Tuesday, August 26, 2008

US Gives NVA and VC 33 Million- Why?

Posted on June 09, 2006

The US has given the communist Vietnamese over 33 million dollars. Why did we not get any live American POWs back in return. They sure were in their havds after the war and most of the information about them is still classified.

Danny "Greasy" Belcher, Executive Director Task Force Omega of KY Inc. Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69 "D" Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav

June 2006


US Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson made that statement during his April 26-28 visit to Vietnam. This was Nicholson’s first return trip to Vietnam after serving there in l966 in the Central Highlands.

Could Nicholson be wrong about this? Is the US now funding the heath care of our former enemies while the under funded Veterans Administration shorts our own veterans here in the US?

At an April news conference in Hanoi, VA Secretary Nicholson was asked repeatedly why Washington had not compensated Vietnamese Veterans for health defects blamed on Agent Orange. Nicholson replied, “That the US Congress has passed laws instructing Veterans Affairs to really take care of American veterans who served in Vietnam for any of their illnesses or disabilities to include Agent Orange.”

What Nicholson said next was rather shocking to this Vietnam Veteran who served with the Regional Forces/Popular Forces of the South Vietnamese Army. Nicholson informed those present that the US has already given 33 million for Vietnamese Veterans.

I will give Nicholson the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t know that the 33 million goes only to the victor’s military veterans, the former Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army veterans. And not one cent goes to our former allies, the South Vietnamese Soldiers and the Montagnards that Nicholson himself fought beside while he served as a paratrooper in the Central Highlands near Pleiku.

Secretary Nicholson apparently doesn’t know how the present communist government of Vietnam still treats our former allies today. The Montagnards are facing what many human rights advocates refer to as genocide today in what used to be their traditional homeland in the Central Highlands.

Former South Vietnamese soldiers, those that could not flee Vietnam and those that survived the death camps cleverly disguised as “reeducation camps” still face harsh discrimination in today’s Vietnam. Labeled gangsters and criminals by the present communist government, their cemeteries have been bull dozed into oblivion and job applications trace family history back three generations -and those not allied to the past communist cause are relegated to a cycle of poverty.

The hypocrisy of the present communist government is that they want to preach forgiveness and leave the past behind in regard to the war, so both the US and Vietnam can embrace the future together. But it is the communist party that holds the power in Vietnam (less than 2 % of the population) and they are the worst offenders of living in the past and not forgiving of the South Vietnamese Army Veterans.

Lt. General Le Minh Dao, famous SVN General who defeated 3 NVA divisions in the last battle of the Vietnam, knows how the Hanoi leaders treated the Southerners after the war. “The communists killed 250,000 south Vietnamese soldiers, government workers, and teachers in their concentration camps.” General Dao was released in l992 after spending 17 years in a prison camp, the first 5 years locked in a cage.”

What VA Secretary should know, is that the Vietnamese Veterans Association commanded by Lt. General Dang Quan Thuy who he met with on his Vietnam trip, is not a private Veterans organization like our American Legion and VFW. It takes its marching orders from the communist party.

Here is how the Hanoi government treats it’s own veterans. In the late l980’s members of the Viet Cong and National Liberation Front in the South wished to articulate their demands and pressure the communist government to reform to meet their needs in the South. Their organization was shut down immediately, the leaders arrested, and members were ordered to join the official Vietnam Veterans’ Organization.

So, Secretary Nicholson, I have given you some background information on how the present communist government treats it’s own veterans and our former allies. The next time you visit, ask them, “Since you want to preach forgiveness about the Vietnam War, how are you treating our former allies, the South Vietnamese soldiers? They are also veterans of the Vietnam War.”

The answer to that is that many still wander the streets as beggars and those that are blind and crippled from war wounds, receive not one cent in assistance despite billions of US dollars given to the Hanoi government. Still today, 31 years after the war, the Communist party leaders try to lay a guilt trip on the US government for not leaving the war behind when human rights issue are brought up, and they themselves are the worst offenders.

They want desperately our endorsement into the World Trade Organization that will make them eligible for billions of dollars in loans and foreign aid.

And Mr. Secretary, the next time you are in Vietnam, ask for a tour in your old area of operations in the Central Highlands. That area is off limits today even for our US Ambassador. He can only enter the area on closely guided tours. That’s because the present government in Vietnam doesn’t want the outside world to see how they treat the Montagnards, our former allies.

The next time you meet General Thuy, commander of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Vietnam, tell him, “ “Yes, America wants to forgive and forget, but we expect you to do the same with our former allies. Some of that 33 million should have gone to relieve their human misery. They also are veterans of the Vietnam War.”

What should America tell the present government of Vietnam? “You will receive no further compensation to your Vietnam Veterans Organization until like compensation is given to the Montagnards and former ARVN. Unless you do that, then you are not interested in forgiving and forgetting.”

Before Nicholson became the VA Secretary, he was ambassador to the Holy See in Rome, where he was an advocate for the elevation of human dignity and religious freedom. Nicholson should have learned while serving there, that Vietnam continues to be one of the worst offenders in the world today in regards to these civilized standards.

The tragedy is that America is about to abandon our former allies a second time-once in l975 when we handed Hanoi victory, and the second time now if we endorse their entry into the WTO.

Will the US succumb to Hanoi treachery and double speak? I hope not. If former Vietnam Veterans, like Secretary Nicholson, in high places don’t speak out against this tragedy, who else will speak for the forgotten Montagnards and our former allies who placed their trust in the US before we abandoned them?

Those South Vietnamese soldiers and the Montagnards still alive in Vietnam are about to be abandoned for the second time to a vicious vindictive government 31 years after the war. The irony is that the United States has all the leverage it needs to press Hanoi bureaucrats to reform. They need our endorsement to enter the WTO where they will be eligible for massive amounts of foreign aid and loans.

Our Veterans Administration’s noble vision is “ to honor our veterans’ sacrifices and to dignify the cause they served by serving them.” Shouldn’t America as a country have the courage to stand up for our former allies, who are also veterans of the Vietnam War?

The US Congress has passed laws to allow our Montagnard allies and SVN soldiers to legally immigrate to American if they spent time in the prison camps. The Vietnam government continues to harass those trying to legally immigrate by delaying paperwork, imprisoning them for minor trivialities, and demanding large bribes before immigration. Even former children of NVA officials have been substituted at the last minute in the place of legitimate applicants, so they can obtain US citizenship and attend our universities.

The situation today in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is that there is no democracy or freedom of religion. The so-called followers of Marxism, whose falsely advertised purpose was to help the peasants and the poor, have done everything to repress the little people, while enriching themselves. Has there ever been such hypocrisy in world history?

The US should not endorse such policy and speak up for human rights.

Rich Webster
Vietnam Vet

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