The Rough Drafts of Vietnamese-American History

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There are now nearly 200,000 ethnic Vietnamese in Orange County, most of them living around the cluster of towns known as Little Saigon, 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Like other communities of immigrant refugees, Little Saigon seethes with feuds and factions.

In the intense early years, five Vietnamese-American journalists were killed in the United States, apparently by a radical anti-communist group. Mr. Do chose not to visit his mother in Vietnam before she died, fearing reprisals from those who oppose any contact with the country they had fled.

"They continue to fight with each other," he said of the Vietnamese refugees in an interview before his illness became critical.

"Many don't know how to deal with each other in peacetime," he said. "We need to educate them step by step to be part of the larger community. But to expect some of them to behave like normal immigrants, no way."

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Jim Brendan Monaghan - 5/20/2006

I recently holidayed in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City to be exact. On a tour of the former Presidentiall Palace the guide keep referring to former South Vietnam officials who had returned either to retire or on vacation. I got the distinct impression that a policy decision had been made to forgive and forget or at least be pragmatic. I suppose if they can welcome Bush in the Autumn they can be be a bit nicer to the losing side. Even though I would have marched aginst the war to the embassy in Dublin, I recognise that as in all wars most of the participnats on all sides are just trying to survive.
Vietnam has other problems now, it's diaspora could play a vital role in assisting it's economy.
For what it is worth, I saw little explicit signs of Socialism. The bookshops were totally commercial with no socialist texts. The dominant buildings were of 2 western financial entities.
One thing that saddened me was that they charge fees for primary school.
Overall impression was poor but improving with a lot of economic activity. If not a full grown tiger at least a cub.