Losing the War, Winning the Peace?

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (CNN) – For the first time in nearly 30 years a U.S. warship has docked in the port of Saigon in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. CNN’s Mike Chinoy who is in Ho Chi Minh City says Vietnamese who fought on either side of the war, as well as those born after the conflict, have given universal support to ship’s visit and the gesture of goodwill on the part of the U.S.

More than 60 percent of the country’s population was born after the war ended in 1975 with a communist victory over United States-backed South Vietnam

Government and military officials from both sides were on the dockside to welcome the ship’s arrival which is being seen as an important step in improving military relations between Vietnam and the U.S.

The one-time adversaries have already taken huge strides in bolstering diplomatic and economic ties.

Officials say America is now the top importer of Vietnamese products with bilateral trade totaling above $3 billion a year.

The Vandergrift’s port call follows a landmark meeting at the Pentagon last week between Vietnamese Defense Minister Pham Van Tra and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

The visit was the first time a senior Vietnamese military official has visited Washington since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

More than 58,000 U.S. troops died during the 20-year war, and more than three million soldiers died on the Vietnamese side.

In addition more than 1,000,000 civilians across the divided country died during the war.

The CNN reporter stated his opinion that, “the ship’s arrival . . . is being seen as an important step in improving military relations between Vietnam and the U.S.,” but the citizens of Vietnam don’t give a damn about that. They just want to join the global community for education, commerce, travel, etc, and a giant US ship in their harbor is a sign that the walls are coming down.

In Vietnam the ratio of students testing for and getting admitted to university is far more extreme than in Taiwan. THe vietnamese are extremely hard-working people who are determined to get ahead and they know that to succeed financially it is necessary for them to leave their country or at least for the rest of the world to come inside.

But I don’t quite understand your title. Ok, the US lost the war. But why are we “winning the peace”? Globalization is not just a matter of the US imposing its values and products on other countries, it is a breaking down of the walls in general. It just seems like the former because the US is such a significant presence. But I wouldn’t say the US is winning anything against Vietnam at present (at least not if that means that Vietnam is losing to the US).


See you point but raise you…

I think though that as to joining the world, that world is the one America was trying to ensure they got back in the 60s and 70s. That world would be a rejection of the communism that “won” in 1975 hence the point of this thread. no?