The United States Congress is about to turn their backs on Human Rights and
the 59,000 Americans, who fought and died for these human rights. Details are below.
TURN (2,000 HOMES) VIETNAMESE VILLAGE INTO AN ASHTRAY
served in this village seven months, before it was massacred.)
Why isn't the Duc Duc Refugee Village Massacre as well-known as the My Lai Massacre...?
YAHOO Search Results 1 - 10 of about 455,000 for My Lai Massacre -
Michael Benge spent 11 years in Viet Nam, over five years as a Prisoner of War—1968-73.
Mike is a student of South East Asian politics, is very active in advocating for human rights, religious freedom, and
a full and accurate accounting for our POW/MIAs, and has written extensively on these subjects.
----- Original Message -----
The New Vietnam Myths: PNTR and WTO
FrontPageMagazine.com | August 1, 2006
you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only
for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It
thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy
of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” -- Joseph Goebbels
Of the many myths about the Vietnam War, the most prevalent is that United States lost the war. In fact, militarily, the US never lost the war. Rather, our politicians surrendered
to the North Vietnamese communists. Fast forward to the present day, and once
again our politicians are capitulating to the Vietnamese communists, and creating another host of myths as a smokescreen in
an attempt to cover up that repressive regime's trail of broken promises.
Hanoi’s current foreign policy is based on the same premise as Goebbels’ statement
above, and it is evident that the State Department, the Bush administration and Congress again have bought the communists’
lies, for they are about to reward Hanoi with Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) and an endorsement into the World Trade
At the White House meeting with President Bush on June 21, 2005, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai promised a marked improvement in religious
freedom and human rights in Vietnam. Since then, religious repression and human
rights abuses have not abated, especially against the Protestant Montagnard, Hmong and other ethnic and religious minorities.
Hanoi has broken every agreement that it has ever made with the U.S., and the communists
know U.S. preconditions are fungible if a façade of cosmetic changes is created that looks like progress.
For years, the US has insisted that Hanoi needs to institute major reforms before
being awarded PNTR and membership into the WTO, including: adherence to the rule of law,
judicial and contractual reforms, respect for intellectual property
rights, tackling rampant graft and the culture of bribes, and creating
transparency in trade and other dealings. Now U.S. politicians are stating that they are confident that Vietnam will institute
these changes once they embrace the WTO global rules-based trading system.
The Vietnamese government subsidizes
the growing of Vietnamese catfish for export to the US and elsewhere. For years, the WTO has been negotiating with the U.S.,
Europe and other trading partners to cut government assistance to farmers, and open their markets to competition; however,
negotiations have collapsed and suspended indefinitely. Vietnam’s problem isn’t the lack of laws, but it lacks
the will to change or enforce existing laws because of high-level corruption.
U.S. corporations in the US-ASEAN Business Council and US-Vietnam Trade Council looking for lucrative contracts and cheap labor are on full-court-press with their lobbyists and
wining and dining of politicians for approval of PNTR and WTO. This list includes Speaker of the House Dennis Haskert, and Senators John McCain,
John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, who are
major endorsees of PNTR, and one can rest assured that they will be rewarded with ample campaign contributions for their help.
In Vietnam, facades of unions have been set up at many western-financed factories; however, the communist
party tightly asserts total control and workers are not allowed to strike. The
party recently allowed wages at factories to be increased by 50%, from US $30 to $45 per month; however, many workers are
required to work 10 hours a day and 6 days a week. From that wage they have to
pay the “company store” for sleeping quarters and for the purchase of a little food and other necessities, which
according to women workers, “doesn’t even leave enough to buy milk for their babies.”
“In order to authorize PNTR, the U.S. Trade Relations office said it would be necessary
for Congress to terminate application to Vietnam of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974. The Jackson-Vanik
provision denies normal trade relations to certain countries with non-market economies and restrictions on emigration rights.” Yet Vietnam continues to suppress emigration rights.
Diplomacy has failed with China, as it will with Vietnam. Six years ago there was the fight against
granting PNTR to Communist China, and proponents sugarcoated it by promising that "trade will bring freedom." Trade has not
brought freedom to the Chinese; instead, human rights abuses have escalated, and our trade deficit has shot up from $86 billion
to $202 billion.
Vietnam has adopted China's strategy of accepting capitalism while maintaining total control of
over its population. The U.S. ran a $5.4 billion trade deficit with Vietnam last year. According to Auggie Tantillo, executive
director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, "This deal is a disaster for U.S. manufacturing, and the U.S.
textile industry in particular."
The New Myths
Restrictions on emigration have abated: In
spite of claims by some, Vietnam’s restrictions on emigration have not abated and enormous bribes are still
demanded for exit visas and passports, and related harassment and human rights abuses continue. Under the threat of death, the Police Chief of Ea Xier Village in Kontum Province repeatedly raped
a Montagnard woman as the price she had to pay for an exit visa so that she and her family could join their husband in the
U.S. A Montagnard refugee from Darlac Province who has been trying to get his three children out of Vietnam received a call
from a Vietnamese man who said he was connected with the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and for $1,000 each, paid through
a travel agency in North Carolina, he would guarantee they would be allowed to leave Vietnam.
Freedom has improved: Freedom House has obtained documentation on
Hanoi's intention to purge religion from society. Vietnamese officials continue to force Montagnard and Hmong Christians to
sign pledges renouncing their religion. Those that refuse are beaten and sometimes killed. Christian gatherings and celebrations
continue to be banned in many areas. Although Vietnamese officials claim to have given more freedom to house churches, the
fact is that the communist regime has imposed even more restrictions. Families can now legally pray in their own homes; however,
they cannot pray in groups outside their homes, or even invite family members living outside their home in to pray with them.
Pictures of Ho Chi Minh are required to be hung in churches as the true savior of the Vietnamese people.
Rights have improved: Although Hanoi has released a small number of high profile political and religious prisoners
from jail, they remain under house arrest. There are still over 350 Montagnards languishing in prison, mainly for peaceful
protests against religious persecution and human rights abuses. The communist prisons have revolving doors, and the regime
persists in criminalizing peaceful dissent, unsanctioned religious activity and efforts to seek sanctuary in Cambodia, and
violators are charged with either violating Vietnam’s national unity policies or its national security by organizing
illegal migration and given sentences up to 17 years in prison.
of 2006, two young Montagnards, Y-No Buonkrong and Y-Hlu Adrong from Buon Cuor Knia, Darlak Province were arrested
and severely beaten. Y-No was charged with illegally enrolling in school for computer Internet classes and attempting
to contact his relatives in the U.S.; however, his “real crime” was that his brother-in-law had testified before
Congressman Chris Smith’s committee on religious persecution in June 2005. Y-Hlu’s “real crime” was
he reported Vietnamese officials for stealing money from a housing fund. He suffered compound fractures of both legs from
the beatings and because he was not given medical treatment, he is not expected to be able to walk again. Far from isolated
incidents, abuses such as these are “par for the course.”
Freedom of movement has improved: The Central Highlands remain off limits to the Western press and to U.S.
and other diplomats unless taken on strictly controlled tours by Vietnamese security personnel. According to a Rhade woman who was recently interviewed by Human Rights Watch, “When foreign officials go to Dak Lak province, canh sat co dong (riot police) are sent with guns and electric
batons to the village. They worry we will demonstrate. They declare a holiday, block the road to the city, and prohibit us
from leaving the village.”
Vietnam is fully cooperating in the accounting of the POW/MIAs: Hanoi
advocates Senators John McCain, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel are among those perpetrating this myth, and all three are spearheading
PNTR for Vietnam. Of the more than 275 cases of Americans known to have been in the hands of the Vietnamese communists but
not released, only a handful of their remains have been returned. Furthermore,
Hanoi will not let the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) into the Central Highlands to search for the MIAs because of
the “purported unrest.” The only reason for unrest would be due to the communists’ repression of the Montagnards.
The U.S. needs Vietnam as a buffer against China: Whoever
professes this myth needs to take remedial math: i.e., Vietnam has an estimated population of 78 million while China has over
a billion people.
The choice of Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnam's youngest post-war premier, is being touted by the U.S. diplomatic and business community
as a sign of change because of his promises to fight mismanagement and corruption and hasten economic reform. However, the 56-year-old political conservative has solid communist party credentials with the regime's
elders and is a protégé of former hardliner president Le Duc Anh, and nothing more than old wine in a new bottle.
to Vietnam expert Carl Thayer of the Australian Defense Force Academy, “He has a firm network in the military, in security,
in southern province networks and within the party apparatus", and until recently, he could only speak in set propaganda language. He was appointed as deputy public security minister in 1994 three years later before
joining the elite politburo in 1996 as its youngest-ever member. Since 2000 he
has been in charge of maintaining security in the troubled Central Highlands where military and security forces have brutally
crushed protests over religious freedom, land disputes and other human rights abuses, and thousands have been killed, tortured
and jailed as a result.
In a recent
Washinton Times article, titled “Trade with Vietnam: Economic ties in the interest of the U.S.”,
former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage and former deputy assistant of secretary of state for East Asia Randy Schriver,
now partners of Armitage International, wrote that the U.S. should fast-track the granting of Permanent Normal Trade Relations
to Vietnam to “provide concrete evidence that we are committed to putting U.S.-Vietnam divisions behind us.” What
is sorely evident, however, is that the Vietnamese communists are not committed to putting U.S.-Vietnam divisions behind them.
Michael Benge spent 11
years in Viet Nam, over five years as a Prisoner of War—1968-73. Mike is a student of South East Asian politics, is
very active in advocating for human rights, religious freedom, and a full and accurate accounting for our POW/MIAs, and has
written extensively on these subjects. http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/b/b600.htm
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 1:17 PM
Subject: The U.S. Congress is about to consider granting...
Everyday, We are told America's honorable military men
and women fight wars around the world under the banner of Human Rights. Yet the United States Congress continues
to override these values and instead plays politics for the dollar... The United
States Congress is about to turn their backs on Human Rights and the 59,000 Americans, who fought and died for these
human rights. Details are below.
Let our Congress and President Bush know how you
50 Buddhist clergy demonstrate in Hanoi,
Vietnam to protest
Death, Torture and Arbitrary Detention
of Buddhist Monks.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 8:06 AM
Open Letter on Vietnam
from Human Rights and Fair Trade Advocates
President of the United States and Members of
July 11, 2006
The U.S. Congress is about
to consider granting
Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status
which will pave the way for Vietnam's entry
World Trade Organization (WTO). We urge you to demand
that in order for Vietnam to gain PNTR, the Vietnamese
must release all religious and political
prisoners, end house-arrest practice against them,
allow and recognize independent
churches and labor
unions, and truly practice free trade by allowing the
importation of American media (print and audio-video)
you may already know, the human rights situation in
Vietnam has not improved in recent years.
Consequently, the U.S.
Department of State has
retained Vietnam on its annual list of countries of
particular concern (CPC). Further, on January
2006, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe (PACE) adopted resolution 1481 (2006) which
"condemned the massive human rights
violations committed by totalitarian communist regimes
and expressed sympathy, understanding
for the victims of these crimes." On April 6, 2006,
the House of Representatives passed Resolution.
calling on Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally
release all prisoners of conscience, and comply with
terms of the European Parliament resolution. Not
surprisingly, Vietnam's communist leaders have
rejected our appeals.
Further, recent widespread labor unrest in Vietnam
reflects the reality that labor rights in
not protected. The average salary of Vietnamese
workers is less than $1/day and working conditions are
poor. This state of affairs is due to the
fact that workers in Vietnam have been denied the
right to form independent
labor unions to protect
basic worker rights.
In the meantime, Vietnam enjoys the privilege of
to the U.S. all forms of print and
audio-video products including cultural products,
books, newspapers, and other audio
/ DVD releases,
many of which explicitly promote communism and
government policies. Yet, none of our media / music
including those produced by Americans of
Vietnamese origin are allowed to be imported into
Vietnam. The Vietnamese
government, through its
state-owned enterprises, maintains a monopoly and, in
effect, an absolute ban on these imports
Vietnamese American artists are routinely harassed and
required to obtain government permits before they
perform in Vietnam. This "free trade" concept is
neither fair nor free -- both core principles of our
with Vietnam recently signed.
http://www.queme.net/eng/news_detail.php?numb=640In your second inaugural address, you stated
definitively that "it is the policy of the United
to seek and support the growth of democratic
movements and institutions in every nation and
culture, with the ultimate
goal of ending tyranny in
our world." We hope that you will personally see to
it that America will live up to
its promise regarding
Vietnam and its conduct.
We hereby call upon you to deny the communist
in Vietnam the free PNTR status
until the aforementioned conditions are met.
Thank you for your leadership and continued
for universal human rights. May God bless you and
Tran Kim Anh, Pham Que Duong, Father Nguyen Huu Giai,
Dr. Nguyen Thanh Giang, Do Nam Hai (pen name: Phuong
Nguyen Chinh Ket, Father Phan Van Loi, Father
Nguyen Van Ly, Father Chan Tin, Nguyen Khac Toan.
the United States
http://www.queme.net/eng/news_detail.php?numb=640Alliance for Democracy in Vietnam, Asia Entertainment
Inc., Asian Pacific American Cultural
Assembly of Vietnamese Veterans, Assembly of Vietnam
Veterans - Youth Affairs, Association of Vietnamese
- California, ATC Consulting Group, Bolsa
Radio, Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
(CRFV), Council for Human
Rights in Vietnam - New
York, Council on Democracy and Human Rights for
Vietnam - California, Dan Chim Viet, Inc., East
U.S.A. Vietnamese Publishers Consortium, Florida Viet
Bao Newspaper, Freedom & Democracy Voice for Vietnam,
Campaign USA, Institute on Religion and Public
Policy, Institute on Religion & Democracy, Legal
Assistance for Vietnamese
Asylum Seekers, Montagnard
Foundation, National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans
Coalition, Ngay Nay Media, Inc., Nguoi
News, North Carolina Vietnam Veterans, Inc., National
Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, USA, Overseas Hoa Hao
Congregational Church, USA, Quarterly Human
Rights / Droits de l'Homme Magazine, Rallying for
Democracy in Vietnam,
Republic of Vietnam Navy &
Marine Association, USA, Rolling Thunder, Inc.,
Rural Reconstruction Cadre Association
Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN), The
China Support Network, The Movement of the Vietnamese
in Diaspora, The Movement of Writers and
Performing Artists to Restore Vietnam, The South
Florida Buddhist Association,
The United Buddhist
Church of Vietnam in the USA, The United Methodist
Church - San Diego - California, The Vietnam
Human Rights Committee, The Vietnamese
American Community of South Florida, The Vietnamese
American Votersâ?T League
of Pennsylvania, The
Vietnamese Buddhist Youth Congregation of California,
The Vietnamese Community in Arizona, The
Community of Central of Florida, The Vietnamese
Community of Colorado, The Vietnamese Community of New
The Vietnamese Community of Southern California,
The Vietnamese Community of St Cloud - Minnesota, The
- Washington, The Vietnamese Community of Thurston
County - Washington, The Vietnamese Community of
State, The Vietnamese Community of Wichita
and Vicinity - Kansas, The Vietnamese Federation of
San Diego - California,
The Vietnamese Veterans
Association of South Florida, Thuy Nga Productions,
U.S. - Vietnam Fair Trade Committee, Victims
Communism Memorial Foundation, Viet Bao Daily News,
Viet Minnesota Radio, Vietnam Democracy Forum -
DC, Vietnam Human Rights Network - USA,
Vietnam Reform Party, Vietnam Restoration Party,
Vietnam Review, Inc., Vietnamese
American Council of
Voters - California, Vietnamese American Medical
Research Foundation, Vietnamese-American Public
Committee (VPAC), Vietnamese American Science
& Technology Society (VASTS), Vietnamese American
Vietnamese American Veterans
Association Coalition of the Washington - D.C.
Metropolitan Area, Vietnamese American Voters
Vietnamese Culture and Science
Association â?" Washington DC, Vietnamese Lawyers
Association, Vietnamese National Military
Alumni Association, Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for
Conscience Empowerment (VOICE), Vietnamese Youth Club
Human Rights - Sacramento - California, Visual
Artists Guild, VNQDD - Overseas Coordinating Council.
Tran Dung Minh Dan, Phan Tan Hai, Trang
Khanh, Pham Lam, Francis Pham, Scott Pham, Nguyen Ngoc
Quynh, Ho Van Sinh, Phong
Thu, Do Thi Thuan, Chu Xuan
Vien, Ma Xai.
Organizations in Other Countries
Association for Democracy and
Development of Vietnam,
Association of Vietnamese Physicians in Canada,
Committee to Rethink Vietnam - Paris, France,
Asia Democracy & Que Me: Action for Democracy in
Vietnam -Paris - France, Friends of Vietnam - Finland,
Association of Vietnamese Students in France,
International Committee Tran Van Ba - Paris -France,
for the Development of
Vietnam - The Netherlands, Movement of Democracy for
China, The Canadian Vietnamese Society for
Political and Social Studies, The Buddhist
Association of Grass Hut - Moscow - Russia, Vietnam
Hanover - Germany, Vietnam Center for Human
Rights - Paris - France, Vietnamese Canadian
Federation - Canada, Vietnamese
Australia, Vietnamese Community in Montreal - Canada,
Vietnamese League for Human Rights - Switzerland,
Physicians of the Free World,
Vietnamese Writers in Exile Centre - Switzerland.
* Financial contributors
are in bold type
* Last update: July 11, 2006
* This Open Letter was published on USA TODAY dated
July 11, 2006.
more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
50 Buddhist clergy demonstrate in Hanoi
Death, Torture and Arbitrary Detention
of Buddhist Monks
Let our Congress and President Bush know
how you feel.
TERRORISTS TURN (2,000 HOMES)
VIETNAMESE VILLAGE INTO AN ASHTRAY
(I served in this village seven
months before it was massacred.)
the Duc Duc Refugee Village Massacre as well-known as the My Lai Massacre...?
YAHOO Search Results 1 - 10 of about 455,000 for My Lai Massacre -