U.S. Embassy In Vietnam Reveals Plans For New McCain Tribute That Has Trump Seething

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Late Saturday, the long-serving United States Senator John McCain died after having battled brain cancer. The news has made it around the world many times over by now, with many mourning his loss — including the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.

Sunday, current U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink revealed that the U.S. Mission there will soon launch a new fellowship program in honor of the fallen leader. The program will allow one young socially minded Vietnamese leader per year to study in the United States, thereby “deepening ties between our peoples and furthering the positive legacy of Senator McCain,” the U.S. Mission in Vietnam commented.

They note:

‘The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in Vietnam mourn the passing of Senator John McCain. For decades, he championed the U.S.-Vietnam relationship, bravely forging a path for our two nations to transform from enemies to partners. He will be sorely missed.’

Read below (the English is below the Vietnamese):

The fellowship will honor McCain’s “former U.S. Senate colleague and long-time collaborator on U.S.-Vietnam issues” John Kerry — who’s a Vietnam War veteran just like McCain — as well.

In addition to the fellowship gesture, the U.S. Mission announced that they’d have a condolence book opened at the U.S. Embassy through late Wednesday afternoon local time.

The announcement comes after Americans in Vietnam already took Sunday to placing flowers at a monument marking the spot where, as a pilot during the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese forces shot McCain out of the sky and subsequently took him prisoner. McCain was held for several years, famously turning down an opportunity for release presented to him once his captors realized his family ranked highly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Throughout his time in captivity, he was tortured and left without medical treatment to attend to his injuries sustained throughout the ordeal, including via his initial crash.

Some years after that episode concluded, in 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for decades before his death. He assisted with the process of normalizing U.S. diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, working on a Senate report that concluded no American service member remained in captivity in the area in the aftermath of the conflict he himself had been involved in. Although the North Vietnamese Communists ultimately won that lengthy conflict, the country gradually moved towards normalized diplomatic relations with nations around the globe all the same.

The currently serving U.S. President Donald Trump, in contrast with the U.S. Mission in Vietnam, has dismissed McCain and his military service, famously quipping at one point:

‘I like people who weren’t captured.’

In the time since that remark, he’s made a state visit to Vietnam while attracting scrutiny back at home for behavior far removed from that of McCain.

During a meeting with veterans’ groups in early 2017, Trump got into an argument about whether it was Agent Orange or napalm that features in the helicopter attack scene from the Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now. The subject initially came up after Vietnam Veterans of America co-founder Rick Weidman had implored the president to do more for vets suffering from the effects of Agent Orange, which Trump insisted was just the stuff from the movie and was taken care of.

Agent Orange is not the stuff from Apocalypse Now, though, and it’s not taken care of.

That’s the type of leadership the United States has been left with.

Featured Image via YouTube screenshot