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    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Vietnam's Response to London's Bombing

    The BBC and news media in America have covered almost nothing but the tragic terrorist bombings in London since they happened. Surely, these bombings are both despicable and ignorant. I have no sympathy--let me repeat that, NONE--for the perpetrators of such cowardly deeds...especially when done in the name of God. There is an added acrimonious nature to a bad deed done in the name of a perfectly good deity.

    Then I wondered how Vietnam would respond to this attack. There are two possibilities. When in Vietnam before, I noticed the government highly censored news, even international news, if the actions or words were deemed immoral or could deflate party allegiance. Perhaps the Vietnamese government would do this to an obviously immoral act in London? Perhaps it would show the event, but neuter some of the pictures and video to eliminate blood?

    The other possibility stems from 9/11. During 11 Sept 2001, I was in Orange County, CA. That day was crazy for everyone, but every Vietnamese adult I met was deeply disturbed, crying even, because of the senseless loss of life. Would Vietnam react the same? Would the memories of a whole generation of war and the atrocities attendant cause Vietnam to cry and open up it's heart to the British people?

    Those were my two thoughts. Well, here's something I've found:

    A quick search found only one Vietnamese blogger commenting on it. Check out this 19 year old in Hanoi at Such is Life!

    Talking with my wife, she relayed the Saigon perspective. It seems that everywhere she went yesterday--UNICEF, a law office, and eating out, everyone was talking about it. Here's some of the conversation:

    wife: are you alright?
    me: i'm fine
    me: just reading through today's headlines really quick
    wife: ok
    me: did you hear about the bombings in London??
    wife: yeah
    wife: early this morning
    wife: SAD
    wife: :((
    me: I'd really like to know what the Vietnamese reaction is to this
    wife: oh
    me: and how much information the govt lets the people know
    wife: you forgot to ask mom?
    wife: she was talking about it all day
    me: yup
    me: what was she saying??
    wife: she was very angry
    wife: she said they are animals
    me: do you think her view is pretty normal for people in vietnam?
    wife: :))
    wife: i am pretty sure
    wife: they showed it on the news all day
    wife: and on the papers too
    wife: in fact
    wife: The Prime Minister, Phan Van Khai, sent a sympathy letter to Tony Blair earlier this morning and said that the Vietnamese are very sad and very sorry for the tragedy
    wife: they understand and stand by the British side
    wife: he even said that the world needs a better punishment for these terrorists
    me: wow
    wife: i was kinda impressed
    wife: i did not know Vietnam would do that much
    wife: and stand on British and American side
    me: yeah, me too
    me: did they allow all info to go to the people?
    me: i would expect so
    me: because it's not about vietnam
    wife: the fact is more than just that
    me: but i wondered if they might censor anything
    me: because it is so graphic
    wife: i guessed they did
    wife: because they all watched all the video tapes
    me: oh
    wife: in the past many months
    wife: that the terrorists
    wife: put on public TV
    wife: when they beheaded someone
    me: wow
    wife: my mom even told me detailed stories
    wife: i randomly asked her about those that beheaded
    wife: just to see how much she know
    wife: she know just as much as I do
    wife: amazing hah?
    me: very amazing
    wife: and my mom is just a staying at home mom
    wife: and she know that much
    me: I'm quite impressed
    me: by your mom, and vietnam
    wife: just think about those that work in offices
    wife: and communicate with all of their coworkers
    wife: i stopped by dad's office this morning
    wife: and all the lawyers were talking about it
    me: really
    wife: everywhere I went today
    me: what was the lawyer take on the situation?
    wife: everyone discussed about it
    wife: very funny
    wife: one of my dad's friends said
    wife: No place is safer than Vietnam
    me: lol
    wife: it is the best place to live
    me: probably true.

    Good job Vietnam, for responding like the Viets did during September 11th. I'm quite impressed.

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