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How do Vietnamese people view the Chinese?

Question: How do Vietnamese people view the Chinese?Answer: I think that from my perspective, most of the Vietnamese have a positive view forward the Chinese. I said about the Chinese people, not the imperial ambition of the Chinese states. Of course, Each of the Vietnamese will have a different view about the Chinese people based on their knowledge, experience, and position.Firstly, If the Vietnamese speak as their personal position, they have no reason or little reason to hate the Chinese people or the Chinese culture. It is partly why:The Vietnamese have not discriminated against the Chinese-Vietnamese people.(Hoa ethnic in Vietnam)The Vietnamese admire the Chinese culture and the Chinese people. Of course, in the past, they also learned and absorbed much the Chinese cultural values to enrich the Vietnamese culture. Today, the Chinese culture is not the cultural model for the Vietnamese, but the Vietnamese still respect much to the Chinese culture.(Paintings by Vietnamese, Chinese artists showcased in HCM City[1][1][1][1] )In general, the Chinese people are good at doing business, hard-working, and very close to the Vietnamese in most of everything from history, culture to philosophy, way of life..etc. I think that it is great for the Vietnamese to make friends with China.Secondly, If the Vietnamese speak out as their national interests, they shall view China (I mean the Chinese states) as an aggressive and imperial country. Each of the Chinese Empires and regimes in the entire Chinese history has always invaded or sent their troops to occupy Vietnam at least once time. Let’s check around 1000 recent years:Link: List of wars involving Vietnam - WikipediaIn 938, the Chinese Southern Han kingdom invaded VietnamIn 981, the Chinese Song Empire invaded VietnamIn 1077–1078, the Chinese Song Empire also invaded VietnamIn 1258, 1285, 1288, the Yuan Empire invaded Vietnam (If you regarded the Yuan Empire as Chinese Dynasty)In 1407, the Chinese Ming Empire invaded Vietnam and even enslaved the Vietnamese for 20 years.In 1788, the Chinese Qing Empire invaded Vietnam.In 1945, the Chinese ROC (Taiwan) sent their troops to Vietnam to disarm the Japanese troops after ending the WW2 but has still occupied the Vietnamese islands - Itu Aba island.In 1979, the Chinese CCP Empire invaded Vietnam during the short-blood war and still raided into the Vietnamese territories from 1979–1991.Now: China and Taiwan still occupy many of the Vietnamese islands on the South China Sea and also threaten the maritime activities in the Vietnamese EEZ in accordance with the UNCLOS 1982.What do you think that How the Vietnamese should view China? From What I know that the Vietnamese only hope that China should let them alone, do not claim their territories and their waters in accordance with the UNCLOS 1982, and both countries should be friends of each other. However, I guess that the Chinese states will never abandon their greed with Vietnam which seemingly inherited from the Chinese ancestors.In conclusion: the Vietnamese and the Chinese should be friends and all of the disputes between both countries also should be resolved through negotiation in bilateral and multilateral forums based on the International laws and general rules of our world. If not, the international court could be a good choice for both. However, I guess the Chinese government will not want to resolve the dispute with Vietnam through international laws because you know why!Reading this article: Ask The Vietnamese About War, And They Think China, Not The U.S[2][2][2][2] .(Pham Thi Ky (right) and her family pray at the grave of her brother-in-law, who was killed 36 years ago in the 1979 border war with China. Every year, the family goes to the cemetery on the anniversary of his death. Vietnam and China have been adversaries for centuries and the friction continues to this day)In one of the many war cemeteries in Lang Son, a city in northern Vietnam, Pham Thi Ky and her family light incense and offer prayers for her brother-in-law, who died 36 years ago in Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China.That 1979 war left more than 50,000 dead. There are other graves here, too. They fought and died against the French occupiers, then the Americans. But relative to China, those were brief battles.No country weighs on Vietnam like China, and it has been that way for centuries. Has the conflict with China ever really ended, I ask Pham Thi Ky as she lights another candle."No," she says. Her daughter agrees. Her sister is even more emphatic. "It will never end. With the Chinese, how can it ever end?"Vietnam's 2,000-year history with its northern neighbor is complex. There have been countless conflicts as well as shared culture. The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is a good example. It was built by the Vietnamese King Ly Thánh Tông in 1070 to honor the Chinese philosopher Confucius. The teachings on the walls are written in Chinese characters. China is also Vietnam's largest trading partner.The two countries share a communist ideology shaped in part by their shared history, an ideology largely abandoned by the rest of the world. That helps explain why the 1979 border war is something neither government likes to talk about. But Nguyen Duy Thuc, a veteran of that war, is happy to."On the morning of the attack, February 17th, we were sleeping when the Chinese artillery started, then we all ran to our posts," he says. "Some were dressed, others didn't even have time to put their pants on, they just ran to their posts to fight."Vietnamese forces travel toward the country's northern border during a brief, bloody war with China in 1979.At least 200,000 Chinese troops poured into northern Vietnam all along the border. China was aiming to punish Vietnam for its invasion of Cambodia the month before to oust the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge. There were so many Chinese attacking, Nguyen Duy Thuc remembers, that the soldiers in his bunker "fired our AK-47s until the muzzles turned red and they couldn't fire anymore."But the Chinese kept coming; eventually, his bunker was overrun. The Chinese, he says, pumped gas into the ventilation system. There were 800 people, including soldiers, women, and children, who fled the fighting in his bunker, Nguyen says.Only he and two others managed to escape. After nearly a month, the Chinese withdrew, though border clashes continued for the next decade. And Nguyen Duy Thuc hasn't forgotten. If he catches his wife trying to watch a Chinese movie, he turns it off.Memories of that war, and the many other bouts of invasion, occupation, and retaliation throughout history, color Vietnam's relationship with China.That's especially true now, with the two countries at odds over what Vietnam views as Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea. When China parked an oil rig in contested waters last year, Vietnam upped its official anti-China rhetoric.And anti-China rioting left at least a dozen dead, including four Taiwanese mistaken for Chinese. As tension grew, and Chinese and Vietnamese boats played a dangerous game of chicken near the rig, some in the border town of Lang Son grew worried. They feared a repeat of what happened in 1979."Last year, we were very frightened. We started stockpiling rice and food. I was very worried that there would be war," says Pham Thi Ky, the woman at the cemetery.Back in 1979, she says she was forced to flee with nothing but the clothes on her back, so this time she wanted to be prepared. She even went to the bank to withdraw a large sum of money, just in case. But the bank wouldn't give it to her, apparently fearing a run.Vietnam isn't the only one worried.The Obama administration's "pivot toward Asia" is prompted, in part, by the idea of trying to contain China's expansionism, which has its Southeast Asian neighbors and Japan worried.In the South China Sea, China continues to build on several disputed islands and reefs. In April, satellite photos revealed China was constructing a 2-mile-long, military-grade runway on Fiery Cross Reef, prompting howls of protest from the Philippines and Vietnam, both of which claim the island as their own."We think this can be solved diplomatically, but just because the Philippines or Vietnam are not as large as China doesn't mean that they can just be elbowed aside," President Obama said.Duong Trung Quoc, a member of Vietnam's National Assembly and editor of the magazine Past & Present, says, "I think China is not only Vietnam's problem, but the world's problem right now."Duong says he admires how China appears to be the only civilization in history to have forced its way back onto the world stage after an interregnum."It didn't happen with Greece or India," he says. "But China has a chance."Vietnamese in the northern province of Lang Son seek refuge after Chinese forces crossed the border and entered Vietnam in February 1979.And that's a problem, he contends, because China still thinks the way it used to back when it was on top."China thinks it is at the center. The conquerer. It wants to turn everybody else into its subordinates," he says. Don't believe China, Duong says when it appears to be playing nice. It's a trap. The Vietnamese, he says, should know."After the war, the Vietnamese and the Americans could reconcile. Vietnam and France can reconcile. Veterans from both sides can sit down together and talk. Vietnamese and Chinese veterans hardly ever sit down together," he says.Why is this?"The Vietnamese have had too much experience with the Chinese. The Vietnamese can't trust the Chinese. We've had too much practice," he adds.Few in Vietnam's government talk so openly about the perceived threat from their northern neighbor. They're wary of igniting more protests, like those last year. And Vietnam's Communist Party still looks to China as a model of how to keep an authoritarian state in power in the Internet age. But anti-Chinese sentiment among ordinary Vietnamese continues to grow.Vo Cao Loi lives about a mile from the South China Sea — which the Vietnamese simply call the East Sea — in the central Vietnam city of Danang, where the first U.S. combat troops landed in 1965.He says he's a survivor of a massacre next to My Lai, one that claimed 97 lives, including his mother. He no longer considers the Americans enemies, but rather as friends. Allies, even, against Vietnam's longtime enemy. He believes the Chinese have taken something that belongs to Vietnam.Vietnamese cross the Ky Cuong River on a temporary floating bridge in August 1979. The main bridge was destroyed by the Chinese during a brief border war several months earlier. Vietnam and China have been rivals for centuries and the friction continues to this day."The Spratly and Paracels (islands) are still partly occupied," he says. "Of course at some point, we have to put our differences aside, but we have to get those islands back first. Because it belongs to our ancestors."It doesn't take him long to acknowledge that probably won't happen."They want to spread their control. They will never give back what they took," he adds. "Vietnam wants to take it back, but the Chinese are strong. So our struggle will last a long time. How long? I can't tell you."Lusia MillarFootnotes[1] Paintings by Vietnamese, Chinese artists showcased in HCM City | Culture - Sports | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)[1] Paintings by Vietnamese, Chinese artists showcased in HCM City | Culture - Sports | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)[1] Paintings by Vietnamese, Chinese artists showcased in HCM City | Culture - Sports | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)[1] Paintings by Vietnamese, Chinese artists showcased in HCM City | Culture - Sports | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)[2] Ask The Vietnamese About War, And They Think China, Not The U.S.[2] Ask The Vietnamese About War, And They Think China, Not The U.S.[2] Ask The Vietnamese About War, And They Think China, Not The U.S.[2] Ask The Vietnamese About War, And They Think China, Not The U.S.

Were there any U.S. soldiers who claimed their children that they had with Vietnamese women in the Vietnam War? What happened to the ones that were left behind?

Q. Were there any U.S. soldiers who claimed their children that they had with Vietnamese women in the Vietnam War? What happened to the ones that were left behind?A. Multiple articles regarding Amerasians treatment after the war, what led to the American Homecoming Act of 1987, and a look back 25 years later.40 years after the Vietnam war ended, the children of U.S. soldiers are looking for their dads.Legacies of warForty years after the fall of Saigon, soldiers’ children are still left behindPhotos by Linda DavidsonStories by Annie Gowen, Published: April 17, 2015Vo Huu Nhan was in his vegetable boat in the floating markets of the Mekong Delta when his phone rang. The caller from the United States had stunning news — a DNA database had linked him with a Vietnam vet believed to be his father.Nhan, 46, had known his father was an American soldier named Bob, but little else.“I was crying,” Nhan recalled recently. “I had lost my father for 40 years, and now I finally had gotten together with him.”But the journey toward their reconciliation has not been easy. News of the positive DNA test set in motion a chain of events involving two families 8,700 miles apart that is still unfolding and has been complicated by the illness of the veteran, Robert Thedford Jr., a retired deputy sheriff in Texas.When the last U.S. military personnel fled Saigon on April 29 and 30, 1975, they left behind a country scarred by war, a people uncertain about their future and thousands of their own children. These children — some half-black, some half-white — came from liaisons with bar girls, “hooch” maids, laundry workers and the laborers who filled sandbags that protected American bases.They are approaching middle age with stories as complicated as the two countries that gave them life. Growing up with the face of the enemy, they were spat on, ridiculed, beaten. They were abandoned, given away to relatives or sold as cheap labor. The families that kept them often had to hide them or shear off their telltale blond or curly locks. Some were sent to reeducation or work camps, or ended up homeless and living on the streets.They were called “bui doi,” which means “the dust of life.”Forty years later, hundreds remain in Vietnam, too poor or without proof to qualify for the program created by the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987 that resettles the children of American soldiers in the United States.Now, an Amerasian group has launched a last-chance effort to reunite fathers and children with a new DNA database on a family heritage Web site. Those left behind have scant information about their GI dads — papers and photographs were burned as the Communist regime took hold, and memories faded. So positive DNA tests are their only hope.New season, fresh hopesMotorcycles and scooters crowd the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)Ho Chi Minh City in spring. The apricot flower trees, symbol of the spring festival of Tet, are in bloom. A never-ending parade of motorbikes swirls around traffic circles. High-end stores such as Gucci sparkle near chain restaurants such as KFC. There’s scant evidence of the U.S. military presence, save for a rusting helicopter in the yard of a museum devoted to communist glory.But family secrets are buried like land mines.Trista Goldberg, 44, is a Pilates instructor from New Jersey, proud to call herself Amerasian, and founder of a group called Operation Reunite. She was adopted by a U.S. family in 1974 and found her birth mother in 2001. Two springs ago, she arrived at a house in Ho Chi Minh City where 80 people had gathered to provide DNA samples. She hopes to use potential matches to help make the case for about 400 whose applications for U.S. visas are pending further verification.“With a twist of fate, I could have been one of the ones who stayed back,” she said.Operation Reunite Returns Amerasians to VietnamMore than 3,000 Vietnamese orphans were evacuated from Vietnam in the chaotic final days of war. The lives of the rest changed with the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987, which allowed 21,000 Amerasians and more than 55,000 family members to settle in the United States.The “dust of life” suddenly became “gold children.” Rich Vietnamese paid to buy Amerasians, only to abandon them once they arrived in the United States, according to the former U.S. Marine and child psychiatrist Robert S. McKelvey, who wrote “The Dust of Life: America’s Children Abandoned in Vietnam.”In part because of such fraud, the United States tightened its screening procedures, and the number of immigrant visas issued dropped dramatically. Only 13 were issued last year.Nhan had traveled from his home in An Giang for Goldberg’s DNA collection session. He is a quiet man, a father of five with a third-grade education, a wide smile and ears that stick out slightly.His mother had told him he was the son of a soldier when he was about 10.“Why do kids tease me all the time? I get so upset, sometimes I want to hit them, ” Nhan recalled saying. “She paused for a while and told me I was a mixed kid. She looked sad, but my grandparents said they loved me the same. It didn’t matter.”After Nhan and the others gave DNA samples, they settled back to see whether this new technology would give them a chance at the old American dream.Making contactTop: Vo Huu Nhan, an Amerasian born to a Vietnamese mother and an American G.I. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)Bottom: Old photos of Bob Thedford as an officer in the Army during the late '60s. (Photo courtesy Vo Huu Nhan)In the fall, Bob Thedford’s wife, Louise, a genealogy buff, logged on to her account with Family Tree DNA, which is cooperating with Goldberg’s effort, and saw a surprising result. It was new information for her husband, a father-son link. The son was Nhan.Louise had long suspected that her husband might have had a child from his days as a military police officer in Vietnam in the late 1960s. She had found a picture of a Vietnamese woman tucked inside his wallet shortly after they wed.The news was more of a shock to their daughter, Amanda Hazel, 35, a paralegal from Fort Worth.“To be honest, the first thing I thought was, ‘Are you sure this isn’t a scam?’ ” Hazel recalled.But pictures of Nhan arrived a short time later. He was the image of his late grandfather, Robert Thedford Sr., a Navy veteran who had fought in World War II. “You look so much like your grandfather PawPaw Bob,” Bob told his son.Thedford, a strapping Tarrant County deputy sheriff known as “Red” for his auburn hair, had met Nhan’s mother while he was at Qui Nhon Air Base. His memories of her are hazy, and his family said he rarely spoke of the war.“He would never sit down and lament on it,” his stepson, John Gaines, recalled. “When I asked him, ‘Did you ever shoot someone?’ he said, ‘Yes, but you have to understand there are reasons behind that, and it’s part of war. I’m not going to sit here and explain to you what that’s like.’”As Thedford was teaching Hazel to swim and ride a bike in suburban Texas, Nhan was growing up on his grandparents’ pig farm, swimming in the river and getting caught stealing mangoes. The disparity in their lives was not lost on Thedford.“He just kept saying, ‘I didn’t know,’ ” Gaines said. “ ‘I didn’t know how to be there, or I would have been there. All I can tell you is I was surprised, and I hate finding out 45 years later.’ ”Tentative contacts followed, although Nhan speaks no English and does not have a computer. E-mails were exchanged through intermediaries, packages followed. Nhan sent sandals he had made and conical paddy hats; the Thedfords sent Nhan a $50 bill and Texas Rangers gear. “Is there anything you need?” Robert Thedford kept asking.Then there was the emotional first Skype call, when both men cried seeing each other for the first time.“He looked like me,” Nhan said after. “I felt like I connected with him right away.”But last August, Thedford, 67, who had previously been treated for skin cancer, fell ill again. The cancer had spread, and he had a series of operations, the most recent on April 3. As the Texas family rallied to care for him, Vietnam receded.‘My son in Vietnam’Dang Thi Kim Ngan, right, interprets for Vo Huu Nhan, center, as he Skypes with his half-sister Amanda Hazel. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)Recently, Nhan Skyped with Hazel from a dusty computer in the back of a friend’s sewing supply shop in Ho Chi Minh City. She spoke from her living room, her dogs running about.Nhan asked how his father was doing.“He’s doing good. He can sit up in a chair now. They’re working with him,” Hazel said. “I feel bad not connecting sooner, but Mom and Dad think about you and talk about you all the time.” Thedford had been showing pictures of Nhan to the nurses in the hospital and saying, “This is my son in Vietnam.”Nhan submitted the results of his DNA match to the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2013, asking for a reconsideration. But he has not heard back. A State Department spokesman said that privacy laws prevent discussion of any case.Hazel says that the family is all for helping Nhan immigrate to the United States, even as she knows that the transition would be difficult. “It’s going to totally throw him for a loop,” she said.But for now, theirs is a story without an end, the way the war itself is a wound that never completely healed. The story keeps spiraling forward, like the DNA double helix that brought them together.Nga Ly Hien Nguyen in Vietnam and Magda Jean-Louis and Julie Tate in Washington contributed to this report.Amerasians in Saigon 1985 & 1987 including Kim NguyenJim LauriePublished on Feb 1, 2016Amerasian children were a fixture on the streets of Saigon from 1980 to 1987. Most had a very hard time; no parents and they were regarded as outcasts in society. Finally by 1988-1990, the US and Vietnamese governments agreed to allow nearly all to settle in the United States. Under the American Homecoming Act of 1988, about 23,000 Amerasians and 67,000 of their relatives entered the United States. These are excerpts of video shot in 1985 and 1987.Vietnam: A Tale of 'Miss Saigon,' Two Kims, Children of Dust and More Than 30 Years ( Legacy: Finding G.I. Fathers, and Children Left Behind (2013)SALTILLO, Miss. — Soon after he departed Vietnam in 1970, Specialist James Copeland received a letter from his Vietnamese girlfriend. She was pregnant, she wrote, and he was the father.He re-enlisted, hoping to be sent back. But the Army was drawing down and kept him stateside. By the time Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975, he had lost touch with the woman. He got a job at a plastics factory in northern Mississippi and raised a family. But a hard question lingered: did she really have his child?“A lot of things we did in Vietnam I could put out of my mind,” said Mr. Copeland, 67. “But I couldn’t put that out.”In 2011, Mr. Copeland decided to find the answer, acknowledging what many other veterans have denied, kept secret or tried to forget: that they left children behind in Vietnam.Their stories are a forgotten legacy of a distant war. Yet for many veterans and their half-Vietnamese children, the need to find one another has become more urgent than ever. The veterans are hitting their mid-60s and early 70s, many of them retired or infirm and longing to salve the scars of an old war. And for many of the offspring, who have overcome at least some of the hurdles of immigration, the hunger to know their American roots has only grown stronger.“I need to know where I come from,” said Trinh Tran, 46, a real estate agent in Houston who has searched in vain for her G.I. father. “I always feel that without him, I don’t exist.”By some estimates, tens of thousands of American servicemen fathered children with Vietnamese women during that long war. Some of the children were a result of long-term relationships that would be unimaginable to the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where interaction with local people was minimal. Others were born of one-night stands. But few of the fathers ever met their offspring, and fewer still brought them home to America.After the war, those children — known as Amerasians — endured harsh discrimination and abject poverty in Vietnam, viewed as ugly reminders of an invading army. Shamed by reports of their horrible living conditions, Congress enacted legislation in 1987 giving Amerasians special immigration status. Since then, more than 21,000, accompanied by more than 55,000 relatives, have moved to the United States under the program, and several thousand more have come under other immigration policies.Many arrived expecting to be reunited with their American fathers. But the United States government did not help in that cause, and only a tiny fraction — perhaps fewer than 5 percent — ever found them.So many Amerasians continue to search, typically working with little more than badly translated names, half-forgotten memories and faded photographs.And some veterans are doing the same, driven by heartache, or guilt, to find sons and daughters. “It’s like the mother who gives up their kid for adoption,” said George Pettitt of Wales Center, N.Y. “You just never stop thinking about it.”Mr. Pettitt, 63, enlisted in the Army after dropping out of high school and was in Vietnam by age 19. During his year there, he developed a relationship with a Vietnamese woman who did laundry for soldiers. Soon she was pregnant.“I was taking comfort in having a girlfriend like that,” he said. “I never meant for her to get pregnant.”He returned home to western New York, lost touch with the woman, got a job driving trucks and raised a family. But when he retired for health reasons in 2000, he found himself haunted by memories of the child he left behind — a boy, he believes. He paid a man to look in Vietnam, but the trail went cold. This year, a woman in Virginia called to say she thought her husband might be his son. But a DNA test was negative.“I was hoping this was it,” he said. “I just feel so guilty about all this.”Yet against the odds and despite the many years, children and fathers sometimes find each other.Cuong Luu was born in Vietnam, the child of an American soldier who met his mother when she cleaned his apartment. The soldier left Vietnam before Mr. Luu was born, and his mother lost contact with him. Soon after, she married an American who worked for the military. He moved the family to the Virgin Islands when Mr. Luu was a toddler.Mr. Luu inherited many of his father’s features, and in the black neighborhood of St. Thomas where he grew up, he was taunted for being white. His mother also shunned him, he said, perhaps ashamed of the hard memories he evoked.At the age of 9, he was in a home for delinquent boys. By 17, he was living on the street, selling marijuana and smoking crack. At 20, he was in prison for robbing a man at gunpoint. When he got out, his half sister took him to Baltimore, where he resumed selling drugs.PhotoJames Copeland and Tiffany Nguyen, his daughter, who was born after he left Vietnam. Credit Lance Murphey for The New York TimesBut then he had a daughter with a girlfriend, and something inside him changed. “I worried I would just go to jail and never see her,” he said of his daughter, Cara, who is 4.Long plagued by questions about his identity, he decided he needed to find his biological father to set his life straight. “I wanted to feel more whole,” said Mr. Luu, 41. “I just wanted to see him with my own two eyes.”The quest became an obsession. Mr. Luu spent every night on his computer, hunting unsuccessfully until he realized he had spelled the name wrong: it was Jack Magee, not McGee.He discovered references to a Jack Magee on a veterans’ Web site and, through Facebook, tracked down a man who had served in the same unit. “What do you want from Jack Magee?” the man asked. “I just want a father,” Mr. Luu replied. “Your dad wants to talk to you,” the man wrote back not long after.Mr. Luu had his DNA tested, and it was a match. In November, Mr. Magee, a retired teacher from Southern California, visited Mr. Luu on his birthday. An awkward relationship, full of possibility but not untouched by resentment and wariness, was born.Mr. Magee now calls his son weekly, checking to make sure he is still working in his job cleaning hospital rooms in Baltimore. He also shipped a used Toyota Corolla from California to Mr. Luu, who had been commuting by bus.“I was stunned he was out there,” Mr. Magee, 75, said in an interview.Now that he has found his father, Mr. Luu said, he feels stronger. But the discovery, he has realized, has not solved his problems. What can a former felon do to make a better living? Go to college? Start a business? Drug dealing remains a powerful temptation.“I just wish I had met him before,” Mr. Luu said. “He could have taught me things.” " Recover the past" , Vietnam vets last battle to find his amerasian childBrian Hjort, a Danish man who has helped Mr. Luu and other Vietnamese track down their fathers, says Amerasians often have unrealistically high expectations for reunions with fathers, hoping they will heal deep emotional wounds. But the veterans they meet are often infirm or struggling economically. Sometimes the relationships are emotionally unfulfilling.“I try to tell them: I can’t guarantee love,” Mr. Hjort said. “I can only try to find your father.”Mr. Hjort, 42, is among a small coterie of self-trained experts who have helped Amerasians track down fathers, mostly pro bono. An industrial painter from Copenhagen, he first met Amerasians while traveling through Vietnam and the Philippines two decades ago and was struck by their desperate poverty.One asked him to find a friend’s father, and to his amazement he tracked the man down even though he had no knowledge of military records. News of Mr. Hjort’s success traveled rapidly through Amerasian circles, and he was soon besieged with pleas for help. Moved by the Amerasians’ suffering, he took on more cases, charging only the cost of his trips to Vietnam. He created a Web site,, that brought more requests than he could handle.Working in his spare time, he has found scores of fathers, he estimates. Some had died, and many others hung up on him. A few have threatened to sue him. But perhaps two dozen have accepted their children. And in recent years, veterans, too, have begun asking for help. James Copeland was one.In 2011, Mr. Copeland, by then retired, began reading about Amerasians’ miserable lives in Vietnam. Appalled, he decided to search for his own child.He found Mr. Hjort and sent him money to visit Vietnam. Armed with a few names and a crude map, Mr. Hjort found the village where Mr. Copeland had been based and tracked down the brother of an Amerasian woman who was living in America and who Mr. Hjort believed was Mr. Copeland’s daughter.Mr. Hjort sent a photograph of the woman and her mother to Mr. Copeland, and his heart jumped: he instantly recognized the mother as his old girlfriend. His hands were shaking with excitement as he dialed the daughter’s number and asked: “Is this Tiffany Nguyen?”In the coming days, he visited her, her mother and her three brothers in Reading, Pa., where she runs a nail salon at the Walmart. Ms. Nguyen and her three children spent Thanksgiving 2011 with him in Mississippi. For a time, they talked nightly, and she told him about how her mother had protected her from abuse in Vietnam, about their struggles to adapt to the United States, about how she had studied older men at the Walmart, wondering if one of them was her father.“There were a lot of years to cover,” Mr. Copeland said. “I can sleep a lot better now.”But the reunion has also brought him unexpected heartache. His wife became furious when she discovered that he had a Vietnamese daughter, and she demanded that he not visit her. He refused: Ms. Nguyen is his only biological child. After 37 years of marriage, he and his wife are separated and considering divorce, he said. His wife did not respond to efforts to reach her for comment.Mr. Copeland now helps Mr. Hjort contact veterans they believe are fathers of Amerasians. In his patient drawl, Mr. Copeland calmly tells them his story and urges them to confront the possibility that they, like him, have Vietnamese children.But if they dodge his calls or hang up, he continues to leave messages — with children, with spouses, on answering machines. They need to know, he said.“Some people, they just want to move on and forget it,” he said. “I don’t see how they can do it. But there’s a lot of them that I’m sure that’s the case. They just want to forget.”Father searching for amerasian child 2012-13, 12 casesExploring Stories Behind the Amerasian Experience After the Vietnam War | PBS EducationSEPTEMBER 27, 2017Before beginning this project, I did not know very much about the Vietnam War. Events such as the Tet Offensive and Operation Babylift were events I had heard about, but my knowledge of the events was vague. Since my parents lived through the war as children and came to America as refugees, I have always wanted to learn more about the people and history behind the war. It was important to me to discover what my parents experienced.Vietnamese Amerasians were merely children during the post Vietnam War era. Their American servicemen fathers left Vietnam. Their Vietnamese mothers would often abandon them or send them to orphanages. They were discriminated against and abused due to their appearance. This treatment is only some of what they had to go through when while still living in Vietnam.A Second Chance in the U.S.Fortunately, Robert J. Mrazek, a U.S. Congressman, flew to Vietnam after hearing about an Amerasian boy, named Le Van Minh, who needed medical help.. After seeing the horrid living conditions the Amerasian children endured and how they wanted to “go to the land of [their] father,” Mrazek decided to find a solution. He would eventually come to author the Amerasian Homecoming Act. As a result, the Vietnamese Amerasians, along with their families, were allowed a second chance at life and immigrated to the U.S.Even though I am of Vietnamese descent, I initially did not have any knowledge of Vietnamese Amerasians and their incredible stories. After intensive research and speaking to my parents, who interacted with Amerasians while they were still living in Vietnam, I realized that they had suffered way too much to not be mentioned in a history textbook. Amerasians also had a great impact on both the Vietnamese and American people. Almost 100,000 people immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. and they are now living in better conditions, becoming productive and contributing members of society.A School Project Inspires a Deeper DiveAlthough creating a National History Day project at my school is part of a class assignment for juniors, I created a project as an extracurricular activity when I was a sophomore. The History Day program provides students with the opportunity to dive into a topic and dig deeper than a student would during an average history course.To begin my project, I spent numerous hours researching. I gathered background information on Vietnamese Amerasians and the impact of the Amerasian Homecoming Act. I visited the Watson Library at the University of Kansas, where I found numerous newspaper articles and books from their databases and library. I also researched in other libraries. I contacted two Vietnamese Amerasians that came to America through Operation Babylift and the Amerasian Homecoming Act. Then, I had to write my script, a 500 word process paper with an annotated bibliography, and create my documentary.A Homecoming Act DocumentaryI thought that the topic of U.S. Congressman Robert Mrazek’s stand for Amerasians could be expressed most clearly through a documentary. I used iMovie to create my project and found video clips, images, and music that complemented the information provided. Through this documentary, viewers are enlightened about the agony Amerasians went through and the positive results from Mrazek’s Amerasian Homecoming Act.After working on this project, my determination to learn more about the Vietnam War grew stronger. Meeting Amerasians and hearing their stories made me want to continue to deepen my understanding about their struggles. Today, since most Americans do not know about the Vietnam War, Amerasians and the impacts of the Amerasian Homecoming Act, I feel like it is important topic for young people to examine.Kim Vu is a junior in Seaman High School in Topeka, Kansas. She is currently involved in band, Math Club, Key Club, SHARP Committee, Scholar’s Bowl, Student Council, Writing Center, and Track and Field inside of school. Outside of school, she is involved in the youth folk choir and volunteer at my church and at food banks. Kim won National History's Day Vietnam War Era Prize with this documentary.KIM VU High School StudentAmerasian PhotosThe American Homecoming Act or Amerasian Homecoming Act, was an Act of Congress giving preferential immigration status to children in Vietnamborn of U.S. fathers. The American Homecoming Act was written in 1987, passed in 1988, and implemented in 1989.The act increased Vietnamese Amerasian immigration to the U.S. because it allowed applicants to establish mixed race identity by appearance alone. Additionally, the American Homecoming Act allowed the Amerasian children and their immediate relatives to receive refugee benefitsAbout 23,000 Amerasians and 67,000 of their relatives entered the United States under this act.While the American Homecoming Act was the most successful program in moving Vietnamese Amerasian children to the United States, the act was not the first attempt by the U.S. government. Additionally the act experienced flaws and controversies over the refugees it did and did not include since the act only allowed Vietnamese Amerasian children.BackgroundIn April 1975, the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese forces. Refugees from Vietnam started to arrive in the United States under U.S. government programs. In 1982, the U.S. Congress passed the Amerasian Immigration Act (PL 97-359). The law prioritized U.S. immigration to children fathered by U.S. citizens including from Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. However, the law did not provide immigration to mothers or half-siblings, only to Amerasian children. Amerasians would generally have to coordinate with their American fathers in order to obtain a visa. This provided a challenge for many since some fathers did not know they had children or the fathers may not be claiming the children. If the Amerasian children did not have documentation from the American father, then they could be examined for “American” physical features by a group of doctors. Additionally, since the U.S. and Vietnam’s governments did not have diplomatic relations, the law could not be applied to Vietnamese Amerasian children. Essentially the Amerasian Immigration Act did little for Amerasian children and even less for Vietnamese Amerasian children.As a way to address Vietnamese Amerasian children, the U.S. government permitted another route for Vietnamese-born children of American soldiers to the United States. The children would be classified as immigrants, but would also be eligible to receive refugee benefits. The U.S. and Vietnam governments established the Orderly Departure Program (ODP). The program is housed in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The ODP created a system where South Vietnamese soldiers and others connected to the U.S. war effort could emigrate from Vietnam to the United States. Initially the Amerasian children had to have documentation from their American fathers to be issued a visa, however the program eventually expanded to individuals that did not have firm documentation. The Orderly Departure Program moved around 6,000 Amerasians and 11,000 relatives to the United States.EnactmentOn August 6, 1987, Rep. Robert J. Mrazek [D-NY-3] introduced the Amerasian Homecoming Bill (H.R. 3171). The bill was cosponsored by 204 U.S. representatives (154 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 1 Independent). In 1988, the U.S. Congress passed the Amerasian Homecoming Act (PL 100-200). The law took effect on March 21, 1988 and allowed Vietnamese Amerasians born January 1, 1962 through January 1, 1976 to apply for immigrant visas until March 21, 1990. Additionally the legislation removed immigration quotas and reduced legal barriers for Vietnamese Amerasians’ immigration. As a result of the act around 20,000 Amerasian children left Vietnam. Prior to the Amerasian Homecoming Act, many Amerasian children faced prejudice in Vietnam sometimes referred to as bui doi (“the dust of life” or “trash”). However, after the act many of these children would be called “golden children” since not only could the Amerasian children move to the United States, but so could their families. The act allowed the spouse, child, mother, or the next of kin of the Amerasian child to emigrate. The act was significant, because it allowed applicants to establish mixed race identity by appearance alone.Immigration processThe American Homecoming Act operated through the Orderly Departure Program in the respective U.S. embassies. U.S. Embassy officials would conduct interviews for Amerasians children and their families. The interviews were intended to prove whether or not the child’s father was a U.S. military personnel. Under the American Homecoming Act, Vietnamese Amerasian children did not have to have documentation from their American fathers; however, if they did their case would be processed quicker. The approval rating for Amerasian applicants was approximately 95 percent. The approved applicants and their families would go through a medical exam. The medical exam was less extensive than other immigration medical exams. If they passed, the U.S. would notify Vietnamese authorities and would process them for departure. The Amerasians would then be sent to the Philippines for a 6-month English language (ESL) and cultural orientation (CO) program. Once the Amerasians arrived in the United States they would be resettled by private voluntary agencies contracted with the U.S. State Department. Some Amerasians gave accounts that some “fake families” approached them as a way to immigrate to the United States. The U.S. Attorney General in conversation with the U.S. Secretary of State submitted program reports to the U.S. Congress every three years.ControversiesWhile the American Homecoming Act was the most successful measure by the United States to encourage Amerasian immigration, the act faced controversies. A primary issue was the act only applied to Amerasian children born in Vietnam. The American Homecoming Act excluded Korea, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. While Amerasian children from outside Vietnam could immigrate to the United States, they could do so only if their fathers claimed them. Most fathers did not recognize their children, especially if they were born to sex workers. In 1993, a class action lawsuit was filed in the International Court of Complaints to establish Filipino Amerasian children’s rights to assistance. The court ruled against the children, stating they were the products of sexual services provided to U.S. service personnel. Since prostitution is illegal, there could be no legal claim for the Filipino Amerasian children. Amerasian advocacy groups are actively attempting to gain recognition for Amerasian children through legal and legislative measures.There were other concerns facing the American Homecoming Act by the Vietnamese immigrants. Some accounts include a Vietnamese woman who attempted to claim American citizenship for her Amerasian son, but the father denied the relationship and responsibility by calling her a prostitute. Since sex workers were largely excluded, many children were unable to participate in the program. In the 1970s, the U.S. cut refugee cash assistance and medical aid to only eight months. Many Amerasian children account of their struggles in public school and very few attended higher education.Amerasian children who stayed in their respective countries found difficulties. Many of the children faced prejudice since their fair skin or very dark skin, blue eyes, or curly black hair would quickly identify them as Amerasian. Additionally the children faced judgment from the new socialist Vietnamese officials and other neighbors since their features positioned them as reminders of the “old enemy.”Amerasian Homecoming Act – 25 Years LaterThe Amerasian Homecoming Act, which passed into law in December 1987 and went into effect a few months later, began with a photojournalist, a homeless boy in Vietnam, and four high school students in Long Island, New York. Twenty five years later, almost 100,000 people have immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. as a result of the AHA.First, a bit of background. One of the great tragedies of the Vietnam War is the story of the Amerasians–children of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese women. There are tens of thousands of such children. In Vietnam, they were known as “children of the dust” because they were considered as insignificant as specks of dust, and many (if not most) suffered discrimination, abuse, poverty, and homelessness. Although the fathers of these children were United States citizens, the children did not qualify to immigrate to the U.S. The situation was complicated by the absence of diplomatic relations between the government of the United States and the government of Vietnam. Ten years after the war, the situation for the Amerasians seemed hopeless. A 2009 article from Smithsonian Magazine describes what happened next:In October 1985, Newsday photographer Audrey Tiernan, age 30, on assignment in Ho Chi Minh City, felt a tug on her pant leg. “I thought it was a dog or a cat,” she recalled. “I looked down and there was [Le Van] Minh. It broke my heart.” Minh, with long lashes, hazel eyes, a few freckles and a handsome Caucasian face, moved like a crab on all four limbs, likely the result of polio. Minh’s mother had thrown him out of the house at the age of 10, and at the end of each day his friend, Thi, would carry the stricken boy on his back to an alleyway where they slept. On that day in 1985, Minh looked up at Tiernan with a hint of a wistful smile and held out a flower he had fashioned from the aluminum wrapper in a pack of cigarettes. The photograph Tiernan snapped of him was printed in newspapers around the world. The next year, four students from Huntington High School in Long Island saw the picture and decided to do something. They collected 27,000 signatures on a petition to bring Minh to the United States for medical attention.They asked Tiernan and their congressman, Robert Mrazek, for help.Mrazek began making phone calls and writing letters. Several months later, in May 1987, he flew to Ho Chi Minh City. Mrazek had found a senior Vietnamese official who thought that helping Minh might lead to improved relations with the United States, and the congressman had persuaded a majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to press for help with Minh’s visa.Minh came to the U.S., where he still lives. but once he got to Vietnam, the Congressman realized that many thousands of Amerasian children were living in Vietnam, often in terrible conditions. Congressman Mrazek resolved to help these children. The result was the Amerasian Homecoming Act, which went into effect in early 1988.The AHA allowed Amerasians to come to the United States as lawful permanent residents. They are not considered refugees, but they do receive benefits (such as financial assistance and housing) normally reserved for refugees. In an important way, the law was quite succcesful–as a result of the AHA, approximately 25,000 Amerasians and about 70,000 of their family members immigrated to the United States.However, the law was not a success by all measures. For one thing, not all Amerasians in Vietnam learned about the AHA, and so many people who might have qualified to leave Vietnam were unable to do so.Another problem was fraud. One type of fraud involved people who claimed to be Amerasian, but who were not (there was no easy way to tell who was an Amerasian, and many decisions were made based on the person’s physical appearance). However, the more pervasive problem of fraud involved “fake families.” These were people who attached themselves to the Amerasian immigrants’ cases in order to come with them to the U.S. In many cases, the Amerasians agreed to this fraud because the fake families would pay the Amerasians’ expenses. Without this assistance, the Amerasians could not have afforded to immigrate. The extent of the fraud is unknown, but a November 1992 GAO report found that in 1991, about 20% of applicants were rejected for fraud. By 1992, 80% of applicants were rejected for fraud.A final problem–though perhaps this is not a problem with the AHA itself–is that many Amerasians had a tough time adjusting to life in the United States. A 1991-92 survey of 170 Vietnamese Amerasians found that some 14 percent had attempted suicide; 76 percent wanted, at least occasionally, to return to Vietnam. As one advocate put it, “Amerasians had 30 years of trauma, and you can’t just turn that around in a short period of time.”Of course, Amerasians did far better here than they could have in Vietnam, but given their difficult lives back home, the adjustment was often not easy. According to the Encyclopedia of Immigration:In general, the Amerasians who came to the United States with their mothers did the best in assimilating to American society. Many faced great hardships, but most proved resilient and successful. However, only 3 percent of them managed to contact their American fathers after arriving in the United States. By 2009, about 50 percent of all the immigrants who arrived under the law had become U.S. citizens.Now, Amerasians host black tie galas to celebrate their success as a unique immigrant community. And even in Vietnam, where they were vilified for many years, negative feelings towards Amerasians have faded.Finally, on a personal note, my first job out of college was for a social service agency that did refugee resettlement, and so I worked with Amerasians (and others) for a few years in the early 1990s. Of the populations we served, it seemed to me that the Amerasians had been the most severely mistreated. Many were illiterate in Vietnamese and spoke no English. They were physically unhealthy, and they had a hard time adjusting. Twenty five years after the AHA, it seems that Amerasians are finally achieving a measure of success in the United States. Their long journey serves as a reminder that persecuted people need time to become self sufficient. But the Amerasians–like other refugee groups–are well on their way to fully integrating into American society.The Children They Left BehindChildren of the Vietnam War ( Amerasians in America : Asian-NationVietnamese Find No Home Here in Their Fathers' Land (NYT 1991)1989 The Dust of Life: The Legal and Political Ramifications of the Continuing Vietnamese Amerasian Problem ( came here as refugees. Now the U.S. may be deporting some Vietnamese nationals.Vietnamese deportees and Amerasians Thanh Hung Bui , from left, and Cuong Pham, from center, speak to U.S. lawyer and Vietnamese-American Tin Nguyen at a cafe in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 19, 2018.James Pearson / ReutersA few days before Christmas last year, Cuong Pham boarded a plane in Texas to fly to his home country of Vietnam, he said.He had last visited the country about a decade before, but this time, Pham wouldn't be returning to the U.S., where his wife and three children live. He was being deported.Pham didn’t want to go back, he said, “because all my life is in the U.S. It's not here.”I want to go back to my family, my wife and children…. I don’t even know what I’m going to do next.Pham was one of a small number of Vietnamese nationals who were deported last December despite a bilateral agreement that apparently excludes them from being deported, according to several immigration and civil rights advocates.In 2008, the U.S. and Vietnam signed a repatriation agreement that explicitly excludes Vietnamese nationals who arrived in the U.S. before July 12, 1995 — the date the two countries reestablished diplomatic relations — from being subject to deportation. Many of those who arrived before that date were refugees of the Vietnam War.But civil rights and immigration groups say they believe that seven Vietnamese nationals who arrived in the U.S. before 1995 were deported late last year and early this year.“Many of them have never been back to Vietnam and many of them don’t have any family there,” Phi Nguyen — litigation director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (Advancing Justice-Atlanta), which earlier this year filed a lawsuit challenging the detention of Vietnamese nationals not covered under the 2008 agreement — said. “The idea of being returned to a place that they are no longer connected to is causing a lot of fear in the community, especially when people who are in this situation have felt safe for the last several years and have been able to rebuild their life here and create families here.”'AMERASIAN' HOMECOMINGPham, 47, was born in Vietnam and grew up there until he was 20 years old, immigrating to the United States in 1990, he said. The son of a U.S. serviceman, Pham said he came to the U.S. under the Amerasian Homecoming Act, a law that allows some Vietnamese nationals whose fathers were U.S. citizens as well as their next of kin to immigrate to the U.S.Pham received his final order of removal in 2009 following two convictions, he said. In 2000, he was convicted of indecent assault and battery of children under 14, a sex crime. In 2007, he was convicted of driving under the influence.Vietnamese deportee and Amerasian Cuong Pham , 47, who was deported from the U.S., poses outside his former house, where he lived before he fled to the U.S., in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 20, 2018.Kham / ReutersSince arriving in Vietnam, Pham has settled in a rural area of the country he described as a “jungle” where there is no running water. He said he has had difficulty in securing a job over the last four-and-a-half months as employers have rejected his inquiries based on his multiracial status. His wife has provided him with some financial assistance, but is also working to support their three children.“For me, right now it’s a very, very hard time,” he said by phone from Vietnam. “I want to go back to my family, my wife and children…. I don’t even know what I’m going to do next.”Reuters last month reported that former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said a “small number” of people protected by the repatriation agreement have been sent back.Osius did not respond to a request for comment.As Cambodian deportations resume, community looks for ways to copeImmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Brendan Raedy said in an email that “both countries maintain and continue to discuss their respective legal positions relative to Vietnamese citizens who departed Vietnam for the United States prior to July 12, 1995.”The U.S. Department of State did not directly address the deportations when contacted by NBC News. Department spokesperson Ambrose Sayles said that the removal of aliens subject to a final order of removal, particularly those who pose a danger to national security or public safety, is a top priority for the U.S. government.“We continue to work closely with Vietnamese authorities to address this issue. ... The U.S. Government and the Vietnamese Government continue to discuss their respective positions relative to Vietnamese citizens who departed Vietnam for the United States,” Sayles said in an email.'IT'S ENTIRELY UP TO VIETNAM'Bill Ong Hing, a professor of law at the University of San Francisco who specializes in immigration law and policy, said that agreements such as the one between the U.S. and Vietnam that should exempt certain individuals from deportation are not law, but rather serve as guidelines that don't necessarily need to be followed.“In spite of the agreement, it's entirely up to Vietnam,” he said. “What usually happens is that the receiving country is not willing to take the people. But if the receiving country is willing to take the person, then there's not much that can be done about that.”A receiving country could be pressured into accepting or decide to accept deportees for various reasons, Hing noted.'Never too late to change': In deportation limbo, Tung Nguyen wants to help fellow felonsHe said it has been and remains uncommon for the repatriation of individuals protected under such agreements to be deported. Whether or not this trend continues is dependent on the Trump administration and ICE offices that prioritize which individuals to deport, he said.As of December 2017, there were more than 8,600 Vietnamese nationals residing in the United States subject to a final order of removal, 7,821 of who have criminal convictions, according to ICE. As of April 12, ICE has removed 76 Vietnamese nationals to Vietnam in fiscal year 2018 and had 156 Vietnamese nationals in detention.Raedy said that in calculating these figures, ICE does not track the year that immigrants with final orders of removal came to the United States.In fiscal years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, the United States deported a total of 186 Vietnamese nationals, according to ICE data.Vietnamese deportee and Amerasian Cuong Pham , 47, who was deported from the U.S., uses his mobile phone while having a coffee in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 20, 2018.Kham / ReutersNguyen, the litigation director, said it is uncertain whether this is the first time Vietnamese nationals who arrived prior to 1995 have been deported, but that it is the first time her organization is aware of an effort to deport the individuals in large numbers since the 2008 agreement.Despite the group that has been deported, it does not appear as though Vietnam is willing to accept all pre-1995 Vietnamese nationals who have final orders of removal, Nguyen said.The lawsuit filed by Advancing Justice-Atlanta — along with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, and the law firm Reed Smith LLP — alleges that at least 45 pre-1995 Vietnamese nationals are being detained without due process.It also stated that "the U.S. government claims that Vietnam is now 'willing to consider' repatriation of Vietnamese who came to the United States before July 12, 1995.”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam did not respond to a request for comment.Nonprofits sue over immigration detention of Vietnamese nationals who came as refugeesDeportations of the seven pre-1995 Vietnamese nationals follow detentions in the community that took place last year.In early 2017, community organizations sent out an alert following the detention of about 40 Vietnamese nationals, Nancy Nguyen — the executive director of of the nonprofit VietLead, who is unrelated to Phi Nguyen — said.Pham was among those redetained early last year.The roundups prompted VietLead and several other groups to organize visits in November and December 2017 to a detention center in Georgia, Nancy Nguyen said. Through these visits, the organizations found that both pre- and post-1995 Vietnamese were being detained for prolonged periods of time. They also learned of six pre-1995 Vietnamese who had been deported.Phi Nguyen said ICE’s routine practice for decades was to release pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants within 90 days of their order of removal because the agency knew it could not deport them.The idea of being returned to a place that they are no longer connected to is causing a lot of fear in the community.But beginning in March 2017, ICE began re-arresting those nationals, the lawsuit said. In March and late October to early November, detainees arrested from across the country were sent to detention centers to be interviewed by the Vietnamese Consulate, the suit alleges.A possible victory came on April 17 for some Vietnamese class members represented in the lawsuit when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants convicted of certain crimes.“If someone got their deportation order based on one of the crimes covered, then they have the ability to re-visit their removal order,” Phi Nguyen noted.She added that the court's decision will have an impact on class members, but that their cases still need to be examined more closely.“The U.S. not following the agreement is just another sign of it breaking rules and breaking our families apart,” Nancy Nguyen said. “As an organization, we’re working to hold the U.S. accountable to its promises.”Once shunned by many, Vietnamese Amerasians now celebrate their heritage (a San Jose gala in 2008). At a similar gathering, many in the audience wept when an Amerasian family that had just arrived in the United States was introduced. (Catherine Karnow)Read more: Children of the Vietnam WarChildren of Vietnam War servicemen seek U.S. citizenshipRandy Tran walked quickly past the majestic domes and marble statues of Capitol Hill, looking for the Cannon House Office building and the people he believed could help him.Tran, a Vietnamese pop singer who lives in a Bay Area suburb and sleeps on a friend's couch, flew 2,900 miles to be here. He rehearsed what he wanted to say. His English was not perfect. He was afraid he would have just a few minutes to make his case.He had a 3 p.m. appointment in the office of a Wisconsin congressman. He was not exactly sure what the congressman did, but he was certain that this was a powerful man who could help untangle a political process that had ensnared him and thousands like him.Tran came to Washington on behalf of abandoned children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women, born during the Vietnam War and, like him, seeking citizenship in the country their fathers fought for.Called Amerasians, many were left to grow up in the rough streets and rural rice fields of Vietnam where they stood out, looked different, were taunted as "dust of life." Most were brought to the United States 20 years ago after Congress passed the Amerasian Homecoming Act, which allowed the children of American soldiers living in Vietnam to immigrate. But citizenship was not guaranteed, and today about half of the estimated 25,000 Amerasians living in the U.S. are resident aliens.Tran lives in Hayward and travels the country crooning pop songs to Vietnamese fans at restaurants and concert halls. But he feels unsettled."I feel like I belong nowhere," said Tran, whose father was an African American whose name he likely will never know, but who gave him the mocha-colored skin so different from other Vietnamese."If I go to Little Saigon, they say, 'Are you Vietnamese? You look black.' If I go to the American community, they say, 'You're not one of us. You're Vietnamese.' "But most wrenching for Tran is his lack of citizenship, a constant reminder of being an outsider in what he considers his fatherland."Our fathers served for the country, fought for freedom," Tran said. "I am not a refugee, but I am being treated as one. We are Americans."Tran and 21 other Amerasians flew to Washington, D.C., for three days in July to lobby for the Amerasian Paternity Act. It would give Amerasians born during the Vietnam and Korean wars automatic citizenship, rather than requiring them to pass tests in English.Most of them had never been to Washington. Some purchased their first suits for the trip. Some spoke no English at all.Tran does not know his age. On paper he is 34, but he guesses he is closer to 37.His mother left him in an orphanage in Da Nang when he was days old. A few years later, a woman in a nearby village adopted him to help care for her cows. She refused to let him call her "mother."The neighbors gawked at his dark skin; the village children yanked his curly hair. At night he would dream that his hair had turned straight and that he could pour a liquid over his body to turn his face pale. He would hide behind the bamboo mat he slept on."They looked at us like we were wild animals, not people," Tran said.When the Homecoming Act passed in 1988, thousands of Vietnamese who wanted to escape the Communist government used the Amerasians as a device to flee. At 17, Tran was sold to a family for three gold bars. When the family got to America, they asked Tran to leave their home. He moved in with a friend's family.Like Tran, many Amerasians lacked the English skills, education and family connections that had helped other Vietnamese refugees assimilate. Many did not attend school in Vietnam and arrived in America illiterate. Many migrated to Vietnamese communities where they were once again shunned. Some turned to drugs or gangs.They received eight months of government assistance, including healthcare, English lessons and some job training. But the government did not help Amerasians locate their fathers, and funding for the program ended in 1995.In Washington, Tran and the other Amerasians crowded into a friend's house. There was Vivian Preziose from Queens, whose father brought her to the U.S. when she was 10. There was Jimmy "Nhat Tung" Miller from Seattle, who found his father a couple of years before the man died. There was Huy Duc Nguyen from Dallas, whose only clue about his father is that his last name sounds something like "Sheffer."They mapped out their plans. Preziose passed out 435 folders containing a letter she wrote. The next day they would deliver a folder to every congressional office. They also had appointments on Capitol Hill, so they rehearsed what they would say.Some stumbled over their words. Preziose encouraged them to speak from their hearts. Nguyen reminded them not to wear jeans. Tran advised them to speak slowly.A year ago, few of the Amerasians knew one another. That changed when Nguyen went to a screening of a documentary about Amerasians stuck in Vietnam and met others like him. They talked about helping those still in Vietnam and started reaching out to Amerasians across the country. They knew of Tran from his singing.Tran urged them to lobby for the citizenship bill, sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). In September 2007, they formed the Amerasian Fellowship Assn., which now has 5,000 members.They had grown up haunted by a raw sense of being thrown away by their parents. Now mostly in their 30s and 40s, they came together for political reform, and along the way formed a community for those who felt invisible.The day after they handed out the folders, Tran anxiously waited on the marble steps of the Cannon building for his team to arrive.By the time they got to Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner's office (R-Wisconsin), they were five minutes late.They met a man in a tan suit with a faint smile.Tran introduced himself and began describing the difficulties faced by Amerasians. Many cannot speak English, he said, making it difficult to pass the citizenship test.The meeting lasted less than 25 minutes -- not enough time for Tran to say that he was not allowed to go to school in Vietnam, that while he tended to the cows he would peer through the schoolhouse windows at the students learning to read.Tran thought the man seemed confused why they were there. But he promised to do what he could to help.It wasn't until the man handed out his business card that Tran realized he wasn't talking to the congressman from Wisconsin. He was talking to a staffer."I didn't know who he was," Tran said. "I just knew we wanted to meet him. I wanted to tell our story."There is a lot Tran does not understand. He's not sure which of the two houses of Congress the bill is stuck in or why it is taking so long to become law. When he and other Amerasians met with Lofgren in the Capitol building, he thought they were in the White House.Lofgren warned the group that it was unlikely the bill would pass this year. But she promised to reintroduce it next year.Some of the Amerasians decided to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, believing the names of their fathers might be inscribed on the wall.Tran decided not to go. He has no clues as to who his father is. When Tran walked past an older black man on the street, he turned and looked.He still wonders why his mother left him to suffer in Vietnam. Once, it was a source of deep anger. But his fury turned to sympathy when he learned about the harsh conditions during the war, the stigma of having a child out of wedlock with an American.Perhaps she gave him away hoping he would have a better life. He once wrote a song called "After the War." When he performs it before Vietnamese audiences, they are often brought to tears.Tran later wrote an e-mail to the staffer. He mistakenly identified the man as "Mrs." He also sent along an English translation of the lyrics of "After the War."He has yet to hear back. But he has faith that America will come through, [email protected]

Can a famous person also be a spy?

Q. Can a famous person also be a spy?A. Phạm Xuân Ẩn was one of many North Vietnamese spies at all levels of South Vietnamese society. He was a correspondent for Time, Reuters and New York Herald Tribune. His long embedment and access to state security and military plans had disastrous consequences. He helped plan the Tet Offensive attack strategy for Saigon. As a testament to his high rank, he successfully demanded an end to the indiscriminate shelling of Saigon civilian targets for fear of alienating the populace during mini-Tet. His duplicty only came to light after the war.Phạm Xuân Ẩn - Article, Biography and ObituariesGeneral Department of Military Intelligence (Vietnam)New Vietnam Spy Tale Sheds Light on How the U.S. Lost the WarPhạm Ngọc ThảoPhạm Xuân Ẩn from Wikipedia (September 12, 1927 – September 20, 2006) was a Vietnamese journalist and correspondent for Time (magazine), Reuters and the New York Herald Tribune, stationed in Saigon during the war in Vietnam. He was also simultaneously spying for North Vietnam. He was made a general after the war. His nicknames were "Hai Trung" and "Tran Van Trung." He was awarded the "People's Army Force Hero" by the Vietnamese government on January 15, 1976.Cordial with Legendary General Võ Nguyên GiápHe was also put in a "softer" version of a reeducation camp for a year after the war for being considered too close to the Americans.MACV Press CardEarly life and educationHe was born in Binh Truoc, Biên Hòa, Đồng Nai Province, but his parents were originally from Hải Dương Province. His grandfather was the headmaster of a school in Huế and was awarded the king of Vietnam's gold ring. Ẩn's father was a high-level engineer of the Public Administration Department. His family's service to France did not earn them French citizenship. Phạm was born in Biên Hòa Hospital with the help of French doctors.When Ẩn was a child, he lived in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). He had joined the Viet Minh in 1944 at the age of 16 to fight against the Japanese during World War II and afterward against the French.[3]When the August Revolution began against the French government, Ẩn left school and joined the Volunteer Youth Organisation. Later, he took classes offered by the Viet Minh. He then moved to Cần Thơ and studied at the College of Cần Thơ.After the partition of Vietnam in 1954, Ẩn served in the Saigon government army and was later awarded a scholarship to a college in California.[3]In the late 1950s, Ẩn attended Orange Coast College (OCC) and earned an Associate of Arts degree. He wrote for the campus newspaper, then called The Barnacle.Pham Xuan An [lower left] and American correspondents at a Saigon military briefing. Photo by Horst Faas, AP.CareerAccording to The Fall of Saigon by David Butler and Flashbacks by Morley Safer, Ẩn helped Tran Kim Tuyen, a South Vietnamese intelligence commander and CIA asset, escape Saigon on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975.[4]During the fall of Saigon evacuations, Ẩn obtained transport for his wife and four children to the United States provided by Time magazine. Shortly after the fall of Saigon, he was interrogated by the communists and put under house arrest to ensure he had no further contact with Westerners, and he was suspected of being "corrupted" by capitalism after decades of living in South Vietnam as a spy.He brought his family back to Saigon, "It was the stupidest thing I ever did."[3]He was paid the pension of a retired brigadier general, about $US 30 a month. He told his friend Stanley Karnow, as recounted in Karnow's book Vietnam: A History, that his love for Vietnam has not diminished his love for America, as in the French song "J'ai Deux Amours". Referring to his years in the United States, he told Karnow "Those were the best years of my life." Ẩn admired the communists as nationalists, "but their ignorance and arrogance have only given us misery."[3]Ẩn died in Ho Chi Minh City in a military hospital from complications of emphysema.In February 2009, The Spy Who Loved Us: The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game by Thomas A. Bass was published.[5]Safer interview of 1989In 1989, Ẩn did an interview with Morley Safer, described in Safer's book Flashbacks. Ẩn told Safer he had joined the Viet Minh in 1944 to fight the Japanese during World War II and the French later on. The book says he got a scholarship to the US in the late 1950s and worked at a newspaper in Orange County, California, before returning to Vietnam. Ẩn said that in 1960, he joined Reuters and later Time, when he was made a colonel in the Viet Cong. He claimed to have passed information periodically through secret meetings in the Ho Bo Woods near Saigon during the Vietnam War and that only a handful of Viet Cong knew about his identity as a spy. Safer also writes that Ẩn was close with Charlie Mohr, Frank McCulloch, David Greenway, Richard Clurman, Bob Shaplen, Nguyen Hung Vuong, and other noted journalists.Larry BermanSafer called Ẩn a "dignified and decent man" but also noted the "enigma" and "layers" of the man. Safer also mentions Arnaud de Borchgrave's 1981 testimony before Senator Jeremiah Denton's subcommittee that Ẩn had a "mission" to "disinform the Western press". Ẩn denied the disinformation charge, claiming his superiors felt such tactics would have given him away. Safer and Ẩn also discuss Ẩn's year-long imprisonment in a reeducation/lecture camp near Hanoi by the Viet Cong after the end of the war because of his connection with Americans. Ẩn also described his opinion of the "paternalism and a discredited economy theory" being used by the Vietnamese leadership that had led to the failure of the revolution to help "the people."[6]See alsoThe Sympathizer, a novel partly based on Phạm's lifeReferences^ Berman, Larry (2007). Perfect Spy. Smithsonian Books. ISBN 978-0-06-088839-8, pps 134-143^ Flashbacks, Morley Safer, St Martin's Press/Random House, 1991^ Vietnam: A History; Stanley Karnow; The Viking Press; 1983; Page 39-41^ Butler, David (1990). The fall of Saigon. Abacus. also Flashbacks, by Morley Safer, 1990, St Martins Press/Random House^ Bass, Thomas A. (2015-02-01). "Vietnam’s concerted effort to keep control of its past". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-02-01.^ This entire paragraph is from Safer's book, Flashbacks, 1991 St Martin's Press paperback edition of the Random House original.External linksPham Xuan An Dies at 79; Reporter Spied for HanoiDeath of Vietnamese Super-SpyLarry Berman and the “Perfect Spy” (Part 1)Larry Berman and the “Perfect Spy” (Part 2)The Surprising Story of the Spy who Worked for TIMEState Funeral in 2006PROPAGANDA, SPIES AND SECRET PEACE TALKS DURING THE VIETNAM WARPham Xuan An: North Vietnam’s Double-Agent and U.S. Ace ReporterPham Xuan An was a remarkable man who led a double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War. According to Associated Press: "In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter—a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings. He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA. [Source: By Richard Pyle and Margie Mason, Associated Press, September 20, 2006]Thomas Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "Recognized as a brilliant political analyst, beginning with his work in the nineteen-sixties for Reuters and then for the New York Herald Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor, and, finally, as a Time correspondent for eleven years, Pham Xuan An seemed to do his best work swapping stories with colleagues in Givral’s café, on the old Rue Catinat. Here he presided every afternoon as the best news source in Saigon. He was called "Dean of the Vietnamese Press Corps" and "Voice of Radio Catinat"—the rumor mill. With self-deprecating humor, he preferred other titles for himself, such as "docteur de sexologie," "professeur coup d’état," "Commander of Military Dog Training" (a reference to the German shepherd that always accompanied him), "Ph.D. in revolutions," or, simply, General Givral. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"An’s story strikes me as something right out of Graham Greene," says David Halberstam, who was friends with An when he was a Times reporter in Vietnam. "It broaches all the fundamental questions: What is loyalty? What is patriotism? What is the truth? Who are you when you’re telling these truths?" He adds, "There was an ambivalence to An that’s almost impossible for us to imagine. In looking back, I see he was a man split right down the middle." In his 1965 book on Vietnam, "The Making of a Quagmire" Halberstam described An as the linchpin of "a small but first-rate intelligence network" of journalists and writers. An, he wrote, "had the best military contacts in the country." Now that Halberstam knows An’s story, does he bear him any grudges? "No," he says, echoing the opinion of almost all of An’s former colleagues. "It’s a story full of intrigue, smoke and mirrors, but I still think fondly of An. I never felt betrayed by An. He had to deal with being Vietnamese at a tragic time in their history, when there was nothing but betrayal in the air.""An was of paramount importance to the Communists, not only for getting information to the North but also for corroborating what they were receiving from other sources," says former C.I.A. interrogator Frank Snepp. Author of "Decent Interval," about the chaotic collapse of Saigon in 1975, Snepp now works as a television-news producer in Los Angeles. "An had access to strategic intelligence. That’s obvious," Snepp says. "But no one has ‘walked the cat backward,’ done a postmortem of the damage he did. The agency didn’t have the stomach for it." Snepp suggests that one source for An’s intelligence was Robert Shaplen, the New Yorker correspondent. Close friends and collaborators, An and Shaplen spent hours closeted in Shaplen’s room on the third floor of the Continental Palace Hotel, occasionally stepping out on the balcony to avoid being overheard. "Shaplen was one of our favorite journalists," Snepp says. "We had orders from the top to give him unbelievable access to the embassy and high-level intelligence.Pham Xuan An’s Espionage WorkThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker , "An sent the North Vietnamese a steady stream of secret military documents and messages written in invisible ink, but it was his typed dispatches, now locked in Vietnam’s intelligence archives and known to us only through secondhand reports, which will undoubtedly rank as his chef d’oeuvre. Using a Hermes typewriter bought specially for him by the North Vietnamese intelligence service, An wrote his dispatches, some as long as a hundred pages, at night. Photographed and transported as undeveloped rolls of film, An’s reports were run by courier out to the Củ Chi tunnel network that served as the Communists’ underground headquarters. Every few weeks, beginning in 1952, An himself would leave his Saigon office, drive twenty miles northwest to the Ho Bo woods, and descend into the tunnels to plan Communist strategy. From Cu Chi, An’s dispatches were hustled under armed guard to Mt. Ba Den, on the Cambodian border, driven to Phnom Penh, flown to Guangzhou (Canton), in southern China, and then rushed to the Politburo in North Vietnam. The writing was so lively and detailed that General Võ Nguyên Giáp and Ho Chi Minh are reported to have rubbed their hands with glee on getting these dispatches from Tran Van Trung—An’s code name. "We are now in the United States’ war room!" they exclaimed, according to members of the Vietnamese Politburo. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"From the Army, intelligence, secret police, I had all kinds of sources," An says. "The commanders of the military branches, officers of the Special Forces, the Navy, the Air Force—they all helped me." In exchange for this steady stream of information, An gave his South Vietnamese informants the same thing he gave his Communist employers. "We discussed these documents, as the South Vietnamese tried to figure out what they meant. They had a problem. How were they going to deal with the Americans?" An then turned around and advised the Americans on how to deal with the Vietnamese. It was a high-level confidence game, with death hovering over him should he be discovered photographing the strategic plans and intelligence reports slipped to him by his South Vietnamese and American sources."An worked through the night photographing these documents. Then his film cannisters were disguised to look like nem ninh hoa, grilled pork wrapped in rice paper, or hidden in the bellies of fish that had begun to rot. More fish or nem would be piled into baskets made to look like offerings being presented at a Buddhist funeral. In the morning, when An walked his German shepherd at the horse-racing track, he would deposit his nem cannisters in an empty bird’s nest high in a tree. For larger shipments, he hid his rolls of film under the stele of what he pretended was a family grave. An’s wife sometimes followed him at a distance. If he was arrested, she could alert his couriers.Nem Ninh Hoa"Using live drops, dead drops, couriers, and radio transmitters that linked him through C.O.S.V.N. to military headquarters in North Vietnam, An was supported by dozens of military intelligence agents who had been detailed to work on his behalf. Of the forty-five couriers devoted to getting his messages out of Saigon, twenty-seven were captured and killed. "There were times before my departure on a mission when my wife and I agreed, if I were arrested, it would be best if I were killed," An told Ngoc Hai. "It would be more horrible if they tortured me for information that put other people’s lives at risk. Sometimes it got so dangerous that, while my hands were steady, my legs were shaking uncontrollably. Despite my efforts to keep calm, the automatic reflexes of my body made me shiver with fear."Pham Xuan An and Ap Bac and the Tet OffensiveThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "But we know of several occasions when he reached behind the curtain to adjust the scene. One was the Battle of Ap Bac, in 1963, which marked a turning point in the expanding American war. For the first time, the Viet Cong fought at battalion strength and won a decisive victory against Vietnamese troops supported by American helicopters, armored vehicles, and artillery. Two Viet Cong soldiers received North Vietnam’s highest military-exploit medal for winning this battle. One was the commander of the Communist forces. The other was Phạm Xuân Ẩn, who devised the winning strategy. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"An comes into focus again at the Tet Offensive, the simultaneous attack on more than a hundred South Vietnamese cities and other targets during the New Year’s ceasefire of 1968. Planning for the offensive had begun two years earlier, when the head of An’s intelligence network, a colonel known by his nom de guerre, Tu Cang, moved from the jungle into Saigon. Tu Cang was a famous cowboy, a hearty, affable man, who packed a pair of K-54 pistols and could plug a target at fifty meters with either his left or his right hand. A former honor student at the French lycée in Saigon, Tu Cang had lived underground in the Cu Chi tunnels for so many years that by the time he reëntered Saigon he had forgotten how to open a car door. An replaced Tu Cang’s jungle sandals with new shoes and bought him a suit of clothes. Soon the two men were driving around town in An’s little Renault 4CV like old friends.Tu Cang"Pretending to be chatting about dogs and cockfights, they were sighting targets for the Tet Offensive. Tu Cang proposed attacking the Treasury to get some money. An told him the Treasury was the wrong target—"They only hand out salaries there." An said a better target was the courthouse, where lots of gold was stored as evidence in the trials of South Vietnam’s legion of burglars and smugglers. He advised Tu Cang to bring an acetylene torch. Tu Cang isolated twenty targets in Saigon, including the Presidential Palace and the United States Embassy. He personally led the attack on the palace, where fifteen of the seventeen members in his team were killed outright. He himself barely escaped to a nearby safe house, and he hid with his two pistols held to his head, vowing to kill himself rather than be captured. The following day, he and An were driving around the city again, this time counting the bodies of the Viet Cong soldiers who had died in the attack."Later that spring, in what was called the mini-Tet offensive, the Viet Cong began shelling Saigon indiscriminately, blowing up buildings and killing scores of civilians. An sent a note into the field. "I told them to stop the shelling. It had no military objective and was alienating people." "What happened next?" I ask. "The shelling stopped."Pham Xuan An’s Early Life and familyThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "Pham Xuan An was born in the Vietnamese Year of the Cat, at the Hour of the Buffalo, on September 12, 1927, twenty miles northeast of Saigon, in the Bien Hoa psychiatric hospital. At the time, this was the only medical facility in Cochin China open to Vietnamese. As the firstborn son of a cadre supérieur, an educated member of the colonial administration, An had the rare honor of receiving a French colonial birth certificate. Originally from Hải Dương, the heart of North Vietnam, in the densely populated Red River Delta lying between Hanoi and the coast, An’s great-grandfather, a silver- and goldsmith, was recruited by the Nguyen dynasty to make medals for the royal court at Hue, in central Vietnam. An’s grandfather, who rose through the mandarinate to become a teacher and the director of a primary school for girls, [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"An’s father, trained as an engineer at the university in Hanoi, worked as a cadastral surveyor, establishing property lines and tax rolls in Vietnam’s southern frontier. He laid out roads in Saigon and canals through the U Minh Forest, along the Gulf of Siam. While surveying in Cambodia, he met An’s mother, another emigrant from the North. She was an industrious woman whose second-grade education allowed her to read and write. The work of a colonial surveyor in what was then the wilds of South Vietnam involved press-ganging peasants into carrying chains through the Mekong marshlands and building towers in the jungle to establish sight lines. "When you do land surveying and build canals and roads, you see the poor Vietnamese workers eking out their living," An says. "You see the French system of forced labor, beatings, and other abuses. The only way to oppose these abuses is to fight for independence." He adds, "The Americans did the same thing in 1776. My family was always patriotic in their desire to remove the French from Vietnam.""In his early childhood, An was living on a sampan in the cajeput forests at the southern tip of Vietnam when he was swept overboard during a typhoon and nearly drowned. He was sent to stay with his grandparents in Hue, returned to the South on the death of his grandmother, and sent north again when he flunked his exams in the third grade. His father separated him from his siblings and exiled him to Truoi, in the countryside, where life among the peasants was supposed to scare him into working harder in school. Instead, An delighted in playing hooky and larking around the countryside. When he flunked his exams again, he was caned by his father and moved back to Saigon for a stricter regimen.Pham Xuan An Recruited as a Spy in the Viet Minh in the 1950sThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "An was an eighteen-year-old high-school student at the Collège de Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta, when he dropped out of school, in 1945, to enlist in a Vietminh training course. For more than a hundred recruits there were only fifty weapons, some left over from the First World War. Trainees had to pick up spent cartridges to make new bullets. Though he was involved in fighting first the Japanese and then the French, An dismisses this experience as little more than running errands. But a government Web site, recounting his activities as a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces, describes An as "a national defense combatant who participated in all battles in the western region of South Vietnam."[Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"By 1947, An had left his position as a platoon leader, involved mainly in propaganda, and moved back to Saigon to care for his father, who would have a lung removed and spend the next two years in the hospital with tuberculosis. An organized student demonstrations in Saigon, initially against the French and then against the Americans. He worked as a secretary for the Caltex oil company until, in 1950, he passed the exam to become a French customs inspector."During the Tet New Year celebration in 1952, An was summoned into the jungle north of Saigon to meet the Communist officials who were setting up C.O.S.V.N.—Central Office for South Vietnam. C.O.S.V.N. would lead the war against the Americans, who, even before the end of the First Indochina War, in 1954, were beginning to replace the French as the primary enemy. An was excited about this call to the war zone, where he hoped to join his sister, who had moved to the jungle three years earlier to become "the Voice of Nam Bo," a radio broadcaster for the Communist network. An visited her sometimes, taking her food or medicine, and staying overnight in the Vietminh tunnel network, where the cooking fires were vented through termite mounds in order to evade the French spotter planes that flew overhead. (In 1955, An’s sister moved to North Vietnam to work for the state-run coal mines.)"An was disappointed to learn that he wouldn’t be joining his sister in the jungle but, instead, was being recruited to work as a spy in Vietnam’s newly established military intelligence service. "I was the first recruit," he says. An found his new assignment ignoble. Spying is the work of hunting dogs and birds of prey, he says. "I had been beaten by the riot police during student demonstrations in Saigon, and I had no desire to be a stool pigeon or an informer." An was formally inducted into the Communist Party in 1953, at a ceremony in the U Minh Forest presided over by Lê Đức Thọ. Tho, who was in charge of the southern resistance against the French, would later spend four years negotiating with Henry Kissinger at the Paris peace talks. Tho’s younger brother, Mai Chi Tho, as the head of security for the Communist forces in the South, was An’s boss.Pham Xuan An’s Work with the CIA and the Quiet American in Saigon in the 1950sThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "The first problem An confronted on slipping back into Saigon as a newly recruited spy was how to avoid being drafted into the French colonial forces. To practice the English that he was learning at the United States Information Service, he volunteered his services as a press censor at the central post office. Here he was told to black out the dispatches written for British and French newspapers by Graham Greene, a "troublemaker" who the French assumed was working for British intelligence during his frequent visits to Vietnam. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"In spite of his freelance work for the French intelligence agency, the Deuxième Bureau, An was drafted in 1954. To avoid getting shot during the waning days of the French colonial war in Indochina, An played on the family connections by which business gets done in Vietnam. He asked a cousin, Captain Pham Xuan Giai, for help. Giai, who commanded G5, the psychological-warfare department of the Army general staff, made An an adjutant, the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer, and put him to work at Army headquarters on the Rue Gallieni, near Cholon."This is where Colonel Edward Lansdale found An when he came to offer his services—and money—to Captain Giai. Lansdale, a former advertising man and an expert in psychological warfare, had been sent to run the C.I.A.’s covert operations in Vietnam. Arriving in the country soon after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Lansdale found G5 and the rest of the old colonial military apparatus in a shambles. They were totally demoralized, with no idea what to do with themselves, until Lansdale and his innocuously titled Saigon Military Mission began turning South Vietnam into a country, complete with an army, a President, and a flag."Finding a promising student in the young Pham Xuan An, Lansdale and his colleagues began teaching him the tradecraft that he would employ in his next twenty years as a Communist spy. "I am a student of Sherman Kent," An says, referring to the Yale professor who helped found the C.I.A. Strategic intelligence, Kent wrote in his classic text,"Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy" (1949), is a "reportorial job" based on studying the "personalities" of world leaders. "It must know of their character and ambitions, their opinions, their weaknesses, the influences which they can exert, and the influences before which they are frail. It must know of their friends and relatives, and the political, economic, and social milieu in which they move.""Pham Xuan An, the psyops intelligence agent, was beginning to acquire the "reportorial" method that he would later employ so brilliantly as Pham Xuan An the Time correspondent. "People usually have one career, while I had two, the job of following the revolution and the job of being a journalist," An told the writer Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hai, who has published a Vietnamese monograph about him. "These two professions were very contradictory, but also very similar. The intelligence job involves collecting information, analyzing it, and jealously keeping it secret, like a cat covering its droppings. The journalist, on the other hand, collects information, analyzes it, and then publishes it to the world.""As a quadruple agent moonlighting for France’s Deuxième Bureau, working for his cousin’s indigenous Vietnamese intelligence organization and its C.I.A. sponsor, and reporting to his Communist handlers, An was beginning to live along the edge of his own personal nightmare. "I was never relaxed for a minute," he says. "Sooner or later as a spy, you’ll be captured, like a fish in a pond. I had to prepare myself to be tortured. That was my likely fate." It was scant solace that most of An’s colleagues in G5 were in a similar predicament. "When we weren’t spying on each other, we smoked opium and played together as friends," An says. "That was just the way things worked. I had to compartmentalize." He acknowledges that it was hard to do. "But you can’t kill all the time. When the war was over, these were the people I would have to live with.""After this Mai Chi Tho and Muoi Huong, An’s case officer, decided to send him to the United States to be trained as a journalist. Muoi Huong, in an interview with the Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien, said that he got the idea to make An a journalist from Ho Chi Minh, who himself had worked as a reporter. In the U.S. An studied at Orange Coast College in California and did internships at the Sacramento Bee and the United Nations. He traveled America financed by The Asia Foundation, which was later revealed to be a C.I.A. front.Orange Coast CollegePham Xuan Works for the South Vietnamese CIA SaigonThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "On returning to Saigon, An was so frightened that he hid in his house for a month. Then, in a bold stroke, he used family connections to call on Trần Kim Tuyến for help. A former military surgeon, Tuyen was the brilliant, diminutive figure who ran South Vietnam’s intelligence network for President Ngo Dinh Diem and his younger brother Ngô Đình Nhu. This vast C.I.A.-sponsored network of spies and clandestine military forces operated out of the President’s cabinet under the anodyne name of the Office of Political, Cultural, and Social Research. If Tuyen hired him, An figured he would be safe, at least for the moment, from arrest. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"Tuyen put An in charge of the foreign correspondents working for V.T.X., the Viet News Agency. Many of them, with no training in the profession, had never filed a story as a journalist. An ordered them to write a story a week. They complained to Tuyen, saying that doing journalism would get in the way of their work as spies—their real job. Supporting An, Tuyen instructed his foreign agents to get "serious in your work" and start filing stories like the "professional pressman" An."Tuyen fell out of power, after a failed coup, and An moved from V.T.X. to Reuters and from there to Time. Recognized as one of the most hardworking journalists in town, always ready to help his colleagues with informed opinions or telling anecdotes, An gave information in order to get it. Describing to Ngoc Hai the similarities between journalists and spies, An said, "Their food is information, documents. Just like birds, one has to keep feeding them so they’ll sing."Pham Xuan and the American PressAssociated Press reported: "An's political and military contacts made him an essential source for other Vietnamese reporters working for foreign news organizations. He was known as the soft-spoken, chain-smoking oracle of "Radio Catinat," as the Saigon rumor mill was called. But few, if any, suspected he was a communist spy. Former media colleagues expressed mixed feelings, from bemusement to a sense of betrayal, after An revealed in the 1980s that he had been a spy. Outside critics vilified An for his role in espionage activities that may have led to the deaths of many Americans and South Vietnamese. But most of An's ex-colleagues refrained from criticizing his deception. "If ever there was a man caught between two worlds, it was An. It is very hard for anyone who did not serve in Vietnam in those years to understand the complexity," said David Halberstam, who covered the early years of the war for The New York Times. [Source: By Richard Pyle and Margie Mason, Associated Press , September 20, 2006]Thomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "Far from planting stories, says Richard Pyle, the former A. P. Saigon bureau chief, "An saved Time from embarrassing itself by publishing stories that weren’t true. It was sleight of hand on his part. Without revealing how he knew what he knew, he’d let you know whether you were on the right track." An was also accused, according to former Time correspondent Zalin Grant, of being "the first known case of a Communist agent to appear on the masthead of a major American publication as a correspondent." Murray Gart, the chief of correspondents at Time during the war, is reported to have said, after he learned the news, "An, that son of a bitch. I’d like to kill him." [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"Another reporter who is critical of An, though for different reasons, is Peter Arnett. An rented a house from Arnett’s Vietnamese in-laws, and the two journalists would meet often at Givral’s to swap stories. "It’s still a raw point for me," Arnett says. "Even though I understand him as a Vietnamese patriot, I still feel journalistically betrayed. There were accusations all throughout the war that we had been infiltrated by the Communists. What he did allowed the right to come up and slug us in the eye. For a year or so, I took it personally. Then I decided it was his business.""With these few exceptions—and even Arnett ends our conversation by praising An as a "bold guy"—An’s colleagues are united in their support of him. "Was I angry when I learned about An?" says Frank McCulloch, who was the head of Time’s Asian bureaus when he hired An to work in the Saigon office for seventy-five dollars a week. "Absolutely not. It’s his land, I thought. If the situation were reversed, I would have done the same thing." "An was my colleague and star reporter," says McCulloch, who is now retired after a distinguished career as the managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and other papers. "An had a very sophisticated understanding of Vietnamese politics, and he was remarkably accurate." McCulloch bursts into laughter. "Of course he was accurate, considering his sources!"Stanley Karnow, author of the seminal 1983 book, "Vietnam: A History," told Associated Press that despite his secret role, An was always reliable. "I was struck by how much he knew and was willing to share," Karnow said. "He said later that his function as a spy was not disinformation, it was to gather the best info he could for them (the Viet Cong)." [Source: By Richard Pyle and Margie Mason, Associated Press , September 20, 2006]When An’s former colleagues first learned his story—from rumors that began circulating in the eighties—they invariably recalled a scene, a revelatory moment, which was suddenly explained by the news. Nick Turner, An’s former boss at Reuters, confirmed his suspicions about An’s unannounced absences from the office. H. D. S. Greenway, known to his friends as David, suddenly understood why his former colleague at Time knew more than he did about Operation Lam Son 719, the disastrous attempt by the South Vietnamese Army to attack Laos in 1971. "I had been up on the border near Khe Sanh, watching badly mauled soldiers retreating from Laos," Greenway told me. "I described them as survivors from the original column leading the attack. ‘No,’ An said, without the slightest hesitation. ‘The original column was wiped out. What you saw was survivors from the attempt to rescue the column, which also failed.’ Later, when I thought back on it, he seemed remarkably well informed. It’s the kind of insight you’d have only from knowing what both sides in the battle were doing.""McCulloch remembers An with tremendous fondness and respect, and he says it was a "great pleasure," in 1990, to organize a subscription fund, which raised thirty-two thousand dollars, to send An’s eldest son, Pham Xuan Hoang An, known to everyone as Young An, to journalism school at the University of North Carolina. The list of subscribers to the fund reads like a Who’s Who of Vietnam War reporters.Pham Xuan An Saves American Journalist and South Vietnamese SpyAssociated Press reported: "Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist. In a 2000 interview with The Associated Press, An said he always had warm feelings for his press colleagues and for the United States, where he attended college at Fullerton, Calif. But deep down he remained a "true believer" in the communist cause as the best way to free Vietnam of foreign control. "I fought for two things - independence and social justice," he said. [Source: By Richard Pyle and Margie Mason, Associated Press , September 20, 2006]Thomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "In 1970, An’s fellow Time correspondent Robert Sam Anson was captured by North Vietnamese soldiers and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, where at least twenty-five other journalists were already dead or unaccounted for. After Anson’s wife pleaded with An to help her, he secretly arranged for Anson’s release. It would be another seventeen years before Anson learned the story of what An had done for him. When Anson saw An again in 1987, he asked him, "Why did you save me, if you were an enemy of my country?" An replied, "Yes, I was an enemy of your country, but you were my friend." To this day, Anson works with a photo of An on his desk. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"An won his final military-exploit medal for the role he played in the 1975 Ho Chi Minh Campaign, which ended with the Communists seizing Saigon on April 30, 1975. His last deed in the war was another act of friendship. Hours before the city fell, An arranged the escape of his old patron, the South Vietnamese spymaster Trần Kim Tuyến. In the famous photo showing the helicopter taking off from the roof of what is usually misidentified as the United States Embassy (it was actually a C.I.A. safe house two blocks away), the last person climbing the rickety ladder to get on board is Tran Kim Tuyen. Out of the frame, waving goodbye, stands Pham Xuan An.Pham Xuan An at the Fall of SaigonThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "Nayan Chanda, who was working for Reuters and the Far Eastern Economic Review, remembered seeing An standing in front of the Presidential Palace on the last day of the war, as Communist tank No. 843 smashed through the iron gate. "There was a strange, quizzical smile on his face. He seemed content and at peace with himself. I found it odd," Chanda says. "His wife and children had just been airlifted out of the country, and he didn’t seem to have a care in the world." Chanda later realized that An was celebrating the Communist victory, for which he had worked for thirty years. Aside from Chanda’s fleeting glimpse, An kept his cover in place after 1975. "It was a dangerous moment for me," he says. "It would have been easy for someone to put a bullet through my skull. All I could do was wait for someone from the jungle to come out and recognize me." [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"An and his mother moved into the Continental Palace Hotel. They lived first in Robert Shaplen’s old room. Then An moved into Time’s two-room office. He was repeatedly summoned for interrogations by the police, until intelligence officials intervened. People began to suspect that he was "a man of the revolution" when they saw him ride his bicycle to the military supply depot and leave with bags of rice and meat tied to the handlebars. They assumed that he was an "April 30th revolutionary," someone who had jumped to the Communist side after the fall of Saigon."Not even military officials as highly placed as Bùi Tín knew An’s story. Tin was the North Vietnamese colonel who accepted the surrender of the South Vietnamese government. He was working as the deputy editor of Quân Đội Nhân Dân, the North Vietnamese Army newspaper, when he rode a tank up to the Presidential Palace on April 30th. Accidentally finding himself the highest-ranking officer there, Tin accepted the surrender of the South Vietnamese government and sat down at the President’s desk to file a dispatch for his newspaper. Like most journalists newly arrived in Saigon, the next thing he did was go looking for Pham Xuan An. "On the morning of May 1st, I went to meet An at his office in the Continental Palace Hotel. I had no idea at the time that he was a spy," Tin says. "All he told me was that he was a correspondent working for Time-Life. He introduced me to all the journalists in town, and I helped them send their articles abroad. Three months after the end of the war, I still didn’t know An was a spy."Foiled Plans to Send Pham Xuan An to the U.S. After the Vietnam WarThomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "As Saigon fell to the Communists, An, like his fellow-correspondents, was hoping to be evacuated to the United States. Vietnam’s military intelligence agency planned to continue his work in America. The Politburo knew there would be a war-after-the-war, a bitter period of political maneuvering in which the United States launched covert military operations and a trade embargo against Vietnam. Who better to report on America’s intentions than Pham Xuan An? In the last days of the war, An’s wife and their four children were airlifted out of Vietnam and resettled in Washington, D.C. An was anxiously awaiting instructions to follow them, when word came from the North Vietnamese Politburo that he would not be allowed to leave the country. [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]"Hints of the power struggle over An—pitting the military intelligence agents who wanted to send him to the United States against officials in the Politburo—were revealed to Bùi Tín only when the government moved to get An’s wife and children repatriated to Vietnam. Bucking the tide of refugees flooding out of the country, An’s family spent a year trying to get back into Vietnam by means of a circuitous route that passed through Paris, Moscow, and Hanoi. The first official announcement of An’s wartime allegiance came in December, 1976, when he flew to Hanoi as an Army delegate at the Fourth Party Congress. Friends who saw him walking around Hanoi in an Army uniform, which he was wearing for the first time in his life, were astounded by the transformation of the journalist into a beribboned hero."The problem with Pham Xuan An, from the perspective of the Vietnamese Communist Party, was that he loved America and Americans, democratic values, and objectivity in journalism. He considered America an accidental enemy who would return to being a friend once his people had gained their independence. An was the Quiet Vietnamese, the representative figure who was at once a lifelong revolutionary and an ardent admirer of the United States. He says he never lied to anyone, that he gave the same political analyses to Time that he gave to Ho Chi Minh. He was a divided man of utter integrity, someone who lived a lie and always told the truth.Pham Xuan An After the Vietnam WarInstead was sent to a reducation camp. Thomas A. Bass wrote in The New Yorker, "Always a bad student, An finished near the bottom of his class. "They didn’t like my jokes," he says of the dour Northerners who were trying to teach him to speak "new" Vietnamese, full of political terms borrowed from China. An suffered through the bone-chilling rains of a Hanoi winter, sleeping on a wooden bed with a cotton mattress. "I wore a Chinese cotton jacket that made me look like a mummy," he says. "I asked for a Russian jacket. But I was still cold, so I went back and asked for a ‘hundred-and-eleven-degree jacket’—three girls, one sleeping on my right, one on my left, and one on top of me." "They didn’t like me at all," An says of his political reëducators. "But I haven’t made a big enough mistake to be shot yet." [Source: Thomas A. Bass, The New Yorker, May 23, 2005]Later "An was named a Hero of the People's Armed Forces, awarded four military-exploit medals, and elevated to the rank of brigadier general. He was also sent to a reëducation camp and forbidden to meet Western visitors. His family were brought back to Vietnam, returning a year after they left. In 1990, Colonel An was elevated to the rank of general. At the time, Vietnam had begun to adopt Đổi mới, the "renovation policy" that opened the country to the West. Whether the Communists were recognizing An’s merits, ashamed of the threadbare penury in which he lived, or maneuvering to keep him on a tighter leash is open to interpretation. An, as usual, explains his promotion with a joke. As Western journalists began returning to Vietnam, people would ask to see "General Givral." To avoid embarrassment, the government decided to raise his rank to match his title."In 1997, the Vietnamese government denied An permission to visit the United States for a conference in New York to which he had been invited as a special guest, and it was not until March, 2002, that the seventy-four-year-old, emphysema-stricken general was allowed to retire. "They wanted to control me," he says. "That’s why they kept me in the military so long. I talk very wildly. They wanted to keep my mouth shut." This is one possible explanation, but, as always with An, there could be another figure in the carpet. All we know is that, for at least twenty-seven years after the end of the war, An was still an active member of Vietnam’s military intelligence service.Given his familiarity with the French,Viet Minh, Viet Cong, South Vietnamese and American armies, An said in the 2000 interview, "I told them they should make me a five-star general. I don't think they understood my sense of humor." An died in 2006 at the age of 79. An had lived inHo Chi Minh City (Saigon), since South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese forces in 1975. "[Source: By Richard Pyle and Margie Mason, Associated Press , September 20, 2006]Obituary: Pham Xuan An, 79: Reporter for Time, Spy for Viet CongPham Xuan An shows off his 1965 press card at his home in Ho Chi Minh City in 2000. He spied for the communists for decades as a respected correspondent for Western news organizations while working in what was then Saigon. (By Charles Dharapak -- Associated Press)By Patricia SullivanWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, September 21, 2006Pham Xuan An, 79, the Viet Cong colonel who worked as a reporter for U.S. news organizations during the Vietnam War while also spying for the communists, died of emphysema Sept. 20 in a military hospital in the former Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City.The secret of Mr. Pham's double life was kept for almost 30 years, from 1959 until the 1980s. He was the first Vietnamese to be a full-time staff correspondent for a major U.S. publication, working primarily for Time magazine.Although his job as a spy was to uncover and report the plans of the South Vietnamese and U.S. military, he was so good at collecting and analyzing information that he was considered the best Vietnamese reporter in the press corps. He said he did not lie, tilt the news or spread disinformation in the stories he filed."It would have been stupid to do that. He would have been found out in an instant," said Frank McCullough, a retired newspaperman who was Time's bureau chief in Saigon and who hired Mr. Pham. "He used the bureau as a listening post. He was an extremely sophisticated understander of not only Vietnamese culture but its politics."By night, he photographed intelligence reports that then were smuggled out of Saigon through the Củ Chi tunnel network. He disguised the film canisters as grilled pork wrapped in rice paper, according to one account, or hid them in the bellies of rotting fish. Other times, he wrote his reports in primitive invisible ink made of starch, author Stanley Karnow wrote."The most remarkable thing was how he was able to pull it off for such a long time, to be such a successful spy and a good journalist," said Larry Berman, whose biography "Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent" will be published in the spring."He never had to steal a document because he was such a professional journalist and professional spy. His closest mentors were [Col. Edward] Lansdale and [later CIA chief] William Colby. People were always showing him things to get his opinion and analysis because he was so smart."Mr. Pham was able to alert the communist troops to the impending buildup of U.S. troop strength in the mid-1960s, which the Pentagon denied when McCullough tried to report it in Time. Much of what the Viet Cong wanted was what the news media wanted, just in greater detail."It was not especially confidential stuff -- the government army's deployments and strength, which commanders were capable or incompetent or corrupt. And there was gossip -- who's sleeping with whose wife or girlfriend," Mr. Pham told Karnow in 1990.His intelligence was good enough that he was promoted to colonel while working as a reporter. He secretly arranged for the release of reporter Robert Sam Anson, who had been captured by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and he was responsible for getting South Vietnam's former security chief Tram Kim Tuyen on the last U.S. helicopter that left Saigon. His own wife and four children left Vietnam aboard a plane provided by Time. He stayed. "It was the stupidest thing I ever did," he said later.After the Americans left, Mr. Pham cabled Time's headquarters as its last staffer in Saigon and filed three more stories as the North Vietnamese took over the city. In 1976, the bureau closed and Mr. Pham endured a year of "reeducation" in Hanoi. He was suspected of becoming too close to Americans and was kept under house arrest, barred from seeing returning veterans or reporters. He was still nominally a military intelligence officer.By 1990, as Vietnam was reopening to Western visitors, Mr. Pham was promoted to major general and was named a Hero of the People's Armed Forces, with four military-exploit medals. Karnow, CBS reporter Morley Safer and others began to report on Mr. Pham's life as an undercover agent, and the New Yorker published a profile of him “The Spy Who Loved Us” in 2005.Pham Xuan An led an extraordinary double life as a trusted reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War while spying for North Vietnam.TIME MAN-IN-SAIGON SPYHe made secret trips to confer with Viet Cong leaders and knew in advance of major Communist initiatives, including the 1968 Tet Offensive and North Vietnam's 1972 invasion of the south.Obituary: Pham Xuan An: Vietnamese Journalist and SpyInternational Herald Tribune, Sep 21, 2006Pham Xuan An, a Vietnamese man who led a perilous double life as communist spy and respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, has died, according to his son, Pham Xuan Hoang An. He was 79. An suffered from emphysema, and died at a military hospital Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City, his son said. He had lived in the city, formerly known as Saigon, since South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese forces on April 30, 1975.In the history of wartime espionage, few have been as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15- year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist: first for Reuters news service and then for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter - a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings. He was so well known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Before Saigon fell to the communists, An risked his own life to help friends escape, including a former South Vietnamese security chief who feared death at the hands of northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he had never reported any false information or communist propaganda as a journalist.He had been in and out of consciousness since being hospitalized in July and had fallen into a coma days before his death, a doctor at the hospital said. An's wife and four children were at his bedside when he died, his son said. In a 2000 interview with The Associated Press, An said he always had warm feelings for his press colleagues and for the United States, where he attended college at Fullerton, California. But deep down he remained a "true believer" in the communist cause as the best way to free Vietnam of foreign control. "I fought for two things - independence and social justice," he said.An's political and military contacts made him an essential source for other Vietnamese reporters working for foreign news organizations. He was known for his role as the soft-spoken, chain-smoking oracle of "Radio Catinat," as the Saigon rumor mill was called. But few, if any, ever suspected he was a communist spy. He was, in fact, an officer for the Viet Cong, the insurgency that sought to topple the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government. While outside critics vilified An for his role in espionage activities that may have led to the deaths of many Americans and South Vietnamese, former media colleagues expressed mixed feelings, from bemusement to a sense of betrayal, after An revealed in the 1980s that he had been a spy. "If ever there was a man caught between two worlds, it was An. It is very hard for anyone who did not serve in Vietnam in those years to understand the complexity," said David Halberstam, who covered the early years of the war for The New York Times.Following Vietnamese independence in 1954, he served as an aide to Colonel Edward Lansdale, the legendary U.S. intelligence officer who played an instrumental role in early U.S. support for the fledgling anti-communist regime in Saigon in the late 1950s. Lansdale is believed to have inspired Graham Greene's novel, "The Quiet American." An told ex-colleagues in later years that he made secret trips to the jungle to confer with Viet Cong leaders. He said he knew in advance of major communist initiatives including the 1968 Tet Offensive and the 1972 Easter Offensive aimed at destroying the regime in Saigon. An insisted that he remained true as a journalist - never planting false or misleading information, for he realized this could reveal his clandestine role. "The truth was that I knew many things that I never told anyone," he said.General Department of Military Intelligence (Vietnam) from WikipediaTổng cục Tình báo, other names: Tổng cục 2, TC2 (translated variously as General Department of Military Intelligence or Second General Department) is an intelligence agency of Vietnam.During Vietnam War a significant number of spies were sent by North Vietnam and Vietcong into government of South Vietnam and Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Some notable spies were Pham Ngoc Thao, Pham Xuan An, Vu Ngoc Nha etc. Some famous operations by North Vietnamese and Vietcong spies were:Case of Phạm Ngọc Thảo (1965): Phạm Ngọc Thảo was a communist spy who infiltrated the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and served as a colonel. He was appointed by Ngô Đình Nhu as a director for the Strategic Hamlet Program which aimed to eliminate communist agents in South Vietnam. He deliberately destabilize the Program, causing protests against South Vietnam government and America among villagers. He also deliberately initiated and participated in a coup d'état in 1963 that removed and killed Ngô Đình Diệm - the first president of South Vietnam. Thảo was later suspected and killed by South Vietnamese government in 1965.Case of A.22 (1969): a team of 42 communist spies who infiltrated as officers in South Vietnamese government and even as an assistant of the President of South Vietnam were discovered by CIA. The team was later sentenced to jail by the government of South Vietnam.Theft of UH-1 helicopter (1973): Hồ Duy Hùng, a dismissed pilot of Republic of Vietnam Air Force who actually was a communist spy, stole a UH-1 helicopter in Da Lat City and flew to the area controlled by Vietcong in Tay Ninh.Ho Duy Hung, second from RightBombing of Independence Palace (1975): Nguyễn Thành Trung, a pilot of Republic of Vietnam Air Force who actually was a communist spy, flew an F5-E fighter and bombed the Independence Palace on 8/4/1975. After the mission he landed at fallen Phan Rang Air Base.Northrop F5-E flown by Nguyen Thanh Trung.Congratulated by General Vo Nguyen GiapIndependence PalaceNguyen Thanh Trung, far left also took part in bombing of Tan Son Nhut Air BaseActivities of Phạm Xuân Ẩn: Phạm Xuân Ẩn was probably the most notable communist spy of Vietnam War. He worked as a journalist for Time magazine, Reuters and New York Herald Tribune stationed in Saigon during Vietnam War. He had a wide network with many senior officers and commanders of South Vietnamese government and military. He also made friends with many senior American officers and commanders, hence allowing him to access top secret documents of South Vietnam and America. His spying activity was not discovered until the end of Vietnam War.New Vietnam Spy Tale Sheds Light on How the U.S. Lost the WarBY JEFF STEIN from NewsweekON 4/30/15 AT 10:51 AMA documentary about the fall of Saigon puts America's current wars in perspective. AFP/GETTYWORLDVietnam unfurled a massive celebration on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of its long war with the United States. Thousands of soldiers, sailors, police, firefighters and students marched through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, brandishing flags and flowers. On the steps of Reunification Palace, once the grandiose home of South Vietnam’s U.S.-backed president, honors were bestowed on aging “heroes of the revolution.”One of the missing heroes was Pham Chuyen, a little-known but key player in the “American war,” as the Vietnamese call it. The old Communist spy died peacefully in his bed last November at the age of 93. Pham’s death, in his ramshackle home southeast of Hanoi, passed without fanfare outside Vietnam, unlike those of some of his more illustrious comrades who managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the South Vietnamese government.Yet according to a four-part series published in an obscure Hanoi military journal in April, Pham was a key double agent in an operation that led to the capture or deaths of scores of CIA and U.S. military–controlled spies for nearly a decade during the war. A translation of the series was provided to Newsweek by Merle Pribbenow, a 27-year CIA veteran who has spent his post-agency years translating Vietnamese Communist materials for the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C.Reported here for the first time outside of Vietnam, the series draws partially on two books by American experts published decades ago. But in declassifying some of its wartime documents, Hanoi sheds new light on how its intelligence service was able to neutralize virtually every spying operation mounted against it by the CIA and, later, a top-secret U.S. military outfit known by its acronym MACV-SOG, or Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group. “[From 1961 to 1970], our security forces used the spies that the CIA sent into North Vietnam to lure the CIA into sending equipment and many more commando teams into North Vietnam,” said the report in An Ninh The Gioi (World Security). “We killed or captured all of these spies and commandos.”Many were lured into traps by Pham, a North Vietnamese exile in Saigon. The CIA recruited him in 1961 to return north and spy on his homeland. Yet not long after landing by boat at the port of Hai Phong, he was quickly captured and turned into a double agent by North Vietnam’s People's Public Security Bureau, a powerful and fearsome intelligence service modeled on the Soviet KGB.Hai Phong War timeThe CIA and Pentagon have previously acknowledged that nearly all their operations inside North Vietnam in the 1960s were quickly compromised. One secret program run by the U.S. military’s Saigon-based Studies and Observations Group tried to capitalize on that, according to a 1999 book, The Secret War Against Hanoi, by national security historian Richard H. Shultz. The unit parachuted captured Communist troops back into North Vietnam with incriminating documents and maps sewn into their clothing, sometimes without their knowledge, counting on them to be caught. “The idea was to make the North Vietnamese think we had vast spy nets operating up there,” a former MACV-SOG operative, Wayne Tvrdik, tells Newsweek. Most of the men sent north were captured and executed.For years, the extent of Pham’s role and even his true allegiance remained a mystery, at least to one U.S. intelligence operative involved in the operation. “Sure, I knew him,” the late Sedgwick Tourison, a former U.S. military intelligence agent in Saigon, wrote in his 1995 book, Secret Army, Secret War. “We recruited him to send him back to North Vietnam in 1961. He was still in contact with us until at least 1969, and I was never sure if he was working for us or for North Vietnam.”But a senior former CIA operations officer in Saigon tells Newsweek that he had concluded early on that Pham—code-named “ARES”—had been turned into a double agent. “ARES was a singleton agent infiltrated into North Vietnam by the agency,” says Walter McIntosh, a former chief of Vietnam operations for the CIA. “He was taken over by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SO), which failed to detect that [he] had fallen under North Vietnamese control.” McIntosh recalls that he was so certain Pham had been doubled that he refused to assist the military unit on any more resupply missions to him. “I wrote a 12-page dispatch citing the evidence of ARES being in NVN control and what special stuff had been compromised,” he says. His warnings evidently bounced off MACV-SOG operators, who continued to believe in Pham, McIntosh says. As a result, “12 men died while [delivering] him a resupply of agent material” in North Vietnam.RVN Navy Seals - Biet Hai and U.S. advisors after a successful mission - displaying a captured NLF flag.According to World Security’s account, Pham’s handlers in Hanoi concocted over 300 phony intelligence reports for him to send to Saigon, including misleading map coordinates for missile sites, bridges, rail lines, factories and other top targets of U.S. warplanes. They also devised clever radio methods to dampen any suspicion in Saigon that Pham was under Communist control and transmitted fake reports on how their supposed spy was narrowly avoiding capture. Meanwhile, Pham’s regular reports that his equipment had been captured prompted MACV-SOG to send more resupply missions north, which always ended in the death or capture of their men.RVN Navy Seals - Biet HaiARVN CommandosOne installment of Hanoi’s needling account is called “10 Years of Leading the CIA Around by the Nose,” implying that Pham was some kind of master spy. In reality, he was just a lump of clay, first in the hands of the Americans and then North Vietnam’s spy agency.His unlikely path to espionage stardom began with his disenchantment with North Vietnam’s brand of Communism in the late 1950s. He was a disgruntled newspaper reporter and folk singer, and his public grousing soon attracted the attention of security officials. After he also was discovered carrying on an extramarital affair, he was ousted from his local Communist Party chapter. “Because of his acts of opposition,” says the new account from Hanoi, according to Pribbenow’s translation, “we had planned to prosecute him, but Chuyen fled and disappeared in July or August 1959.”He arrived in Saigon in 1960, at a time when the CIA and U.S. military spy agencies, in concert with a top-secret intelligence unit in the South Vietnamese president’s office, were gearing up for ambitious sabotage and espionage operations against the north. Potential agents were in demand, so Pham’s arrival from North Vietnam quickly drew their attention. Facing few alternatives, he apparently couldn’t resist their recruitment pitch.In the first week of April 1961, Pham was dispatched north, landing in a fishing hamlet on the coast about 35 miles southeast of Hanoi. A villager quickly noticed the unfamiliar boat, according to the World Security account. “The residents also occasionally saw a stranger who looked like Pham Chuyen hiding in the forested hills of La Khe Hamlet. Then one of our secret informants…reported that he had gone to the home of Chuyen’s mother.”Engaged in conversation by the local spy, Pham dropped his guard, telling him “the truth, that he had returned to conduct operations” against North Vietnam. A few days later, the security forces rolled him up, along with his radio and other spy materials. Carefully handled by his captors, Pham was turned into a double agent.If there’s any master spy in the story, it’s Pham’s handler, Nguyen Tai, who was immortalized by former CIA analyst Frank Snepp in his unauthorized 1977 memoir, Decent Interval. Nguyen was a top Communist spy in the Saigon area from 1966 to 1970, when his South Vietnamese and CIA agents captured him and subjected him to relentless and often brutal interrogation. Over five years, he repeatedly frustrated his agents with a cascading series of cover stories that camouflaged his true identity and the names of his fellow spies. With Communist forces closing in on Saigon in the spring of 1975, Snepp speculated, his interrogators murdered him in his cell.Nguyen Tai - The Man in the Snow White CellBut “Snepp was wrong,” Pribbenow wrote on the CIA’s website in 2007. “The prisoner survived.” Liberated by his countrymen, he “went on to other important positions” after the war’s end, “including elected member of the reunified nation of Vietnam’s National Assembly,” Pribbenow wrote. And in 2002, the revolutionary government honored him with its highest title, “Hero of the People's Armed Forces.” Among his accolades: He had directed the brilliant Pham double agent operation during its first three years. Snepp says he updated his book to include Nguyen's survival in 2002.Pribbenow says the failed torture of Nguyen should serve as a warning to CIA interrogators tasked with breaking today’s committed Muslim radicals, among other fanatics. “I am not a moralist. War is a nasty business, and one cannot fight a war without getting one's hands dirty,” he wrote in 2007. “There are limits, however, beyond which we cannot and should not go if we are to continue to call ourselves Americans.”But Pham’s story should stand as an advisory opinion for those who say the CIA has little to show for its spying operations against the likes of China, Iran and ISIS, Pribbenow suggests. Like those “hard targets,” North Vietnam had vast internal security networks and informants on every block. It “was a nightmare for anyone trying to conduct clandestine operations of any kind,” Pribbenow says. Hanoi had “public security and ‘militia/self-defense’ organizations that extended down to the village and hamlet level.” Plus, “everyone knew everyone else, and when a stranger appeared, everyone quickly knew about it.” The same holds for China, Iran and territory held by ISIS.If Pham had any regrets about helping the Communists he once despised kill agents from the south, where he had hoped to live, he never showed it. In fact, no one except his brothers and sisters knew about his spying life until a few days before he died, according to the account in World Security.He died amazed that Tourison, one of the Americans he had been closest to in Saigon, still wasn’t sure which side he had been on. “That is truly incredible,” Pham wrote in a private memoir for his intelligence service. “This means that Tourison and the CIA in South Vietnam were defeated by North Vietnamese Public Security and that the United States was defeated by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.”Newsweek national security correspondent Jeff Stein is the author of A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War (St. Martin’s Press, 1992).Decent Interval - Frank SneppVietnam, Colonel NGO THE LINH, Special Forces Commander, Director of Strategic Technical Directorate (STD) Viet Nam Cong HoaU.S. History in Context Special Forces, ARVNArmy of the Republic of Vietnam Special ForcesARVN and US Special ForcesPhạm Ngọc Thảo from WikipediaColonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo also known as Albert Thảo (1922–1965), was a communist sleeper agent of the Viet Minh (and, later, of the Vietnam People's Army) who infiltrated the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and also became a major provincial leader in South Vietnam. In 1962, he was made overseer of Ngô Đình Nhu's Strategic Hamlet Program in South Vietnam and deliberately forced it forward at an unsustainable speed, causing the production of poorly equipped and poorly defended villages and the growth of rural resentment toward the regime of President Ngô Đình Diệm, Nhu's elder brother.Vietminh Communist leader in the Mekong Delta, second from leftDuring the First Indochina War, as a communist officer in the Vietminh and helped oversee various operations in the Mekong Delta in the far south, at one point commanding his future enemy Nguyễn Khánh, who briefly served the communist cause. After the French withdrawal and the partition of Vietnam, Thảo stayed in the south and made a show of renouncing communism.He became part of the military establishment in the anti-communist southern regime and quickly rose through the ranks. Nominally Catholic, Thảo befriended Diệm's elder brother, Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô Đình Thục—the devoutly Roman Catholic Ngô family strongly favored co-religionists and had great trust in Thảo, unaware that he was still loyal to the communists.He went on to serve as the chief of Bến Tre Province, and gained fame after the area—traditionally a communist stronghold—suddenly became peaceful and prosperous. Vietnamese and US officials, as well as journalists hostile to or supportive of Saigon, misinterpreted this as a testament to Thảo's great ability, and he was promoted to a more powerful position where he could further his sabotage. Thảo and the communists in the local area had simply stopped fighting, so that the communists could quietly recuperate, while Thảo would appear to be very skillful and be given a more important job where he could do more damage.Ben Tre 1961Through intrigue, Thảo also helped destabilize and ultimately unseat two South Vietnamese regimes—Diem's and the military junta of Khánh. As the Diệm regime began to unravel in 1963, Thảo was one of the officers planning a coup. His plot was ultimately integrated into the successful plot and his activities promoted infighting which weakened the government and distracted the military from fighting the Viet Cong insurgency.Throughout 1964 and 1965, as South Vietnam was struggling to establish a stable state after the ouster of Diệm, Thảo was involved in several intrigues and coup plots which diverted the government from implementing its programs. In 1965, he went into hiding after a failed attempt to seize power from Khánh and was sentenced to death in absentia. Although this coup also failed, the subsequent chaos forced Khánh's junta to collapse. A communist report written in March 1965, stated that "The balance of force ... has changed very rapidly in our favor. ... The bulk of the enemy's armed forces ... have disintegrated, and what is left continues to disintegrate".Tanks taking part of coup under Thao’s commandAir Force chief Nguyễn Cao Kỳ thwarted Thảo's attempted coup in 1965. Thảo was sentenced to death in absentia by a military tribunal under Ky.Thảo died the same year he was forced into hiding; it is believed that he was murdered after a bounty was placed on his head. After Vietnam was reunified at the end of the Vietnam War, the victorious communists claimed Thảo as one of their own, posthumously made him a one-star general and awarded him the title of Heroic war dead (Vietnamese: Liệt sĩ). In 1981, the communists had his body exhumed and reburied in the "Patriots' cemetery" in Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon).ReferencesChapman, Jessica (September 2006). "Staging Democracy: South Vietnam's 1955 Referendum to Depose Bao Dai". Diplomatic History. 30 (4): 671–703. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7709.2006.00573.x.Goscha, Christopher E. (1999). Thailand and the Southeast Asian Networks of the Vietnamese Revolution, 1885–1954. Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 978-0-7007-0622-8.Halberstam, David; Singal, Daniel J. (2008). The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-6007-9.Hammer, Ellen J. (1987). A Death in November: America in Vietnam, 1963. New York: E. P. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-24210-9.Hickey, Gerald C. (2002). Window on a War: An Anthropologist in the Vietnam Conflict. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 978-0-89672-490-7.Jacobs, Seth (2006). Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America's War in Vietnam, 1950–1963. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-4447-5.Jones, Howard (2003). Death of a Generation: how the assassinations of Diem and JFK prolonged the Vietnam War. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505286-2.Kahin, George McT. (1986). Intervention: How America Became Involved in Vietnam. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-54367-3.Karnow, Stanley (1997). Vietnam: A history. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-670-84218-6.Kỳ (Nguyễn Cao Kỳ); Wolf, Marvin J. Buddha's Child: My Fight to Save Vietnam. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-28115-1.Langguth, Jack (20 February 1965). "Khanh is back in power; his troops regain Saigon, putting down brief coup". The New York Times. p. 1.Langguth, A. J. "Jack" (2000). Our Vietnam: the war, 1954–1975. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-81202-1.Lindholm, Richard (1959). Viet-nam, the first five years: an international symposium. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press. LCCN 59006631.Moyar, Mark (2006). Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954–1965. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86911-9."Dissident General Yields". The New York Times. Associated Press. 20 February 1965. p. 2."Hours in an Anxious Saigon: How Anti-Khanh Coup Failed". The New York Times. 21 February 1965. p. 2.Prochnau, William (1995). Once upon a Distant War. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-8129-2633-0.Shaplen, Robert (1966). The Lost Revolution: Vietnam 1945–1965. London: André Deutsch.Tang (Truong Nhu Tang) (1986). Journal of a Vietcong (aka A Vietcong Memoir). London: Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-02819-6."South Viet Nam: A Trial for Patience". Time. 26 February 1965.Tucker, Spencer C., ed. (2000). Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social and Military History. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-040-6.VanDeMark, Brian (1995). Into the Quagmire: Lyndon Johnson and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509650-7.Winters, Francis X. (1997). The year of the hare: America in Vietnam, January 25, 1963 – February 15, 1964. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-1874-5.Wyatt, Clarence R. (1995). Paper Soldiers: The American Press and the Vietnam War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-91795-5.The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer’s Analysis Van Nguyen Duong

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