Skip to comments.Kerry, McCain Alleged to be 'Fast Friends' of Vietnamese Communists
Posted on 05/20/2004 3:16:48 AM PDT by kattracks
(CNSNews.com) - The Vietnamese communist government's alleged murder of hundreds of tribal Christians requires a response by the U.S. government, but any effort to sanction Vietnam is being blocked by Sens. John Kerry and John McCain, according to a Washington, D.C. human rights group.
International Christian Concern President Jeff King also alleges that he's heard complaints about Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat currently running for president, and McCain, an Arizona Republican who ran for president in 2000, from some of their congressional colleagues on the issue of Vietnam abuses.
"Senators have complained to us that these guys are the fast friends of the Vietnamese and they've blocked any real attempt at reform or punishment for these types of abuses, and so Vietnam continues to get away with murder," King told CNSNews.com.
When asked to name the senators who had complained, King quickly replied, "No way." But he added that, "It's not a political thing."
"[Kerry and McCain are] known as being big defenders of Vietnam," and the senators unhappy with Kerry and McCain are "people with a human rights angle," King said.
International Christian Concern (ICC) alleges that an Easter crackdown by the Vietnamese government against Montagnard Christians in Vietnam's Central Highlands resulted in the deaths of at least 280 people.
At least another 26 people are missing, according to the ICC, which claims to be getting information from the Vietnamese villages affected.
"We have the reports coming in from different villages - people calling in and saying, 'here's how many we lost, here's the names and what village,'" King said, adding that the information is difficult to obtain because Vietnamese soldiers have attempted to seal off the affected villages to outsiders.
The persecution of the Montagnards allegedly can be traced as far back as the end of the Vietnam War. "They were friends with the U.S. back in the war, so they've just been marked ever since and hated," King said.
Three years ago, according to King, the Vietnamese government launched a similar crackdown when the Montagnards protested their living conditions and Vietnamese soldiers ended up killing about 400 pastors, he said.
Kok Ksor, president of Montagnard Foundation, Inc., left Vietnam in 1975 and for the last 14 years has fought to "preserve the lives and culture" of the Montagnard Christians from his home in Spartanburg, S.C.
"We don't have any right to our ancestral land. They confiscate all of our land ... they relocate our people from our ancestral land -- good farm land -- to the land where we could not grow anything to survive," Ksor told CNSNews.com .
"The people can't take any more. They said, 'sooner or later, we're going to die. But before we die, we have to let the world know,'" Ksor added.
U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas, has met in the past with Vietnamese officials and been promised that his staff would be given access to the villages in the Central Highlands, according to Aaron Groote, Brownback's press secretary.
"When the staff arrived, however, they were not allowed to enter the region," Groote stated in a response to CNSNews.com questions.
"We don't want to speculate on the exact number of killings, but there have certainly been substantiated reports of many deaths and the violent suppression of demonstrators by the Vietnamese government," Groote added.
As for congressional attempts to stop the persecution, Brownback "feels strongly that we have not seen the improvements in Vietnam's human rights record that some people claim have been made in the past three years," Groote stated. He added that his boss "remains very concerned about the situation there."
An aide to McCain echoed those comments.
"Senator McCain is ... monitoring all human rights violations in Vietnam, including the deaths of tribal Christians, and ... we hope to work with the government to approach a bilateral solution to this problem," the aide, who did not want to be identified, told CNSNews.com .
The McCain aide also refused to address the complaint alleging that the senator, along with Kerry, were "fast friends" of the Vietnamese communists.
A telephone call to Kerry's Senate office, seeking comment for this report, was not returned.
The U.S. State Department releases an annual report on religious persecution around the world and in its 2003 report, categorized several nations as "countries of particular concern." Vietnam was not on the list.
However, a State Department spokesman told CNSNews.com Wednesday that "there is a process underway right now ... about which countries might be named" in the 2004 report.
If a nation makes it to the list of "countries of particular concern," it sets into motion a process by which the State Department may impose economic sanctions. The sanctions are authorized under the International Religious Freedom Act.
However, King believes there are other steps available for Congress to seek punishment of Vietnam for human rights abuses.
"Whether that's censure, whether that's tariffs, whether that's trading sanctions - there are any number of things to do, but the point is that [Kerry and McCain] block almost all of these things," King said.
Even the Bush administration is not doing as much as the ICC would like, though King conceded that, "[President] Bush has been pretty good as a friend of the persecuted Christians around the world."
See Related Story:
Kerry's Meeting With Communists Violated US Law, Says Author (May 20, 2004)
E-mail a news tip to David Thibault.
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You can flush it all you want, but the crap is still there.
We have known for quite a while that Kerry was a friend of Vietnamese commies, also Nicaraguan Commies. Didnt he take time off from his honeymoon with his first wife to meet with Communists? Its easy to understand Kerry's connection to Communists, after seeing him and Jane Fonda together. McCains connections are a little harder to understand.
Thanks, that is now the lead story in this mornings issue of Christian-news-in-maine.com
I agree. Hanoi John is obvious and McCain is the scary one. I often wonder what was done to him in that prison or if he is just a Socialist posing as a Republican.
Birds of a feather flock together.
"The McCain aide also refused to address the complaint alleging that the senator, along with Kerry, were "fast friends" of the Vietnamese communists."
No surprises there.
Ever see the "Manchurian Candidate"?
Your exactly right, I think about how close Mr. McCain could be to the Manchurian Canidate often. With McCain I believe he could or could not be the real McCain but with Hanoi John he is a for real socialist.
Perhaps McCain is a Communist agent. He certainly was there long enough to be programmed. IT took the Manchurian Candidate only 3 days.
Free Vietnam ping.