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February 21, 2004
Hmong Immigration Increasing in Twin Cities

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports today that a new influx of Hmong refugees will soon relocate to the Twin Cities, totalling over 14,000 in addition to the 42,000 that already live in the area:

Anticipation of a new life abroad has gripped this village of about 14,400 -- some estimates run higher -- since the U.S. State Department announced two months ago that it had struck a resettlement deal with the Thai government. The Hmong who live on the grounds of this Buddhist temple north of Bangkok will start to arrive in the U.S. this summer. The arrivals are expected to continue for at least two years.

The Hmong are a Laotian minority ethnic group that supported the United States during the Vietnam War and its incursion into Laos to drive out the North Vietnamese. Since then, as the Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center states, they have been a people without a country. Dr. Mai Xiong writes:

The United States and North Vietnam signed an agreement in Paris in 1973 to withdraw their military forces from Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam. In 1974, the Pathet Lao (the Lao communist government) prepared an 18-point policy called the Program for Achieving Peace, Independence, Neutrality, Democracy, Unification, and Prosperity of the Kingdom of Lao to gain citizens support, so they could take over Laos. When the Pathet Lao took over the country in 1975, they violated this 18-point policy and began a bloody campaign against the Hmong in retribution for helping the Americans during the Secret War in Laos. ...

The communists organized a massive troop movement against the Hmong in 1977, and they were driven from their homes. Many of them, including their wives and children, fled and hid in the jungle. The communists attacked the villages, burned the houses, destroyed the crops, and killed the livestock. Many communist soldiers raped the Hmong women and killed the children who surrendered because they could not run away.

I highly recommend that you read the rest of Dr. Xiong's essay, as it clearly expresses how our abandonment of our allies in Southeast Asia did not result in freedom and self-determination, as those who espoused the retreat claimed it would. In fact, just considering the Hmong, almost 170,000 of them already live in the US. However, in 1971, John Kerry insisted that a unilateral withdrawal would only result in the US having to protect 2-3,000 people at most (pages 190-1):

But I think, having done what we have done to that country, we have an obligation to offer sanctuary to the perhaps 2,000 to 3,00 who might face ... political assassination. ... So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America ...

More than thirty years after Kerry and his clique of defeatists and retreatists pushed this country into abandoning its allies in Southeast Asia, we are still paying for that failure by giving refuge to exponentially more than the two or three thousand refugees Kerry predicted. In just the Twin Cities over the next two years, we'll be absorbing five times that number, in addition to those already there. In California, residents of Garden Grove and Westminster saw their cities utterly transformed in the late 1970s by the massive resettlement of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. In Cambodia itself, our withdrawal created the political vacuum that enabled Pol Pot to massacre 2 million Cambodians and make refugees of millions more, dwarfing Kerry's ludicrous allegations of American "murders". Communists swept through Indochina after our retreat, killing millions and enslaving the rest. To this day, Kerry has never acknowledged the errors of judgment he displayed in his anti-war period; indeed, he relies on that record to attract fellow defeatists and isolationists.

America should be taking in these refugees; they made only the mistake of relying on American assurances of support, not knowing the character of those who would one day decide that it was far easier to abandon them to the tender mercies of the Viet Cong and Pol Pot than to muster the political will to win the war. Now that we know the measure of Kerry's character and judgment, we need to make sure that he is never again in a position to abandon freedom in favor of isolationism and betray friends on behalf of thugs.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 21, 2004 2:38 PM

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