This I Believe

Tien - Richmond, Canada
Entered on February 4, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: peace
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My parents abandoned their successful business and comfortable life in China during the civil war between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek. They fled to Taiwan where I was born as a war refugee child in 1955.

Chiang’s dictator martial law regime ruled Taiwan in tight grasp. My generation received an anti-communist military propaganda style education. From elementary school on we routinely trained on how to hide under our desk and move to bomb shelters orderly. We had military serviceman as teachers on campus. We had rifle training at senior high. I grew up in the shadow of war in constant fear. The regime promoted a fake agenda that, one day, the Taiwan powerful army will recover Mainland China and vanquish the communist party. Chiang painted chairman Mao as a racial historical sinner who was conducting heinous crime in China and South Asia.

The fear of war hit a twilight struggle only seven years ago while I visited the Vietnam-war crime museum. The small village called Ben Dinh where the famous Chu Chi war relic underground tunnels are still kept.

I crawled the underground tunnels of Viet Cong low-tech network in pitch darkness my tears and sweat running down. Not because of the tropical heat but in shock to realize these “ communist devil ” had such powerful desire to protect their birth land in such pitiful state.

I was not only sorry for Vietnamese suffering but also for myself. I cried for me. I lost a free and joyful youth, constantly frightened something unknown and untrue. I had no right to judge the communist political ideology because we were banned from gaining access to any knowledge about communism. Even mentioning the word was considered evil. I was a victim fooled by last century dictator’s repression.

The Viet Cong survived. They unleashed creativities outsmart the million tones of high tech bombs. The damp and horrible earthen smells haunt me to this day. Writing this essay, photos of damage done by Agent Orange flow up vividly in front of my eyes: leafless forests and children with severe birth defects.

I believe all conspirators and war profiteers must take a war culture relic exanimation from last century.

That is let them live in those underground tunnels alone eating three meals of only tree roots in Vietnam while writing their reasoning to go to war. I believe that this essay should be put on the World Wide Web to conduct an open worldwide discussion. Let the citizens have a real say to decide what is good for them.

I believe we all live on one and only earth. The only earthen interest is to cultivate friendship with each other. The best method is using open knowledge to bridge difference. So how about let those war deciders to take reality exam then we watch their behaviours as “big brothers”.