Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Village Voice gets it right, and so does Amnesty

Amnesty International, the organization to which I belonged for 20 years (but no longer do), still does some good work. As some commenters here have pointed out, AI has reported on bad conditions in prisons in Castro's Cuba--not quite a "Gulag," of course, but still, it noticed.

That's more than the NY Times has done. Nat Hentoff points this out in the Village Voice, of all places. He reports on some strange doings in Cuba lately, and not just at Guantanamo. There are indications that perhaps the purple finger revolution has even started to reach that beautiful and beleaguered island so close to our shores.


At 1:34 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger sygamel said...

A former Amnesty member you were, neo-neocon. You really were firmly planted in liberalland.

At 2:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

That is a surprising article from the Village Voice. I'd love to go to Cuba someday, a free Cuba. My long gone grandparents were frequent visitors there in the early 50's. A special memento from them are castanets, hand made with "Havana" carved on one side, "Wallace", that's me...on the other.

At 4:28 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Pancho, my parents went there on their honeymoon. 1941. They flew there on a tiny little airplane. Brave!

At 4:43 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Stephen said...

My conversion occurred quite a long time ago. 1983.

You can read about it here:


Today is my first visit to your site.

In the past 20 years, I've become fiercely anti-feminist, as well as anti-leftist. Feminism also arises from Marxism. I always get a stern lecturn about my McCarthyite tendencies when I say this, but a visit to any Women's Studies Program and perusal of their faculty bios proves it.

The shrink profession has become a virtual arm of the Marxist feminist movement. Villification of men is axiomatic. Would be interested in reading your thoughts about this.

At 5:19 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Marxist Cuba doesn't work you say?
Cuba has one of the best medical, social and educational systems in the region. Their child mortality rate, a key indicator of living standards, is equivalent to the United States. This is in stark comparison to neighbouring Haiti, a U.S. satelitte since our first invasion in 1828, and the arm pit of the world.

I don't mean to get personel, but Vive le Revolucion you American knuckle heads :-)

At 5:24 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Good news indeed. Hentoff also gives us something of a cliff-hanger ending, indicating "next week: my suggestions to Congressman Rangel on how he can reach out to Fidel Castro." Hentoff's has consistently been an honest voice.

At 8:51 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neo-neocon, a woman in Italy has been blogging about the democratic movement for quite a while. I am not sure what the exact name of the site is, but you can click on the Egyptian Sandmonkey blog on the Iraq the Model website. The woman on the ES's blogroll is named Stefenia.

At 9:20 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger d said...

Feminism also arises from Marxism. I always get a stern lecturn about my McCarthyite tendencies when I say this...

No, you should actually be getting a stern lecture about your ahistorical tendencies when you say this. Only someone who thinks "perusing" web pages "proves" anything would be capable of such staggering acts of non-thought. Try perusing a book.

At 9:24 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Verdad said...

you are pathetic!

At 10:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Well, there's "feminism" the idea, and then there's "feminism" the official movement, or what it's morphed into in recent years. I think I was practically born a feminist of the first type. I remember being concerned with the issues even as a young kid, when no one was talking about them much, if at all--meaning, equal rights and respect for women in the general sense. As for the second type--the organizations, etc., I don't know or care whether they are Marxists or not, but their doctrinaire and strident unreasonableness has lost me. But don't confuse the entrenched feminists of the "movement" with feminism in general.

At 10:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'still does some good work'

Which will now be completely discredited as a result of the gulag comments. Most people don't have the inclination to spend time picking out the good from the garbage. They have only themselves to blame.

At 12:14 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A feminist has a problem with the idea that men and women cannot serve equally in the military.

A "feminist" has a problem with the military as an institution.

At 12:34 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger an unrepentant kulak said...

I think I get where Stephen is coming from -- I can say from firsthand experience dating a womens' studies major that Marxism, and the lens of victimology that goes with it, seem to be the dominant mode of thought among academic, if not also professional-activist feminists these days. (It's a tragedy and betrayal of women that makes my heart sink.) But I hope he'll reconsider his stated position of being "anti-feminist". There are feminists of substantially different political persuasions out there (hard though it may be to believe sometimes! -- I know their voices aren't the ones we most often hear).

Joan Kennedy Taylor, for example, writes very thoughtfully from a classically-liberal/libertarian perspective. (My girlfriend the womens' studies major had never heard of her.) Taylor wrote Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered, which I recently read and highly recommend as a refreshing and much-needed alternative view (and, for me, a very educational historic perspective) on the topic.

Tammy Bruce is another contemporary feminist who, to my mind, has been heroically corageous in challenging currently entrenched feminist thinking and advocating for a feminism that is inclusive of men and based on classically-liberal principles. Her first book, The New Thought Police, saved my life as far as I'm concerned. Her second, The Death of Right and Wrong, meanders a bit but also has moments of real insight. A favorite 'hit-the-nail-right-on-the-head' moment of mine is her observation therein that "feminism meant isolating and demonizing men, instead of bringing them with us as partners into our independence."

Both are feminists I can support without hesitation, and I suspect you might find their perspectives agreeable too. (?)

An aplology to our gracious host for the long, off-topic comment! neo-neocon, thank you for your courage in sharing your story with us and writing with such honest, candid insight and clear desire to understand. I'm so thankful to have found your blog, as I have been struggling through a very similar transformative experience, one that I hope to explore on the new blog of my own that you've helped inspire me to start. Courage and best wishes to you, faraway friend. And keep up the interesting work!

At 6:27 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I knew I should have kept that web site with all the pictures of Cuban health care centers.... the so-called excellant health care for Cubans is another travesty and vicious PR ploy by Castro. There is a model hospital where journalists and the like are given tours touting the wonderous nature of Cuban socialism, but it is the only hospital they are allowed to visit. The photos I alluded to were undercover photography that was graphic, taken at several different clinics. My god! I wouldn't let a dog go in those places. The obvious deprivation that exists down there should tell even the most obtuse observor that the whole place is literally rotting down. North Korea and Cuba, the last and best examples of what communism has to offer people. HA! Why is it that those who thump the drum in support of Castro and the rest of the world's dictators never actually live in those places?

At 6:57 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feminism? Depends upon if one believes in Susan B. Anthony feminism or Margaret Sanger feminism. Me, I prefer the former as the latter espouses attaining utophia by terminating 'poor unwanteds' and ridding society of those 'black' folks via Sanger's Planned Parenthood racist eugenics program. The Sanger Sisterhood: legally aborting our wombs and castrating male's balls since 1973. (Don't forget the extermination of black Americans)

Susan B. Anthony was on to something great, that being...economic freedom brings about equality. Margaret Sanger, however, preferred we kill the poor to bring about quality, some choice...all for the sake of having unburdened orgasms?

The current American feminista movement has our heads held so tightly in our viginas we are losing womenhood.

At 8:27 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I had always thought, way back then, that instead of burning bras, the women's movement should have focused totally on economic equity. Get the cash and the rest will follow. I don't patronize women but it always bugged me when for doing equal work a woman got paid less than a man.

At 9:04 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Stephen said...

I did not want to hijack the comments with my issues, so I've responded in general to this thread on my weblog:


Women do not earn less for the same work. This is one of the most inane feminist myths. It's a lie. Read Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell.

At 9:07 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

I had always thought, way back then, that instead of burning bras, the women's movement should have focused totally on economic equity.

The question I used to raise was children. Men and women play different roles in raising children, particularly in the early years. And, let's face it, no children, no future. It would be an interesting exercise to correlate birth rates with political leanings, paying special attention to Eastern/Western Europe and the former Soviet Union. But in any case, this bit of natural history will play itself out without any help from the philosophers.

At 3:23 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger dax said...

Ho Chi Min: When you have a chance, please explain to me why the Florida Straits is the burial ground for hundreds if not thousand of Cuban trying to leave your beloved paradise of Cuba.
I'm all ears.

At 6:33 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Dax:

"The grass is always greener", and in this case it is. No question, the United States is better off then Cuba. Obviously to many a raft across the Florida straits "to the promised land" is preferable to an eternity in dusty 'ol Cuba.

My point is why do you expect Cuba to be like the U.S., why would you ever compare them, two infinetly different cultural, geo-political histories, not to mention geographies, with one another? My point was to compare Cuba's living standard with a place of similar size and background under U.S. control, like Haiti, to demonstrate Marxism in fact does work. In the case of Cuba it's working despite everything we can possibly do short of invasion to abort it.

And I wouldn't ever under-estimate the wide spread support Cuba has from its citizens. They know they've got something going there.
And you know what, if they didn't like it they'd change it. They changed it when Batista and the U.S. were screwing them.

At 2:45 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

I visited Cuba about ten years ago. I had lived in the Dominican Republic for more than two years, so I had some common ground for communication, and the most common sentiment that I encountered was a desire for change with no interference from Miami. I sensed a need for hope, not just material gain (although I guess its hard to distinguish between them).

At 9:58 AM, June 09, 2005, Anonymous ET said...

AI lost all credibility because of their outrageous assertion regarding Gitmo. They are no longer able to even appear objective.

Ho Chi Minh, on what do you base your claims for a Cuban paradise? Cuba should be listed as a leading offender in an AI report. Search www.frontpagemag.com for articles on Cuba to get an accurate picture of conditions there.

At 10:11 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger dax said...

Ho Chi Minh
My friend, living in Germany is certainly affecting your view of the world.
To compare Cuba to Haiti is myopic and you further compound your lack of vision by using your comparison to uphold Marxism. Haiti is bad so Cuba is good? Therefore Marxism works! Brilliant!
You state that "Cuba works" Does North Korea also work? In your mind, probably
You end your post by making the idiotic suggestion that the people of Cuba could change their situation if they only wanted. How do they make this change, with broomsticks? The Cuban revolution in 1959, like ALL REVOLUTIONS, was caused by ARMED revolutionaries. You have a better chance of seeing a Cuban citizen driving a Rolls Royce, listening to his IPod while eating a Double-beef Whopper than to find one that owns a gun.

At 6:33 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

I never said Cuba was "a paradise". I was only challenging, and still do, the common notion that Marxism doesn't work. The comparison to Haiti may be "myopic", but a more realistic and relative one to comparing Cuba to the United States, a nation with a completely different cultural background, history and geopraphy.

There are other examples that Marxism works. The Maoist Kibbutz system for example built Israel out of nothing. Funny, we even send our kids there because it's good for their character.

And after all the west and the Japanese have done to Vietnam the past 140 years they are now the No.1 (or is it 2?) rice exporter in the world, in contrast to the Philippines, the worlds No.1 exporter of human slaves and prostitution, a U.S. controlled territory for ca. 100 years.

..Gentlemen I'm sorry, got a call, have to run. We'll continue this later-

At 11:33 AM, June 10, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Where were we? Marxism:

Works pretty good in China too. Amazing how well it functions when we don't bomb it or try to strangle it.

Another example is our (U.S. and European agricultural ) policies, State run, Stalinist- central government controlled systems to gaurantee all of us have something to eat when we wake up in the morning. If everything produced was thrown on the market we wouldn't be able to enter the stores. Over supply would cause such a drop in prices farmers would be unable to survive, the exact reason our governments control production, that is, what is produced, when, and by whom.

And it is you I'm afraid who is "idiotic" to assume the Cubans aren't able to aquire weapons on the international market if they wanted them. Indeed I know some Cubans in Florida who would just love to supply them. The will is just not there. Face it.

Not that they wouldn't appreciate a change, as someone above mentioned, they just won't accept it coming from the U.S. (Florida).

As for human righs abuses, no one, not even I, can condone them, in a Marxist or Capitalist country. But in the case of Marxist country's, most of them defending themselves from western de-stabilisation and out-right attacks for decades, I can understand them, in the context of survival that is. I wouldn't of course if the U.S. wasn't overtly and covertly trying to destroy their systems, but we are, so I understand it. If you can't, try imagining America was in danger of collapsing due to foreign designs.

Have to run again-

At 2:50 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

What alternative universe did this "Ho Chi Minh" came from - praising Cuba and Marxism. The same thing was said about Vietnam when I lived there. We had no food, no electricity, and government health care was more likely to kill than to cure. Some workers paradise!

His reference to Vietnam as rice exporter only show his ignorance. When Vietnam still practiced Marxist economy, we had no food. Now that Vietnam abandon Marxism and actually practice capitalism, the country is well-fed. His reference to China as a Marxist country is assanine stupid. China is only Marxist in name, its economy is capitalistic. It abandoned Marxist economy more than 10 years ago.

At 5:25 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Minh Duc:

Which part of Vietnam are you from? When did you live there? It's none of my business of course, ..but are you Catholic?

What makes you think Marx or Marxism has nothing to do with capitalism, economics?

And if countries like Vietnam turned to "capitalism" all on their own why the hell did we bomb them into the stone-age in the first place? Maybe those that said Vietnamese were nationalist first and communist second were right?

When will those that got it wrong be held accountable for the millions of dead and wounded?

And whether you're ready to admit it or not, in comparison to countries of similar and background in the region Cuba has an educational and health system better then any, despite everything America has done to them. Again, child mortality rates in Cuba are equivalent to that in the U.S., a key social indicator, ..particularly if you're a mother.

If Cuba didn't have to spend so much on defense (against us) they might do better. Vietnam might be further along too if we hadn't blown the hell out of it and forced it to divert so much to defense as well.

And are you denying modern Israel was not created out of nothing on a purely Maoist Kibbutz system?

And isn't it funny, the Chinese Communist Party decided all on it's own to adopt some western capitalist principles. Does that mean to you they aren't Communist?

Where did you learn your definition of communism, in Church in the 1950's?

At 7:26 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Bob:

Yes "we" (the U.S.) do send missiles into peoples homes. German cities, civilian targets were levelled at the very end of W.W.II. Atomic bombs over civilian targets in Japan. Free-fire zones in Vietnam.
Other armies that do those sort of things, for example the Israeli or Indonesian forces, are heavily financed by the U.S. as well.

Of course sending missiles into peoples homes is not the definition of terrorism, it's more the use of violence for political gain or aims.
Here the U.S. is King.

At 7:28 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

Ho Chi Minh,

I always find it funny that only Western liberal like yourself who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth praise Marxism. I lived under Communist for 15 years and I can testify that it was a miserable existence. Why would Catholics has to do with anything, they are less than 10 percent of the population.

Perhap you idiotic liberal need a lesson in economic. Vietnam turned away from centralized economy because it did not work and people were starving. The same reason China moved away from central economy - their people were starving. You idiots probably blame the famine on the US. Here is another lesson. When I went to bed hungry in the late 70s and early 80s, Vietnam produced enough food for everybody. But centralized economy meant that farmers turned in all their crops to the government, but inefficiency in distribution meant that they never got to the consumers. We were starving while rice were rotting in government warehouse.

You comparision of Cuba is further stupid. When that idiot Castro seized power, South Korea was five times poorer than Cuba. Now it is six time richer. I am shock at your poor understand of macro-economic. And if you believe the propaganda from Havana, you are really stupid. Nobody can verify anything Castro said.

No I did not learn Communims in Church. I am an agnostic. You make a lot of stupid assumption. Unlike you idiotic socialist, I learn Communism while being oppressed by it. In fact, studying Communism was mandatory when I went to school. We were forced to say how great The Party is, knowing that it is rotten to the core. Imagine that, a full hour of stupid propaganda everyday. Screw you and your socialism.

At 2:16 AM, June 12, 2005, Anonymous bob said...


I was being ironic. My point was to agree with you in a backhanded way. Go back and look at my comment. Stick it to them, comrade.

At 5:14 AM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Minh Duc,

Hey bub, let's not get personel, OK?

There's plenty of places on this earth pal, under a western capitalist system that have never been bombed to hell like Vietnam, where people are just as miserable or worse off then you were. Try to look at the big picture, the road your country had to travel to get where it is. Don't be a jerk and look at America's wealth and think, wow, they're rich, that's the best system. America's "success" story is filled with misery, abuse, corruption and in-humanity, on a much grander, intrnational scale then Vietnam's. And being the richest country on earth there's loads of American's today, particularly with families, that dream of living in European socialist system, where health, housing and education are a given.

Can you explain your hate for socialism for me? Where it comes from? Is it because you and your family suffered, or because you've really checked out how, and at what human, international cost the west got where it is today? Why am I proud of your country for standing up against foreign domination, in a way few have ever done before, when you're proud of my country, the one that screwed yours and a hundred others along the way?

I presumed you were Catholic because your comments sounded like the old anti-communist crap from the '50's. And you're right, what do the Catholics, a 10% minority have to do with it? Only they were the one's the French and American's backed when we blew your land to hell. We backed the minority. You're right, they shouldn't have had anything to do with it, but unfortunately had everything to do with it.

Ah, and Vietnam was producing enough food, only lacked the distribution techniques to deliver it? And they fixed it. A Communist Party fixed it. They learned from their mistakes. So what's your problem? We could have helped them fix it 50 years ago but decided to level the country instead. If you don't think that has anything to do with the State of Vietnam today it is you living in an "alternative univerise" my friend, not me.

I wanted to ask you, tell me if it's true or not, that in the North, even when we were bombing it, people leased the land on collectives, but could own their own homes. In addition production incentives were built in so that anything produced over the State quota could be sold on a private market for personal gain. Is that true? Were there personal stalls?

Your comparison of Cuba to Souzth Korea is kind of fair. Cuba was a slave, agricultural society where Korea was previously only an agricultural one, ..and Catholic, that magic component to any country's success. Anti-communist at all costs. And when democracy got too democratic anti-democratic too, like in 1983 when 3000 pro-democracy students were gunned down, in South Korea, not Cuba. No doubt, the Asian's are an industrious bunch. When the west helpes them along where they need it, and doesn't carpet bomb them, they are capable of almost anything.

And I don't have to believe the propoganda from Havana as much as as I would from the U.S. either. There are enough international observers, health, social or other-wise in Cuba reporting their findings. In the end Cuban's will decide what they want. The way it should be in the first place.

And I was wondering, if you don't mind elaborating, how were you oppressed by Communism?

And don't be surprised, there's plenty of American kids that stand up and say the pledge of alligiance to th United States everyday and know it's a load of crap too. Your response sounds all very personal. Again maybe you should try taking in the bigger picture, and realise things today have infinately more to do with the past then the present.

At 5:16 AM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Hi Bob:

Caught me off guard. Not used to humour in this swamp of ...:-)

At 5:24 AM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Oh, Minh Duc,

And I always find it humorous when people from Marxist countries move to western capitalist ones and don't see the Marxist elements of our society, or the socialist-communist foot-print left on it: Like equal rights, education for all, welfare, the eight-hour working day, job safety, racial equality, and the right to vote, all things that might cut "our competitive edge", but make America a much better place to live. Oh, and the centrally planned Agricultural system that feeds everybody. And America's State planned, publicly funded military, a little short on intelligent ledership, but with out a doubt the most capable on earth.

At 10:57 AM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

Ho Chi Minh,

You are seriously delusional. Let me you my story and you decide if Communism is such a great system. My respond is personal because my experience was painfully personal.

When the Communist overran the South. They put my father and uncles in the concentration camp for three years. Many never survived the camp. What was my father crime? He was an elected provincial senator. They did not care that he was on the Opposition Party to the South Government. Do see any Opposition party in Vietnam now? Hell No.

When I was 12, in middle of the night, I witnessed my father being dragged out of the house by secret police. this time, we did not know if he was dead or alive. We finally found where he was detained by bribing a govenment official. What was his crime? He was never charged with anything. We speculate the reason for his detention is because he befriended a dissident poet. He was beaten and held in solitary confinement for three years.

I know plenty of other kids who fathers were detained for no reason. In Vietnam at the time, listening to foreign radio is a crime. But the government radio is full of stupid propaganda. So we listen to BBC, VOA, and Radio Free Asia. I turned the volume so low that I had to put my ears next to the speaker. It is a great risk we all took because one can end up in jail for many years.

You seem to be a anti-Catholic bigot but my parent are both Buddhists. Most of the temples in Vietnam were confiscated, monks were detained. Our Patriarch is currently still in prison. Communist are equal alright. They equally oppressed all religion. Some paradise!

The Economy was shity because the government nationalized everything. The good bycicle from the same factory became dangerous to ride. Bycicles frequently broke in half for no apparent reason. There was no food or electricity. The government claim to provide healthcare for all citizen (just like Castro currently claim). One tend to stay away from hospital because incompetent doctors killed more often than cured. In Vietnam, one do not get to become doctor or engineer or anything important without being first a loyal member of the Communist Party. Competency was not the prerequesite.

Not only afer the collapse of the Soviet Union and it gotten so bad that the government reverse their decision and allow private ownership of businesses. As soon as the government let the people own property, sell and buy freely, half of the problems went away. The government did not fix anything. Only an idiot think that if a person stop destroying thing, it is equal to fixing.

Do you think I am justified in hating Socialism? Do you I am justified to call people who still support Socialism an idiot?

At 6:40 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Minh Duc:

There you go getting personal again. Why don't you relax? ..I thought you said you were a Buddhist? :-)

I having nothing against Catholics, some of my best friends are Catholics. I just think they should stick to religion and stay out of para-military operations, ..like in your country, from 1858-1975.

I'm sorry for your family and your sad experience in southern Vietnam after the war. I would be careful though not to chalk up all the bad experiences you lived through to socialism. Had southerners in my country (the U.S.) "sided" with an invader for so long, as they destroyed our country, I can imagine what we would do them. Traitors, execution, the whole nine yards. And if you doubt that for a second it is you who are "delusional". This is not a capitalist or communist phenomenon, this is just "human".

That your father was actually against the southern regime is indeed unfortunate. Again, war has no time to think, and has a way of running over people, everywhere. Good generals and military people don't always make the best leaders after the fighting is over either, but doesn't mean Vietnam's fight against foreign domination wasn't legitamite. And there is no doubt ) that after being cheated out of independence so many times, when the war was over there was a concerted effort to grab it and cement it once and for all, and quickly.

All I can tell you is Vietnam's fate, your fate, was avoidable.
You're foolish to idiolise the people and system that tortured and sold your country down the drain for so many years, chastising those that
stood up so bravely to foreign domination.

I don't "approve" of anything that happened there, but I can understand it. You can't because all you see is your short sighted personal experience. That's just fucking stupid. Grow up. Your country is a product of it's history and enviroment (and you were born on the wrong side of the fence). Welcome to planet earth.

At 7:36 PM, June 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There you go getting personal again. Why don't you relax?"

"all you see is your short sighted personal experience. That's just fucking stupid. Grow up."

A typical authoritarian, hypocritical and argues by using insults and intimidation.

At 9:51 PM, June 12, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

How funny,

Ho Chi Minh think that I should be proud of the people who took away my freedom and made my life miserable; but I should not idolize the system that brought me individual liberty, political freedom, and prosperity. You are a nutcase.

And if you think those Communists were fighting against foreign domination, you re even more delusional. What do you call being a Soviet's vassal if not foreign domination. The Comunist fought the South to bring Vietnam into the fold of Communism. South Vietnam was flaw but it was far better than the Tyranny up North. We had legal opposition parties, the North had (and still has) one party. They had bloody land-reform that killed a million of people, we did not have that. They sent million of young men to their death for a meaningless war. Their so called liberation were consist of murdering everyone who disagreed with them. During the Tet Offensive, 5,000 civilians were massacred in Hue, some were my family. They are nothing but mass murderers. They did not liberate the South, the enslaved it.

You know little about the world and you know even less about my birth country history, or any history. I take it personal because you and your ilks provide aid and support to tyrannies all over the world. I consider your kind the worst of enemies.

I hate arrogant bastard who think that he has the right to criticize me who actually experienced the oppression, then has the audacity to praise my oppressor. We call those people jackass.

At 12:40 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:42 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

Just ignore what I wrote above. Let me put thing in perspective. There was a lady who was violently raped. Long after the incident, at a party, the name of the rapist came up (who is a serial rapist), and a person praise this rapist as a wonderful brave and wise person. The lady, the rape victim, then retold her traumatized experience.

This person then said it is too bad that the lady was raped, but this rapist is a wonderful person. He "does not approve what happened there" but he "can understand it." He then say that the rape is justified by blaming the whole incident on a person who actually tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent the lady from being raped. He then criticize the lady for letting her "shortsight experience" from seeing how wonderful this serial rapist is. He also criticize the poor lady for "getting pesonal."

Do you think it is more than justified for the lady to heap every invectives and insults at this asshole? I am in fact describing Communist sympathizers. Their ilks deserve not a single kind word or one single gesture of courtesy. They deserve nothing but absolute contempt equal to that of rapist sympathizers.

At 7:19 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

We're getting off track.

I still do not understand why you laud the country and system that destroyed yours, leaving you with the radicalised remains. Has the U.S. not commited atrocities and blundered against it's own people, and others? Why don't you see that? Because YOU don't suffer in America? Because YOU prospered there? But at what cost and to whom? Or in your world do YOU only matter?

The North did not try to bring the South into the communist fold, it sought to return it to the Vietnamese fold, something that was garaunteed them in Geneva in 1954, AFTER THEY HAD DEFEATED THE FRENCH AFTER YEARS OF BLOODY WARFARE, AND WERE CHEATED BY THE WEST AGAIN.
The fact that the North was communist by this point has more to do with western betrayal and aggression then communism itself. Ho just wanted to free his country, not to mention have their international agreements honoured. Nor did Russia ever wish to get mixed up in this and antagonise the west over Indochina, a region it never showed an interest in. Historically Russia gave a hoot for Indochina, and I can sit here all day writing about how and when Moscow sold Ho Chi Minh down the river. Moscow did not want this war. I can elaborate if you wish, when I have more time, but I get the feeling you only care about YOU.

Again your view of a monolithic communism controlling everyone is false, but with all the bull-shit flying around I can understand why you regurgitate it with such conviction.

After the U.S. started bombing "North" Vietnam though Russia was forced to show an interest. For now I'll ask you to produce one U.S. government document or source indicating Russian arms shipments to "North" Vietnam prior to 1965. Produce one. I'm not talking about aid, damns, roads, telephone systems etc., I'm talking about military aid, arms shipments prior to '65, the point where we started regular bombing of it, with B-52's.

In addition Ho Chi Minh's rise to prominence in your country, modern Vietnam's destiny, your destiny, was due to Ho's relationship with the United States, (in W.W.II), not the Russians. Before that he was a minor figure among 100's of anti-Japanese anti-French revolutionary groups. It was his work with the American's that catapulted him to the forefront of Vietnamese politics, not the Russians. After W.W.II, seeing colonialism returning, he sought protection from the U.S., offering to make Vietnam an American Protectorate, among other things. But not to alienate (piss off) the Europeans, who wanted their colonies back, we sold Ho and your people out, not to mention our own ideals and principles. Everyone, including yourself, would pay for that betrayal.

After the English re-armed 105,000 Japanese POW's, and the French brought in Nazi's in the Foreign Legion to overthrow Ho's pro-American government in 1945 (a single house legislature by the way), U.S. General Douglas McCartur said this:

"If there's anything that makes my blood boil it is to see our Allies in Indochina and Java deploying Japanese troops to reconquer the little people we promised to liberate. It is the most ignoble kind of betrayal".

My blood is still boiling. Why isn't yours?

The fact is both the west and Moscow treated your people as pawns in a greater game. That Vietnamese stood up and proved people are not made of wood will be your country's greatest legacy. You shouild be proud of it.

If someone floods your village do you curse the water as you drown, or the people that opened the flood gates in the first place, in this case the natural human desire to repel a brutal invader.
Blame the invaders, don't embrace them. Japan, England, France and America invaded your country. Try to remember that when you're not thinking about YOURSELF.

(And you have not yet responded to my claims (of U.S. government sources) of worker incentives, private ownership and private market stalls in communist Vietnam, even as we were bombing it.)

At 7:25 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Minh Duc:
Oh, and please identify for me the opposition parties you mentioned in "South" Vietnam.

The Land Reform figures in "North" Vietnam have been examined and proved utterly exagerated. We can talk about that next if you want.

The U.S., with Diem and alone, rounded up over 100,000 people and executed them without triaL: What's your point again? It was war? Why was it war? Who started it? Why did it happen?

At 7:30 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Oh, just to remind you, there is an overabundance of electricity in Vietnam due to the gigantic hydro-electric damns built by the Soviets. A lot is sold to their neighbours to balance national payments, and domestic distribution of it is again a problem. I'll bet the'll firgure it out though.

At 7:38 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To Anonymus:

"A typical authoritarian, hypocritical and argues by using insults and intimidation.".

Funny how people can get angered and seem authoritarian after they've been handled poorly and treated with dis-respect. Until then you'll notice I was doing fine.

You've proved my point and captured the last century of international conflict in a nut-shell. Thanks.

We're all human, aren't we? How 'bout treating everyone with respect. Maybe we'd have less problems, ..because we wouldn't be creating them.

At 9:50 AM, June 13, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...


Explain to me why there the whole beach-front (the best beach in the South) of Vunh Tau city I could not enter, which reserved for vacationing Soviet citizens. Explain to me how the Soviet supplied Vietnam with 2 billion in military aid annually - but little in economic aid. Explain why the Soviet Pacific Fleet took over Cam Ranh Bay, a vast area, which no Vietnames were allowed to enter. We could enter when the US 7th fleet was in Cam Ranh. Where do you think the Viet-Minh got their heavy artileries to shell the French into submission in Dien Bien Phu? Why do you think their tanks and heavey weapontries were superior to the South, both in quantity and quality.

On the political parties, my father belong to the Progressive Party (Vietnamese: Cap-Tien) There were at least two other well known parties, Viet-Nam-Quoc-Dan-Dang (The Nationalist Party), Dai-Viet (The Greater Vietnam Party). The governing party of Nguyen Van Thieu was the Dan-Chu (Democrat). There were many other nationalist parties long before Ho came to the scene. Most of them were founded in the North. But in 1954, they disappeared from the North and existed in the South until 1975. Do you see any opposition in Vietnam now?

Land reform was exagerated? Tell that to my dead grandfather who was executed for owning land. For you information, he was a supporter of your beloved Ho Chi Minh, sent two of his sons (my older unles) to fight with the Viet-Minh, both died. When Ho declared independence in 1945, my grandfather sold all of the family heirloom and jewerlries to support Ho. What did he get in return? They burried him to his neck and drove a plowshare over. The rest of the family fled to the South after that. Ho received a lot of support in 1945, by 1954, many people like my family realized that he was no nationalist, just murderous Communist. What kind of liberator/nationalist kill their own supporters?

People died under Diem but nowhere near the number that through the intimidation campaign by the Communist in the South. It was difficult to kill many people when Diem only controlled the cities and his reign lasted only a few years. In the countryside which the Communist control, civil servants were randomly murdered, even religious leaders were not spared. The Prophet Huynh Phu So, who was anti-French religious leader of the Hoa-Hao sect. He went to meet a local Communist leader and they assasinated him.

Speaking of collective farming. Farmers could not trade, they could keep part of the crop for personal consumption. Everything else go to the cooperative. This was why in the South, people in the cities were starving but not in the countryside. It got worsen over the years because farmers had no incentive to produce more than they can eat. Where do you get the stupid information about electricity. Even now, electricity is available only in the cities, towns, and hamlets on the outskirt of those towns. When I was there, even the cities had no electricity. Even with the hydroelectric damn (which was small), electricity did not improve until after the government began economic reform. Of course I have not gotten into the stupid new-economic zone and other stupid economic programs that they came up with.

In short, the South Vietnamese Government was a corrupt regime that is why my father sided with the Opposition. The stole and they cheated. But they were the lesser evil, in fact they were preferable by most South Vietnamese to what came later. Everybody supported Ho Chi Minh and his party earlier on before we realized that he was a mass murderer and a Commintern missionary. Having a choice between a government of petty thiefs and a government of mass murderers, which one do you pick?

If you think this is only about me, you are one arrogant bastard. I have witnessed what Communism did to my people - all the unneccessary death and destruction for an abstract ideology that they themselves later admited it was wrong. Only idiots still buy into their shit.

At 6:09 AM, June 14, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Minh Duc,

The Soviet's probably kept you off their bases for security reasons, beaches for, ..privacy perhaps, security again? Maybe they didn't like Vietnamese around, maybe they were rascist, my original point. The Soviets never cared for Indochina.

Again the 2 Billion in military aid you're speaking of came after 1965, after we started bombing the North.
Why no other kind of aid? Maybe because 2 billion was all they could afford? Maybe because all they cared about was their military strategic position. They never cared for Indochina. The aid given between 1954-65 (non-military) was a deal to get the Viet Minh to the negotiating table in Geneva. France put them up to it, and promised the Soviets to stay out of Nato for the face saving manouver.

The Viet Minh got their artillery from China during Dien Bien Phu (1954), not the Soviet Union. Since you mentione that place I will remind you the French got wiped out there in 1945, when their collaboration (fence sitting) with the Japanese abruptly ended and they headed north tot he American zone of southern China. Grouping in Dien Bien Phu, their calls for help to the American's went un-answered, and all were wiped out. Apparently Roosevelt was as bitter for their betrayal (working with the Japanese) as McCarthur. Another story conveniently forgotten. The Vietnamese were angry as well, two-thirds of their population starved to death under dual French-Japanese occupation, with two armies to feed, fuel in the fire to come.

Thanks for the names of the political parties. I'm not so informed of the years after 1960. I was aware at Diem's arrival in '54 he eliminated all opposition parties and press, and passed a law allowing arrest and execution without trial.
This sounds like the kind of democracy America likes to export, eliminate the opposition, murder them, torture and terrorise them, then when all the undesirable's are cleansed or intimidated have a "fair" election (Central and South America). This is standard.

In the North there was only one party, maybe a few small worker affiliates. In communism there is only one party, but in the case of Vietnam, one with many different view points. As for Land Reform they realised things got out of hand and purged the memebrs responsible, desolved the Lao Dong Party, fired the Secretary General, as soon as it became apparent what was happening in the country-side. The world knew first about it becaus the North reported it.

As for the actual figures, let me first pay respects to your grand-father. .."What kind of liberator/nationalist kill their own supporters?"? Stupid ones. Mistakes were made, power given to people unprepared to handle it, lines of communication were poor, orders mis-understood or interpreted. Lots of animosity had built up after our's, then Frances betrayal in 1945, millions died during the French Indochina War, not to mention the colonial period. Redistributing land to the poorest peasants one could discuss, murder in this form is not, and I certainly don't condone it.

As for the actual Land Reform figures being exagerated or not, the only way to explain it is look at them yourself: Estimates range from 10,000 to 1.5 million. I'm in a discussion at the moment with Michael B., and will zap you a copy of the research, sources, and controversary surrounding all this we're already writing about.

As for all the killing and assasinating, from the North or South, there is no doubt the Communists were ruthless, eliminating all in their way. This is Communist doctrine, and apparently American too, as Diem slaughtered his in the south. Communist doctrine is: When strike, be ruthless, there won't be another chance again. Strangely though Ho Chi Minh varied from this course in 1945, sitting on his hands waiting for the U.S. or Russia to save his newly declared Republic from French-English-Chinese designs. It didn't work. He signed deals in 1946 and '48, both agreements the French broke, and slung Vietnam into the brutal Indo-china war. After 1948 Ho Chi Minh was jailed by his own party for his transgressions of communist doctrine (later released on Soviet orders). Be ruthless. Unfortunately dealing with the Europeans and American's there wasn't much room for manouvering, no other choice.

Again, I do not condon communist doctrine, particularly summary executions to fill an imaginary quota. Yet the concept of 20 poor farmers sharing one tractor, and re-distributing land to hungry peasants taken away to serve large foreign interests is logical. No one would agree to French colonial style rule today. That the judgement along the way to Vietnam's independence was not always judicial (or moral) is more then tragic, yet it is a trip that had to be made.

Again, French and American betrayal's fueled the fire. Nor was this anthing new. Communist doctrine sized up their enemy well when formulating their strategies. Their secret police was based on the French Surete.

As you said, "everyone was for Ho Chi Minh" at one time. That was the time he was with the American's, when Vietnam declared it's independence. What would have happened if America did make Vietnam a protectorate, bringing it under it's unbrella? Certainly things would have turned out different. Or do you believe that communists like to go to war, kill innocent people, and is everywhere only a group of like minded evil monsters? They're communist, and brutal, because they had to be in this world.

I can understand very well how you, from your experiences and what you saw, have turned away from communism. Yet there are those that saw the same brutality, injustice and inhumanity from capitalists. What would you say to them, some one who's grandfather had his head kicked off and used as a French polo-ball, etc., etc. What would you say to all those millions of victimes of western injustice?

The only point I'm trying to make is
injustice breeds injustice, violence violence. Do no harm to any one, and they will most likely do no harm to you. Other then an occassional Chinese invasion Vietnam was a pretty sleepy place before the white catholics arrived. Look at the chronological progression of violence and injustice, opportunities for peace that were missed, how your country was tossed about with no regard what-so-ever of the consequences.

Vietnam was left no choice but to fight. And fight and win it did.

I only thought this was about you because that was all you talked about, your experiences etc.

And don't forget, communists are capitalists, only recognise its limits and diminishing returns if left uncontrolled. Take a good look at U.S.-European agricultural policy, a completely state controlled apparatus, from what's produced, by whom, and when it's produced, to stabilise prices, insure farmerts make an income, and we have something to eat every morning. This is not a free market.
And you may not think you buy into "communist bull-shit", but you do it everyday, every day you go to the super market for something to eat.

There are other examples of Marxism working, but have to get ready for work-


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