You don’t have to think the Vietnam War was a good idea to understand that communist dictator Ho Chi Minh, who led North Vietnam in the war until his death, was a not a good guy. Yet President Barack Obama praised Ho Chi Minh today at the White House, comparing him to the Founders of the United States.
From the PJ Tatler:
President Obama hailed hard-core communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh today as a pretty open guy who was actually inspired by the Founders.
Obama took a break from his jobs-pivot speeches to meet Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the White House. The pair held joint remarks in the Oval Office afterward….
Obama said Sang concluded the meeting by sharing “a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman.”
“And 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.”
Obama’s gesture is the latest example of his complete disdain for a) the idea of American exceptionalism; b) the principles of human rights, which have taken a back seat during his administration; c) the families of tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese who fought and died, albeit for an ultimately doomed cause.
President Obama continues to see himself as an outsized, world-historical symbol of reconciliation. Lauding Ho Chi Minh is on a par with visiting (and, by implication, equating) Buchenwald and Dresden, or with trying to reconcile Americans with the Muslim world, as if the victims of terrorism owed extremists anything.
It’s a pathological form of moral relativism, one that might be called (im)moral equivalence. The Vietnam War ended four decades ago, and we have a new relationship with the nation that emerged from it, but that should not mean prostrating ourselves, our history or our ideals for the sake of Obama’s self-serving platitudes.