Kamala Harris: Tone-deaf or sending a message?

There are some pictures that just seem to sum up a public figure in America.  Vietnam vets, rightly, will never forgive Jane Fonda for palling around with the Viet Cong and sitting on one of the weapons used to kill American troops.  The picture of Obama, with his limp arm in Raúl Castro's grasp as Castro raised it triumphantly in the air, seemed to sum up Obama perfectly — a weak leader who gave himself over to the world's tyrants.  And then there's Kamala Harris, who, while in Vietnam, is seen smiling happily in front of a bust of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

I had the pleasure of traveling in Vietnam several years ago and came away utterly charmed.  It is a remarkably beautiful country, and the people are lovely: hardworking and surprisingly friendly to the Americans who spent ten years warring in their land.

The whole country bears the scars from that war — and, when people conclude that you won't get them in trouble, they'll freely tell you of the terrible suffering the Viet Cong caused when the Americans withdrew.  When we were in Hue, the site of the Tet Offensive, which American troops won and American leftists turned into a defeat, our guide told us that thousands died in the Viet Cong's revenge killings after the Americans withdrew.

Moreover, Vietnam's social and economic policies were a deadly disaster.  Just as with Mao's Great Leap Forward, which killed an estimated 50 million people, Vietnam's "Land Reform" saw the government summarily execute hundreds of thousands of people for the crime of being landlords.  (Here in America, so far, the leftists just don't let landlords collect rent, a situation Supreme Court justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan would like to see continue.)

My view is that while Americans botched the war, the cause wasn't a bad one.  Wherever socialism goes, it kills.  Whether in Europe (Western Europe had Nazism, and Eastern Europe had communism), Asia, South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, or Africa, mass death and terrible suffering invariably follow nations' efforts to implement Karl Marx's crackpot theories.  Anyone who wants that kind of power, no matter how good his stated or intended motives, automatically cannot be trusted with that power.

But Kamala is a leftist.  She's one of the people who believes that socialism just hasn't been done right and that once we put the American government in her hands, we'll soon be heading for a new socialist Utopia.

Maybe that's why Kamala seems to have participated happily and willingly in an official appearance in front of a flower-bedecked bust of Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the brutal Vietnamese Communist Party.  The picture that's making waves is from Getty, so I can't publish it here, but this screen grab shows her sitting just below that same Ho Chi Minh bust:

(You can see the Getty picture here, at The Gateway Pundit.)

It's entirely possible that Kamala Harris was too polite to protest when Võ Thị Ánh Xuân, Vietnam's vice president, positioned her there, but one would think one of Kamala's flacks would have come forward or maneuvered things around.  But no, all we got was the American vice president standing (and, in the Getty photograph, stiffly saluting) in front of a bust of the founder of the Vietnamese communist party.

Our current administration seems to be powered by a combination of anti-American malevolence and incompetence.  It's a bad look and a dangerous one.

Image: Kamala Harris in Vietnam.  YouTube screen grab.

Monica Showalter adds:

Does anyone notice that she's always "touring" on her overseas travels?  She's supposedly making these trips to demonstrate her foreign policy chops, but on both this trip and her trip to Mexico/Guatemala, an inordinate time was spent playing Lady Diana, or a visiting a first lady, touring the sights, visiting ordinary institutions such as schools, waving her hand, and posing for Instagrams and news photos.  Not much is coming out about any foreign policy initiatives.  Most trips abroad by U.S. officials are tightly timed with official business paramount, and many do not include touring the sights at all.  If she's trying to make herself appear a serious player on the foreign policy front, she's doing it wrong.

The other thing: Harris's dad was an economics professor at Stanford University specializing in Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s when Harris was growing up.  You can bet Ho Chi Minh was family table talk in that household.  Odds are good she grew up in that era viewing Chairman Ho as a family hero, so honoring his shrine may well have been something she wanted to do.

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