Love thine enemies

July 15, 2008

Pssst. Wanna hear about a strange endorsment by a foreign country of an American presidential candidate? No, not an Islamic country and Obama:

We hope McCain wins,” says the 62-year-old Vietnamese. “He remembers us and will do good things for Vietnam.”

Just about everyone in Vietnam agrees. They all know who McCain is, and no one seems to hold a grudge about the 23 bombing missions he flew against targets in and around Hanoi. That goes for ordinary Vietnamese, senior bureaucrats and people who met him during his captivity—the district nurse who may have saved his life after he was shot down, and the hard-line military officer who was his chief jailer for more than five years at the Plantation and the notorious Hanoi Hilton.

The story points out that the Vietnamese like McCain in large part because he pushed Washington to normalize relations, which has led to trade that grew to $12 billion as of last year. Enemies become allies, and the world keeps turning. A few years ago, I would have had trouble with this story, but time moves on for everybody. I wouldn’t mind visiting Vietnam today. I’d even like it, in fact.

This being Newsweek, naturally the editors had to put the “no one holds a grudge about the bombing missions he flew” spin on it. It wouldn’t occur to them to say that McCain “doesn’t hold a grudge for being tortured for years.”


3 Responses to “Love thine enemies”

  1. Doug Says:

    Pretending to know alternate history is always dangerous business, but I would hazard a guess that our relations with Viet Nam would be much less lucrative if we hadn’t decided to “lose” the war and get the hell out.

    May be instructive for Iraq.

  2. Harl Delos Says:

    the editors had to put the “no one holds a grudge about the bombing missions he flew” spin on it

    He crashed two airplanes, then flew one into some utility wires. Then there was the fourth airplane of his, that blew up on the Forrestal, injuring McCain and others. Then he managed to intercept a SAM over North Korea on his 23rd mission.

    Hold a grudge? Of course not! They should give him a medal for being an ace pilot for them, knocking out five US aircraft.

  3. Bob G. Says:

    I can’t wait for the day when I no longer hold a grudge against Ft. Wayne for my years of “torture”.



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