Plea From a Simple Vietnamese

I have been terrified since the event of 911, not because of the accused terrorists, nor the illegal, abusive activities of political governments. For I know exactly what they are, who they are, and their nature. I have been terrified by you, my fellow human beings! Yes, by YOU. Because you now are running the opposite way from liberty toward the political governments, which are the very institutions that we, generations after generations all around the world, have fought hard against to take back our liberty and dignity. I am terrified by your amnesia.

Throughout our history as humankind, political governments never gave us, the people, anything, even the protection that is supposed their job. They enslave us, and we have to protect ourselves against the power of our own governments. They always find ways to take, and steal away from us our property, our liberty, and our dignity. Remember it is we, the people, who have fought hard and sacrificed in many different ways to force them, the Kings, Queens, Presidents, Generals, etceteras, to give in, give up, and give back our rights, our dignity, our life as free peoples. All legal documents such as the constitutions do not give us our rights and liberty. These documents only recognize our rights after we, the people, have fought so hard for generations to force the political governments to give in by writing these documents. So please do not mistake that THEY, the political governments, gave us these documents, but we have fought and forced them to do so. They did not give. That’s why political governments always try to bend and ignore the documents if we stop fighting.

The battle for liberty never ends, for the political government always tries to steal away our rights, our liberty as much as they can, and only give in and give back as little as they are forced to do so by us. We must not forget this.

Most of wars we have been forced to fight are the products of conflicts between and among political governments, not between peoples themselves. More than often political governments have spent our lives just to experiment or prove their “grand ideas," because, as Mike Rogers explains, they “don't normally send their kids off to die in wars; high-ranking government officials are always in bed with arms and weapons manufacturers and always looking for a way to line their pockets. The governments start the wars and the people pay the price.

We, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, have lived peacefully together, have done business, exchanged goods and services, even married without any problem, until political government gets in and takes control. Our histories, our experiences speak for themselves.

I am not a Jew, or a German, to speak of the experiences under Hitler. I am not a Russian, or a Chinese, to tell you about Stalin and Mao regimes. I am a Vietnamese, and I will tell you about the Vietnamese experience of political government.

The Vietnamese were enslaved by the Chinese, then the French, then the Japanese political governments. In 1945 HoChiMinh and his gang's so-called “Communist Party” unified us to expel the French. So we did trust him and his gang and we sacrificed our property, and our lives, to fight for our “independence,” only to be enslaved, exploited, and murdered more by HoChiMinh and his Party than under the French and the Japanese occupations. Yet, we’ve put up with them.

Like any governments, HoChiMinh and his gang were very cunning in choosing the timing of their plans. During the DienBienPhu campaign (1950–1954), at the height of this war (1953), Ho and his gang started their plot, “the land reform,” which lasted from 1953 to 1956, and which murdered and sent between 300,000 to millions of people to concentration camps, always in the name of the people, “to protect the nation and the people” and “to take from the rich and give to the poor.” It should be noted here that there is no way we can have the exact number of victims, and the exact scope of this crime, due to the lying, deceitful nature of political government. However, given that the majority of Vietnamese people at that time were farmers (90–95% lived and worked in agriculture), and the fact that a person who owned a small piece of land would be categorized as a “landlord," that an owner of a small shop would be classified as “capitalist” by Ho’s Communist regime, the whole family would be imprisoned, and persecuted. So my estimation is still conservative.

He chose this timing to carry out the “land reform” as a disguise of purging non-communists members and those who opposed or even doubted his and his party leaderships, because Vietnamese people were focusing on the struggle against the French. Many poor peasants hated not only the French, but also those who were better off. HoChiMinh and his gang exploited the “dark sentiment” of the masses at that time: sentimental nationalism against the French, and envy of the rich. This explains why, when the “land reform” hurt not only those “reactionary elements” but also the peasants and the families of communist cadres themselves, the people cried out for mercy. Ho himself, and Vo Nguyen Giap, the hero of DienBienPhu, then appeared before the public, shed some tears, and apologized. That was all. And the people forgave them. But it did not stop there; Ho and his gang later drummed up a new enemy, the USA, and plunged the whole North VietNam into war, with, of course, a beautiful slogan, “liberate the fatherland from the USA imperialists.” That was just half truth. The whole truth is that Ho and his gang wanted to experiment with the “grand ideas” of Communism on the whole nation. The political situation and the living conditions of the whole VietNam after 1975 speaks for itself.

In the South, under the “protection” and “assistance” of the USA, the dictator Ngo Dinh Diem and the Generals tricked the people into the belief that “the GIs come to defend democracy and liberty of the South." Ironically, few of us admit that there was no democracy or liberty in the South to protect or defend at the first place! But people feared the Communists, and accepted their government's explanation. Thus we, the Vietnamese people, murdered each other, hated each other, and the South let the GIs burn villages, and massacre innocent people without loud protest. The war lasted for 20 years with 3–5 millions Vietnamese, 58,000 GIs deaths, and many broken lives today. Today if you meet a Vietnamese exile in California or Texas you shouldn't be surprised if he or she is apologetic for the USA, or even defends the atrocities that the USA committed during the War. The same is true if you meet some one in Hanoi; there you would hear a mantra praising beloved HoChiMinh and the Party. In fact, today many of us still call them “heroes.” Some of us even call HoChiMinh a “saint!”

Yet, many of you who live in the Western world would have pity for and even look down on people like North Koreans, or Vietnamese for their “imbecility," “stupidity," and “submissiveness” in putting up with such regimes. You would be partly right, and you may have a sense of superiority in this respect. But you would also be wrong! You are not superior in any sense, except that you may be materially richer. Look at yourselves!

You let your political governments fake evidence and lie you into war after war, particularly this current war, which has destroyed other people's lives, your lives, those of your loved ones; you also let your governments take away your rights, and your liberty. Is it the “Manifest Destiny” that you believe in? Ho could have used that line!

My friends, I know for a fact that many of you still believe deeply in the “The White Man's Burden," and that you are the chosen ones to carry out that “manifest destiny” through your political governments. You know full well, with concrete evidence, that your governments lied to you, and took away your rights, took away even your dignity as once great people who would fight anyone who dares tell you what to do and how to live your life, but now you have openly gone along with your governments in making wars, and stripping away your own liberty. Why? Because your government has satisfied your dark side? Deny this if you want, but many of you just don’t like Blacks, and hate Muslims. Thus, apart from the fear that your government has invented and installed into your society, as long as your government humiliates, demonizes “them,” namely the Muslims, you are happy to pardon your government. So please, don’t tell me and our fellow human beings around the world that you have been deceived. You deceive yourselves.

I know that I am incriminating myself in writing this under the Australian's new sedition law. But as a citizen of this planet of humankind, I owe too much to many people who have fought and sacrificed their lives for our rights of free speech, freedom of expression, to be silent. I will not let their deaths and sacrifices pass in vain. I do believe: “If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.” George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903–1950); I also am convinced that: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~ Albert Einstein.

I know it is dangerous for me, but I have to speak my mind, for I owe too much to those who, as in the words of tienne de La Botie as quoted in an essay of Mark Davis, “Fascists-R-Us”: “… having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.u201D

I want to be one not to invent liberty, but to keep Liberty that we have now alive and well. And I ask you, beg you, my friends, to be such a person. It is for an obvious selfish reason. I am better off if you are one such person. Please do not deceive yourselves anymore. Please free yourselves, and I am right there with you.

November 14, 2005