After spending his entire presidency surrendering to various foes of the United States, President Obama is now moving to make the loss of the Vietnam War complete. Vietnam, which largely disappeared from the stage of history after the United States cut and ran at the behest of Democrats who defunded a won war, has remained a backwater: state-owned enterprise comprises 40 percent of GDP, per capita GDP is just $6,100, and more than 20 percent of the population lives in abject poverty according to the World Bank. That number used to be 60 percent, before some capitalistic reforms were introduced, a la China. Vietnam remains a communist tyranny.
Yet President Obama announced on Monday that the United States would now lift a ban on selling military equipment to Vietnam. The same leadership responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of non-communist Vietnamese citizens, a huge percentage of them civilians, will be getting weapons courtesy of America. Obama said he wanted to kill the ban “based on ideological division between our two countries.” Sitting in front of a bust of communist murderer Ho Chi Minh, “We’ve come here as a symbol of the renewed ties we have made over the last several decades and the comprehensive partnership we have created over the course of my presidency.”
Here’s a clearer take from China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying: “[The] arms sales ban was a product of the Cold War and should no longer exist. We hope the lifting of all such bans will benefit regional peace and development.”
This is typical Obama: ignore underlying ideological conflicts and pretend that all such conflicts are merely products of “time.” Conflict between freedom and communism, in Obama’s mind, is ancient and silly; we can all be friends. We can even film episodes of Parts Unknown in Hanoi while handing weaponry to communists to show we’re new friends!
This is why Obama has ignored the rise of Russia by pretending that opponents of Vladimir Putin’s expansionism live in the 1980s, and why he’s now arming a communist dictatorship by pretending that conflict between visions ended in the 1970s. He’s overtly ignoring Vietnam’s imprisonment of dissidents and repression of free speech. None of that matters anymore. The One has arrived to beat swords into plowshares – or rather, to sell swords to the people who beat those who push the plowshares. No wonder Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, lamented, “President Obama just gave Vietnam a reward that they don’t deserve.”
But what else is new? He’s handed undeserved rewards to Cuba; he’s done the same to the Iranians. Vietnam’s just next on the list. Enemies of the United States are no longer enemies. They’re just friends we neglected to make until President Barney The Purple Dinosaur came along to sing Kumbaya.