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Posted: 2/5/2002 4:03:07 AM EDT
U.S. Wants Closer Ties With Vietnam (EXCERPT) Sat Feb 2, 5:29 AM ET, by DAVID THURBER, Associated Press Writer HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The United States is interested in closer military ties with former enemy Vietnam, including visits by U.S. Navy ships, the commander of American forces in the Pacific said Saturday. Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, said military ties between the countries still focus on their past war, including attempts to account for personnel listed as missing in action. "I think it's time to transition and look more toward the future," he said. Blair, the first recent Pacific commander in chief who did not fight in Vietnam, met in Hanoi with Vietnamese Defense Minister Pham Van Tra and other military officials. He originally had been scheduled to visit Vietnam a year ago, but that trip was canceled by Hanoi, which said its military leadership was too busy to see him. The last-minute decision was thought to reflect divisions within the ruling Communist Party at the time over improved U.S. military ties. Blair described this week's visit, his first, as productive. "I think we're moving in a positive direction in military relations," he said. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Blair's visit was "an important step in accelerating the multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and the U.S.," the official Vietnam News Agency reported. Overall ties between the nations, although strained by periodic disagreements over human rights, have warmed since the approval in December of an agreement establishing normal trade ties. Washington agreed to lower its high tariffs on Vietnamese products, while Hanoi pledged to allow foreign companies to compete on more equal terms with its state-owned enterprises.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:03:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2002 4:05:47 AM EDT by satcong]
Blair said closer cooperation is possible in fighting terrorism, narcotics, international crime, piracy, and in humanitarian assistance and international peacekeeping. [b]He said he expressed a U.S. interest in possible visits by American naval ships to Cam Ranh Bay, a former American base that Russia has leased since the Vietnam War but will relinquish this year.[/b] He urged Vietnam's military to broaden its focus from border issues and economic development, and become involved in regional military exercises. Vietnam is likely to observe Cobra Gold, an exercise in Thailand in May that will include anti-terrorism drills, he said. Blair said the United States has no plans to wind down attempts to account for about 2,000 Americans still listed as missing in action in Indochina, including about 1,470 in Vietnam. "The commitment to pursue all possible leads remains the same," he said. Time is running out because memories by witnesses are fading more than 25 years after the war, he said. The MIA program was temporarily suspended last year after the crash April 7 of a helicopter carrying a search team. All seven Americans and nine Vietnamese on board were killed. The crash was attributed to pilot error compounded by deteriorating weather conditions. Blair also met for about 45 minutes with retired Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the mastermind of Vietnam's guerrilla war against the United States. "He played a strong and decisive role in this region. So it was a great interest of mine to talk with him," Blair said. He did not say what they discussed. Giap, 90, the most prominent Vietnamese figure still living from the war era, stepped down as defense minister in 1978, but still serves as a respected adviser to the Communist Party and government. Giap has previously met several other American military leaders, who asked him the secrets of his guerrilla warfare. He said he told Robert McNamara, the U.S. defense secretary for much of the war, "You saw only our backward weapons. You left out the most important factor, the strength of the Vietnamese people." More than 58,000 Americans and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese perished in the conflict, which ended in 1975. Blair, who earlier visited Singapore and Malaysia, travels next to Japan and South Korea on a tour to rally regional support for America's war on terrorism. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020202/ap_on_re_as/vietnam_us_military_2 --------------------------- Brooke Rowe Associate Librarian The American War Library http://www.americanwarlibrary.com
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:07:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:10:58 AM EDT
VIETNAM WAR DEAD DATABASES 1. A downloadable standalone database and viewing program that allows you to search through names and other data of over 58,000 members of the U.S. Forces that died in the Vietnam war: [url]http://www.angelfire.com/rock/VietnamVet/Vnwar/[/url] Requirements: Personal computer running Windows.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:15:41 AM EDT
I can think of 58 thousand reasons why not to normalize relations with those commie (insert expletive)[moon]
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:22:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:24:41 AM EDT
I was only 10 in 1973 and so I'm no expert, but my pop doesn't like it, so I don't like it either, it's a slap in the face to the memory of our American souls who were lost. I don't care about the enemy, they don't count. Only our guys count.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:30:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:44:23 AM EDT
You're p'rolly right but I get emotional when I think about it.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:49:59 AM EDT
We ought to have m8uch closer relations with the VC. Say, about, 30,000 feet up with the bomb bay doors open. ...
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 4:50:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 5:22:40 AM EDT
Vietnam's campaign of terror Nat Hentoff As an anti-communist opponent of American involvement in the war in Vietnam, I was well aware that the North Vietnamese leaders were undeviating communists who had fully incorporated remorseless Stalinism into their rule. Some of my fellow anti-war activists, however, romanticized that regime. I also had no illusions about the corrupt, undemocratic government of South Vietnam. And long before the release of the Pentagon Papers, I knew that our government was not telling us the truth about the conduct of the war that could have prevented the loss of many more lives on both sides. When the war was over, I was asked by human-rights activist Joan Baez and the late Ginetta Sagan of Amnesty International to join their attempts to protest the horrifying abuses of human rights by the victorious Vietnamese communist regime. Put in actual cages under brutal treatment were not only South Vietnamese, who had fought against the North, but also Buddhists, labor leaders and other advocates of freedom of conscience (a crime against the communist government). Ginetta, Joan and I had been actively involved in anti-war work here, but now, some of our fellow resisters were furious at us for publicly criticizing the very nation to which America caused so much destruction. But, as Joan said to our bitter critics, "To a prisoner, it doesn't matter what the name of the government is that hired his or her torturer." And torture was being repeatedly inflicted in those Vietnamese "re-education camps."
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 5:23:34 AM EDT
The Jan. 7 issue of Christianity Today reports that the government of Vietnam, while seeking more trade benefits and international loans, continues to conduct state terrorism against those of its people who insist on thinking for themselves and adhering to their own religious beliefs. The report points out that "underground leaders tell of police raids, church closings and tortureThe government usually reserves torture, harassment and church closings for ethnic Christians living in remote villages, such as Hmong, according to Freedom House." That human- rights organization has obtained "four official documents showing that the government intends to eliminate Protestant Christianity in a district of Lao Cai province." Last year's Amnesty International survey of Vietnam noted that "political dissidents and religious critics of the government were subjected to surveillance, harassment and denial of basic freedoms, including freedoms of expression." Although more than 54 percent of the Vietnamese are Buddhist, Christianity Today reveals that "the government has band the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam for refusing to submit to state controls." The same unremitting persecution of Catholic churches that will not convert to official government "religious" institutions continues in China — our permanent trading partner, thanks to Congress and the president, all of whom, of course, ardently believe in free exercise of religion. Among people of stubborn faith in Vietnamese prisons who still, surprisingly, believe that free people somewhere in the world will come to their aid is Nguyen Hong Quang. Arrested many times for keeping a record of government insistence on crushing Protestantism, this pastor of a Mennonite church in Ho Chi Minh City — before being placed in a cell again last August — urged Christians in the West to "raise their voices and pray and protest the actions" of the government. Why should only Christians raise their voices? The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom tells Vietnam to "uphold its international human rights and religious freedom commitments." The same message was sent to the Chinese government, which has been rewarded with trade advantages and the Olympic Games for doing exactly what Vietnam is doing. Will our president, occupied with our war against international terrorism, answer Nguyen Hong Quang? Are any of our clergy preaching on Sundays about the war on religion in Vietnam? What about newspaper editorial writers? Amid the silence, how about sending letters to H.E. Nguyen Tam Chien, ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the USA, 1233 20th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. The fax is (202) 861-0917. Were all those lives, on both sides, lost in Vietnam for this? In October, Vietnam's government sentenced Roman Catholic priest Rev. Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly to 15 years in prison for "undermining national unity." His crime: giving written testimony to the American Congress about religious persecution in Vietnam. He was also charged with the "public slandering" of the Vietnamese Communist Party. Nat Hentoff is a columnist for The Washington Times. His column runs on Mondays.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 5:30:27 AM EDT
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