Sometimes, in the long run, you are better off to have been America’s enemy than America’s friend. Few peoples epitomize our poor track record in this regard than do the Montagnards of Vietnam, who still suffer persecution, repression and ethnic cleansing at the hands of Hanoi’s Communist government a generation after the end of the Vietnam War.
My friend Bruce Kesler, a veteran of Vietnam, has remained active on issues related to the consequences of the war and has brought to my attention the recent human rights report on Vietnam’s ongoing brutal campaign against the Montagnard people -“Vietnam’s Blueprint For Ethnic Cleansing.” . A campaign that sails along underneath the media radar.
In hopes that the blogosphere will also send the message that anyone cares, I’m sending key excerpts to you. First, a brief definitional discussion may be needed to clarify the dimensions of the case.
Genocide is a term reserved for wholesale, purposeful, government-organized, technological extermination of an identified group, and is even reserved for specific types as laid out in Geneva Conventions. There’s justifiable discouragement of excessive use of the term as cheapening the scale and suffering of those subjected to it.
Ethnic cleansing is a term for grayer areas of such horrendous efforts, when the effort is not as whole-encompassing, or there’s lack of global opinion agreement that it rises to genocide.
….I think the Montagnard Foundation is hesitant to use the term genocide, to avoid being caught up in definitional arguments, but what you’ll read below certainly seems to be more than “mere” ethnic cleansing relocation of a group. There’s many specifics, footnoted, and photos.
… Examining the evidence collectively, a blueprint of ethnic cleansing emerges as these human rights violations, including official and spontaneous transmigration policies, large scale deforestation, abuse of family planning methods, religious persecution, land confiscation, torture and extrajudicial killing, have been directed against a specific race of indigenous peoples….
Vietnam is a poor but developing country that needs outside aid and especially, trade, if it is not to devolve into a satellite of China. Pressure for better treatment of the Montagnards by the U.S., Japan and the West can easily be applied if the will exists.