Old Wives' Tales
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Toxin du jour
Claim: Photograph in Vietnamese museum honors John Kerry as an anti-war protester.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: This is another of those political items tough to evaluate as "true" or "false" because it mixes fact with a large dose of interpretation and opinion.
The photograph displayed above, of Senator John Kerry meeting with Vietnamese officials, is on display in the War Remnants Museum (formerly the Museum of American War Crimes) in
The significance of the photograph's presence and placement within the museum is subject to considerable debate, however. The picture on display does not capture John Kerry engaged in an
Mr. Do Muoi, Secretary General of the Vietnam Communist Party met with Congressmen and Veterans Delegation in VietnamIf the intent of the exhibit were for Vietnamese Communists to "recognize John Kerry's contributions to their victory," as claimed, it seems rather odd they chose a display that neither names John Kerry nor explains his importance to the Vietnamese, but merely includes him in a picture as an unidentified member of a U.S. "Congressmen and Veterans Delegation."
Since the photograph dates from a time when President Clinton was taking steps towards establishing formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Communist government of Vietnam (a cause for which Senator Kerry and Senator John McCain were leading proponents), its significance to the Vietnamese is probably more that it conveys a sense of official U.S. "recognition" of the post-war Vietnamese government (by dint of U.S. congressmen, including Senator Kerry, meeting with Communist Party officials). As analogies go, this exhibit is less like "the discovery of a painting of Neville Chamberlain hanging in a place of honor in Hitler's Eagle's Nest in 1945" than it is like finding a photograph of President Richard Nixon meeting with Chinese Premier
Last updated: 1 November 2004
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