Our Vietnam, by A. J. Langguth

President Clinton's trip to Hanoi this past November was the first state visit by a U.S. president to an independent and reunified Vietnam. In his remarks to the faculty and students of Vietnam National University, Clinton recalled two past opportunities for peaceful and friendly relations with Vietnam: "Two centuries ago, during the early days of the United States, we reached across the seas for partners in trade and one of the first nations we encountered was Vietnam. In 1945, at the moment of your country's birth, the words of Thomas Jefferson were chosen to be echoed in your Declaration of Independence. . . . Of course, all of this common history . . . has been obscured by the conflict we call the Vietnam War and you call the American War" (emphasis mine).

 

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