Ron Radosh: Ho Chi Minh Gets White House PraiseRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: WSJ, Ron Radosh, PJ Media, Ho Chi Minh, Hudson Institute
Ron Radosh is an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute and a columnist for PJ Media.
President Obama on Thursday received Vietnam's president, Truong Tan Sang, at the White House. The Vietnam War that once caused bitter division among the American people is long over. There is a strong case for continuing the reconciliation between the U.S. and Vietnam, and for cooperating, as Mr. Obama said, on trade, military-to-military dealings, disaster relief and other matters.
But continuing to repair relations with Vietnam shouldn't extend to the U.S. president reviving a favorite line of attack by Vietnam War protesters from half a century ago: that North Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh was inspired by America's Founders in his wars to take over the country. Yet in the White House news release after Thursday's meeting, Mr. Obama is quoted saying that "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."
One can imagine the wily Ho Chi Minh laughing from his grave. Once upon a time, antiwar activists in America called him "the George Washington of Vietnam." Now the U.S. president is taking a similar line....
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