Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’
July 26th, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Killing … with Kindness
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We’ve all had the experience. You’re at a social gathering or a meeting with someone you don’t particularly care for and you offer up a totally insincere nicety just because it seems like the civil thing to do. But while that may be an isolated, awkward moment for you, what I’ve just described represents the lion’s share of the practice of diplomacy.

There’s blowing smoke, however, and then there’s actively distorting the truth. That latter category is where President Obama’s remarks while hosting Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang yesterday fall. In his brief comments to the press following the meeting, Obama felt the need to note that Ho Chi Minh, the country’s former communist dictator, “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

Now, Ho did indeed invoke Jefferson and the rhetoric of the founding, but it shouldn’t exactly come as news to anybody that communist tyrants’ actions didn’t always match up with their rhetoric. How many “people’s republics,” after all, spent most of their time slaughtering the very ‘people’ they were supposedly organized to empower? As Chris Stirewalt notes for Fox News:

While Jefferson did get pretty fired up about “the blood of tyrants,” it’s hard to see how the Sage of Monticello inspired the murderous career of the Vietnamese dictator. Ho famously slaughtered his opponents, including the infamous butchery of peasant farmers who resisted his brutal taxation in the early days of Ho’s regime. Not particularly Jeffersonian.

Estimates run as high as half-a-million killed in Ho’s effort to consolidate power after his communist forces drove the French out of Indochina. The killing of landlords and bourgeois-class merchants was famous even in its day and since then has been documented in even more horrifying detail.

And those who carried his banner forward following his death in 1969 – he remains “Uncle Ho” even to this day – built upon his brutal regime. Following the final U.S. retreat from Vietnam untold thousands of Vietnamese, deemed collaborators by the regime, were put to death. He and his Leninist regime used V.I. Lenin’s tactics: murder, terror and “reeducation” to obtain, maintain and expand power.
OK, I get it. Sometimes being president requires you to find something nice to say in situations where there’s no real justification for it. But surely we can draw the line at anything that puts an even slightly positive gloss on a murderous regime that sent so many innocents to an early grave.
March 15th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
Honoring John McCain

I’ve never understood why John McCain is so irascible, so prone to truly nasty remarks and actions towards colleagues and towards those on the right who may disagree with him on certain issues, and in general such an unpleasant person so much of the time. I’ll never understand it. But I do know this: McCain is a patriot and a brave and courageous man who suffered for his country. Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of his release from brutal captivity at the hands of the North Vietnamese. He wrote about it in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, here. Showing the considerable better angels of his nature, he focused not at all on his suffering, but on reconciliation with the Vietnamese. It was a gracious and generous column, thoroughly admirable.

I salute McCain for his column, and for his service. So should we all.

January 29th, 2013 at 5:22 pm
Senate Dishonors Vietnam Vets

By confirming John Kerry as Secretary of State, the U.S. Senate (with three honorable exceptions: Cornyn, Cruz, Inhofe) just dishonored all Vietnam vets. After all, it was Kerry who randomly accused American soldiers in Vietnam of having “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”

One imagines that he will be by far the worst U.S. Secretary of State since… the current one.

April 26th, 2010 at 10:31 am
Podcast: Foreign Policy Expert Discusses Lessons To Be Learned From “American Amnesia”
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Interview with foreign policy expert Bruce Herschensohn, a professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and member of CFIF’s Board of Directors, about his latest book, An American Amnesia: How the U.S. Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia, and the danger of succumbing to a similar voluntary amnesia in the future.

Listen to the interview here.