, to the common citizen. In terms of national defense, Vietnamese Republicanism believes in the development of a large, powerful, and advanced military whose sole duty is to serve and protect its nation and its people. What is more, Vietnamese Republicanism believes in fighting back against Chinese aggression, pushing back against Chinese disrespect, and identifying China as the major threat to the existence and survival of the Vietnamese nation. Furthermore, in terms of national defense, through the eyes of Vietnamese Republicanism, Vietnam is not afraid of China, and shall be willing and able to fight China, confront China, and defeat China at any time, in any place, by any means. Where Communism cowers in the face of Chinese aggression, Vietnamese Republicanism stands and fights in the face of Chinese aggression. Furthermore, while Communism accepts defeat before the fight even begins, Vietnamese Republicanism seeks to win the fight, and doing so conclusively and unapologetically. In addition, in terms of national defense, Vietnamese Republicanism believes in the ceasing of operations, expelling, and punishing of all of those evil Chinese and foreign companies that are currently wreaking havoc, misery, and destruction all across Vietnam. Whether the threats are China, or anyone else, anywhere else, inside or outside of Vietnam, the principle of national defense commands that these threats be confronted and eliminated in the name of safety, security, and sovereignty of the Vietnamese nation and its people. Vietnamese Republicanism places priority on the safety and security of the Vietnamese people, and defends the territory and sovereignty of the Vietnamese nation. This principle, once again, is why Vietnamese Republicanism is superior to the cowardly and treasonous ideology of Communism.

This is Vietnamese Republicanism, and stated throughout are the goals and aspirations of Vietnamese Republicanism.

Vietnamese Republicanism believes in the greatness of the Vietnamese people, and the endless potential of the Vietnamese nation. Vietnam has all the capabilities to be a strong, free, and prosperous nation. Without a doubt, Vietnam has the potential to be a superpower nation on the world stage. Vietnam has the power to be whatever it desires to be. The only thing standing in the way between Vietnam and greatness is Communism. For this reason, Communism must be eliminated, and Vietnamese Republicanism has the power to make it happen.

It is the goal of Vietnamese Republicanism to destroy Communism, the Communist Party of Vietnam, and punish all of its members for the crimes they have committed against the Vietnamese nation and its people. To accomplish this goal, we must change the way of thinking of every Vietnamese person who has fallen victim to the evil spell of Communism. In order to do this, we must start by disseminating this information, as far and wide as possible, and as quickly as possible.

By any means imaginable, and then pushing beyond these limits, spread the idea of Vietnamese Republicanism to your friends, family, acquaintances, associates, and anyone else you can possibly reach. Use email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the comments section of internet arguments, Tinder, brochures, pamphlets, leaflets, written letters, mail, brail, secret handshakes, sign language, postcards, puppet shows, and even courier pigeons, whatever. Any way you can think of to disseminate this information, do it. Then think of other ways you never even thought of before, and do that. Then keep thinking, and innovating, and doing, and then repeat, again and again, until you are so quick, so cunning, and so effective that you make the Communists’ heads explode with your speed and efficiency. And then do it some more. To the people inside Vietnam, this goes double for you. As the ones inside the system, the boots on the ground, you have the most influence in sparking change in Vietnam, so I encourage you extra hard to effectively pass this information along to your fellow Vietnamese in Vietnam. If we are successful, you will be at the forefront of the fight for freedom and country, and the leaders of the establishment of the Vietnamese Republic. Hopefully that is enough incentive for you to get on board.

This is only the first chapter in the quest to spread Vietnamese Republicanism throughout Vietnam and across the world, and ultimately, to bring the change that Vietnam so desperately needs. Expect more articles, more elaboration, and more ideas on this Vietnamese Republicanism ideology that believes in the greatness of the Vietnamese people, and the boundless potential of the Vietnamese nation, once it is rid of Communism.

Though there is much more to come, I would like to leave you all with the following question: Based on what has been expressed so far, would you consider yourself a Vietnamese Republican?

Join the movement. Let’s bring freedom to Vietnam. Together.

Southern Heroes: Le Van Hung, the ARVN, and the Battle of An Loc

Posted in Modern History with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by Ian Pham

levanhungPhoto via Freedom For Vietnam

Introduction and Commemoration

Words cannot express the deep pain felt by the loss of our nation, South Vietnam, nor can it be expressed the endless gratitude felt for those brave soldiers who so valiantly gave their lives for a cause that was so noble, and in the face of such overwhelming odds.

On this day, April 30, 2017, we pay tribute to the fallen heroes who gave their lives to defend our nation and our freedom, as well as those blessed heroes who lived on to tell the tale of their fallen brothers and sisters in arms. Furthermore, on this day, we pay our gratitude, not only to the soldiers, but also the common citizens, those brave souls who departed from South Vietnam after its fall on April 30, 1975, and embarked into that harrowing endless blue, the Pacific Ocean, in search of freedom and a better life for the future generation of Vietnamese youth.

There is so much to be proud of as a person of South Vietnamese origin. We hail from a nation of freedom, human rights, and national pride. It was South Vietnam who stood up to China in 1974, when the Chinese invaded our islands in the eastern sea. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, we fought to take them down with us, and to keep alive our claim over these islands.

South Vietnam was the elite nation of Southeast Asia, with freedom of speech, religion, association, and press, as well as the strongest economy in the region, and numerous prestigious universities that acted as host to many students studying abroad from other neighboring nations. Moreover, South Vietnam was a nation of patriots and heroes. The soldiers of South Vietnam fought to defend the country from any invader, and were not ashamed, nor afraid to proclaim their allegiance, nationality, and citizenship as to the Republic of Vietnam.

This brief article will not come even close to covering the many accomplishments and heroics of South Vietnam and its people. Instead, it will focus on one of the myriad instances of South Vietnamese courage, honor, and strength.

As a commemoration of South Vietnam and its heroes on this April 30, I will present to you a retelling of one glorious battle of the Vietnam War, one in which the South Vietnamese soldiers were, as often the case, outnumbered by a staggering concentration of North Vietnamese troops. In the face of overwhelming odds, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), under the command of their fearless leader, Brigadier General Le Van Hung, stood their ground, stared in the face of death, and, with their trademark South Vietnamese defiance and audacity, fought and crushed the North Vietnamese in what one U.S. general lauds as “the greatest victory in the history of warfare,” (Schafer, 1999: 56).

This glorious battle, this momentous victory, took place in and around the small South Vietnamese city of An Loc in the spring of 1972. Despite its magnitude and scale, historians in the west have largely ignored the An Loc battle in the decades following the war (Schafer, 1999: 53; 55). Luckily, the Battle of An Loc has been well covered by those who fought there, by both South Vietnamese and American accounts, and numerous sources have emerged since then to tell the tale. Thus, what happened at An Loc can be told to future generation, its heroes immortalized in the annals of history.

Covered in this brief account are the heroics of the ARVN, the lopsided defeat of the communist forces despite their superior numbers, and some details about the many courageous soldiers who fought there, which includes most prominently the commander of the battle, General Le Van Hung.

The Heroes of An Loc

There were many heroes at the Battle of An Loc. Some of these heroes are recognized prominently in historical accounts, but sadly, as is the reality, many, indeed, most of the soldiers who gave their lives at An Loc remain unnamed in the pages of history. As is professed so eloquently by Van Nguyen Duong, an ARVN officer who served at An Loc, that along with all the prominent names at An Loc, “all ARVN commanders of smaller units, officers, NCOs and soldiers at An-Loc and on Route 13, were heroes,” (Duong, 2008: 160).

These famous names mentioned by Duong include Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Minh, commander of the III Corps & Region, Colonel Le Quang Luong, commander of the 1st Airborne Brigade, and, of course, Brigadier General Le Van Hung, field commander of An Loc and the commander of the ARVN 5th Infantry Division (Duong, 2008: 160). General Hung commanded all of the ARVN forces at An Loc (Duong, 2008: 150). Under him, the South Vietnamese would achieve an overwhelming victory over the communist North Vietnamese, in a battle that, despite being ignored by the west, as it did not fit their antiwar narrative, was larger than the Dien Binh Phu confrontation between the Viet Minh and the French in 1954 (Duong, 2008: 148). For his services at that battle, General Le Van Hung would be lauded in history as the Hero of An Loc (Duong, 2008: 211).

There is no mistake that there were many heroes in the Battle of An Loc. Though they cannot all be named in this brief article, it is important to understand that thousands of South Vietnamese soldiers gave their lives in defense of An Loc, and the defense of South Vietnam, its people, and its ideals. When we remember the great and prominent names in history, we must remember the unnamed soldier as well.

The Battle of An Loc

The Battle of An Loc was initiated by the North Vietnamese, and consisted of three communist assaults in the spring of 1972. The first attack commenced on April 11, the second on April 15, and the last on May 11, 1972 (Lester, 2010: 56). The An Loc confrontation was part of a greater North Vietnamese military campaign, known as the Easter Offensive of 1972, which began on March 30 of that year (Lester, 2010: 56). This ambitious military operation, orchestrated by North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap (Lester, 2010: 56), was aimed at quickly ending the war with a swift capture of Saigon (McDermott, 2012: 3).

The entire North Vietnamese military operation stretched into the summer of 1972, and proved to be an abject failure for the communists. In history, this “disastrous end of the communist Summer 1972 Offensive Campaign in South Vietnam” came to be known as “Red Summer 1972,” (Duong, 2008: 161). The Battle of An Loc is a major part of this communist failure, and South Vietnamese triumph.

At An Loc, the South Vietnamese forces, which consisted of only 7,500 troops, would stand their ground in the face of 21,000 North Vietnamese invaders and ultimately win the fight against the communists (Lester, 2010: 56).

The North Vietnamese forces encircled the city of An Loc on April 6, with South Vietnamese and U.S. bombing NVA positions commencing on April 11 (Lester, 2010: 56). It was during this phase that the North Vietnamese attackers shelled the city with artillery, while their ground enforces approached the city using civilians as human shields (Thi, 2009: 83-84). In response to this barbaric communist tactic, South Vietnamese and U.S. defenders had to operate around the civilians, shooting over and behind the hostages, and causing the hostages to scatter “in all directions” before finding refugee in An Loc. The hostages would be settled into temporary refugee camps by the South Vietnamese government (Thi, 2009: 84). It is important to stress here the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by the North Vietnamese, who, over a course of several days, killed several hundred innocent civilians with their shelling attacks, “the majority” of these civilians “were women and children,” (Duong, 2008: 151).

Throughout the first phase of the An Loc battle, communist NVA units and tanks were quickly overrunning different sectors of the city. However, their initial advances would be pushed back by the ARVN, with major help from South Vietnamese and U.S. air support. Initially overwhelmed by the communist onslaught, the young ARVN soldiers and members of the PSDF (People’s Self-Defense Force) would recover and fight back against the NVA, actively hunting down and destroying the tanks of the North Vietnamese that were steadily rolling around the city (Thi, 2009: 89-90). In the air, the VNAF and the USAF bombed North Vietnamese positions to effectively weaken the enemy’s formations around the perimeter, while the “more versatile and maneuverable Cobra attack helicopters” handled the communist tanks inside the city (Thi, 2009: 89-90). By April 13, the ARVN held the southern sector, while the NVA held the north of An Loc. According to Lam Quang Thi, “The battle subsided somewhat by the evening of April 13 without a clear line of contact,” (2009: 97).

On April 15, the communists launched their second attack of the Battle of An Loc (Lester, 2010: 56). The onslaught consisted of once again shelling An Loc with intense amounts or artillery, as well as repeating their previous tactic of using tanks to push deeper into the city (Thi, 2009: 100-101). While the more than “1,000 artillery rounds of all calibers” devastated the city, the tanks deployed by the North Vietnamese were quickly targeted and eviscerated by the ARVN units, who learned quickly from their experiences in the first phase of An Loc (Thi, 2009: 100-101). The South Vietnamese, under General Hung, then went on the offensive.

In the evening of April 15, communists in Wendy Hill were attacked and overrun by ARVN forces. The 9th Division of the VC in the northern sector of the city was then confronted by the ARVN on April 17, and by dawn of April 18, “ninety percent of this commercial section was recaptured,” (Duong, 2008: 154-55). From this point onward, street to street fighting would endure for the next few weeks in An Loc (Duong, 2008: 155).

The communists would try to reverse their fortunes in these faltering offensive efforts, which, up to that point, were all ending in failure (Duong, 2008: 155). Concentrating a staggering 10,000 troops, 5,000 rounds of artillery, and twenty tanks, the NVA attacked the South Vietnamese at Wendy Hill and Hill 169. With initial short-lived successes, the ferocious and heavy communist onslaught would ultimately be crushed like their previous attempts. Over the course of three days, April 19-21, the North Vietnamese would lose 2,000 troops and all twenty tanks, rendering them unable to launch their third offensive for the next three weeks, all the while “unable to advance on inch” against the ARVN and General Hung (Duong, 2008: 155-56). During this hiatus, the North Vietnamese continued to fire indiscriminately into An Loc “nearly 2,000 rounds a day from heavy artillery guns,” killing not only some defenders, but also the civilian residents of An Loc (Duong, 2008: 156).

Finally, the last offensive launched by the communists in the Battle of An Loc happened on May 11, and was the largest NVA attack to be thrown against the city (Lester, 2010: 56). This third offensive by the North Vietnamese was “the most devastating” concentration of artillery shelling by the communists throughout the entire Vietnam War (Duong, 2008: 156).

The massive communist assault on May 11 saw the launching of 11,000 rounds of artillery at An Loc, nearly leveling the entire city, with only the “iron morale of the defenders” standing strong (Duong, 2008: 156). However, despite the heavy artillery shelling and their attacking of the defenders on every front, the communists did not change their tactics, and thus, in this third and largest assault, their troops and tanks were again slaughtered and crushed by the South Vietnamese and their U.S. allies (Duong, 2008: 156). Although the attack lasted until May 14, the brunt of the communist attack was repelled by mid-day of May 11, with the failure of the NVA troops to capture any of their objectives. All the NVA had to show as a result were their “Panicked” communist troops fleeing from VNAF and U.S. airstrikes, and “all forty tanks” from the communists laying “dead on the battlefield,” (Lester, 2010: 156).

By May 14, the third phase of the North Vietnamese attempt to capture An Loc was completely and utterly defeated by South Vietnam with the help of U.S. air support. The losses incurred by the North Vietnamese were so enormous that another attack was no longer possible (Duong, 2008: 157). Thus, the worst fighting of the battle at An Loc was over. The ARVN had won, and the communists had lost.

The following month saw the ARVN carry out search and destroy operations in and around An Loc to clear the area of communist presence, a task made much easier with the help of U.S. air support (Duong, 2008: 157-58). By the latter portion of May, the majority of communist anti-air defenses were eliminated from the vicinity of An Loc, and in the early part of June, helicopters were able to land for medivac and resupplying (Lester, 2010: 56).

The victory of the South Vietnamese would be marked on the afternoon of June 12, with the raising of the national flag at the top of Dong-Long Hill. The President of South Vietnam, Nguyen Van Thieu, would fly to An Loc on July 7, 1972 “to honor the ARVN heroes who had fought the biggest battle of the Vietnam War,” (Duong, 2008: 158).

The Significance of An Loc

The Battle of An Loc was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War, an engagement in which the allied forces of South Vietnam and U.S. air support crushed the invading forces of the North Vietnamese. As shown earlier in the article, the North Vietnamese outnumbered the South Vietnamese threefold, with a mere 7,500 South Vietnamese defenders up against 21,000 communist invaders. Despite these odds, and to not underplay the substantial help of U.S. air support, the South Vietnamese were able to hold An Loc against the invaders, dealing staggering blows to the communists. By the measures of former ARVN officer Van Nguyen Duong, the North Vietnamese lost five times more than the South Vietnamese overall in the Easter Offensive, with a large portion of these losses coming from An Loc (Duong, 2008: 159). At An Loc alone, communist losses amounted to 6,500 dead, compared to 2,300 South Vietnamese killed in action (Lester, 2010: 56).

In the words of George J. Veith, “the heroic defense of An Loc in 1972 had been the most glorious South Vietnamese feat of arms of the war,” (Veith, 2012: 257). For all its glory, An Loc is by no means the only momentous victory achieved by the ARVN. At Kontum, as well as Quang Tri, and in the entire failed communist Easter Offensive, the North Vietnamese forces were not only “convincingly defeated,” but at times “badly mauled” by the South Vietnamese (Thi, 2009: 220). This point is raised here for the purpose of demonstrating the effectiveness of the ARVN as a fighting force, and to dispute the longstanding fallacy that South Vietnam’s armed forces were built of cowards, deserters, and incompetents.

Adding to this point of unfair treatment of South Vietnam by the U.S. media, it will be pointed out here that, despite the scale of the battle and the significance of its victory, the Battle of An Loc was largely ignored by the western media (Thi, 2009: 2). Reason for this omission comes from the fact that admitting to the fighting mettle of the ARVN and victory at “An Loc would contradict the U.S. media’s basic premise that the war cannot be won because the ARVN was a corrupt and ineffective fighting force,” (Thi, 2009: 5). In short, the media tried to weave a false narrative to slander the ARVN and South Vietnam throughout the entire war, and in so doing, refused to acknowledge the victory at An Loc (and every other South Vietnam victory, for that matter) because it would expose the media for the lie they have been cultivating for so long.

An Loc is not only a momentous and glorious victory against Communism, it is a reminder to the liberal media of the lies they have told to the American people for decades. Furthermore, the study of the Battle of An Loc is a stepping-stone for the gradual correction of biased media coverage of the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s. The lies that the leftists told during the Vietnam War era endured for decades following the war. It is only late in the last decade that the truth has begun to come out. In time, with more studies from the perspective of the South Vietnamese, a more balanced understanding of the Vietnam War will eventually emerge, and the deception of the leftist media will be brought to light, in all of its shame and disgust. In time, the courage, honor, and sacrifice of the South Vietnamese people will find its rightful place in history. Coverage of An Loc is just the beginning.

In the context of the war itself, An Loc is significant for a number of reasons. If An Loc were to fall to the communists, “Saigon would be shaken and Vietnamization would fail,” and so in order to save the war effort, to save South Vietnam, it was “of vital importance” to save An Loc (Duong, 2008: 153). Furthermore, as has already been mentioned, the victory at An Loc is damning evidence of the capability of the ARVN as a fighting force, despite what the leftist media tried to lead the world to think for decades. The South Vietnamese were brave, capable, and extremely deadly fighters, and, among the many examples of this fact, An Loc shines as one of the brightest. To conclude this portion of the essay, I will include a quote by Mike McDermott, a former U.S. paratrooper who served in Vietnam, and at An Loc:

“We who served with Advisory Team 163 will never forget our Vietnamese paratrooper brothers. They demonstrated a special kind of dedication and courage throughout the long years of the war that, for them, started in 1946 and ended in 1975. They were consistently tough and resilient no matter the odds they faced, the support they received, or their battlefield prospects… I pledged myself to a righteous cause… I and so many others were betrayed by the American government,” (McDermott, 2012: 4).

General Hung, the Hero of An Loc

Brigadier General Le Van Hung was the main commander who led the South Vietnamese in the fight at An Loc. While there were many heroes at An Loc, the scope of this essay will only be able to cover one, and who more fitting than the man who, under impossible odds, stood his ground, rallied his troops, and led the ARVN charge to victory in what some laud as the most important campaign of the Vietnam War (Schafer, 1999: 56).

In his account, Lam Quang Thi describes the sentiments of the ARVN soldiers towards General Hung, who is regarded highly by his soldiers, and viewed as the man who “undoubtedly” held together the “fabric” of An Loc’s defense against the extensively larger enemy forces (2009: 209). By the accounts of the ARVN soldiers who served under him, as well as the U.S. personnel who advised him, General Hung was a man who “never buckled,” was “always calm under pressure,” and “never panicked and was in full control of the situation,” (Thi, 2009: 2010).

Adding to this, and based on the findings, I will present the argument that General Hung was a courageous and fearless leader who was not afraid to die for his country and his soldiers. One fascinating display of dogged courage by General Hung and the ARVN took place during the first phase of the communist invasion on April 12, while the North was still on the attack in An Loc. As an NVA tank approached his command post, General Hung grabbed a grenade and prepared to throw it at the tank outside his bunker, before his fellow ARVN soldier, Col. Le Nguyen Vy, “emerged from the underground bunker,” shot a rocket at the tank and destroyed it himself (Thi, 2009: 89). A South Vietnamese television reporter, who covered the entire An Loc battle, recalled that during this confrontation, as the enemy tanks drew closer to his position, General Hung assured his staff that he will not let himself be captured alive, and gave them instructions on what to do should he need to commit suicide (Thi, 2009: 89).

Several days prior on April 9, when he was too busy to meet three South Vietnamese war reporters, he relayed a message to them via one of his men: “I will defend An Loc to the death, I will never come out of the city alive, if I lose it,” (Duong, 2008: 152). In the words of Thi, “Hung’s vow to his men that he would never be taken alive had galvanized the spirits of the defenders during the darkest hours of the siege,” (Thi, 2009: 209). His courage, determination, and leadership would give his soldiers the strength, not only to prevail, but to crush the communist invasion, by staggering margins. It is because of his courage that General Le Van Hung would be known in history as the Hero of An Loc.

General Hung vowed that he would never be captured alive by the communists, and, as is shown by the tragic end to the Vietnam War, he was a man of his word. To the very end, General Hung kept his promise, to his country, to his soldiers, and to his people.

On April 30, 1975, upon receiving word that the new president of South Vietnam, Duong Van Minh, had agreed to surrender to the communist North Vietnamese, General Le Van Hung killed himself (Duong, 2008: 220). With nothing more he can do, after giving everything he could possibly give for his country, General Hung did the only thing he could do, and that was to give his life in honor of his nation.

General Hung was not the only person who committed suicide that day. Four other high-ranking South Vietnamese military leaders, Major General Nguyen Khoa Nam, Brigadier General Tran Van Hai, Brigadier General Le Nguyen Vy, and Major General Pham Van Phu, had all taken their lives that day (Duong, 2008: 220). Furthermore, many other high-ranking commanders, air force officers, low-ranking officers, NCOs, and even enlisted soldiers chose to die with their country on that Black April Day (Veith, 2012: 496; Duong, 2008: 220). Rather “than escape or prison,” (Veith, 2012: 496), and “With dignity, they sacrificed their lives for the honor of their land, regime, and army,” (2008: 220). Le Van Hung, along with these soldiers, and so many others, represents the courage, honor, and sacrifice of the nation of South Vietnam. We must never forget.

Closing Statement

South Vietnam was a nation of freedom, human rights, and national defense. Moreover, South Vietnam was a nation of heroes and patriots. On this day, April 30, 2017, we remember the fallen nation, its brave soldiers, and its people. We are proud to hail from that nation of South Vietnam.

Always and forever, we will carry on its legacy.

 

Sources:

Duong, Van Nguyen. The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer’s Analysis. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. 2008.

Lester, Gary. Review of Hell in An Loc: The 1972 Easter Offensive and the Battle That Saved South Vietnam, by Lam Quang Thi. Air Power History (2010): 56.

McDermott, Mike. True Faith and Allegiance: An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc. Tuscaloosa: Alabama University Press. 2012.

Schafer, John C. “Phan Nhat Nam and the Battle of An Loc.” Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 13 (1999): 53-75.

Thi, Lam Quang. Hell in An Loc: The 1972 Easter Offensive and the Battle That Saved South Vietnam. Denton: University of North Texas Press. 2009.

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