On Grave Blunders by the Communist Party of Vietnam Against The Nation and Vietnamese Buddhism.
The Most Senior Venerable Thich Quang Do
Even prior to April 30, 1975, and then after the communists were victorious and started the retaliatory class struggle against southern capitalists, millions of people have been fleeing the country. Even to-date (1992), people continue to escape the country. Among those who escaped by boats, how many unfortunate people sank to the bottom of the ocean or became fish baits? How many people reached some country but their boats were pushed back to the ocean; and what were their fates after that? How many people were robbed and raped by pirates who then threw their bodies into the ocean? How many people, who even though reached freedom but were so scared from having witnessed what happened during the risky journey, became crazy and lost their reason? And how many people still live like 2-legged animals in refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia? How many people died in prisons among hundreds of thousands of army officials and staff from the old regime whom the communists forced into re-education? And right in Vietnam currently, how many intellectuals, professors, artists, and ordained monastics are being maltreated in communist prisons or being sent to exile for raising their voices of conscience and wish for their people to enjoy genuine freedom and democracy? Nobody knows any of this.
It is quite horrible. Throughout 4,000 years of national history, there has been no era that is as disastrous as the current one. Even under feudal and colonist rules, nobody fled the country; however, today the country has “independence, freedom, happiness”, what does it mean when millions of people flee the country in spite of dangers and death? Many people say that due to poverty, Vietnamese fled the country to seek a better life. That is not quite true. In almost the last 20 years, numerous people have traded their entire fortune and establishment that could provide them with multiple lifetimes of comfort for freedom, and if unfortunately if they drown in the ocean, they are willing to accept their fate and say that that is a refreshing way to die!
Even at this time (1992), when capitalist countries have come to Vietnam to invest, the economy is growing, and life is relatively more prosperous than before; but supposedly if some country who is generous enough and be willing to accept Vietnamese immigrants, or if there is some habitable island on which the international community help Vietnamese migrate and the Hanoi government allows them to freely leave the country, I am confident that half the population of Vietnam, if not more, will flee the country without hesitation or regret.
Why is that? Because in Vietnam, currently there is a crime called “destruction of social security order” which is so vast. This crime is so boundless that nobody knows how to avoid it. Therefore people live in a state of suspended anxiousness like a fish on a cutting board, not knowing when they will be arrested if they accidentally say something that the Communist Party is not pleased and then they will be accused of the above crime and will disappear at night; nobody in the neighborhood will know. Therefore, every time someone wants to say anything political, he or she has to watch his or her back; even look under the beds or tables to make sure that nobody can eavesdrop, and then says it. However, they dare not say it out loud, and only whisper like they are planning to rob someone’s house, because they are afraid that someone is hiding somewhere and eavesdropping.
Someone in Vu Doai village came to the temple and asked me for some ancient Vietnamese words to hang in front of ancestor’s altar during Vietnamese New Year. I thought that, to hang in front of ancestor’s altar, there was no other words more appropriate than the 4 very popular words “Drinking Water, Thinking Source”, meaning that one has to be grateful to their ancestors. But the police came and asked the home owner what those words meant since the the policeman did not know ancient Vietnamese language. After listening to the home owner’s explanation, the policeman said “Be careful or the thug (i.e., me) plans to speak politics in it!”
Living in a society where one is constantly being watched and suspected, even the four words “Drinking Water, Thinking Source” are suspected of being political. Just as I have been exiled for 10 years to date (1982 – 1992) only for the crime of “doing religious work is the same as committing political acts”, then I simply think that nobody can be happy, even if he or she is sitting on a mountain of gold. Therefore, if there is an opportunity at any time, Vietnamese are going to be willing to flee the country; it is not the reason of poverty or economic hardship.
I’d like to present an ancient story to prove that point. Confucius went to the country of Qi, upon passing Taishan mountain, he saw a woman crying anguishingly in the rice field. Confucius said to his subordinates “Perhaps the woman suffers double deaths in her family”, and then he summoned Tzeu Koung to asked the woman. The woman said “There are so many tigers in this area, my father-in-law died from the tigers, my husband died from the tigers, and now my son died from the tigers. It is so tragic!” Tzeu Koung asked “Why don’t you move to another place” The woman responded “But local official policies in this area are not as harsh as they are in other places.” Tzeu Koung told Confucius about the story; Confucius said “You all remember this: politics is deadlier than powerful tigers!”
Similarly, millions of Vietnamese are fleeing the country because they are afraid of a ruthless political regime, not because of poverty; as I said above, there are people whose wealth can feed them many lifetimes still flee the country and even if they die in the ocean, they are willing to accept it. Thus, this proves that they are afraid of stifling politics more than death, hence Confucius said “Politics is deadlier than powerful tigers”.
Throughout 21 long years (1954 -1975), communist Vietnamese maximized the manpower of North Vietnamese and of majority of South Vietnamese to try to “fight until the Americans get out, until South Vietnam falls”. In 1974, the American really “got out” after 20 years of dropping millions of tons of bombs and chemical agents on Vietnam’s soil, and then in 1975, South Vietnam did “fall”, the communist were completely victorious and reaching the zenith of glory. But after 18 years (1975 – 1992) of glorious victory, when Eastern European bloc and the Soviet Union were disintegrated, communist Vietnamese realized that they were hanging in the thin air without any support; and to save the shattered economy to which nobody would lend money, communist Vietnamese had to swallow their pride and invite the Americans to return, hoping that the embargo would be lifted. But unfortunately, the American were aloof and set forth demand after demand, the primary of which was that more than 2 thousands missing American troops during Vietnam war had to be accounted for.
Communist Vietnamese had to spend energy to dig up every piece of dry bone, and each time the communists gave the remains to the Americans, they were “rewarded” with something according to the agreement. Did communist Vietnamese feel “uncomfortable”? Here, I would like to also say to the gentlemen in the American government that, if you reward the communists, please be clear that the rewards are for the communists; our Vietnamese people, with the tradition from Ly Thai To, Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Nhan Tong, Tran Hung Dao, Le Loi, Nguyen Trai …etc, have never been your commissioned diggers, and so don’t say that you rewarded Vietnam. It is quite bittersweet, the Americans dropped millions of tons of bomb and orange agents onto Vietnam that killed more than 1 million Vietnamese, causing disabilities to numerous people and birth defects due to poisonous chemicals, and its atrocious effects last for more generations. But the Americans have so much dollars (which the communists previously said ‘blood money’), therefore the communists had to try to please them. Powerless Vietnamese were treated like animals by the communists, hence people in the North had to say “eat like pigs, live like rats, work like buffaloes, treated like dogs”. And the Most Venerable Thich Huyen Quang and I were forced to raise our voice protesting against immoral and illegal actions, because the communists destroyed statues and temples, use temples for birth centers and movie theaters, arbitrarily imprisoned monks and nuns; we did not try to compete for power against them. But they still arrested and sent us to exile for dozens of years to this day.
More than 2,000 missing American soldiers are being searched for; who is looking for the 300,000 missing North Vietnamese communist soldiers? The “puppets” who “fell” and escaped before April 30, 1975, and those who escaped by boats after that, were denounced as traitors by the communists; now became foreigners of Vietnamese descent, and if they want to return with pockets full of dollar bills to visit their old home town, they will be praised as “patriotic Vietnamese in abroad”!
Another peculiar issue is that in 1954 in the North and 1975 in the South, the communists eliminated countless of Vietnamese capitalists; and now they lay down the red carpets for foreign capitalists to come in; what else is more contradictory? Would have it been better if the communists had invited foreign capitalists in 1954, or at least in 1975? Why did they have to wait for 40 years (1954-1986), after failing to “dig grave to bury the capitalist thugs alive”, and after countless tragedies, destruction, and deaths, only then to invite foreign capitalists? The Communist Party frequently says “Who will be victorious, socialism or capitalism?” Today, it is clear that capitalism has won: it has been lying in the yard, in headboards, even in the Party’s pockets. Socialism is only a shell; and it is only fashionable for it to be thrown into the trash! Words are appropriate only if the name is righteous.
The leading party is the Communist Party, the country’s name is Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the economy is capitalist market economy; why the names so patchy? They don’t sound quite right. It would have been better if the Socialist Republic of Soviet still existed; now, there is only the lone Socialist Vietnam, which sounds so lost.
The communists killed all landowners only to apply landowner’s policy of renting land for commission; the communists dug the graves to bury domestic capitalist thugs only to invite foreign capitalists to come in. This is quite a confusing circle. But the communists’ lips keep saying they are the revolution! One of these days, the country’s resources, from dirt to gold, will be completely scrounged by foreign octopuses. If, over the past half century, Vietnamese people could carry out a revolution like Japan’s Meiji Reform instead of the hostile class struggle to kill one another, Vietnam today would have had abundant talent and technologies to control and explore the nation’s resources and not been 30-40 years behind and had to laboriously catch up neighboring countries like it is doing today. But while Vietnam is trying to narrow that 30-40 year gap, these countries has further advanced; thus Vietnam has to keep chasing their tails. It needs to be reminded that those neighboring countries such as Thailand, Singapore …and so on, were considered by the Communist Vietnamese to be imperialist American’s puppets. Now Vietnam has to follow those puppets! Even more honorable, Vietnam begs to join that ‘puppet’ bloc and invite the puppets to be economic advisors!
On this occasion, I would like to tell foreign capitalists that, you keep saying Vietnam is a market with 72 million consumers. You are not thinking correctly, as it is not as lucrative as you have thought. Take this: eighty percent of Vietnamese population are farmers living in the countryside, and it is already challenging enough for Vietnamese farmers to worry about not having enough rice to eat; they can never dream about your expensive merchandise. You have to remember that Vietnam is still one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world with gross income average under 200 dollars per year, whereas Japan’s GDP is 7,000 per year. Based on that, how many hundred years does Vietnam have to play catch up with Japan? Where do you find the 72 million consumers to be lucrative? If there is anyone lucrative, it is the red capitalists, corrupted officials, and illegal traders. The absolute majority of Vietnamese don’t dare touching your Coca Cola bottles, much less other merchandise. So, if you include the entire 72 million consumers for profits, you will lose big time!
In short, the Communist Party of Vietnam has committed the following blunders against the nation of Vietnam:
- The Party has tied Vietnam’s future into international socialist ideology, use the people of Vietnam to fight and eliminate capitalism in order to preach socialism globally with the slogan “Who will win between capitalism and socialism; fight the French and Americans to protect the socialist bloc’ ‘forefront’ (i.e, Vietnam) causing Vietnamese to suffer the war for influence between international capitalist and socialist blocs throughout 29 years (1946 – 1975) in Vietnam, causing 3 million deaths, 4 millions people injured, half tons of bombs, deforestation chemicals to destroy the country and cause unfathomable damages to future generations.
- Established an authoritarian political regime who does not accept the opposition; controls everything, running this country like its own property, collecting all the power in the hands of a group of individuals; condones corruption that lead to abuse of power, rampant bribery, governance by interest, killing anyone at will, imprisoning anyone at will; strangle all the seeds of free thinking: intelligent creative people who can benefit the country but disagree with the Party pretend to be deaf and dumb, and dare not speak out so they won’t be harmed, this results in countless talents having to live in downfall and the nation to fall into the current standing of one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world.
One needs not talk about the past, only the present: how many talented Vietnamese in all fields are there in the world who can develop the country quickly? How many of them dare to come back to contribute to the country’s rebuilding? On top of that, the one remaining in the country have found all routes to escape out of the country to help make others rich! That is a tragedy of a cruel totalitarian regime! At the same time, the Communist Party of Vietnam had to invite President Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore (an island nation of few million people) whom the Communist Vietnamese had previously labeled an American puppet to be an economic advisor for the Communist, only to be rejected by Mr. Lee! Only 18 years ago (1975 – 1992), communist Vietnamese said proudly that “One will meet heroes in every neighborhood in Vietnam! Hanoi is the heart of mankind”, and at the time (1975), Mr. Le Duan who was the Communist Party of Vietnam’s General Secretariat declared in Saigon that “From now on, no foreign state dares to peek into Vietnam anymore.” Now, Vietnam has to swallow its pride and invite “American puppets” to be advisors, only to be rejected! What else is more ironic? What else is more painful? What else is more shameful?
- Instigate hostile class struggle with the innovation and denouncement in 1956 in the North, causing 700,000 people to lose their lives and all properties dissipated.
- Kill landowners and wealthy farmers for land to be distributed to farmers, after that forced people to collect all their rice fields into Cooperatives to create a communist-controlled economic system. That agricultural Cooperative building progress squandered countless public wealth and efforts throughout 26 years (1960 – 1986), causing poverty to people only to disband and destroy the Cooperatives and return to the renting rice fields for commission policy by former landowners in the countryside, and breakup government’s enterprises, declare bankruptcy as in capitalists’ the free market economy in the cities.
- In 1954 in the North and after 1975 in the South, mobilized the hostile class struggle against Vietnamese capitalists that caused millions people to flee the country to abroad, only to currently invite foreign capitalists to do business with and to develop so that it could learn from the capitalists.
- Use Marxist-Leninist ideology as the foundation for all aspects of social activities; teach people hostile class struggle as a means to robbing one another of meals; eliminate all moral values, traditional compassion and piety, and destroy all mental and substantial inheritance from Vietnamese ancestors and forefather that the communists consider feudal remnants.
(End of Part 1 – Grave Blunders of the Communist Party of Vietnam Against The Nation of Vietnam)