When it comes to Vietnam, I'm all for moving on, putting the past behind us, looking forward, letting bygones be bygones, but doing so requires honesty about the past, lest history be forgotten and the memory and honor tarnished of the 60,000 Americans who died in that war.
On his visit to Washington last week, President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam told President Obama the late revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, was inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. In an ad in the Washington Post, President Sang even claimed Jefferson's vision of liberty was the same as Ho's. Not exactly.
At the White House on Thursday, President Obama let his radical leftist slip show when he accepted a 67 year-old letter from from Ho Chi Minh to U.S. President Harry Truman given to him by Vietnam's current president Truong Tan Sang and spoke of the letter's contents: "... we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it's 67 years later, it's good that we're still making progress."
Darlene Superville at the Associated Press relayed what Obama said in the final paragraphs of her report on Sunday without a hint of historical knowledge about mass murderer Ho Chi Minh's motivations for writing that letter. Perhaps she's too young and was so consistently indoctrinated by her teachers about how the U.S. was the "imperialist" and Ho Chi Minh was the "freedom fighter" to know any better. Based on his bio, New York Times reporter Mark Landler doesn't appear to be able to claim that kind of historical ignorance, but he has definitely retained a capacity to make excuses for repressive, murderous regimes. Excerpts from his coverage and a correct rendering of the history follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):