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Vietnam says John McCain helped ‘heal the wounds of war’

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U.S. Senator John McCain was a “symbol of his generation” who helped “heal the wounds of war” by pushing for diplomatic normalization of ties with Vietnam, the Southeast Asian country’s foreign minister said on Monday.

McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran for president in 2008 as a self-styled maverick Republican and became a prominent critic of President Donald Trump, died on Saturday. He was 81.

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“For both the government of Vietnam and its people, Senator McCain was a symbol of his generation of senators, and of the veterans of the Vietnam war,” Vietnam’s foreign minister Pham Binh Minh wrote in a condolence book at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi on Monday.

“It was he who took the lead in significantly healing the wounds of war, and normalizing and promoting the comprehensive Vietnam-U.S. partnership,” Minh said.

McCain had been one of the most vocal proponents in Washington in favor of normalizing times with Communist-led Vietnam, a former enemy of the United States.

His public relationship with the Southeast Asian country began as a naval aviator during the Vietnam War, when his plane was shot down during a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967.

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He suffered two broken arms, a broken leg, and was stabbed and beaten after being dragged from a lake on the edge of the downtown area of the city. He spent years as a prisoner of war at Hoa Lo prison – or the “Hanoi Hilton”, as it was known to American soldiers.

A monument on the shores of the Hanoi lake where McCain was captured has turned into a de facto shrine to the late senator since news of his death reached Vietnam early on Sunday morning.

Both Vietnamese people and U.S. citizens in Hanoi have flocked to the grey, concrete monument to offer flowers, incense, flags and other tributes to McCain.

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“Condolences to senator and war veteran John McCain, who greatly contributed to the normalization of Vietnam-U.S. relations,” said one message in Vietnamese, left at the sculpture attached to a bouquet of flowers on Monday.

Additional reporting by Kham Nguyen and Khanh Vu; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore


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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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