Fighting Lost War Page#2



      On the surface, the activities of all kinds of movements against Hanoi regime in the overseas Vietnamese Community seemed to be at normal speed, "business as usual;" however, privately it was a waning trend.

On Internet, some Vietnamese websites would claim they are non-profit and non-political organizations; at the others, one could go through all their pages and couldn't find a small image or a clip art of the flag of South Vietnam (the identity of Vietnamese Nationalists). In business and in private, people would subtly shy away from any things or any activities associated with South Vietnam for fear they might have trouble when applying for visa to visit Vietnam. In communication or writing, Vietnamese Journalists would use the different terms like "North Vietnamese Army" for "North Vietnamese Communist Army" or "Viet Cong;" and "South Vietnamese Army" for ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). In broadcasting, radio newsmen would say "Mother Land," "Father Land," or "To Quoc" (patriotic land) instead of Vietnam to call the nation (an emotional appeal tactic for "gray" propaganda), and more "strange words" that we don't have room on this page to list and analyze.

How about in VNAF aircraft modeling? In the past one modeler tacitly backed down from the VNAF exhibit that he had vehemently pleaded to participate (the guy built only modern "American Imperialist" aircraft). The exhibition ends up with the US aircraft section empty. Reason for the "disengagement": The guy feared he might have trouble in the future trip to Vietnam. Later on, someone else would suggest that VNAF Modeling with political implication should be banned ("Fear" is a contagious disease, it develops well when coming along with "ignorance" virus, especially on the "chickened" bodies).

We go around with the lengthy introduction for one conclusion: Despite all those fashionable trends, today there's a woman who did all the opposites, "fighting against the Communist regime in Vietnam"(see the article below).

PS: For all the above reasons, VNAFMAMN.COM was born with the motto: "Political Agenda is our Noble Cause." For anyone who likes to build VNAF Model Aircraft without political implication, we suggest him to join (our military buddies dubbed it where its regulations are well matched his hobby (just modeling technicalities) and where VNAF models are banned.


By Malia Zimmerman

      Nina Nguyen never thought she'd be a television star and political activist fighting against pro-Communist legislation in Hawaii when, in 1975 at the age of 23, she escaped from South Vietnam to America just four days before the Vietnamese communists took over her homeland.

But as she watched in horror from a safe haven in Connecticut, as the communists stole property and possessions, imprisoned once free citizens, took wives as their own and murdered the people who challenged them, she became determined to do whatever was in her power to stop them.

It was a student exchange program that helped her get out of Vietnam and likely saved her life. It was the Lekoffs -- a Jewish American host family who were survivors in their own right because they lived through the Holocaust -- who kept her safe in their Connecticut home during the next year.

Though she thought she'd never get involved with politics, Nguyen says what was happening to South Vietnam because of the 2 million communist leaders who took-over the country of 80 million people, was so terrible, that she had to do what she could to help. If she went back to Vietnam, there was no doubt in her mind she'd be murdered or imprisoned. Under communist Vietnam, women are considered equivalent to animals, she says, pointing to dozens of articles and human rights Web sites that document women who are frequently beaten, raped, sold at auction as sex slaves or sold into prostitution and killed if they stand up against the communist leaders.

The lure of the tropical climate and the warm spirit of the people who live in Hawaii captured her heart after a brief vacation here, and she realized the 50th state was where she would be most at home. Here she married, divorced and raised her two young children on her own, struggling to collect enough money to send her children to private school because she knew how valuable a good education is.

She also reached out to the population of 8,000 Vietnamese in Hawaii. She used her double college major in English and Education to land her a job as a translator in Hawaii for Vietnamese needing assistance with medical services, in court or at other government agencies. The experiences and people she has met through the agency that has employed her since 1988 -- Helping Hands Hawaii -- has kept her closely connected to her Vietnamese community.

"This is the best way for me to find out the needs of my community and help them as much as I can," she says. "I found a whole new family here in Hawaii who I could extend my love to."

Translating for newcomers, and keeping in touch with people in the American government who work to combat slave trafficking and human rights violations throughout Asia, also has kept her apprised of disturbing trends in Vietnam.

Young women are exported every year from Vietnam -- up to 80,000 sold into the sex slave industry by the Vietnamese government, she says. The Asia News reports that "most traffickers are of Vietnamese nationality and they work together with their Chinese counterparts. To ensnare their victims usually coming from poor villages they use diverse means, like promises of marriage to rich men or offers of work. Other times, people are drugged and thrown into a truck. Apart from women, many children are kidnapped."

Nguyen points to dozens of Web sites where the girls are auctioned off, stripped naked and made to stand in a line up, and sold via the Internet or in the open marketplace in Vietnam and throughout Asia.

"The Vietnamese Communists have no rules, so Vietnamese citizen are subject to their arbitrary, harsh government rules," she says. "If anyone says 'no' to the communist leaders, they kill people, oppress people, banish them from their homes and send them to live in the 'new economic zone' or concentration camps. They can say anything they want to about innocent civilians and then use blackmail to silence them and get the people to do what they want."

In addition to taking her fight for better human rights to her Vietnamese community through the media and grassroots campaign, Nguyen educates lawmakers at the Hawaii State Legislature about problems in Vietnam and visits Washington D.C. to talk with America's leaders.

Currently, she is working to kill a resolution introduced by the Big Island's Rep. Helene Hale, which seeks to establish a "sister city" relationship with Thua Thien-Hue of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Nguyen and several other people from Vietnam living in Hawaii are outraged by such a proposition saying communists murdered 6,000 South Vietnamese during a 3-day cease fire between the North and the South in 1968. The communist government continues to oppress, steal, murder, rape, pillage and sell into slavery the peaceful people who once lived there in freedom.

"This resolution (HCR 6) is not good for Hawaii," Nguyen says. "What good does it do for the people of Hawaii, who are known for their Aloha spirit, to establish a sister city relationship with people who treat women so badly, who sell people as sex slaves, who murder those who speak out? This resolution will only benefit a few Vietnamese business people who want to encourage people in America to do business with Vietnam," she says. On a national level, she praises Congress and President George W. Bush for passing on January 12, 2006, HR 972, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which has helped to triple the cases brought against the traffickers by the Department of Justice and provides grants to local governments to investigate such cases. The Act also helps to provide important new services to victims, Bush says, "including appointing a guardian for young victims and providing access to residential treatment facilities to help victims get a chance at a better life."

Wanting to expand her grassroot effort in the community, Nguyen launched her own television show 8 years ago on Olelo called VN TV or Viet Nam, Today's Vision. The show, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Channel 53, gives her a venue to bring on role models for the Vietnamese community, to feature people offering services for Vietnamese and to help Vietnamese learn to adjust to Hawaiian and American ways.

On the show, she also discusses her passion -- stopping the human rights violations in Vietnam, which plague the country, leave thousands of children parentless, and trap thousands of young women every year in the sex slave industry.

"I try to live a very simple life and spend my extra time and money on helping people from my country. That keeps me busy, very busy," she says with a matter-of-fact nod.

"Close the page to go back to "Fighting The Lost War" page#1