Vietnamese intellectuals

Dear brothers and sisters,

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has been an eye opener for me because it let me know how indifferent Vietnamese intellectuals are.

Yes, this has shocked me.

On 2 March 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution rejecting the Russian attack on Ukraine and demanding that Russia immediately withdraw its forces and abide by international law. 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, while 35 abstained, 5 voted against and 12 didn’t vote at all. In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), all ASEAN members supported the resolution, except that Vietnam and Laos abstained.

The reason the General Assembly condemned Russia was that Russia unilaterally solved its dispute with Ukraine by war – that is like you use a hammer to hit on your neighbor’s head during a dispute with him. Using force to solve a dispute is criminal.

When Vietnam abstained, almost the whole world criticized Vietnam. No Vietnamese intellectuals spoke up to defend our country at the time. Or they knew nothing about this grave and urgent situation of Vietnam,  or they knew but didn’t know how to help, or they “helped” by praising Putin and Russia on Facebook and other social media.

In this country of nearly 100 million people, I’m not the best person to defend our country.  However, I have been among the first to speak up to defend Vietnam in front of the English-speaking world.

I thought there were people better than me and they would do this defending job. But no one. And I have to stand up, alone. A horror story.

Dear our intellectuals,

We are the only people in the world that speak Vietnamese. We are the ethnic minority in the Global Village. The way we see our ethnic minorities (such as Hmong) in the mountains of Northwest and Central Highlands is similar to the way Global Village sees us – poor, behind, and not sufficiently understanding global thinking.

Our intellectuals know all these things. Our intellectuals also know the way to lead our country to wisdom, prosperity and happiness. However, knowing and doing are two different things.

Our country depends on our intellectuals. If each of us takes care of our country, the country is strong. If each of us takes care of ourselves, the country is weak. The fate of the country is in our hands. The fate of the world is in our hands, too.

Do you know what your hands are holding?

Have a nice day.

Phạm Thu Hương

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