As Barack Obama squeezes the last bit of taxpayer funded joy rides of Air Force One his farewell apology tour of the world takes him to Asia. One of his first stops to mend war fences, of course, is Vietnam where his apology prize to the small country will rub China like sand in a bathing suit…
(FOX News) – President Obama lifted the decades-old U.S. arms embargo against Vietnam Monday in an apparent effort to shore up the communist country’s defenses against an increasingly aggressive China.
Obama announced the full removal of the embargo at a news conference in Hanoi alongside Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. The American president said the move was intended as a step toward normalizing relations with the former enemy and to eliminate a “lingering vestige of the Cold War.”
Obama added that every U.S. arms sale would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
U.S. lawmakers and activists had urged Obama to press for greater human rights freedoms in the one-party state before lifting the embargo. Vietnam holds about 100 political prisoners and there have been more detentions this year.
Washington partially lifted the embargo on arms in 2014, but Vietnam wanted full access as it tries to deal with China’s land reclamation and military construction in the disputed South China Sea. Vietnam has not bought anything, but removing the remaining restrictions shows relations are fully normalized and opens the way to deeper security cooperation.
“At this stage both sides have developed a level of trust and cooperation, including between our militaries, that is reflective of common interests and mutual respect” Obama said.
In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry outwardly praised the move, with a spokeswoman saying China hoped “normal and friendly” relations between the U.S. and Vietnam would be conducive to regional stability. China itself remains under a weapons embargo imposed by the U.S. and European Union following 1989’s bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Obama said the United States and Vietnam had mutual concerns about maritime issues and the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. He said that although Washington doesn’t take sides on the territorial disputes, it does support a diplomatic resolution based on “international norms” and “not based on who’s the bigger party and can throw around their weight a little bit more,” a reference to China.
Lifting the arms embargo will be a psychological boost for Vietnam’s leaders as they look to counter an increasingly aggressive China, but there may not be a big jump in sales…
One of Obama’s next ‘in your face, USA’ stops will be Hiroshima, Japan, where we anticipate a not-so veiled apology for how we successfully ended the very brutal and deadly PTO chapter of WWII tucked inside a call to disarm our nukes just as Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran are building up their arsenals. It is pure Barack Obama foreign policy from 2009 to the day the White House door hits him in the ass in January 2017.
Obama’s foreign policy legacy is not only based in apologizing for our side of multi-sided world history (especially where we were victorious in defeating communism/fascism and bringing freedom and life to the oppressed), but dismantling as much of previous administrations’ foreign policy accomplishments he feels are wrong.