. . . he would try to exert a little influence here. Alas, we don't, so our very good friends the Australians get kicked in the nuts by a pissant former enemy of ours without a peep from Emperor Barry I:
Australia was making top-level appeals to Vietnam on Wednesday to lift a sudden ban on veterans commemorating the 50th anniversary of Australia's most costly battle of the Vietnam War.Alas, nobody here cares, least of all Emperor Barry. The Vietnamese are being peckerheads because the Aussies kicked their asses in that battle 50 years ago. The Aussies have been visiting the site on the anniversary for years with no problems. This time, I guess, the Vietnamese government decided that this was just embarrassing. And maybe they should:
More than 1,000 Australian veterans and their families have traveled to Vietnam to observe the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan on Thursday at a cross marking the site where 18 Australian soldiers and hundreds of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops died in a rubber plantation on Aug. 18, 1966.
But after 18 months of negotiations between Vietnamese and Australian officials over the commemoration, which has drawn some Australian veterans back to the Communist country for the first time since the war, Vietnam told Australia late Tuesday the event was canceled, Veterans' Affairs Minister Dan Tehan said Wednesday.
The Long Tan anniversary is Australia's official Vietnam Veterans Day and has been commemorated by Australians at the battle scene since 1989.This is on the scale of Rorke's Drift during the Boer War; these guys were badasses. I can see why the Vietnamese wouldn't want to commemorate that. So why should Barry care? One country -- one -- has fought at our side in every war in which the U.S. has been involved since World War I. What country might that be? Australia. Exerting a little diplomatic pressure to make Vietnam allow a commemoration that only the Australians really care about wouldn't be out of line.
In the fighting, a company of 105 Australian soldiers plus three New Zealanders supported by artillery survived a rain-drenched, three-hour battle by driving off wave after wave of attacks by more than 2,000 enemy troops.