Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Vietnam Visit


President Obama made a case for human rights in Vietnam during a recent speech in Hanoi.  He also called for a peaceful resolution of the disputes between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea.
He stressed the need to uphold human rights in his remarks to the Vietnamese people, that were broadcast on television in a nation that has a dismal record on the issue.

Obama noted: “Human rights is not a threat to stability, but reinforces it.  Freedom of speech and expression fuels the economy.  That is how some of our greatest companies began.”  He explained, that while the U.S. is not trying to impose the American form of government on Vietnam, the country should be more open to scrutiny in order to grow stronger and more prosperous.”

Our President's speech was broadcast on Vietnamese television, which is almost unheard criticism of the country's human rights' record to be aired on their state-run TV.

Before addressing the Vietnamese people on human rights, Obama met with six leaders from Vietnamese civil society, and pointed out that several activists had been prevented from attending the meeting.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said:"We are not going to be able to release any names of folks that could not attend, but a small number of invitees faced obstacles in attending the meeting.

"The unprecedented nature of a meeting between a head of state and independent civil society in Hanoi demonstrates that we will continue to raise issues related to human rights with Vietnam even as our relationship progresses and we have continued differences, and the President expressed to both the government and civil society that he believes our deepening engagement will allow us to more productively support progress on legal reforms and respect for universal values going forward.”

Vietnamese fishermen have told CNN that they have been repeatedly boarded by Chinese flagged vessels and their equipment stolen and crew beaten.

Regarding, those reports, President Obama announced: "In the South China Sea, the U.S. is not a claimant in current disputes, but we will stand with our partners in upholding key principles like freedom of navigation.  Nations are sovereign and no matter how large or small a nation may be, its territory should be respected."

He did not mention by name, that China has been making aggressive moves in the South China Sea, where it has been making multiple territorial claims.

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