The news media is shouting out about Trump’s friendly visit to Hanoi, Vietnam. He’s playing patty cake with new palsy-walsy leaders of that nation and North Korea who were somewhat recently our deadly enemies. This certainly isn’t the first time America played switch. An early example is that after killing each other in 1776 and 1812, we’ve been close buddies with England ever since.
I go back not quite that far with war memories of enemies who became pals. In 1945 my Navy troop ship unloaded Marines to capture Japanese islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. World War 2 ended in just a few months when our atom bombs destroyed two of their major cities.
Only five years later, I was recalled to active duty with my Naval Reserve Carrier Air Group during the Korean War. When we docked in Tokyo, all the Japanese loved us and our money. Changes similarly happened in the early 1950s in Europe, when former enemy Germany helped us confront the threats from our former WW2 buddy, Russia.
Now, everyone is palsy-walsy in Hanoi, North Vietnam, where many captured Air Force and Navy pilots endured cruel years at the notorious POW prison, nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton. Is it too much to ask that a room there be made ready for honored guest Donald Trump?