Friday, January 15, 2010

Death Toll and Religious Freedom in Vietnam

The below was sent to me by my Marine buddy, Del, from info collected from a friend of his. Some good resources. How little the leftist activists care about the misery visited on the Vietnamese people since the Democrat-controlled Congress cut off military aid to South Vietnam--in violation of our pledged word, and withdrew all help, assuring a Communist victory.

I apologize if the formatting isn't clear.~Bob


Reeducation camp death toll only one measure of mortality. Desbarats, Jacqueline, and Karl D. Jackson. "Vietnam 1975-1982: The Cruel Peace," Washington Quarterly, 8, No. 4, Fall 1985, 169-82 is the study most often cited, concluding around 65,000 were executed from '75 through '81. Not assumed that this figure includes those dying of malnutrition, disease, mine-clearing, etc. Many did, as they did in New Economic Zones, though accurate figure hard to obtain for this. It was a lot.

Scroll down this website for R.J. Rummel's estimates:

Beyond this is death toll of boat people lost at sea, a mid-range estimate being around 250,000.

In addition, Hanoi's insane communist economic policies manufactured malnutrition, leading to higher infant and maternal mortality rates. In 1985 one of ten infants died from malnutrtion. It hasn't gotten a lot better. Data below taken from 2009 CIA Fact Book. Infant mortality rates included for Laos and Cambodia, for which Hanoi bears responsibility:

Data below from CIA 2009 Fact Book. Averages for three communist SE Asia countries -Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia- compared with same categories for non-communist four SE Asia neighbors: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. All data, from various sources(World Bank, U.N., etc.) from 2002-2008 period. Data are a straight average, unweighted for population. Laos and Cambodia must be included as Hanoi has long had almost domineering influence in both countries, dragging both in Hanoi's war and subjecting both to variants of Hanoi's economic Marxist shamanism.

Communist Three Non-Communist Four

Per Capita Income* $2,167.00 $7,075.00

Infant Mortality** 53.27 21.78

Life Expectancy 63.1 Years 71.8 Years

% of Population
Below Poverty Line 26.8 15.7

* Purchasing Power Parity Method
** Per 1,000 Live Births

Nothing new here. In 2005 Hanoi economist Le Dang Doanh cited corruption and single-party control as a reason for Viet Nam's lowly economic status. He cited comparative data showing Viet Nam has regressed in relation to, for example, Thailand and So. Korea:

Viet Nam's Per Capita Income as Percentage of

1950 1999

Thailand 80.5 20.0

So. Korea 85.5 1 1.0


This, after 24 years of 'peace.' Hanoi is now,, sort of, 'catching up.' It's most recent per capita income of $2,600.00 is 32.9% of Thailand's $7,900.00, meaning at present rates and levels Viet Nam's per capita income will equal Thailand's in another 55-60 years, or 90-100 years after 'the war ended' in 1975.

Bears mention that Hanoi ranks 166th out of 175 countries, surveyed in 2009, measuring press freedom ...or lack thereof:

Average ranking and overall index score (higher the number, the less press freedom/greater oppression) of the communist three and non-communist four:

Communist 3 Non-Communist 4

Place 151 1 21

Index Score 69.6 38.76

As this is written retired NVA officer Tran Anh Kim is beginning his 5 1/2 year prison sentence for involvement in pro-democracy activities. He joins Le Thi Cong Nhan, Nguyen Van Dai, Fr. Nguyen Van Ly, scores of Montagnards, and many others jailed for 'subversion' and Orwellian 'anti-state plots.' Others, including attorney Le Cong Dinh, scheduled for trial on similar charges later this month.

In the meantime, Sec. State Hillary Clinton recently lauded U.S. ten-fold increase in trade with Viet Nam in past decade, neglecting to mention huge U.S. current account trade deficit with Viet Nam, meaning Hanoi benefits in terms of jobs more than does U.S. She had little to say about human rights in Viet Nam. Perhaps because there's little human rights to talk about.


If one measures all these indices of death the overall situation is far worse than that depicted by reeducation camp mortality alone. Perhaps some of Paul Bogdanor's information would be helpful to you(scroll down for his Viet Nam bibliography):

Peripheral perhaps to your intent is oppression of religion in contemporary Viet Nam. Hanoi currently ranked 21st worst country in terms of oppressing Christians (scroll down to p. 3):

More information available from U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom:

Overall it is doubtful that anyone has yet to accurately measure misery and death following, and because of, Hanoi's conquest. It extends to Laos and Cambodia, as well as the Thai NE border where a brush fire war, in part Hanoi sponsored, simmered for almost two decades, killing somewhere in neighborhood of 15,000. It far exceeds popular perceptions, and far exceeds what is taught in high schools and colleges.

Hanoi's religious oppression extends to all faiths, all beliefs. The Unified Buddhist Church, now in French exile, has a good website documenting Hanoi's pressure on Buddhists:

Hoa Hao Buddhists, separate from Unified Buddhist Church, also under the gun:

There has also been a great deal of recent turmoil with Viet Nam's Catholics:

And, as you probably are well aware, Montagnard Evangelical Christians subjected to police-state brutality:

A Russian named Sergei Blagov wrote at one time about the long term plans to wipe out religion in the country. This brief article below doesn't contain statements describing Hanoi's specific plans to eradicate religion, but does describe trials and tribulations of the Cao Dai, also oppressed by Hanoi:
Here are some additional sources, info. First group are Catholic websites, last two are from Forum 18, a Norwegian human/religious rights group:

Laos, 2004 Commentary:

From Canada- September 30, 2009 report is available on the EFC website at:

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