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After Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar made an obvious point about Jewish power influencing American foreign policies, she was forced, by that same Jewish power, to recant, thus confirming, to all those who can still think, the awful influence of Jewish power.

Though Jewish power is quite out in the open, as in AIPAC and the existence of a racist state that’s sustained by terror and endless war, one can’t even say “Jewish power” without being immediately branded an anti-Semite, if not a Nazi.

If it wasn’t for Jewish power, Americans wouldn’t have so much Muslim blood on their hands, or being worse than bankrupt, having fought so many wars for Israel.

If not for Jewish power, questioning the Holocaust wouldn’t be a thought crime in 16 European countries. No other event in human history is so fascistically protected from scrutiny. None but the Holocaust, thanks to Jewish power.

Robert Faurisson conclusively dismantled the Nazi gas chamber myth, so Jewish power destroyed his academic career, put him on trial and bankrupted this brave, unflinching man. In 1989, three thugs claiming to be The Sons of the Memory of the Jews attacked the 60-year-old and broke his jaw.

The Holocaust does not explain genocide but enables it, but few dare to say so, for fear of Jewish power.

There are no scientific or even documentary proofs of the Holocaust, so the six million figure is just as much nonsense as the human skin lampshades and human fat soap.

Thanks to the Holocaust, Germany is forever shamed, but there is “an inherent right of every individual to defend the community to which he belongs—that is, his people—from false and wicked accusations including the wickedest,” so states the lawyer for Ursula Haverbeck, a ninety-year-old woman who is imprisoned for questioning the Holocaust.

Even if she’s completely wrong, a raving lunatic, shouldn’t Haverbeck be entitled to her own thoughts? Jewish power emphatically says no.

Proscribing thoughts, Jewish power deforms minds, distorts personalities and turns men into cowardly idiots, and when this happens en masse, as in Germany, an entire society can unravel.

Outside the West, nationalism is embraced as natural and necessary, but in most white countries, it’s become increasingly equated with Fascism, and nowhere is this attitude more salient than in Germany. There, I saw graffiti denouncing Deutschland and even calling for “volkstod,” or “national death.” So many Germans wouldn’t hate themselves so vehemently if it wasn’t for the Holocaust, it’s safe to say.

For several years, I’ve posted reports from a German friend, describing his country in crisis, so below is his latest. Burdened by Holocaust guilts, Germans are shamed into accepting millions of refugees, many of whom are Muslims fleeing from wars triggered by Jewish power.

While still enjoying prosperity, stability, even tranquility (at least in comparison to most countries in the world), there are more signs we are fast approaching the “heart of darkness.”

In Berlin and Hamburg, two German cities with a high and rising percentage of migrants, the news are sobering: In Berlin, a study of 24,000 ten-year-old students shows that about 75% didn’t reach the basic levels of reading, writing and math. The news from Hamburg were equally dismal.

Or take Duisburg. Formerly best known for a TV character (Commissioner Schimanski), it’s now famous for its constant rising percentage of Migrants (and the problems that come with it). A 2017 study shows that only 8% of all first grade students spoke accurate German, while 16% spoke no German at all! Might it have something to do with the fact that in 50% of Duisburg households, German was not the first language spoken?

Lo and behold, the solution is near, for we are told we just have to work harder on integration, and everything will be fine (one wonders where all the jobs for these pupils shall come from…).

A further glimpse into the future is provided by the lovely town of Pforzheim. With about 160,000 people, its percentage of migrants is now roughly 60%. In the last local elections, the conservative AfD reached 26%, which is very uncommon in western Germany. Though similar to American Republicans, the AfD is constantly accused of Nazism and racism by the media, with the effect that many Germans are convinced these evil Nazis must be stopped.

Christiane Quincke is someone who quite eloquently fights “Nazis.” A typical product of western Germany’s reeducation, she feels morally obligated to fight Nazis and to integrate migrants. To achieve these ends, she has allied herself with DITIB, an organisation financed by the Turkish state and accused of having rather revolting stances on women, equality and gender, etc. It doesn’t matter. Progressive Quincke sees no contradictions.

Meanwhile, the media are doing their best to show us the evil face of Germany. In Chemnitz, two Germans were stabbed to death by a group of refugees (a thing which happens now on a weekly basis). A few thousand Germans demonstrated to express their anger and rage, but the crowd was peaceful and no riots took place. Nevertheless, some Neonazis within the demonstration showed the Hitlergruß (the Nazi salute), and this was more shocking to the media than the crime itself.

Even more shocking were news some demonstrators had allegedly chased migrants through the streets. In a video posted on an Antifa channel, two Migrants were chased by some men for a few yards. The entire media came immediately to the same conclusion: It was “Dunkeldeutschland” (the dark Germany, as our former president had called it) or Nazi Germany showing its ugly head.

The deed was unequivocally condemned by all media personalities and politicians, and even Chancellor Merkel jumped on the bandwagon to state that she would not tolerate a mob hunting foreigners. Some media even claimed that a pogrom had taken place. We should keep in mind that during a real pogrom, people not only get beaten up, but often killed, while windows are smashed, houses burnt and the likes. Nothing of the kind took place in Chemnitz.

It’s funny but the media and politicians never said this incident should be thoroughly investigated by the police. Lo and behold, the alternative media finally interviewed the woman who had made the video. In it, she and her husband (who remained anonymous for fear of reprisals) explained that an argument had happened before the incident.

Two young migrants had repeatedly shouted “Piss off” at the demonstrators, who shouted back, “Shut up!” After a moment, some demonstrators started running towards the migrants, who fled. After a few yards, the demonstrators stopped and let the migrants escape. A German shouted after them, “Ihr seid hier nicht willkommen!” (“You are not welcome here!”)

 
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It’s Tet here. Public employees get nine days off, counting an unpaid weekend. Millions abandon cities for their home villages, leaving most of Hanoi and Saigon suddenly unclogged, so crossing the street is no longer a harrowing adventure. Prices are jacked up, including for long distance buses, hotel rooms, meals and even haircuts.

The week before Tet, buses arrived in Ea Kly several times a day with returning natives. At my usual cafe, I could see them disembark in the early dawn. The cafe’s owner’s husbands and two oldest sons weren’t among them, however, and it was because they had to work over the holiday, or so Mrs. Ha said, and her daughter was stuck in the Philippines, where she had been employed for five months in a Chinese factory. Since Filipino wages were already low, the 27-year-old was only being paid $173 a month, plus room, board, the experience of living in another country and a chance to improve her English. She’s becoming worldly. The vast majority of people in Ea Kly have never been on a plane.

Hours before I boarded a bus for Saigon, I had coffee with several of our plastic recycling plant employees. We sat in a cool, spacious and fairly well-landscaped garden. Our waitress was a teenager in a white T-shirt, “West 14th Street New York / URBAN CITY,” that was lightly speckled with coffee stains. She had a bemused look on her face that was slightly deranged, especially when she started to goof around. “Please forgive me!” she’d cackle.

Twenty-two-year-old Tiny, real name Huong, brought her four-year-old daughter and three-year-old son, who came barefoot. Tiny’s husband had just returned from Saigon, where he spent ten days working as a housepainter, my old trade.

“So how much money did he bring back?” another woman asked.

“None.”

“None,” Tiny evenly confirmed. “He bought a pair of flip flops for my daughter,” worth just over two bucks, “and a pack of candies for my son.”

“And nothing for you!”

“Nothing for me.”

“So why did he even bother going to Saigon?!”

Tiny just smiled. Her young man likely spent all of his earnings on women and booze. Though they live with his parents, they don’t eat with them, for Tiny doesn’t get along with her mother-in-law, a notoriously difficult woman.

It’s good to be back in Saigon, but I’d say that about any place, for I can’t remember regretting being anywhere. If I should wake up tomorrow lying on the sidewalk in front of the long shuttered Grandmas Tacos in Gary, Indiana, I would surely exclaim, “My, it’s great to be back in Jacko’s hometown!”

I’m glad to see old faces. I drop by Mrs. Yen’s cafe. For Tet, she’s going to Vung Tau with her two grown children, a daughter who works in a factory and a fat, good-for-nothing and likely retarded son who sits around all day, talking big to his buddies. What will he do when she dies?

She’ll pay $160 for two nights in a 3-star hotel near Back Beach. It’s a rip off, but that’s Tet for you. Mrs. Yen is a most lovely and gentle person. Charging 43 cents for a cup of coffee or can of soda, she makes money a few pennies at a time, with many of her customers the employees at a box making factory across an alley. One joked, “The service is slow here, and you don’t get to look at a young, pretty girl, just an old one!”

Six months ago, I profiled a domestic servant, Ỵ. Since then, she had bought herself a fancy phone for $345, on credit, which promptly got ripped from her hands a month later, as she stood yakking in some alley. Bereft, she must keep making those payments. For Tet, Ỵ has spent over $200 to buy her dead father an artfully crafted papier-mâché car, two chauffeurs, fistfuls of fake dollars and a “rental house,” so he could derive an income in hell, where even Ỵ admitted the wife-beating drunk belonged. Pious, she burnt.

Thinking he was going back to their home village, Ỵ’s 17-year-old-son got a stylish haircut, complete with blonde highlights, which looked great with his gold chain, then he changed his mind, for the trip would more than bankrupt the factory worker. As a returning city dweller, he would be expected to give all of his relatives money or gifts, and to pay for drinking bouts with old friends. The same dread likely prevents Mrs. Ha’s sons and husband from showing up in Ea Kly during Tet.

Sometimes, the kids don’t come home because they can’t stand their parents. Eleven months ago, I wrote about a woman who just had an eye operation. This morning, I saw her sitting in the shade, by three cats, so I paused to chat. Just out of earshot, a shirtless old man glared in our direction.

“Do you remember his dog, the big one?”

“Yes.”

“Someone poisoned it.”

“A neighbor, certainly.”

“That’s exactly what I think,” she grinned.

“Only a neighbor would be so irritated by a dog to poison it. Did he bite?”

“No, but he barked at lot, even at night. It kept people up.”

“That’s enough.”

“And he never tells the dog to shut up. Instead, he yells at people who complain.”

“That would do it.”

“When he was younger, he used to be pretty nice, but now he’s cranky all the time. After he got sick, the doctor said his personality would change, and it’s true, he has changed completely. He yells at everybody. When motorists honk, turning this corner, he yells. No one likes him.”

“Does he have a wife and kids?”

“He’s my old man.”

I wasn’t sure I had heard right. “He’s your husband?!”

“Yes. It’s very hard to live with him. I suffer a lot, little brother. He used to chase women and left me all the time. He was a soldier in the Fake Army,” what the current regime called the ARVN. “Ngụy” is fake, and not puppet, as it’s always translated.

“Was he jailed after the war?”

“No, he was only a sergeant.”

Her three children hate their father, so never visit, not even for Tet, though one daughter dutifully brings over rice and other groceries each month. Two of the old woman’s sisters also contribute $43 a month, each.

Finding a willing listener, she continued, “It’s just my fate, little brother. I owe him a debt from a past life. My family had picked out a decent man for me. He was good looking, successful and an only son, but my husband ruined my girlhood,” a euphemism for taking her virginity, as in rape, “so I had to marry him. Back then, that really mattered.”

My, my, so many cheerful Tet stories. In Saigon, I also see Vu, the manicurist who works in Ferguson, Missouri, ten months a year. Though I’ve written about Vu and his alcoholic housemate before, I get a fuller picture this time.

“Business has slowed down. There are days when I make hardly anything.” The scrawny, dark and sometimes stuttering man chuckles. “You know, Linh, a couple times, we had a customer who refused to pay, but when the cop came, he wouldn’t arrest her. He just said, you know, ‘You should try to pay these people,’ then let her go! The cop was black, and the customer was black.”

“So he was biased.”

“That’s, ah, right. It wasn’t like that before. Even the whah, whah, white cops have become useless. They don’t want to arrest black people any more.”

“Not after the riot. It’s too much trouble.”

“That’s right.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Vietnam 
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During my two months in Ea Kly, I have not seen anyone read a book or even a newspaper. TV watching is not compulsive, and canned music is not a pervasive, nearly nonstop pollution, as it is in much of the world. No one here is rigged to a mind scrambling headphone. Though FaceBook has made inroads, it hasn’t become a serious addiction. With life much less mediated, people derive their knowledge of the world from direct experiences. In Ea Kly, birds twitter, not men. Here, many people raise chickens, ducks, pigs, goats and/or cows, so they still know how to slit a throat, gut an animal.

Though a hundred pound Ea Kly woman can lift her weight, down shots of rice wine and tell an asshole to fuck his own mom, she will also cook heartwarming meals for her husband, children and guests, then do the dishes afterwards. Men have other duties.

Though it took Cúc a decade to build his house, he stuck with it, doing all the brick pointing, cement mixing, plastering and painting himself. As a young man, he shot to kill at some of his current neighbors. Taking me through three Rade villages, Cúc greeted everyone. “I know them all, have worked with them all. I can stop into just about any house, at any time, and be invited for lunch.”

The Rade waved and laughed back at him. At a barebone, dusty store, we had a round of Saigon beer with several of his Rade buddies.

Should war come, these men will fight, against each other if necessary, and not online either. They retain a healthy, measured dose of masculinity. Balls matter. Though notorious for their fierceness and bravery, Rade were grossly outnumbered by Vietnamese, so had to yield. For their part, Viets don’t go on about historical injustices they have suffered, for it’s only natural that everyone leverages his power, whether he’s black, white, Chinese, American or Jewish.

Even if this wasn’t coffee country, there would be cafes all over, like the rest of Vietnam. At Mr. Trang’s, Ngo Quang Truong’s name came up, which gladdened me, for this general on the losing side was still remembered with admiration nearly half a century later. In the US, Truong opened a modest restaurant in Northern Virginia, but it didn’t do too well, for many Vietnamese were embarrassed to be served by a man they held in awe.

At Mr. Trang’s, the men also talked of a Rade leader who had fought ferociously, and was only killed when he was trapped in a cemetery. “He couldn’t be killed with bullets, you know, because he had on this vest. He had to be shot in the head. We sent in an assassin. A guy volunteered.”

Land eaten away, the Rade could only retaliate with isolated acts of revenge, as when they shot a Viet former foe and strung him up. “They dared us to come cut him down. We knew it was a trap, so it took us a while.” Those days are gone. Now, Rade kids go to schools to learn the Vietnamese language and history. Trading with Viets, some Rade have gotten rich. Even herding cows, some are fashionably dressed in baseball caps and hoodies. Tearing down their long houses on stilts, they erect brick and concrete ones. Poor Viets grumble that Rade get housing and educational subsidies. “They’ve gotten smarter too. We used to con them. Now, they con us!”

A middle-aged Viet praises, “Rade never steal, and they never turn on a friend, not even a Vietnamese one! If you can speak their language, even a bit, then they’ll really love you.”

Viets prefer Rade raised chickens since they’re healthier and tastier. Knowing this, some Rade now buy chickens from Vietnamese, to resell to other Vietnamese at a healthy mark up.

At a Viet house the other day, I had chicken that was so tough, it’s a miracle my poorly maintained teeth didn’t all tumble out. It was still a lovely lunch, however, for I was with the sweetest people, nearly all of whom work at our plastic recycling plant.

The home owner, Liên, grew coffee, raised ducks and chickens, and had tilapia in a tiny pond. Though delicious, eels can’t be domesticated, for they’ll just burrow their ways out. In her neighbors’ rice fields, I could see the bright red clumps of snail eggs. In the distance, lanky herons flew.

Full, I claimed the hammock to doze off, as the chattering, laughing women went to sit under a tree, by the pond. Coming to, I had no idea where I was for a few seconds, then realized I was home, so to speak.

Upon leaving, I jested, “Now that I know where you live, sister Liên, I’ll come by often, at any time, even uninvited.”

I’ve only lived in a place this small once before, in Certaldo, Italy, population 16,000, and though I was clearly an outsider, those two years were the happiest of my life, for I felt grounded and was sucked into the community. Not everyone wants that. This week in Ea Kly, there was a neighborhood dinner, to which each household contributed $10.78, though many gave more, to pay for extra beer. If you were a prick during the year, however, you would be excluded from this get together. These year-end dinners are common in Vietnam, especially in rural areas.

The men, women and kids sat at separate tables, though holding a baby and a beer, a woman came over to toast us. We ate roast pork, boiled chicken and fried spring rolls. An already drunk man leaned over, “You always eat at my mother’s banh mi place. You like to take pictures of beautiful things, I know.”

A cafe owner whispered in my ear, “Don’t let him bother you. He’s always talking nonsense.”

A man with a squarish face, like mine, asked, “Are you Chinese?”

“No, no, Vietnamese!”

“I am Chinese.”

“Where are you from?”

“Lang Son,” a province bordering China, “but I was born here in Dak Lak.” When Vietnamese speak of home, they often mean where their ancestors are from.

The gas station owner sought me out, “You lived in America, I know. I haven’t been there, but I’ve traveled a bit in Asia. We like to drink more than they do. In Indonesia and Malaysia, they hardly drink.”

“They’re Muslims!”

“But even in Thailand, they’d only drink a couple of beers, and that’s enough, and they don’t get loud, like we do. In Cambodia, they drink like us, and in China too.”

“I’ve never been to China.”

“You know, their cities there are very impressive, but their rural areas are hardly better than ours. If they’re ten, we’re nine!”

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Vietnam, Vietnamese 
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I live in a square, spartan room with a bed, no chairs, and a bathroom without door, since the builder/plumber hired by brother in law was so half assed. My front wall is only half painted because the man couldn’t move his arm any more or further, I suppose. In person, the useless fellow is quite affable.

Each morning, I get up around 4 or 5, and by 6 or earlier, I’ll be in a cafe, one of a handful within a minute stroll. After sampling them all, I’ve become a regular at a spot at our busy three way intersection. Here, you can watch long distance buses roll by or stop to pick up passengers, tractor trucks taking Rade to work and school kids on their bicycles. With its constant animation, even before sunrise, it’s our Times Square or Piccadilly Circus, though the houses are all one-storied, signs don’t flash, merchandises are mostly less than a dollar, and food choices range from humbling to humiliating, but hey, we’re all here to be put in our places, so if it hasn’t happened to your strutting, haughty self, consider yourself cursed.

During my brief, intermittent spells as a professor of creative writing, I always encouraged students to draw from their work experiences, for the world of labor has always been underrepresented in literature. This is easy to understand, since it’s dominated by aristocrats, mandarins, courtiers, academics and others who never had dirt, mud or grime under their fingernails. In Missoula, a student told me he had been employed as a caretaker to a quadriplegic, so each day, he had to turn on internet porn for this unfortunate, tediously masturbate him to completion, then clean the somewhat pacified dude up. “You must write this shit down, man!”

Another common sense advice I gave my students was that they should claim their territory, write from the ground up, so if they’re in Missoula, for example, they should immerse themselves in that vast universe, a project that can easily consume a lifetime. By this, I did not mean they should stay in Hicksville forever, for travel provides comparisons and perspectives, but an ever deepening knowledge of at least one place is necessary to give anyone, much less a presumptuous writer, an appreciation of ties, bonds, hearth, home, confinement and gravity, all the things that make us man. Breathe in deeply your neighbors’ effluvia!

Walking towards Ea Kly’s Shibuya Crossing in the dark, I see a handful of squatting figures, next to their cheap luggage. To my left is the banh mi lady, behind her stall, preparing her meager ingredients. Soon, school kids strapped to cute, colorful backpacks will straggle up to order a 43-cent sandwich, nearly inedible anywhere else, but quite tasty here, for one can get used to anything, and even become fond of it. Reaching my usual table, I sit down on a red plastic chair that’s not quite sturdy enough to allow me to lean back comfortably. The owner’s white and cafe au lait colored dogs chase a tiny cat into the shadow. She brings me my usual.

At the next table sits a middle-aged, leathery man with a well-wrung, sunbaked face. Bemused, he listens to the owner recount an incident from yesterday, “This crazy woman came back and demanded that I find her lost glasses! She was practically screaming! I have never seen anyone like that, brother. If this is how she acts in public, she must be even nastier at home. It was like she had lost a sack of gold, not some glasses! I found nothing, and she left all pissed off!”

It’s likely the virago was just passing through, for you don’t act that way to someone you’ll see again and again. Five years ago, I was on an Amtrak slicing through Montana, so met a woman returning to Hinsdale, a town dwindled to just 217 souls, with one bar left, down from three. Staring into the arid, yellow plains, she spoke, “I’d say we’re hard working, don’t care for surface and trusting. Here, your words are like the words of God. If you lie once, people will remember,” and so it is in all places where one must know, and can’t escape from, one’s neighbors.

In a more anonymous urban environment, populated mostly by transplants or transients, you can much more easily fuck them or fuck them over without any repercussions, sometimes even without disappearing, for there’s no community to witness, remember or condemn, and this decivilizing process has been amplified much further by the internet, that ultimate enabler of social irresponsibility.

Is there a more dismal fate than to always be removed from the actual, and if this is somehow voluntary, isn’t that the very definition of madness? How miserable must one be to always feel compelled to flee from the present, and to dread all tactility besides one’s own hand on one’s own sadness?

Still wearing his helmet, a meek man approaches to mumble, “Lottery tickets?” In Saigon, he’d just walk, but here, this purveyor of bad luck must ride his motorbike around, adding to his cost. The thinly patronized businesses are too scattered.

Wearing an old bone-colored scarf, old black trench coat, old long shorts and ancient plastic flip flops, an old, white haired man with black teeth strolls across my vision. Vietnamese used to lacquer their teeth, so in my childhood I could still spot quite a few of these black beauties. Now, they are endangered oddities.

White teeth were dog-like, Vietnamese used to sneer. People everywhere used to be much more independent-minded about all aspects of their lives, but as the world becomes more uniform, it pretends to celebrate diversity.

Too symbolically, about the only times you can hear traditional Vietnamese music any more are at funerals, and in assbackward Ea Kly, there are some mean assed musicians who can raise the dead as well as your deepest, most buried emotions. Bending notes, they’ll wrench out feelings you didn’t even know you had.

Thousands of unique tribes have been imperfectly, thank god, Americanized, with the world bifurcated, in the American mind, into “people of color” vs. whites, but is there a more racist term than “people of color,” for it slots whites, again, as unique, if only to be pilloried? Sprung from the same cursed font, Jews, Christians, Muslims and Marxists must divide the world in two, so the politically correct, woke and social justice crusade, with its lynch mob mentality towards heretics, is yet another manifestation of the Judaic chosen people vs. bestial goy.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Vietnam 
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Visiting Vietnam in 1953, Norman Lewis quoted a despairing French soldier, Captain Doustin, “It is the feeling I get at this moment that we are at grips with something ant-like rather than human. These unemotional people driven on by some blind instinct. I feel that my intelligence and my endurance are not enough. Take, for instance, those fellows they send up to dig holes close to the wire, before an attack. You’d expect them to show some human reaction when our supporting guns start dropping shells among them, but they don’t. They go on digging until they’re killed, and then some other kind of specialist fellows come crawling up and drag the bits and pieces away. Some time later that night you know the shock-troops are going to come up and get into those holes and then you’re for it. Losses simply don’t bother them. All they’re concerned about is not leaving anything behind. They actually tie a piece of cord to every machine gun, so that as soon as the chap who is using it gets knocked out it can be hauled back to safety.”

Vietnamese have often been compared to ants or other insects, and sometimes they also see themselves as such, but entirely positively, for the ant is much more powerful than its size would suggest, and working together, can move a much larger animal’s carcass. Every Vietnamese child has seen ants transport a dead gecko.

Captain Doustin’s foes are the Viet Minh. Though dominated by Communists, their appeal was primarily nationalistic, for the Vietnamese are anything but globalist or internationalist, which is essentially a Western delusion, as exemplified by Christianity, Communism and Neo-Liberalism. Orientals don’t try to save or convert strangers, and they certainly don’t think any system would constitute an ideal world. That’s a Western insanity or con, deployed to mask plunder and tyranny.

Like most ethnic groups, Vietnamese are only rooted and loyal to their family, language, heritage and native land, roughly in that order. Deeply provincial, they’re only willing to fight to the death to defend what they’ve always known and been, and not for any ideology.

Though the French confidently predicted they would be here for at least a thousand years, not many actually cared to settle in this sultry and deeply alien environment, and the Moroccans and Senegalese they brought were merely transients, not that they left very favorable impressions or would be missed.

Lewis, “A huge effort was being made [by the French] to strengthen the defences on this side of the small town, and engaged on this were several hundred Vietnamese civilian suspects, kept hard at it by a number of gigantic Senegalese soldiers who rushed among them screaming abuse and lashing out with their switches.”

In a year, the French, Moroccans and Senegalese would all be killed or kicked out, and most importantly, through a century of colonialism, Vietnam did not suffer any permanent demographic distortion or damage, but quite the reverse, actually, for many Vietnamese were moved into Laos and Cambodia, though many would be slaughtered or chased from Cambodia in the 70’s.

When French rule seemed most enduring in 1924, a leading Vietnamese intellectual, Phạm Quỳnh, declared, “Truyen Kieu [a 19th century epic poem] remains, our language remains. Our language remains, our nation remains,” so a nation is defined as people who speak the same language and cherish a common culture, as symbolized by their most famous poem, so where does that leave Americans and their nationhood?

Having met quite a few non-natives who tried to speak Vietnamese, I can only count maybe three, two Americans and a German, who have done so convincingly. By contrast, English is fluently spoken by people all over, especially in Iceland, Holland, Germany and Singapore, etc., so its near global status has actually weakened Americans’ sense of identity and nationhood. In language, so many aliens are sort of American. American culture is also too promiscuously disseminated, so it’s nothing special, really, just a soft drink constantly guzzled and pissed out by everybody and his near-blind, senile grandma. For you to meet in Budapest, say, some guy who speaks excellent English and understands tons of American cultural references is not the same as, for me, to run into a Vietnamese on Rakoczi Avenue.

English is also allowing America’s greatest rival, China, to benefit from America’s vast body of knowledge and its educational system, for thousands of Chinese are enrolled in American universities, studying the hard sciences. Terrified by these bright and committed students, Americans flee into departments of woke, woe me and fuck-you-whities studies, where they can more comfortably rub elbows with tight-jeaned posers, affirmative action idiots and jocks.

In Philly, I had a Hong Kong-born friend, George, who told me Chinese have set up American schools that enroll thousands of Chinese, so they can get a student visa to come to the US, so it’s a win-win situation, for every Chinese involved.

In Ann Arbor, I met another Hong Kong native. She sold houses to Chinese, so they could enroll their kids in local high schools for free. Working his ass off, a local tax payer can subsidize the education of a privileged son of a Chinese millionaire, so what’s not to like, if you’re Chinese?

A Chinese can own as many American houses as he wants, even if he’s not a resident. By contrast, an American can only buy a single home in China, after he’s been in the country for a year. Preempting a legal takeover, many nations don’t allow foreigners to own properties, period, and that’s why the late Joe Bageant, for example, had to ghost purchase his Belizean cottage. Thanks to favorable local laws, Chinese now own huge chunks of the San Francisco Bay Area, Vancouver, Toronto, Sidney and Melbourne, etc. Aukland was on this list, until legislators decided last year to block foreign property purchases, but hey, isn’t this, like, xenophobic and, uh, racist? Like muskrats, prairie dog or ants, men have always defended and protected land for their kind only, however that’s defined, so if you reject New Zealand for New Zealanders, then you yourself are doomed, unless you’re Chinese!

Speaking of xenophobia and racism, there’s an ethno, apartheid state that’s the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism since its violent founding, but don’t you dare kvetch about this most sacred of nations, for six gazillion of them were once fulminated to death by you all, if not actively then passively, but soon as you sniff for the evidence, you’ll find that it’s as gaseous as Elie Wiesel, Ann Frank or Jerzy Kosinski.

A common curse of empire is that your language, culture and, eventually, even land will become progressively less your own. Mere decades after their occupations of Vietnam, both France and the US have become more diminished and diluted than the nation they momentarily subjugated. As for Communism, its cultural and psychic violence have been all but neutralized, so that Vietnamese can more or less just be themselves, in all their glories and absurdities. Vietnamese have more control over their self-definition than Frenchmen or Americans.

The USA is doubly cursed, moreover, for even at its peak as an empire, it was also a colony, of Israel, so that American soldiers haven’t just been sent all over to kill and die for the American empire, which should not be confused with the American nation, but also for Israel. Duped into so many conflicts that did not benefit the American nation, many Americans have been sapped of the will to fight any war, even one that would save them.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: Identity, Nationalism, Vietnam 
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I painted houses for a decade, and on our crews, we always knew of each other’s relative competence, willingness to work, sense of responsibility, substance addictions, if any, and, ultimately, character. My roommate, Jay, for example, really didn’t give a fuck, for he was often late, but somehow always rehired, for our boss, Joe LeBlanc, was a softie. Once, Jay and I left our rather pitiful, unheated apartment at exactly the same time, yet Jay somehow managed to miss the bus, thus work for that day.

Chuck was a narcoleptic who had gotten into a car accident, so was more or less one-armed, but still, he was a pretty good worker, and always cheerful. Standing on a 40-footer, Chuck exclaimed, “Hey, who farted?!” Many a poet have never come up with a more memorable instance of philosophy and wit. Pure Zen. If he hadn’t wiped himself out, along with a car or busload of innocents, I hope Chuck is doing well.

Smooth was a junkie, so moved very slowly, hence his nickname. Joe paid him accordingly.

Laura could never make it up any ladder taller than herself, so only scraped or painted baseboards and first floor windows. In the kinder and gentler working environment of the 80’s and early 90’s, even a fat broad could join a housepainting crew.

I’m sure I must have talked about at least some of the above characters, but as you get older, you repeat yourself, not because you’ve run out of stories, far from it, but that some have imprinted themselves so strongly, to become iconic in your mind. Milan Kundera says that from all of our sexual experiences, only two or three encounters linger persistently. Something like that. Broke, I sold that book a long time ago.

Now that I’m a foreman at a plastic recycling plant, memories and habits from my housepainting days return, and though Ea Kly is 10,000 miles from Philly, I can readily detect, once again, similar character types, as in who move fast and efficiently, who lumber along, and who are just faking it.

My brother in law brought me in so I could, in his place, observe what was going on, and immediately, I recommended letting a loafer go, and this even before I knew Tuan had a raging drinking problem. Like Joe LeBlanc, my brother in law is a softie, so he hesitated, but Tuan promptly fired himself this week. Hung over, Tuan missed two days without saying anything to me, and not only that, he drunkenly called our bookkeeper in the middle of the night to demand that he be paid in full immediately, for he was quitting. Sobering up, he came to me to apologize, but it was too late. “I have marital problems, brother Linh, and that’s why I drink.” Much of the world, then, men and women, would be boozing nonstop. Even Tuan’s wife, Thu, who is also employed by us, is not defending this charming dude.

One of Thu’s duties is to cook for up to six people, whoever happen to live at the recycling plant at the time. We have an improvised kitchen of two hot plates. Lunch and dinner are served on the floor. The dishes are washed in a courtyard out back, with the pots hung up on a wire fence to dry. Twice a day, the neighbor’s dogs drop by to eat our food scraps, and sometimes even a chicken forages around. The cow, love of my life, merely looks on.

My wife is in Saigon working for her sister. Our marriage is strengthened, or at least saved, by these spells apart. Knowing that I’m alone, a few of our workers are joking that I should look for a local mate. While women like to gossip or fantasize about other people coupling, most men only conjecture themselves in action. Lien, a woman in her early 30’s, joked to me after work, “We have a few middle-aged women here. You should get yourself one, uncle.”

“Oh, I’m old, sister, so I don’t need an old woman. How tiresome is that?! I need someone young, even the youngest. Now, that would be a good match!”

“There’s Coi [Tiny].”

I had no idea who Coi was, but I went along with it, “That sounds great!” Just as in Philly, the Vietnamese working class will joke and banter most inappropriately, for it makes their long, exhausting day goes a little faster.

One of our best employees is Vinh, a mother of four. Tough and responsible, she’s the perfect supervisor. At home, she grows a few crops, keeps a few goats, chickens and two cows. Eight days ago, she limped into work after hurting her foot doing some farm work. Take a few days off, we suggested, until you feel better, and when she didn’t return after a week, a couple of us dropped by with a small gift of money, as is customary, to help Vinh recover. We have some sad houses in this village, and hers is among the most dismal, I was rather surprised to see, since I have talked to her boastful husband, Binh, a a few times. I thought they were we doing OK, at least.

Vinh’s two kids still living at home were dressed very shabbily, with the girl, about twelve, had on a dirty T-shirt with a smiling cartoon figure, with this bizarre English caption, “What Shall I Make for Dinner?”

We found Vinh bedridden, and about to go to the hospital. Binh whispered to me that his wife had “female problems,” a situation that had persisted for years, so it’s not the injured foot that had kept her home.

Within hours, however, I found out that there was a huge commotion at their miserable shack recently, that Binh had likely beaten his wife, as he has done many times before, and, moreover, that he’s a good for nothing who gambles compulsively, and that’s why they’re broke. Worse, they’ll soon be kicked off their small plot, since it’s slated for some development. Though they’ve been fairly compensated for it, that money is long gone, to pay off Binh’s gambling debts.

As we erected our factory, Binh came by in the middle of the night to steal some of our gravel, a fact overlooked by my brother in law, since he didn’t want to make enemies among the locals.

Unlike the Vietnamese, the Rade are matriarchal, meaning women own and inherit all properties, and a husband must move into his in-laws’ household, so there must be many Rade women who get to pummel their husbands.

Since there are Vietnamese laws against domestic abuses, Vinh can go to the authorities for help, but she doesn’t want to see her asshole husband go to jail, thus breaking up the family. Plus, she wants to maintain a facade of marital concord, as if the entire village doesn’t already know.

Some Vietnamese women take matters into their own hands, and this week, there’s a news item about a Thanh Hoa woman who kept her husband in a cage for three years, for he was a heroin and crystal meth junkie who had often beaten her and their two kids, she defiantly explains to authorities. “I cured him.” She never mistreated him, she elaborates, for she always fed him properly, and even gave him a glass of beer with each meal.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Poverty, Vietnam 
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During a late night layover in Minneapolis a decade ago, I found myself in a McDonald’s. Manning the cash register was a chubby black woman, and the ordering customer was a black flight attendant who was young, thin and pretty, how all American air stewardesses used to look, before the ageism lawsuits. In Asia, they’re still uniformly pleasing to the eyes. Help wanted ads in Vietnam often specify whether they want men or women, and in what age range. In this totalitarian state, people can hire whomever they want.

Under the harsh McDonald’s lights, the black women chattered. “You must have been many places!”

“Yes.”

“Have you been to Las Vegas?”

“Many times,” she smiled.

“Wow! How about Miami?”

“I’ve been there too.”

At the adjacent cash register was another black woman. Looking in admiration at the air stewardess, she chimed in, “Have you been to Hawaii?”

“Yes, I’ve been to Hawaii. And what about you?” she asked both of them. “Where have you visited?”

“Well, I’ve been to Milwaukee a couple of times, and Chicago once.”

“I’ve also been to Chicago,” the chubby one said. “Your life is so exciting! I want to go to Las Vegas!”

“You will,” the air stewardess unconvincingly answered, took her Big Mac and walked away. Toiling for minimum wage, the other two looked on.

I was reminded of this airport scene when I talked to an Ea Kly woman this week. In her early 30’s, Hien is an employee at our plastic recycling plant.

Hearing me talk, she asked me, “Are you from Thai Binh?” All Vietnamese immediately try to locate your origin from your accent. How close are you to me? they want to know.

“No, but my father is from Nam Dinh,” one province over.

“I’m from Thai Binh, but I’ve lost my roots.”

“You don’t go back?”

“I’ve been there just once. The bus ride made me sick. I will never go back.”

“Never?!”

“Never. I will never go anywhere again.” The mother of three smiled.

A Vietnamese would identify with his ancestral province or village, even if he’s never been there. Saigon-born, I still declare myself a person from Nam Dinh or, even more specifically, Bui Chu, as did a Philadelphian I met two years ago on Kensington Avenue. We established a bond.

A settler nation founded by immigrants, with thousands more arriving each day, the United States is populated by people who have forsaken their roots. Not only that, they’re reluctant to establish new ones, or prevented from doing so, in their new nation. Thanks to constant demographic upheaval across the land, hardly any American neighborhood, much less city, can retain its social identity for more than a generation.

Whitman sang of the open road, Kerouac free jazzed across America and the road movie has become an iconic genre in this seemingly endless land of mesmerizing mirages. Swooning, swaggering and flexing, Americans barrel down their once-well-paved, multi-laned freedom way, towards the always beckoning, sunset-lit horizon, right into an oceanic, paradisal grave, as Chinese belch, fart and laugh.

My hamlet, Ea Kly, is actually the United States writ tiny, for it was virgin land just four decades ago, according to the Vietnamese, although the Rade were already here, and it’s now overrun with outsiders. At our recycling plant, we have an old man, Cuc, who was among the earliest Vietnamese settlers. Since Cuc only makes eight bucks a day, one might expect the dark, wiry man to dwell in a simple shack, but no, it’s a well-built, high-ceilinged and reasonably spacious house for two, with a bit of land around it. The flat roof is an ample courtyard with concrete railing, and there’s a side veranda, though held up by just one pitifully thin Greek column.

Inside, the furniture is of a heavy wood. Invited into his living room, I stared at a framed photo of some impressive looking man in a military uniform, “Wow, who is this guy?”

“That’s me!”

“That’s you?! I thought it was some big shot!”

Laughing, Cuc flashed his many brown teeth.

“So where did you serve?” I asked.

“Right here. We fought the FULRO. We got rid of them all!” He grinned. “I’m lucky they didn’t send me to Cambodia. If a hundred men went, two came back. They killed us every which way, poisoned our food. I’m lucky.”

“So did you get land here for your military service?”

“Everybody got land. There was nothing here. If you were willing to clear the land, the government would give you a plot. I got extra land, though, because I had an uncle who was a colonel.”

Injuns vanquished, Cuc stumbles towards the grave in a place boasting nothing more than a dozen forlorn eateries and a newly opened plastic recycling plant. Three times a day, he sneaks into his funky bathroom to down quick shots of rice wine, away from his wife’s frown.

Sick of this no-horse town, his three kids have moved far away, and only return during Tet. In Cuc’s living room, their wedding photos angle down, crowding a framed, yellowing proverb, “A father’s labor is mountain sized, a mother’s love an endless stream.”

Ten years ago, Cuc parceled off two lots from his land, sold them to newcomers, but now knows he has jumped the gun. “Timing is everything,” Cuc rues, “and each man has his fate.” Long past his days of cradling an AK-47, pop popping away, Cuc stoops a little as he hauls bag after bag of plastic garbage.

Three years younger than Cuc, I look ancient enough, at least to the young, pretty women at our recycling plant. The current Miss Vietnam hails from a village just 20 miles away, and I can certainly attest that this area teems with lookers. Surrounded by plastic trash, one asked, “How old are you, uncle?”

“Fifty five.”

“But your eyesight is pretty bad, right?” They have all seen me squint at just about everything.

“Bad enough.”

“My father is three years younger than you, but he’s in great shape. It’s because he worked in the field all his life.”

Thinking too much doesn’t just wear down the mind, but body, soul and wallet, especially if done in 1984 America.

It takes centuries for a place to accrue gravity and resonance, where every stone remembers and every brick speaks, so Ea Kly is still very much an improvised frontier, but as new as this Vietnamese hamlet is, and it doesn’t get any newer, Ea Kly already feels more grounded than any American neighborhood I lived in, whether in Tacoma, Salem, San Jose, Annandale or even South Philadelphia, where I spent nearly three decades. One can easily spend a decade or two in an American place and not know anything about its past characters and anecdotes, so the only shared history one has is made up mostly of tales of exploits by corporate sport stars and favorite scenes from TV shows. Born into alienation, many Americans have never experienced anything but, so they bristle at mere suggestions that life can possibly be less virtual.

Instead of living locked-in lives drip-fed mostly by distant, brainwashing media, people in Ea Kly are constantly intertwined, whether at home, work or play, so all day long they rub against each other, and stories flow from each. Just parachuted in, I’ve heard confessions from the high school principal, a teacher, a driver, a cafe owner who used to sell insecticides and fertilizers, a wine distiller, a couple with a drink stand and a tiny tailor shop, and a bumbling plumber who’s just as inept at raising cows, etc. Thanks to the last, I was suddenly invited to a beef feast yesterday, for a calf of his had slipped down an embankment and choked on its own rope.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Vietnam 
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Since my time is tight and often interrupted, I will file these hit-and-run, guerrilla pieces. I’m the only one in this roadside, wall-less and dirt-floored cafe. Walking here, I paused to pet my neighbor’s cow, who’s taken an extreme liking to me. Lovingly, she licked my hand and arm with her sandpaper tongue and even bit yours truly lightly, the frisky bitch. The wind blows. It’s getting brisk in the Central Highlands.

Ea Kly has its charms, of which I’ll discuss more soon, since I’m marooned here, but today I want to talk about another hill town, Da Lat. It’s one of the cleanest and most Catholic places in Vietnam, and perhaps the most stylish and elegant. Is there some causation here?

One of my uncles was a doctor in Da Lat, so I spent extended time there as a child, before 1975. This past week, I revisited this beauty. Strolling for miles up and down its hills, I was struck by the neatness of its houses, streets and alleys, and everyone, even the poorest, tended to dress more carefully and consciously than elsewhere in Vietnam. In the always hot Mekong Delta, many people have never owned a pair of shoes, socks, gloves or a jacket, but in Da Lat, several layers of clothing are often necessary before you step outside. Heat encourages nudity and a more savage state. Naked all day long, Adam and Eve must have lived in Tonga or Hawaii. The colder the weather, the more decisions you’ll have to make about your appearance, as in which scarf and knit hat should I wear this afternoon?

The weather, though, is but one factor in Da Lat’s stylishness. The French built this town from scratch during World War I, when colonials needed a cool place to chillax but couldn’t embark for home. Although there are only a few French villas or public buildings left, their architectural influences show up all over, and not just overtly, as in the hip roofs, balustraded balconies, flower boxes beneath double casement windows or arched trellises over gates, etc., but in the general understatedness of Da Lat’s buildings, its fine lines and angles, and nuanced proportion. In Saigon, the rich favor ostentatious gates in garish gold, but in Da Lat, you can still tell who’s loaded without being screamed at by an obnoxious entrance.

Defining the ideal existence, Vietnamese used to say, “Eat Chinese food, live in a French house, marry a Japanese wife.” Online, there’s a comment, “This saying only adds to the humiliation of the Vietnamese. We don’t achieve anything, but only favor the foreign.”

On the seven-hour car ride to Da Lat, I passed so many churches, all festive with string lights, star lanterns, flags and nativity scenes, which were also displayed at many private businesses. Gates and banners proclaimed, “Joy at God’s Birth on Earth.” Skeletal Christmas trees lined streets and Santa Clauses added cheers. It’s a bit ironic, I thought, that in Communist, supposedly Godless and traditionally Buddhist Vietnam, there is a more overt and widespread celebration of Jesus’ birth than in America.

From 1975 until 2018, I definitely witnessed not just a progressive diminution of Christmas in America, but an increasing hostility to Christianity, from the sustained deification of a slut with a holy name, Madonna, to the much ballyhooed and remunerative Piss Christ, which is a photo of a crucifix dunk in the artist’s yellowish red urine. One of Madonna’s biggest hits, Like a Prayer, features a video of her dry-humping a black saint in a church. All the other blacks are celebratory, joyous and life-affirming, while all the whites, except for Madonna, are racist, evil and violent. But hey, there’s no ideology behind any of this! It’s just a healthy and organic evolution in thinking, and what the audience can’t help but crave, if they have their heads screwed on straight.

I’m wondering if Da Lat’s relative cleanliness and orderliness can be attributed to its high number of Catholics, with their constant stress on personal responsibility and guilt, and their intimate awareness of their community, through their parish? At least once a week, Catholics pray with their immediate neighbors. By contrast, most Vietnamese who identify as Buddhists have an extremely nebulous, if not chaotic, religious life, for they study no sacred text and receive no religious instructions. In their homes, there is usually not even a statue of the Buddha, but only of a standing goddess, Kuan Yin, who is almost always referred to, most generically, as Mrs.

A typical Vietnamese Buddhist’s theology is a jumble of folk beliefs and superstitions, and I’ll cite a familial example: when my mother-in-law got sick recently after a trip, she didn’t blame it on something she ate, the long ride, the weather or her aging constitution, but the fact that she had gotten into a black car, “I knew something was wrong when I saw that black car.” I’ve also seen her pray at a Cao Dai temple and a Hindu one. Granted, many Catholics also believe in heathen magic, as in a fear of the evil eye, but they’re grounded, in theory at least, by the New Testament.

In early April of 1975, my uncle’s family showed up in our Saigon home, for Da Lat had fallen. A few days later, a rogue South Vietnamese pilot bombed the Presidential Palace, just a quarter mile from my school, La San Taberd. Like all Catholic schools, it would soon be confiscated by the new regime.

My uncle’s family managed to get out as Saigon fell, and in the US, they were sponsored by a black family in Mobile, Alabama. These kind folks took in six complete strangers, from an entirely different culture, with no common language, and this amazing generosity occurred all over America, for there were 125,000 Vietnamese refugees that needed to be resettled, in 1975 alone. Whenever I brought up this fact years later, no American knew what I was talking about.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Christianity, Vietnam 
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In Bangkok for Miss Universe 2018, Miss Cambodia and Miss Vietnam made international news when they were idiotically mocked by Miss USA for not knowing English. The Vietnamese beauty, H’Hen Nie, is a Rade from Dak Lak, a province well-known to many American Vietnam War vets, but otherwise not often seen by foreigners. Its waterfalls and elephants don’t attract too many tourists, who prefer to crowd the beaches in Nha Trang, one province over.

Typing this, I’m lying on the floor, with mouse droppings inches from my laptop, in Dak Lak. It has been raining, often fiercely, for more than 24 hours. Outside my brownish steel doors are huge nylon sacks of plastic trash, or just trash. I’m working as a foreman at my brother-in-law’s plastic recycling plant, and living in the back of it. Tripping towards old age, I must make minimal provisions. It’s really cascading outside.

We have 30 employees, 23 women and seven men. The women’s main tasks are sorting the plastic pieces according to types and colors, and making sure no metal is left in them before they’re fed into the pelletizing machine. To remove metal, these small but tough women use a hammer or meat cleaver, mostly, but sometimes a screw driver or plier. Banging away for hours is grueling work, obviously.

Men load and unload heavy bags from trucks, operate the pelletizing machine. When men work together, even the smallest and weakest must suck it up and hump as much and as long as the rest, for to quit would be too humiliating. Sport teams, construction crews and armies all operate on this principle. Our hardiest male employee is also the shortest and scrawniest.

The women earned $6.82 a day, but their paces were slow, so now they’re paid by how many kilograms of plastic garbage they clear, which I track. Moving much faster, many routinely make more than $8.58 a day. The men are paid between $7.72 and $8.58. Around here, $6.43 daily is considered a decent wage, and most people don’t have to worry about rent, mortgage or property taxes.

The women prefer working here to the coffee plantations or lumber yards, since it’s inside and requires no heavy lifting. When a Rade woman was fired for repeatedly making mistakes, she threatened to bring her entire village down to take care of our manager, but nothing came of it.

Since the temperature inside the plant ranges from cool to moderately hot, it’s odd to see all the women well-wrapped up, so that only their eyes are visible. Perhaps they’ve retained this habit from toiling outside, where the dreaded sun will turn their skin darker, which they hate.

This town, Ea Kly, has around 20,000 people. Near our recycling plant, there’s a café with hammocks, so sometimes I go there to lie down, or to type. The owner used to serve beer, but she stopped when locals kept complaining about her price of 52 cents for a can of Saigon.

She only charges 34 cents for hot coffee with condensed milk, a Vietnamese standard, but it’s never hot. In Saigon, no one would put up with this, but we’re in remote, end of the road Ea Kly, OK, so just chill. In Hanoi, too, I’ve been served tepid coffee as “hot,” so it’s sort of a northern thing. From her accent, I can immediately tell the Ea Kly lady is a northerner. Decades of hard-core Communism degraded all northern foods and drinks, so that the worst pho on earth is actually in Hanoi, its birthplace.

It took a dozen visits before I found out the lady’s specialty is rice wine, home distilled, “I had to make my own because all the suppliers I tried were so inconsistent,” for they would use cheaper ingredients, hasten the process, cut corners. Though her wine has become famous locally, she won’t sell it in bulk, for fear it will be diluted or swapped, thus ruining her reputation.

She and her husband moved to Ea Kly in 1982, and back then, the FULRO insurgents were still very active. FULRO stands for Front Unifié pour la Libération des Races Opprimées. Rade, Cham and Cambodians made up the bulk of their membership, but there were also Bahnar, Jarai and K’Ho fighters, all unified by their hatred of the Vietnamese, who had stolen their lands.

You, too, are living on stolen land, and the fact that you’re still here means your heroically murderous ancestors have wiped out plenty of people, or at least their cultures. Physical war may be sporadic, but culture war is constant, and what’s at stake, always, is self-definition. The most common, persistent and insidious war is the fight between nations, often inside the same borders, over self-definition. Countless men have been willing to die to protect their nation’s ability to define itself. If you lose sight of this objective, you’re already defeated.

The café owner’s husband tells me, “When I first moved here, the FULRO would occasionally show up to collect rice, but what they needed most were medicines. Hunger, they could handle, but not being sick in the jungle.”

“Did they kill Vietnamese civilians?”

“No, not when I was here. They were in trouble. Our government is very good at maintaining security. The FULRO were being chased around, so they couldn’t set up base camps and grow vegetables, like our soldiers did during the war. A couple of times, drunk FULRO even walked down the middle of the road, shouting, ‘We’ll take this land back!’”

“So what happened?”

“We never saw those guys again!”

“What do you mean?”

“The government got them, I’m sure. We had plants inside all the minority villages.”

If it wasn’t for the Vietnamese, the Cham would not be aligned with the Rade, Bahnar and K’Ho, but subjugate and assimilate them into Champa, which once took up most of central Vietnam. These obscure and nearly obliterated nations should remind you that your nation, also, can easily meet the same fate.

With the Vietnamese, me included, surging into Dak Lak, the Rade have become a minority here. Most still live in their own villages, which I’ve been advised to stay clear of. Many Rade are employed by Vietnamese, so I often see them going to work, sitting on the flat beds of tractor trucks. In our plastic recycling plant, we also have a handful of Rade employees.

Near the end of a long day, the sweating men are taking a brief break, during which one Rade spoke to another in their language, which prompted a Vietnamese to shout, “Stop speaking Chinese! We can’t understand it!”

Second Vietnamese, “That’s not Chinese. That’s Rade!”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Vietnam 
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Beating Malaysia, Vietnam has just been crowned the soccer champion of Southeast Asia. With its short men boasting negligible muscles, this corner of the world is not known for its athletic prowess, so the world took no notice of this prize, understandably. Champion Vietnam is only ranked 100 by FIFA, but it took considerable effort just to be bad, and I’m not slinging Ebonics here. “We’re number 100!!!”

Discussing the Malaysian team, a Vietnamese article stated that “they’re so black and strong.” Frankly racist, this observation is amply confirmed by most athletic contests, at least those that don’t require snow or a broom. Besides its darker-skinned Indians, Malaysia also had a Gambian, Mohamadou Sumareh, who had been naturalized after five years in the country, and it’s no surprise that the blackest man on the pitch was the best built and imposing.

The tallest, though, was the Vietnamese goalkeeper, Đặng Văn Lâm, whose birth name is actually Lev Shonovich Dang, for he was born in Moscow to a Vietnamese father and Russian mother. Though Lâm only returned to Vietnam to live at age 17, he speaks Vietnamese comfortably. This hasn’t stopped fans from calling him Lâm Tây [Western Lâm]. After the victory, the affable 25-year-old asked that this be changed to Lâm Ta [Vietnamese Lâm or Our Lâm].

The fact that Malaysia had an imported Gambian was seen by some Vietnamese fans as a bit unfair, but consider the case of Liu Ja. China-born, this table tennis player came to Austria at age 17, and was granted citizenship just 11 months later, in time to represent Austria at the 1998 European Youth Championships, where she won three golds.

Watching an Olympic ping pong match, one often sees China-born Chinese competing against other China-born Chinese, but representing any number of countries, so Zhen “Eugene” Wang vs. Ahmet Li is Canada vs. Turkey, Xue Li vs. Jie Li is France vs. Netherlands, Xia Lian Ni vs. Feng Tian Wei is Luxembourg vs. Singapore, Zhiwen “Juanito” He vs. Zengyi Wang is Spain vs. Poland, etc. (If I was Mr. He, I would not take kindly to be called Juanito, but at least it’s not Chinito, and grandpa was already 54-years-young in Rio de Janeiro.) You also have the Vanuatuan Yoshua Shing, Qatari Ping Li, Dutch Jiao Li, German Ying Han, Portuguese Fu Yu, Polish Qian Li, Ukrainian Lei Kou, Congolese Xing Han and so on. Yes, Chinese are everywhere, and I’m not talking about Chinese immigration here, but merely pointing out how malleable the concept of citizenship has become.

The United States used to have much more stringent citizenship requirements, for which it was praised in a 1925 book, “At present there exists one State which manifests at least some modest attempts that show a better appreciation of how things ought to be done in this matter. It is not, however, in our model German Republic but in the U.S.A. that efforts are made to conform at least partly to the counsels of commonsense. By refusing immigrants to enter there if they are in a bad state of health, and by excluding certain races from the right to become naturalized as citizens, they have begun to introduce principles similar to those on which we wish to ground the People’s State.” Oops, it’s Adolf Hitler speaking, so tight border control is definitely Fascism!

Even half Germans can play pretty good soccer, though. Before meeting Malaysia, Vietnam beat Philippines, a team with players named Straus, Schrock, Mulders, Reichelt, Steuble and Ott, as well as half Aryan Etheridge, Falkesgaard, Woodland, Palla, Ramsay, Reed and Younghusband. Some with a Filipino-sounding name also turned out to be non-native. Murga and Silva are half Spanish and born in Spain, and Ingreso was hatched in Hamburg to a German mother. On the pitch, most of the Filipino players didn’t even look half, but completely white.

With their mostly half-white roster, one can conclude that Filipinos themselves have decided, inescapably, that white genes improve their soccer competitiveness, though not enough, for now, to defeat the very yellow Vietnamese team. Philippines has been ranked as low as 195 (in 2006), astounding for a country of 105 million.

Basketball, not soccer, is the Philippines’ favorite sport, however, and on their national team, there have been a few black Americans, such as 6-11 center Marcus Douthit. Even third-rate black B-ballers can become stars in Europe and Asia, so Douthit, even at age 38, is employed as the starting center for the Hanoi Buffaloes, for there aren’t any 6-11 Vietnamese guys out there, much less one with those long legs, arms and musculature.

Many whites have gotten in trouble for pointing out the obvious advantages blacks generally have over whites in most sports. In 1993, Dale Lick’s candidacy for president of Michigan State University was torpedoed when these statements, made four years earlier, were revealed:

A black athlete can actually outjump a white athlete on the average, so they’re better at the game [of basketball]. All you need to do is turn to the NCAA playoffs in basketball to see that the bulk of the players on those outstanding teams are black.

The same is true for football. The muscle structure of the black athlete typically is more suited for certain positions in football and basketball.

Well, this yellow man has no problems admitting that your average black American teenager can outrun, outjump, outslam and outjizz 99% of Vietnamese men, and there’s no shame in this, for we all have different gifts. Plus, athletic abilities don’t necessarily equate to a successful life or society.

One of the Vietnamese names for the United States is Hiệp Chủng Quốc, Nation of Many Races, and though this country has had the best and most sustained opportunity to observe racial differences, Americans are terrified to talk about them in polite company, for to do so is to be immediately branded as a racist.

If breeding a Vietnamese with a Russian gives Vietnam its tallest, most commanding and best goalie, and coupling Filipinas with whites yields most of the Philippines’ soccer team, one can reasonably conclude that, as far as soccer goes, white genetics are superior to Southeast ones, and this is perennially corroborated by FIFA rankings, and the fact that no Southeast Asian team has ever made the World Cup.

Despite all contrary evidences, there is an increasingly militant belief, among certain people, that there are no racial or even sexual differences, so for discussing black crime and black dysfunction, I’m being branded all over the internet as a hater of blacks and a racist, and for pointing out that a man wearing a dress is still man, since he still has a penis, I’m marked as a homophobe and transphobe, and for raging against Jewish power, which has killed millions, destroyed several countries, deformed many others and is the greatest threat to world peace right now, I’m tarred and feathered as an anti-Semite. Worst, I’ve committed the unforgivable sin for questioning the official version of the Holocaust, so I’m just a “Nazi shit” and a “Fascist,” though I’ve spent much of my writing career condemning state power.

Instead of debating me, my enemies are simply calling me names, with some contacting my publishers to harass them into ceasing the publication of my books, so who are the Fascists here? Sickeningly, this is what America has become, a nation of too many totalitarian-minded sheep who don’t even know they’re being manipulated into destroying their own country.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Political Correctness, Race, Sports, Vietnam 
Linh Dinh
About Linh Dinh

Born in Vietnam in 1963, Linh Dinh came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). He has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. He is also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and he has been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US, and has also published widely in Vietnamese.