When one looks at the recent history of the relationship between the US and Vietnam they would be more than mildly surprised to find that the two countries are experiencing a growing friendship. Probably one of the strongest in East Asia. This surprising development is described in a story from The Washington Post titled: Vietnam and America’s surprising turn from foes to friends submitted by Adam Taylor.
Taylor starts by mentioning the recent historic trip to Hanoi by President Obama where among other things he lifted the remainder of the self imposed lethal weapons embargo directed toward Vietnam. The president boldly stated the reason for the change in policy was only to correct “historical wrongs” and was only a natural course of events. We all know the president was lying (which he is wont to do, i.e. – you can keep your doctor and the Ben Ghazi was caused by a video). The real and obvious reason was the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room – expansionist China. China is pushing itself around in Southeast Asia and we are trying to prop up a proxy in the area to check the Chinese.
But whatever the motivation, the good coming out of it all is that the two countries are beginning to flush the vomit of the past down the toilet and becoming friendly again as we were during World War II.
Taylor lays out in his article the steps that led up to where we are today.
- 1994: The United States lifts its trade embargo on Vietnam.
- 1995: The United States and Vietnam normalize relations.
- 2000: President Bill Clinton becomes the first U.S. head of state to visit the country since the war. Later, both countries sign a bilateral trade agreement, which paves the way for Vietnam to join the World Trade Organization.
- 2006: George W. Bush becomes the second consecutive U.S. president to visit Vietnam since the end of the war.
- 2007: Congress approves “permanent normal trade relations” status for Vietnam.
- 2015: Obama welcomes Nguyen Phu Trong to the White House. Trong is the first Vietnamese Communist Party leader to visit the Oval Office.
The Vietnamese are good people and we should have good relations with them so this is a good development. Just hope the politicians don’t screw it up again.