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Who Won Vietnam?

- Abstract

If, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, then the study of statecraft will provide no end of confirming examples.

On February 5, two days after President Clinton announced in a White House ceremony that he would lift certain American trade restrictions against Vietnam, the front page of the New York Times carried a story in the upper-left-hand corner reporting on the favorable reception this news had received in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (which some of us will persist in calling Saigon). By and large, the decision had also been well-received in the United States: there was some enthusiasm, perhaps more resignation, but outright opposition was slight.

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