Third Party & Independents Archives

Obama Does Vietnam

President Obama visited Vietnam this month and of course his journey brought both praise and condemnation. It’s been a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation and only time will tell if any good comes from it.

His most major duty was to lift a weapons embargo. This allows Vietnam to acquire armaments and basically no one can figure out why. The excuse this time is the same excuse that started the Vietnam War some 50 plus years ago. China is a threat to Vietnam, at first from communism, and now from exploitation. Either way, China is the scapegoat for putting weapons in Vietnam.

Vietnam doesn't have Muslim extremist problems but it does have organized crime problems. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s, the country was split in two with north fighting south, with the US and its allies supporting the south and China and its allies aiding the north. That lengthy war cost over 50,000 American lives and who knows how many injuries. The death toll in both Vietnam and surrounding countries total in the millions. Vietnam has been trying to come back and be a vital member of the global community, but there's so much to clean up.

There are still landmines and live ordinance lying around, much like in Germany and England with old bombs that hadn't exploded but still live hidden in dirt and foliage. Vietnam has an excellent port system and could become extremely vital in the shipping business but the interior government has its own problems. Obama's visit was supposed to help heal old wounds but there's no telling if his measures will lead to peace or another age of turmoil from the people there.

To its credit, should Vietnam get its gear together, they could transform the country into one of the biggest paradises in the region. Property there is low, and people move to Vietnam to take advantage of the low cost of living. Now with the internet expanding there, one can actually find products and services equaling if not surpassing those of developed countries. This influx of Americans, Russians, Australians, Brits, not only brings in much needed capital but also changes in culture.

There's a lot to mend between the US and Vietnam and business just might be the key. President Obama's visit perhaps is the step needed to start that mending process and since stranger things have happened, once the Vietnamese people get stabilized and their commerce and social infrastructure becomes more equitable to one and all, they may turn into a great ally of the US.

It's taken over 40 years, but at least this is a first step.

Posted by GregB at May 30, 2016 8:24 AM
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