Republican Congressman Ed Royce must be getting tired of U.S. officials ignoring what he sees as Vietnam's "ugly human rights record."
The latest offender to Royce's sensibilities on the subject is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to the veteran Fullerton congressman, Clinton celebrated Vietnam's "breathtaking" progress at last week's "Historical Conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia" and ignored another chance to pressure Vietnam's U.S. ambassador, who was in attendance, on pro-Democracy reforms.
In a guest editorial for The Hill, Royce also slammed Clinton for pretending that Vietnam and the U.S. are morally equivalent especially because Ho Chi Minh's followers massacred pro-American South Vietnamese after the war. He wrote, "Couldn't she muster just a 'Americans regret that Vietnamese don't enjoy internationally recognized human rights'?"
Royce went on to say that he's tired of hearing U.S. State Department officials claim they are lobbying Vietnam's officials for reforms when Clinton has "set the tone" for non-confrontational relations.
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"Many, many brave Vietnamese fighting for freedom deserve better," wrote Royce, whose Orange County congressional district includes adamantly anti-communist, post-war refugees from Vietnam.
Royce also criticized Clinton for not seriously raising human rights concerns during her trip to Vietnam earlier this year.
Vietnam's leaders have said the U.S. should worry about its own internal messes.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly