Just one day after the Iran deal was announced, the State Department tweeted a video in which Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, a lead U.S. negotiator, recounts something Secretary of State John Kerry said at the close of the Iran negotiations.
Sherman describes an intimate atmosphere at the Vienna International Center, "in a small room where all the ministers and all the Iranian negotiators sat in a horseshoe."
"Each of the ministers made a statement about what this meant to them, and the Secretary of State was the last person to speak," said Sherman.
"So at the end of it, Secretary Kerry, completely impromptu, said 'when I was 22, I went to war.' And then he choked up, sort of like I did just a few minutes ago," she added. "He couldn't get the words out. And everybody was completely spellbound. And he sort of re-got his voice, and said, 'I went to war, and it became clear to me that I never wanted to go to war again.' That's what this was all about. Trying to settle these matters through diplomacy and peaceful means. And it was such a moving moment, that everybody in that small room applauded, including the Iranian delegation."
The New York Times has a news article today that's ostensibly about concerns the Pentagon is engaged in historical revisionism in a recent attempt to honor Vietnam veterans. Any legitimate concerns, however, are outweighed by the fact the article gives a prominent megaphone to radical liberal activists whose opinions on how Vietnam vets should be honored are dubious at best. Here's how the article begins:
Apart from the death of a journalist, no more poignant event is ever recorded in the media than the demise of a onetime “antiwar activist.” This was confirmed in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post last week, where the passing in Budapest of Fred Branfman, 72, was duly noted.
Admiral Jeremiah Denton is dead at 89. Americans of a certain age will remember him, if not by name, then as the returning Vietnam POW who stepped off the plane at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and concluded some remarks with the words, “God bless America.”
As Americans pause to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, they should not overlook the other fateful assassination that took place that same month. On November 2, 1963, South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem was murdered in Saigon in a coup carried out by a group of generals operating with the tacit approval of the U.S. government.
As Congress moves ahead with the farm bill -- legislation that has historically been full of (figurative) pork -- there's one really obvious measure that needs to be eliminated. A new program that will require that catfish be monitored by the Department of Agriculture. Catfish, like all fish consumed by Americans, is already monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. Supposedly, this extra layer of regulation is a matter of food safety.
At Frontpage, Peter Collier has an excellent brief account of the life of Medal of Honor recipient Colonel George "Bud" Day, who died over the weekend at the age 88. I had the honor of meeting him a few times, and was struck by his modesty and affability. But many men are modest and affable. How many others have done what he did?
Fifty years ago this coming All Saints’ Day, the United States government concluded its patronage of Ngo Dinh Diem by dispatching him from the presidency of South Vietnam. His removal, in a U.S.-countenanced Vietnamese military coup, might have been less dramatic had President Diem not perished, with his brother and svengali Ngo Dinh Nhu, at the hands of junior Vietnamese officers entrusted with their safe exfiltration.
Nick Turse wants us to know that the killing of civilians during the war in Vietnam was “widespread, routine, and directly attributable to U.S. command policies,” that “gang rapes were a . . . common occurrence,” that the running-over of civilians by American vehicle drivers was “commonplace,” and that the American military visited upon South Vietnam an “endless slaughter . . . day after day, month after month . . .
The surprise of The Sapphires is how unpretentious and unportentous it is, considering that its plot hinges not only on racist Australian policy but also the Vietnam war. Based loosely on a true story, The Sapphires is about four aboriginal girls (ranging in age from 15 to mid-20s) who turn themselves into a girl group and go on tour in Vietnam in 1968 entertaining the troops.