WHY VIET-NAM?
The leadership of the "Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League" Label me a Communist spy, read the story here. After reading through my website, I will trust visitors to draw their own conclusions.
         It is a question, in the past at least, I have been asked more than once, usually when up in the after-midnight hours typing letters and updates on a website or rushing to the post office to priority mail some documents which have to arrive across the country in two days, "why would I support the restoration of the Nguyen Dynasty or have the slightest care what happens in Vietnam, a country most Americans have only bad memories of?" Particularly in times of great stress and anguish (and there have been some), some caring family members, even Vietnamese relatives, have asked why I should bother. This is my only answer:
          The first open door must probably go to my sister, who married a Vietnamese-American, whose parents left Viet Nam only just in time to avoid the horrific Tet Offensive of 1968. Mostly thanks to my many long conversations with my sister's mother-in-law Nguyen Thi Linh (who is one of the most baffled at my behavior) I was introduced to Viet Nam, became interested enough to learn more and came to fall in love with the unique culture and traditions of the Vietnamese, with their devotion to family, Confucian ethics and hierarchy and great sense of how interwoven
are the physical and spiritual worlds. As someone who was already a monarchist, interested always in traditional and legitimate authority, this also led me to study the last Imperial Family of Viet Nam, the Nguyen Dynasty.
          What I read was not always flattering, in fact, in almost every case the story was written by someone with a vested interest in making the Nguyen Dynasty look as bad as possible since both the Communist Vietnamese, the Republic of Viet Nam, and the U.S. effort in Southeast Asia all traced their birth to the overthow (in 1945 and 1955) of the last Nguyen Emperor Bao Dai. Being a Jacobite, Carlist and in general a sucker for hard luck cases, I was drawn to Bao Dai, and the rest of his family, even the most unpopular of Nguyen rulers such as Emperors Khai Dinh and Dong Khanh.
          The more I learned the more I believed that what little history has been written about pre-war Viet Nam has given the Nguyen monarchy an unfairly bad reputation. Being a cultural "purist" and admirer of traditional Vietnamese culture, I came to feel very strongly that the old ways of Viet Nam, maintained for thousands of years, were worthy of restoration. There was also matters of honor to consider.
H.I.M. Emperor Khai Dinh
         This may sound very melodramatic, but I had always been troubled by the picture of waste surrounding American involvement in Viet Nam. Many members of my family had fought in that war in all branches of the armed forces, and it troubled me greatly, as an American, that so many of our men and women had, with the best of intentions, fought and died to prevent Viet Nam from becoming a Communist tyranny, only to have all their efforts proven futile when the Viet Cong flag was raised in Saigon. I reasoned that if I could do something, no matter how insignificant it may be, to resisting that totalitarian regime, if that government could be removed, their efforts would not have been in vain.
          Also as an American, the more I read about the overthrow of Emperor Bao Dai, both in 1945 and in 1955, as well as the abandonment of the Thieu regime later on, the more I was troubled by the actions of United States agents in helping bring about the downfall of the Nguyen monarchy in 1945 as well as rigging a phony plebiscite to remove the last Emperor from power in the south in 1955. As cliche as it may sound, discovering this only deepened in me a sense of duty that I
had to take some action, no matter how small, to make amends for the actions of my
country in the fall of the Nguyen, which I believe had the most profound impact on how the subsequent history of Viet Nam was to unfold.
          So, in short, I support the restoration of the Nguyen because I believe that the culture they embody should be preserved, that the people of Viet Nam deserve the better life I feel they could provide under the right circumstances, because I support the ideals of the Confucian monarchy with its emphasis on education and morality, because I believe that the Nguyen Dynasty alone has a truly legitimate place in the national life of Viet Nam which was wrongly taken from them, because I do not want the thousands who have fought for the freedom of Viet Nam to have died in vain, and because I feel that America has a duty to correct the mistakes made in the past regarding traditional governments in Southeast Asia. For all of these reasons, whether or not they desire or appreciate any action on my part, my support is and will forever remain with the loyal monarchists of the Great Nguyen Imperial Dynasty of the land of the ascending dragon, the "Great South".
H.I.M. Emperor Bao Dai
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