Subject: RE President Obama’s Visit to Vietnam
President Obama’s visit to Vietnam heralds Vietnam’s and the U.S.’ further healing between both nations.
The tragic Vietnam War killed untold millions of Vietnamese and more than 58,000 Americans, unleashed bombardments by B-52’s and armaments unprecedented in human history, ravaged and scarred Vietnam’s landscape with Agent Orange – its effects still pricking our consciences in the cancers and birth deformities it caused, seared into our memories the My Lai Massacre and the destruction of villages, and gave us the photo of the young naked Vietnamese girl running down the country road screaming in pain after her flesh was scorched by napalm.
During the war, U.S. government policy regarded Vietnam as the enemy. Vietnamese people were considered “gooks.” President Nixon and Henry Kissinger even considered using nuclear weapons on Vietnam.
Today, Vietnam confronts the expanding threats from China in the South China Sea region. It is courted by the U.S. government and military for an increasing alliance against China’s dominance and threat in the Pacific region.
I remember the Vietnam War. Our family prayed for the war to end, the bombardments to cease, the slaughter to stop.
Have we learned the lessons of the Vietnam War?
Let us wage peace. Let us renew our belief in the sanctity of human life.
ANH LE has worked with the Vietnamese American community in San Francisco and the Bay Area for many years.Filed under: Letters to the Editor