From the AP:
A U.S. passenger jet landed in Vietnam on Friday, the first since the Vietnam War ended nearly 30 years ago.
United Airlines Flight 869, from San Francisco, arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, at shortly after 10:00 p.m. Friday (10 a.m. EST).
The flight – carrying 260 people, including some Vietnamese who fled their country after the war – was first U.S. commercial plane to touch down at Tan Son Nhat International Airport since the wartime capital of South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975.
We fought a war in Vietnam, lost over 50,000 American lives, and lost the war to a Communist dictatorship. Yet today we have diplomatic relations with them, we trade with them, and now we’ve opened the friendly skies to them.
Ninety miles south of us there’s another Communist country. But if an American travels there without special permission, they run the risk of fines and imprisonment. Why is that?
Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a crowd of militant cowards who fled Vietnam and set up a government-in-exile here to hold the United States government hostage to their fevered dreams of returning in glory to reclaim their homeland. The reason they didn’t stay and fight for their country is because, like our present crop of leaders, they couldn’t send their sons off to fight their battles for them so they could hang on to their wealth, most of which was acquired through methods that would be the envy of the Corleone family.
That’s about the only reason I can come up with.