Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dealing With Our Ghosts

A generation ago, General Patton spoke for Americans in general when he said

America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war”.

Patton was using hyperbole, of course. The United States actually had lost wars before, against Canada and against Red Cloud’s Sioux warriors. In the long term, however, Canada’s influence and power waned against the rising American strength, and the U.S. Army eradicated the Sioux as a tribe. Patton meant that Americans may lose a battle, but in the end will stick with a fight until it’s won. Patton never knew Walter Cronkite and the subversive style of warfare by the press. There is no question that the Left not only was delighted by the collapse of South Vietnam, nor that many on the Left were willing to commit treason to make it happen. After Nixon’s resignation, the Democrat-controlled Congress took every support out of the treaty with South Vietnam, allowing North Vietnam unopposed entry and seizure of the nation. The Leftist press chortled with glee, as tens of millions of innocents in the region fled for their lives. A reign of terror, analogous to Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’, began in Southeast Asia, largely unchronicled and unanswered.

Bruce Kesler, who writes for the Augusta Free Press, has a great article prepared, on the need for President Bush to renew the initiative to free Southeast Asia for her people, not for the despots able to hold on to their palaces through thuggery and schemes. Kesler noted the respose from Jean Libby, an American History teacher to a transcript of an interview with Prime Minister Phan Van Khai of Vietnam in the Washington Post on June 16, 2005.

The government Phan Van Khai represents is in power because a Treaty was
violated—North Vietnam signed the agreement not to invade South Vietnam
in 1973, but invaded in 1975 because, very simply, they could. The
United States did not back up its ally, South Vietnam, because, very
simply, they couldn’t.”

“The Socialist government of Vietnam originated based on deception. The
revered hero, Ho Chi Minh, committed genocide on nationalists who wanted
a free Vietnam beginning in August, 1945. The teachers, the
intellectuals, the small property owners, the soldiers who had defeated
the colonial power, France, at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 but were not willing
to become communists were exterminated. This process began in most
earnest in June, 1961, with the establishment of concentration camps
(those were the words in Resolution #49) for the purpose of
“reeducation.” Those camps were enlarged in 1975 when an entire
population that worked and fought for democracy in Vietnam were
imprisoned, either in camps or in New Economic Zones that removed women
and the elderly from their property and confiscated it as a reward to
communist soldiers or government workers, particularly the ever-present

The cruel fact is, that this totalitarian regime is still very much in control, and has neither changed its methods nor its goals. Bruce’s article notes:

“- Dr. Pham Hong Son translated the article "What is Democracy?" from the
U.S. Embassy web site into Vietnamese and distributed it through the
Internet to his friends. He was arrested, charged with espionage and is
now in a 12 year sentence.

- Mr. Nguyen Khac Toan, a veteran, who simply helped the people write
petitions and appeals against illegal appropriation of land. He is now
serving a 4-year sentence for espionage.

- Mr. Nguyen Vu Binh, former ideology writer. He applied for permission
to form an opposition party. He's now in his 7-year sentence. Charge?

President Bush will send a message when his emissaries meet with those from Vietnam. They can condone the existing regime of malice and oppression, or they can make clear that the world has changed, and with it expectations from Vietnam.

Please send a message to President Bush, to be as strong for the people of Vietnam, as he has been for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The email address is, and the phone number is 202-456-1111.

Thanks to Bruce Kesler for highlighting the issue, and for remembering the victims. And especially Nguyen Chi Thien and Dr. Hai V. Tran. If you don’t know these two heroes of freedom, ask around.

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