On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam

VnExpress By Mark A. Ashwill   February 7, 2019 | 11:03 am GMT+7

On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam

Vietnamese women at a wet market in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Valentina Aru

An ‘other’ reflects on the ways in which he and many others feel they belong, why Vietnam is home.

I have spent over 40 percent of my adult life outside of my home country, never content with having my soul controlled by geography, to paraphrase George Santayana. I carry a U.S. passport but it doesn’t define me. I am a U.S. ex-patriot and global citizen who calls Vietnam home.

It was during my first visit to Hanoi 23 years ago this month that this country – with its tragic yet inspirational millennia-long history – cast its spell on me.  After moving here in 2005, I joined a select group of expats – an estimated 100,000 of them, according to official sources – who live in the midst of 97 million Vietnamese.

Continue reading “On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam”


It’s been decades since the Vietnam War ended, and the Smithsonian has never mounted a full exhibition. Until now.

(Sonny Ross for The Washington Post)
Art and architecture critic January 31, 2019

The Vietnam War, which tore this country apart and forever changed its politics and culture, has never been the subject of a Smithsonian exhibition. The nation managed to build a memorial in 1982 to those who died in the war, less than a decade after the fall of Saigon, and, in 2017, Americans watched an epic 18-hour PBS documentary about the war, without any substantial political controversy. The war is included within exhibitions at the National Museum of American History, is referenced in the National Museum of African American History and Culture and served as the backdrop to an anniversary exhibition about the Vietnam memorial in 2003. But it hasn’t been the subject of specific, focused curatorial reconsideration.

Continue reading “It’s been decades since the Vietnam War ended, and the Smithsonian has never mounted a full exhibition. Until now.”

Vietnam’s Latest Demand for Agent Orange Compensation Described as Last Resort

VOA August 29, 2018 6:10 AM

FILE - The cleaning operation of the area that was used for storing Agent Orange is seen from a plane taking off from Danang international airport.
FILE – The cleaning operation of the area that was used for storing Agent Orange is seen from a plane taking off from Danang international airport.

How a U.S.-Backed University in Vietnam Unleashed Old Demons


Former Sen. Bob Kerrey is pictured. | AP Photo
U.S. State Department via AP

Former Senator Bob Kerrey thought he could help heal the wounds of war. Instead, he reopened them.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — On May 25, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry took the stage at the luxury Rex Hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Earlier on their trip together, President Barack Obama had announced a major development in a project Kerry had championed: The Vietnamese government had granted a license for Fulbright University Vietnam, the country’s first independent, private and nonprofit liberal arts university. About $40 million from the U.S. government would go toward the project, along with 25 hectares of rent-free land donated by the Ho Chi Minh City government. On this day, the two countries would officially mark the milestone. Continue reading “How a U.S.-Backed University in Vietnam Unleashed Old Demons”

Vietnam’s Sad Hunt: 300,000 Missing Souls

New York Times
Dec. 21, 2018

Decades after the war with America ended, Vietnamese families continue to search for the remains of their kin who are still missing in action.

By Joseph Babcock  (Mr. Babcock, a teacher of writing, is working on a book about contemporary Vietnam)

A war veteran places incense on graves in Hanoi on the national Day for Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers. Credit Hoang Dinh Nam / Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

On July 27, the day a collection of remains believed to be those of American soldiers lost in the Korean War were flown out of North Korea, I was driving from Hanoi to Vietnam’s rural northern province of Yen Bai. My host that morning was Ngo Thuy Hang, the 42-year-old vice director of Marin, a local nonprofit devoted to helping Vietnamese families locate the remains of their loved ones. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Sad Hunt: 300,000 Missing Souls”

Việt Nam thắng hai giải lớn tại liên hoan phim Singapore

Việt Nam, phim tài liệu
Đạo diễn Phạm Thu Hằng và hai nhân vật chính trong phim “Mùa cát vọng”

Hai nữ đạo diễn của Việt Nam vừa giành hai giải nhất tại Liên hoan Phim Singapore 2018, quy tụ các nhà làm phim tài năng khắp châu Á.

Phim tài liệu dài đầu tay “Mùa cát vọng” (The future cries beneath our soil) của nữ đạo diễn Phạm Thu Hằng giành giải Đạo diễn Xuất sắc nhất ở hạng mục Phim phóng sự châu Á. Continue reading “Việt Nam thắng hai giải lớn tại liên hoan phim Singapore”

Forest Harvester Reported 750-pound Bomb on Acacia Plantation in Hai Lang District

Chuck Searcy: This report is from my colleague Ngo Xuan Hien at Project RENEW, describing another finding of a big bomb in Quang Tri Province which was safely removed to the demolition site and destroyed.  The bomb is bigger than most ordnance cleaned up and destroyed every day — usually cluster bombs, grenades, artillery rounds, mortars — but now even these infrequent occurrences of 500-pound or 750-pound bombs are treated somewhat routinely.  That is to say, local people are no longer alarmed, once they report the finding they are confident that NPA-RENEW technicians or other NGO teams coordinated by the Provincial Legacy of War Coordination Center will come quickly to the site and handle the threat skillfully and professionally, and residents can soon return to their normal activities.  The situation is being managed, and that is the key to long-term safety and protection of villagers, farmers, school children.

Hai Lang District, Quang Tri (28 November 2018) — Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams managed by NPA-Project RENEW on Wednesday safely destroyed a 750-pound U.S. aircraft bomb at their Central Demolition Site in Hai Que Commune. It was identified an air-dropped general purpose bomb, M117 series, that was extensively used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War. Read more here.

Hien Xuan Ngo
Communications & Development Manager
Project RENEW

Add: Alley 185 Ly Thuong Kiet Street | Kids First Village
Dong Ha | Quang Tri | Viet Nam
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Mobile: +84915352565 | Skype: ngo.xuan.hien
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Chiếu phim tài liệu “The 2 Sides Project” tại Hà Nội

VUFO – Sáng 27/11, tại Hà Nội, Hội Việt – Mỹ (thuộc Liên hiệp Hữu nghị) phối hợp với Đoàn “Dự án Hai phía” tổ chức buổi chiếu phim tư liệu đặc biệt của Dự án Hai phía Bộ phim tài liệu “The 2 Sides Project” .


Theo ông Bùi Văn Nghị, Phó Trưởng ban phụ trách Ban châu Mỹ ( thuộc Liên hiệp Hữu nghị), Tổng Thư ký Hội Việt – Mỹ, bộ phim tài  liệu “The 2 Sides Project” là bộ phim đi theo bước chân của sáu người con quân nhân Mỹ tử trận trên hành trình khám phá một đất nước, một dân tộc có lịch sử gắn liền với cuộc đời họ. Trong 11 ngày cuối năm 2015, những người Mỹ và Việt Nam có cha hy sinh ở hai đầu chiến tuyến đã lần đầu tiên gặp mặt. Bộ phim hoàn thành vào năm 2017 đã thu lại trọn vẹn những cuộc gặp gỡ có sức mạnh chuyển hóa; những rung động sâu sắc của những người Mỹ thăm viếng nơi cha mình qua đời; những trải nghiệm giàu cảm xúc của họ với đất nước Việt Nam; chuyến thăm Mỹ đầu tiên trong lịch sử của ba người con liệt sỹ Việt Nam để hoàn thiện hành trình hòa giải từ hai phía. Continue reading “Chiếu phim tài liệu “The 2 Sides Project” tại Hà Nội”

200 years to go before Laos is cleared of unexploded US bombs from Vietnam war era


  • In the world’s most heavily bombed country, 20 million UXO have been cleared in the 45 years since clandestine US war ended
  • That leaves another 80 million still to be dug out and defused, if foreign governments continue funding the work.

     / UPDATED ON 

    Thanksgiving is an American tradition that is unknown in most of the world. Fifty years ago, however, it landed in Laos, the small, impoverished Southeast Asian nation that was to become perhaps the longest-suffering casualty of the United States’ war in Vietnam.

    Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1968, that fell on November 28, and on that day, at the height of the war and on the orders of president Lyndon B. Johnson, turkey dinners were helicoptered in to American soldiers who were on a mission to sever the Ho Chi Minh Trail – the network of paths and tracks that constituted North Vietnam’s military supply lines to the south of the country – that ran through eastern Laos.

    Vietnam war photographer on PTSD and his final battle, with cancer

    LBJ’s festive dinners were flown in at the same time as the US began dropping millions of bombs on the trail, which it had already been targeting for four years. Half a century later, Laos is still dealing with the deadly legacy of that bombing campaign, which left an estimated 100 million pieces of unexploded ordnance on the ground. Continue reading “200 years to go before Laos is cleared of unexploded US bombs from Vietnam war era”

    Việt Nam và Hoa Kỳ hoàn thành Dự án Xử lý Môi trường tại Sân bay Đà Nẵng

    Scroll down for English version

    usaid – Thứ Tư, Tháng mười một 7, 2018

    United States and Vietnam Complete Environmental Remediation at Danang Airport
    United States and Vietnam Complete Environmental Remediation at Danang Airport. Nguyen Thac Phuong/USAID

    ĐÀ NẴNG, 7/11/2018 – Hôm nay, Đại sứ Hoa Kỳ tại Việt Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink và Thứ trưởng Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam Nguyễn Chí Vịnh chứng kiến lễ ký thỏa thuận bàn giao 13,7 ha đất sạch đã xử lý tại Sân bay Quốc tế Đà Nẵng cho Bộ Giao thông Vận tải quản lý. Đây là phần đất bàn giao đợt ba và cũng là phần đất cuối cùng được bàn giao để phục vụ cho việc mở rộng Sân bay Đà Nẵng. Buổi lễ cũng đánh dấu việc hoàn thành Dự án Xử lý Môi trường Ô nhiễm Dioxin tại Sân bay Đà Nẵng kéo dài 6 năm với kinh phí 110 triệu đô la do Cơ quan Phát triển Quốc tế Hoa Kỳ (USAID) và Bộ Quốc phòng Việt Nam phối hợp thực hiện. Continue reading “Việt Nam và Hoa Kỳ hoàn thành Dự án Xử lý Môi trường tại Sân bay Đà Nẵng”

    Quang Tri mobilises resources to settle post-war landmines

    VNA WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018 – 9:45:00

    Unexploded bombs and mines found in Quang Tri province (Photo: VNA)

    Quang Tri (VNA) – The central province of Quang Tri has mobilised more than 20 projects and non-project aid packages worth over 4 million USD in the first nine months of the year to address the lingering consequences of bombs and mines left by wars across the locality. Continue reading “Quang Tri mobilises resources to settle post-war landmines”

    U.S. prepares for biggest-ever Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (R) meets Vietnam’s Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam October 17, 2018. 

    REUTERS WED OCT 17, 2018

    Phil Stewart

    BIEN HOA AIR BASE, Vietnam (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday visited a former American air base in southern Vietnam that will soon become the biggest-ever U.S. cleanup site for contamination left by the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

    Standing near a skull-and-crossbones warning sign meant to keep people away from toxic soil, Mattis was briefed by Vietnamese officials about the massive contamination area. Continue reading “U.S. prepares for biggest-ever Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam”

    RENEW project handles 590 explosive devices in Quang Tri

    VNA SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2018 – 17:52:00 PRINT

    Various explosive devices found at the construction site in Quang Tri (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

    Quang Tri (VNA) – A team of the “Restoring the Environment and Neutralising the Effects of the War” (RENEW) project said it safely moved 590 explosive devices from a construction site in the central province of Quang Tri.

    The mission took place from October 10-11, right after the team received a report on explosive devices from workers, who were building a guest house of Quang Tri town’s military high command at a location near the southern bank of Thach Han river.

    At the site, the team found many devices, including shells and mortar shells, at a depth of 2 metres, with their detonators remained intact.

    The devices were moved to a safe site for defusing in Trieu Trach commune, Trieu Phong district.

    RENEW, mainly sponsored by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), aims to help Quang Tri, known as one of the provinces hardest hit by the war, settle post-war bomb and landmine impacts.

    To date, more than 131 million square metres of land in Quang Tri province have been mapped out as confirmed hazardous areas that need full clearance. The NPA’s teams have destroyed about 70,000 pieces of dangerous ordnance, helping to eliminate the risks of death and injury for local residents.-VNA

    Vietnamese, US veteran pilots gather in Hanoi

    Vietnamese and American veteran pilots, who were once enemies of each other in the air during the anti-US war, reunited in Hanoi on October 3 for the third time.

    Vietnamese, US veteran pilots gather in Hanoi, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news
    Vietnamese and American veteran pilots, who were once enemies of each other in the air during the anti-US war, gather in Hanoi on October 3 for the third time.

    Present at the gathering were Lt. Gen. Nguyen Duc Soat, hero of the People’s Armed Forces and head of the Vietnamese veteran pilot delegation, Charlie Tutt, head of the US veteran pilot delegation, representatives from the Air Defence – Air Force Service under the Vietnam Defence Ministry, and veteran pilots of the two countries. Continue reading “Vietnamese, US veteran pilots gather in Hanoi”

    Sự thật ‘đau lòng’ về ‘Đô thành Sài Gòn’ xưa – 2 kỳ


    Sự thật ‘đau lòng’ về ‘Đô thành Sài Gòn’ xưa (kỳ 1)

    datviet – Thứ Sáu, 01/04/2011

    Sau khi loại Bảo Đại khỏi vũ đài chính trị Nam Việt Nam, Ngô Đình Diệm ký sắc lệnh 143-NV ngày 22/10/1956 đổi “đô thành Sài Gòn – Chợ Lớn” thành “Đô thành Sài Gòn”. Diệm tiếp tục ra sắc lệnh số 74-TTP ngày 23-3-1959 ấn định quy chế quản trị Sài Gòn: Tổng thống trực tiếp bổ nhiệm Đô trưởng và các quận trưởng trong đô thành. Bốn ngày sau, Diệm lại ra nghị định số 110-NV chia lại các quận. Từ sáu quận, Sài Gòn được chia thành tám quận: các quận 1, 2, 3 giữ như cũ, song quận 4 (cũ) chia đôi thành quận 5 và quận 8; quận 5 (cũ) chia thành quận 6 và quận 7; quận 6 (cũ) đổi tên thành quận 4. Toàn đô thành có 41 phường..

    Kết quả hình ảnh cho Chợ Bến Thành xÆ°a. Ảnh tÆ° liệuChợ Bến Thành xưa. Ảnh tư liệu Continue reading “Sự thật ‘đau lòng’ về ‘Đô thành Sài Gòn’ xưa – 2 kỳ”