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Do Not Bring Communists to the Vietnamese American Community

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Sự chịu đựng ngoài sức tưởng tượng của mọi người, và khi cơ thể không còn có thể lấy chất nước ra cho sự sống, thì sự đi vào hôn mê rất dễ dàng. Chúng ta hãy cầu nguyện "PHÉP LẠ" cho người anh em của chúng ta. LT 

KINH GOI QUY ANH CHI CONG DONG NGUOI VIET QUOC GIA HAI NGOAI XIN VUI LONG FORWARD TIN TUC NAY DE CUU CHIEN SI LY TONG. XIN QUY CO QUAN TRUYEN THONG, BAO CHI TIEP SUC BAO VE CHINH NGHIA. CUU ANH TONG LA CUU DANH DU CUA CDNVQG HAI NGOAI

XIN DEP BO MOI TY HIEM, CON DUONG DAU TRANH CON DAI. THEM 1 BAN TAY LA THEM 1 SUC MANH. THEM 1 CHU KY LA THEM 1 TIENG NOI.

Mời Ký Tên Ủng Hộ Lý Tống

https://www.change.org/petitions/support-ly-tong-free-ly-tong

YEU NUOC ..TRONG GIAI DOAN NAY NEN YEU THUONG VA THA THU...XIN NHUNG AI DANG E DE SO SET HAY MANH DAN TIEP TAY CUU

NGUOI CHIEN SI DA VA DANG HY SINH CUOC DOI MINH DE BAO VE CHAN LY .....THAN KINH ....HA UYEN.....CHAN THANH CAM ON .....

Do Not Bring Communists to the Vietnamese American Community

By Dr. Hai Van Ha

Although it has been 35 years since the Vietnam War ended with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam that included the cessation of military aid and political support by the American people, the wounds are still visible and visceral to the Vietnamese people living in the diasporas, especially those who fled Vietnam and made the United States its new home.  The history about the Vietnam War is complicated; many politicians and military strategists in the West argued the Domino Theory, which advocated that the U.S. and its allies needed to defend Vietnam against Communist ideology being espoused by China and Soviet Union, countries that not only spread its Communist rhetoric but also supplied North Vietnam with soldiers and weapons.  Others believed that North Vietnam and its Communist militants were fighting against Western imperialism that began with the colonization and domination by the French.  No matter what the history books have stated, for the Vietnamese who had to flee their country and leave behind relatives who are still being oppressed by the current Communist regime controlling Vietnam, their memories of hardship, struggle, and violence have not ended. 

The aftermath of the Cold War resulted in millions of people escaping from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam; they escaped from their motherland seeking freedom. The cost of democracy and liberty, for a lot of people, was too high - one third of the refugees did not make it to safety or find refuge in another "democratic" or at least "free" country. In order to understand the pain and suffering, a film about the situation of the political refugees circulated in 1984.  The Killing Fields represented the lives of the Cambodian people living under the Pol Pot and Khmer Rough and told the story of genocide; this movie educated people in the West who did not understand much about the wars in Southeast Asia.  The movie revealed what had happened in Southeast Asia- millions of people, mostly upper class and educated, lost their lives due to an ideology perpetrating the systematic destruction of a country's history and knowledge by killing those who had that historical, political, social and cultural memory as well as the education to impart that knowledge to the younger generation.  While The Killing Fields showed what happened when a genocidal government overwhelmed and oppressed its own citizens in Cambodia, political refugees from such countries such as Vietnam, Laos, North Korea, China, Cuba, and even those from the Soviet Bloc could relate to the atrocities committed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. This war of ideologies between Communism and democracy affected millions of lives not only in theory but also, and more importantly, in reality - the human toll is still not accounted for to this day.  However, with the fall of Communism in Eastern European countries, the battle over freedom and democracy was won by the U.S. and its allies.  People in former Communist governments demonstrated that they did not want to live under dictatorships ruled by Communist leaders; rather, people wanted justice and the ability to not live in fear. 

As this war between Communism and Democracy continued during the Cold War, the Vietnamese people who were lucky enough to immigrate and resettle in the U.S. after the Vietnam War tried to rebuild their lives.  Most became hard working and contributing members of society.  Many became naturalized American citizens and created families with their children being born in the U.S. and growing up bi-culturally.   Some of the younger generation of Vietnamese American men and women even joined the U.S. military to serve in both the Gulf Wars, as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  For most of the first generation Vietnamese Americans, their goals were to invest in the education and nurturing of their children.  Although the next generation of Vietnamese Americans would grow up in the U.S., their parents would not let them forget their Vietnamese history or legacy.  The older generation instilled in the younger generation the education and knowledge fight for the rights and freedoms that their adopted country promoted.  Like other political refugees from Cuba, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, China, etc., the Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans have not forgotten the sacrifices that were made in order to participate in a country that promotes individual rights and freedoms.  As former U.S. President George W. Bush said to people living in oppressive governments, “If you stand up and fight for your basic freedom, the American people will stand side by side with you.”

U.S. politicians not only advocated for the freedom and liberties of those being oppressed, they also created laws, filed bills, and introduced policies that showed their commitment to promoting human rights and freedoms for all individuals.  In the past few years, many U.S. legislators such as Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Chris Smith have filed the human rights bill for Vietnam.  In addition, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom for the year 2007 has recommended that the U.S. State Department reinstate Vietnam in the "Countries of Particular Concern" ("CPC") list.  Many other U.S Senators have also lent their support in promoting freedom of religion in Vietnam. Moreover, the U.S. State Department records show that Vietnam is still on the list of human rights violation - revealing that the Communist government needs to improve and establish a better human rights initiative. 

Despite the U.S. State Department's scrutiny of Vietnam's human rights record and U.S. politicians advocating for more oversight into Vietnam's human rights violation, the Vietnamese American community has had to struggle with U.S. foreign policy towards the Communist Vietnamese regime, especially with the opening of a formal political relationship between Washington, D.C. and its Vietnamese Communist regime.  This opening of a political and social relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. began with the Clinton Administration in 1995.  While the relationship between these two countries is seen as beneficial from the opinions of many Washington, D.C. politicians, most Vietnamese American people feel quite differently.  To most of the Vietnamese American people, the Hanoi Regime officials who come to the U.S. under diplomatic circumstances exacerbate and extend the suffering, not to mention continue the mental anguish caused by the Vietnam War.  Under the guise of political, economic, cultural, and social exchange, many Communist leaders infiltrate the U.S. system and find ways to ingratiate themselves to the U.S. government.  In so doing, they have also tried to downplay the tensions they have between themselves and the Vietnamese American community that find the Vietnamese Communist government and its political officials to be oppressive, even by their mere presence in U.S. territory.  Vietnamese officials have made use of their citizens by hiding the fact that the religious, political, and social envoys that they send to the U.S. only try to harm the Vietnamese American community, bringing more hurt and anguish rather than healing and reconciliation.  The religious priests, monks and nuns as well as the numerous Vietnamese entertainers who come to the U.S. under terms of good will actually are considered Communist spies by their Vietnamese American counterparts and stir up decades of old animosity. 

The Vietnamese American community is a small but tight-knit entity.  There are many instances since the immigration of Vietnamese refugees seeking political asylum have joined together to protest the abuse of human rights in Vietnam.  Moreover, they have gathered around important issues that challenge their very homes and their ideology that they can live in peace while making new lives for themselves in their adopted homeland.  For example, in 1999, Tran Truong, an video store business owner decided to hang a portrait of Ho Chi Minh and hang the Vietnamese Communist flag in Santa Ana, California, home to one of the largest exile Vietnamese community.  His actions were a direct assault to all of those who fled Vietnam after the Vietnam War.  More importantly, it has been rumored that Tran Truong had done this via the orders of a Vietnamese Communist consultant and ally living in San Francisco, California.  That the Communist Vietnamese regime allegedly stirring up controversy in Vietnamese American communities to discredit those who insist that it is important to not forget the war crimes done to them, their relatives, and their people is an atrocity to a people damaged and ravaged by war.  The Vietnamese Americans who have survived war feel that it is their right to defend themselves against any action that they believe threatens their freedom, including putting a picture of Ho Chi Minh and raising the Vietnamese Communist flag.  The Vietnamese American people had a dream when they came to the U.S.  They wanted to share and spread that dream to others, especially to the fellow patriots still living in Vietnam under an oppressive Communist government.  As Vietnamese refugee who became a naturalized citizen and calls the United States my home, I still feel a tie and a duty to give voice to those who cannot fight for themselves under the penalty of imprisonment or death.  One of the ideals that I value most about being an American citizen is that I am protected under the U.S. Constitution and hope one day that those people living in Vietnam will also share and benefit in those same rights, freedoms, and protections without fear of persecution for espousing such beliefs or challenging their government.   

I am grateful for people such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. who struggled against an oppressive culture that used its laws to make African Americans into second-class citizens.  Both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. broke U.S. legal policy and laws in order to stand up for their personal freedom and dignity.  Even with the threat of going to jail, Parks and King remained steadfast in the beliefs to bring justice to their entire community, despite what the laws might state.  Today, we, in the U.S., and even people around the world, remember how Rosa Parks stood up for herself and inspired millions to do the same.  Fortunately, the Civil Rights Bill was passed to enable that all people in the U.S. are treated equally and with dignity.  The legacy of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. is that Americans are allowed to protest for their civil liberties, even if it means getting arrested and sentenced to jail.  They fought for what they felt was morally correct, even if the laws are against them. 

Fifty years later, Vietnamese American, Ly Tong, was arrested and jailed because he stood up for the rights of his Vietnamese American community rights. On July 18, 2010 in San Jose, Ly Tong was charged with assault by using pepper spray on singer Dam Vinh Hung, a Vietnamese national, who was performing at a concert at the Santa Clara Convention Center. According to some in the Vietnamese American community, Dam Vinh Hung is a Communist officer in the Vietnamese Communist government and not only serves in the Vietnamese Communist party but is also a member of Mat Tran Quoc, an "official" front to a criminal organization that terrorizes the people in Vietnam.  In an interview with Ly Tong, Dam Vinh Hung is actually in the U.S. illegally as he was permitted into the U.S. under a tourist visa and not on a work visa, which would have allowed him to sing professionally across the U.S. 

Although Ly Tong acknowledges physically assaulting Dam Vinh Hung with pepper spray, Tong vehemently argues that it was his only choice.  Dam Vinh Hung in his eyes and in the eyes of many of his Vietnamese American supporters was in the U.S. illegally while also spreading lies and Communist propaganda. Hung's presence in Santa Clara's Vietnamese American community is no different than having a member of the Khmer Rouge come into a Cambodian American community or inviting an officer of Nazi Germany to Israel.  How are members who feel oppressed going to react?  What are their rights?  What are the emotional and physically reactions that might ensue when one member of a community feels betrayed and persecuted by another's very presence?  I ask, "Have you or did you ever talk to a Cambodian man when the Khmer Rouge killed his family in front of him when he was 10 years old?"  More importantly, "Do you know that the Vietnamese refugees resettled in the U.S. are still recovering from the nightmares of the destruction, not to mention the loss, of their country due to Communists who are now welcome into the U.S.?  The Vietnamese Americans living in the U.S. fled their persecutors 35 years ago and now are confronted with these same attackers on U.S. soil - their adopted homeland.  They have a right to protect themselves against perceived threats, especially by current Communist government officials who come to the U.S. in the guise of a tourist or an entertainer touring the U.S. on business.  Many first-generation Vietnamese Americans still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the very people who are now being taken into the U.S. as gestures for normalization as well as peace and reconciliation between Vietnam and the U.S.  For many Vietnamese Americans, this sign to reconcile is not possible given the fact that the Communist Vietnamese regime still presides and oppresses the Vietnamese people, not only in Vietnam, but also, as it appears, in the U.S. as well.  Thus, the Vietnamese American community as well as all Americans who love freedom and peace should stand up and fight with Ly Tong for doing what he thinks is right - protecting his freedom and liberty and giving voice to those who cannot.

Quân Sử Việt Nam (TOP)