Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some reflections while visiting USA's capital

As the Senior Staff Writer of Sin Chew Jit Poh, I was sent to Washington D.C. twice to excahnge ideas in two separate seminars. One seminar dicussed the role of media in the globalising world and the other explored ways and means for inter-faith dialogues.

Although both functions were organised and sponsored by the controversial Unification Church or the Moonies, I must admit I also learnt something positive and insightful on the themes of the respective seminars. Of course, I must put on record that I strongly disapprove of the rightwing politics of the Unification Church, especially its irrational anti-communism in the McCarthyist tradition.

In both occasions while I was in Washington D.C., I took time off to visit the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Veterans Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are certainly great men I truly respect since my childhood years.

This photograph was taken at the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial on the wall of which 58, 249 names of men and women are inscribed. As my public writings in both English and Chinese have made clear, I am always opposed to the US military intervention in Vietnam. While I feel sad for the American lives lost, I also know that many Vietnamese also lost their lives.

I regard the Vietnam War as a just war of the Vietnamese people's struggle for national liberation and independence, just like the American War of Independence against British colonialism in the 18th century or the European wars of national liberation against Napoleonic France in the 19th century.