Vietnamese soliders (courtesy tuoitnews.vn)

“President Obama lifted a decades-long American arms embargo on Vietnam Monday and touted a new friendship with the United States’ former enemy,” usatoday.com reports. “‘Just a generation ago, we were adversaries and now we are friends,’ Obama said during a news conference in Hanoi . . . Obama described the arms embargo as ‘a lingering vestige of the Cold War’ that is no longer necessary as the U.S. and Vietnam continue the process of normalizing relations.” This on the heels of increased arm sales to Syrian “rebels,” some of whom you might call Islamic extremists. I have a few thoughts about this, and I bet you do too . . .

Arms are America’s largest export in terms of cash money. You don’t want to know what our balance of payments would look like if we weren’t selling weaponry to our allies (however unreliable they may be). So don’t be thinking that the President — and Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State — is OK’ing arms deals purely on the basis of political considerations.

Keep in mind that the CIA has been “secretly” funneling arms to “rebels” and other surrogates for decades. Lots of them: guns, explosives, grenades, shoulder-fired missiles, the lot. If you’re the CIA, it’s what you do.

In the case of Mexico (and everywhere else), the result is an entirely predictable “seepage” of all sorts of weaponry to some extremely bad actors. Far be it for me to suggest we should stop arming the Mexican military with machine guns, or at least demand accountability — for guns which are NOT included in the stats of American guns confiscated at “crime scenes.”

I don’t really have a beef with arming our “friends” abroad. International politics is all about political power which, as China’s ruthless dictator Chairman Mao told us, grows out of the barrel of a gun. The problem here: the double standard. The Obama Administration sells/gives guns to all and sundry in the name of foreign policy but wishes to disarm American citizenry. That ain’t right. But I guess you knew that.

53 Responses to Obama: Guns for Vietnam and Syria But Not For You

  1. I pray every day for this guy’s exit, the sooner the better.

    What until after the election if you want to see him give things away.

  2. The Vietnamese are tough fighters, and we’re gonna need their help in facing down the Chinese in the not too distant future. Hopefully without an actual war.

    • Yep, it makes sense as like the other countries on the other side of the South China Sea that are our allies, Vietnam has claims some of the same islands that China is aggressively taking and fortifying. It is just American citizens Obama wants to disarm because he sees them as a danger to his statist goal.

      • Every Vietnamese person I have met in the states has been a tough-as-nails hard worker, with a good attitude and a great disposition. I still think the Vietnam War was a bad decision, communism be damned. They ended up communist anyways. Then again, most of the Vietnamese I have met have been former refugees from the war (and super pro-america), so there you go. Except for one ex-gf… She wanted to go back, because her family was rich in Vietnam, but had to work hard here to make do. Her parents were cooler than her. I even told her once that I liked her parents more than her- They wanted to live the American Dream. She just wanted to be catered to, like she was back home. We didn’t last long. Her parents still talk to me, though.

        • To remind, Vietnam war started as an extension of the French colonial war and preceding oppression, which was solely about keeping Vietnam subservient. The local independent movement was originated as nationalist, but it needed state sponsors to subsidize their fights. Since the entirety of the Western world at the time backed the French (because most everyone had colonies, as well, and didn’t want them to rebel just like that), the independence movement turned to the Soviets, and procured material support in exchange for adopting Soviet communism as an ideology.

          Simply put, the collective West has dropped the ball on that whole “freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness” thing when it came to the colonies, giving Soviets the opportunity to step right in and start waving the anti-colonial banner. This whole thing could have been prevented if US had instead led the charge on decolonization, and most of Asia would have likely been strongly pro-American today instead.

    • Germany and Japan went from enemy to ally in about 5-7 years. The threat of Communism did wonders for kick-starting their economies.

      Despite both being communist, China and Vietnam had a number of clashes from the late 1970s, and in the early ones the Chinese either lost or took severe losses in proving their point. This is one of the reasons why China embarked on a massive modernization of their military.

      • The only thing the Vietnamese hated more than being a European colony was the idea of being a Chinese one… Vietnam and China have a long history, most of it involving Vietnam trying desperately to keep itself independent of China.

  3. The last person that Obama wants to see armed is a native-born American who loves individual liberty. Islamic radicals, former Communists, tyrannical regimes opposed to America? No problem.

    • >> Islamic radicals, former Communists, tyrannical regimes opposed to America? No problem.

      So, just like Reagan? ~

      • Reagan at the very least didn’t grow up under the tutelage of an Anti-American Marxist, Frank Marshall Davis. And Obama at least got briefly, full control of the House and Senate to validate and cover up for his actions. Reagan had no such luxuries.

  4. Eisenhower predicted the rise of the MIC, and warned of that we could be exactly where we are.

    The flight path into the mountain for this Great Nation was determined in the early ’60s.

    • The Kennedy Administration and democrats derided Eisenhower as a doddering old grandpa who was out of touch with reality. They also escalated the Vietnam conflict from a few US advisers and some free equipment into a full blown invasion, at the behest of Cardinal Cushing, to “save” the Catholic-run south.

    • George Washington warned us even earlier – of what would happen if we became entangled in foreign issues with the Europeans.

      Well, our first modern Ivy League POTUS, Woodrow Wilson, dispensed with Washington’s sage advice and got us entangled with the inbred, cousin-humping Europeans. The rest, as they say, is history.

      • Not to mention the Federal Reserve bank, which Wilson allowed a foothold. But, then, that’s also part of foreign entanglement. Add in Federal income tax, and Wilson has forever secured a legacy (along with FDR, LBJ, and now Obama) as one of the most effective anti-American Presidents in history.

        • There’s a big difference between being “entangled overseas” (eg, the Barbary Coast in Jefferson’s term) and being involved in the internecine squabbles of the inbred morons of Europe’s royalty (ie, WWI).

          Washington understood European politics very well, and his advice was most wise on this issue: Don’t get sucked into taking sides with the Europeans.

  5. Vietnam is in a very tough spot.

    China is in the midst of heavily militarizing the South China Sea. It’s not an exaggeration to say they are staking a claim to the vast majority of it. Google “China 9-dash line” and see for yourself.

    Personally, I’m fine with the US having closer ties with ‘Nam, as that is a giant ‘Fvck You’ to the Chi Coms.

    The only problem is, we have a President with a non-existent spine….

    • The larger problem is that it is now “accepted wisdom” that “free trade” with the Communists is a “good thing.”

      As a long-time anti-communist (my anti-commie policy is summed up as “the only good commie is a dead commie – including those on college campuses), I find it exasperating that so many erstwhile “conservatives” think that “free trade” with the ChiComs is a good thing. We’ve allowed the ChiComs to build up a current account surplus of trillions of dollars, which allows the ChiComs to build their military to become a regional superpower.

      Yea, that “free trade with communists” nonsense was brilliant foreign policy. Now we’re selling guns to another bunch of commies, the Vietnamese government.

      Brilliant foreign policy. It’s so subtle in its brilliance that only an Ivy League graduate could appreciate how smart this is – and that’s because Ivy League graduates don’t get themselves dirty when the wars start. They might chip one of their perfectly manicured nails!

      • You ole dinosaur. I’ll bet you still think Alger Hiss was something other than a patriot (snark off).

        (look him us young guys/the progtard hissyfit over Hiss reality some 70yr later is always amusing).

      • “We’ve allowed the ChiComs to build up a current account surplus of trillions of dollars, which allows the ChiComs to build their military to become a regional superpower.”

        We have sold them the proverbial rope that they will hang us with.

        There’s a growing consensus that a hot war with China is inevitable, and I don’t disagree with them.

        It’s likely to be in the South China Sea, and if they elect to scrap, they will win it in short order, in such a way that we will be unable to do dick about it without triggering a nuke war.

        They will put our Navy on the shallow bottom of the SCS and laugh about it to our faces…

        • If SCS ever goes hot (and unless everyone just acquiesces to China it’s inevitable that it will) I would like to think our sailors training and experience would prove some match for the PLN.

          That said, the ChiComs have stolen intel on everything from the LCS, FA/18, F35, Aegis, Patriot, Global Hawk, Black Hawk. I’d love to think they didn’t get anything mission critical, that they didn’t learn how to install backdoors in the Fire Control Computers, that some Chinese-American in the Navy didn’t bring a virus on a flash drive onto a ship. Once on board, not too many of the systems are air-gapped if they’re even slightly related – it’s all integrated.

      • Neither China nor Vietnam are communist in anything but name and imagery.

        If you didn’t have a problem with US backing, say, Franco’s Spain, you shouldn’t have any problem with Vietnam. If anything, Vietnam today has more freedom and is more capitalist.

    • We’re at war with the Chinese right now. Except few Americans know it, and even when they see it, they just ignore it since it doesn’t fit the old definition of what “war” is.

      Constant theft of IP, constant electronic infiltration of US businesses and government. Incursions into other nation’s territories. There are thousands of PLA soldiers who go into a building with no address every day, and the ones who aren’t snooping on their own people, are attacking our companies, government, and penetrating our infrastructure. This isn’t merely intel gathering.

      China will continue to expand it’s bases in the South China Sea, who is gonna stop them? China will continue to steal our IP, and who’s gonna stop them? China will continue to hack US companies and utilities, who’s gonna stop them? China will do exactly what it wants, who’s gonna stop them?

      Not the US, that’s for sure. Our government has surrendered long ago.

      • I not only wholly agree with you, I have direct experience with Chinese IP theft. They’ve stolen code which I wrote.

        Further, they were caught by one of the comments I left in my employer’s code base for their flagship product; the comment was one of only three points on which an IP theft case turned.

        In the midst of a proprietary routing algorithm’s implementation, which consistent of a very dense couple of functions to walk a three-dimensional array with timers being set/unset and data being queued/unqueued that was written by a fellow engineer. The code was so dense that most people could not understand it. So he tossed the code at me and said “You understand this, write up a functional description of what you see going on, since you write so well.”

        The Chinese (Huawei) had gotten a copy of the entire code repository through outright theft, and set about obfuscating it by re-writing it as much as possible. When they got to this particular file that contained these highly dense functions that only four people at my former employer understood, they changed the variable names, file names, etc, but they left my comment intact, because they didn’t know how else to make sense of the code. This was a comment that was two paragraphs long, laden with American hacker vernacular, which doesn’t translate well into communist Mandarin.

        Were it not for my comment, the legal case might not have been won.

        People familiar with Silicon Valley and widespread IP theft can fill in all the remaining details, including my former employer and the code involved…

        • “The Chinese (Huawei)…”

          No surprise at all. The US (and most of the world) runs on packet routing.

          This is dangerous because companies like Huawei are now designing and fabbing their own silicon. For those unaware, stuff like microprocessors and controllers run on the instruction sets built-in on the die. There are lots of ‘holes’ in those tables that make up instruction set op-codes. A big fear is that those non-documented op codes could very well be valid op codes to do something nefarious.

          We are setting ourselves up for a potential devastating attack, since those controllers run a lot of critical infrastructure like water treatment plants, air traffic control networks, etc, etc, et cet…

        • Oh, don’t I know it. I’ve been warning people of this possibility for a long time. Short of examining the die with a microscope, there’s little way to know of this sort of trojan a priori to the “magic packet” being received. One could also test chipsets with “fuzzers,” but that takes time American industry doesn’t want to spend.

          In the end, I’m pretty sure I will be proven right. Commies are nothing if not consistent.

        • DG, I’ve learned that the upper-ranges of coding, especially the 3D aspect, has a language that is all it’s own in context. Wayyyy outside my wheelhouse, but I hear from friends who do such things. I’m sure there is no ChiCom translation for any of that verbiage, let alone how it operates.

          My assumption is always that if it’s Chinese, it’s stolen. Or at least developed with a ‘partner’ in China, who was required to share all the IP so they didn’t have to really steal it. Chinese culture has never put any real value in IP, so why we expect them to do so now, seems very odd to me. They’ve stolen enough for a space program, they’ve landed rovers on the moon, and have a human planned for 10-15 years. They’ll likely do just fine, meanwhile a Chinese peasant farmer, will be on YouTube, with his version of Salvage 1.

          I’m going to hazard a guess it will not be as successful as the homebuilt airplanes.

          Agreed that doing business with our enemies is seldom a good idea. I know theory since written history is marry the families so they don’t attack, then it was do business, so that no one wants to lose money. TPP will be the beginning of the end for any but the corporatocracy.

          geoff, That’s been a concern since we started even building military(!) chips and components in China. waxed and waned, banned and lifted. There’s so many controls that are completely unsecured by anything more than an IP address, and with the Chinese likely building in backdoors in everything now…

          They’ve caught Lenovo what, 3 times installing rootkit backdoor malware? Survives a complete wipe and reboot. Anyone who buys a cheap Chinese Android gets free backdoor access for government spying included at no extra charge!

          If people only knew how easily it can all disappear, or that there are hundreds of realistic scenarios where it all could.

        • DG, I did ROTC in college and one day our military history discussions got way off topic. This was a few years before 9/11 so none of us had considered that we would be going to war in the Middle East in the years to come. Our professor (an Army Major) asked open ended question on who we thought would be our potential enemies in the future. Most of us spouts information about Russia and Communism but then he went on a bender about China. Most of us were thinking ‘WTF?’ I wish I could remember all the points that he said but several were all focused about how China has been watching how WE fight our wars, specifically how tech dependent we are. They have been watching closely since Gulf War I in the 90s. We were using blue water navy craft to launch ballistic satellite guided missiles at targets. China’s response – move important military structures further inland and deeper underground. We use a lot of satellite dependent technology. China’s response – find out a way to destroy or negate our satellites. He had a list of other example. Most of what keeps China in check is their lack of a blue water navy but that may just be a matter of time.

    • We can work with them as long as we have common interests. I am not clear on whether they have more common interest with us or with China.

  6. Well …do I trust the Vietnamese? Nope. But I trust the Chinese even less. I have a big problem arming Syrian moose-lims of any stripe. And to those who say the hildebeast is the worst I say NO-Bury Soetoro stated he would change America and he has. Thanks demtards…

  7. So he’s ok with selling full auto to other nations but wants to restrict what you can have.
    Got it

  8. This is pretty much the world de facto standard – selling weaponry to all and sundry governments but not allowing private ownership at home.

    The US is something of an exception to this rule. For which I am grateful.

  9. Did anyone else notice that the Vietnamese are carrying Tavor rifles? Israel is clearly doing booming business in small arms…

  10. What they should get done, is reverse all of the import bans that have been put in place over the years, and allow those M1’s and Carbines back through. They are, after all, our property, bought and paid for by the American people.

  11. Well isn’t that just wonderful of our President Obama To Buddy up with an enemy That still Is responsible 4 Thousands Of death And don’t forget we’re still missing a shitload of pows in Vietnam that were never recovered. Yeah this is who I wanted to be doing business with arms with Obama what a jackass!

    • Vietnam war was 40 years ago. You might as well count Italians and Finns as enemy while you’re at it.

      Oh, and have you looked at the body count for Vietnamese? Especially civilian losses? If anything, they are the ones in a moral position to throw a hissy fit at the prospect of cooperating with someone who came to their country and slaughtered them by hundreds of thousands.

      And guess what? They want to trade and cooperate. Because they live in this day, not in the past, and are fighting new wars with new enemies.

  12. Arm outsiders but not your own citizens. Makes perfect sense in their perfect “utopia”. Sheesh.

    This freakin’ administration has written the book on Orwellian Machiavellianism.

  13. Our army is staffed at it’s lowest level since 1940. People keep screaming we don’t need a standing military. Until a China gets antsy.

    What’s that Kipling poem about Tommy Adkins?

    • I told this to DG above too – I did ROTC in college and one day our military history discussions got way off topic. This was a few years before 9/11 so none of us had considered that we would be going to war in the Middle East in the years to come. Our professor (an Army Major) asked open ended question on who we thought would be our potential enemies in the future. Most of us spouts information about Russia and Communism but then he went on a bender about China. Most of us were thinking ‘WTF?’ I wish I could remember all the points that he said but several were all focused about how China has been watching how WE fight our wars, specifically how tech dependent we are. They have been watching closely since Gulf War I in the 90s. We were using blue water navy craft to launch ballistic satellite guided missiles at targets. China’s response – move important military structures further inland and deeper underground. We use a lot of satellite dependent technology. China’s response – find out a way to destroy or negate our satellites. He had a list of other example. Most of what keeps China in check is their lack of a blue water navy but that may just be a matter of time.

      China may get antsy soon. I do not think they are at the point where Win or Lose going to war will be beneficial either way but its getting close.

  14. While Hillary is likely to continue Obama’s foreign policy “legacy,” I’m curious how Trump would handle arms trades and allies. Or people who are somewhat allies.

  15. So did Obonzo get to sit on Jane Fonda’s AAA gun and shoot at American airplanes?
    Oh well, Obonzo might as well play the Vietnam card against China.
    Ho Chi Minh as saying in the 1960s, “We will spread a red carpet for you to leave Vietnam. And when the war is over, you are welcome to come back because you have technology and we will need your help.”

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