Kamala Harris was accused of misreading or ignoring the significance of the monument at Trúc Bach Lake in Hanoi — which celebrates the defeat and capture of future politician John McCain, rather than honouring his part in the bloody US bombing campaign on Vietnam.
US Vice President Kamala Harris has laid flowers at the spot in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi where late Senator John McCain was shot down while bombing the city.
Democrat Harris’ motorcade stopped beside Trúc Bạch Lake on the third anniversary of McCain’s death, paying glowing tribute to the hawkish Republican, saying he “always fought for the best of who we are”.
That was in stark contrast to former President Donald Trump’s reported disparaging comments about him.
The VP laid a bunch of flowers at the monument, which celebrates the downing of US Navy aviator McCain’s A-4 Skyhawk strike jet on 26 October, 1967, as part of the broader defeat of the US Air Force by the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Vietnamese People’s Air Force (VPAF).
McCain was badly injured when he ejected from his stricken aircraft and was dragged from the lake by civilians angry at the death and destruction rained on the city by the US air raid.
He was rescued by a PAVN soldiers and nursed back to health by medical staff, but later repaid their mercy by claiming after his release they had tortured him during captivity.
The USAF, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps lost some 9,000 aircraft over Vietnam, of which they admitted around 5,000 were due to enemy action. The small VPAF, often flying subsonic fighters armed only with cannon, claimed over 200 state-of-the-art US planes shot down. Official Vietnamese figures say two million civilians died as a result of the war.
US left-wingers and war veterans slammed Harris for her ignorance of the monument’s significance and her own country’s responsibility for the killing of innocents.
Two days earlier, McCain’s daughter and journalist Meghan McCain compared Harris’ constant on-camera giggling when questioned about serious issues to actor Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as DC Comics supervillain The Joker.