In 1999, I was one of the dozen scholars of American studies chosen to meet with a dozen Viet Nam scholars of American studies in a conference in Ha Noi. One of the sponsors of the conference was Ambassador Pete Peterson, the first US ambassador to Viet Nam. Peterson, himself a former POW, declared the whole POW/MIA issue was a “hoax". At the conference, an elderly Vietnamese professor asked us Americans if we knew who was the first Vietnamese scholar of American studies. Several of us immediately shouted out “Ho Chi Minh.". This led to a discussion of great relevance today, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. … [Read more...] about What does the future hold for relations between Vietnam and US?