Putin-Trump Meeting in Vietnam
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Both leaders will meet at the November 10 – 11 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam.
It’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t – whether formally for private talks or publicly for shorter ones remains to be seen.
During years of US aggression on Vietnam, Danang’s airport was the Pentagon’s main airbase.
In March 1965, 9th marine expeditionary brigade forces were the first US combat troops deployed to the country, landing in Danang.
Indo-China wars began post-WW II, French involvement from 1946 to defeat of its forces in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, the last major battle during the first phase of Vietnam’s 30-year war against Western imperialism.
America’s involvement followed France’s, beginning in 1955 with thousands of so-called military advisors.
On August 2, 1964, the US-staged Gulf of Tonkin false flag was a pretext for war on the country – initially with illegal terror-bombing of North Vietnamese naval and port facilities, following the August 10, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin (joint House and Senate) Resolution.
Its Orwellian language authorized “promot(ing) the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.”
War on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos raged for another 11 years. It ended with America’s humiliating April 1975 departure from the rooftop of its Saigon embassy, the city renamed, honoring North Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh.
Post-WW II, he wanted freedom from France, respect for his country’s sovereignty, and normalized relations with Washington and other nations.
Instead, he got 30 years of Western aggression, millions of Vietnamese lives lost, large parts of the country ravaged.
In 1965, then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara told Lyndon Johnson the Vietnamese were “(n)ever going to quit,” adding:
“And I don’t see…that we have any…plan for victory – militarily or diplomatically” – his remarks at the onset of deploying over half a million US troops to the country.
Johnson admitted he had a Hobson’s choice, saying “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. We’re in quicksand up to our necks, and I just don’t know what the hell to do about it.”
He knew America couldn’t win the war, fearing he might be removed from office by impeachment or JFK’s fate if he pulled out.
In January, 1969, he left office disgraced and defeated. The once powerful, bigger-than-life figure was never the same again, a shadow of his former self. Four years later he was dead.
George Bernard Shaw once said “(w)e learn from history that we learn nothing from history,” US misadventures repeat, beginning with its 1989 invasion of Panama, followed by the 1991 Gulf War, the rape of Yugoslavia, multiple post-9/11 wars of aggression, and likely others ahead.
The longer US wars on humanity continue, the weaker the country gets compared to China, Russia, India and other rising powers. Earlier lessons weren’t learned, the same mistakes repeated endlessly, perhaps greater ones ahead, possible nuclear war against one or more countries, madness if launched.
On November 8, Putin aide Yuri Ushakov said he and Trump “have a lot to discuss (at the APEC summit), including major international issues ranging from Syria to North Korea and so on. There are many bilateral problems. Bilateral relations have reached a low point.”
“We are ready for a separate substantive bilateral meeting whose possibility has been discussed on numerous occasions. However, the timeframe for such a meeting has not been agreed on yet.”
Both leaders are participating in the APEC summit. “(I)t is logical that they can meet and discuss certain issues.”
According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, “(r)egarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one due to scheduling conflicts on both sides,” adding:
Both leaders may possibly “bump into each other and say hello.” A formal meeting is “not one on the calendar, and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.”
Claiming “scheduling conflicts” is too flimsy an excuse to take seriously, certainly not on the Russian side. Sanders’ remark reflects the dismal state of bilateral relations – Washington entirely to blame.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(d)iscussions continue” on arranging a meeting. There is no clarity yet.”
Both leaders are together at the Danang APEC summit. It’s inconceivable for them not to meet, for how much discussion remains to be seen.
More on this in a follow-up article.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”