For many students from Asia, America represents opportunities of the highest order. In America they hope to become filmmakers, businesswomen, high-tech firm owner, engineers. They are rarely ever prepared for the violence, for the milk and honey to go sour.
The city is silent and paralyzed, but still working; rubbish is taken away, we have water, we have electricity... But where are the people, in houses, in beds, in shelters... I hear several personal stories of nervous breakdowns among my friends, male and female.
My daughter -- along with everyone else's sons and daughters, those who we will have to entrust with leading our nation in the future -- already has no choice but to be attuned to the mosaic of peoples who occupy the dots on the world map.
When we mention the word Vietnam in the United States, we don't mean Vietnam as a country. Vietnam is unfortunately not like Thailand or Malaysia or Singapore to America's collective imagination. Its relationship to us is special: It is a vault filled with tragic metaphors for every pundit to use.
The initial feelings that rushed over me after hearing the announcement that we're pulling out of Iraq were of deep relief. But then they turned to deep sadness over the terrible cost of a war that was always wrong: intellectually, politically, strategically and, above all, morally.