Archive for the ‘communists’ Category

Refugee, Immigrant, U.S. Senator To Retire

December 2, 2008

This man is one of our true favorites at Peace and Freedom. A former refugee, immigrant and a true man of strength and character, he has seved his nation and mankind in coutless ways.  Vietnamese immigrants and those locked in Communist jails were among those he stood up for…. He is truly “the embodiment of the American Dream.” 

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S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who has struggled to boost his approval ratings because of close ties to President George W. Bush, announced Tuesday he will not seek a second term in 2010.

His seat was widely seen as vulnerable in two years, but Martinez, a Republican, rejected suggestions he faced difficult re-election prospects in a state won last month by Democrat Barack Obama.

“I’ve faced much tougher obstacles in my life,” Martinez said. “My decision is not based on re-election prospects, but on what on what I want to do with the next eight years of my life.”

By BRENDAN FARRINGTON and MARK WANGRIN, Associated Press Writers

Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., speaks at the Republican National ... 
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 4, 2008. Martinez , who has struggled to boost his approval rating since taking office, will not seek a second term in 2010, a state Republican party official said Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008.(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Martinez, 62, was elected in 2004 after serving as the U.S. secretary for Housing and Urban Development during the Bush administration. He served as general chairman of the Republican National Committee for 10 months, resigning in October 2007.

Martinez was born in Cuba. At the age of 15, he fled to America as part of a Catholic humanitarian effort called Operation Pedro Pan. Catholic charitable groups provided Martinez, who was alone and spoke virtually no English, a temporary home at two youth facilities. He then lived with two foster families, with whom he remains close. He was reunited with his family in Orlando in 1966.

In appointing Martinez in 2001, Bush said he was “the embodiment of the American Dream.”

To Rescue the Economy: How Much Government?

November 9, 2008

What is the right amount of government intervention in the American economy?  That is the question.

China manages its economy from the halls of the Beijing communist government’s headquarters.  Yet the communist government, unable even to assure people of basic safeties like pure and untainted food, often blames other “criminals” that they themselves are unable to deter, prevent or defend against.  Even today, China wants Western nations to clean up the environmental disaster that is China today: despite the fact that China’s communists have gotten unbelievably wealthy by ignoring the environmental lessons learned in the West for decades.

Personally, the fact that China’s ground water is now polluted to a degree of about 90% doesn’t sound like an issue the West should have to deal with: the Chinese communists have allowed filth to proliferate and now they live in filth.  Corrective action is up to them.

A policeman stands gaurd amid the smog in Beijing's Tiananmen Square one month before the Olympic Games start.
Above: A policeman stands gaurd amid the smog in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square one month before the Olympic Games started this summer.  Photo: Reuters

So we know, or should know, that too much government intervention may not be a good thing.  Judging from the vast number of pages of our Tax Code and the fact that even smart accountants often have to consult “outside experts” to figure their own taxes, my faith in the U.S. government’s ability to manage the economy and my life is, let us say, tenuous…..

This brings us to the “blame game” of the American and global economic and financial meltdown.  Russia blames the U.S.  But nobody who got rich due to the lavish practices of spending and lending seems to have been taken to account.  They got rich and they got away.

It might just be me but I believe in accountability — which seems to be gone in our modern society. 

Who paid for the economic meltdown? 

Apparently: you and me.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”  Barney Frank, quoted by The New York Times, said this on September 11, 2003.  Had appropriate action been taken then perhaps we woulnd’t be in this mess.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank listens ... 
Above: House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank listens during testimony before the committee in a hearing on ‘the Future of Financial Services Regulation,’ on Capitol Hill, October 21, 2008.(Mitch Dumke/Reuters)

Republicans generally want less regulation.  Democrats generally want more.  That is the crux of the issue, as I see it.

And there is already at least some government involvement in the U.S. economy, as Walter E. Williams points out, (see link below) thanks to the Congress, BATF, CAA, CFTC, CPSC, DEA, EEOC, EPA, FAA, FCC, FDA, FDIC, FEMA, FERC, FRB, FTC, INS, IRS, NHTSA, NIH, NLRB, OHSA, SEC, the Departments of: Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Education, Commerce, Labor, Agriculture, Transportation, other federal agenciesand etc…..

Related:
 Capitalism, fiscal woes; contempt for economic liberty

China vows stable growth in face of global turmoil

October 12, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will maintain flexible and prudent macro-economic policies and seek to expand domestic demand in the face of a grim international economic environment, the country’s ruling Communist Party said on Sunday.

A meeting of the Party’s Central Committee warned that the global economy was slowing, threatening to dent Chinese growth, and said the country would be turning to home markets to cushion the fallout.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, all nine ...
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, all nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including President Hu Jintao, center, and Premier Wen Jiabao, fourth left, attend the third Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008 in Beijing. China’s ruling Communist Party said Sunday it aims to double the income of the country’s farmers in two decades amid efforts to boost domestic demand to counter the effects of the faltering global economy. The move is part of an agricultural reform and development plan approved by the party’s Central Committee at the end of a four-day meeting, the official Xinhua News Agency said. From left are, Zhou Yongkang, Li Keqiang, Li Changchun, Wen, Hu, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Xi Jinping and He Guoqiang.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Xueren)

“There are also some pronounced contradictions and problems in domestic economic activity. We must enhance our sense of peril and actively respond to challenges,” according to a communique issued after the meeting by the official Xinhua news agency.

At the same time, it said the party’s top leaders had stressed that the overall state of the Chinese economy was good.

Growth had remained quite fast, and the financial sector was operating in a stable, healthy way.

“The fundamental conditions of our country’s economic development have not changed,” the communique said.

Thanks to capital controls and an underdeveloped, inward-looking banking system, China has been largely sheltered from the global credit crisis.

But economists and policy makers are braced for second-round effects as slowing exports hit manufacturers and cause loans on the books of the nation’s banks to turn sour.

“The most important thing is to handle our country’s own affairs well,” the communique said.

It said the government would “maintain economic stability, financial stability, and stability of the capital markets … continuing to encourage economic and social development that is both healthy and rapid.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081012/
bs_nm/us_china_economy_3

China says prices of farm goods up 25.5 percent

April 18, 2008

By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING – China’s government issued more gloomy inflation news Friday, saying wholesale prices for farm goods jumped 25.5 percent in the first quarter in a sign that consumers could face more sharp rises in living costs.
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Communist leaders, worried about a possible public backlash, are trying to ease food shortages blamed for the price spike that began in mid-2007. But winter storms disrupted that effort, and analysts expect inflation to stay high as late as May before subsides.

Retail consumer prices rose 8.3 percent in March, a slight decline from February’s 8.7 percent, the highest rate in nearly 12 years. That was driven by a 21 percent rise in food costs, including a 66.7 percent increase for pork, the country’s staple meat.
An investor reacts at the stock price monitor at a private security ... 
An investor reacts at the stock price monitor at a private security company Friday April 18, 2008, in Shanghai, China. Chinese stocks sank to their lowest level in more than a year on Friday, as both retail and institutional investors unloaded shares in the absence of any market-boosting news. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 4 percent, or 128.07 points, to 3,094.66. It was its lowest close since it ended at 3,074.29 on March 23, 2007.(AP Photo)
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Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_bi_ge/china_economy_2

“Sleeper Spy”: Chinese Man in U.S. Two Decades Before Activation

April 3, 2008

By Joby Warrick and Carrie Johnson 
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 3, 2008; Page A01

Prosecutors called Chi Mak the “perfect sleeper agent,” though he hardly looked the part. For two decades, the bespectacled Chinese-born engineer lived quietly with his wife in a Los Angeles suburb, buying a house and holding a steady job with a U.S. defense contractor, which rewarded him with promotions and a security clearance. Colleagues remembered him as a hard worker who often took paperwork home at night.
Chi Mak was sentenced to 241/2 years to send a message to China. 

Chi Mak was sentenced to 24 1/2 years to send a message to China. (Sketch By Bill Robles For The Associated Press)

Eventually, Mak’s job gave him access to sensitive plans for Navy ships, submarines and weapons. These he secretly copied and sent via courier to China — fulfilling a mission that U.S. officials say he had been planning since the 1970s.

Mak was sentenced last week to 24 1/2 years in prison by a federal judge who described the lengthy term as a warning to China not to “send agents here to steal America’s military secrets.” But it may already be too late: According to U.S. intelligence and Justice Department officials, the Mak case represents only a small facet of an intelligence-gathering operation that has long been in place and is growing in size and sophistication.

The Chinese government, in an enterprise that one senior official likened to an “intellectual vacuum cleaner,” has deployed a diverse network of professional spies, students, scientists and others to systematically collect U.S. know-how, the officials said. Some are trained in modern electronic techniques for snooping on wireless computer transactions. Others, such as Mak, are technical experts who have been in place for years and have blended into their communities.

“Chi Mak acknowledged that he had been placed in the United States more than 20 years earlier, in order to burrow into the defense-industrial establishment to steal secrets,” Joel Brenner, the head of counterintelligence for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in an interview. “It speaks of deep patience,” he said, and is part of a pattern.

Other recent prosecutions illustrate the scale of the problem. Mak, whose sentence capped an 18-month criminal probe, was the second U.S. citizen in the past two weeks to stand before a federal judge after being found guilty on espionage-related charges.

On Monday, former Defense Department analyst Gregg W. Bergersen pleaded guilty in Alexandria to charges that he gave classified information on U.S. weapons sales….

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2008040203952.html?hpid=topnews

Thirty-three Years Ago This Month: Total Communist Control of Vietnam Began

April 2, 2008

Introduction: This month marks 33 years since communist North Vietnamese bagan the total domination and denial of rights of the free and democratic people of South Vietnam.  Our friend and comrade in arms Hoi Ba Tran sent this reminder of those dark days for publication by Peace and Freedom.

To My Younger Generation: Grasp the Past to Pave the Future
By Hoi Ba Tran

Part 1 – Steal The Spotlight

During the nineteen-twenties, thirties and forties, anti-French colonial rule sentiment ran fervently high in Viet Nam (See Note 1 below). Several revolutionary parties sprang up trying to oust French colonists. Most of them failed as a result of tight French  security networks and they were better armed.

Many Viet Nam patriots were caught and received the death sentence while others were transported to Con Dao, a penal island in South China Sea (2), to serve a life sentence in hard labor. On February 10, 1930, an armed revolt was launched against the French around Hanoi by the Viet Quoc Party (3) but they were outgunned by the French and failed. Mr. Nguyen Thai Hoc, Chairman of the Viet Quoc Party and 12 other members of the Viet Quoc were beheaded in Yen Bai, North Viet Nam.

Subsequent to this tragic defeat, most anti-French colonial rule parties retreated to South China waiting for the ripe time to fight again for independence. With some support from the Chinese Kuomintang party, all Vietnamese Nationalist parties united under the name Viet Nam Cach Menh Dong Minh Hoi (4). Dang Cong San Viet Nam (5) headed by Ho Chi Minh was also a member.

Hồ Chí Minh
Ho Chi Minh

Fifteen years later, an unexpected event occurred that ousted the French. On March 9, 1945, three months prior to my tenth birthday, Japanese forces in Viet Nam launched a flash coup d’etat and toppled the French government. The following day, Japanese envoy granted Viet Nam her independence within Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Although it was not exactly what the Vietnamese had hoped for, at least the brutal French colonial regime was ousted.

Unfortunately, the superficial independence the Japanese granted Viet Nam lasted only five months. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the second one on Nagasaki on August 9,1945. Japan could not withstand the nuclear devastation and capitulated unconditionally on August 14, 1945. This brought World War II to an end.

The capitulation of Japan and the end of World War II was the prelude to an unfortunate chain of events that destroyed Viet Nam. A few days after Japan’s surrender, the first round of bad luck struck Viet Nam when Japanese military officials in Hanoi turned over the government to the Vietnamese local authority. Exploiting this anarchy period, Ho Chi Minh, used his militia forces and armed propaganda units already embedded in Hanoi to topple local governments and seized power.

On August 28, 1945, Ho formally declared the country to be the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) (6) an independent nation as he proclaimed himself President while concurrently being Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ho appointed Pham Van Dong Minister of Finance and Vo Nguyen Giap as Minister of Interior. To deceive the hard line nationalist patriots, Ho invited the Emperor Bao Dai to be high counselor of his new government.

Then on September 2, 1945, at Ba Dinh square, Ho recited the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence which he plagiarized from the American Declaration of Independence in front of hundreds of thousands Vietnamese who were overjoyed with the unexpected and sudden independence. I, this writer, was 10 years old and was among the crowd as a member of the Vanguard Youth Group. I held a small red flag with a yellow star in the middle not knowing at the time it was a communist flag. At the instruction of our leader, we waved the flag and sang the song “Who loves Uncle Ho Chi Minh more than us young children” as taught.

By and large, most people in North Viet Nam were probably overly excited with the independence left by the Japanese not realizing that Ho was a wily, evil person and a devoted member of the International Communist Party until too late.

Following Ho’s assumption of power, he gradually showed his fiendish mentality and inhumane behavior to further his egocentric power. To him, the end justifies the means. When the tide of anti-French colonial rule was at its peak, Ho roguishly disguised himself as a nationalist patriot and exhorted the struggling to dislodge the French. But after having successfully hijacked the independence from the Vietnamese nationalists, Ho struck a deal with France on March 6, 1946 allowing French troops to return to Viet Nam north of the 16th parallel to supplant Chiang Kai-shek troops who were in Viet Nam to disarm the Japanese.

Chiang Kai-shek
蔣介石 / 蔣中正
 
GCB
Chiang Kai-shek

In return, France would recognize Ho’s government. Chiang Kai-shek agreed to withdraw from North Vietnam and allowed the French to replace them in exchange for French concessions in Shanghai and other Chinese ports. Ho’s plot was to get Chiang’s Army out of Vietnam because Chiang might be sympathetic with Ho’s potential opponents, the nationalist Vietnamese. Through this wily move, nationalist Vietnamese patriots considered Ho a traitor to the cause of revolution.

By June 1946, France proclaimed South Viet Nam to be under French control as Republic of Cochinchina. In the ensuing months, clashes between French and Ho’s forces, the Viet Minh (7), erupted more frequently and in November 1946, a French warship bombarded Hai Phong, a coastal city in North Viet Nam, causing heavy casualty to the Viet Minh. All these events precipitated the war between French forces and the Viet Minh leading to the Dien Bien Phu battle in 1954.

Being a devout communist, Ho followed Maoist policies overzealously. In a three-year period from 1953 to 1956 which Ho executed the Land Reform Campaign, his infamous and barbaric people’s tribunal killed approximately 50,000 so-called wicked landlords and about 50,000 to 100,000 were imprisoned (8) . Ho and his cadres aggressively imprisoned or even liquidated all Vietnamese patriots from non-communist parties in order to monopolize his despotic authority. Petty bourgeoisie elements were also Ho’s targeted enemy. In early 1954, Ho and the Viet Minh received substantial manpower and logistical supports from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to fight the French. Ho and the Viet Minh engaged in a set piece battle with the French at Dien Bien Phu garrison. Both, French and Viet Minh wanted to attain military superiority to use as leverage for the upcoming peace negotiation in Geneva. Unfortunately, the Viet Minh forces outgunned the French and also numerically outnumbered the French defenders at the garrison by five to one to.

French capitulated and agreed to sign an agreement in Geneva to end the war. The Agreement was signed in Geneva on July 21, 1954 between France, the PRC, the USSR, North Vietnamese communist Viet Minh, the United Kingdom, the State of Vietnam ( Emperor Bao Dai), Laos and Cambodia. This Agreement divided Vietnam into two separate countries at the 17th parallel. North Vietnam remained as the DRV, a communist country under Ho Chi Minh.

South Vietnam became a non-communist, independent country called the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) under Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem.

Part 2 – Ho Chi Minh – Patriot or Villain?

After the partitioning of Viet Nam, if Ho Chi Minh had been a true patriot, he should have contented with the independence which the country inherited bloodlessly at the departure of the Japanese. He must have known he was only a self-proclaimed President and not elected by the Vietnamese people. And he should have concentrated his conscientious efforts and committed all resources into rebuilding the war ravaged country as well as the dying economy in North Viet Nam.

He should have fulfilled his slogan he used to appeal millions of Vietnamese patriots who were willing to fight and to die for: Independence – Liberty – Happiness. Why did he not leave people in the South, the RVN, to live peacefully and to pursue their way of life? Why did Ho and the Viet Minh continue to scatter deaths and catastrophe across North and South Viet Nam?

If Ho and the Viet Minh had not been too greedy wanting to gobble up the RVN by force, both countries, the DRV and the RVN would have been peaceful and prosperous. There would have been no war. But it was unfortunate for the Vietnamese people on both sides to have such an evil man like Ho Chi Minh. It was Ho who dragged the DRV of the North and the RVN of the South into a long bloody internecine.

The proxy war between the DRV, the aggressor and, the RVN, in self-defense, ended thirty-three years ago on April 30, 1975. This war had been labeled with various names by U.S. journalists. Some called it the Viet Nam War and others called it the American War, the Civil War and also The Proxy War. I agree with the term “proxy war” because the undisputable fact is: The three superpower nations were principal patrons in this conflict. Two communist giants, the PRC and the Soviet Union (USSR) supplied manpower and military assistance to the DRV to expand communism in Southeast Asia. The U.S. financed, trained and equipped the RVN to contain communist expansion. As the intensity of the war escalated to the apex, the U.S. committed its combat troops to help the RVN. Inherently poor and underdeveloped, the DRV must totally depend on their patrons, the PRC and the USSR for military and economic support to wage war against the RVN. The RVN was no exception either as without logistical aids from the U.S., the defense of the RVN would have been very difficult.

During the war, the DRV had lots of advantages over the RVN. Their despotic regime aligned well with the PRC and the USSR, in this proxy war. All communist regimes were despotic in nature and had no checks and balances in their government. In the DRV, there was no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. There were no sensational-oriented press corps because all news media, from prints to broadcast, were closely censored and strictly controlled by the party. Political opposition in their country would be viewed as reactionary or counter-revolutionary and would bring fatal consequences.

If Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clarke were Vietnamese citizens visiting Washington to praise America while publicly denouncing Ho Chi Minh, they would have been quietly liquidated upon returning to Hanoi.
Jane Fonda on the NVA anti-aircraft gun

Jane Fonda in North Vietnam on
a NVA anti-aircraft gun

Of course, there were no anti-war movements to interfere with their war efforts. Their troops were thoroughly and carefully indoctrinated with hatred of America. In their people’s armed forces, the political advisor had more authority than the unit commander did in decision-making and punishing wavering elements. Therefore, superficially, their rear base appeared solid and united. The red bloc ultimate drive was to conquer the RVN and expand communism in the region but tactfully cloaked under the name of “Fighting the Americans To Save Our Country”. The caddish Ho Chi Minh must have been praised for his skill to carry fire in one hand and water in the other!

On the contrary, the RVN, being an ally of the U.S. and the free world, was toddling into a newly adopted Western democracy. After centuries under feudalism, the general public was not ready to deal with the sudden changes and, for the most part, not prepared to exercise their freedom responsibly. During the war, while the public was unprepared and government officials also were not adequately trained to act and serve their constituents in a democratic fashion. Consequently, during the transitional process, there were unavoidable flaws, difficulties and dissatisfactions from the citizenry. Aside from these internal socio-administrative problems, the politburo in Hanoi exploited the situation to intrigue political dissidents, misled students and Buddhists followers to trigger chaos and confusions. Their underground communist cadres shrouded under political and religious dissident cover was the impetus behind anti-war demonstrations in Hue and Saigon leading to the overthrow of the Diem’s regime in November 1963. Following this disastrous event, the RVN encountered a period of political turmoil which to a certain degree, adversely affected the war efforts. It appears the expression “misfortunes never come alone” suited well to an ill-fated country like the RVN. While the situation in the RVN was not so favorable, her major ally, the U.S., was also facing a series of serious domestic political chaos.

Anti-war movements erupted wildly on many America’s streets:

The Kent State University fatal shooting incidence heightened anti-war sentiment.

The Pentagon Papers led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.
Richard Nixon
President Nixon

Jane Fonda, Ramsey Clarke, and some religious ministers went to Hanoi to praise the communist and denounced U.S. war policy publicly on North Vietnam’s radio.

Public support of the proxy war plummeted dramatically and the U.S. badly needed a strategy to exit Vietnam.

Part 3 – The Beginning of the End

The seriousness of domestic unrest in the U.S. compelled President Nixon to engage in political negotiation with Hanoi. On January 25, 1969, the Paris Peace Talk opened in Paris, France for the U.S. and Hanoi to negotiate an agreement to end the war. Knowing the anti-war sentiment in America had weakened, if not destroyed the U.S.’s will to continue the fight; Hanoi haughtily pushed for a military victory and kept stalling negotiation. After two years of deadlock because of Hanoi’s intransigence, the U.S. sought to talk to Hanoi’s patron, the PRC. Through back channel diplomacy, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Assistant to President Richard Nixon for National Security Affairs met with Chou En-lai, Prime Minister of the PRC in Peking, China to propose a fast solution to the Indochina conflict.
Henry Kissinger
Dr Henry Kissinger

The Memorandum of Conversation between Dr. Henry Kissinger and Prime Minister Chou En-lai clearly shows that the U.S. wanted a quick political fix instead of destroying or defeating the North Vietnamese communist. The meeting was in Peking, China on June 20, 1972. Kissinger and Chou initially talked about world events before embarking on the issues in Indochina, specifically Vietnam. Below are verbatim excerpts from this historical document (9) which determined the fate of the RVN:

– Prime Minister Chou: Yes, that might be one of the historical factors. And an additional one that there are such big competitions in the world. Now let’s go on to the Indochina question – I would like to hear from you.

– Dr. Kissinger: The Prime Minister said he had some observations he would like to make to me. May be we should reverse the places and let him talk first.

– Prime Minister Chou: These are questions on which there are disputes, and we would like to listen to you first to see your solutions of the problem.

– Dr. Kissinger: Is the Prime Minister’s suggestion that after he’s heard me I will be so convincing the disputes will have disappeared, and there will be no further need for him to make observations?

– Prime Minister Chou: I have no such expectations, but do hope the disputes will be lessened.

– Dr. Kissinger: I will make our candid assessment. I know it doesn’t agree with yours, but it is useful for you at any rate to understand how we see the situation. And it will take the situation from the start of the North Vietnamese offensive on March 10.

I believe that I have explained to the Prime Minister what our general objectives in Indochina are. It is obvious that it cannot be the policy of this Administration to maintain permanent bases in Indochina, or to continue in Indochina the policies that were originated by the Secretary of State who refused to shake hands with the Prime Minister. It isn’t… we are in a different historical phase. We believe that the future of our relationship with Peking is infinitely more important for the future of Asia that what happens in Phnom Penh, in Hanoi or in Saigon.

When President Johnson put American troops into Vietnam, you will remember that he justified it in part on the ground that what happened in Indochina was masterminded in Peking and was part of a plot to take over the world. Dean Rusk said this in a statement.
Lyndon B. Johnson
President Johnson

You were then engaged in the Cultural Revolution and not, from my reading it, emphasizing foreign adventures.

So that, the mere fact that we are sitting in this room changes the objective basis of the original intervention in Indochina. For us who inherited the war, our problem has been how to liquidate it in a way that does not affect our entire international position and − this is not your primary concern − the domestic stability in the United States. So we have genuinely attempted to end the war, and as you may or may not know, I personally started negotiations with the North Vietnamese in 1967 when I was only at the periphery of the government, at a time when it was very unpopular, because I believed there had to be a political end to the war.

So from the time we came into office we have attempted to end this war. And we have understood, as I told you before, that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is a permanent factor on the Indochinese peninsula and probably the strongest entity. And we have had no interest in destroying it or even in defeating it. After the end of the war, we will have withdrawn 12,000 miles. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam will still be 300 miles from Saigon. That is a reality which they don’t seem to understand. (Page 28 – 29)

To reassure Chou En-lai the U.S. would normalize relationship with Hanoi in about 10 years, Dr. Kissinger promised:

– Dr. Kissinger: It is on one level. But on the other, when we make an agreement in Indochina, it will be to make a new relationship. If we can make it with Peking why can we not do it with Hanoi? What has Hanoi done to us that would make it impossible to, say in ten years, establish a new relationship? (Page 31)

And below is Dr. Kissinger’s statement in the last paragraph on page 37:

Dr. Kissinger: So we should find a way to end the war, to stop it from being an international situation, and then permit a situation to develop in which the future on Indochina can be returned to the Indochinese people. And I can assure you that this is the only object we have in Indochina, and I do not believe this can be so different from yours. We want nothing for ourselves there. And while we cannot bring a communist government to power, if, as a result of historical evolution it should happen over a period of time, if we can live with a communist government in China, we ought to be able to accept it in Indochina. (Page 37)

It was unknown if the PRC exerted any pressure on Hanoi after this Kissinger – Chou meeting. Nevertheless, Hanoi mulishly kept stalling negotiations while continuing to attack South Vietnam. Hanoi’s stubbornness infuriated President Nixon and he ordered a massive bombing campaign in North Vietnam to force Hanoi back to the negotiation table. The eleven-day deadly air raid during Xmas 1972 had accomplished what the U.S. wanted. Hanoi was on their knees and obediently returned to Paris for negotiation. From the operational and strategic point of view, the bombing must have continued to achieve a military victory when Hanoi had exhausted their air defense capability. But we, the U.S., unilaterally decided to stop the bombing, willingly declined a military victory, and was content to further negotiation with Hanoi!!!

Sir Robert Thompson, a renowned British counterinsurgency expert commented on the Xmas bombing campaign: “In my view, on December 30, 1972, after 11 days of those B-52 attacks on the Hanoi area, you had won the war, it was all over! They had fired 1242 SAM’s, they had none left, and what would have come in over land from China would be a mere trickle. They and their whole rear base at that point would be at your mercy. They would have taken any terms. And that is why of course, you actually got a peace agreement in January, which you had not been able to get in October”.

The RVN steadfastly refused to sign the Paris Peace Accord formulated by the U.S. and the DRV because it was dangerously in favor of the DRV. However, under repeated threats juxtaposed with serious promises by President Nixon to severely retaliate against Hanoi in the event of their violation, the RVN had no choice but to sign the agreement on January 27, 1973. A few months following the signing of the Paris Agreement, U.S. Congress passed an Amendment on June 19, 1973, forbidding all U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia. On August 9, 1974, President Nixon resigned his presidency stemming from the Watergate scandal. On September 1974, U.S. Congress cut military aid to the RVN to the bone causing incalculable destruction to the morale of combat soldiers and the general public. During this time, the PRC and the USSR quadrupled their logistical support to Hanoi paving the way for the April 30, 1975 outcome.

In conclusion, the U.S. had to do what it must do because, as Kissinger explained to Chou in the meeting: “For us who inherited the war, our problem has been how to liquidate it in a way that does not affect our entire international position”, and because of “the domestic stability in the United States”. The fear of communist expansion or the domino theory disappeared with this Sino-U.S. rapprochement. Additionally, this would also open the potentially huge, lucrative market in mainland China for U.S. Corporations and investors. To achieve all these benefits, the U.S. arbitrarily accepted the deal with China in June 1972 at the expense of the RVN.

On the thirty-third anniversary of the close of that embittered chapter, as a former Vietnamese combatant of that war, I earnestly wish to reassure the younger generation of the Vietnamese American:

-In defense of our democracy in South Viet Nam against the communist, your elder generation had given, for the most part, their utmost best under the worst of circumstances. You can shamelessly look at any ignorant or misled bigot straight in the eyes with no inferior complex. These bigots may probably have been dully-influenced by slanted reports, books written by defeatist or liberal writers. You could help direct them to search for recently declassified national security documents and many impartial, honest accounts of the war portrayed by unbiased, honest writers.

To all my Vietnamese brothers-in arms:

-Of course we, the RVN and the ARVN, like most nations on earth, were not perfect. We had our share of inept political leaders as well as incompetent field commanders. We realize there were times our leader’s hands were tied by our major ally. We also understand we sacrificed many best years of our lives fighting despotism to protect liberty and freedom so our citizens could dissent and even undermine our effort. Yet we had fought courageously against overwhelming odds and hundreds of thousands of our friends lost their lives for the just cause. We did not win because the outcome was determined by superpower politics. Obviously it was way beyond the soldier’s responsibility. If we, the RVN, had it our way, unquestionably, the outcome of the war would have been different.

And to my American brothers in arms:

Through negotiation, our politicians settled with major world powers to end the war in Viet Nam politically. Following orders, you must withdraw from Vietnam. The last U.S. military unit left Viet Nam since March 1973. The final collapse of the RVN occurred on April 30, 1975. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the U.S. did not lose the war in Vietnam militarily. You have fulfilled the call of duty admirably. We salute you. We thank you for serving and for helping us in Viet Nam. Ironically, politics dictated the outcome. But don’t be bothered; only ignorant or misled individuals would buy the notion that America lost the war in Vietnam militarily.

(1) Correct spelling of Viet Nam must be two separate words.
(2) Also known as Poulo Condore, a penal island for political or high-risk prisoners.
(3) Viet Nam Quoc Dan Đang or Viet Quoc. Vietnamese Nationalist Party.
(4) Viet Nam Cach Menh Dong Minh Hoi aka Vietnamese Revolutionary Allied League.
(5) Vietnamese Communist Party.
(6) Democratic Republic of Viet Nam or Viet Nam Dan Chu Cong Hoa in Vietnamese.
(7) Viet Minh abbreviated for Viet Nam Cach Menh Dong Minh Hoi
(8) From Le livre noir du communisme, by Stéphane Courtois et. al, 1997.
(9) For complete details of Kissinger – Chou meeting, please check the link below: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB193/HAK%206-20-72.pdf

‘Killing Fields’ survivor Dith Pran dies

March 30, 2008
By RICHARD PYLE, Associated Press Writer 

NEW YORK – Dith Pran, the Cambodian-born journalist whose harrowing tale of enslavement and eventual escape from that country’s murderous Khmer Rouge revolutionaries in 1979 became the subject of the award-winning film “The Killing Fields,” died Sunday. He was 65.

New York Times photographer Dith Pran, sits with his wife Ser ...
New York Times photographer Dith Pran, sits with his wife Ser Moeun on the lawn outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, in this Tuesday, March 26, 1985, file photo in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dith Pran’s death from pancreatic cancer was confirmed Sunday, March 30, 2008, by journalist Sydney Schanberg, his former colleague at The New York Times. Pran was 65.(AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)

Dith died at a New Jersey hospital Sunday morning of pancreatic cancer, according to Sydney Schanberg, his former colleague at The New York Times. Dith had been diagnosed almost three months ago.

Dith was working as an interpreter and assistant for Schanberg in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, when the Vietnam War reached its chaotic end in April 1975 and both countries were taken over by Communist forces.

Schanberg helped Dith’s family get out but was forced to leave his friend behind after the capital fell; they were not reunited until Dith escaped four and a half years later. Eventually, Dith resettled in the United States and went to work as a photographer for the Times.

It was Dith himself who coined the term “killing fields” for the horrifying clusters of corpses and skeletal remains of victims he encountered on his desperate journey to freedom.

The regime of Pol Pot, bent on turning Cambodia back into a strictly agrarian society, and his Communist zealots were blamed for the deaths of nearly 2 million of Cambodia’s 7 million people.

“That was the phrase he used from the very first day, during our wondrous reunion in the refugee camp,” Schanberg said later.

With thousands being executed simply for manifesting signs of intellect or Western influence — even wearing glasses or wristwatches — Dith survived by masquerading as an uneducated peasant, toiling in the fields and subsisting on as little as a mouthful of rice a day, and whatever small animals he could catch.

After Dith moved to the U.S., he became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and founded the Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project, dedicated to educating people on the history of the Khmer Rouge regime.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_on_re_
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OWvwrqg74aSwiWEliXBas0NUE

Human Rights, Vietnam: Senate Hearing

March 15, 2008

March 15, 2008

At a hearing this past week of the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on East Asian & Pacific Affairs, Dr. Ngai Nguyen, Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, in a prepared Statement, praised Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator James Webb for holding this important hearing to examine U.S. – Vietnam Relations.

Dr. Ngai Nguyen, the Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, pointed out that Vietnam had shown some improvement in their behavior toward human rights in 2006 when it was eager to receive favorable trade relations agreements with the United States, and membership in the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington January 28, ... 

But once these benefits were granted, the government of Vietnam in 2007 reverted to an increase in arrests of dissidents, incarceration of religious leaders and restrictions on both political and religious freedoms.

One recent example surrounded the death on February 7, 2008, of Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh, the founder of the Democratic Party of Vietnam.

Dr. Nhan Nguyen, a prominent cardiac surgeon at Stanford University, and a member of the DPV, traveled to Hanoi to attend the funeral. However, one day prior to the funeral, she was kidnapped and deported from the country.

Another recent example was the fact that Trung Tien Nguyen, at age 24 and a half, more than six years older than most recruits, was drafted into the Vietnamese army last month. He had a job and was still going to graduate school, but was singled out because he was a young and active member of the DPV in Vietnam.

At the hearing, Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, in response to a question from the Committee, stated “there is still only one authorized political party in Vietnam, the Communist Party.”

Dr. Nguyen also praised the release on March 11, 2008 of the Department of State’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2007, which said, “The Vietnamese Government’s human rights record remains unsatisfactory.”

The primary mission of the Democratic Party of Vietnam is to persuade the Communist Party, through peaceful means, to recognize the freedoms of the UN Charter and to allow multi-political parties, freedom of press and religion and the right to produce private publications, and the opportunity to live in a free enterprise economy with free entry, exit and travel.

Vietnam showcases McCain at “Hanoi Hilton”

March 5, 2008
By Grant McCool

HANOI (Reuters) – In the prison everyone calls the “Hanoi Hilton,” artifacts in glass cabinets and black-and-white photographs on the walls recall the historic link between Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Vietnam.

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Vietnamese are mostly reticent about their views on U.S. politics, but they know the story very well of U.S. Navy pilot John McCain’s plane being shot down in 1967 over Hanoi and how he was dragged out of a lake to spend 5- years as a prisoner of war.The Hoa Lo prison, dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by the Americans, is now a museum and was visited by Senator McCain in 2000. Most of the complex was torn down a few years ago to make way for an apartment and office tower complex.

The Hoa Lo prison, dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by the Americans, is now a museum and was visited by Senator McCain in 2000. Most of the complex was torn down a few years ago to make way for an apartment and office tower complex.

McCain and other veterans such as Democratic Senator John Kerry were instrumental in helping the U.S. government establish diplomatic relations in 1995 with their former enemies, 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

“He conducted activities that had a positive impact on bringing the two nations closer,” said retired Colonel Nguyen Van Phuong, 81, who headed a Vietnamese delegation in 1973 that negotiated with the U.S. on the repatriation of American prisoners of war, including McCain.

“That is a point that Vietnamese people who follow current affairs do recognise,” the greying, uniformed Phuong said in an interview in his modest house along a narrow lane in Hanoi.

McCain clinched the Republican presidential nomination, U.S. media projected on Tuesday, capturing enough support nationwide to be the party’s candidate in the November election.

At the prison whose entrance still bears the words “Maison Centrale” from the 1899-1954 period it was used by French colonial rulers to imprison Vietnamese independence fighters, tourists pull up regularly in buses to walk around.

 

 

FLIGHT SUIT DISPLAYED

The flight suit and other gear worn by McCain when he was shot down on October 26, 1967 is propped up in a glass cabinet with a caption that has recently been updated.

“After returning to his country, John McCain became the Republican Senator from Arizona and he is currently a candidate in the 2008 election,” the caption says.

Exhibits describe the heavy bombing of Hanoi and say the POWs were treated well, but McCain says he was put in solitary confinement, beaten and tortured.

By coincidence, Pete Peterson, another former POW who became the first U.S. ambassador to Vietnam in 1995, visited the prison museum on Sunday with a group of American business executives.

Peterson told Reuters Television that McCain “understands the benefits of having a friend rather than an enemy sitting out in a very sensitive part of the world”.

Without mentioning the U.S. war in Iraq and the inevitable comparisons that have been made, the former envoy said: “It’s just a very sensitive time in America’s history and it will be interesting to see how the election turns out.”

Chuck Searcy, a veteran who has made his home in Vietnam since the mid-1990s, said he hoped if McCain became U.S. President, his ties to the Southeast Asian country would help with wartime legacies.

“Landmines and unexploded ordnance which litter the countryside and which have impeded economic development and recovery, that might be enhanced,” said Searcy, who works on the issue through representing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

“We might get further along the road with the thorny issue of agent orange.”

Studies have shown the compound of dioxin, a component of “agent orange” herbicides sprayed by the United States during the war, is still present in so-called “hot spots” at levels hundreds of times higher than would be accepted elsewhere.

(Additional reporting by Nguyen Van Vinh)

Chinese Get Past Communist Internet Blocks

February 7, 2008

By Edward Lanfranco
The Washington Times
February 7, 2008

BEIJING — Chinese Internet censorship is little more than a joke to Li Shenwen, an unemployed computer game enthusiast who remained glued to his keyboard well past midnight in a dingy “Wangba” or “NetBar” on a recent Saturday night.
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Official blocks on controversial or political Web sites pose no obstacle to any experienced user who wants to get past them, said Mr. Li, who picks up spending money by amassing points in computer games and selling them to a broker who in turn sells them online to avid but inept Western gamers.
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Reluctant to be distracted from his profitable pursuit, Mr. Li, in his mid-20s, offered a $14 wager that he could get to any three blocked sites in less than five minutes. The bet was made.
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Opening a new browser, he promptly brought up outlawed content in Chinese and English from YouTube, Voice of America, Falun Gong and, for added measure, Reporters Without Borders — all within less than three minutes.
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“You could have asked anyone here to do this,” Mr. Li said with a wave around the room. But he added, they are more interested in using skills to access restricted pornography sites than to read about politics.

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