Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/11/pham-doan-trang-goes-prison
This is a great example of our selective outrage when it comes to governments that suppress freedom and the right to dissent. We ignore the abuses in countries that play ball with us economically, like Vietnam, but loudly condemn and try and overthrow governments that hardly do any censorship and oppression, like Venezuela, which have done everything they can to get out from under the control of our corporations and instruments of empire, like the IMF and World Bank.
I don’t commonly post on this website but the article provokes my interest.
Vietnam is actually the most clever authoritarian regime in the world where they mastered the strategy of “stick-and-stone” to the fullest extent as well as the strategy of divide and conquer. They use the system of rewards for those who are fanatic to the core, and these agents aren’t “du luan vien” as many of these activists claimed. If you read the book “Perfect Spy”, then you will see a huge contradiction on the myth of “democracy automatically wins people’s hearts” because it simply doesn’t. People are attracted to a popular ideology, and the Vietnamese brand of Communism is the broadest and most general form of ideology, far better and attractive than the USSR and China. Everyone can understand it, emulate it and love it if you are exposed enough into it. Many Vietnamese people may not openly support the VCP but they do affiliated themselves with the ideology. The modern example is Trumpism, where there was actually a silent majority who were apolitical people voting Trump because they are attracted to his strong-ism and showmanship. Vietnamese Communism has the promise of Communist utopia, ultranationalism, economic freedom, fascism (Vietnam was the precursor of concentration camps against minorities before China),… Secondly, the strategy of “divide-and-conquer” is also ingenious because Vietnam never ever needed a totalitarian control over technologies when your opposition is quarreled with infighting. Ms Trang is actually a member of Viet Tan, a Party that has been accused by various democratic organizations for Vietnam as a Communist black organization. Yes! Overseas Vietnamese people hate Viet Tan and consider them as Communists, and it is weird for me after talking to one of those Vietnamese Americans in Little Saigon. All Vietnamese Americans do not interact with Vietnamese politics, and they really hate Viet Tan for swindling their money during the 1980s - When Hoang Co Minh waged failed guerilla operations against Vietnam. This guy also tells me that VCP sympathizers are everywhere in the overseas Vietnamese communities. They know if any Vietnamese American has anti-Vietnam thought or attended an anti-VCP organization. They can even take a picture of a private meeting of any anti-VCP organization that is supposed being SECRET! That’s not all, the VCP sympathizers also mastermind various anti-Vietnam organizations to fight against other anti-VCP organizations. Perpetually creating chaos in the overseas Vietnamese communities, so there is no one in the communities ever having the ability to rise up against Vietnam! The VCP sympathizers here aren’t spies, rather than they are overseas Vietnamese people who grow disillusioned with Western life or always have a pro-Vietnam unity mindset (like Taiwan’s KMT). They are numerous, silent and strong.
Because of two elements that I talked with my Vietnamese American friend. I can clearly see why the VCP never attempts a Chinese system in Vietnam because their foes aren’t smart nor threatening. Not to mention that Pham Doan Trang also works for democratic organizations that are prone to corruption and infighting. The VCP doesn’t even need to arrest any of them because they already tear themselves apart. This is precisely the reason why the CIA and NED gave up on granting funds for Vietnamese democratic movements, instead the Pentagon and US government now want Vietnam on their side against the upcoming Cold War against China.
I am not Vietnamese but I have researched the subject for a long time since the end of the Vietnam War. My knowledge is vast but may not be 100% true.
“Vietnam is lost in the world technologically,” Trang says. “It’s way behind China.”
My Vietnamese American friend in Little Saigon points this is the very exact reason why any anti-VCP movement is doomed to fail. All those democratic activists and anti-VCP crowds still live in the Cold War era, and they haven’t updated their memories to the latest tech. Folks in Hong Kong and Taiwan are more tech savvy and well-educated on the latest China topics and issues. Folks in Vietnam still think the country is like the old Soviet Union.
Hell no, Vietnam is actually winning technologically, and they proved it through defeating the Covid-19 Pandemic through cyber warfare.
Not to mention that they likely have mastered the means to produce and replicate the 5G technology.
Vingroup, secretly a VCP-backed private enterprise, is capable enough to win a contract from AT&T.
In the article, she already pointed out that those VCP trolls can easily hack and put down any opposition on the cyberspace easily. That’s already a huge feat of technological prowess when your foot soldier has cyberwarfare knowledge, while Japanese leaders can’t even use computers.
“Change is coming not because the state is more tolerant, but because it has lost control. It has to control the press plus the blogosphere. It has to deal with services based in the United States. The law requires Facebook to provide information to the police, and sometimes they do it. Google refuses, but Facebook complies. They work for profit, not for human rights. I have a Facebook account, which is more accessible than my blog, but I am wary about Facebook being more “cooperative” with the government than Google.”
Too bad for her, Google is the first one who doesn’t give a shit about human rights before Facebook. The Ministry of IT in Vietnam said that Google always obliges to the VCP’s requests, while Facebook is the only one hesitates. It doesn’t matter because now both of them have pledged loyalty to Vietnam.
Additionally, Vietnam threatens the tech giants to force anyone of them paying taxes. Netflix is now willing to cooperate.
Vietnam may not have a huge market like China but they have one of the largest populations with deep pockets in the world. These potential consumers in Vietnam are very secretive and frugal but they always pay big money if they really want something.
“In many ways, Vietnam is just a student of Big Brother China,” Trang says.
My term should be partner. China learned a lot from Vietnam, and both sides exchange their studies on Communism. Many people don’t know that Mao Zedong owed his Long March’s successes to the Vietnamese allies who support the Chinese with both intelligence and logistics. Vietnam has as much number of ethnic minorities (not population wise) as China, yet they successfully pacified all minorities without creating any autonomous region, while China still struggles with dissent separatism. Vietnam also solved the Highlands issue in Central Vietnam in less than a decade, while China still struggles to solve Hong Kong to Tibet.
Yeah. China actually learns a lot from Vietnam. The idea of ethnic sterilization actually came from Vietnamese pacification of Central Highlands and Western Northern Vietnam. In many ways, Vietnamese, throughout history, is even more chauvinist than Han Chinese themselves.